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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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BORN WRONG:
Art District: EP
You can’t go wrong with a record that opens up with a fast drum fill and kicks into full-on madness. “Two Faces” is a smasher and basher that gives way to the title track that is actually deserving of the designation: fast as hell and rabid as fuck. Having the bass take over the second half at the end is primo, especially when everyone else piles back in. The vocals are at their best on this one. Then there’s the blazing “Catholic Stare”—with its teeth-rattling bass thundering over the rapid-fire percussion—and good move on slowing down slightly on the closer, “Reaching for Nothing.” Leaves a lasting impression.  –Matt Average (Schizophrenic)


BORN/DEAD:
Repetition b/w Fear: 7”
Decent outing from a band I’ve heard accolades about for years now. The problem with a guy like me reviewing this record is that you’ve really gotta be head and shoulders above your peers in the doom-and-gloom hardcore world in order for me to sit up and take notice, and while Born/Dead are obviously good, there’s just a little something that’s missing. It’s dark stuff for sure, with a decent blending of Tragedy’s sense of injustice and buried melody alongside pals Strung Up’s take-no-prisoners approach to hardcore; but it’s also just a little too (no pun intended, guys) repetitive and, well, simply executed. It’s not like I’m looking for insane fret board noodling and sixty parts to a song, but the two tunes here rang a bit more like unused tracks from an LP rather than something to be taken by itself. –keith (Prank)


BORN/DEAD:
Endless War... Repetition: CD
Still don’t own a record player? If DIY punk is your thing, you’d better get one. There are a lot of releases out there that do not see the digital realm, but sometimes you luck out: case in point here. A compilation of tracks from this Bay Area band that includes tracks from their split LP with Consume, 2005 tour 12” and their most recent 7” Repetition/Fear. To top that off, for those with computers, two videos are included. But, the music is the key here. Hard-driving punk that is dark and forceful with a tone of the dismal state of the world. Their dual vocal attack of lyrics is intelligent and political. Punk is guitar-driven, and they power out the chords with fierce determination. The bassist brings the lower octaves to add punch. As a trio, the drummer ties it all together to make a cohesive expression of noise. Many might have noticed them on the past Subhumans tour. I personally have seen them twice, and the second time they knocked me on my ass. So the next time they come through your town, take notice. Also, getting a copy before you see them would help you sing along while they are playing live. –don (Prank)


BORN/DEAD:
The Final Collapse: LP
I stopped reviewing my personal purchases a long time ago. If I did, I would be writing every day for the rest of my life. I buy way too much for my own good. That also means that it takes me a long time in getting around to listening to new stuff. In the case of this release, I pre-ordered a cool half red, half white splattered copy of this record. Not sure how long I have had a copy of this, but I know I hadn’t had a chance to listen to it. But it got pushed up the list real quick when there was a review copy in my box at HQ. Now I can nerd that copy and file it away and play the review copy. Glad that the circumstances worked the way it did. It’s an amazing record from this Bay Area band that keeps getting better and better with each release. I have seen them a few times and truly enjoy their live set. They capture the power of their music and propel it when they play live. On this record, the new songs outshine what they have done previously, taking their anarcho punk sound and pushing it to a new level with an outstanding recording that is not overproduced. The sound strikes you with solid force and is well mixed, letting all participants to be heard equally. The dual vocal attack keeps things interesting while they let you know what they are thinking. Eight songs was a well chosen amount to release (which includes a Crass cover). Not too little and not too much without feeling needy or overwhelmed. These guys tour quite frequently, so if they come though your neck of the woods, you have to witness it for yourself. –don (Prank)


BORN/DEAD / PELIGRO SOCIAL:
: Split 7” EP
The packaging is gorgeous: gatefold 7”, mini info zine about assault, streaked vinyl. Born/Dead: It’s unfair to compare, but the dramatic pacing, the shout/strangle vocals, the expanses of doom gallop, are all Tragedy’s trademarks. The good news is Born/Dead does it well. The so-so news is that, in my opinion, Tragedy does it a bit better. I guess it depends on how unquenchable your thirst for this type of music is. Peligro Social: Excellent borstal/barrio melody-infected hardcore punk. Sung entirely in Spanish and sounding like a mix of ‘70s English pub rockers with the searing guitar work of early Bad Religion, I could swear this was coming out of East Los Angeles (I think a member of Moral Decay’s in this) and be the natural progression of a band that imploded far too early on, like the Black Jax. –todd (Tankcrimes)


