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· 1:An Interview with Soul Side’s Bobby Sullivan
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· 4:#380 with Juan Espinosa
· 5:Webcomic Wednesdays #148

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Record Reviews

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Self-titled: 7"
I like it. It’s good, in a Kickz, Kill-A-Watts, Rip Offs, Dead Boys-barely-out-of-puberty way. Reverb all over the edges and insect-in-flight guitar bits. I have a feeling that if this wasn’t three guys from three different bands (Maaster Gaiden, Pumpers, Wax Museums) in a compressed time putting four songs together, if it was given a bit more organic interconnection, choruses were repeated less, and it had more dripping, electric splooge throughout, I’d be all “god dam!” over it. I like it. It’s good. Three hundred made. Silk screen covers. –Todd Taylor (Big Action)

All the Time: 7” EP
These guys have obviously done their homework, alternating between lo-fi, trashy ‘60s pop and a punkier mix of Rip Offs-type stuff and ‘70s L.A. bands like The Dils to give things a bit of thud. Songs are to-the-point and catchy enough to warrant at least a listen or two. –Jimmy Alvarado (Boomchick)

No Rest for the Wicked: 7” EP
More primal thud-punk in the Rip-Off Records vein. “Ooh Ooh Ooh” is the definite highlight here. –Jimmy Alvarado (Big Action)

Self-titled: 7”
The A-side, “All the Time,” is a monstrous, reverbed arty-fact that could have easily come from an unknown ‘60s British band, which surprised me after learning the pedigree of the members of the Bad Sports and hearing the opening guitar hook. I thought it was going to be a breezy, boozy, catchy tune in the vein of the Romance Novels, but what I got was buckets of big guitar, booming bass, and tub-thumping drums. Not what I expected from members of the Wax Museums and ….. The B-side tunes “Hey OK” and “Asshole with the Girl” sound like a ‘90s basement show if Live Fast Die warped back to SF and split a bill with the Rip Offs. The songs are exceptionally great and over way too fast. Love this record. –Josh Benke (Boom Chick)

Self-titled: LP
Bad Sports sound as if they’ve been having late night, after work meetings discussing the finer points of the Nerves and the Urinals over half a carton of smokes and a case of: insert the name of your favorite cheap domestic beer here. Early Ramones also isn’t merely a reference here. It’s a way of life. And the Sports clearly adhere to that motto. This record gets better with every listen. –Juan Espinosa (Douche Master)

Bra: CD/LP
A power pop explosion that brings to mind a wide range of bands including The Saints, The Buzzcocks, Big Eyes, and The Posies, to name a few, that came to mind when listening to this. It’s not a bad album and there are a handful of decent songs to be found on Bra, although not enough to keep me fully engaged from start to finish—although if it’s on while I’m working then I’m oddly happy to listen to this a few times over. –Guest Contributor (Dirtnap, mail@dirtnaprecs.com, dirtnaprecs.com)

Bras: CD
Bad sports bras are a funny concept. All sports bras are bad in my opinion; it’s a very unflattering look that’s all business. I’ve seen these guys’ name around for a while (this is their third LP) but hadn’t come around to listening to them until I received this CD. Bras was produced by Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke from the Marked Men and if you’re into them at all, you’ll love this record. This is a great punk rock record with a poppy, upbeat sound. The songs are catchy and fun with no bullshit messages or preachy opinions, just a good time. There’s a little bit of everything on here from power pop to ‘70s punk. If you like the ‘70s CBGB’s sound, old Posh Boys bands, and Dirtnap bands you’ll love this record.  –Ryan Nichols (Dirtnap)

Dirty Hole: 7”
Man, I was so into this before I discovered it’s at 33 and not 45. Bummer. Amateurish, thrashy scuzz hardcore from Aarhus, Denmark. It’s not bad, but if I have to look at actual pictures of your balls and asshole in your artwork I better fucking love your music. You just can’t un-see that shit.  –Camylle Reynolds (Halshugga, halshuggarecords.tictail)

I Was a Teenage Jack the Ripper: 7” EP
Eighties-tinged hardcore that sounds like they’re paddling for that spot between Negative Approach and Bad Posture. Tunes are solid, ADD length, and appropriately primitive. Also includes a sloppy cover of “Summertime Blues.” –Jimmy Alvarado (feralkidrecords.com)

I remember the first time I ever heard a bootleg of Songs We Taught the Cramps and feeling uncomfortable in the way all the songs sounded so dated and strange, more punk than punk. There were thousands of these little 45s out there, which I found later through more bootleg comps and tape trading. Some were great in that they were just weird rock’n’roll tracks by frat dudes who never fit into their crowd (“Hammerlock”), others were bouncy carnival tracks that were so much more evil than any metal (Anton LaVey), but the point was that there was no cohesive style or aesthetic to tie them all together; they were all just genuinely weird. These bands both fit that style. There’s no real modern point of reference for their sound. Bad Taste are like a Rick Nelson LP that’s been left out in the sun and then dusted off and played at the wrong speed, the needle bouncing all over the place as you stack pennies on the tone arm to keep it all in check. Brain Car fit more into that frat rock style, adhering to a sound that’s popular at the high school dancehalls while jeering at those who just want to dance some to an angry punk rendition of the Grease soundtrack. –Ian Wise (Reel Time)

