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Record Reviews

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Self-titled: Cassette
So, the ‘90s have made a comeback. I suppose there are worse things that could happen. Bodyfather fit in well with all of the other ‘90s comeback companion pieces. This release could hold its own among some of the mid-’90s noisy Dischord Records band like Hoover, The Crownhate Ruin, and Fugazi. It’s done really well and anyone who is into that kind of stuff would likely really like this. There are six songs here with not a single dud in the bunch.  –Mark Twistworthy (Muck Man)

Demo: Cassette
What is it about Chicago and excellent pop punk? Screeching Weasel, Smoking Popes… and now Boilerman. They play fast and gritty with catchy little guitar leads and no snot, just sincerity. The raw recording puts the detonating guitars up front and makes the already dynamic songs kick all the more ass. Five songs, summed up by these lyrics: “All I want’s to be productive/But what is there to do?” –CT Terry (boilerxman@gmail.com)

Bright Young Things: 7”
Zippy, poppy punk with some very nice guitar fills. Tunes are short, hook-laden, and more late-‘80s than late-‘90s in approach. –Jimmy Alvarado (hipkidrecords.com)

Yield the Ghost: 7” EP
For some reason, the cover hinted at a disc of the hyper-thrashorama variety, but no, things here sound more like a band trying to give early Jawbreaker a hardcore sheen. –Jimmy Alvarado (Cowabunga)

Loss Leaders: LP
Boilerman has a uniqueness in a sound that seems very oversaturated. Playing the style of melody-driven, rough punk which can be pinpointed by bands like Witches With Dicks and the less produced Banner Pilot stuff, Boilerman’s hardcore background is definitely an asset. There’s just more power in the sound. I mean, the bass player is wearing a His Hero Is Gone shirt, and the other two guys were in Cold Shoulder; you know you’re gonna get something good, and this record does not disappoint. Multi-vocalist, trio devastation. Have the drummer do the fills while the guitar plays a lead, and the bass just never stops! There’s an intensity that rages through the whole record. Can the intensity be traced back to straight edge? Who knows? But I do know that these guys are drawing from something that a lot of people playing this style of music don’t have, and it’s making for some awesome music. Free Gym Guys! –Daryl Gussin (Self-released)

Trash City: EP
If this record would have come out during the early 2000s, I bet Boiling Over would really have raised some eyebrows in their native Chicago. Unfortunately, we’re well into a whole new decade and hardcore isn’t quite the same. Even by the bare minimum standards of “at least it’s fast” hardcore, this is pretty basic and unoriginal. Side B of this record is a tad angrier and faster than side A and, during its best moments, brings to mind Tear It Up and Down In Flames. The live action shot on the back of the cover suggests that these guys are quite possibly sincere, fun-loving guys who don’t take themselves too seriously. Then again, there’s also three X’s on the bottom left hand corner. –Juan Espinosa (Lifeline)

Self-titled: 7”
Riffy, speedy Slovakian hardcore. Fans of 625 Thrashcore’s catalog will enjoy this one. Buzzsaw guitars and ripping drums with vocals shouted in English. The record begins on a serious note (“Disillusioned”), tackling the state of the band’s homeland: “It’s been more than twenty years since the socialism fell. New regime blessed the highest class while the poorest people live in hell.” That second part seems sadly familiar here in the so-called oldest democracy in the world… But most good music needs balance, and these guys do that with a humorous tip of the hat to us record collectors on “Wax”: “Touch the plastic, sniff the cover. Diagnosis: vinyl lover!” Ha! Excellent seven-song debut with fantastic packaging.  –Chad Williams (Analog Freaks, contact@analogfreaks.net, analogfreaks.net)

