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Record Reviews

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BLOCKSHOT:
Envision: CD
This foursome out of Bonn, Germany bring a new face to riot grrrl garage pop. Some might suspect their second full length to throw up shades of Sleater K, and Lesbians On Ecstasy, and while it does, Blockshot goes further. Blending pogo pop harmonization, women’s rights, and a knack for progressive song structures, “I Don’t Wanna Play” brought me back to early PJ Harvey, circa Rid of Me, with its minimalist, jangly guitar-to-fuzz transition while “A is for Anarchy” kicks off with a souped-up “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” melody. For those old school riot grrrls and those in training. Recommended. –Kristen K (F-Spin, contact@f-spin.de)


BLONDE REDHEAD:
Melodie Citronique: CD
Gone is the obvious Sonic Youth influence and in its place is a quieter, subtler chaos. The songs are rife with haunting melodies that lull yet disquiet, kinda like sleeping with a feathered pillow on a bed of nails. Good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (Touch and Go, PO Box 25520, Chicago, IL 60625)


BLONDES, THE:
Summer Van: CD Single
A song about having a van for the summer. Simple enough. “Shazzam, I got a van.” Very poppy early seventies rock with double guitars and some synth for good measure. A one song single isn’t much to go on, but I’m a sucker for lyrics that deal with rock’n’roll, makin’ love, smoking pot, and getting caught. –Rene Navarro (www.teenaciderecords.com)


BLOOD BOMBER:
Self-titled: CD
This band’s myspace brags about featuring former members of Dissucks. That caught my attention, since the first Dissucks 7” is one of my all-time favorites. I dug it out, looked at the band members, and didn’t see any matching names. Odd, but that would explain why this band really sounds nothing like Dissucks. I suppose Blood Bomber are good, but all I’m hearing in my head now is “Better Day” from that Dissucks 7”, and nothing on this disc matches that. The dangers of listing your band as “former members of…” –MP Johnson (Self-released, myspace.com/bloodbomberpunks)


BLOOD BROTHERS, THE:
March on Electric Children: CD
Rasping wolverines, armed with claws of noise, blasting bursts and slashing gospel-y vocals, go to At The Drive-In's house, ransack the place, then go to your childhood happy place and scream at your mom. Wham, wham, wham. A tad arty in a Locust-y way and more like a painting of a flower on wrecking ball instead of being fey, foppy, loopy, and nose wipey. I also hear cues from Born Against and Combat Wounded Veteran. Not the usual swatch of carpet I play miniature golf on, but loud and crunchy enough to keep me putting along to it. I keep pulling out of the stacks.
–Todd Taylor (Three One G)


BLOOD BUDDIES:
Demo: CD-R
Three songs of mid-tempo, off-kilter punk that’s both confessional and empowering. It’s rough and minimal without losing any command. As well as an excellent pairing of talents, Susan’s aggressive drumming style and Rachel’s heavy guitar tones mix perfectly. Definitely looking forward to more from this Los Angeles duo. –Daryl Gussin (Self-released, bloodbuddies123@gmail.com)


BLOOD BUDDIES:
Tree & Bird: 7”
Melodic punk with a nature-y theme and the right fuzz on the guitar, clatter in the drums, and longing in the vocals. They sound wary, but like they got their second wind on a late night drive. Two songs, two band members. When it ended, I flipped it over and started again. –Chris Terry (ghostbotrecords.com)


BLOOD BUDDIES:
Tree & Bird: 7”
This formerly of L.A. and now residing in Portland two-piece has matched, if not improved on, their previous self-titled 7”. On Tree & Bird’s two tracks, Rachel Lynch riffs around with garage punk chords and shout-sings just under the throat-wrecking level, calling out her connection to the natural world outside of mega-jumbo urban areas. And, yeah, we all love cities (bars, busses!), but cities also have gross plastic bags screaming in the trees and exhaust coating all of your possessions, so between knowing intuitively that cities are kinda gross and hearing the raw sparseness of Blood Buddies songs, lyrics like, “If you’re looking for me / If you’re lost / If you really need me / I’m on a mountaintop” become simultaneously alarming and catchy. In the absence of second guitar or a single bass, all that remains is great songwriting: hooks, sharp edges, and the slight shock that hits you when you hear uninhibited rock for the first time in a long time.  –Jim Joyce (Ghostbot)