Split: 7”
This here is a split single from two Rochester, NY bands with quite different sounds. Bad Taste is pure noise that makes Wolf Eyes and Pissed Jeans sound downright singer/songwriter-like. Brain Car, on the other hand, deliver a snotty and amped-up cover of the classic tune “Be True to Your School” for their side of things. –Mike Frame (Reel Time)

Why Are All the Kids Are Crying?: CD

Not to be confused with the Jay Reatard/Eric Oblivion supergroup of the same name, these boys are from Denton, Texas. Which, we all know (you do know, don’t you?) has birthed some incredible talent. This Bad Times emulates a bit more Wipers or Sebadoh than the Marked Men, but it isn’t far removed from our Denton heroes, either. The songs are upbeat, but a little darker than the garage stuff the city is known for. Vocals that are pronounced and monotone, rather that blasting catchy “nah-nah-nah’s,” if you get where I’m going with that. Still, there’s a power pop edge sneaking in there. I’m sure they own Boys and Plimsouls LPs. Ten consistent jams, with the opening track “Mormon Recovery Program” being the strongest. The production is incredibly slick. To the point where you can hear every note played and drum hit perfectly. The songs are great, but I’d be interested to hear what Mark Ryan, Orville from Bad Sports, or one of the Wax Museums (recorded in “Billy’s Room”) could make their record sound like.

–Steve Adamyk (Self-released)

THE: Hate Your Everything: CD

Sweet mid-tempo hardcore that gets the blood pumping and the aggro a-buildin’. Best of all, no whiny emo lyrics. Dang good listenin’.


–Jimmy Alvarado (Steel Cage)

All the Right Ways to Do You Wrong: CD
When the first notes of this hit me, I cringed at the possibilities of another thug fest, the likes of Antiseen. There are some similarities, but the Bad Vibes are the much better band, and I liked this record more and more with every listen. It’s got the power of a baseball-bat-ass-whipping, but the tunes certainly do not come off as stale and derivative. There is a good deal of musical inventiveness displayed here within the thug-punk genre, and I found it lyrically satisfying, stuffed with attitude but still showing a wry sense of humor at times and verbal playfulness. A good record that makes me want to get into fights. –Guest Contributor (Steel Cage)

All the Right Ways to Do You Wrong: CD
“Someone’s got it in for you and that motherfucker is me!” Some killer Nihilistics/Poison Idea-influenced punk here. This Hostile City outfit spits out pure, unfiltered rage in its two-minute rippers. This is highly recommended for fans of Boston’s deeply missed A Team, Last In Line, and, hell, the entire Kangaroo Records catalog. Great hardcore punk by folks who may have actually been around to see some of those great early ‘80s bands. There is some “living paycheck to paycheck” anger here that some snotty suburban kids can’t even fathom. The vinyl purist snobs will miss out on this due to its non-hardcore label and CD-only status, but fans of pissed-off, burly hardcore without any stupid fuckin’ breakdowns will love this. A label like Manic Ride, Deranged, or Kangaroo would be well served to make this available on vinyl. This is fucking great! –Mike Frame (Steel Cage)

All the Right Ways to do You Wrong: CD
If it’s true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Antiseen should be relieved to know that that isn’t a cancerous polyp up their collective ass, it’s the I’ll-lick-you-clean head of the Bad Vibes. I picture these guys dressing up like Jeff Clayton and video taping each other doing backyard wrestling dives off their parent’s garage onto brown, stained mattresses and hooting like apes. I can’t help but wonder what dear Saint GG would think if he were still here in his stinking flesh, what with all these Confederacy of Scum type bands peeing in his wading pool. But who gives a fuck? Rock’n’roll, from Led Zeppelin to American Idol, is all about flagrantly ripping off all the stuff that’s been done before and pretending that you somehow gave it a new twist. And just how many twists can you give to three chords? This GG meets Jethro Bodine-on-steroids stuff seems to be everywhere these days, but so what. Face it: there’s nothing new under the sun. And as rotten leftovers go, Bad Vibes is good shit. –aphid (Steel Cage)

Self-titled: 7” EP
The four tracks here try, with mostly successful results, to meld power pop sensibilities to garage production values. Results are quite catchy without being overly saccharine, delivered with a production that maintains a raw quality without sounding like utter shit.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Bachelor)

Sky High: CD
I was all excited to get this. I’ve been a fan of Bad Wizard’s brand of Tight Bros-style party rock for years, ever since I first heard them a few years ago, with the story of how they got their name from a Mexican bartender mispronouncing “Budweiser.” This album is a little different, the classic rock elements are still there, but with a little more of a maturing metal feel, this sounds like Stained Class-era Judas Priest or even a little like early Mötley Crüe, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It seems weird saying that a band sounding like Mötley Crüe is a refreshing change, but in 2006 it really is…. –ben (Howler)

