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Record Reviews

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Eximenious Execration of Exiguous Exequies: CD
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I love this: twenty-seven short blasts of Carcass-worshipping goregrind. With song titles like “Embrocate Indiscutient Hirudinea Poultice” and “Acedic Intransigent Bougienale Hordeolum,” I’m sure you can imagine what this sounds like. I wonder, when this band plays live, how do they write their set lists? It obviously takes longer to write out and correctly spell the song titles than it does to play (and probably even write) the songs, but it’s all a part of the charm of this. Not something I’d actually ever listen to, but it’s great to pull out one night while drinking with friends to play for a few minutes and laugh at the song titles. –ben (Deathvomit)

Addicted to You: LP
I was excited about getting this, because I know that some of my Razorcake cohorts love this band. I hate to say this, but I was really disappointed. For some reason, I expected these guys to sound tougher. While I wouldn’t call this pop punk, it’s definitely too poppy for my tastes. The singer’s voice doesn’t have a hint of rasp in it, which is usually the element that can save a band like this for me. The music never strives for more than the basic three-chords-and-an-attitude vibe, except there’s no attitude. This isn’t horrible, but it just lacks power and spark. To make matters worse, there is no lyric sheet and no information about the band or label. –Dan Yemin (Radio)

Addicted to You: CD
It seems appropriate to mention, while reviewing a recording by a band called “The Bodies,” just how much the act of reviewing music is like conducting an autopsy—an autopsy on something that’s not dead yet. As the philosopher Christmas Humphrey once said (and I’m going purely on memory here, so I’m paraphrasing) “once something has been successfully defined, it has been successfully killed.” That being the case, I’m going to gallantly serve up a review of this re-packaging of the Bodies’ first record (plus bonus tracks) which will be rife with utterly inadequate descriptions of the music contained therein. All so you—the punk music epicureans—can enjoy the lively melodic pop punk sounds of this recording without the unsightly scar tissue of my having poked and prodded around getting in the way. So here goes: edgy, fun, neurotic, happy music played with guitars to a punk rock beat. There. Now forget I said any of that and go buy the disc. –aphid (Radio)

Addicted to You: CD
This is, what, the third time I’ve reviewed these songs? No matter, for there are worse ways to while the time away. Gotta hand it to these guys; they’ve put out some mighty fine listening and this is easily the cream of the crop, a veritable Cock Sparrer-via-the-Damned orgy of driving beats and great hooks. Years have passed since I first perused this cornucopia of sonic bliss and it still manages to, once again, make it into heavy rotation. For the third time in a row, this comes highly recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Radio)

Firepower Is Our Business: CDEP
The Bodies are as catchy as they sound mean. They’re working class. And, thankfully, they don’t oi it up, since they’re from America. They just look like regular dudes – jeans and t-shirts. And they rock out. And they drink a lot when they play, which is endearing. What’s disarming is that Abe’s voice could easily be on a pop punk album. It’s very smooth, very easy to listen to, and he does this thing called enunciation instead of gargling marbles in a Cockney-affected accent. It’s refreshing. The band plays flawless, powerful punk rock, and although they’re from the bombing range around San Francisco, they sound like the very best of true Orange County punk. Slicing wire guitars, punished drums, bubbling bass melodies, and a solo-less experience. And although I essentially disagree with their supporting of the death penalty (but take their point that scumbags should get their due) and don’t quite share wanting to wave the flag with them, I can’t but help cranking the stereo and singing along. The music’s just too good to dismiss on small points of political disagreement, especially since the times I’ve seen them play, they’ve been really nice guys. (I think most of these songs were previously released on both Vulture Rock and Radio, sans the last track, but I’ve been known to fuck up.) –Todd Taylor (TKO)

3Brandnewsongs: 7"
I often sit and wonder what would have happened to the Bouncing Souls if they didn't start treading water in the songwriting department a couple years back. Abe's voice reminds me of 'em. I wonder what would happen if the Crowd got into a time warp dealie and were transmigrated to Northern Califonia in the '00s. Then rubbed raw against concrete. I no longer have to wonder. When I saw these guys, they were so fucked up, I really think they were all playing a different song at the same time for about a minute, then they gave up. Such endearing behavior always puts a check mark and smiley face near your name in my book. I bet, to woo the ladies, they line up all the chunks from their puke and spell out the girl's name before falling back into the splooge. Three short, effective, and catchy splashes in bright green vinyl. Hostage Records' only non-SoCal band. Good stuff. –Todd Taylor (Hostage)

Angel on the Nine: 7”
Seriously, how long have The Bodies been promising a new 7”? Eight years or so, I think. I never thought the day would come, but here it is in my hands. I’ll tell you this: It would be easy to think that these two songs were recorded way back whenever they released something last. They sound exactly like they did a decade ago. The good news is that is the BEST THING EVER! I love The Bodies so much! The bass-driven songs that bounce around in your skull for weeks at a time and you don’t get mad about it. Abe’s vocals jumping all over it, rattling with precision. The shout-back choruses... THE BODIES ARE BACK! Now let’s have an LP, preferably before I start collecting my old age pension. –Ty Stranglehold (Modern Action)

“Angel on the Nine” b/w “Open Your Eyes”: 7”

The past ten years have been unpredictable. No longer is TKO at the top of the heap of American street punk and oi. Duane Peters isn’t releasing a new record every six months. The Reducers SF haven’t been heard of for a long time, either have the Anti-Heroes. Hostage Records is woefully missed. And in the middle of it all, The Bodies somehow manage to exist like slow-moving glaciers. Never the fastest on the trigger on a release date, these guys from Sonoma have become synonymous with no-nonsense, American-made, full-throttle punk (street or otherwise). To those who’ve never heard them, there’s more than a passing blush to the tightest, toughest Bouncing Souls. To those that are familiar with their output, these two songs are right down the Bodies well-constructed, almost seamless alley.

–Todd Taylor (Modern Action, modernarctionrecords.com)

BODIES, THE: Angel on the Nine: 7” single:
Angel on the Nine: 7” single
Had no idea this band was still functioning. The last time I had seen them was at Headline Records with the Trust Fund Babies around 1998/1999. Two new songs of punk rock that reminds me of a rawer Stitches. Despite being from Sonoma, I hear a big OrangeCounty influence in their sound. It’s tuneful, catchy, fast, and clean. “Open Your Eyes” is the faster of the two, and the one I listen to the most. “Angel on the Nine” is a bit more poppier, and, in a way, it holds the song back. Not a bad song, but when paired with what’s on the B side, it doesn’t have as much heat. –Matt Average ((Modern Action)

Brand New Silhouettes: LP
Body Futures, at their best play, straight forward power pop with strong female vocals. Cheap Trick with Chrissie Hynde. At their worst, Body Futures play frazzled, over-complicated rock that is less memorable than No Doubt. Brand New Silhouettes starts out strong, but takes an all too soon turn to forgettable late ‘90s radio fodder. If it was a record full of “Hooks and Eyes,” I’d be a fan. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to take a hard pass.  –Matt Seward (Latest Flame, latestflame.com)

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)

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