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· 1:Off With Their Heads Top Shelf Interview Podcast
· 2:D4th of July, 2014
· 3:Trials and Tribulations of a Misguided Adult
· 4:Radon Interview
· 5:Ovarian Psycos


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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HIGH ON FIRE:
Death Is This Communion: CD
I really wanted to dig this demon seed, the band’s reputation precedes them. However, their dopey record company sent me a promo CD that cuts an eleven track CD up into eighty-eight pieces, apparently to prevent me from burning copies for all my friends. It’s hard to get into the flow of the record when it pauses every thirty to forty-five seconds. Totally fuckin’ lame. Relapse Records: 0. –Sean Koepenick (Relapse)


HEARTFELT BASTARD:
EP’d My Pants: 7” EP
Decent enough poppy punk stuff here from these Colorado kids. My preference is for the more uptempo stuff, but there’s enough humor infused in the proceedings to keep one from losing interest. –Jimmy Alvarado (Heartfelt Bastard)


GUSTO, THE:
Culture and Shit: CD EP
As advertised, this sounds like a cross between Face To Face and NOFX, but with randomly on/off key vocals—that is to say, like something i was sick of at least ten years ago. However, things being what they are in this day and age, i’m not sure if this means that i’m like, really really sick of it, or if i’m glad to see it making a comeback. One thing that i do know for sure is that “Auburn, AL” continues the not-great Wisconsin quasi-pop punk tradition of “completely obscure love songs named after geographic locales that mean absolutely nothing to anyone who was not a principal participant in the relationship” that was started with Alligator Gun’s “Delaware.” Boy, next thing you’ll tell me that kids want XXL t-shirts instead of mediums again. BEST SONG: “Carry On” BEST SONG TITLE: I’ll get back to you on this, but, God help me, i think it’s “Skate” FANASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: When i put this CD in my computer, iTunes® performed a Gracenote CDDB® database search on it, and turned up two matches: “Culture and Shit” by The Gusto, and “Ska Boodaliedoo” by The Chasers. I could not replicate this error from other machines. Also, the band’s name is misspelled “The Gutso” on their press sheet, which is, when all’s said and done, a much better name. –Rev. Norb (Crustacean)


GORT:
Unravel: 7"
I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a grunge revival. It’s been about twenty years since the onset of the flannel nation and not all of those Soundgarden and Skin Yard discs have been dumped in landfills; they made an impression, but contemporary bands seem reluctant to nick ideas from their dusty Amphetamine Reptile and C/Z records. On a qualitative level, I get it, we burned out on those sounds long ago, no need to revisit them. But on a quantitative level, those bands were so popular that I’m surprised there aren’t hoards of up and comers who disagree with me. Gort are an exception, an unapologetic grunge band from their monosyllabic name to their material, songs that are heavy and slow, including a sludgy cover of Devo’s “Smart Patrol” and “Mr. DNA,” and begging for a Jack Endino production credit along with a couple of those streaky black and white Charles Peterson photos for the cover art. It’s well-rendered, but I’m not going booking this 7” for a return engagement on my turntable. –Mike Faloon (Flotation, Flotation, www.flotationrecords.com)


GRAMPALL JOOKABOX:
Scientific Cricket: CD
I can’t say if I like it or not. I find it interesting but it doesn’t fill my gut with warm fuzzy feelings or bile. I guess I’d call this quirky lo-fi folk rock, maybe in the vein of Sebadoh or Daniel Johnston. I’m not really a fan of this kind of stuff, but I can’t say this is totally bad either. –Jason Donnerparty (Joyful Noise)


GAY CITY ROLLERS:
Too Poor to Rock: CD-R
Energetic Ramones type upbeat rock from Italy. Then they had to stomp on my buzz with song number five. A Poison cover. UGH! No song titles or lyrics that I can enlighten you with. Okay, they redeem themselves by track seven by covering “Starry Eyes” by The Records. That still does not forgive the hair metal atrocity they hoisted upon me. –Sean Koepenick (Demo)


FRONTSIDE FIVE:
Fall Out of Line: CD
Well played, heavy punk rock with a dash of the metal edge. Try as I might, no songs really punched me in the face. That’s what we all hope for every day, right? –Sean Koepenick (Fivecore)


FREE DIAMONDS:
By the Sword: CD
This is what would happen if Danielson fronted the Blood Brothers and each mixed their musical ideas equally. It’s got the high-pitched vocals, acoustic guitar, keys, and backing female vocals (Danielson) but also has got kind of a spastic feel, with a quick pace and high-pitched vocals (Blood Brothers). There’s no song over three minutes, which means space for sixteen tracks. It’s a bit too much. Maybe I could’ve gotten into if I would’ve listened to it for days on end, but I don’t have the patience for it. –Kurt Morris (Deep Elm)


