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


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DANIEL JAMES GANG, THE:
In This City: CD-R
As much as I love the Chinese Telephones songs themselves, there’s something to be said about seeing them live, and watching Daniel James go wild with his guitar. He can say he’s “not that good” all he wants, but he’s got his own thing going on, and he pulls it off, and well. This solo band of his is definitely more in that vein, I want to say “like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and such,” but ultimately I have to come clean and say “the stuff I wrote off up until a while ago (still do to an extent) because it’s not punk.” But yeah, it’s very classic/garage/power pop influenced stuff that’s pretty cool, and I think “No Reason to Stay” is my favorite song on it. –joe (Self-released)


DEAD BETTIES, THE:
Destination I Do: 7”
Kind of bummed this one had no label or address. I really wanted the fellas in The Dead Betties to enjoy my perspective of their record. Simple overview here. Condensed version, if you will. Dude sounds like a lady. Guitars are a wankin’. Un-rhythmic white dudes are a wailin’. The only logical conclusion, somebody get a search party together. Operation: find these guys’ balls. 
–Dave Disorder (Self-released, no address)


CRIME DESIRE:
: CD
Despite the cheesy lyrics—c’mon, you guys seriously have a song called “The Vampire’s Spell?” Seriously? And songs about “Satan’s bride” and “Satanic hordes against Christ?”—this CD collection of various releases actually kind of rules. At least the first half of it does. Comprised of their newest full-length, an EP, and then an LP from 2005—in reverse chronological order—the first sixteen songs vaguely smoke in the same dark, menacing way that Born Dead Icons do; heavy on the doom but still with enough melody and rocking undercurrents to keep the listener interested. It’s when you get to the last LP that things go south really quickly; the music’s much more thrash-based—which in this case translates to more boring—and the singer goes from using what sounds like some pretty unique double-tracked vocals to just straight out high-pitched screeching. Really high-pitched. The difference between the EP and the ending LP is substantial, and not in a positive way. This is a band that’s definitely gotten better with age.  –keith (Life’s A Rape)


DALETH / BLUSHIFT:
Split: CD-R
On one hand, nice work on recycling the packaging of old dollar-bin records for this release, especially with the awesome green on gray silk-screened cover, though I was a bit disappointed to just find a CD-R inside. As far as the music itself goes, Daleth’s got a riff-heavy thing going on, somewhat like dark stoner rock ala Sword or The Fucking Wrath, though with a bit more speed thrown in there and a recording that’s pretty more ragged than those bands. Still, not bad, especially considering it’s one dude doing everything himself and he laid the drum tracks down first without having any idea what the rest of the music would sound like. Blueshift is one woman hammering it out on a violin—the resulting cacophony is loud and abrasive enough to peel skin. All told, there are some interesting ideas at play here, sonically and visually, but it’s still a bit too cerebral for my tastes.  –keith (For Documentation Only)


CYCLONES:
We’re Livin’ like Weasels: CD
I’ve probably heard “I Need Lunch” covered no less than a hundred times (best/most fun award goes to Big Meat Hammer from Portland, ME). Absolute worst goes to these guys right here. Slow where it should be fast. Whiny where there should be aggression. Just all wrong. The rest of the album sounds sort of like a sped up auction caller leading a dosie-do jamboree.  –megan (www. myspace.com/thecyclones)


CREVECOEUR:
II: CD
Mellow, mostly acoustic soundtrack music. They play their instruments well, but outside of spicing up the drive to work a bit, this wasn’t particularly crucial listening. –jimmy (www.denovali.com)


CRETEENS:
K-Way Bleu: 7"
Hot damn. Edgy, biting, dirty punk songs with all the catch of power pop hooks inside the dirt. The vocals and bass sound like they were recorded in my car trunk on the freeway, the guitar sounds like the scraping of my brakes, if my car could play chords. Drums? Potholes. Maybe if Supercharger was a Teengenerate cover band, you could get something this melodic out of the gutter.  –mike (Boom Chick)


CRETEENS, THE / STRAIGHT ARROWS:
Split: 7”
Man, The Creteens don’t quit. Edgy, biting, dirty punk songs with all the catch of power pop hooks inside the dirt. The water in France has been amazing the past few years with Creteens, The Fatals, Les Hulks, etc.—rough, screaming, no-frills knockout punk with real catchiness you remember from ‘60s garage. I’ve really liked all the Creteens singles equally, as their website says, “being this consistently dumb is pretty fuckin hard.” With the bar set high from side A, I was surprised to really like side B of the Straight Arrows from Australia, the first stuff I’ve heard from them. They fit the Creteens mold as well without being a retread. The first song sounds like it was recorded not just in a bedroom but with the band under the mattress, going at it like they thought no one would ever care. The second song sounds like “Louie Louie” reworked. A great split that would make The Mummies proud.  –mike (Resistance A Go Go, myspace.com/resistanceagogo)


