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Razorcake #93
One Punks Guide to Pinball, by Kayla Greet
Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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MAKEOUT PARTY, THEE:
Play Pretend: CD
It’s extremely difficult to walk the fine line between, say, bands like the Shoes or the Raspberries and bands that are total eighties pop crap. I mean, both of those bands even often sound like lame eighties crap! Fortunately, Thee Makeout Party avoids these pitfalls for the most part, although the last song indicates a dangerous possibility that they could fall victim to such blunders. In a rare departure from my usual reviews, I will even tell you (sort of) what they sound like! Take one cup Shoes, a half cup of Plimsouls, two tablespoons bubblegum pop (à la Ohio Express, et. al), stir gently, and then, um, pour some plastic junk into a circular shape! Plus, they don’t look like hipsters! They look like total dorks! Hooray! If this were a cereal, it’d be Froot Loops! Sugary yumminess!  –Maddy (Teenacide)


MAD SPLATTER:
Demo: CD
The moon’s shining down hard. You decide to take the shortcut through the old schoolyard to speed up your walk home. Before you pass the rusted monkey bars, you’re surrounded by zombies. You smile and grab a fallen tree branch. It feels good in your hands as you bludgeon undead skulls. You’re having a really good time. Eventually, you put them all down and move on. Before you’re even ten feet away, you realize the deadies are back on their feet. You do the smash and bash again… and again… and again. The fun runs out fast. Just like zombies, the songs on this disc start out fun, but they just don’t know when to stop.  –mp (Self-released)


LUXURY SWEETS / THE GREATEST HITS:
Split: 7”
Y’know, I see why people dig bands like Luxury Sweets and The Greatest Hits. It’s nice to put on a record and just dance around your living room to from time to time, and I assume their shows are real ass-shakers. I just can’t help but feel that, to me, this genre of “punk” is what Poison or Cinderella were to the serious metal folks in the ‘80s. Do you follow me? There’s no question that these cats can write some incredibly catchy post-Dolls/Undertones pop songs, but the whole package—musically, lyrically, visually—is just from this whole other bleached hair and neon tights world that I really have no interest in being a part of. Again, there are a lot of people who would just eat this up, because it’s near-perfectly executed and totally accessible, but it’s just lacking a lot of what I look for in punk rock.  –Dave Williams (Desert Island)


LUCHAGORS:
Self-titled: CD
I get confused when things don’t add up. Cool band name that references Mexican wrestling + Pictures of band members dressed as zombies + Muscle-bound mutant on the front cover = Rad horror rock, right? Nope. Instead of gritty songs about psychos and werewolves, we get tunes about relationships and racism. Instead of monster metal or demon punk, we get standard drunken bar band rock. What a letdown.  –mp (Luchagors Music)


LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS:
Glamorous Piles and Puffy Saddlebags: CD
Imagine Tom Waits as interpreted by No Trend. They’re somehow tied in to the Amok/Feral House/Abraxas group of happy campers, so expect considerable obsessing about all that’s wrong and ugly with the world.  –jimmy (www.apoprecords.com)


LONDON PX:
Orders: 7”
This is a reissue of a 1981 single from the U.K. group London PX. I was completely unfamiliar with this band prior to giving this a spin, and, upon hearing these two tracks, it became quite clear why London PX isn’t exactly a household name. Uninspired, run-of-the-mill, Sham-influenced pub punk, played badly and recorded poorly. Perhaps this “gem” should’ve stayed in the vault, hmm?  –Dave Williams (Pure Punk)


LOGIC PROBLEM:
Self-titled: EP
Two different recording sessions that show a difference in the band’s style. The first side is mid-tempo hardcore, while the second side is more on the raw and thrashy side. I prefer side two. The songs have more energy and are all around more interesting. Don’t get me wrong, “Double Crossed” on the first side, with its rumbling bass lines, is a cool song. But the two on the b-side—“Common Characteristics” and “MK Ultra”—rage and have more of a lasting impact.  –Matt Average (Sorry State)


LITTLE LUNGS:
Hoist Me Up!: CD-R
This demo CD contains seven songs, six of which are supposed to be released on a 7” by Salinas Records. You may as well mark me down for a copy right now. This trio plays melodic punk with girl vocals that could be placed somewhere in between The Measure [SA] and Bridge & Tunnel, with a bit of Hot Water Music thrown in. If these girls/guy haven’t already become a big deal around their area (NYC/Long Island/NJ) then I’m sure they will be in no time.  –Dave Dillon (www.geocities.com/little.lungs)


LIBYANS:
Welcome to the Neighborhood: 7”EP
Oh, hell yeah. The title song is totally Dangerhouse 1978 via Boston 2008. It’s first wave punk that’s a loose, flapping, and exposed wire. Dangerous sparks leap. “Welcome to the Neighborhood” is raw and melodic and reminds me of The Bags. Very cool. The two tracks on the flip are harder and faster, like 1980, and it’s comforting to see a band not care about the totally erasable, largely made-up division between punk and hardcore, playing both with equal levels of quality and conviction.  –todd (Shock To The System)