Two Face: 7” EP
This band spends most of their promo material worrying about being perceived as sounding too much like the Ramones; i kinda think their lead guitar riffs are quite un-Ramoney (maybe Rudi or someone like that?) so am not sure where all this Ramone-Clone-Guilt is coming from. Fine jumpin’ around music, this. Makes ya realize you weren’t insane to like the Queers at one point in your life. BEST SONG: “Two Face” BEST SONG TITLE: “Milkshake Murder” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: It still amazes me how Harvey “Two-Face” Dent was Billy Dee Williams in the first modern Batman movie and then he miraculously wound up being a white guy in the third one. What the hell, did Billy Dee go the Michael Jackson route or something? –Rev. Norb (It’s Alive)

Molotov Milkshake: CD
Peachfuzz punk so offensively inoffensive that they make that band that did that “Stacey’s mom’s got it going on” song seem like Slayer. This is almost like a candy-coated Chixdiggit, if Chixdiggit shaved their legs and lost their sense of humor. You will find no “Henry Rollins Is No Fun” type gems on this disc. This is the musical equivalent of Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip and thus, is not for me. Milkshake: yes. Molotov: hardly. –aphid (Black Market)

Det Har Ar Inte New York: LP
I bought this record on a whim and a misunderstanding. I thought it was a reissue of a late ‘70s/early ‘80s Swedish punk band, but it is actually a reissue of a modern Swedish band that goes for that Killed By Death, late ‘70s/early ‘80s sound. Twenty songs (fifteen from the original album and five from an EP) in way less than a half hour. The mix is pretty murky, most notably being that the bass doesn’t really make itself known until the last five songs (the aforementioned EP). Perhaps a little too much low end in the guitars? There is minimal-to-no guitar chicanery and some weird yakkety sax on “Sant Ar Livet.” The liners have English translation of the Swedish lyrics and chords for those so inspired to play along at home. –Sal Lucci (1-2-3-4 Go!)

Det Här Ar Inte New York: LP
A mix of garage, punk, some early Sixties…This is okay over all. There’s not a whole here that really gets your attention, outside of the really good “Sån är livet” with its saxophone. It’s as though all the songs on here are leading up to that one moment where they have this one really good song. After that, these songs are just kind of there and lack any real fire. Very tame and sterile. After a few listens, I’m still “ehhhh.” –Matt Average (1-2-3-4 Go!, 1234gorecords.com)

When Angels Are Crucified: CD
Upon checking this disc out, I was gearing up for some dark and scary metal type stuff. With the calligraphy style of text and artwork depicting devils crucifying an angel, you can hardly blame me. Well you could just color me shocked to hear the opening track serve up some hard-driving melodic goodness that, when coupled with that gruff vocal, can’t help but conjure up images of Leatherface. This is both good and bad. Good in the fact that there aren’t nearly enough bands like Leatherface out there, bad because it is almost impossible to measure up. Badlands has their hearts in the right place, but I find myself getting bored a few songs in. –Ty Stranglehold (Rebellion, www.rebellionrecords.nl)

So Little: Cassette
I didn’t know what to expect from this set of songs; whether it would be acoustic or punk. Adrian Tenney is capable of both screaming the house down while she tears it apart with her drumsticks and soothing it to sleep while she croons over her ukulele. The sounds that came out of my headphones when I pressed play made such trivial concerns just float away. This tape is the most I’ve enjoyed an album in a good while. I really like the way it’s recorded—all these wild instruments I can’t even pronounce sound really great both through an ‘80s boombox and a fancy work computer. The music is really interesting and her lyrics, as usual, are so simple yet thought provoking. –Rene Navarro (Ghostbot, ghostbotrecords.com)

So Little: Cassette
Listen: Imagine yourself lying on a plateau somewhere in the Arizona high desert. You’re alone. The sun is setting in such way that the sky is hued in purples and oranges, like a Moroccan tapestry. If you need a soundtrack to this picture-perfect moment, let it be Badlands’ So Little. Badlands is Adrian Tenney of Spokenest and God Equals Genocide playing an assortment of instruments such as ukulele, Balinese gongs, and piano. Yet, the greatest instrument is Tenney’s voice which she layers with melodic harmonies and otherworldly coos, a languorous quality reminiscent of Mirah and Your Heart Breaks. Tenney’s vocals drip out of the speakers making each song hauntingly dreamlike—ephemeral and succinct—with upbeat pace changes that plunge into subtle variations. Thankfully, Badlands never deviates towards exhausting musical interludes plagued by muddy reverb or indulgent experimentation. Instead, Tenney gracefully sings and strums her nylon guitar allowing the sounds to peacefully exhale. –Sean Arenas (Ghostbot, info@ghostbotrecords.com)

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