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Razorcake #84
Tim Version, Ordinary Life LP + bonus 7"
Radon, 28 LP
Zisk #25
Razorcake #83

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Record Reviews

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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)

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)

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)

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)

Self-titled: CD
Skull art = punk rock. It’s the mathematical punk rock recipe for success, right? The tongue is bit off, the eyeballs are poppin’ out, the skull cap has exploded, leaving that big fluffy brain exposed. I take my cover art quite literally, so, to me, this means that listening to Blood Vessels’ new self titled CD on Teenage Heart Records will make your head explode, just like the dude in Scanners. It would seem that, upon further inspection of recorded material, I was sadly mistaken because all of my innards and skeletal features are intact. It’s a bummer for me to come to the realization that skull cover art doesn’t always equate to kick ass punk music. The whole system is breaking down. God damn you, Blood Vessels. –Dave Disorder (Teenage Heart)

False Gestures for a Devious Public: CD
Having only previously heard “Such Fun” on one of the oi compilations and “Stark Raving Normal” on another comp I forget the name of, the rest of this disc, a reissue of their album, was a bit of a surprise. Although there’s quite a bit of metal in them geetars, there’s a definite Peter and the Test Tube Babies feel to much of the tuneage here, a good chunk of which thrashes along in wild abandon. The lyrics, for the most part, are either pointed potshots at the pope or of the cleverly dumb variety hell-bent on offending as much of the population as possible, an approach that is heartily encouraged in these parts. The addition of assorted bonus tracks from singles, comps, and demos make this a nice overview of the band’s career. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

Jihadcore: 7”EP
It’s a supergroup of somewhat known, yet highly loved and respected guys. If drunk is the new genius, then these four dudes have made the Manhattan Project of partying, (substituting cubes of Pabst for Little Boy), puking, and pooping Adderall yellow. What that means is if you like any one of the following bands—of which Paddy, Davey, Ben, and Mike hail from—you’ll just have to go out and buy a record you don’t own and already like: Dillinger Four, Tiltwheel, J.Church, Cleveland Bound Death Sentence, The Minds, Snakepit comics (not a band, but you get the idea), The Observers, and Dan Padilla. It’s duct tape, serious-thought-but-they-won’t-readily-admit-it, create-your-own-world-and-live-in-it-while-having-a-good-time punk. –Todd Taylor (Little Deputy)

Punk Planets: 7”EP
Expectations destroy. Schedules are for squares. Being on time gives you ulcers. Knowing what day of the week it is is a weakness. All weed is medicinal. The part of the burrito that runs down your arm? That’s where all the vitamins are. This was recorded way before caffeine and taurine were taken out of Sparks. Beer = brain food. A motivational speech goes as following: “I like pickles! I like bunnies!” Supergroups = Damn Yankees. In April of 2005, Paddy Costello (D4), Mike Napkin (Observers), Davey (Tiltwheel), and Ben Snakepit (J. Church) oiled up their party bellies, shaved for battle, and got down to the business at hand of making… a purely American record. It’s a paradox. It simultaneously supersedes and falls short of expectations. It’s a mess, but it sounds chaotically alive. It’s a clever gimmick—all the way, starting with the name—but it’s not a joke record that lives out its welcome after a spin or two. If George Carlin grew up listening to Ass Rash, Battalion Of Saints, and the Effigies? Maybe. Dudes having fun, wanting dudes of both genders to have fun with ‘em? That’s the target demographic. “Did you just puke on the carpet?” –Todd Taylor (Little Deputy / Recess)

Self-titled: CD
Simplistic punk rock from Las Vegas. With song titles like “Tokyo Pop Shot,” “Godzilla Go-Go,” and “Cunt Cunt,” you can pretty much figure out what yer gonna get with this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bloodcocks UK, bloodcocksuk.com)

