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Razorcake #84
Tim Version, Ordinary Life LP + bonus 7"
Radon, 28 LP
Zisk #25
Razorcake #83


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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LOT LIZARDS:
Leave Me Alone (I’ve Got a Bomb): 7”
At one time the Lot Lizards had Lemmy Caution from Black Time in their ranks, and this three-song blast sounds like something he’d be involved in—sordid and lo-fi; lead singer GG Cicciolina’s vocals sound like they were recorded in Hasil Adkins’s chicken coop. Meg Slim provides Psychocandy thumb on this 7” that’s indebted to the Stooges’ Funhouse and Greg Cartwright’s mid-‘90s output. Leave Me Alone (I’ve Got a Bomb) is a refreshingly solid debut. –Ryan Leach (Perpetrator)


LIGHTEN UP:
I’d Rather Be Snoring: 7”EP
Listening to Lighten Up is a little like listening to a Lifter Puller 33 on 45. These Philadelphia punks are loud and fast, with just enough snotty attitude to give it a little swagger that is well-deserved and not at all posturing. I can’t wait for the full-length! –Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (www.braindrainrecords.com)


LIBBY LAVELLA:
Sometime in the Morning: CD
“Is this an album you’re reviewing?” Lesley asked. She was all curled up under the covers of my bed while I sat at my desk, typing. It should have been the perfect set up to listen to Libby Lavella’s album. Two sensitive ladies, hanging out inside, late in the afternoon on a cold, snowy Saturday. We should have been really into slow, female fronted, sentimental indie pop. Lesley poked her head out from the covers. “You know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of when I was dating that guy Chris Ikonomopoulos and he sometimes got hired by the government to write background music for training videos. The instructions were always write something that sounds kind of boring.” Enough said. –Jennifer Whiteford (www.libbylavella.com)


LEGION DCLXVI:
Black Goat Armageddon: LP
Do you know your roman numerals? Going by the title and if you actually had the release in front of you, you could highly guess what roman numeral number it may be. But that is a little deceiving also. Musically, two things pop to mind. Swedish d-beat/crust and the almighty Motörhead; adding those distinctive rock-meets-metal riffing with the energy of bands like Skitsystem and Wolfbrigade. A burly set of songs that show that this Canadian band has matured greatly from release to release. The production is superb with the sheer bombastic attack of sound. Vocals that are guttural but not cookie monster-like. Guitar sounds that are heavy and charging. Bass guitar sounds that are solid and punchy with a strong presence. Drum beats that keeps time and are bashed out with a fervor of rage. Lyrics that, in the past, were more in the satanic/death metal theme now are more thought provoking and better written. A band, I believe, that would sit in-between scenes. I think they need to get out and tour the states and Europe. With their output and the maturity of having been together for sometime, many more would come to appreciate them. Musically, I think this band is as good or better than many that is being lauded today. –Donofthedead (Schizophrenic)


LEFTY LOOSIE:
100 Miles an Hour: CD
Yay! Milwaukee punks are go! Female-fronted punk rock, ideally suited for the basement show! If you’re ever in Milwaukee and you DON’T go see at least one band, you are an even bigger dork than me! If this were a cereal, it’d be Fruit Loops. Pop punk yumminess! –Maddy (Fast Crowd)


LEFTOVERS, THE:
On the Move: CD
Yay! Yesterday’s Kids-esque power pop recorded by Justin Perkins, of Yesterday’s Kids fame! This is such a cool album! Great harmonies, power pop yumminess, and lyrics about girls! And it’s firmly on the punk end of the power pop spectrum (and that’s a good thing)! If this were a cereal, it’d be Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Seriously, it’s just that good! –Maddy (Rally)


LEE MONSTER:
No World Order: 2 x CD-R
This looked like a handmade indie hip hop record at first, and while there’s some rapping, it feels like more of an art project, with all sorts of different stuff, a decent bit instrumental, and some fairly political stuff, too. Pretty cool, though two CD’s worth of stuff is a bit lengthy for me. –Joe Evans III (Self-released)


LAST HOPE, THE:
Violence, Vengeance and Retribution: CD
Their drummer is named Chippy; I think that’s the nicest thing I can say about this band. Chippy, that just sounds like a nice kind of guy you’d like to get to know better, you know? Maybe go out for an ice cream soda or swing by the local roller rink with. Just make sure he doesn’t trick you into going to see this bullshit. Three guitars for pretty basic anthemic punk? What the hell for? –Megan Pants (Self-released)


LAMPS:
Self-titled: CD
Another band here exploring the gray area between skronk, hardcore, and lo-fi trash rock. Though some of the tunes are quite interesting in their utter tunelessness (what can I say, sometimes I like noise), what’s most impressive is the level of racket they manage to create—the guitars alone sound like two sheet metal airplanes colliding in mid-air. I like it lots, but I’m not betting on ‘em getting much air on KROQ or Indie 103. –Jimmy Alvarado (In the Red)


