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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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EVICTION PARTY:
Self-titled: Cassette
Twelve nice tracks from Halifax, NS; real nice ones. Rough around the edges poppy punk with a swell amount of jangle on the guitars and a few ca. 1966 Beatles-sounding licks, dual-gendered singing, and well-written songs for what sound like pretty young kids. Lyrics seem a little on the emo side, but not for emo’s sake, just cause that’s what they’re thinking about, kinda like before “emo” was a bad word. –Cuss Baxter (www.myspace.com/disvictionparty)


EVERYTHING FALLS APART:
Escape: 7”
You know how you slop something together because you need to eat, but don’t really care what it is? How, while you’re eating, you sometimes forget what you’re even eating because it’s just that unremarkable? That’s how EFA is for me. Decent enough hardcore that does the trick well enough, but I just end up forgetting that I’m even listening to anything. –Megan Pants (Self-released)


ELLEGARDEN:
Riot on the Grill: CD
Unfuckingbelievable. This band has sold like 700,000 copies of this record in Japan and it sounds like they could do the same here. Somewhere between a perfect synthesis of Blink 192 and like New Found Glory or some such nonsense. I totally did not expect this music to come out of these people, given the nature of what most Japanese punk I’ve come across sounds like. And the cover of this thing—which is a delightful full color gatefold cardboard deal; the Japanese really know paper. Some lyrics in English, some in Japanese. Not terrible if you like that sort of over-the-top, radio-ready emotional pop punk. Which, for the most part, is terrible altogether…but this isn’t that bad. –Steveo (Denko Secca, www.denkosecca.com)


DREADFUL CHILDREN:
Dot to Dot…: CD
Punk? Oi? New wave? Pop? I can’t really get into putting a label on this, but I can tell you that it is pretty damn cool. It’s not hard to tell that Dreadful Children hail from the same area and are friends with The Briefs. The two bands do have a similar sound, but there is something distinguishing here. The guitars are a little more garagey and there is a little less snot in the vocals. I found myself liking this more and more with each song that went by (“Hopefully” is one of the best songs I’ve heard all month!). I’d really like to see them play live now. Just a small hop over the border, boys! –Ty Stranglehold (Street Anthem)


DOWN AND OUTS:
Minneapolis: 7” EP
The title track is a nice bit of poppy punk. “Violence in the Streets” is a bit more oi-inflected with raspy vocals, single-note lead, and a chanty chorus. The winner here, though, is “Our Day Out,” a stunner in the Stiff Little Fingers mold. I’d be interested to hear what they’d manage to muster up for a full-length. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.ratpatrolrecs.com)


DISCO FOR FERNS, A:
Arterial Spray and Puss: CD-R
I’m guessing they mean “Pus,” but I could be wrong so I didn’t slap a “[sic]” on there. Nearly unlistenable homemade grind; sounds like it might be okay if you could hear anything besides the vocals, but six minutes of yelling isn’t rock‘n’roll, and it isn’t music, and it isn’t yelling, it’s shouting. –Cuss Baxter (OBZ)


DIRTY NOVELS, THE:
Pack Your Pistols: CD
Cool band from the Southwest, coming on like the more recent Makers stuff, which I love. Some Gun Club style influence creeping in as well. Dug the first six tunes but the last four are killer: total glam punk chestnuts to finish out the record. Great stuff! Seems to sound better the more I listen to it. A band to watch, for sure, if you like glam punk. –Mike Frame (self released, www.thedirtynovels.com)


DIANE AND THE SHELL:
30,000 Feet Tarantella: CD
Slow, monotonous, repetitive, pretentious. Piano, guitar, xylophone, drums. I guess it’s some kind of jazz. –Cuss Baxter (Australian Cattle)


DESTRUCTORS 666 / RADICUS:
Split: CDEP

Radicus: They ain’t bad, but there’s a “rock” undercurrent that just don’t sit well with my tastes. Destructors 666: One rock-solid mid-tempo number, one that burns at a slower pace, and an unfortunate cover of “Kick out the Jams.” Given the number of Destructors-related EPs I’ve encountered over the past twelve months, I’m figuring they’re overdue for a full-length.

