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· 1:The Rikk Agnew Band, Symbol Six, Barrio Tiger and A Pretty Mess
· 2:Interview with Adam Gnade
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· 4:#323 - Future Virgins Edition with Todd Taylor and Mike Faloon
· 5:Burn Burn Burn Interview

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Record Reviews

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: 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)

I Disse Mørke Tider...: 7” EP
My inkling is The Assassinators are too poppy for the black patches, white ink crusty crowd and too overtly political (and not singing in English) for the pop punk crowd. This is too bad, because I think both camps are missing out on one of the strongest currently-running bands in Denmark. Musically, they share the catchy tightness of bands like Funeral Oration, Harum Scarum, Signal Lost, Knugen Faller, and Gorilla Angreb. Politically—with not only English lyrical translation from Danish, but song-to-song explanations and essays that shed light on subjects like the current right-wing-ification of traditionally immigrant-asylum-cool Denmark—the record reveals a band concerned with deep, long thought, just not cast-off, sing-along slogans or vaguely “political” statements to keep the pit going and fists pumping. Highly recommended. –Todd –Todd Taylor (Halo Of Flies, halooffliesrecords.com)

Fire and Destruction: CD
Twelve tunes of blazing hardcore/thrash that is on the borderline of metal at times. All the songs have titles like “Unholy Destruction,” “The Sledgehammer Assault,” and so on. You get the idea. These guys don’t disappoint. This is one kick ass CD. It even comes with a thick booklet too. These guys are scheduled to tour Europe soon. If you don’t live in Europe I’m sure you can catch them in their hometown of Nashville, TN! Either way, see them if the opportunity arises. Now go buy this CD. –Mike Beer –Guest Contributor (Crimes Against Humanity)

When Sweet Sleep Returned : CD
This sounds like some lost gem from the late-‘60s/ early-‘70s era of rock with the psychedelic elements and a countrified undercurrent. The production values are perfect for this style, not clean and overdone. Just right. These guys have paid close attention to the era and pulled it off in modern times. The music has a blessed-out quality, and the length calls for introspection as the guitars go off in some cosmic soloing with space rock sound effects pushing it forward. “Two Birds” is the standout track. They take off into a jam that just keeps moving and never tires. For the most part, this entire album is a laid back affair. However, they pick up the pace a little bit with “Clive and the Lyre,” that has a swinging riff that comes in and out, while never losing the driving tempo as they switch over to the final track, “End Under Down,” where the guitar comes in with an almost bomber-like sound, then washes into a psyched-out haze. If you want to know what summers are like in California, I can’t think of a better album than this to capture that feel. –Matt Average (Tee Pee, www.teepeerecords.com)

Riotous Assembly: 7"
Basic hardcore with some faster-than-lights drumming, just-gargled-with-bleach vocals and political lyrics which state the obvious in ways that are as subtle as a hammer. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t do much for me.  –Puckett (Malt Soda)

Riotous Assembly: CD
Speedy, loud English hardcore with metallic underpinnings. Not all that impressed with them, but they do make a mean racket –Jimmy Alvarado (Malt Soda)

Say Goodbye: CD
Ah, good ol’ Assholeparade. I tell ya, back in the day (as in three years ago), this band was the soundtrack to many, many bike rides to and from work. It was just such a perfect segue between Void and Born Against, you know? I’ve never really understood why they, along with Trepan Nation and Man Afraid, didn’t have the lasting popularity of some of their peers, like Spazz and Charles Bronson. But we’re not here to speculate; we’re here, of course, to talk about this new Assholeparade record. If you like any of the bands I mentioned, or if you like thrash in general, you’ll definitely like this, but if you think you’re allergic to blastbeats, this isn’t going to convince you otherwise. These are songs that didn’t make it onto the Student Ghetto Violence CD (Which you should get. Seriously.), including a fucking amazing cover of the Circle Jerks’ “Red Tape” (the liner notes also include the best advice you’ll ever get: “Please buy the Group Sex LP for all of our sakes.”). If you’re keeping score at home, here’s the stats: fourteen songs, twelve minutes, and one grumpy, overweight snowboarder on vocals. –Josh (No Idea)

Welcome Fucking Home: 7”EP
Prior to listening to this, if someone had told me that the Assholeparade of today still tore shit up the way they used to in the ‘90s, I would have cynically said that I would find that hard to believe. How many times have we seen our once-mighty heroes hang up their guitars only to wish they had never decided to strap them back on after listening to what years of hibernation had done to their songwriting capabilities? Assholeparade, I will never doubt you again for a second. Still true to form in their Septic Death by way of Infest delivery, not one of the seven songs here sounds like a rehashed version of any of their previous material. Now put the bong down and go get this! –Juan Espinosa (No Idea)

