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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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Record Reviews

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LOS GATOS LOCOS:
Even Sociopaths Get the Blues: CD
This being my first venture into the psychobilly genre, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised by this band’s intensity. The opening track “Dog Eat Dog” burns at a rippin’ pace laying a foundation for a killer record. The powered up tempo and in your face lyrical content of “Psychobully” has got to be the highlight of this record for me. I can’t imagine these guys not including this song in every one of their live performances. Another solid performance is the song “Stark Raving Normal”, complete with a Misfits style sing-a-long chorus. Whether you’re a metal head (did I mention they blast through Iron Maiden’s “Running Free”?) or a hardcore punk, this album will not disappoint. These guys have definitely opened my eyes to a whole new genre of music and I look forward to hearing more.  –Brent Nimz (Zodiac Killer)


LIVEFASTDIE:
Hitstains: LP
Who doesn’t appreciate an album name written in what can only be presumed as shit smeared on the front cover minus the “s”? Hitstains is a singles comp of NY punk band LiveFastDie from 2005-2008, before calling it quits in 2009, with various turds and tidbit goody releases that they prolifically spewed out within such a short time span. If you’re not familiar with LiveFastDie, it’s straight-up, blown-out garage rock; think an American Teengenerate. Back cover has a nice little write up on the chronology of this twenty-one song LP, giving us a clue on all the shit-tacular happenings surrounding their short-lived escapades. LiveFastDie, I mean, yeah, they lived up to their name; it’s the shit.  –Camylle Reynolds (Almost Ready)


LAENGTHENGURTHE:
An Uncomfortable Amount of…: CD
Anthology of recordings spanning the years 2001-2011 from this inveterate grindcore/metal band from Boise, ID. The consistent cookie monster vocals make the seventy-three tracks on this CD a bit much to take in one sitting but decent in small doses. Kudos for the awesome song titles, though. My favorite? “She Slipped in the Shower Attending to Her Needs.” –Garrett Barnwell (1332)


KLH:
Matando Idolos: CD
A fairly brutal bunch from Mexico City showing lots of respect for mid-’80s breakdown-heavy HC but taking it a bit louder and faster, like MDC with a little more polish.  –Lisa Weiss (Puercords)


LA PESTE:
“Better Off Dead” b/w “Black”: 7”
From what I’ve been able to gather, La Peste are an overlooked trio from Boston that never released a proper LP, but are nonetheless remembered for the handful of jams they recorded during their brief existence. First off, Wharf Cat’s reissue is spot-on, with a reprinted show flier insert and an additional photograph of the group. On the insert, Mission Of Burma’s Roger Miller provides a quote, which is fitting, as I can assume from these two brief tracks, that La Peste’s musical trajectory might have further coincided with these fellow Bostonian luminaries. “Better Off Dead” is definitely the hit. It opens with guitar and some chiming on the cymbals. For being over thirty years old, the song is urgent and still slyly tongue-in-cheek. The jangly guitar tone conjures bands across the pond like Gang Of Four, Wire, and Zounds. “Black” is more avant-garde and, frankly, less effective. It doesn’t hold up nearly as well as the pogo-inducing jam on the opposite side. This 7” wasn’t reissued to cash in on nostalgia, rather because La Peste were truly ahead of the curve and well-worth revisiting or appreciating for the first time.  –Sean Arenas (Wharf Cat)


KINGONS / MAXIES, THE:
Objector: CD
Match made in heaven on this split. Both bands have an affinity for chunky pop punk and cheeky concepts. If this were a wrestling match, I’d have to say the Maxies win on the strength of “It’s Too Damn Hot Where You Come From,” which already gets my vote for song of the summer.  –Garrett Barnwell (It’s Alive)


KIDNAPPERS:
Pills: 7” EP
Wow, been a helluva long time since I last heard anything from these cats. Sound is a bit darker over the first two tunes, more in line with, say, Overnight Lows than Modern Action. Nonetheless, though, ye find yerself bobbing along, and by the last tune they’ve thrown the swagger back in the mix and you know yer back on familiar terra. Nice visit. Hope they come sit a spell a bit more often.  –jimmy (Secret Mission)