–Jimmy Alvarado (Rowdy Farrago)


DENNIS:
Wasted Days, Follow Dreams: 7”
I desperately need a classification lesson for all things screamed. This is all soft, soft, kick drum, fast, back to slow, kick drum to fast, and sounds like they went to art school? So, what the hell does that make this? I’m not sure what it’s called out there, but I usually call it crap. –Megan Pants (Spicy Soup)


DEMON SEEDS, THE:
Have a Date with Death: CD
Three fresh-faced, mostly clean-shaven Bostonians (two of them from Crimson Ghost) and a cherub-cheeked twenty-something gal (Is she the Farfisa-ist or the model?) holding a giant plastic scythe, punch out thirteen (sigh) evenly toned, evenly spaced, evenly timed rehashed college-town surfabilly. Monotone and dreary, like Pleasantville before Reese Witherspoon. –Jessica Thiringer (Necro-Tone)


DEFECTORS, THE:
Bruised and Satisfied: CD
Based on all its ingredients—strong ‘60s garage tunes with a gloomy tinge, Farfisa organs, sound quality that doesn’t sound like utter shit—I should be lapping this up with a large spoon, but something I just can’t place my finger on is keeping me from doing so. Best I can figure is it’s missing just a smidge more oomph to push it over the edge. Gonna hafta listen to this one a while longer and see if it grows on me. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.badafro.dk)


DEADNECK FURY:
Self-titled: CDEP
Solid, straight ahead hardcore that keeps the pace a-chuggin’ and the mood festive. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.deadneckfury.com)


DC SNIPERS/ TAMPOFFS:
Split: 7”
The DC Snipers kick this off with “Baby Don’t Be So Violent,” which is about two hundred times catchier and more traditional sounding than their Missile Sunset CD. Which isn’t to say they’ve gone soft. The song absolutely rocks, but in more of a Dead Boys/ Real Kids sort of way. They follow with “Dirt Bag,” in much the same vein. Both tracks sound like they were recorded totally in the red, all bleary and compressed. The flip side finds The Tampoffs playing at top speed through two ultra-catchy songs, “Gentlemen” and “Lead,” both staples of their live show. I’ve seen the Tampoffs a few times, and always enjoyed them, but this recording doesn’t really capture the joy they display live. –brian (Daggerman, www.myspace.com/daggermanrecords)


DARK WATER TRANSIT:
Dawn of the Goblin: CD
I’ve never heard Dark Water Transit before, so I don’t really know what they sound like, but this album is a cover of the Dawn of the Dead soundtrack, originally written and performed by Italian masters Goblin. The Dark Water Transit guys got permission from Goblin to do this cover album and HOLY FUCK is it AMAZING! Faithful enough to the original versions and yet they add just enough to it to make this disc sound fresh and exciting. I really, really like this. –ben (Let Em Talk, letemtalk.com)


DAN PADILLA:
Self-titled: CD
You know what I like about us? We’re too damn good, too damn drunk, and too damn ugly to be popular. All of this will never be ruined by an influx of shitty sixteen-year-old kids or a full color exposé as the latest threat to America’s youth in USA Today. Only fat people with drinking problems want to be/ care about fat people with drinking problems! This shit is foolproof until we die or get committed! I’ve never seen Dan Padilla, the man or the band, but I know for a fact that it’s bands like this that make me happy to be a part of all of this in whatever ways I find myself and charged to keep at it despite the deepening debt and Fest AIDS, which is sure to strike again this year, as it does every year. Musically, it’s just about what you’d expect from the sum of its parts (dudes from Tiltwheel, Bloodbath & Beyond, and Altaira). Gritty and a little jangly, at times almost a little country/ bluesy, pop punk with a touch of early Jawbreaker, Leatherface, and probably Hüsker Dü. Little confession…don’t much care for all that much Hüsker Dü. Sorry. Bonus points for stealing from New Order and The Misfits on one album. You have serious fucking problems in your life if you don’t like the song “Chaparral Real” from this record. Problems that I will probably have to fix with a lead pipe if we should meet in a dark alley. –Steveo (A.D.D.)


CRUSTIES, THE:
Rat’s Revenge: CD
I gotta tell you, with a name like The Crusties, I was expecting a bunch of guys with lots of spikes on leathers and Conflict patches. Not even close. The Crusties here sound more like a straight up punk band circa the mid ‘80s. That is, until the horns kick in. Speaking of the horns, they’re not ska horns, or Rocket From The Crypt-sounding horns… I really don’t know what the deal is with the horns, but I do know that they just don’t work for me. They really take away from what could be interesting music. The music is punk, but the vocalist sounds almost like some bastard combination of some rockabilly singer and the guys in the Nobodys. The usual song topics are here: fashion punks, small towns, rednecks, and G.W. Bush. Not terrible, but, at the same time, it’s just not doing anything for me. –Ty Stranglehold (Beer City)