BLOOD COOKIE:
Disappoint Yourself: CD
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a band that decides to get a bit ambitious. Even if they don’t quite succeed, the fact that they’re making a concerted push to find a sweet spot amidst a shitload of staid pigeonholes. Blood Cookie casts a wide net here—no wave-inspired skronk with odd time signatures, uptempo punk, noise pop reminiscent of both Mission Of Burma and mid-period Sonic Youth, alt-rock—and wonder of wonders, they do a pretty handy job of smacking every one into deep center field. Given the level of work put in here, I give ‘em two releases, at the very most, before they find a way to meld all of their influences into something truly mind-bendingly great. As it is, this’ll be spending some quality time in the listening rotation.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Blood Cookie)


BLOOD DRAINED COWS:
THE: 13: CD
An odd record that features ex-Angry Samoan Greg Turner. More on the college rock side of things than punk. Songs that sound like children’s riddles to sonic ‘60s garage to the blues. The lyrics are pretty interesting and sound abstract to an average person while it makes perfect sense to the author. If you want to hear something outside the box, this might make your prostate swell. –Donofthedead (Triple X)


BLOOD DRAINED COWS::
13: CD
Heaping slops of psych-rock, trash punk, Leonard Cohenisms, lyrics that touch upon what goes on in one’s mind, semi-acoustic ramblings, and other assorted weirdness are mooshed together on a plate with a side of “Chupacabra Rock ‘n’ Roll.” A bizarre meal, indeed, but when one of the chefs responsible for this meal is Angry Samoan guitarist Greg Turner, the mess before you, as well as the cover of “Little Black Egg,” which was a staple of the Samoans’ set, makes complete sense. Is this the long-hoped-for answer to Back from Samoa? No, so get over it. Is it a good listen? Without a doubt. –Jimmy Alvarado (Triple X)


BLOOD FOR BLOOD:
Outlaw Anthems: CD
I’d heard some good things about these guys, so I figured “what the fuck,” and picked it up, thinking that maybe Victory had finally released something worth a piss. Nope. What you get is more of the same: bad metal with a singer who sounds like an impotent pro wrestler wannabe, all dolled up nice and purty as “hardcore” so you can bang your bald little heads and think you’re really rebellious, man. It’s a damn good thing I’m not emperor of the universe, ‘cause I would’ve found the world’s largest piece of toilet paper and wiped Victory Records and every weak, fake-assed bullshit band they’ve ever come in contact with off the face of the earth. –Jimmy Alvarado (Victory)


BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT:
Respect Our Loyalty: CD
Musically, I love hardcore music. You get the heavy guitar riffings of metal and the anger of punk. Lyrically, I find it amusing that there is so much posturing about loyalty and such. Like it’s a self-esteem problem and you have to overcompensate to show that you belong. You will most likely never find me at a hardcore show. From what I have seen in the past and seen on videos, I could not stand the crowd with all that machismo going around. In terms of music though, I’m pretty easy going. I usually focus on the music. As long as it’s not racist, sexist, or lyrically remedial in the fourth grade sense, I can usually listen. I like to bang my head sometimes, so this does appeal to me. With a great recording, the guitars are crunchy and the bass and drums are solid. Adding musicianship, these chaps know how to play and write some mighty mean tunes. Everything I like in a band like Strife is represented here. Full of energy and rage. –Donofthedead (Spook City)


BLOOD OR WHISKEY:
Cashed Out on Culture: CD
What’s not to love about an Irish punk rock band that looks like Rancid and sounds like the Swingin’ Utters if Johnny had been born in Dublin? I love the traditional arrangements mashed together with boot-stomping beats. This is not a sentimental record. Cashed Out on Culture indicts the Republic for what its become since the massive economic infusion from the EU. With pockets stuffed with cash, there are more wankers in the streets of Dublin than ever before. Perfect time for pissed punks to pick up their instruments and play them as fast and as loud as they can. –Guest Contributor (Punk Core)


BLOOD OR WHISKEY:
No Time to Explain: CD
More traditional Irish music punked up for your listening pleasure. I really liked this kinda stuff when it was first coming out, but, like ska, pop punk, punk‘n’roll, emo and nearly everything else, it’s starting to wear a little thin, kids. Time to exploit another country’s music, like Bavaria or something. –Jimmy Alvarado (mero@eircom.net)


BLOOD POLLUTION:
Monster Truck Man: CD
The good part about bands writing lyrics in English when English is not their native tongue is that it can give them a wider audience. The bad part is that it can make them sound like a bunch of fucking assfaces to a wider audience. I’m not talking about little grammatical errors. I’m talking about lyrics that discuss the “race problem.” Here’s another nugget (typos included): “sluty girls make lots of noise bout equal rights, so boys looks like a women, when girls just wanna fuck, of course there have place some hi feeling shit, but after 3 cans of cheap beer they’ll fall to love pit.” I’m more confused than offended. Please write your lyrics in Russian, Blood Pollution, so I can ignore your music simply because it sucks without having to wonder what the fuck you’re trying to say. –MP Johnson (bloodpollution.bandcamp.com)