BOSS MARTIANS:
The Set-Up: CD
Sounds like Second Coming or similar Dickies album of low consequence, but with all the humor and idiosyncrasies replaced by, you know, SERIOUSNESS (except for the three songs where they chuck that particular Wile E. Coyote-like master plan and decide to rip off Elvis Costello as brazenly as possible [“Run and Hide” ends a line with the word “defenses” phrased, accentuated and harmonized EXACTLY as it was in whatever Elvis Costello recording paired it with “present tenses”; “Oh, Angela” is almost impossible to listen to without chiming in “my aim is true!” every so often]). Yeah, there are a few neat keyboard and synth thingies here and there, but, ultimately, they don’t add up to much. “I Am Your Radio,” proclaims the band. Not really; i plan on listening to my radio again after tonight. BEST SONG: “Oh, Alison” er, i mean “Oh, Angela” BEST SONG TITLE: “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” ...oh, wait, that was somebody else. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Thank you list makes mention of a Madison band referred to as “Knuckle Drager,” the funny part being that they spelled this band’s name wrong because they forgot to misspell “Knuckel.” –norb (MuSick)


BOSS MARTIANS:
Making the Rounds: CD
All right, rock and roll with lots of surf/instrumental influences, but way too tight for my tastes. I prefer my rock and roll/garage a little more crazy and sloppy. If this were a cereal, it’d be regular Cheerios. Okay. –Maddy (Musick)


BOSS MARTIANS:
Making the Rounds: CD
Was told this was a surfy/rock kinda thing, but what’s coming outta my speakers is more akin to power pop with a more than healthy dose of rock/metal. Interesting, but by the fourth song, I had begun to completely ignore it. –jimmy (MuSick)


BOSTON CHINKS:
Coltrane: 7"
Youngsters from Memphis. There is one thing I can count on from Goner Records—ROCK. The Chinks are great! Quick and rough pop punk, somewhere in between the hooks of The Reds (pre-Marked Men) with gravel singing, but not annoying. Catchy, mostly clean with some static, it feels like a band with solid shit to come. They will be touring with/backing up Jay Reatard on his Euro tour. Let’s see who survives. –mike (Goner)


BOSTON STRANGLER, THE:
Outcast: Cassette
True story, as I type this review, and listen to this tape for like the twentieth time, I can hear one of my neighbors blasting the Grateful Dead from their apartment. It just makes this band sound that much better. The Boston Strangler sound like early ‘80s Boston hardcore, right down to the raw recording. Seriously, this demo is awesome. One of the best I’ve heard in forever. The obvious influence is Negative FX, but they sound alive and not like some glorified cover band. All five songs on here are total rippers. Can’t pick a favorite, as they are all that good. If any band today deserves to have vinyl out, it’s these guys. Looks like they only made one hundred of these, so act quick. Definitely in my top 10 of the year. –Matt Average (birthdisinfectant@gmail.com)


BOTCH:
American Nervoso: CD
Jesus wept. Pretty sure I can feel my hair whitening and falling out as I’m listening to this. Originally released in 1999, American Nervoso is getting the re-release treatment from Hydra Head, and I’m grateful I didn’t hear it the first time around, as it probably would have significantly shortened my lifespan. While it may not be cool to admit, this is the first thing of any duration I’ve heard by these guys, and it’s pretty much a non-stop nail biting session from start to finish. Despite the slim promo packaging (cardboard sleeve with no more info on it than a list of international distributors), the recording’s full to the brim with discordance, punishing rhythms, crazy-ass time signatures, stop-on-a-dime precision and blood-spraying vocals. Including five demo/unreleased tracks, American Nervoso comes out of the stereo like three pots of coffee and a defective, blinking, chirping, about-to-explode Speak’n’Spell. Think Combat Wounded Veteran if they excelled at jazz camp, or the album Robocop would put on if he was trying to get laid. It might sound like I’m talking shit here, but I’m not—especially given the time period in which they were active, I can see why these guys were huge; it’s inventive, dense, frantic, atmospheric shit that current “heavy” bands are obviously using as a blueprint, yet nine times out of ten fail to even come close to. Honestly, it’s a record I don’t plan on listening to that often: I’m rarely feeling pissed-off and crazed enough to match what’s coming out of the speakers. –keith (Hydra Head)