INFERNO:
Pioneering Work - Discography: 2 x CD
As in life, the annals of hardcore are filled with bands that were good, fewer bands that were great, and maybe a handful that just went above and beyond the rest and ended up with a singular sound that one can say, “that’s ____,” when a tune comes on. Germany’s Inferno handily falls within the latter. From their introduction to U.S. punkers via their tracks on MRR’s Welcome to 1984 and Pushead’s Cleanse the Bacteria comps, it was clear these cats were working on a whole different level from the pack of generic thrashers then glutting the market. Like legendary DC band Void, Inferno’s brand of revved-up hardcore contained copious amounts of metal and sly hooks buried under all the Sturm und Drang. Inferno delivered their tunes at velocities that made ‘em sound like they were always on the verge of completely falling apart, yet somehow never quite doing so and, in some cases, oddly enough sounded tight in their borderline chaos. This American pressing of their collected works pulls together fifty-six tracks from assorted albums, splits, EPs and comps spanning the years 1984-92 spread over two discs, and throws in a thirty-two page booklet with the band’s history, flyers, and English translations of their lyrics for good measure. There are some strange differences in the re-mastering from the originals (the intro to “Steinkopf,” has been inexplicably excised, for example), but that shouldn’t dissuade fans of the genre from reveling in the fast ‘n’ spastic thrash these cats unleashed. To paraphrase something Pushead once wrote in a review of one of the band’s releases, plop this into the player and explode.  –jimmy (Beer City)


HOSPITAL JOB:
The Believer: CD/LP
Hospital Job is fronted by Luke McNeill, drummer of Illinois champs The Copyrights, and also features members of Horrible Things, who have been near the top of my pop punk list since about halfway through the first song I heard by them. Accordingly, The Believer is an anthemic blast more than worthy of its pedigree. Eleven tracks of tight, melodic pop punk with as many singalong choruses as whoa-ohs and group harmonies. Not to say that these guys stick to the mold of one of punk’s most formulaic sub-subgenres—there are enough quirky chord changes and oddball fills to keep listeners on their toes. In fact, the album’s high point may also be its most unexpected. “The Scrivener” dials back the four-on-the-floor energy in favor of a slow, dreamy swell that breaks at just the right moment. Don’t take this the wrong way, but remember when Blink-182 started getting really, really weird? This is like what it could have been like if that had worked out shockingly well for them. That’s an alternate universe I wouldn’t mind living in.  –Indiana Laub (It’s Alive / Insubordination)


HI HO SILVER AWAY:
Chore: CD/LP
Whoa, shit. Wanna hear a story or ten about regret and penance? This DIY punk outta Santa Barbara feels so familiar, like the filthy Snuggie ya curl up into to work through some shit. Simon Sotelo elevates the mundane to haunting with her cover art. So good.  –Jackie Rusted (It’s Alive / Secret Pennies)


HEARTBURNS:
Cold Hell Below: 7”
Dirty, rough, and fast. Light, poppy undertones and dripping with sticky, sweet, fun chord progressions, this band will make you wanna get off your ass and start dancing. This is fun, unpredictable, and perfection pressed into a wonderful four-song 7”.  –Genevieve Armstrong (Combat Rock Industry)


HARD GIRLS:
A Thousand Surfaces: LP
Trios are typically concise. Their sound isn’t muddied by multiple guitarists dueling over sonic superiority. Hard Girls are a prime example, subtle and perfected, like a fine wine produced from select, organic grapes, in a cultivated region, with a long maturation period. But they’re inexpensive, rich with melody, and a sommelier’s secret drink—the people’s wine. They’re the type of band that gets me out of the house, in my car, and at a show on a weeknight. The type of band that is both technically impressive, with tempo changes and deliberate riffage, yet seamlessly catchy, like Jawbreaker and The Weakerthans filtered through Guided By Voices and Dinosaur Jr. Hard Girls’ eclecticism is highlighted by Jesse Michael’s mind-bending album art. The opening song, “The Quark,” begins with a strummed open chord and the declaration, “Space can never be erased,” solidifying their philosophical approach. What follows are thirteen more sweltering jams that differ from head-on gut-punchers to tearjerkers and everything in-between, varied by the two distinct vocalists. The guitar playing is textural and searing, while the bass drives the central melody with its fuzzy Lou Barlow tone, and the frenetic drumming binds all of the elements together. With lyrics that run the gamut from literary to bleak humor, dream analysis to sci-fi, the sort of spectrum that ensures they’re never pigeonholed. (Favorite line: “So we can all get high now, ‘cause we’ll never find a way to get by now.”) Ultimately, Hard Girls are writing albums, not the same song, same progression, same tone over and over again, sidestepping the infinite loop of punk paint-by-numbers. Highly recommended.  –Sean Arenas (Asian Man)