LAIBACH:
Nova Akropola: CD
Listening to this reissue of Laibach’s second album brought back wistful memories of a sound not often heard anymore. Released at a time when industrial music was moving away from the experimental noise of groups like SPK, Throbbing Gristle, and Einstürzende Neubauten and starting to embrace the more dancebeat-oriented stuff of Ministry, KMFDM, and Nine Inch Nails, Nova Akropola serves as a nice bridge between the two. The dance beats are in evidence in places here, but the poppy current that became so integral to the style later is tempered here by deep, almost operatic vocals and a grandeur that is more Wagner than Reznor. Laibach’s stage persona and flirtation with totalitarian imagery (although they insisted they were neither fascists nor sympathetic to Nazi sensibilities) did manage to stir some controversy, but the singular quality of the music they created is something, indeed. Like contemporaries like Coil and Foetus, they manage to take disparate musical influences and create something that may indeed have a beat, ain’t really gonna make you wanna dance, but is interesting enough (the key ingredient) to make you wanna really listen. That kinda musical subversion just doesn’t happen often enough anymore. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.cherryred.co.uk)


KYLMA SOTA:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Ahhh, nothing like some Finnish hardcore to give life perspective again. Four tunes here, all of ’em Discharge-influenced ragers done like only those hailing from that part of the world can. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.raakanaama.fi)


KILLROY:
Football Chants and Angry Rants: CD
Killroy were a bit of anomaly in L.A.’s early ‘80s punk scene. While much of the scene was either indulging in post-Adolescents OC melody-tinged hardcore or opting for the full-on thrash embraced by Wasted Youth, Circle One, and others, Killroy found inspiration in the slower churning of England’s then-contemporary oi scene. The merits of their efforts depended on how one felt about oi, I guess. Looking back that far into their (and my own) past is hampered by the blur of more than twenty-three years. I remember them as being more or less unmemorable, although interesting enough to remember they were on the bill of some long-ago show I attended. That assessment might be a little disingenuous, though. More accurate, bolstered by the music on this disc, might be that they were too often in the unenviable position of sharing the stage with some of Southern California’s most formidable bands. Seriously, how well do you think your band would fare sandwiched between Channel 3, Sin 34, Angry Samoans, and Battalion Of Saints? Listening to this, though, which is essentially the band hitting a studio some twenty years later to run through their set for posterity, it’s clear they might’ve upped their profile considerably and had a fighting chance if they had toured more religiously and steered clear of Mystic Records. While the lyrics are a bit dated in places (“Rush the Doors” romanticizes bum rushing the door at gigs, a practice often instigated by the late John Macias of the aforementioned Circle One rallying the troops and surging through the doors in a mad dash to gain entry, thereby allowing tens of skint punks to see a gig without paying to get in and more skint punks getting an ass-whooping by the bouncers who caught them as they piled by), the music itself is solid and rife with all the chanty bits indigenous to the music of their baldie primary influences. The fact that what’s on here doesn’t suffer from Mystic’s infamous “Wall of Shit” sound helps immeasurably as well. All told, they weren’t quite as middling as recollected and left a much better impression this time ‘round. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.killroypunk.com)


KILLER DREAMER:
Rapid Armor: 7”
The most recent Killer Dreamer LP left me wanting more and this 7” definitely does not satisfy that need. Three more short songs of sun-damaged, cigarette-burnin’, flannel wearin’ punk rock is not enough. This band is so good and the world needs more. As always, the hand screened covers are a great touch. One of L.A.’s best. –Daryl Gussin (Johnny Cat)


KARATE HIGH SCHOOL:
The League of Tomorrow: CD
I’m doing my best to overlook the press release that came with the CD. “Playing on the Warped Tour.” “Conrete Commercial approved aired for the entire month of May.” Okay, moving on. “Endorsed by Rockstar and Amp energy drinks.” Endorsed by an energy drink—TWO energy drinks? Sorry, I don’t like boy bands. I finally got to the music on the CD and it needs some energy. And some fucking ideas. –Speedway Randy (Evolution)


JOSH SMALL:
Tall: CD
This guy plays the Fest in Gainesville every year. It fits right in with the folk element of some of the Gainesville stuff, like Whiskey & Co. stylistically, at least. Josh Small is from Falls ChurchVA, a small suburban township in central VA that is away from the politics of WashingtonDC and the big city lights of NYC. The idea seems to lean toward a mountain man approach to modern living. The music is mellow and very folky with banjo. If you like bluegrass, Bob Dylan, and maybe, as a stretch, some Crooked Fingers stuff, you might like Josh Small. Mellow out by the campfire with a bottle of whiskey to keep you warm with this one. –Buttertooth (Suburban Home)


JOE LALLY:
Nothing Is Underrated: CD
Remember when you first heard Fugazi’s Red Medicine and got to “Fell, Destroyed” and thought to yourself, “This doesn’t sound like Ian or Guy. Who’s the guest vocalist?” And you looked at the liner notes to see that it was bassist Joe Lally. Wow. Like me, you’d probably never heard him sing, but he was pretty good. Well, a solo Joe Lally album is pretty similar to that song in many regards. It’s as if the rest of Fugazi said, “Hey Joe, we’re really busy with some other shit. Can you write and arrange all the music for the next album and write the lyrics and we’ll play whatever you decide to set up? This other shit we’re involved with has just got to get done.” “I don’t know guys. That seems like you’re asking for a lot.” “Um, well, how about we’ll let you sing all the songs.” “I’m in!” That may seem like an exaggeration, but it’s not too far from the truth. The music (it’s not like he went R&B or reggae) sounds very similar to Fugazi’s mellower stuff on the last few albums. Ian and Guy even play guitar on a number of songs. What’s wrong, Brendan? You too busy for the pseudo-reunion? –Kurt Morris (Dischord)


