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ATOMIC SUPLEX: Rock & Roll Must Die: 7”
There are very few times in life that a grown man can get away with claiming that a phrase as simplistic and unimaginative as “the English Guitar Wolf” constitutes a valid review. This, however, is one of those times ((except for “Do the Suplex,” which sounds like the Mad having an almost-lucid moment)). The English Guitar Wolf. Word. BEST SONG: “Rock & Roll Must Die” BEST SONG TITLE: “Do the Suplex” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: There are no songs on this record that don’t contain the words “rock & roll” or “suplex” in their title. Again, word.
–Rev. Norb (Frantic City)
ATOMS: Demo: CD-R
New wave. Do you know what new wave sounds like? Yeah, of course you do. You like Devo and 999 and The Rezillos and maybe when you’re drunk you’ll even admit to liking that one Human League song. Listen, I’m not here to judge you; all I’m saying is that you’ll like this band. It’s catchy and it’s fun and all that. You know—new wave.
ATOMS: Self-titled: 7” EP
Got a wee bit hopeful that this was a long lost single by old L.A. punk band The Atoms, but no. These San Diego kids dish up some punky new wave along the same lines as Servotron or the Epoxies. The tunes are short and sweet, with the rager “2029” leaving the most lasting impact. Good stuff.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Sweet Tooth)
ATOMS: Self-titled: 7”EP
Tinselly, tinkly new wave pop, heavy on fashion. I get the feeling that it’s a band that spends quite a bit of time “looking right” while playing; which is fine if the tunes back ‘em up. But their three songs, even when they speed up with “2029,” come across as light footed and not very catchy. I was hoping for something akin to Servotron, the Epoxies, or the Minds—some hints of itchy, scratchy, ill-natured new wave with more of a guitar and drums presence—but it’s more along the Motels’ second record. Bland new wave that looks great, literally, on paper. (Neat design work, though.)
–Todd Taylor (Sweet Tooth, www.myspace.com/atoms)
ATOMSMASHERS: Alright: 7”
Primal punk rock with simple lyrics, simple riffs, and all the fixin’s the average punk band needs. No big whoop, but not without his harms, either.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Rip Off, no address)
ATOMSMASHERS/DeLOREANS: Split: 7”
Atomsmashers deliver some manner of rabid thermonuclear attack concealed within the guise of a Trojan Zero Boys cover (“Hightime”) (good, i was getting sick of “Civilization’s Dying”) and a marginally original original. DeLoreans play in the traditional Italian punk rock style: Almost completely unmemorable, but with no visible defects. Maybe a trunk full of blow is no longer part of the standard DeLorean accessory package? BEST SONG: Atomsmashers, “Hightime” BEST SIDE OF THE COVER: DeLoreans. Monkeys serving band members pizza whilst they peruse New Warriors comic books surrounded by radiating wedges of magenta and black is a very underutilized theme for record covers these days. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: From the Atomsmashers liner notes: “Many thanks to no one especially if come from Wisconsin.” Uhhh... you’re welcome?
–Rev. Norb (Rockin’ Bones)
ATTACK DISARM TAKEOVER: Self-titled: CD
What we have here is Fresno’s answer to the Varukers. They sound plenty pissed off and, having been to Fresno a few times, I can totally understand why. Pretty good stuff, all told.
–Jimmy Alvarado (www.messmeuprecords.com)
ATTACK FORMATION: Somebody As Anybody: CD
Noisy skronk rock. “Russian (Glacier Song)” was interesting, but the rest kinda came and went without evoking much of a reaction either way.
–Jimmy Alvarado (www.australiancattlegod.com)
ATTACK FORMATION: We Are Alive and in Tune: CD
Oh me, oh my. I’m okay with admitting that this might just be beyond me. According to what I’ve deciphered from the enclosed illustration, some people use a vibraphone (or is that a marimba?), a trumpet, a drum set, about a dozen abacuses, and a tennis racket to come up with a sound that’s sort of like Japanther, but without the vocals filtered through telephone mics. There are definite parts I like, but there’s always one layer too much in each song that ends up ruining it all for me.
–Megan Pants (Australian Cattle God)
ATTACK FORMATION: We Are Alive in Tune: CD
Oh, this is not for me. This is something that would be played in a gallery with video images of art mixed with livestock flickering on the walls, which would be covered in other art so that there’s never a clear picture of what’s actually happening. Way too much stimulation for this girl. I think this shit’s what crazy (and not “whoah, you know that dude Barney with the hat? He’s ca-razy.” but “Hey maybe we shouldn’t walk down this alley with that dude talking to his own feces.” kind of crazy) sounds like.
