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Record Reviews

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BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!:
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)


BOMB TOWN:
!?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)


BOMB, THE:
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)


BOMB, THE:
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)


BOMB, THE:
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)


BOMB, THE:
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)


BOMB, THE:
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)


BOMBANGREPP:
Demo: CD-R
Heavy duty Swedish fjordcore here, very close in sound and sentiment to compatriots The Victims and Wolfbrigade. The d-beat factor is definitely in evidence, but isn’t a detriment to the sheer malevolence that just oozes from each track. If this is only a demo, I’m a bit afeared of what these kids are gonna unleash as a legitimate release. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bombangrepp)


BOMBANGREPP:
Förrådd Av Samhället: EP
Unbelievably dull. Discharge-influenced punk with a vocalist who sounds like a cross between Jake Filth and Robert Collins from Artimus Pyle. You would think that with these elements there would be some spark to this record, and yet despite all the ruckus, the songs just lay there dead. Maybe it’s the production? I have no idea. It’s just not a good record. They prove that no matter how fast and hard you hammer away in a song, if it doesn’t have that certain something, then you have nothing. Blehhh...  –Matt Average (Halvfabrikat, halvfabrikat.net)


BOMBAST:
Buyin' the Farm: 7"EP
Hey, I like Motorhead and Spinal Tap, too. I'm just not rushing to listen to a band that mixes the two. (Except there's a girl doing some backup.) I don't think they're joking, which makes it sadder. –Todd Taylor (Bad Reputation. It's always a fine idea to write addresses on the packaging somewhere.)


BOMBAY SWEETS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Can’t say I remember much about what Selby Tigers sounded like, but this band includes a member. The sound is sorta mid-fi garage rock with a tiny smidge of maybe rockabilly and a lotta flamenco-steeped surf guitar. The result is simultaneously toe-tappin’ and laid back, giving off a good vibe, smarter and markedly more sophisticated than much of the stuff it’ll likely get lumped in with. –Jimmy Alvarado (The Bombay Sweets, thebombaysweets.blogspot.com)


BOMBAY SWEETS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Sweet, surfy, deceptively simple melodies wrapped in the warm echoes of reverb. The rockabilly undertones and volcanic buildup add drama and mystery into an already deeply layered atmosphere. It makes me wanna dance and brood in the corner with a cigarette at the same time. I don’t even smoke. If I were some sort of dictator, I’d demand everyone download the free demo posted on the band’s website or suffer severe consequences. But hey, it’s your life. If you choose to live it without this beautiful, moody music, I can only be sad for you. –Candice Tobin (Phantom Form)


BOMBER:
Mourning: 7” EP
My first impression was that they sound like a cleaned up Groinoids, but there seems to be a little more going on here. The tunes are decidedly in the hardcore vein, but don’t ever get ramped up more than mid-tempo, and the tunes have the same stream of consciousness feel of early Urinals but without the artsy-fartsy pretense, in that the tunes only last as long as the singer has lyrics to garble. I’m not sure how well they’d manage to pull off a full-length, but this was good enough that I’m definitely curious to find out. –Jimmy Alvarado (On-High, no address)


BOMBÓN:
El Party Con Bombón: Cassette
Apart from sheer nostalgia for people of a certain age ((and perhaps consideration for those of us who still drive motor vehicles manufactured after 1980 but prior to 2003)), there really are no abiding reasons why anyone should ever release anything on cassette again, ever. Cassettes were a fucking DUMB format. Their fidelity decreased every time you played them, they got dusty and warbly and fucked up, they got twisted and kinked and snapped, tape transport from song to song was a time-consuming and aggravating pain in the ass, and every now and again your cassette deck would just randomly eat a tape, sort of like Charlie Brown’s kite-eating tree, but less epic. About the best thing i could say for pre-recorded cassettes ((as opposed to mix tapes, which still remain the gold standard for such things)) is that if you didn’t like what was on there, you could tape over it. That said, Bombón are a pretty cool, bargain-basement, instrumental ((with occasional female Beatnik Termite-like “whaa-ooh” backing vocals and/or screams)) combo who have dispensed with such restrictive social detritus such as track listings, presumably because such Tools Of Order interfere with their prime directive of PARTY. The general vibe is reverby—but not annoyingly so—and the bass occasionally acts as a second guitar, allowing the guitar guitar to vacillate back ‘n’ forth between almost ((but not really)) Fall-Outs-like chord chomping to Cramps-like single-string twangling. I state unequivocally that this is the best cassette i’ve heard all month! Now knock it off. BEST SONG: The one where it sounds like the girls in the background are saying “Homos on the fire, wha-oh-oh, homos on the fire, wha-oh-oh” BEST SONG TITLE: Bombón are not part of your machine and reject your restrictive taxonomies accordingly! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Never mind, i found some song titles printed on the cassette shell. I guess my favorite song is “La Playa,” then. –Rev. Norb (Burger/45 RPM)


