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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DAUNTLESS ELITE:
Graft: CD
Is it a totally lame and stereotypical idea to have your boyfriend help you review records? Perhaps! However, I assure you that I make up my own mind, you know, being influenced by Gloria Steinem and all, but, in this case, it pays to have the assistance of someone who listens to the Dropkick Murphys and can say, “This sounds like the Dropkick Murphys!” Here’s what I’ll say (although keep in mind that the following comments are tainted by double X chromosomes!): This is really good melodic punk rock, kinda like Gunmoll or maybe even a little bit of early, non-acoustic Against Me!  And they’re from Leeds! Geographical note: that’s in England! Plus, it’s on Plan-It-X, a record label that has pleased me greatly by going back to releasing more straight up punk albums, in addition to the usual folk punk stuff! (Note: The U.K. release is on Bombed Out Records.) Buy this! It’s only five bucks! You’d spend that on coffee and a donut or two, so, come on! If this were a cereal, it’d be Raisin Bran! Solid base, not too sugary, just, you know, straightforwardly awesome! –Maddy (Plan-It X / Bombed Out)


DARVOCETS, THE:
Are... New Wave: LP
I’d like to see the bookshelves of the Darvocets. Songs about HARRP, time travel, Bigfoot, etc. There has to be some interesting titles in their libraries. The last thing I had heard from these guys was over ten years ago. These six songs are in the same vein. Early Midwestern style punk with an edgy and paranoid side. The vocalist reminds me of Doc Dart (Crucifucks). Demented and off balance. Perfect for this band. Definitely not typical. –Matt Average (Fashionable Idiots)


CUTE LEPERS:
Can’t Stand Modern Music: CD
Herr Nix and the gang definitely pick up right where the Briefs left off and let fly one of the best discs I’ve heard in recent months, but there’s a bit more going on just under the surface. Spackled in the cracks are bits of Elvis Costello and the same sorta power pop hero worship that made the Exploding Hearts so swell, making the songs even that much catchier. It’s always a good sign when you find yourself reaching to turn up the stereo song after song, and by the end of this I think people three cities down could hear this blasting from my car’s stereo speakers. –jimmy (no address)


CRITICAL PICNIC:
Self-titled: EP
Fast, chaotic, and belligerent hardcore with the scales tipped heavily on the thrash end of things. Definitely a lot of energy in this music. The rawness is kept intact, which is necessary for this music to work on record. I imagine, live, they deliver in full. At least they better... –Matt Average (Cowabunga)


COUNTING THE DAYS / HOLLYWOOD:
Split : 7”
It amuses me that many reviews for melodic hardcore use the term “fast” as a reason for calling an album good. If there’s one thing this split is, it’s fast. What does this entail? It kind of reminds me of Ruiner, and I hated that one 7” I heard by them. I guess if you buy music because it’s fast, this is for you? –Bryan Static (Burnbridges, www.burnbridges.net)


CONSTANT VELOCITY:
Muttonhead: CD
At first listen I thought, “This guy is tone deaf and these songs are ridiculous.” After a week or two, I still feel the same way, but the pop punk/humor rock band from Illinois has grown on me like radioactive fungus. “Truculent,” their most popular song, reminds me a lot of Cake’s mid ‘90s stuff—white boy rap over tense guitar rhythms. Their Spanish-influenced cover of Pink Floyd’s “Time” is both unrecognizable and excellent at the same time. Recommended. –Kristen K. –Guest Contributor (Misc. Music)


SMARTBOMB:
Diamond Heist: CD
I reviewed their last release just two months ago and I must say; this one complements it quite well. It’s an enjoyable experience following a band from their start and watching them grow. This release makes me hope that I’m able to keep watching them until their final moments, which, if this CD is any implication, will be epic. This one has more of a melodic influence then previous releases and the single best moment on the record is the song “Blood and Sand.” Keep it up, guys. –Bryan Static (Think Fast!, www.thinkfastrecords.com)


SMART COPS:
Self-titled: EP
The latest bands from ex-members of La Piovra and Ohuzaru. Snotty punk that recalls early Italian punk. The playing is loose yet solid. Hyper paced and all that. Sticks like glue to the formula. The b-side is the strongest, with the songs given more space. The a-side is okay, but the first two songs sound too much alike. This isn’t bad, but it’s one of those records that you won’t remember listening to a couple minutes later. –Matt Average (Sorry State)