Hell Bent for Letters: CD
You gotta love Bloodhag. Seriously, it’s a law in some states. They’re just so friggin’ good that you really can’t help yourself. Sure, they’re essentially a burp-metal band, but four things make ‘em rise above the pack: 1) their songs rarely break the two-minute mark, which means no guitar wanking; 2) their songs are well constructed and, frankly, rock; 3) instead of dwelling in some faux sci-fi universe where metal is king, the chicks wear only loincloths (actually, that one has its merits, but I digress) and robots have feelings, they opt instead to literally sing biographies in homage of those who write about such worlds in ways that don’t suck (this time around, Douglas Adams, Poe, Anne McCaffrey, Madeleine L’Engle, Franz Kafka and Phillip Jose Farmer are among the scribes paid tribute); 4) books are cool, and they obviously love books. That last one alone—given that we now live in a world of iPods, laziness and short attention spans—puts ‘em in the running for “saints” status. Easily the best band that ever rocked a library, and y’all muhfuggahs betta recognize. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)

Necrotic Bibliophila: CD
In a quick nutshell, Bloodhag, in all seriousness, are a black or death or scary metal band of geeks that sing exclusively songs about science fiction authors, replete with almost impossible-to-decipher, unholy vocals and chonka chonka riffage that comes out of the sky like lightning. I like them a bunch, perhaps because they sound so tough and their music could pound Korn into the soft earth, and they’re saying, essentially, “read science fiction, you dink.” It’s a definite plus there’s a lyrics sheet, that you have to read. And reading and literacy is their mission in life. Like thick glasses on a human skull, they coalesce the tenets of NorthWest EduCore (slogan – “Reading is… fuuuuck you”), along with proper library etiquette, and they get down to the business at hand: making your ears bleed and your mind expand. Standouts include the lyrics in “Octavia E. Butler” – “Don’t make Octavia write for a hundred years before you treat Black women as good as guys with pointed ears”; in “William Gibson,” the lyrics – “Dystopian vision forged with typewriter ribbon”; and the male falsetto voice in “Kenneth Robeson.” Skullastically sounding like pissed-off, peed-on mutants with extra arms (for extra thrashing), Bloodhag continue to discover new ways of re-interpreting the phrase, “Get lit.” Yeah, it’s recommended… like a reading list. –Todd Taylor (Rock and Roleplay)

8-Song Demo: CDEP
I can understand nary a syllable of a single song on this short, sweet piece of ear candy, but DAMN if it don’t get my blood pumpin’. The songs are musically to-the-point shards of molten punk-hewn metal that prove that you don’t need to be fast as hell or bicep-advantaged to sound like hard muthas. Being the proud owner of some of their other releases, I can’t wait for this to be properly released so I can find out exactly which of my favorite sci-fi writers are taking the lyrical center stage this time around. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bloodhag)

Horizoner: CD
Heavy and epic. There’s a foreboding tone through the entire record, as though the skies are filled with black birds of death circling as the heathen horde storms the desert village, taking no prisoners, laying all to waste with their hell-forged steel. It’s slow and deliberate one minute and then the next they’re cranking out an unholy riff that could move the catatonic. Somewhere between stoner rock and doom. You can hear the influences of bands like Sabbath, Pentagram, and Electric Wizard, but Bloodhorse are wise enough to keep it original and not take the easy route to become some glorified tribute band. If you like bands like the Sword, Ancestors, Cavity, and other bands of that style, you need to check out Bloodhorse. Fuggin’ great album. –Matt Average (Translation Loss, translationloss.com)

Embrace: 7”
Daaang! An unreleased Bloodlet track from the Shell 7” sessions. If you’re familiar with early Bloodlet, you know exactly what to expect. Heavy, strained, incredibly unique hardcore that hearkens transition-period Neurosis but with a very Victory Records heyday aggressiveness and production. Not unlike their other early 7” tracks, Embrace only hints at the brilliance that was to come on the band’s first LP and their masterpiece, Entheogen, but this is still first rate, essential heavy music.Killer.  –Dave Williams (A389)