BOMBON:
Las Chicas Del…: LP
It’s a bit of a shortcut to say “Surf rock done by three ladies,” but it gets us to our destination quicker. It’s a shortcut to say “surf” because there’s some really nice horn work that lends to a fantastic spaghetti western vibe on a track. It seems like there’s something pretty major going right beneath the waves besides tons of reverb, an organ, and an affection for The Ventures and the 5,6,7,8’s. Since it’s been over a decade since we were last awash in any sort of surf revival tidal wave, I’d throw mid-period Man… Or Astroman? into the mix of comparisons. Bombon aren’t afraid to add space, landscape, soundscape, and breadth to their songs. Las Chicas… is pleasant as all hell and a good record to put on when you still want to talk and not yell, but still have a great time, set a mood, and hang out with a bunch of folks. Movie soundtracks of the future, watch out. –Todd Taylor (45 RPM)


BOMBPOPS, THE:
Stole the TV: CDEP
Decent pop punk (with two girl singers! Hooray!) from Southern California, but perhaps too far into the Fat Wreck Chords sphere of influence for my tastes. But if you prefer your pop punk well produced and with a touch of NOFX (as opposed to, say, a sprinkling of Sweet Baby), this is the band for you! –Maddy (Red Scare, redscare.net)


BOMBS AND BEATING HEARTS:
From Dumpsters Rise!: CD
Is this a parody CD? Sadly, I fear it is all too real. If punks keep writing lame songs about eating out of dumpsters, I’m going to have to start a band and write songs about eating food from a grocery store! What ever happened to writing songs about hanging out at Burger King (see: Ramones, Queers, et.al)? This is crappy Crimethinc-influenced folk punk. I wonder if This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb (a great band) ever sit back and think, “What evil force have we unreleased in the world?” If this were a cereal, it’d be Total Punk Anarchy Hobo Ohs. Yikes. –Maddy (Self-released)


BOMBS, THE:
Black Butterfly: CD
While I fully believe that the idea of rock’n’roll should never be confined to simply one form (How fucking dull would that be?), I subscribe to the notion that scuzzy, distortion-heavy garage is the most unfiltered form you can find under its umbrella. L.A. two-piece The Bombs attempt to rile things up with this primitive and grimy throwback but the attempt feels more defanged than nervy. Bearing some resemblances to another garage punk band with a similar moniker (the winning guess would be The Dirtbombs), the energetic duo should take creative cues from the Detroit troupe’s coursing vocals, contorted verve, and confrontational volume levels. Keep this effort’s off-kilter lyrics (which include a chorus leading in with “I’m not from Nova Scotia”), consider ditching the Ramones-esque repetitive titles (both “Shake Me” and “The Shakes” are here), and let the rock fester and mutate before picking it back up. –Reyan Ali (Self-released, myspace.com/thebombsmusic)


BOMBSHELL ROCKS:
The Conclusion: CD
These Swedes have been blasting their brand of Rancid-y streetpunk stuff for many years now and I’ve always considered them to be amongst the best at it. I’m happy to report that some things don’t change. Lots of soaring guitars and “Hey, Hey, Hey” action. It’s cool to see a lot of these types of bands finding a home on a label that seems to be suited to them perfectly. –Ty Stranglehold (Sailor’s Grave)


