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· 1:Off With Their Heads Top Shelf Interview Podcast
· 2:Bangkok Scene Report by Dave Crimaldi
· 3:D4th of July, 2014
· 4:Webcomic Wednesdays #92
· 5:Trials and Tribulations of a Misguided Adult

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Record Reviews

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Audible Stellar Hypnotic Situations: CD
Jazzy, arty, jammy hip-hop tinged instrumental stuff. Some of the tunes are hellafied long, but on the whole, the “hypnotic” quality and the fact that those responsible know their way around their instruments made for an interesting listen. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.ashs.us)

White Sugar Is the Devil: CD
Average, mid-tempo punk rock with dual male/female vocals. Snotty, remedial lyrics that are basically one big "fuck you." Maybe popular locally at the backyard kegger or as one of the opening bands, but this doesn't do anything for the guy hearing it for the first time. –Jimmy Alvarado (Ashtray)

Self-titled: 7” EP
Crude, effective, and funny DIY punk rock that has a spirit akin to Blatz. You know, beer-along punk with songs about the problems of drinking Tussin, the virtues of 40oz salvation, and of being a meatatarian. The dual male/ female vocals work well. The lady’s screechy, like Kirsten of Naked Aggression, but endearing. The recording’s a little off. It sounds like someone’s learning Pro Tools. There’s a weird echo during some of the guitar parts. With simple stick figure punk rock, where the instruments are the sonic equivalent to crayons, bands have done much worse. –Todd Taylor (Ashtray)

Operation Ashtray: CD
This is a recording of a live set of Op Ivy covers. The vocalists (a guy and a girl) sound like they belong in Blatz more than Op Ivy. The instrumentation is okay, but the band as a whole doesn’t bring as much vigor live as Op Ivy does recorded. The set comes from a birthday/cancer research benefit show where all the bands were doing covers, which explains why the band performed this in the first place. I’m sure it was a real hoot to do for the band and for some of the people at the show to see, but I just don’t know why anybody would want sub par versions of these songs covered live on disc. (Some money from the sales of this disc goes towards cancer research.)  –Vincent Battilana (Silver Sprocket)

The Power of Positive Drinking: CD
This doesn’t do anything for me. I mean, it’s intriguing, sure, but good? That’s debatable. I think this, in a different context, could equate to a fun night. If I were, say, jumping around with adrenaline in my system at a concert, it is not entirely improbable that I’d bang my head to this female/male dual vocal street punk thing they’ve got going on. It’s not something you’ll shit bricks to, but if you’re in the right mood you might get a marble. –Bryan Static (Silver Sprocket)

The Power of Positive Drinking: CD
The crust punk darlings of Santa Rosa deliver on their latest album. Their co-ed vocals, high octane chords, and drums kept me bouncing and singing along. They also made me thirsty with all their songs about PBR and vodka. I bet they’re untamable live. –Kristen K (Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club, www.silversprocket.net)

Radio: CD
KROQ pop fodder. It's kinda enjoyable in the same way as popcorn: it tastes nice and all, but it leaves no lasting impression once you're done with it. –Jimmy Alvarado (Glue Factory)

Dead or Alive II: CD
I initially wrote an insanely long review for this record, just totally blasting the piece of shit out of the water: denoting the dozens of reasons why it sucks, and why stupid bands like this are not only terrible but actually manage to throw punk back into the fucking dark ages, and not in a good "sounds like Black Flag" way. But then I decided that doing that would really just give the bands way more credit and space than they deserved. So here's the condensed version. Aherm. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? Okay. WHY THIS RECORD TOTALLY SUCKS: 1) It's a live record with mediocre sound quality and all the boring and indecipherable between-song muttering left in. 2) Ashtray has male/female vocals with lots of vocal tradeoffs but still manage to sound like a bored Gr'ups at their second or third practice. 3) Antichris and the Raped are playing the "shock and hate" card with songs like "Fuk Yr Sister," "Faggot Sandwich," and "Deadbeat Wife: Beat Wife Dead." They initially got my hackles up, until I realized that they suck even worse than Ashtray and no one's gonna buy this record anyway. Then I threw the whole thing in the garbage and ate lunch. Thank you. -Keith Rosson (We Are Going To Eat You) –Guest Contributor (We Are Going To Eat You)

Split: CD
This is the audio documentation of The Raped’s final show along with openers Ashtray. Judging by the cover (I know you’re not supposed to do that), both bands would be in the realm of scum punk or something like that. Astray kicks it off, and my presumptions ring true. Mid-tempo punkers with dual girl and boy singers. They’d probably be pretty fun to see at a show drunk but the vocals really started to get to me. Let’s move along to the headliners: The Raped. Holy shit! I was not expecting this. Imagine, if you will, Tesco Vee writing lyrics for Crass but with Joey Vindictive singing. I am not exaggerating! After the shock wore off, so did the novelty. –Ty Stranglehold (We Are Going To Eat You)