Lost My Head for Drink: LP
According to the included info, this is apparently the heretofore unreleased final album by sorta supergroup comprised of members of Mudhoney, Lubricated Goat, and Monkeywrench, originally record in 1996 and left to rot until 2010. Given the personnel involved, I imagine it’d be a surprise to no one that the music here is bluesy, sludged-out stuff—albeit pristinely scrubbed of any excess sonic abrasiveness—that fits in many pigeonholes, yet comfortably in none: grunge, punk, sludge, noise rock, yes and no to all the above. Is it worth a listen? Yes, surprisingly. A thousand of ‘em out there, so start scramblin’. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dirty Knobby)

Mister Mess: 7"
Not really my thing. More of a TKO Records street punk-ish sound reminiscent of the Bodies with sorta patriotic (confusing?) lyrics like, “These brave men of courage put their lives on the line/When all is said and done/We’re the ones who lose/the system’s failed you and its failed our troops.” Like I said, not my thing. If this were a cereal, it’d be Total. But some people love Total. I do not. Ack. –Maddy (Bloodreds)

Bad Intentions: CD
Depending on the amount of hair and wax buildup in your ear holes, this band might sound similar to late-era Exploited, Accused, and Rocking Dildos. Raw, hyper, Wattie-just-threw-up-in-my-mouth, jacked-up metal-punk that is so excited to kick your teeth down your throat that it trips over its own spiked storm trooper boots as it lunges towards you. This has a sense of alarm to it, like when you’re witnessing street-level violence suddenly erupt in a crowd and some hapless schmub gets chased down and beaten into a pile of raspberry preserves by a pride of wide-eyed sociopaths swinging toilet plungers with nails sticking out of the rubber cups. After seeing the cheesy cover with the played-out Mohawked Skull character, I was ready to skewer this thing with a thousand fondue forks and feed bloody chunks of it to Andrew W.K. I mean, as iconography goes, even Wattie himself realizes that the Mohawked Skull has jumped and humped the shark so many times that the pedophiliac clown, Ronald McDonald, is now considered infinitely more sinister. B&D does come, in many ways, teeteringly close to being some flatulent tough-ass metal pud-jerk, but it’s saved from that ignoble fate by virtue of its own hair-on-fire intensity. Even if these guys wanted to strike sulky, tough-guy Danzig metal poses, they simply don’t have the time. Not only is this turnip truck on fire and mowing down pedestrians as it careens down the street out of control, but these chaps are busy wiping the guts and juices and human debris from their faces as they speed ever onward. When the stick shift breaks off in your hand and the brakes fail, there’s no time for puff-chested Alpha Male posturing. So you might want to wear a mouth guard when you listen to this disc. In fact, I recommend sticking some Martha Stewart brand salad tongs up your ass because once you subject yourself to this sonic onslaught, you’re going to need something to help you unpucker your butthole. –Aphid Peewit (Self-released)

Split: 7”
Puke on Yer Balls is a concept record of sorts. It seeks to answer the complex mystery of who puked on someone’s balls with songs like, “Puke on Yer Balls” and “Who Puked on My Balls!?!” Both bands’ lyrics describe a morning haze of trying to piece together this great mystery. Lyrics like, “I’m looking at the pictures and I’m making some phone calls / Trying to figure out who the fuck puked on my balls.” Brilliant. It’s like a Raymond Chandler mystery novel. Or at least a sequel to The Hangover. Well, spoiler alert: The guy puked on his own balls. –Dan Ozzi (Suburban Whitetrash)

Split: 7"
Solid, classic street punk, as could only be expected from Todd Radict (Radicts, LES Stitches). "Ordinary Man" (Bloodstained Kings) and the previously unreleased "When All Is Said and Done" (Radicts) on fuchsia and banana vinyl. –Jessica Thiringer (TKO)