BOTCH:
An Anthology of Dead Ends: CD EP
Yay, metalcore. Oddly enough, I’ve been getting into shit like Converge lately so I suspect I should like this grinding, pulverizing, heavy-as-shit riffage more than I do. Maybe this just suffers in comparison to the new Weakerthans album. While I realize that a reviewer is supposed to be able to objectively evaluate the merits and downfalls of an album independent of anything else said reviewer may be reviewing or listening to, I long ago realized that reviewing a record is subjective as fuck and that I might love grindy shit one moment and wake up three days later wondering what I was thinking because there is no objective checklist to use for evaluating the artistic merits of a release. With all that gibberish out of the way, this is well done headbangist rock and on any other day, I probably would have turned it up to show all of my neighbors the error of their ways. –scott (Hydra Head)


BOTOX BRATS / DEAD RINGERS:
Split: 7” EP
Botox Brats: Catchy punk rock with a singer that sounds like he’s listened to too many Stitches records. Dead Ringers: They sound pretty much the same as their record mates here, with maybe a bit more rock’n’roll in their guitars. Not bad. –jimmy (No Front Teeth)


BOTOX PARTY:
BOTOX PARTY: CD
This sixteen-song punk pop onslaught is powerful and tight without being sanitized. The three-piece from Richmond, Virginia, exploit speedy riffs hinging their sound more on their musicality than hooks. These songs fall in line with the fast paced anthems of the Descendents and Crimpshrine. The track “Reality Subordination” highlights the band’s riff ruckus arsenal and playability, which never comes off as annoyingly self indulgent, partly because not one song on the record exceeds three minutes. This CD sure is filled with some fast, fun numbers for the ears. –N.L. Dewart –Guest Contributor (Raise Your Fist)


BOTOX PARTY / ZHENIA GOLOV:
Split: 7"
Let’s not beat around the bush… I love this 7”. It encapsulates the spirit releasing music this way should include. First, it has meaningful music. Zhenia Golov slams out some furious social political hardcore about TV and advertisements; the influences of the likes of Black Flag and Propahgandhi are apparent. Second, these two bands are different: Botox Party takes up the rough and tumble pop punk band on the split by offering three of the five tracks found here. Botox Party puts out guitar-heavy pop tunes backed up by a precise rhythm section. Lastly, this release has some individual quirkiness. The cover art for this vinyl is a Spy vs. Spy comic with Shania Golov vying against Botox Party. Did I mention I love this 7”. –N.L. Dewart –Guest Contributor (www.myspace.com/xrailroadedrecordsx, www.myspace.com/botoxpartyva)


BOTOX RATS:
Modern Caesars: LP
Good, solid snotty punk rock for fans of Pelado and Hostage Records. Features members of Disco Lepers, Shanghai Wires, and the Jabbs and would appeal to fans of Stitches, Smut Peddlers, Cute Lepers, or The Pegs in a big way. Reminds me a lot of a SoCal band I got a demo from about a decade back called the First Wave Boys. The music is herky jerky without being post punk and the vocals are high pitched without being whiny. Looks like they have a split single coming out with Duane Peters’ Gunfight, so I am sure we will be hearing more from this band. –frame (Meaty Beaty, myspace.com/meatybeatyrecords)


BOTOX RATS / DURBAN POISON:
Split: 7”
Botox Rats: Another dose of Stitches-meet-Modern-Action styled punk rock about a gossipy girl. Durban Poison: Lewd lyrics set to a glam-punk backbeat. –jimmy (Shake!)


BOTOX RATS / MODERN ACTION:
Split: 7”
In a split offering between two bands whose names were apparently chosen by picking a pair of random punk words out of a hat, Botox Rats make a fairly impressive showing by following a “Nervous Breakdown” riff with four measures of completely unexpected two-note saxophone, followed in turn by a song-long barrage of lunatic brain-damaged neo-Bob Stinson guitar lead wanking, because, you know, they feel things deeply and shit ((Bob Stinson continues to droolingly wail throughout the entirety of the song, which is good as far as communicating to the listener that WE ARE HERE TO ROCK AND SO ARE YOU, DAMMIT, although every so often you’d like to cuff him upside the head and make him cease for a tad)). While outright originality is perhaps not the band’s province, they do throw enough nifty bits in here, kitchen-sink style ((female backing vocals! Changing up the last note of the melody! Egads!)), that you gotta kinda admit it’s snottily impressive. Modern Action—presumably the sugar daddies behind this release—fare worse, with some kinda half-hearted anthem that doesn’t seem to know if it wants to titillate Earth’s latest soccer hooligan molecule or be a filler track on the Mr. Beautiful Presents ALL HARD compilation album. Packaged in a silkscreened brown paper bag for your protection. BEST SONG: Botox Rats, “Nasty Business” BEST SONG TITLE: Modern Action: “Drink To Win” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This record comes on some kind of taffy colored vinyl but i am having a hard time isolating the flavor. –norb (Modern Action)