LEFTY LOOSIE / PEAR OF THE WEST:
Split: 7”
Lefty Loosie: Picks up right where the full length left off, really catchy poppy punk. Addie’s voice sounds a little smoother on this (I’d make some sort of switching beers joke to be clever, but what do I know about partying?), and I think Katherine sings on this too, and I like it when more people sing. Rad. Pear Of The West: I’m torn on this, but not in a bad way. They sound just like a Japanese Unlovables, (catchy female vocals and a lot of little noodley guitar parts) who happen to be one of my favorite local pop punk bands. Like, I love them, and they’re my buds. But, Pear Of The West is from Japan, so they’ve got that going for them. So good! Screw decisions, I’m saying it’s like apples and square watermelons (in hindsight, is that racist? I just really love making Simpsons references).  –joe (Repulsion)


LAST LIGHTS:
Self-titled: 7”
Last Lights play exciting, supremely pissed-off four-chord hardcore that has a lot of breakdowns, but doesn’t come off as gratuitously tough guy. Each song has enough different parts to avoid getting repetitive. Unfortunately, most of those parts are mosh parts, so the breakdowns don’t act as a diversion; they’re more the norm. I remedied the slow overload by flipping the pitch on my record player to 45 during the breakdowns, and enjoying a few bars of what sounded like the Bad Brains playing classic New York hardcore with a cigarette smokin’ twelve-year-old girl on the mic. As much as I complain, there is a lot to like here. This is the type of record that you’d throw on to find middle ground with your younger, straight edge cousin, in the hopes of deterring him from Earth Crisis. –CT Terry (Mightier Than Sword, mtsrecords.com)


LASH OUTS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Nasally vocals, mid-tempo drums, and repetitive riffs on wailing guitars don’t do much to separate this band from the heaps of others who are basically rewriting ‘90s pop punk tunes. This CD isn’t my favorite style of music, but if they played faster and roughed it up around the edges when they play live, I would probably dance to it. –Lauren Trout  –Guest Contributor (Zodiac Killer)


LAMPSHADES, THE:
Are Alright: CD
Awkward thirteen-year-old girls would probably appreciate this.  The power pop/surf quartet from Pittsburgh reminds me of Teenage Fanclub and early Weezer, which are not surprisingly some of their influences. Dreamy Beach Boys riffs and vocal harmonization are charming but the ‘90s grungy guitars in “City Lights” and “I’m So Different” put more teeth and variation into the lads.  –Kristen K (Soapbar, www.myspace.com/soapbarrecords)


LAMPSHADES, THE:
Are Alright: CD
Awkward thirteen-year-old girls would probably appreciate this.  The power pop/surf quartet from Pittsburgh reminds me of Teenage Fanclub and early Weezer, which are not surprisingly some of their influences. Dreamy Beach Boys riffs and vocal harmonization are charming but the ‘90s grungy guitars in “City Lights” and “I’m So Different” put more teeth and variation into the lads.  –Kristen K (Soapbar, www.myspace.com/soapbarrecords)


LAGRECIA:
On Parallels: CD
This is the newest band to feature Jason Shevchuk from Kid Dynamite and None More Black. Apparently, LaGrecia lasted just long enough to release this album before breaking up. This doesn’t sound like too big of a departure from the last None More Black album, This Is Satire. If anything, I guess you could say this tends to be slightly more melodic and straight forward. I just miss all the “whoa, oh, oh’s” and “hey, hey, hey’s” that Shevchuk used to throw into all his other songs. Now they’re only in every other song or so. Actually, “Two Shotguns” has a bunch of them, come to think about it. Anyway, this is pretty good if you’re a fan of melodic punk that puts the emphasis on melody. Oh, and in case you’re not familiar with Shevchuk from his other bands, he has a mighty distinctive, gravelly voice which might be an acquired tasted for some, but I happen to quite enjoy it. The cover art is really nice too, and I’m sure it’s a tattoo just waiting to happen for hundreds of hardcore dudes.  –Adrian (Suburban Home)


LADIES:
Self-titled: 7”
This record was going my way for the first four songs. Their energy had me ready to jump out of my chair and whip a can of baked beans through the window, yelling “Yeah, that’s right! God doesn’t listen!” Then, on the last song, they decided to start shit. “You’re Dumb,” they said. Well, first of all, you assholes don’t even know me. You think because you’ve got dirty black jeans and spiked belts that you can just be rude to people who listen to your records? Nope. Next time I listen, I’m only going to listen to side one. What do you think about that? Now who’s the dumb one?  –mp (Riff Raff)


KORO:
Speed Kills +: CD
From what I understand, this is the first time this LP has been issued, despite being recorded well over twenty years ago. Worth the wait, for sure. The sound is a bit more fleshed out than the 700 Club EP (which is also on here, as well as fourteen extra tracks—three of those never before heard, and none of which are on the vinyl version), yet just as urgent. Something amazing about this stuff is it’s stripped down, incredibly tight, and sounds as fresh today as it did when it was still new. This is hardcore punk, the kind that made people change their lives.  –Matt Average (Sorry State)


