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· 1:The Rikk Agnew Band, Symbol Six, Barrio Tiger and A Pretty Mess
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· 4:#323 - Future Virgins Edition with Todd Taylor and Mike Faloon
· 5:Burn Burn Burn Interview


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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GEISHA GIRLS:
In the Monotone: 7"
It's never a good thing when the record's meant to be played at 45 rpm, but seems like it would be better at, I don't know, 100 rpm. Ack. I blame my complete and total sugar addiction and immaturity for not really liking this. I need fast songs that make me jump up and down! Yes, I am really that stupid! This is early ‘80s-ish new wave, but not at all in a 20/20, The Beat, et.al kind of way. More, um, collegey? More, uh, graduate school? If this were a cereal, it'd be one of those cereals that are in the health foods aisle instead of the regular cereal aisle, so only the non-plebeians buy 'em. Ack! –Maddy (Project Infinity)


FEU DE JOIE:
Protostar: CD
I can’t start this review without mentioning the amazing packaging that accompanied this CD. I’m not even going to describe it all but let’s just say it involved a handwritten note on tissue paper addressed directly to Razorcake and put in an envelope that I could have mistaken for coming from the 1700s. That’s not to mention that great black, cardboard case with a monogram of the band name on it and the booklet with a series of drawing of each of the planets in the solar system on tissue paper. It’s all really amazing and makes for a good impression. Unfortunately, that impression disappears as soon as the CD starts to play. The music is average emo-indie rock fare with vocals (a bit too high pitched perhaps?) that don’t seem to fit in with the music. It’s nothing that I haven’t heard a million times before. It sucks because the packaging was really amazing. Well, as the late Kurt Vonnegut would say, “So it goes.” –Kurt Morris (feudejoie.notrock.com)


FALSE ALARM:
Fuck ’Em All We’ve All Ready (Now) Won: CD
The bulk of this—not the old L.A. punk band but a super-group of sorts, featuring De De Troit (UXA), Cheetah Chrome (Rocket from the Tombs, Dead Boys), Rick Wilder (Mau-Maus), Paul “Ena” Kostabi (Youth Gone Mad) and couple others—falls squarely in the junkie-punk niche, with languid beats ’n’ tempos and a smattering of Thundersesque leads laid over the bare chords. Unlike so many other bands treading the same water, these guys are blessed with some decent tunes (and I imagine the fact that a good chunk of those present helped invent the fuckin’ genre doesn’t hurt), especially “Youth Gone Mad,” that rings with the same anthemic qualities of the collective back catalogues that made people like Cheetah household names. Could this have benefited from a little more zip in its step? Sure, but I’ve definitely heard much, much worse. –Jimmy Alvarado (False Alarm, no address)


EPILEPTICS:
System Rejects: CD
Assorted tracks from at least one single, a couple of demos and a buncha live sets from this early UK punk band that eventually morphed into Flux of Pink Indians. The sound quality on most of this, given some of the sources, is surprisingly good and the tunes themselves are a nice document of a time in punk rock when attitude was often more important than execution. –Jimmy Alvarado (Overground)


DRAGONTEARS:
2000 Micrograms from Home: CDEP
Who knew there was such a thing as indie-psychedelia? The first track is too psychedelic soundscapey for me, and while the second track actually adds a beat, it still sounds like the soundtrack to a dream sequence in an Austin Powers movie. By the third track, they’re back to ooh-wah soundscape land. The fourth track ends, I kid you not, with a minute and a half of the sound of bubbling water. By the fifth track, which is more of the same except nearly eighteen minutes long, I was done. –Guest Contributor (Bad Afro)


DOWNBEAT 5, THE:
Smoke & Mirrors: CD
This is a live album of decent garage rock. Nothing too extraordinary here. This strikes me as the punk rock equivalent of a bar band; you wouldn’t really go out of your way to go catch these guys unless you were friends with them, but if you happened to be around while they’re playing, it’s good enough stuff that you might start tapping along to. –Adrian (Steel Cage)


DETROIT 442:
Living In The Age Of Fear: CD
When I opened this one up, I thought it was a compilation because there is no numbers on the songs, and it says “F.Y.P.” in big letters amongst the other titles. Sweet, I’d love me a comp. with F.Y.P. on it… Nope, “F.Y.P” is more of a mantra for Detroit 442. It stands for “Fuck You People”. If you thought I was let down by that, just fast forward twenty seconds when I put the disc in. My first impression was that they sounded like an Exploited type of band with Joey Shithead singing through some kind of cheap effects gadget. Not pretty. It continued on that way, and somewhere in the middle I convinced myself that it sounded a little like The Motards but that only lasted one song. No thanks. –Ty Stranglehold (Detroit Noise)