GOOD LOOKIN’ OUT:
This Is It: LP
Good Lookin’ Out present nineteen tracks of well played, but formulaic, post-youth crew revival from Poland. The breakdowns and gang vocals are all in the right places, and an emotional honesty pervades, but the album begins to feel bland not even half way through. Blandness aside, whether it is a language barrier (as the vocals are in English) or just typical hardcore vacuity, the lyrics really put this one in its coffin. The lyrics are fucking weak and suffer horribly from vagueness; they’re just ardent declarations without any context, precluding any insight into whether these fellas have their heads about them or if they are just morons with thuggish anger. Also of note, one of the members is holding a lit cigarette on the cover, somewhat reminiscent of Erik Funk on that one Billingsgate 7”, letting the world know that this ain’t a straight edge band, despite all other indications to the contrary.  –Vincent Battilana (Pasazer)


GLOW GOD:
House of Distractions: CD
A bit of a delay on this one, I know. See, I thought I’d lost the album, but discovered it again only recently when cleaning. Since the fine folks at Play Pinball are such great dudes, I couldn’t in good conscience let this one go untouched. Now, on to Glow God: a grunge band (as much as I loathe using that term) from the depths of OKC, with their first long player. It’s a consistent record of upbeat sludge-suckers, with a nod to the ‘90s. Most of the tracks, save “Could Be Worse,” have a slightly less angry / evil-sounding Pissed Jeans thing going on. Or, if that’s too vague, maybe a more straight-forward Cows. Glow God doesn’t exactly belong on AmRep or anything, either. House of Distractions is a streamlined punk record, for the most part. Which makes sense, since all other releases on this label are fine examples of how modern punk doesn’t have to be a heaping pile of shit. –Steve Adamyk (Play Pinball)


GIUDA:
Let’s Do It Again: LP
Put this Giuda record on in between Thin Lizzy and Slade and Milk ‘N’ Cookies and Elton John and Queen and feel the jean jackets and see the soft focus starlight effect on everything and pump your fist and go skating and grab a six-pack and get high and hang out and make out because it’s the ‘70s and the world is incredible and stupid and it truly isn’t gonna get any better.  –Matt Werts (TKO)


GEORGE SARAH:
Timelapse: CD
Gloomy, ambient synth/computer-generated “industrial” fodder falling between the instrumental work of early Coil and maybe Doubting Thomas. It’s well produced and very cinematic, but aurally comes off more like a series of snapshots than a cohesive release. Wouldn’t be surprised in the least if some of this stuff ends up being used in a film with creepy, jittery, high-res imagery.  –jimmy (Flat Field)


FUTURE VIRGINS:
“Late Republic” b/w “Centre”: 7”
Well, last issue I went on some great lengths about how much I love this band. And these two songs do a plenty good job of supporting my case. They’re short, upbeat, unconventional, and catchier than they really should be, considering their length. It’s almost like they didn’t have to repeat the chorus, because even though the needle picks up: the song is still playing in your head. Track this down. And don’t be confused by the song titles. Neither of these songs was on the last LP.  –Daryl Gussin (Self-released)


FUCKED UP:
Glass Boys: 2 x LP
Total immersion. As Fucked Up continues to progress, you kind of fall intothe records. Hardcore elites may have given up at some earlier point, but I await every Fucked Up release with bated breath, from the Tommy hardcore opera of David Comes to Life to the noise B-sides of the Year of the … series. The new LPslow burns in the realm of those 12” singles first, then moves to parallel the intensity of classics like “Two Snakes” and “Crooked Head” with Glass Boys’ “The Art of Patrons” and “Warm Change.” The inclusion of a second “slow” copy of the same album seems like a hokey vinyl collector move at first, however listening to the same album with a completely different drumming speed is actually an interesting “artistic” foray. It does pose an issue when trying to choose which LP to lay down if you have favorite versions of songs on both records. If you’re ready to lose yourself for an hour or two, Glass Boys comes highly recommended.  –Matt Seward (Matador)


FROM HELL:
Ascent from Hell: CD
This is a ten-song, seventy-minute concept album featuring members of Down Factor, Testament, Slayer, and more. According to the album’s liner notes, “The corpse of a psycho killer wakes up in hell and finds out he must go back to earth to find his soul that still lives on inside the body of a priest and drag it back into hell.” You know, a typical problem for most of us. There are six characters in this album including my favorite, Nun with a Gun. Vocalist George Anderson sings for all six parts, so it requires following along in the liner notes to fully understand what’s going on. I can understand the interest in the horror business, as it’s something that goes along well with the genre, but the cynical jerk in me thought, “Really? This whole concept seems clichéd,” while the diehard metal fan in me thought it worked well with the music. Musically speaking, there’s a good mix of different styles of metal on here—thrash and death, primarily. Anderson’s vocals range between death screams and melodic singing, which keeps the songs from becoming too redundant. With four of the songs coming in at over eight minutes each, some of this could certainly have been shortened while still getting across the theme. Nevertheless, it’s a strong release and fans of this type of epic metal will definitely dig Ascent from Hell.  –kurt (Scourge)