SLEEPWALL:
Self-titled: 7”
“Come in from the Cold,” the a-side, is a track that, if it were on a comp, I would scramble to find the case so I could find out who played it. The first few notes reminded me of Fugazi’s “Promises,” but faster. From there, the song builds up to a mid-tempo blast with melody, replete with desperation, urgency, and desire. The vocals come off somewhere between a romantic offer and a plea for forgiveness. The two songs on the b-side have a bit of a harder edge, but, nonetheless, remain hook-laden. “Sleepwalkers” is the hardest hitting song on the wax. It is in the vein of melodic hardcore with yelled vocals. “This World Is Too Dark” is much closer to the a-side—no yelled vocals, but still harder than the a-side and less aggressive than “Sleepwalkers” overall. It almost seems like this song should be wedge between the two others until towards the end of the track. The outro of the song really has the mark of an album closer. It’s fuzzed-out, chaotic, and melodic. It’s complete and encompasses all that the rest of the 7” conjures. While I’m not going to compare them to Samiam, I will say that they sound like a band that would fit perfectly on a bill with Samiam. There’s a definite nod to the ‘90s in there. Thank you, Sleepwall. Thank you. –Vincent Battilana (Toxic Pop)


SIX SIX CRUSH:
On a Path: CD
These guys have taken to heart the lessons learned at the Motörhead School of Rockin’ Rambunctiousness, turning out twelve songs that start off in overdrive and never let up. While the song titles make me a bit glad a lyric sheet wasn’t included, the music makes me think I wouldn’t have cared any less if they did. Loud, heavy, and pitch perfect. –jimmy (Six Six Crush)


SILENT KIDS:
Dinosaurs Turn into Birds: CD
Breathy, slow indie rock that evokes long-time champions like Built To Spill at one moment and then modern rock radio favorites Death Cab For Cutie the next. I can’t really tell if the changing comparisons makes for a good thing or not, but I do know that the disc gets better as it goes on. What would help this band out would be some louder singing, more interesting song arrangements, and some kind of fresh, personalized touch to separate it from the pack. Get all of those issues in order and this may be a future Saddle Creek signing. –Reyan Ali (Two Sheds)


SHRED SAVAGE:
Demo: CD
What if the Adolescents liked heavy metal guitar solos, but enjoyed the rhythms of bands like Sexy and Scared Of Chaka? Yeah, I didn’t think it would sound this good either. –Bryan Static (Small Pool, www.myspace.com/smallpoolrecords)


SHRED SAVAGE:
2007 Demo: CD-R
At times I hear traces of what made early Adolescents so swell (specifically not being afraid to let the bass and guitar occasionally diverge from each other, adding odd textures to an otherwise straightforward song) buried here and there in the four songs these kids offer up on this disc. Other times, though, I also hear a wee bit too much Maiden-type metal in them geetars. Lotsa promise also in there, though, and I’m betting they turn into one of the greats soon enough. –jimmy (Small Pool)


SHORTCUTS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Minneapolis girl poppy punk! The vocals sound sorta like Tilt and the music is upbeat and bouncy! Yum! If this were a cereal, it’d be Frosted Flakes! Recommended! –Maddy (Self-released?)


SHORES OF THE TUNDRA:
Heart of the Beckoning: 12" EP
Experimental metal, in the sense this has no focus. Nor is it heavy. This song—there is only one song on this record (the other side is a screen print)—sounds like a mish mash of half-baked ideas. Pointless. File under “forgettable.” –Matt Average (Scenester Credentials)


SHITREIGN:
Self-titled: CD
Reminds me of Anti-Schism, without the dark, atmospheric elements. While I may agree with the messages from Shitreign, their delivery leaves me cold. I feel like I’m being preached at. It’s like the oxygen is being sucked out of the room. –Matt Average (Stu Morris)


SHARKS AND SAILORS:
Builds Brand New: CD
Chock full of dissonant, odd chord progressions guaranteeing them oodles of hipster alt-rock points they can collect and later cash in for expensive pre-stressed jeans, T-shirts, and name brand sunglasses. –jimmy (www.sharksandsailors.com)


SHANG-A-LANG / JONESIN’:
Split: 7”EP
Shang-a-Lang: Hang in with me on this. Imagine if the Dead Milkmen weren’t goofy, and instead of the goofiness was a self-deprecating earnestness. (All of this through a DIY, 2008, slightly Crimpshrine’d punk rock lens, mind you.) I mean, shit alive, the Dead Milkmen were catchy as hell, made you sing along to things you wouldn’t necessarily come up with singing by yourself, and it’s cathartic to scream along to. They’re the slightly stained, well-worn T-shirt to the Milkmen’s paisley shirt with a collar. Land of Enchantment, indeed. Jonesin’: From the ashes of Down In The Dumps. Sounds like Dukes Of Hillsborough by way of Gunmoll: burlaped voice, like someone’s throat is a bedroll of knives, dirt, and glass shards. Florida-ation facial grown rock by way of NYC that’s working on, and beginning to succeed, in sounding epic. Not bad at all. –todd (Dirt Cult/ Dead Broke)


