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· 1:Webcomic Wednesdays #131
· 2:A Brief History of Punk in Izhevsk, Russia by Alex Herbert
· 3:#362 with Kurt Morris
· 4:Two New Installments in the Tear A Cognita Series
· 5:Featured Zine Reviews From Issue #86


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Razorcake #87
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My Dad Went to See Some Weird Music and... by Mike Faloon
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Record Reviews

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OMENS, THE:
Destroy The ESP: CD
Denver, a bubbling musical hot spot long before theme park Elitch’s moved and the squatter-infested train station was turned into the center of civic pride, spews out the Omens’ sneering, stripped-down garage punk the way it all started. I feel as good as when I first heard the Oblivians. Requires Russ Meyer-busted go-go dancers, not included. –Jessica Thiringer (Hipsville Int’l)


OFFENDERS:
Wanted by Authority 1981-1985: CD
The Offenders are a litmus test, like Articles of Faith, N.O.T.A., Die Kreuzen, Flag of Democracy, and Really Red. If you have more than just a passing interest in original ‘80s punk and hardcore that flew under the national radar of bigger bands like MDC, Minor Threat, and the Dead Kennedys it’s difficult not to respect and really enjoy the Offenders. The proof’s in the music, pure and simple. They’re definitely hardcore, but they experiment with its edges without compromising what makes this type of music so powerful. Like most early great punk bands, the Offenders broke up early and members either went to jail, or into other bands (like DRI, Poison 13, and The Hickoids). A lot of their vinyl is now expensive, if you can even find it. Kangaroo’s done a great service of collecting most of the band’s output (two 7”s, an EP, and two LPs) and plopping it onto CD. Well worth seeking out. –Todd Taylor (Kangaroo)


OFF KILTER:
Self-titled: CDEP
Although the fast, thrashy stuff here is good, my pick is the mid-tempo pounder “Bound + Battered,” which manages to sound meaner in a buck and a quarter’s time than most of those tough-guy “hardcore” metal bands manage on a whole album. Six songs, eight minutes, all vitriolic, good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (We Are Going to Eat You)


NOFX:
Your Hubcaps Cost More Than My Car / Now What Herb, California Über Alice: 7”All: 7”
The A-side, “Your Hubcaps,” is murder ballad: simple musically, vocals pulled in front, telling a story from the perspective of a drug dealer intentionally giving an overdose to a rich, respected man with a fancy car and a big house. “Now What Herb” is a light horned and easy listening instrumental that Tijuana Brass lovers could soft shoe to. “California’s” a hardcore blast about California succeeding from the union. It’s the best of the batch. In “All My Friends,” Mike’s voice sounds like a blown-out speaker. Rough. “I, Melvin” is an accordion-heavy ballad about being a burned out, aging punk marionette who also happens to be the guitarist for the band. The song almost sounds like down time in a Pink Floyd record someone forced me to listen to once. 7”s numbers eight and nine are a low point of the year-long series of 7”s. –Todd Taylor (Fat)


COLA FREAKS:
“Dødt Batteri” b/w “Nej!”: 7”
Wow! What the fuck? This is not what I thought this band sounded like. This is such a weird and pleasurable blend of raw Swedish assault hardcore and delicious Danish pop. It seems like there’s so much deconstruction going on here; I’m not even sure if this fits into a genre of music. Taking the most basic elements of punk, pop, and garage and mutilating them to pieces until it sounds like a band that formed in the basement of a mental institution. For fans of both Instäng and Gorilla Angreb; plus the rest of those great European bands, except I don’t feel like anyone in the Cola Freaks spends much time in the morning deciding which color beret they should wear. –Daryl Gussin (Local Cross)


CHRIST ON PARADE:
Loud and Live: CD
Christ On Parade, for me, are one of those bands that, upon hearing, had an effect on how I looked at the world, as well as what I came to demand/expect from music. They weren’t your typical punk band of the time. There was something more to their sound. Definite Rudimentary Peni influence, but not a knockoff. The darkness of their music was carried by a good amount of speedy tempos, yet the songs were catchy and instantly memorable. Just listen to “Riding in the Flatlands.” The lyrics were politically focused as well, but presented in a way that anyone could relate to. A couple years back, Christ On Parade reunited for a series of shows and tours. During that time they made an appearance on the radio station KFJC and recorded these thirteen songs, sticking mainly to the A Mind Is a Terrible Thing LP, a bit of the Sounds of Nature 12", and the Avarice EP. The sound quality is great. You can hear everything. It’s done so well it’s easy to forget this is a live recording. Along with the aforementioned “Riding in the Flatlands,” they also play “Teach Your Children Well,” “Joshua Brown,” “Self-Serving,” “Flash,” “Thoughts of War,” and more. If you haven’t heard these guys before, this is a good place to start—then seek out the rest of their catalog. –Matt Average (Prank)