–Megan Pants (Australian Cattle God, Attack Formation)
ATTACK FORMATION, THE: Let the Notes Drip from Our Lips to Yours: CD
I don’t know what the hell’s going on here. I mean, the music’s pretty reasonable, with elements of screamo dynamics, sonic youthful discord, contemplative self-absorption and found-sound manipulation, but the packaging is mind-gouging. First, there’s a silver ziploc bag, then in addition to the standard jewel case, there’s a sticker and a newsprint poster where Ben Snakepit presents portraits of 135 people. The booklet and tray card of the CD are just covered in writing but most of it doesn’t say much (well, to me, anyway). I think I found a list of people in the band, but I only think that because there’s one I recognize (Tim Kerr). Can’t even find an address (though perhaps Tim Kerr = Austin?), and I’m speculating on the name of the label. Brain-conking weirdness that sometimes seems a little forced.
–Cuss Baxter (Die Die Diemond)
ATTACK SHIPS ON FIRE: Vegas Soul: CD
Um, this is really fucking bad. Point blank. Pennywise meets Clutch in some kind of unholy brogasm. I can’t unhear this shit.
–Ty Stranglehold (Squid Hat)
ATTEMPTED CONTROL: Self-titled: Demo CD
This was a hit for me. Not quite in the bull’s eye, but solid in the yellow around it. Effective straight ahead punk, that while it may not be exceptional, it really is a good little record. Lyrically, it’s pretty typical for this genre; the title “Rejected and Pissed” should explain it aptly. Again, this record isn’t one that makes me rave so much that I even tell my grandma about it, but I’m quite glad that this one came my way.
–The Lord Kveldulfr (no label)
ATTENTION: Another Year: 7"
It’s funny. When I first heard this band, I was like, “Oh, another one of these bands,” but then I couldn’t really think of any direct comparisons. Sure, musically, Attention channels Can’t Slow Down/Through Being Cool-era Saves The Day, but Glenn’s vocals are a far cry from Chris Conley’s nasally sugar pop. There’s more in common with Gunmoll or fellow Canadians Barrier here, maybe with even more hardcore influence in the vocals (dare I say there’s a touch of Vogelism in the delivery?!). Anyway, really catchy, dance-and-singalong stuff here. Looking forward to a full-length. Rad.
–Dave Williams (Square Up)
ATTENTION SPAN: Faceless People: CD
One of my biggest pet peeves is when a band appropriates a name, logo, photo, cover art, slogan or whatever, from another, often older, band and they attempt to pass it off as their own (exceptions exist, of course, such as when it’s done in parody, satire, or in an attempt at irony). It happens way too often, nothing says “zero creativity” and “we don’t get it” more, and bands that do this shit are automatically working at a supreme disadvantage they often never transcend because said dearth of creativity usually also manifests in their musical output. In this case, the band has taken Fear’s “I Don’t Care About You…Fuck You” sticker, placed their logo over the original and slapped it on the booklet and the CD itself. Seriously, all that work put into a bitchin’ logo and you couldn’t come up with a witty layout and original saying to go with it, or at least cop something that wasn’t so goddamned obvious? By all rights, this should be teeter-tottering on the top of a very high shit pile, but I gotta say, they’ve got themselves quite the band here. Pumping out taut, no-frills Midwestern hardcore with above average lyrics (spelling errors notwithstanding) and enough angry conviction to put them in the running as one of the better bands in this genre, they manage to make it over the line by the skin of their teeth. Kudos to ‘em, but here’s hoping they put more effort into their visual presentation in the future ‘cause they’re really doing themselves a disservice otherwise.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Homesick)
ATTIC TED: (Cont.): 7"
Most of Texas is a wasteland. Austin is the one, open-minded, leftist city. Texas hates Austin. This band typifies Austin. Ever since the Butthole Surfers spawned, this city has oozed bizarre sounds. Attic Ted plays swampy blues—but add electronic noises and a trumpet—and wear weird paper cutout masks. Throw in some polka and cowboy hats. Fuck, where’s the acid? This 7” isn’t great but it gets a B for being so goddamned weird.
–Buttertooth (Pecan Crazy)
ATTIC TED: The Bastardized Country Carnival: CD
Bizarro sideshow freak
rock’n’roll belched forth from the bowels of Tejas. Someone was a fan of Touch
& Go’s mid-’80s releases, and it shows.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Pecan Crazy)
ATTIC TED: 3 New Songs: 7”
This record is entertaining, intriguing, and thoroughly bizarre. Circus music inspired lo-fi noise pop recorded with what sounds like drums, sparse guitar, and cheap synthesizers on four track, they definitely get a lot of bang for their musical buck, exploring the sonic limits of their instruments and recording equipment, stretching notes and keys in surprising ways. While these guys definitely fly the weird flag, there’s still enough pop smarts going on here for these tunes to be catchy and memorable. This is fun to listen to and worth a chance if you’re into outsider music of various stripes.