BOMBSHELL ROCKS:
Love for the Microphone: CDEP
An acoustic song is no way to start off what otherwise is a pretty damn good little CD. Bombshell Rocks has been around since about '96 and have consistently put out quality records. They never disappoint. It's just if you are going to put out only six songs, why waste one track by making it acoustic, let alone starting the CD off with it? Skip track one and you have an EP to listen to over and over again. –Toby Tober (Combat Rock)


BOMBSHELL ROCKS:
Cityrats and Alleycats: CD
You ever have to go to a wedding or something and have to wear a suit and the closest thing to dress shoes you have are Docs? It’s happened to me a couple of times. I polish up my Docs and put on my suit and look down at my feet and it’s weird. The shoes look good. Almost new even though I’ve been wearing them for years. And they’re cool shoes. No doubt about that. So maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just so used to being scuffed and worn that polishing anything bothers me. Anyway, that’s how I feel about the Bombshell Rocks—they’re like polished Docs. Musically, they’re immaculate. The songs are well textured, everyone is perfectly in beat, the singer is in key and has just the right amount of gruff in his voice—like an early Mike Ness—and they have a perfect blend of influences. I hear a little Cocksparrer (from when they were good), a little Business (see Cocksparrer), a little Social Distortion, and a lot of Stiff Little Fingers. All great bands. And I’m not saying this album is contrived. Not at all. I like it a lot. It’s just like polished Docs, if that makes any sense. –Sean Carswell (Burning Heart Records)


BOMBSHELLS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Decent enough Hostage-style punk rock with a perpetually off-key singer. Not stunning, not agonizing. –Jimmy Alvarado (No Front Teeth)


BOMBSHELLS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
What better way to start a Saturday morning than with some punk rock record reviewin’ and tending to some personal hygiene? Kill two birds with one stone, or Bombshell, if you will. The first verse of “She’s Coming” sounds so much like the Problematics “Here We Come” that I started singing “And it happens all the ti-i-i-ime…” when it came time for the chorus while listening to this in the shower. I shampooed my hair and washed my face to “I Want You Mine” and “Oh Yeah,” working my way down to the armpits, crotch, and thighs without taking too much notice of the music: catchy, poppy, punky, in the same vein as Sloppy Seconds (from whom they ripped off a number of guitar leads) and Forgotten Rebels (from whom they pilfered the slowed-down, heartfelt intro to “I Want You Mine” and nose-plugged-full-of-snot vocal delivery), sans the inspired song writing and stunted, juvenile senses of humor that made those bands great. I began cleansing my anus as “One Track Mind” cued up. Not bad. Certainly my favorite song on the CD. The cruel twist is that my affinity for the song and proximity of hand-to-rectum have been intertwined, creating a bizarre, Pavlovian response whereupon hearing it, I’m filled with a desperate urge to cram a few fingers into my asshole. Son of a bitch, I’m never showering with these guys again. And, fellas, if yer gonna call yerselves the Bombshells, the least ya could do is put a smokin’ hot babe on the cover. That Miguel Hell ain’t so easy on the eyes. –Josh Benke (No Front Teeth)


BOMBSHELLS, THE:
Audio Wasteland: CD
Fun, fun, fun. Thirteen songs of snotty rock‘n’roll about drinking, fighting, and getting the stripper to go home with you and it never gets dull. I always find it thrilling when a band can create a familiar, raw, and uninhibited sound but still come off as sounding original. The Bombshells have done just that. In a lot of ways it sounds reminiscent of the Gotohells’ Burning Bridges record, but Audio Wasteland is miles beyond that relative dud. This could be the soundtrack for a Saturday night beerfest: insurgent and rebellious if only for its own sake with an uncontrolled, rollicking sound. –Guest Contributor (Bombshells Music)


BOMBSHELLS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Oh my god, so punk rock that one wears his belt—get this—sideways! I know, unbelievable. Then I put this on and they sing about doing dirty things with sluts. And fights in bathrooms. Of course, one wears stripes too. I read a review that said that this is a must-have if you live in Silverlake (the over-priced, hipster-haven of LA) I can’t agree more. –Megan Pants (Bombshells)


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