FLOBOTS:
Fight with Tools: CD
Flobots are one of those bands you really wanna get behind ’cause what they’re doin’ is a little off the beaten path, but you just can’t quite get yourself to commit to the decision. Their angle is to take two politically conscious rappers and pair them with a band heavy on the alt-rock vibe, yet stay clear of Rage Against the Machine-land. The results are mixed, mostly because while the rappers’ skills are fairly strong, they do occasionally come up with some quaint ideas, and their interaction with the band rarely gels enough that the whole thing sounds like a collaborative, cohesive thought. There’s definitely potential to be mined here, but thus far they’ve only managed to dust off the tops of the rocks. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.flobots.com)


FLYING OVER:
Self-titled: 7”EP
Hey, I think I found the French equivalent to The Stitches. It’s well-played, basic punk rock with sinus-infection snottiness and one monitor borrowed directly from the Sex Pistols. Not as spitfire jagged as The No Talents, nor as bouncy-catchy as The Hatepinks, but competent. –Todd Taylor (Adrenalin Fix)


FLEUR FATALE, LA:
Night Generation: CD
The second song sounds kinda like a more hypnotic Badfinger, and the fourth song sounds a little like something off the final Move album. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the first song sounds sorta like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, but with sitars instead of Moogs, and the third song sounds like Yes or something, which is a big NO in my book. After that, the songs seem to alternate in a Good Psych ((i.e., the Cynics on lots of ecstasy)) / Bad Psych ((i.e. some echoey dude singing over a bunch of acoustic guitars)) format. Overall, if you’ve ever been stuck at somebody else’s house with fairly different musical tastes than yours and needed to make do with their record collection, and you just sorta played stuff without really being judgmental about it ((not due to any lack of inherent judgmentality on your part, but more due to the fact that you had already judged their record collection just by reading the names on the spines)) because, what the hell, they aren’t your records, you aren’t stuck with ‘em if they suck, so what the heck do you care, you just want to hear some music—THAT is the feeling this record instills in me: The colossal indifference of experiencing some non-kindred soul’s record collection. Party on. BEST SONG: “Night Generation” BEST SONG TITLE: “I Wanna Be Adored” FANASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This CD package folds out into a big cross shape, with one of the four band member’s mug shots on each of the folded-out panels. And they be oggly. ALTERNATE FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: La Fleur Fatale is managed by Supercock Management. –Rev. Norb (Killer Cobra)


FLATLINERS, THE:
The Great Awake: CD
I think I was predisposed to hate this. I figured that it was going to be another lame, emo “disco punk” think that everyone seems to be putting out en masse. It’s true; I judged it by its simplistic black and orange cover with ghetto blasters and butterflies on it. It’s angular font… I guess I’m an asshole. Musically, it starts out with those soaring guitars and galloping drums that you would expect from a band on Fat. “Oh great, eMo-FX” I said to myself, but it didn’t turn out half bad. In the end I can say that The Flatliners take some elements from great bands like Riverboat Gamblers and Dillinger Four and blend it up with a little more screaming and metal tinges a la Death By Stereo. I’m really trying hard to stay away from the “blending bands” comparisons, but in this case, that’s what I hear. It got better with each listen, but just not up to the level of the aforementioned bands. –Ty Stranglehold (Fat)


FLASH BOYS:
Self-titled: CD
Relatively low-fi garage punk from Austin. Pretty standard stuff in most ways. The first half of the record was kinda crappy because it seemed like the band was out of time with each other a lot. The second half of the record was a substantial improvement, though, and I liked that part a whole bunch. So, there’s a familiar and comforting sound to the band, but it’s not anything terribly mesmerizing, and the quality is a bit inconsistent. Not bad, not great. If I sound somewhat wishy-washy, so be it. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Glamour ‘n’ Gloom)


FAMILY PET:
Ideas Are the Enemy: 7"
If you’re looking for music, you best look elsewhere. Side A has a bunch of non-descriptive noise. The B side, my favorite of the two, is blank. Wish I had five hundred bucks laying around just so I can waste it on a joke that’s not funny. –Dave Disorder (Foreign Frequency, No address)