FRANTIX:
My Dad’s a Fuckin’ Alcoholic: CD
As many of the Killed by Death cabal of punk aficionados would be happy to attest, the title track to this retrospective honoring an obscure Colorado punk group is a superb slab of fucked-upness—sloppy playing, earworm-inducing riff, howling vocals, a mound of grime just falling off and stinkin’ up the entire place, and a chorus that just begs to be shouted full-lungs by everyone on the planet who’s pissed off at their perpetually inebriated parental figure. The rest of the disc is no less swell: making appearances are both of their über-rare EPs, a demo that sounds just as blissfully chaotic as their official releases, and an off-the-board live recording that starts off with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive,” (real punks know the only true “punk” thing a band can do is bum other punks out by playing “hippie” proto-prog shit and this, with its free-form noise fest sandwiched between Barrett’s memorable descending scale riff, has long been a prime pick on the “songs with which to bait a punk crowd” list), then descends into several tunes that flail and wail their way into your hearts before the whole shindig draws to a close with a live version of the aforementioned titular track. Throw in some great pics and liner notes and you have yourself a party, kids.  –jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)


FORTY HELLS:
Looking for Answers: 7”
Fist-waving, angry melodic punk rock that hearkens the Todd-penned Propagandhi tracks, or maybe more accurately, I Spy’s melodic output, coupled with a Pegboy-esque groove and latter era Articles Of Faith. Dark, smart, passionate and well-delivered. Great stuff.  –Dave Williams (Anything But Radio / Unsane Asylum / Rubber Factory)


FOREVER PAVOT:
Self-titled: 7”EP
FranticCity tosses in two bonus tracks on Émile Sornin’s reissue of his first EP. The original 2012 7” of space rock voodoo out of Paris cut, “Le penitent le passé” and “Christophe Colombe”—long haired, guitar-heavy tracks dusted with Hindi vocals. A year later, “Palestine” and “Sable Mouvant” are tossed into the mix, spiraling Pavot into the realm of Tame Impala’s neo-psychedelic guitar buzz with vocals taking a back seat. One a ‘60s era hypnotic built to accompany a Mario Bava death scene, the other, a tidal wave of guitars like New Zealand’s Kraus laced with violin. Sornin has since laid more vocals on his work, so pick this up for atmospheric soundtracky stuff. Recommended.  –Kristen K. (Frantic City)


FLESH WOUNDS:
Bitter Boy: 7”
North Carolina three-piece delivering garaged-out spaz punk, reminiscent of The Oblivians. All three jams are up-tempo with spat, growled-and-grit vocals. Listening without track names, I thought that closer “Let Me Be Clear” was actually called “Let Them Eat Kale.” The cover art is just as good as the music—a skinny punk body with a horse head on top, amidst a sea of blood and chaos. Tight.  –Alanna Why (Merge)


EX FRIENDS:
Animal Needs: EP
Ex Friends are “punk” lite, and as dull as watching paint dry. I keep wondering when this kind of stuff will die out, and it doesn’t seem any time soon. Alas...  –Matt Average (Coolidge)


EJECTOR SEATS, THE:
…Like Apple Pie…: LP
I hear all kinds of different influences when listening to this record, which is a definite plus in my book. Sometimes, the ‘77 punk influence is most prevalent, harkening back to the gruff vocaled approach of bands like Stiff Little Fingers. Other times, they sound very much like a warped modern take on the classic OrangeCounty sound, maybe like a fucked up version of the much-revered band Smogtown. Other times, a more traditional hardcore influence can be heard. Honestly, I don’t know what the hell is going on with this record, but I like it quite a bit.  –Mark Twistworthy (Collision Course)


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·Record Reviews in Razorcake #79
·DAWN
·BABY LITTLE TABLETS
·DANGERS
·MOTHER’S ANGER, THE
·AUTISTIC YOUTH
·COBRA SKULLS
·Razorcake Podcast #180
·APOCALYPSE MEOW


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