BLOOD PRESSURE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Wow, these cats don’t fuck around in the least. They go right for the throat with some tasty full-bore thrash reminiscent of early Gang Green with maybe just a bit more musical sophistication, and don’t let up until you’re good ‘n’ bruised up. Thumbs definitely way up for this bad boy. –Jimmy Alvarado (Beach Impediment)


BLOOD RED BABY BLUE:
The Colors of Chaos: LP
This debut out of Alabama combines shock rock, goth, and good ol’ fashioned punk. If you didn’t know they were into BDSM by lookin’ at ‘em, the name of the lead singer oughtta tip you off: Miss Stress Tamantha. Like The Genitorturers, BRBB bring elements of performance art to their shows where they’ve been known to flog members of the audience. Part 45 Grave, part Naked Raygun, their awesome guitar work and galloping drums left me bouncing and bobbing. However, there were times I really wanted the vocals to be as punched up as the rhythm section. Still worth a listen just for the high energy and quality tunes; plus, the colored vinyl is sick: half blood red and half baby blue. Definitely recommended for those who desire a little more punishment in their lives. –Kristen K (No Profit)


BLOOD SOAKED HANDS:
Churchfolk and Sinners: CD
Pretty decent punk rock from San Clemente, California! The singer is clearly influenced by Exene Cervenka (singer for X, dudes!), and this whole CD has a sorta Avengers/X/LA feel, mixed with the tiniest bit of crusty punk. It could be a lot more catchy, for my tastes, but if they rock live, they’d win me over. If this were a cereal, it’d be Raisin Bran. The bran is your standard punk rock and the raisins are the crust punk! I am really dumb. –Maddy (Volume Disk)


BLOOD SPIT NIGHTS:
Complete: CD
Crusty hardcore sportin’ a very heavy Euro/Scandi influence. Both the metal and Discharge influences are kept in check. Not bad. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.hardcoreholocaust.com)


BLOOD STAINED REALITY:
Nazi Scum Burn in Hell: 7” EP
While these kids hail from San Diego, they sound like they just crawled out from the Wayback Machine after leaving Ohio or thereabouts circa 1981. Quick-tempo hardcore, plenty pissed off about what they’re pissed off about and proficient enough with their instruments to make a good impression. Looking forward to hearing more from ’em. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/bloodstainedreality)


BLOOD STAINED REALITY:
Fuck You Go Die: 7” EP

Six more tracks of straight-ahead hardcore from a band that hails from San Diego but sounds like they’ve just gotten back from a trip with Out Cold to an ‘80s Midwestern hardcore show. Good, good stuff with a mighty purty picture of a cop bleeding on the cover, to boot.

–Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/escozoomusic)


BLOOD STAIONED REALITY:
Fuck You Go Die: 7"
Here’s a funny story: When I was still in L.A., I brought this 7” home from Razorcake HQ to check out. I ended up bringing it back. That was back in July ‘09. Typically, one brings shit back to HQ when one can’t think of shit to say about a band, being rather indifferent to it. To those living outside of the area, review materials are sent out on a bi-monthly basis. I recently moved away from L.A. This came to me on the most recent mail out of review material. This seems to indicate that somebody else took it home for a period of time (no more than one issue’s worth of time) and then brought it back. So I’m taking it that I am not alone in my assessment. Anyway, this is kinda whatever hardcore. Shit is played hard—and seemingly with conviction—but nothing too remarkable. –Vincent Battilana (EZM, myspace.com/escozoomusic)


BLOOD STANDS STILL:
Tomorrow the World: CD
Modern day hardcore that is heavy with testosterone-filled metal. Tons of chugga chugga guitar riffs to make the kids do that weird kung fu break dance thing in the pit. Yelled vocals sound like the vocal chords are in the brink of shredding. Their bass and drums are so bottom-heavy they can make an average person mysteriously head bang. Hey! They are from So. Cal? Not really the type of band I would go see live. I would most likely never run across them. Like the music, hate the fans. –Donofthedead (Spook City)


BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS:
Bottlesick: CD
Good for what it is, I guess, “it” being loud, mid-tempo punk rock with the requisite rude titles/lyrics and a cover of the Damned’s “New Rose.” Somehow, though, it still failed to impress. Maybe I’m just not in the mood right now or something. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sounds of Subterrania)


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