Live in Rostock: 10”
I’ve always doubted the legitimacy of live releases because it feels like an excuse to release a record to make money when the band is too lazy to just write material. Also, most live records just aren’t very good. I was delightfully surprised when I put the needle down on this one to hear a high quality live set that flows well and is decently recorded. Most of these songs have been released on other records (maybe all of them?), and the band also throws on a Citizen’s Arrest and an Infest cover. To Live A Lie specialize in that “cult grind” niche, and this record is definitely a cult record. A good bit of their material is still available from No Idea, so while the quality and range of material on this record makes for a good introduction to the band, I think majority of the people who will go out of their way to track this record down are people already familiar with Assholeparade’s gritty, angry brand of hardcore, and I don’t think any of them will feel let down. –Ian Wise –Ian Wise (To Live A Lie)

Split: LP
Because so many of us here at Razorcake have already proclaimed our love for Assholeparade, I will only say that their side of this split won’t disappoint you one bit if you’re hip to their jazz. Sometimes, when all you know how to do is thrash, that’s exactly what you should keep doing. So let’s focus a bit more on Tokyo, Japan’s Slight Slappers. A band you might not be too familiar with since a large part of their catalog is available exclusively only in Japan. They’ve been together for about seventeen years and counting. Even more impressive is that they have kept the same lineup since their first record. Comparing them to any of the more influential Japanese hardcore bands would be underselling them a bit. Sure they draw from their forefathers like Gauze and Lip Cream. But then again, neither of those bands dared to put a dance/techno song at the end of any of their records or goofy vocals in any of their songs. Speed and noise are definitely part of the equation here. To the untrained ear, it may come across as a blur of indiscernible sounds and screaming. I would say it’s the psychedelic equivalent of a Crossed Out record. In fact, I’d speculate as far as to say that the boys in Slight Slappers might be using some conscious-enhancing drugs during their recording sessions, but it’s not doing any harm to the creative process. If you’re reading this in America, you’re so lucky No Idea is a reliable source for this record and others by Assholeparade. Good luck tracking down Slight Slappers releases, though. –Juan Espinosa (No Idea)

free demo: CD-R
Picked this up outta the flyer pile at Dr. Strange and figured I’d give ‘em some free publicity. What you get here is direct, non-metal hardcore with some nice tempo changes here and there to keep things interesting. Five songs in nine minutes means they pretty much refrain from self-indulgence, as it should be when one is playing in a hardcore band. Just get in there, raise hell and get the fuck out, you know? Drop ‘em an email and check ‘em out. –Jimmy Alvarado (ASSOCIATED SCUM)

Fuck Off and Die: 7” EP
Despite a silly name and a hackneyed title, these guys lay down four tracks of some on-point, no frills, no-bullshit thrash. Good stuff, I gotta say. –Jimmy Alvarado (Suburban White Trash)

Rock Mot Svinen: LP
On one of my most recent monthly pilgrimages to Headline Records in Hollywood, I noticed this record right away, perched on the wall in full display as a new arrival. I grabbed it to see what it was. I knew that this Swedish band had been broken up since the mid-‘80s. With a quick flip of the wrist, I looked at the back side of the album jacket to see that it is a compilation of tracks from all six of their studio releases. Yippee! I think my brother has all the releases but I personally haven’t heard all their music. I do own a copy of the mini LP Med Is I Magen, which is a punk rock classic and a lucky find on my part. Also, I have them contributing tracks on the Really Fast Vol. 1, 2 & 3 2xCD comp that Burrito Records/Sound Idea re-released a few years ago and on the Varning! For Punk 3xCD comp which came out quite awhile ago. From the liner notes provided on this release, they were a very popular band in Sweden during the early ‘80s. They even received radio airplay. They have similarities to Die Toten Hosen out of Germany – popular in their homeland, but obscure here in the states. It’s such a treat to my ears hearing more of this band. The music is melodic and poppy but stays unique due to their not being heavily swayed by too many outside influences like bands today. The music is not one bit wimpy, by any means. For the time period, the music is played at a hyper pace without going out of control and losing the melody. The lyrics are sung in Swedish and inject almost a party attitude by how much fun they express. I, for one, do not speak a lick of Swedish. But once the needle hits the grooves, I’m a bouncing, epileptic, spazz boy with no rhythm. Old school and street punk lovers will join hands and become lovers of this band once they hear the punk flavor they created. I saw on a Swedish distro website that the 1st and 3rd EP have been re-released. I have to get my hands on some of that! I hope their whole catalog gets the same treatment. –Donofthedead (Hohnie)