Kichesippi Toxique: LP
Not quite what you would expect. Going from the cover art, you would maybe think this was some uninspired generic crust punk. Nothing could be further from the truth. Easily one of the best crust albums I’ve heard in many, many years. For starters, Asile are not typical of the genre. They bring in their own style and create something that lifts the genre up. They’re definitely heavy and fast, but there’s something here that’s different. They’re more on the hardcore punk end instead of the metal that many go for. The vocals are not the usual guttural burp or Neanderthal growling. Instead, you can hear everything Patrick is saying, even with his quick delivery. The music itself—they have the heavy and fast thing down, but it’s not a dull blur. They shift tempos, have catchy riffs, and write some really interesting stuff. “Illusions” is a great example. It follows on the tail of complete crushers, shifting slightly down in speed, but not hindering the energy of this record at all. Also, I’d like to point out the guitar in the chorus of “Ferma La Télé” and how it puts a different mood in the song. Amongst all the thrashing and bashing, it gives the song a bit of reflection. Plus, the insane drumming in “La Maudite Guerre” is awesome. So fast, and crazy; it will knock you on your ass. Then there’s “Surveillance” which is like Motörhead on crank. I wager that this is one of the best records you will hear all year. –Matt Average (Rust And Machine, rustandmachine.com, rustandmachine@gmail.com)

Self-titled: 7"
Ah, bless the French Canadians, always wearing black and sounding like Motörhead. Oh please, I jest, relax mon ami. Asile are from Ottawa, have done at least an LP, and mine the same dirt as Born Dead Icons and even Complications. These dudes actually sing in French and have that galloping d-beat sound of Totalitär or even early Doom (without the gruff vocals). There’s a definite Motörhead vibe to the riffs, you know that punk/metal sound?, which reminds me of the first Inepsy LP. This is fucking boss; so good I just went and bought the LP. How’s that for a sale? –Tim Brooks (Chaos Rurale, chaosrurale.com)

The Leans: 7”
Bullshit Foo Fighters worship. The music is anthemic and nauseating in its positivity. It’s too bright, too clean, too uplifting. The guitar work takes a lot from sludge and grunge, but its riffs are all uninteresting chord progressions. I can’t realistically knock these guys down a few points for being bad musicians, as they can clearly play, but just nothing I would ever want to listen to. Grade: D+.  –Bryan Static (Riotous Outburst)

Self-titled: CDEP
Three tunes of sludgy stoner rock with a vocalist who prefers to sing rather than imitate a strangled badger. –Jimmy Alvarado (Tsuguri)

Self-titled: CD
Sludge with affected, Josh Homme-y vocals. Even at a crawl, the drums can’t keep up.  –Chris Terry (tsugurirecords.blogspot.com)

We Do Painkilling to Your Anger: 7"
Holy smokes! Where does Schizophrenic find these obscure Japanese bands? (Not that I’m an expert on the Japanese scene.) A no-holds-barred band that goes straight for the attack. They waste no time going for speed and anger while taking short breathers to show they can rock at points. Manic thrash is the focus and I can’t believe the Japanese language can be screamed at this pace. Add that to the gang-style choruses, driving guitar and bass, all carried by the breakneck drum barrage. If this band stays together, continues to put out releases, and doesn’t achieve the popularity like Paintbox or Judgment, I will put my punk hat in the closet. This is band is that good. –Donofthedead (Schizophrenic)

Self-titled: LP
Slow to mid-tempo hardcore that was embarrassingly generic, right down their co-opting of one of Crass’s logos. –Jimmy Alvarado (Ass)

: Split 7"

Ass End Offend: Out of their three songs, "Cross the Fence," is the standout solely by the fact it doesn't sound like a tired reconstruction of Corrosion of Conformity, pre-Crossover. That song is my favorite of the split and actually has some nice breakdowns and vocal dynamics. Anti DiFrancos: Barring a song about respecting your parents and an up-front hate for a certain hairy armpitted righteous babe, The Anti DiFrancos are a very standard, almost featureless punk band who seemed to have taken Jello Biafra's spoken word to heart. (I.e. "the nation's elite bolster our alienation to perpetuate wage slave subjugation.") I'm sure they're very earnest but this musical ground – especially the instrumentation – has been trampled so many times, and like a patch of grass under the same treatment, it doesn't seem like anything new's growing out of it. My suggestion for both bands? Get more Feederz and Zero Boys and cut down on the Conflict and GBH in your diet; something to throw in and monkey wrench the mix.