CRAP CORPS:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Being the total ninny I am, I listened to the first side of this on 33 1/3 instead of 45 and thought, “Man, these guys are pretty plodding for a hardcore band.” Now that I’ve got it on the right speed, what I’m hearing is no frills hardcore from an all-female band that sounds angry enough, but never quite manages to push things close enough to the edge to kick in a “wow” response. –Jimmy Alvarado (Big Brown Shark)


CONVERGE:
No Heroes: CD
Well, Converge is back with a new album, and frankly, it sounds just like all their other albums. I’m sure there are still lots of people in the world that still like this kinda metalcore screamy stuff, but honestly, I got tired of it about five years ago. If you like Converge, get this. It’s exactly what you’ll be expecting. –ben (Epitaph)


COLDBRINGER:
Lust and Ambition: 12”
My friend Mary plays drums for this dirty rock and roll band from Portland, OR. She was a rocker since the day I met her in Tempe, Arizona eight or nine years ago. It’s good to see she’s still rocking out! Coldbringer plays the raunchy style that still stays true to rock and roll. I could see these guys and the Triggers getting along great in the Pacific Northwest. Throw this alongside your Turbonegro, AC/DC, or whatever scummy, oozing, sounds you prefer coming out of your turntable. –Buttertooth (Dead Ideas)


COHO:
Things Change: CD
Coho is a Seattle-area band whose music contains reminders of such indie rock bands as Explosions In The Sky and Minus The Bear. At the beginning of some of the tracks and in between are tunes about Gandhi and losing friends that all seem really heartfelt and endearing. The vocalist (no clarification is given on which member it is) has a really great voice that’s engaging and strong. None of this is very original or groundbreaking, but with such great vocals and a nice mix of electronic beats and acoustic guitar, Coho definitely stands out a little bit compared to the general indie rock masses. –Kurt Morris (Lujo)


CHUCK RAGAN:
Valentine b/w Do What You Do: 7”
Acoustic music’s a slippery slope. So much can go so wrong with it almost immediately that it’s hard not to flinch when someone you admire musically goes about it solo. Cafés across this great land of ours are lousy with examples of once-good ideas gone horribly hippie or Hallmark card wrong. Thankfully, Chuck Ragan’s a modern-day warrior, golden dude, and no stranger to the acoustic guitar. (Check out Rumbleseat.) It’s little records like this where time gets elastic, and that part in The Decline of Western Civilization where these crazed people talk about punk picking up where the folk tradition left off—and you think Claude Bessy’s totally out of his mind—makes sense and snaps back on itself. It comes to this: with music that’s at the tip of an arrow, aimed true, words like “punk” and “folk” take a back seat to resistance music, to carving your own music into hard surfaces, and being honest to yourself, which, I believe, Chuck is doing. Great stuff. –Todd Taylor (No Idea)


CEASE UPON THE CAPITOL:
Untitled: CD
Riddle me this—what kind of band does not list the song titles on their record… anywhere? No need to answer since the CD is horrible. Lackluster arrangements, awful vocals. Stay away from this like a flu virus. –Sean Koepenick (Forever Escaping Boredom)


CANDY:
Self-titled: CDEP
Candy hails from Southern California and sure sounds like it. These five songs are chock full of Epitaph Records style riffing and that trademark style of harmonizing that all those bands on that label employ. Every song on this EP cannot be remembered distinctly. I can only recall the collective sound of the band. This is a somewhat negative characteristic for a band that is maneuvering into the treacherous territory of Southern Californian chain wallet skate punk. I feel that this style of punk rock is increasingly generic and follows a rigid and hollow template. I am surprised that the institution of “mall punk” is not already played in airports by now. I had to go back and listen to this again so I could compose this review. This would have served better as a demo so that the band could take more time to craft their own sound. Better luck next time, gents! –Guest Contributor (Vending Machine)


BRIAN WILSON SHOCK TREATMENT, THE:
Lords of the Infinite Cosmos: 7” EP
Present are so many of the decorations I associate with psychedelic rock—the organs, the distorted lead vocals, the whispered backing vocals, noodling guitars and references to outer space—but the songs feel half-baked, stuck in "here's a cool part" mode. (Except for "Can U Feel It?" whose guitar riff pulls together a catchy slab of indie rock.) Then again, consistency is not what I expected from a band named after the poster child of instability. –Mike Faloon –Guest Contributor (Slutfish, www.slutfishrecords.com)


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