Self-titled: 7"
Bruising, meaty hardcore that swings a spiked 2x4 right at your soft and tenders and evokes some of the same heavy rage as bands like latter-day Exploited and Sweden’s Disfear. Absolutely no new twists here, this one wins on simple drag-you-by-the-hair-down-the-stairs, ass-kicking execution alone. Me like. Me want more. –aphid (FNS)

Self-titled: EP
Let’s cut to the chase, this record is fuggin’ awesome: blazing hardcore punk that’s fast, chaotic and pissed off. You have to hear “Dropout.” It starts off sounding like it’s going to be the usual stuff, then suddenly they kick it into high gear and dive straight into some raging thrash, which tears into “Not Here to Make Friends” that, somewhere in the middle, finally shifts back down for a couple seconds to let you catch your breath. All five songs rip, and yet it never gets redundant. They throw in time changes, some stop-go parts, and the delivery is from the heart. The singer sounds like a rabid dog going berserk. As I said in the beginning, this is fuggin’ awesome! Definitely in my top ten of 2010. –Matt Average (Cowabunga)

Just Your Type: CD
According to their website, they’re self-described “prog-punkers.” While I ain’t hearin’ the “prog” part of the equation, I am definitely hearin’ the “punk”: simple, catchy, thuddy punk at that, with names like “The Day the Sun Explodes,” “Anti-Social Media,” and “Radiation Sickness.” As with many of their Northwestern peers, they take that SoCal beach punk template and just run riot with it—hooks aplenty, pummeling power chords, and some nice backup vocals to boot, with the results sounding reminiscent of both The Epoxies and something that could slip in on Dirtnap’s roster without anyone blinking an eye. –Jimmy Alvarado (The Bloodtypes, thebloodtypes.bandcamp.com)

Johnny: 7”
If you miss The Epoxies like crazy (like some of us do), the song “Johnny” is going to make you a very, very happy listener. (Searching the interweb and my own facial recognition program, while not official, I’ll posit that at least one member was in that band.) Female-fronted pop punk fueled with swirling keyboards and a driving beat. “Alien Eyes” delivers a similar track with more ‘80s-styled guitar histrionics and “Don’t Wanna” winds it up with a whirlwind pop tantrum. “Destroy the Heart” left me a little cold with its more mid-tempo ‘50s approach, but you won’t be disappointed if you spend a few of those blood donation dollars on The Bloodtypes.  –Matt Seward (Bomb Pop)

Self-titled: EP
It’s one thing to be influenced by a band, and it’s another to blatantly sound exactly like a particular band. Quite a few bands are citing the Wipers as an influence these days. Which is understandable. The Wipers were an amazing band. But many of these bands still sound more like themselves, and have other influences in their sound. Then there’s a band like the Bloody Gears who sound like they decided to start a band around the third Wipers album, Over the Edge. Everything about this band sound wise, minus most of the lyrics, is a direct influence of the Wipers. From the guitar sound, the vocal delivery, and on down the line. Being such a blatant knock off, they’ve also scrubbed any chance of the music having a soul. Which is one of the key elements the Wipers possessed. You could say these guys are nothing more than a glorified cover band. I will say they do the sound well. But when faced with the decision of listening to Wipers or Bloody Gears, I’d rather go with the original than simulacra. –Matt Average (Deranged, derangedrecords.com)

Frozen Rain: 7”
Released two years after their first EP, Boston’s Bloody Gears finally returns with another record. I was hoping for a full-length, but this three-song single is another super cool release. Dark, brooding punk doesn’t always work, but Bloody Gears has a flavor all its own. There’s a pinch of 1980s Euro-pop-ness and even a little bit of Pegboy hidden under it all, making for an interesting, instantly grabbing sound. The vocals are probably not for everyone, but that’s true of a lot of great vocalists. It’s time for Bloody Gears to put out a damn LP already! –Art Ettinger (Grave Mistake, gravemistakerecords.com)

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