CIRCLE ONE:
Never Give Up: LP
Normally a band releasing an album some twenty-five years after their last one came out is a dicey proposition. Ah, but this is Circle One we’re talking about, a band whose members have remained an active part of L.A.’s punk scene pretty much the entirety of that gap. What this means is while they may have gotten a bit longer in the tooth, they’re still very much in touch with both their past glory and how they’ve evolved as people and musicians, and the songs here reflect both. Roughly half of the tunes date back to the band’s first go-round, when the late John Macias fronted the band, and the others are brand spankin’ new tracks, with all of the above recorded within the past year or so—they’ve been back together and gigging regularly for a few years now—and featuring new vocalist Billy Brown fronting the lineup that produced their last album, Patterns of Force. While that album is now rightly considered a hardcore classic, this one is significantly more consistent, with not a stinker to be found anywhere. The band still knows how to dish ’em out fast’n’mean, any musical proficiency they’ve amassed over the past quarter century manifests itself in tightness and precision rather than metal wanking and pretentiousness, and the lyrical subject matter remains as topical as ever, with considerably less Jesus influence in evidence with John’s absence, resulting in a doozy of a disc wherein they’ve expanded upon, rather than killed off, the band’s soul. As someone who’s been a fan for more years than some punkers have been alive, this was more than worth the wait and can’t come more highly recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Artifix)


CHRONIC SEIZURE:
Ancient Wound: LP
Mighty good stuff here! Gather ‘round and get some! Quick paced hardcore punk that resided on the edge of being thrash, yet they hold it back and let the songs retain their power. The delivery is urgent, and the energy and rhythm are infectious. If these songs don’t make you move, you must be catatonic. Very early eighties hardcore influenced, but also living in the world today. Reagan is dead and buried, but America is still a mess and people are on edge—which is why records like this are easy to connect to. –Matt Average (No Way / Fashionable Idiots)


CLASS WAR KIDS, THE:
A Strong People Need No Leader: CD
Paint-by-numbers poppy nouveau punk. The lyrics are admittedly a wee bit more substantive than most others hawking similar wares, but when all is said and done, they fit in a little too well with the rest of the bands that crowd Warped Tour lineups. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.turnerstavern.com)


CHRIS CLAVIN:
The Roads Don’t Lead Home. The Roads Lead Everywhere: LP
New long player from the guy who brought/brings you Plan-It X, Ghost Mice, and, obviously, Operation: Chris Clavin. I think if you’ve heard the name more than once or twice by now, you know what to expect (fairly lo-fi folk punk), and if you’ll like it or not. Like a lot of his projects I’ve listened to, there’s a concept, this time being that all the songs are about what happened in different cities on a recent tour, which, by the first song, made me think that’s like something J Church would do. I can’t honestly say I’m worried about wearing this out anytime soon, but I still enjoyed it, and think it’s a novel idea, nicely executed. Shit, anytime I get home, all I do is blab about new girls I have crushes on. –Joe Evans III (Crafty)


CASTET:
Punk Side of the Moon: LP
Polish hardcore record in a gatefold LP, with each side coming from a recording session a few years apart. It’s passable, yet still pretty goddamn mired in mediocrity—you’ve heard these breakdowns and gang choruses, despite the language differences and somewhat ragged translations, a million times before. One gatefold cover features the band’s name carved into a dude’s chest with a straight razor, while the other side features an illustration of the band drinking vodka with every nerd-ass pop culture icon of the past twenty years (Darth Maul, a Teletubby, Hellboy, Alf, etc.) aboard a spaceship. Unfortunately, these dudes never really come close to reaching the menace or hilarity that those covers would suggest. –Keith Rosson (Pasazer)


BRIAN ROSE:
No Elephants: CD
This is a simple a-man-and-his-guitar folk record. Its tunes are simple and catchy and it’s clear that he put a lot of effort into this. The lyrics were typed on a typewriter and glued together on cardstock, which was then stuffed into those plastic bags that guitar strings come in. If this doesn’t deserve respect, then all hope is lost. –Bryan Static (Sharpie Fumes, www.myspace.com/sharpiefumescollective)


CANADIAN RIFLE / AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER:
Split: 7”
Canadian Rifle: The pus that comes out of an infected wound; and that wound is life. Melodic songs about disease. American Cheeseburger: Microphoned locusts loudly gnashing wheat. Abrasive sounds about the endless tiers of “you’re fucked”dom that this country is in. Nice split. –Todd Taylor (Rock Bottom)


CANADIAN RIFLE / AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER:
Split: 7”
Another amazing split this rotation. Two really different bands that match up beautifully. American Cheeseburger play unhinged, frantic, angry thrash. Canadian Rifle play unhinged, frantic, angry melodic punk. The perfect marriage of 2008 DIY punk/hardcore. –Daryl Gussin (Rock Bottom)


CAMP X-RAY:
Self-titled: 7”
A self-described Drive Like Jehu-influenced post punk band, this dark, brooding mid-tempo record from Austin isn’t the miserable turd you’d expect. You won’t want to snip the belt on your turntable while this is playing, although it is overly technical and somewhat egotistical.  Hopefully post-post-punk will soon be upon us so that bands like this won’t try so hard to be sophisticated. There is some potential here, but these guys need to lighten the fuck up. –Art Ettinger (Twistworthy)