CRAPPY DRACULA:
My Ass: 7"
Twelve-year-old dudes with acne who lock themselves in their bedroom while playing video games online might think Crappy Dracula are wicked funny. Me, not so much. How many songs about a fat guy rolling down a hill does a dude have to hear in his lifetime before he doesn’t find it hilarious anymore? The answer is one. One time. If I wanna laugh at something stupid, I’ll put on Weekend at Bernies. –Dave Disorder (Crappy Dracula)


CRAPPY DRACULA / SONOROUS GALE:
Split: 7" EP
Both bands here sound like their tracks were taken from some long-lost ‘80s cassette compilation of obscure bands that never really did much more past contributing tunes to cassette compilations. Neither band is bad, per se, so much as not really managing to put across something with much lasting impact outside of, in the case of Sonorous Gale’s contribution, a vaguely Hole-like feel. Could totally be the recording quality, but this just ain’t workin’ for me. –jimmy (Crappy Dracula World Headquarters)


CORPUS DEI:
Self-titled: 10”
I’m not exactly sure what genre I should determine this is. I’m guessing it’s a bit of doom, sludge, hardcore, and metal. One thing for sure is that the music is mean, dirty, and vile. Its mixture of tempo changes makes it feel like a combination of panic attacks and emotional depression. Dirty, bottom-heavy Sabbath riffs bring forth the sense of evil. Blasting fast parts charge at your face like a windstorm. Vocals are yelled and shrieked to emphasize the overall madness. I started out in a decent mood but soon got very agitated listening to this. Pretty good result, I say. –don (Feral Kid)


COPYRIGHTS, THE / METHADONES:
Split: CD
Splits are always a dicey proposition. Sometimes you just can’t help it, and one side blows big ape chunks. Not so with this baby. Meths are back to a lean, mean four piece and the results on the first six tunes on this speak for themselves. Top notch songwriting, cool leads from Byrne, and the rhythm section is rock solid. “Under the Skyline” will be encouraging some drunken sing-alongs, and that’s a good thing. The Copyrights hold up their end of the deal on their side. “Keep Me in the Dark” has a chorus that will remain lodged in your veins like a good sugar rush from a Slurpee. They even tackle a cover by The Primitive Radio Gods. Intriguing. Impressive gentlemen, most impressive. –koepenick (Transparent, no address)


CRAWLERS, THE:
I Hate Michael Vick: 7"
Ah, fuck yea! The hidden gem of my bimonthly Razorcake package. This Portland, OR punk rock band serves up three fast songs that are clearly influenced by ‘80s hardcore, but rise above the gazillion bands aping Black Flag these days. To compare them to a band that‘s currently got a bit of a buzz around them, I’d say that The Crawlers have a Cloak/Dagger sound to them, a sound that’s rooted in classic hardcore but brings in elements of stuff like Toys That Kill. Ignore all of my name dropping nonsense if you want, but the point is that this is fast and catchy as shit. I’ll be picking up their full length ASAP.  –Dave Dillon (Blind Spot)


COPYRIGHTS, THE / METHADONES, THE:
Split: CD
Two superhero camps have joined forces to beat the crap out of stale-ass pop punk villains! The Methadones start off the album with the secret power pop-packed formula they’ve perfected over the years. They always manage to take me to this warm and fuzzy place that smells of depression and alcohol and root beer-flavored lollipops with their brand of punk rock, and I welcome the feeling in with open arms. The Copyrights side of the split wins hands down. Their songs include fantastic lyrics that tug and pull at every emotional string, from happiness to devastation, and even round the set off with a cover that kills all the other songs on the record while managing not to sound like the original tune. Now that’s fucking talent. –mrz (myspace.com/transparentrecords)


CONCRETE FACELIFT / MOTHER SPEED:
Split: 7"
Mother Speed: think skateboards and forty ounce beers. Fun but sloppy, skinned knees and hurt feelings included. Concrete Facelift: awesome name by the way—more like skateboards and trucker speed.  –Dave Disorder (Party Time)


COMA LILLIES, THE:
Memento Mori: CDEP
According to a note inside, the disc was recorded “for the first two tracks. The rest are goodies for you.” Ironically, the first two tracks are the weakest here, sounding like instrumental bits written for the soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t sound too interesting. Get the singer from Fate’s Warning on board to drop some vocals about gremlins eating his spleen and satanic donuts over all that intricate, occasionally jazzy bombast that comprises the rest of what’s here, though, and you’ve got yourself one wicked interesting metal band.  –jimmy (www.denovali.com)


COLD ONES, THE:
Self-titled: 7”EP
A Gainesville dude band. (Even if I’m wrong, geographically, the sonic geography checks out.) And I mean that in a good way. You get the feeling that they love Tom Petty and would fight for decent Merle Haggard tickets, but feel more comfortable playing straight-ahead (on first listen) good-weird punk (Fay Wray, The Nervous Dogs, and Watson come to mind). It’s got the feeling of open air flea market, Florida-sized cockroaches, flatland underdogs in flip flops playing in a bar where most of the clientele have knives clipped on them somewhere (for either work or “protection.”). The Cold Ones don’t blow me away, leaving me in the middle of the street without my clothes, but I really enjoy their three songs, and I have a feeling I’ll be spinning this 7” often. It’s like sitting down at a bar and being happy that the locals are already there. –todd (Sooooo Intense )