DEAD CITY DREGS:
Self-Titled: CDEP
This here is a sloppy little package that packs a bit of a punch. It started off reminding me a lot of a great band from Ontario called The Blundermen. Sort of Stiff Little Fingers and Clashy, but coming off a little more like early Rancid. These kids are young and off to a really good start. It’s not hard to get a decent recording on the cheap these days, so I’d hope to hear better quality on the full length. I’d check out some more. –Ty Stranglehold (myspace.com/deadcitydregs)


DAWN OF MAN:
In the Bronze Age: CDEP
Sean’s review of this in issue #36 called it “haunting and beguiling” and I tend to agree. There really isn’t much that I can add to the mix here; I wasn’t sure what really to make of this record at first, but I certainly liked it more with every play. Kinda like if Devo were to be concerned with bears and Egyptology rather than potatoes and futurism. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Postfact)


CONFORMISTS, THE:
Three Hundred: CD
For once it seems as though all the “sounds like” listed in the biography are right on the nose: Don Caballero, Unsane, US Maple, Slint, and the Jesus Lizard. Yup, they’re all here. The Conformists are hardly what their name suggests, which is surely another shot of irony to the rock and roll world. There are lots of solid ideas here, many of which never seem to go anywhere. For example, once you can get past the stupid opening of the track “Black People”, the latter part of the song totally kicks ass. It’s got an intense forward march approach with the guitars, sounding like they came out of the Steve Albini school of rockin’ (hey, whaddya know! Albini recorded the album!) with vocals that bellow anger and chaos and the inability to break free. On “Meredith Knezvitch”, the opening line “You’re the big man now” had me waiting for one more word (dog) in the hopes that it was a tribute to one of Sean Connery’s finest works, “Finding Forester”. But alas, it never came. Instead, the band continued to pound out haphazard beats, wild vocals, subtle basslines and off the wall guitar chords. There’s something going on here; something I really like but there’s also something else keeping me from totally getting into this. I like me some math rock, but this is like drunk math rock on cocaine. Strangely enough, I think I mean that as a compliment. –Kurt Morris (54 40 or Fight!)


CHEAP TIME:
Spoiled Brat: 7" EP
These guys dole out some loose, trashy punk, sorta like Loli And The Chones sans the vitriol. Not bad, but no big whoop, either. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sweet Rot)


CANDY:
Self-Titled: CDEP
There was something missing here. This is one of those strange moments when a band has everything in place, and all of the appropriate elements are there, and sounds like nothing more than that. The best records are those in which five plus five adds up to twenty, the sum turning out much larger than what the various parts should add up to. On this record, five plus five equals ten. Reminds me of Anti-Flag, but not as good. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Vending Machine)


BRAIN FAILURE / BIG D AND THE KIDS TABLE:
Split: CD
Brain Failure: Rancid worship mixed with some Social Distortion from China. I remember liking their CD American Dreamer enough to keep it but haven’t listened to it in a long time. I would have been so into this 5—7 years ago. Big D: They seem to be one of the last few standing of the big ska punk wave of the late ‘90s. For me, I much rather see and hear ska live these days than have to hear a recording of it. It brings up images of boring adults thinking Sublime is still the shit. –Donofthedead (Bad News)


BORN LIARS:
Keep Smiling: CD
I totally expected to like these guys, so I was a bit dismayed when I wasn’t all that impressed. Playing it over, I realized it wasn’t the music that was turning me off but the singer, whose lack of enthusiasm and off-key vocals just zapped all the fun out. Can’t win ’em all, I guess. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mortville)


BLACK TIE REVUE:
Code Fun: CD
The press bio comparisons to The Raspberries, Yum Yums, Only Ones and Records are a bit of a stretch (“we sound like the Raspberries” can be faithfully translated to “we LISTEN to the Raspberries” in almost one hundred percent of known circumstances), but I guess I can’t fault the band for aiming high. They actually sound about fifty percent like one-time Gearhead label mates Red Planet, and the other fifty percent like the Minds playing Exploding Hearts songs. Rock and Pop played by Punks who own Power Pop records and a keyboard. Yeah. I don’t hear “THE HIT” here, but all ten songs are good. Have at it, and keep those cravats lean. BEST SONG: “Call Waiting” BEST SONG TITLE: “Absent Radio” FANASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: forty percent of this band has facial hair. What am I to make of this? –Rev. Norb (Gearhead)


BLACK AND WHITES, THE:
You're the Only Girl: 7"
Good, not essential, bubblegum pop. Not as peppy as the type of pop I thrive on, this is better than what you get from the radio but too controlled. –Speedway Randy (Douchemaster)