JOE JITSU:
The Perfect Life: CD
Road to Ruin-style mid/slow tempo pop punk. Most of the songs have a Dear You-sounding guitar tone, and a few are more jangly, but I preferred the former over the later. It’s a little repetitive at times, so while I don’t imagine myself listening to it constantly, it’s good for the kind of day that’s mostly cloudy and gloomy, with that little bit of sun shinning through. –Joe Evans III (Top Five)


JEANIE & THE TITS:
Slut Fame: 7”
In seventh grade we were dicking around in the schoolyard and playing soccer. Except we didn’t have a ball so we were using a crumbled-up ball of paper. The bell rang and we had to get one more kick in. I went for the ball of paper. So did a girl. I hit the paper. She smashed my shin. Literally. I flipped over and fell down. Cracked my shin, broke my leg. She ran away to class and I hobbled in numbing pain to the nurse and into a cast for weeks. Like to think she grew up to sing in a punk band. –Speedway Randy (www.floridasdying.com)


JAILBIRDS, THE:
Going to Stab the Killer Gang: LP
Ugh. Another group aping that mid ‘60s Sonics/’76 Adverts hybrid. File under “B” for boring. –Ryan Leach (www.rudosandrubes.com)


J CHURCH / SOUND ON SOUND:
Split: 7”
J Church: Awesome. Awesome to the max. Their side has a cover of “Where Eagles Dare” with Ben Snakepit on vocals. Sound On Sound: This is the band’s first release, and I must say I’m impressed. They aren’t entirely dissimilar to J Church, but they seem to have a more, how you say, progressive sound to them. They do a cover of “Old Chunk of Coal.” Also, and I cannot stress this enough, R.I.P. Lance Hahn. –Bryan Static (Underground Communique)


ISABELLAS:
Partner, Don’t You Pull No Guns: CD
It takes a lot of balls to put out a press release for your band comparing your vocalist to P.J. Harvey. Especially when the vocalist sounds very little like P.J. Harvey. That said, this band isn’t bad. The songs are relatively catchy, with sparse arrangements and poppy guitar and bass lines. If this band was from my town, I’d probably really enjoy seeing them in dive bars and basements. Unfortunately, the CD is really just mediocre. –Jennifer Whiteford (Feacs)


INFANTRY ROCKERS:
Boombala: CD
Given the press sheet, I was totally expecting to be wowed by a mélange of reggae, cumbia, ragga, meringue, and some African riddims. Well, they got reggae and its myriad progeny up the wazoo, but the cumbia and such don’t really make an overt appearance here. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is really good, and it especially sounds good at excessive volumes, but I was expecting a wee bit more of a mix of styles. –Jimmy Alvarado (Near and Far)


IMPULSE, THE / BOY GIRL:
Split: 7”
The Impulse: “Get Ready to Go!” is a great song from Dirt Bike Adam’s new band. The cover art will hook the mod crowd—vivid colors and double-headed arrows zig-zagging this way and that—but rockers will be pleased too. We can all get along with the Impulse. Boy Girl: did I mention that Adam from Dirt Bike Annie has a new band? –Mike Faloon (the-impulse.com)


i:
Get to Know Your Own Fluids: CD
Some parts of this record are truly inventive, interesting, and on the verge of genius mind-blowing, and some parts of the record just blow. I know that part of the reason for this is that I’m foisting low-fi rock’n’roll expectations on a record that is not intended to live up to such motivations, but if I’m bored or annoyed regardless of what I want a record to be, then in the end I’ve been bored and annoyed. But when this record works, it works well, especially the stuff on it that’s heavily influenced by Middle Eastern sounds. Those songs captivated me, but when it gets away from that I got dulled out right quick. does have sincerity and rock’n’roll desperation, but in the end it’s one of those records that I wanted to like a whole lot more than I actually did. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Sling Slang)


HOT TODDIES, THE:
Smell the Mitten: CD
I recently quit eating sugar which is no fun at all, but it allows me to get through my days without headaches and dizziness. What, I wondered, will fill the sugary void? Enter The Hot Toddies. I love all-girl bands. I love harmonies. I love 1950’s style drum beats and shoop-shoopy background vocals. And so it logically follows that I love The Hot Toddies. These girls play clever retro-pop with a punk sensibility. Their debut album is so sweet I almost don’t crave ice cream anymore. And a lot of their songs are about sex, which cuts the cuteness in a very enticing way. There are also songs about nerdy things like HTML and photosynthesis, so frankly, I don’t see how this could get much better. I even put the song “Motorscooter” on a mixed CD for my mom’s kindergarten class to dance to. –Jennifer Whiteford (Asian Man)


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