Med Is I Magen: LP
Vital reissue by Prank of one of the most important Scandinavian punk records. Originally released in 1985, the first full-length by this Swedish band was a big hit and become something of a collector’s item in later years. I’m pretty sure this is the only reissue of this record and it’s about time (thanks Ken). Taking cues from early Swede bands like Ebba Grön or Problems but speeding things up some, they actually remind me of the Toxic Reasons or Germany’s Upright Citizens, but all Swedish. As with all Prank records, the vinyl is thick as a brick and sounds tremendous (I bet it sounds better than the original). A real slice of history. Mandatory. –Tim Brooks (Prank, prankrecords.com))

Dogma: CD
Superior grindcore from this Swedish trio that leaves the medicine to the doctors and goes straight for the intellect. Well, I guess so, as there’s no lyric transcription, but from the song titles (“Adding Milk to DNA,” “Another Dane Law Carved in French”) to the quirky weirdness (a la Locust) that pops up here and there (and the dedication of one track to minimalist composer Arnold Dreyblatt) this blasts in the general direction of the thinking grinder. Forty-one tracks, including a cover of Queen’s “Ogre Battle,” in as many minutes (apparently their entire recorded body), and you’ve got probably the forty-one most frantic heavy minutes you’ll see this year. –Cuss Baxter (31G)

Reading Between the Lines: CD

I remember buying one of this band’s 45’s like ten years ago (or so it seems); i assume it either was on a label that was releasing interesting stuff at that time, or it had cool cover art, or both, because i have no idea why else i’d wind up with it. I also remember putting it on, and being immediately and violently disappointed: ick, this isn’t the kind of band i like! For whatever reason, i then quite remember liking the b-side (though not, at this late date, the b-side itself). Same deal here: I popped in the disc, and the ghastly/pointless/godawful recitation of Alan Toussaint’s "On Your Way Down" was enough to freeze the lymph in my nodes and set me to maniacally whacking the fast forward button, in the hopes that the entire B-612 2005 experience could be handled in the form of a swift and perfunctory overview of the first few seconds of each song. Unfortunately, after a second straight dog, track number three ("September Crush") was rockin’ enough that i was bound by both conscience and duty to allow the record to play itself out (no small chore considering its seventy-five minute running length); somewhere around "Let It Slide," i realized that the epic adenoidal balladry plus guitars aspect of things was giving me a clear and present Chris Bailey/Saints vibe, and thereupon did i find myself becoming unwittingly and unwillingly immersed in the band’s occasionally snappy and well-groomed bombast. They then decided to bludgeon me in Antipodal/Aboriginal fashion with album-ending covers of the Flamin’ Groovies’ "Second Cousin," the Stones’ "19th Nervous Breakdown" (slightly slower and heavier than the original, which i would usually frown upon—however, whatever retardation of tempo they attempted/achieved appears to be at the exact rate of behind-the-beatness that Charlie Watts always pulled off [for reasons unclear], so that, as the kids used to say before my boss started saying it, is all good), and, finally, a fusing of the Died Pretty’s "Mirror Blues" (which, to me, recalls another epic album-closer, "Beginning of the End" from Eddie & the Hot Rods Life on the Line LP, but what do i know) with Pere Ubu’s only good song, "Final Solution," all of which made me feel not unlike what i imagine i would feel like if i should some day find myself under the harmful compulsion to try and dunk over (Milwaukee Bucks rookie Australian power forward) Andrew Bogut in the closing seconds of overtime. Surely the best rock album whose first two songs were so bad i fast-forwarded over them of all time! BEST SONG: "September Crush" BEST LINE FROM BEST SONG: "You got me dancing/and I don’t dance" BEST SONG TITLE: "I Just Don’t Know Bout Gurls" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Asteroid B-612 was the home of the Little Prince in Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s book. De Saint-Exupery used to be depicted on some French currency, along with a drawing from The Little Prince (of the boa constrictor who swallowed the hat) so when i was in France i took one of said bills home and gave it to my mom because she likes that book, even though it was kind of a big bill.

–Rev. Norb (No Tomorrow)

Breathe Heavy: CD
This is a two-piece band of what I guess you call "screamo" nowadays. I listen to these vocals, and all I can think about is what these dudes' friends at work and families and other square people think when they ask to hear the band. The musicianship is competent enough, but the vocals are just fucking ridiculous: just straight-up, flat-out screaming. No note is trying to be hit, no texture trying to be attained, no timbre trying to be reached. This is just annoying, ambitionless screaming. It sucks. The music isn't too bad?I can't help but be reminded of other two-piecers like Lightning Bolt, Japanther, and Hella. They kinda sound like a mix of the three. If I were you, I would not buy this record. –Guest Contributor (Forever Escaping Boredom)

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