COLA FREAKS:
Self-titled: EP
Really good stuff here. Guitar-driven punk rock similar to the Vicious and Observers with its straight forward approach and overall flow of the songs. More about mood than bashing you over the head. “Ingenting Set” opens up with a mid tempo pace and a little bit forlorn melody. “Gi Mig Piller” is the most upbeat of the three songs and “Ctrl Alt Delete” closes off somewhere in between: upbeat and introspective. Worth seeking out.  –Matt Average (Hjernespind)


COCKSPARRER:
True to Yourself: 7"
I love it when you put a new record from an old oi band on the turntable and you can tell who it is in the first dozen revolutions. Doesn’t fall too far from the tree and that’s just fine with me. Backed with a live version of “Chip on Your Shoulder” recorded in 2000, though the song was originally published back in ’77. Essential for Cocksparrer completists.  –Jim Ruland (TKO)


COCKSPARRER:
True to Yourself: 7”
Two previously released tracks, the title one from their most recent album and the flip a live version of “Chip on My Shoulder” from the Runnin’ Riot Across the USA album. Although both tracks are fuggin’ great—c’mon, it’s Cocksparrer we’re talking about—I kinda wonder if it’s worth the effort to hunt this out if you’ve already got both those discs, unless yer some kinda collector, or like singles with pictures of punk rockers on the cover.  –jimmy (TKO)


CHEEKY:
Choke on a Cheeseburger: CD-R
I don’t know if it was intended as such, but when I listen to Cheeky I hear a total throwback to the Recess catalog. There’s the fast, snottiness like mid-era FYP, with Bent Outta Shape-similar leads sprinkled throughout. Meanwhile, there’s young lady vocals screaming about jerks at shows, being mad because of jerks, and jerks in general. As a fan of a lot of these things from Recess I’m reminded of, I think this is a flawless EP, and officially think this band completely rules.  –joe (Freedom School)


CHEEKY:
Choke on a Cheeseburger: 7”
This is easily one of the best records I’ve heard this year, and a debut record nonetheless. A primarily female band, Cheeky should fit in nicely for fans of The Measure or This Is My Fist, but by no means is this a copycat band. Cheeky does their own thing, punk as shit, but not necessarily breakneck. Just kind of deliberately badass. Top that with a twenty-year-old New Yorker girl (or two) screaming at you, “You namby pamby! You fucking twinkie!” And the charm is not lost on me. –Nick Toerner  –Guest Contributor (Freedom School)


CHEAP TIME:
Self-titled: CD
Four words: Falling Down, Ginger Snap. Buy the record and know what I mean. This ain’t no decoder ring marketing gimmick to tell you to be sure to drink your Ovaltine. I get nothing out of telling you which records are worth a damn. Here is a little story that to prove it. So I totally fuck over Razorcake every month by not doing my reviews because listening to seven records that suck monthly sucks. But every now and then you get a diamond in your butthole. A sparkling little turd that peaks your interest and turns out to be valuable. In fact, a friend sent me a text message warning me how awesome this record is. It actually got me excited to do my fucking record reviews. That never happens, unless Todd yells at me. Cheap Time is awesome poppy garage shit that is so flamboyant and redundant you can’t help but mouth the words to the chorus you can’t understand. Not surprised to hear another solid gold motherfucker from the motherfuckers who brought us King Kahn And The BBQ Show and the Jay Reatard. What? You don’t have those records either? Fuck you. Stop wasting my time.  –Gabe Rock (In The Red)


CHEAP TIME:
Handy Man: 7”
Every now and again, a record reviewer can be reminded why they put up with daunting task of writing endless slander about the steaming piles of record refuse dumped into our review piles. It’s a good thing I already have plenty of resale items to potentially fund my alcoholic leanings because this here record will not make the drive to the used record store. Cheap Time, who I believe just released a full length on In the Red Records, offer up two garage pop gems with all the right amount of fuzz and distortion in the tradition of bands like The Stooges and Red Cross, but also with a hint of the garage power pop of bands like Teengenerate and The Potential Johns.  –Dave Disorder (Douchemaster)


CHEAP GIRLS:
Find Me a Drink Home: CD
This is very guitar-driven, with a thick and fuzzy texture occasionally drowning out the vocals, which are very reminiscent of Michael Stipe. Unfortunately, when I’m getting into a record only to realize there’s no lyric sheet included I get somewhat annoyed. Instead, we’re given some out-of-focus photographs, including one of a shoe, and a recording note stating “Cheap Girls wear shoes made by No Sweat Apparel.” I think there’s no better way of telling people you have nothing to say than prioritizing apparel over content. I like the name of the band and album, but even after a couple of listens I found myself having trouble differentiating between tracks. Every song had the same tempo, and if I didn’t catch the breaks between them, I would have thought it was one really long track. The exception is “Her and Cigarettes,” in which they go acoustic and throw in some keyboards. Good background music to ignore while reading.  –Rene Navarro (BMP)


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