YOUNG KNIVES, THE:
Voices of Animals and Men: CD
This English band sounds like a less XTC-ed out version of the Robocop Kraus (whom I reference an awful lot for a band I didn’t even like the first time I heard them), with maybe one extra Jam record and three extra Syd Barrett records in their collections, though “She’s Attracted To” could pass for some sort of Billy Childish event, except for the fact that the character in the song is beating up his girlfriend’s dad, not his own. They appear to be angry about something. My guess is it’s the cut of their suits. BEST SONG: “She’s Attracted To” BEST SONG TITLE: “She’s Attracted To”… or “In the Pink Mystic Energy” if you’re feeling particularly pink and mystic. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Came with a bonus DVD, which I did not watch, but am trying to watch right now on my laptop, in the interests of Fair Play™, but is not working, because my laptop sucks. –Rev. Norb (Transgressive)


WOODEN DUBS:
WON LOVE: CD
Gotta say, I’m a little stumped for words, ’cause the band trumped me and offered up the best description of what’s on this disc with the band name. Best to be honest right up front, I guess. –Jimmy Alvarado (woodendubs@hotmail.com)


WHAT REMAINS:
Destroys All Monsters!: LP
Sounds like a bargain basement version of Dag Nasty. I like the bargain basement aspect of things, but, subtracting that, What Remains destroys any hopes of listening to this record a second time. BEST SONG: “Gone For Good,” as far as I could tell. BEST SONG TITLE: “My Favorite Vowels are E & I” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: That explains a lot, as those are my LEAST favorite vowels. –Rev. Norb (Enchantment Under The Stars)


WHAT REMAINS:
Destroys All Monsters!: CD
Poppy, emo and thoroughly painful to listen to for all the wrong reasons. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dave’s Bedroom)


VIOLENT ARREST:
Self-Titled: LP
Former members of Ripcord, Spite, Can’t Decide and Excrement of War dish up a monstrous heap o’ speedy crash-boom punk rock straddling the line between the UK thrash they pioneered and the Midwestern US hardcore that influenced them in the first place. The result, as can be expected, is an album that shames any collection that doesn’t include it in its ranks. Yeah, it’s that good. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.derangedrecords/com)


VICIOUS, THE:
Igen: 7"
Three songs in Swedish, one in English. It’s a “super”group (DS13, Regulations, and International Noise Conspiracy) that plucks elements from their previous bands, but is wise and creative enough to stand on their own merits. (Think Dangerhouse, in current day Umea, Sweden.) And although I’m a huge fan of the band—they came in off van trouble at the last minute of an all-ages show, then tore through their set without a complaint, while the crowd exploded—and I highly recommend their Alienated LP, this 7” isn’t essential. It’s a tad more languid, a bit less catchy. –Todd Taylor (Feral Ward)


VENUS:
We Are the Fury: CD
Although I harbor a secret defect whereby I embrace glam and quietly harbor the foolish belief that ROCK, as ROCK, does have some manner of punk-disregarded universal healing power (especially if you’re stoned or something I guess), and forty percent of the time I’ve spent listening to this record makes me want to give it a chance (“give it a chance” more or less means “just put it on while you’re sitting on the porch reading comic books and see if it sinks in or something”, the other sixty percent of this record makes me remember just how much I fucking HATED David Bowie when I was in college (the first time). Advantage: Hate. BEST SONG: “Now You Know” BEST SONG TITLE: “Hey Love” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Saturday Night” is not the Bay City Rollers song. Contrast to Siren’s review. –Rev. Norb (Unborn Media)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Whiskey Dancing, Twelve 80's Hits Revisited: CD
I’m a big fan of cover songs. But something new has to be brought to the table. This release reminds me of when I was probably around five years old and I went with my mom to Thrifty’s and asked her to buy me this record which I thought was a compilation of hit songs at the time. I figured I could talk her into it since it was real cheap. She agreed to buy it for me. When I get home, I rush to my record player to play the record. To my surprise I never noticed that there were no artists listed. It was a bad studio session band playing all the songs. This feels the same. There are twelve French bands that basically are playing the songs like the originals. Even worse, there are two U2 covers! Bleagh! On top of that blasphemy, they have the nerve to say that this should be filed under: punk rock / pop / hardcore. Pop, yes. Punk rock and hardcore, not even in my delusional LSD filled dreams. –Donofthedead (Slow Death)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Don't Fall Asleep: CD
If you like your punk rock to sound like the World Inferno Friendship Society or like the recent folk punk trend, then this is for you! However, much more importantly, this comp. includes one of the current top ten bands in America U.S.A.! If you like off-beat pop punk, silliness, tambourines, and slowed-down sincere covers of the Sex Pistols and the Misfits, Bla Bla Blacksheep is your band! Maybe I'm biased because the first time I saw one of the members play a show, he was joined by several stuffed animal friends, in one of the most remarkable displays of ridiculosity I had seen in some time! In other words, buy this comp and then start stalking the Blacksheep duo! If this were a cereal, it'd be one of those small twelve-pack comps, with Bla Bla Blacksheep as Rice Krispie Treats cereal! Taking the basics (Rice Krispies) and adding sugary ridiculousness (Treats!). I am a dork! –Maddy (Daybreak)


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