CAMP X-RAY:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Loud guitar rock stuff that could’ve easily come out of the Pacific Northwest or San Diego in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s and been on all the major rock mag covers. As it stands, though, they’re fine purveyors at a sound that doesn’t make the rounds too much these days. –Jimmy Alvarado (Twistworthy)


BURNDOWNS:
Self-titled: LP
Do you like the Lazy Cowgirls? Yes? Then buy this record. –Ryan Leach (Big Neck, www. bigneckrecords.com)


BLACK RAINBOW:
“Pin Pricks,” “For Your Entertainment” b/w “Brownfields”: 7”EP
Excellent punk from San Francisco. Reminds me of Strawman in the tone and emotion of their music and message. “Brownfields” is a great song. A little melancholy, but one that makes it way into your memory. Ivy has a great voice that makes these songs come across with soul. This also comes with a zine that focuses on a few unique aspects of San Francisco. Listening to this record, and reading the zine, makes me miss the place... –Matt Average (Thrillhouse)


BLACK RAINBOW:
“Pin Pricks,” “For Your Entertainment” b/w “Brownfields”: 7”EP
I have a feeling that I’ll follow Ivy Jean’s voice into any song. It is truly one of the greatest contemporary set of lungs around today. She sounds like she’s singing from her entire body; not only her throat. It’s just a wicked force. Couple that to a more rock’n’roll feel to Allergic To Bullshit (a band Ivy was previously (still?) in) where the songs seem to fall around you all at once, cleansing like an unexpected shower on a sunny day; Black Rainbow is melodic, driving, gutsy stuff in the East Bay punk vein. Comes with a full-on zine. Another best case scenario for DIY punk. Great. –Todd Taylor (Thrillhouse)


BLACK ORPHAN:
Self-titled: 7” EP
The music here sounds like a demo from some long-lost fringe new wave band that might’ve managed a spot on a New Wave Theatre broadcast. The highlight here, though, is the cover of the record itself, which is the first I can remember running into that actually glows in the dark. Call me easily swayed by clever marketing ploys, but that is fuggin’ dope. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.ufodictator.com)


BLACK MARKET FETUS / IN DEFENCE:
Split: 7”
I saw Black Market Fetus at a hole in the wall in Eau Claire, WI, nearly ten years ago. At the time, they didn’t impress me. It’s good to see they’ve stuck around to hone their scummy Midwestern punk. Their side of the split has some righteous guitar action and multiple personality vocal work. I prefer the singer’s “I have toxic waste in my throat but I must scream” voice to his “I’m growling like my songs are about eating aborted babies” voice. Still, one compliments the other. In Defence may not have the longevity, but they’ve definitely got the energy. They’re ready to do battle to protect the good name of hardcore punk rock, but they don’t have any broken bottles or baseball bats. The only weapons they have are a sweet underground network of awesome dudes, distaste for the daily grind, and a passion for tacos. By the sound of this record, they’re confident that’s all it will take to get the job done. They might just be right. –MP Johnson (Scenester Credentials / Give Praise)


BLACK ANGELS, THE:
Directions to See a Ghost: CD
Moody, psychedelic space rock that doesn’t put you to sleep. Second release from this Austin, TX, six piece. Anyone that has a drone machine player in the band is okay in my book. “Science Killer” and “Vikings” are the standouts here. They have been doing shows with Roky Erickson on the West Coast. Bring this to the East Coast and I’ll put you up at my crib. –Sean Koepenick (Light In The Attic)


BEST FRIENDS FOREVER:
Self-titled: CD
Listen to this and awesomeness ensues. This CD is comedy, romance, catchy, sweet, and darling all at the same time. This CD is made up of songs previously released on tapes and records. I think half the fun is sitting down and really listening to the lyrics. They have cracked me up more than once. It’s fun for me just to listen to the words and giggle on my way to work. I feel absolutely ridiculous singing them, but I don’t mind such things. My favorite song on the album is the one about Orlando Bloom. She sings about how she and Orlando Bloom can’t get serious, with him being a movie star and all and her being a famous musician, but they can have a fling. I can totally relate. Anyways, there is also a love song to Abe Lincoln (and not because he did some good stuff for people, but because he is sexy) which is another theme I can relate to on a very personal level. –Corinne (Plan-It-X, www.plan-it-x.com)


BEN COOPER:
Rockin’: CD
Rock music with rockabilly inflections no doubt good enough for the barroom stage, but ultimately not unique or interesting enough to make it much past there. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.cherryred.co.uk)


BELLFURIES, THE:
Palmyra: CD
For what’s largely pop rock (a subset of music that I have never been very inclined towards), the Bellfuries do a lot of things really quite competently. The sort of Reel Big Fish/Motion City Soundtrack bent to the slightly nasal vocals and lyrics that largely serve as exposition for emotion may be a little corny, but it does feel sincere and surprisingly tender. There are glimmers of greater things on here. The third track, for example, would be fantastic if it only toned down on the borderline maudlin theatrics to the background strings. With some decisive changes to their sound and some more interesting wordplay, this band could go places. –Reyan Ali (Moe & Sal)


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