SEITAN:
D Beat Hippie Lovers: CD
Seitan dole out some Swedish D-beat, crust punk. I’m guessing it’s about being anti-fascist, animal-friendly, pro-feminist, and gay-positive, since that what it says on the back cover. All the lyrics are in Swedish though, and even if they weren’t, they’re pretty much indecipherable, so it very well could be that this is a fascist band with satirical cover art who are really singing about the awesomeness of Machiavelli. I have two complaints with this album. The first is just related to D-beat in general, which is that a lot of these bands don’t seem to have a grasp on the importance of dynamics. There’s not a lot going on musically in most D-beat, so the drama in the music needs to be drawn out with contrasts. The ultra fast drums lose a lot of their power after a while, especially over multiple songs. If Discharge-inspired bands all just released a single each and then broke up, I think it would be some of the most awesome music ever, but, except for bands that take some chances with the basic sound like Acursed, it tends to become a boring blur after awhile. The other thing I don’t like on here is the vocals. There are two vocalists, from what I can tell. The one who shows up less has an awesome getting-stabbed-while-selling-your-soul-to-the-devil voice, but the other one has that low-flushing-toilet death metal growl, which I find pretty boring. I’m not a fan of good voices, so much as interesting voices, and the Cookie Monster growl is pretty low on the ladder for me after the novelty of first hearing Cannibal Corpse wore off. –Adrian (Inget Jävla Chafs, Distributed in North America by Profane Existence)


SEASICK:
Ouroboros: One Sided 12”
This is some thinkin’ man’s hardcore. Fully equipped with a two minute instrumental intro packed with worldly noises and Gregorian-esque chant, and then—BLAM! Clear the floor hardcore that makes you want to swing your arms in ever direction possible and throw your body into complete strangers. I’d read multiple interviews with this band and they always seemed like they had a lot to say; their lyrics are no different. I kinda feel like I need a degree in Cultural Anthropology to even understand what they’re talking about, but, luckily, anger and aggression are universal and I understand that. –Daryl Gussin (Soul Rebel, myspace.com/xsoulrebelrecordsx)


YOUNG LIONS:
Self-titled: CDEP
Wait, let me get this straight: The band with the sad guy wearing a Yes shirt on the cover isn’t good? –megan (Young Lions)


WORST, THE:
Earache: 7"EP
Strangulation. Desperation. Exasperation. Well done, shoe’s-untied lurking. Imagine the Functional Blackouts mutated with Henry Fiats Open Sore with dirty underwear over their ears: singing that’s more of a throat pounding itself, instruments that beat themselves up, and concentration camp siren’s type of anxiety piercing through all four songs. Could quite be the stuff of lullabies for serial killers. Smart, fatal, sneaky, and mean. –todd (Big Neck)


WHISKEY DAREDEVILS:
Greatest Hits: CD
Alt country-hillbilly rock’n’punk for the thirty-something bar crowd. Reminiscent of Old 97’s and The Paladins—upbeat, clever and fun. Pull up a barstool and pull on some longnecks for an enjoyable night out with close, unpretentious friends. –thiringer (Drink and Drive)


WESTERN ADDICTION:
Cognicide: CD
I like songs that are simple and direct. (Fuck prog.) I also like songs that are a lot more odd than you first give them credit. (The Misfits sing about skulls and Martians. Western Addiction sing about a kitty cat attack, of littering fat computer monitors in favor of flat screens.) They’re also detailed and blasting, like a complicated explosive device. You don’t have to know how it’s rigged, you just know when you feel the shrapnel rip through the speakers. Western Addiction, like Paint It Black and Strike Anywhere, play precise hardcore that’s interesting without being ham-fisted, meat-headed, noodle-brained, or faint-hearted. A difficult feat well handled. –todd (Fat)


WEIRDOS, THE:
Live on Radio: CD
If you have never experienced the sonic wonders of this band before… well, may a thousand flies nest in your armpits. Okay, that may be a bit harsh, but where have you been? The Denney brothers are in full on rawkus mode here. This is also the first release (as far as I know) to feature Zander Schloss (Circle Jerks) on bass and Sean Antillion on the trap device. Recorded “live” on the air at WFMU in Jersey, the sound is top notch. All the songs rock but tweak your sub woofer on the following songs: “Shining Silver Light,” “The Hideout,” and “Destroy All Music.” Your neighbors will attempt a full-on beatdown on you, but you’ll survive. This is a stellar release and will hopefully lead to a new record next year. But snatch this up as soon as you can. It was even recorded on my birthday last year. That is weird. –koepenick (Frontier)


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