BOTOX RATS / MODERN ACTION:
Split: 7”
Botox Rats: Like the appropriated riff from Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown” that starts off “Nasty Business” would imply, these kids are well versed in the classic beach punk sound, which is interesting considering their mailing address implies they’re based in London. Heavy thud, a mid-tempo beat and shrill, up-front vocals will no doubt wet the jeans of the most diehard Stitches fan. Modern Action: Another fine, catchy ditty, “Drink to Win,” that belies less Briefs and more Bodies influence this time ‘round. –jimmy (Modern Action)


BOTOX RATS / MODERN ACTION:
Split: 7”
Modern Action (both the band and the label) are very high on the ol’ favorite list these days. I’ve always been a sucker for a band who can make being a drunken waste of space sound so damn endearing. As usual, the Modern Action track here had me bobbin’ my head up and down, only stopping to slam back some more beer. Botox Rats (amazing band name!) hail from London, and are as snotty and trashy as they come! It’s like Ricky Barnes defected to the U.K. and joined a band! So great. There is nothing on this label that I don’t want! –ty (Modern Action)


BOTTLE UP & GO:
These Bones: CD
Normally I look forward to two-man bands like most look forward to drinking radiator fluid strained through soiled underwear. This is different, however. For one, the guitar player has a slide and he knows how to use it. He also knows how to compensate for the absence of a bass player by filling in the empty spots. Add on one wailing drummer and an unabashed love of drug-tinged blues and you’ve got yourself something worth a listen. –jimmy (www.killnormal.com)


BOTTLED VIOLENCE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Goddamn, these guys are pissed at everybody, man. East Coast-styled hardcore, sounding quite a bit like Paint It Black if they weren’t already at punk superstar status before they’d even formed and had to work their mojo from the ground up. Not bad at all. –keith (Suburban Waste)


BOTTLENOSE KOFFINS:
Gayzilla: LP
I wanted to hate this. The band name is not clever enough to make sense, I find the artwork lacking, and I guess I’m just PC enough to find the title Gayzilladistasteful. And who wants to review a surf band? There is not much to write about a surf band other than, “they play surf.” However, Bottlenose Koffins (ugh) deliver a debut LP that is more than tolerable. Mix traditional surf rock, the punk stupidity of Masked Intruder, and lots of shout-along choruses (“Kristy Yamaguchi…I wanna go out and skate!”) and you’ve got a band that would probably be lots of fun for dancing on tables and smashing bottles in your local watering hole. You gotta spin it to win it, so that’ll teach me to judge a book by its cover.  –Matt Seward (Get Weird!)


BOTTLENOSE KOFFINS:
Peanut Allergies: CD
If somewhere in the bizzaro expanse of the universe The Beach Boys and Dead Kennedys joined forces, your outcome would be something like Bottlenose Koffins. They are the epitome of a party punk band. This is the Seattle surf punk band’s second full length this year and they’re really hitting the ground running. The band is quirky in the same vein as acts like Japanther, wherein they still demonstrate musical prowess but they’re also going to give you before and after song names like “East Bay Reagan.” Peanut Allergies is complete with a cover of the “Sealab 2021” theme song and a clip of “The Simpsons” theme thrown into one of the tracks. As soon as you hit play on this record, you’ll be hit with “ooo-eee-ooo-eee-oh” surfer melodies with a lot of Dick Dale-inspired, bright guitar work. It’s so pretty that you don’t even notice that you’ve been shakin’ your assets long into the daylight hours. Recommended for jumping around on your bed in your underwear. –Kayla Greet (Bomb Pop)


BOTTLES & SKULLS:
I Am No One, He Is No One: 7”
Motherfuckin’ hell, this is some of the hardest hittin’, most maniacal rock’n’roll fury to ever relentlessly attack my auditory senses! B&S sound uncannily like a deranged scientist’s experimental mutation of Black Flag, early Suicidal Tendencies, Jesus Lizard, and a fiery life-annihilating nuclear holocaust. It’s the ultimate brain-bruising musical maelstrom, folks! Now if you’ll please excuse me, I’ve gotta rush myself to the nearest emergency room so the doctors can hopefully alleviate the profuse bleeding in my ears before I’m fuckin’ drained dry. Thanks a lot, B&S. –Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (TKO)


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