KATIE THE PEST / STERLING SAYS:
Split: 7”
Katie The Pest: Female-fronted alterna rock with a heavy ‘90s vibe in the best way possible. It contains those friendly elements of punk that non-punk listeners can appreciate. Think Velocity Girl. Sterling Says: Not too bad, either. Some dude rocks the mic on this side. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. It’s pop punk, but it doesn’t knock off the usual suspects. It even gets kinda guitar heavy in a Dinosaur Jr. kind of way. Overall: My interest has been piqued. Bring forth an EP from each; one song each wasn’t enough.  –Vincent Battilana (Commodity Fetish)


KAT KILLERS:
Self-titled: CD
The songs on this disc are about chemically created zombies, evil gangsters, raging werewolves, and the like. In theory, these are exciting topics. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to tell that to the singer. He yawns through lyrics about taking people to the edge of his knife as if reciting the ingredients in a can of baked beans. On stage, I can imagine him looking bored with his hands on his hips as undead spider monkeys rain down to pluck out his eyeballs. “Gee, am I in danger? Oh well, I guess I’ll just stand here and die.”  –mp (SKD Ltd)


KAKISTOCRACY:
An Apology: 7"
It’s been a while since I listened to this band on their early EP And So You Spilled Your Children’s Blood on Ponk 111 and the full length that was released a couple of years ago on Profane Existence. An easy and a common reference for this band is that they fall into the anarcho crust camp. But they also seem to have an underlying infusion of melody that makes the music operatic and epic while maintaining the energy of their metallic punk sound. Taking the standard and adding a bit of themselves into the music sets it above the generic. Three songs seem to be a tease but, in reality, is enough to get the dose without being overbearing. Listening to this release, I’m glad to hear that they continue to progress and get better from release to release. If you are looking around, it’s also co-released by Rust and Machine and Halo Of Flies.  –don (Humdinger)


JUMPER CABLE:
EP: CDEP
Ain’t got a clue as to their opinions on the rules of smokin’ and drinkin’, and frankly I don’t really care to know, but twenty-two years ago these guys would’ve been hot shit with all the straight edge kids. Seriously, they have that mid-‘80s posi-youth sound pat, plus a production quality at their disposal that any of those bands back then would’ve killed for. Even today, what they’re puttin’ down is pretty impressive, especially considering they’re not pushing the same puritanical lyrics those earlier bands were so obsessed with.  –jimmy (www.myspace.com/monkeywrenchrecords)


JOEY CORMAN:
Morgue Pt II: CDEP
A CD-R with acoustic guitar songs perhaps influenced in a roundabout way by the Misfits, although it doesn’t sound anything like them. Songs about dead people, song titles like “Bottom of the Lake” and “Morgue Part III,” lyrics like, “I would not believe that I’d fall in love at the cemetery.” If this were a cereal, it’d be a cereal that does not yet exist—Ghoul-ohs, only this version of Ghoul-ohs would not have marshmallows. For shame! I could see some people thinking this is okay, but it didn’t make me want to have a solo dance party, the crucial criteria for a band’s success! –Maddy (Obz)


JESUS FUCKING CHRIST:
Life’s Hateful Seed: LP
The band with the total cool punk name comes back with another record that you will either love or not get. It’s mid-tempo punk rock with a strong metallic rock sound that doesn’t have to rely on speed as a source of power. This time out, they seem to get more comfortable around each other and have expanded on their sound; experimenting more with sounds, time changes, and riffs to create a darker brooding sound. But the music still retains its charging energy and keeps up the feeling of rocking out. It also has more of a dual vocal attack this time around, with one being yelled and the other more guttural, adding to a more dynamic output. This is one of those that the more you listen, the more you grow to like.  –don (Inimical)


JERK ALERT:
Dirty Slur: LP
Think along the lines of a more raunchy, less catchy, slightly more inept Beautys, and you’re in the ballpark (all in good ways, mind you). Songs about love (and breaking hearts) and fucking (and wanting to get fucked and being disappointed that the fucking got sidelined by whiskey, and male prostitutes). Party fun. Think Schlitz. Think Nalgene touring bottles with Toys That Kill and Goner stickers. Think small town. Think they would be good on a bill with The Okmoniks.  –todd (Eradicator)


PROGERIA:
Time Flies: CD
This is the long-awaited full length from one of SoCal’s finest grind outfits. Recorded back in 2006, the music finally sees the light of day: twenty-four anger-infested songs with none of the fluff that some of the more metal grind bands usually give. The band goes straight to the point with speed and energy, not holding back with unnecessary filler. There are no five-minute opuses here. Not one song even reaches the one minute milestone. Dual vocal assault with male guttural vocals and female yells give you the balance of high and low. Lightning fast guitars accompanied by blast beat drumming should fulfill most speed addicts’ desires. Progeria has been a personal favorite of mine for sometime and I know of a few who feel the same. Fans of extreme music should find that this meets the need for speed and aggression. –don (Progeria, www.myspace.com/progeria)


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