–Jeff Proctor (Pecan Crazy)
ATTIC TED, THE: Land Suite: CD
Woozy outsider-pop that has something in common with the Country Teasers and Uberhund but tends to be noisier or more circusy, by turns, than those groups. Endearing, but a little annoying.
–Cuss Baxter (Pecan Crazy)
ATTICA! ATTICA!: Dead Skin/Dried Blood: CD
Jesus. This band is trying way too hard to be something catchy but just comes off with a resemblance of something that would be played on a showtune soundtrack. I’m not feeling it. It just feels cheesy to me. And I questioned my feelings initially because I was listening to it for the first time at 7:10AM getting dressed for work. I thought maybe it was just making me grouchy because it was not what I expected. There are catchy parts here and there but they lead to nowhere. When I got to work and read the insert, it is exactly what I thought. Another artist that is just trying to be grand but the mediocrity shines. Some songs included piano, cello, and accordion. For such fresh instruments being used, the music sure does stink. Bloodbath And Beyond said it best, “You should febreeze your guitar because your music stinks.” The insert says things like, “Scott has been traveling the country on his own, writing songs on buses and trains.” I think this bugs me because whoever wrote the insert is trying to paint a picture of some starving artist when all the writer had to say was, “This gentleman tours,” and people would have gotten it. All of the artists I know are starving artists at one time or another; why are they pointing this out like it's some above average quality that makes him noble? Oh, and there are so many other good quotes from this thing. I wish I could just copy and paste it under this review to give you the giggles. I will leave you with this one, “album of intense beauty, gorgeous yet eclectic soundscapes that form a complex, cohesive tapestry held together by songs that are as challenging as they are fascinating.”
–Guest Contributor (Red Leader)
ATTICTED: No Regrets: 7"
Attic Ted are a three piece experimental pop band from San Marcos, TX that use keyboards, drums, and cello to make quirky, oddly danceable, Renaissance Faire carnival music. You can almost see the singer working the midway, standing in front of a curtain, barking in his histrionic vocal style to see what horrors await on the other side. The music itself is unusual but severely limited by the cello, which is so out of tune half the time you wonder if the person playing it isn’t just a little bit tone deaf. Maybe that’s part of the weirdness Attic Ted is trying to cultivate. Mainly, it’s just distracting, and I couldn’t help think how much cooler it would be if the cello was replaced by a trombone. Not my thing at all. But, if you’re into the Faint but resent the mainstream techno-fication they went through, you could do a lot worse than the strangeness of Attic Ted.
–Josh Benke (Pecan Crazy)
ATTRACTIVE AND POPULAR: Money Equals Magic: CD
A lot of people would find this tongue-in-cheek, high-energy, synth-laden punk-metal quintet with matching sequined uniforms and songs like “No Money No Honey” and “Big Tits” hilarious, awesome, and tons of fun to see live. I’m not one of those people. Sarah Shay
–Guest Contributor (Gold Standard Laboratories)
ATTRITION: The Hand That Feeds: The Remixes: CD
I guess even manic-depressives need tunes to disco dance their troubles away.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Invisible)
ATWAR/CELL BLOCK 5: Live Cheap Split: CD
The first of this split is AtWar, which is one of the guys from English Dogs. And if that isn’t enough to make you buy the album, then you should know the guy from Social Unrest is in Cell Block 5. If you don’t know who either of those bands are, you probably don’t give a flying fuck about this album. AtWar reminds me of the kind of punk rock that is basically heavy metal but since they have mohawks and English accents you get to pogo unless you are stupid and confused, plus the drumbeat for almost every song is the same (you know the one) except when the chorus busts out and they’re all like, “Shoot your own head off!” Cell Block 5 is more of the, “Yeah, we’re fucking punk, why aren’t you dancing with your elbows flailing around and hurting people yet?” variety. Did I mention they are fast? The album is actually pretty good for a live album and the bands talk shit about other bands and get chicks on stage—all the shit you should expect for a live album.
–Guest Contributor (Malt Soda)
AUBURN BIKINI: Self-titled: CD
Imagine Bikini Kill (no pun or offense intended) with a male knee-jerk monotone male vocalist. Stoner frat guys wax nostalgic, watch the big game, and decide to record an album with well-meaning institute-of-higher-learning sociological song titles like "If You Don't Believe in Revolution You Don't Believe in Me" and "Punt Bama Punt." If it wasn't so clear they're in Alabama, I'd think I were in Olympia at Evergreen College. That being said, it should come as no surprise that they forgot to include any contact or label information whatsoever, although the cover art was included in full.
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