EVERYTHING FALLS APART:
Tension: 7”EP
Kinda weird, having the same name as a relatively poppy Hüsker Dü song (on the album of the same name) when you’re a straight-ahead hardcore band. All considered, I’m glad they’re not called Warehouse Songs And Stories, but I think Land Speed Record would be a better truth-in-title-of-what-the-band-sounds like for the group. Well-played hardcore; they share similarities to a band like Damage Deposit. –Todd Taylor (Art Of The Underground)


DUKES OF WINDSOR:
The Others: CD
The first half of this sounds to me like Devo meets the Marked Men, and the second half sounds like Devo meets the Killers or some such stuff. It’s remarkable how different in mood the two halves of the record are, and equally remarkable that this wasn’t a big turn-off for me. As bouncy as the first half is, the second half is dark and brooding; my guess is that this record sounds like an ecstasy trip: big, big fun followed by a long scrape through the valley of darkness. Loved it. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Dukes of Windsor: www.dukesofwindsor.com.au)


DROPKICK MURPHYS:
The Meanest of Times: CD
Great cover, great package, but the songs! Killer tunes: “Famous for Nothing,” “The State of Massachusetts,” and “Shattered” are the blast from the stairwells tracks. “(F)lannigan’s Ball” boasts some vocal help from a couple of The Pogues. Once again, this band delivers. Just saw them live on this tour and they bring the goods. So go see them and pick up this CD. You’ll get your money’s worth, pal! –Sean Koepenick (Born & Bred, No address)


DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS:
Los Dias de Junio: CD
The press one-sheet describes this as “a carefully constructed album with equal parts of minimalist swell and swirling tension of sound, providing each instrument in the texture plenty of space.” It goes on to say the band is “determined to make you calm and disturbed at the same time.” Well, I’ve got to say their determination has won out, ’cause I’m calmly certain that I am no fan of the emo-drenched art-rock crap they’re peddlin’ and I’m disturbed that it may somehow taint my CD player in such a way that my Adolescents CDs will sound like Piebald from this point forward or something. Wait.... Nope, Tony and the boys still sound as glorious as ever. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.moonleerecords.com)


DIRTY TACTICS:
Love Is Dead, Art Is War: CD
When I popped this in, the first thing that popped into my mind was “these guys sound a lot like One Man Army.” My brilliant observation was deflated a little bit when I looked at the press sheet and saw One Man Army already listed as an influence; therefore, beating me to the punch. I like OMA though, and Dirty Tactics proves themselves to be quite good, too. The singer has a voice that’s a lot more gravelly and nasally than Jack Dalrymple, but he makes it work even if it can get to the edge of being annoying at times. There’s nary a dud among the twelve tracks of melodic street punk on this CD. While this may not be changing the face of rock anytime soon, it is really enjoyable punk in the same vein as Swingin’ Utters, OMA, and Pistol Grip. –Adrian (Underground Cities, Underground_cities@yahoo.com)


DIGABLE CAT:
Letters from My Dreams: CD
It’s never a good thing when one puts on a disc and the first thought is “Eagles with a girl singer” (which is essentially the Stone Ponies, but they ain’t dishing up “Different Drum” and I’m digressing). By song three, I was wholly oblivious to what was going on with this disc and was instead wondering just how many countries there are on the planet whose names start with Q. By song five I was reaching for something else to listen to. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.digablecat.com)


DESARME:
Es Tu Error: CD
The metal gets a little thick sometimes on this, especially on the quasi-acoustic intros that pop up here and there, but these guys are essentially dealing out some decent thrash with some occasional straightforward punk nods. They also keep things diverse, which is always a good thing. –Jimmy Alvarado (solidaridad_distro@hotmail.com)


DEATH PARTY:
Dooom!: CD
Minimalist, solid thud punk stuff with some deathrock flourishes that sounds very much in line with early L.A. punk rock—a little Gears here, a little Dils there. Good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (hippiesinflames@hotmail.com)


DEAD KINGS:
Armed and Delicious: CD
Speedy glam punk that sounds a little like Jeff Dahl and a little like Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13. They are from North Carolina, so there may be an ex-Drag Queen in the band for all I know. Pretty fun listen, but I would have dug it more if they woulda let off the gas once in a while. –Mike Frame (Scatboy)


DANGEROUS SUMMER, THE:
If You Could Only Keep Me Alive: CDEP
From the artwork, to the sound, to the promo photos of the band, everything about this screams “Sign us, Epitaph!” –Bryan Static (Hopeless)


DANGERLOVES:
Lipsmart: 7”
“Lipsmart” is a nice bit of female-fronted power pop that manages to retain that genre’s conventions without sounding trite or dated. Though it ain’t quite as catchy, ditto for the flip. –Jimmy Alvarado (Fashionable Idiots)


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