World Poison: CD
Hard-charging, balls to the wall rock from this three piece from West Chester, PA. I hear traces of Dropkick Murphys and The GC5—but that’s okay. “Police Me” and “Secret War” are the showcase songs on here. The liner notes say this stuff first came out in 1999, so I’m guessing this is some type of reissue. In any event, it doesn’t sound dated to my ears. The Boils’ strange concoction goes down like a cold adult beverage on a hot summer night. If you want to stick your head through the thin drywall of your apartment wall, this may very well be the best CD to provide the soundtrack for you. Good times. –Sean Koepenick (Thorp)

The Orange and the Black: CDEP
Being Canadian, hockey has been a part of my life from day one and my team has always been the Philadelphia Flyers; the toughest of the tough. Now I have a six-song punk rock disc dedicated to my favorite hockey team! Musically, The Boils have the whole Dropkick Murphys thing going on without all the Irish in there, and the production is tight. Lots of singalong and chant type stuff that really works. I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t getting played on the loudspeakers at the arena on game night. This will also fit nicely alongside my Hanson Brothers and Two Man Advantage discs. Street punk: not just for soccer hooligans anymore! –Ty Stranglehold (TKO)

Pride and Persecution: CD
Okay, I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt about the Eagle and Iron Cross motif because I see Al Quint of Suburban Voice in a photo on the inside, otherwise I would be a bit concerned of dodginess. That said, this is good straight forward punk/ hardcore that is more energetic than fast, more raucous than loud, more cathartic than angry. Venting frustration can be a good time. –rich (TKO)

Pride and Persecution: CD
Just when I’m fed up with the waves of third-rate teenage mohawk rock ripping the ass off of Blitz and Cock Sparrer (when they think they’re copping Rancid), while inadvertently making a prison camp for street punk, comes another band onto my radar screen that’s got it all right. The Boils have anger you can feel and musicianship that’s unmistakable – catchy, and as sharp as getting tangled up in spools of barbed wire. What’s refreshing is that The Boils actually sound like they’re truly pissed, that they’ve got deep record collections, are concerned with amping their songs the fuck out, and their hands have actually seen calluses (and not from stroking their own egos). Pride and Persecution’s also impressive by the fact that it changes modes effortlessly without pussing – from the early Agnostic Front hardcore thud, to The Bodies’ velocity, all the way to the abrasive poppiness of Sweden’s Asta Kask. If you aren’t singing along to “as long as there’s kids dumber than dirt” from “New Majority,” perhaps you should be knitting a sweater instead, renewing your subscription to Young Miss (for the articles, you perv) and working on your 401k. Philadelphia’s anger is sounding mighty and good these days. As they say, “Here’s to the bittersweet taste of anger in our blood.” Here’s to something 100% recommended. –Todd Taylor (TKO)

The Ripping Waters: CDEP
I’m not really sure how or when pirates invaded oi, but I’ve been noticing a trend of pirate-influenced songs in some of the latest oi releases. And I don’t know why I like it, but I like it. Why not? Isn’t it better to sing along to a pirate song than to sing along to, say, some geeky kid’s heartbreak, or to sing along with a dozen consecutive unity songs? This new EP by The Boils grabs the pirate theme and rocks with it. There are five songs, not all of them pirate tunes, but all of them are fast, growling, straight-ahead oi songs that are vocally similar to the Stiff Little Fingers (which is never a bad thing when it’s done well, and it’s done well here) and musically in the vein of The Business’s live show (meaning it has all the energy and rockin’ anthems, but none of The Business’s questionable, slow-down-and-clean-everything-up production values). –Sean Carswell (Thorpe)

The Search: CD
Another band that passed under the radar and was never noticed by me. This is the recorded works from 1985 to 1989. It includes the bands former incarnation, Crippled Youth, who I vaguely remember hearing about. Very similar to the youth crew bands of ‘88 like Youth Of Today or Gorilla Biscuits. Because of their east coast location, I also hear a tinge of Murphy’s Law in there, too. The gem tracks for me are the Crippled Youth ones. The youthful energy and snottiness makes these tracks stand out. The rawness and the simplicity of the musicianship takes me back to my childhood. –Donofthedead (Revelation)