–Todd Taylor (Poisoned Candy)

Welcome to the Discomfort Zone: 7"
Pissed off hardcore reminiscent of the harder sounding stuff making the rounds in the late '80s. –Jimmy Alvarado (Poisoned Candy)

Becoming Our Destruction: 7"
Four hardcore rompers by the first band from Kalispell, Montana I do believe I’ve ever heard. Overall not much to crow about, but the couple occasions when they crank up the thrash validate repeated listens, and a screen printed cover always kicks my esteem up a notch. Bam.
–Cuss Baxter (Ass-End Offend)

Self-titled: CDEP
Assumptions can take a turn for the worst or give an unexpected surprise. Cover artwork does not always reveal what type of music will be represented. I was surprised here. Sometimes it’s hard to describe a band. Every person has a different list of influences. For me to describe this, I would list Dillinger Escape Plan, Damad, Discordance Axis for bands that start with “D.” For the other bands, I would guess some Napalm Death and maybe some Locust. But that could be all wrong when someone else listens. Eight songs in a little over eight minutes of pure pain. Metallic riffs over pounding drums create a chaotic landscape. When the band delves into grindcore blast beats, you feel like you are going to die from a thousand bee stings from the rapid attack. No artificial sweetener to make things happy. Anger and despair is what is being served. –Donofthedead (Black Matter)

Colera: CD
I like the fucked-up disparity between this album’s sounds and visuals—visually, there are all these really nice, subdued watercolors of a girl on sitting and walking on train tracks; it’s a gatefold CD and there’s quite a few of these panel illustrations, looking like graphics that could very well be splash pages for a Delia’s catalog or something, right? And by the look of things, I figured I was about to be subjected to what may possibly be the shittiest emo band ever. Then I put the album on and just about got my skull caved in by these dudes who’d be right at home on a bill with Curl Up And Die, Dead Hearts, or Drowingman. Really punishing and technical hardcore stuff with a metallic undertone, they’re a band that’s absolutely unafraid to slow things down and slap your head with a sonic brick over and over again. Not a huge fan of the genre, but they come across as if they know exactly what they’re doing, and if you’re into any of the aforementioned bands then you’ll be wanting to give this one a listen or three. –Keith Rosson (Rome Plow)

Hate Machine: 7"
Some of the material that came with this says this EP is the final statement from this Cerritos band, which is a shame to hear, ‘cause these kids had it goin’ on. Sweet mid-tempo hardcore with no discernible metal influence, which is how we like it best around these parts, and some smart/stupid lyrics to boot. Sad to see you go, guys. –Jimmy Alvarado (Violent Reaction)

Self-titled: CDEP
The intro buildup to this EP is nothing short of epic. When the band finally breaks into the first song, “Money to Bleed,” the result is a raging ska punk track with leftist political lyrics. There’s a mix of tunes on this EP ranging from more frantic punk tunes to more laidback ska jams. While I haven’t really been a fan of ska punk since the ‘90s, the more raging songs like the aforementioned “Money to Bleed,” and “Burning Both Ends,” helped make this recording grow on me. –Paul J. Comeau (The Assailants, theassailantsbc@gmail.com)

Self-titled: 7”EP
Much in the same vein of France’s La Fraction—but not quite as bombastic and fuel-breathing—it’s female-lead, melodic punk; this time from Denmark, sung in Danish, with English translations (with a nice balance between songs that range from police brutality to tender love). The music’s got a seamless, watertight quality, much like Funeral Oration’s instrumentation. It’s so well realized, I’d be totally surprised if all the members haven’t been slogging in out in other bands for a long time before forming this one. Good stuff and I have a feeling that folks in the Profane Existence and Slug and Lettuce camps would totally dig this. –Todd Taylor (Alerta Antifascista)

I Disse Morke Tider: 7”
So happy that I got my order for this record just in time for review deadline. I have already digitized the music and it’s ready to go onto the iPod for high rotation listening. This female-led Danish band has not disappointed me yet. From their first two 7”s to their fantastic LP, followed with a split with Japan’s D.S.B., this band has been bringing the goods on a consistent basis. I think there is a LP in the works for the fall and I know for sure they are touring the West Coast this summer. I can never get enough of this band and am so excited to experience them in a live setting. So to tide me over until then, these four new songs are a treat. Their signature melody comes pouring out of the speakers like a close friend. I am easily pulled into familiar territory with their brand of mid-tempo punk that is equally powerful and yet balances the melody to make it a pleasurable listening experience. The consistency of their output makes it easy picking if you want to try out this band. Once you listen, I’m sure you will join the worldwide following. –Donofthedead (Halo Of Flies)

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