Touché Honkey: Cassette
This incredible, awe-inspiring, lo-fi demo tape blew my mind. Out of nowhere (a.k.a. Georgia) comes Bold Slug, a Bananas-influenced sloppy pop band. Rather than record in a studio and later add effects to make it seem lo-fi, this band apparently recorded this sucker live and on a boom box. The tape itself is spray painted and brings back lots of memories from the demo tape era. “Back in the day,” hardly anyone would even review a demo tape.  Now Bold Slug and their goofily packaged tape is the sort of thing we’ve all been waiting for. This is some seriously fun shit here. –Art Ettinger (Self-released)

Science under Pressure: CD
Sixties-inspired trash rock, with maybe the slightest dash of Devo thrown in for color. The songs go on a bit longer than maybe they should, but otherwise the ride is relatively rockin’. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dionysus)

Self-titled: LP
Irish punk. Somewhere fighty people think this is the greatest thing since God’s moustache. And they want to punch me in the nose for thinking otherwise. –Jeff Proctor (Operation)

If You Want Peace, Prepare for Class War: CD
The title to this record made me think that it was gonna be run-of-the-mill anarcho punk tinged with metal. I guess I wasn’t far off, but this record really isn’t run-of-the-mill. Ya, the first seven tracks or so are fairly standard musical fare of this genre, but the last three or four set me on my ear; they had a bit more of a hardcore sound, were a bit more catchy, and didn’t have that feeling of trying to walk with eighty-pound weights tied around one’s neck. This is not to slight the first two-thirds of the record, but the last third was so rollicking and free compared to the rest; those songs dominate my attention. Good record overall. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Useless World, uselessworldrecords.com)

Everything Looks Like Her: 7”

A-side: Potent rock’n’roll with maybe a dash of the '60s thrown in for good measure. B-side: more of the same. The production could’ve been a little rawer, but it’s still pretty snappy as is.


–Jimmy Alvarado (Rapid Pulse)

Get Warmer: CD
Best way to try to describe this album?: hyper-kinetic, A.D.D., ska-punk in the best way possible. There are a lot of competent ska bands out there who are okay to listen to, but every so often one sticks out because of how they don’t quite sound the same. For instance, I really like Leftover Crack with their weird little black metal riffs thrown into the middle of their ska stuff (I know that’s not cool to admit after age eighteen if you’re not a junkie, but blah). These guys seem to be cramming as many sounds possible in each song and never slowing down unless it’s to make it up in the next measure with going even faster than before. Yeah, there are horns but there’s also a ton of weird electronic bleeps and bloops going on, a lot of gang vocals, and I think I heard a banjo at some point. I also have to say I don’t envy the drummer on this, because he sounds like he must be completely overworked with all the stops and starts and tempo shifts going on, which makes sense because all the older Bomb The Music Industry! songs I heard before this seemed to use a drum machine in overdrive. Lyrically, this is like the audio biography of my life at the moment. Almost every song on this is about being out of college, broke, jobless, bored, and totally without direction in life. The song, “No Rest for the Whiny,” hits so close to home for me right now that it almost makes me want to cry. Check this out for sure if you’re looking for something different going on in the world of ska... or an unemployed, depressive with a college degree. Also, as an aside, I’ve got to give props to this band for actually walking the DIY walk and posting almost all their material, even this album, for free on the internet. You have no excuse not to check them out, and maybe buy a T-shirt if they roll through. –Adrian (Asian Man)

!?Interrobang?!: CD
The first few tracks sounded like Leftover Crack-esque ska with fewer metal overtones, but the sound quickly gave way to reggae. Let me be clear; I have no problem with bands experimenting in genre mixing. Mad Caddies always did some amazing jazz-influenced punk rock, Intro5pect did cool things with techno, and many bands did great things with folk, but if you’re going to choose to experiment with genres, you should find some part of the spectrum and stick to it. If you want to do reggae, do reggae, if you want to do ska punk, do that, but don’t fuck around everywhere. It’s kind like offering everybody some vanilla/chocolate chip ice cream and half way through there are so many chocolate chips it’s hard to believe there was any vanilla left at all. I would have no problem if you told me it was chocolate chip with some vanilla in the begging, but no, you said it was the other way, leaving me unfulfilled and annoyed. –Bryan Static (Stubborn)

Indecision: CD
Melodic punk from this Chicago band featuring members of Naked Raygun and the Methadones. Good, solid songs with that Chicago "dark pop punk" sound that seems to come from there. Fans of the previously mentioned bands, Bollweevils, Apocalypse Hoboken, or Sludgeworth will find a lot to like on this disc. -Mike Frame –Guest Contributor (Thick)

Indecision: CD
The Bomb is the latest project from Jeff Pezzati of Naked Raygun. It also features ex-members of the Story So Far and the Methadones. The twelve songs on here were produced by J. Robbins of Jawbox and Burning Airlines fame. It was also recorded at Great Western Recording Company, which is run by one of the guys from Hum. One would think that would mean that the Bomb isn’t so much a punk band as they might be an emo or alternative rock act. But those people would be wrong. The songs on this album have lots of solid backing harmonies as well as slightly melodic guitar riffs, not to mention Pezzati’s vocals which seem to utter the phrase “Who Hey Ho” in great frequency. The lyrics aren’t all throwaways, though, and the songs are upbeat even if the combination of Pezzati’s vocals and the guitar tones leave off more of a melancholy feeling overall (which seems to be a consistent theme with J. Robbins-produced projects). As someone who has never been real impressed with Thick Records stuff, this caught me off guard and is by far the best thing I’ve ever heard from this label. For those who like their punk with a little more emotional edge or for those who are fans of Naked Raygun, the Bomb might be worth checking out. –Kurt Morris (Thick)

Speed Is Everything: CD
How often does it happen that a band makes a great record and then follows it up with a record that literally blows shit out of the water? Put this up against any release of recent memory and this one rises above by a mile. There are cool lyrical references all over this one, from The New York Dolls to The Damned. But, musically, the songs are held together by guitarist Jeff Dean, whose sonic onslaught here is most impressive. Pete Mittler’s and Mike Soucy’s drums and bass lines offer him a fertile background to play with. They moonlight in another rocking combo called The Methadones. Finally, there is the voice. Yes, you have the “whoa-whoa” factor here. But that’s not all. Check out the emotional fragility of songs like “The Kids” and “Not Christmas Night.” If you haven’t guessed yet, it is Jeff Pezzati, also of Naked Raygun. But this is not All Rise II. These guys are their own separate deal without a doubt. Songs like “Spaceman” are going to put The Bomb into territory beyond the reach of mere mortals. Epic… and essential. –Sean Koepenick (No Idea)

Challenger: 11”
Four new songs, plus live-in the studio alternate versions of some old Bomb favorites. Of the new stuff, I like ‘Hey World” and the title track the best. Vic Bondi from AOF guests on a song here. But this is the sound of a locked-in band that can run circles around the current crop of bands out there that are trying to rise to the top. The Bomb keeps threatening that this is their last record. I hope not ‘cause this is red hot punk rock with mucho attitude. Essential. –Sean Koepenick (No Idea)

Indecision: 2 x LP
The Bomb are Chicago punk vets, and this is a rerelease of their album from 2005. Sound-wise, they hew close to the Hüsker Dü sound of frontman Jeff Pezzati’s legendary band, Naked Raygun. Unfortunately, The Bomb’s songs feel slow and overlong, lacking the urgency that makes his older band so compelling. This new edition features awesome cover art by the awesome Nate Powell, and an extra LP with bonus tracks and a radio set.  –Chris Terry (No Idea)

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