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Razorcake #86
Wailing Of a Town, by Craig Ibarra
Razorcake #85
Pale Angels, Imaginary People LP
Toys That Kill / Joyce Manor, Split 7"


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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COULIER:
Cool, Cooler, Coulier: CD
Three piece instrumentalists which consists of two guitarists and a drummer. A mixture of early Butthole Surfers meets Rollins Band kind of metal or grindcore twistedness. You have to have a taste for the abstract to like this one. –Donofthedead (Stickfigure)


COUNT ME OUTS, THE:
Self-Titled: CD
Boston garage rock from some veterans from the music scene. The last time a garage band from Boston rocked this hard, it was the Standells singing about a “Riot on the Sunset Strip.” Anchored by Hilken Mancini (ex-Fuzzy) and Winston Braman (Consonant), the band also features Mike Savage and Mark Perretta. Tight, concise tunes about washed-up actors and growing old, this would be great to throw on at your next winter party. It will light things up quicker than a slug of peppermint Schnapps. “Take You to the Cleaners” kicks major ass, and if you don’t have this record in your stack you’ll be a no chump love sucker. Or some reasonable facsimile thereof. –Sean Koepenick (Punk Rock Aerobics)


COUNTACH:
Huge Rock: CD
If these guys think they have friends, they are so wrong. No friend would let them commit, not only this worthless drivel to a CD, but also, c’mon – there are some people who should keep their shirts on in pictures. And this is coming from a lady who likes a keg more than a six-pack around the bellies of her men. Hairy man-tits are just a whole ‘nother ball park there, cappy. –Megan Pants (RockMafia)


COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON:
Eater of Worlds: LP
I thought the Turn into Shadows tape they released earlier was pretty good. But this album surpasses all they’ve done prior. The songs have a darker and more ominous tone and a stronger dynamic structure. The title track is a great example of this. The drums roll through with an avalanche in slow motion style, while the guitar rings out like a siren, and then there are some really cool accents from the bass. The cold and bleak feel of their music really comes through here. Plus, the recording is much more solid. Everything has more “oomph” to it. The opener, “Hymnal 238,” is fuckin’ epic! “The Scourge” is an absolute ripper! Fast and tight execution. I like how clean the drummer pulls off the rolls and makes use of the kit. Then they transition from that song into “Turn into Shadows,” and it’s pure godhead! They also re-record the excellent “Like Animals” (which also appeared on the Turn into Shadows tape). The closer, “Construiremos De Nuevo,” is perfect and wraps up the record with an even more ominous feel. Seriously, some of the best d-beat crust I’ve heard in a long time. –Matt Average (Aborted Society, abortedsociety.com)


COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON:
Turn into Shadows: Cassette
This is some decent U.S. crust punk: dual vocals, abrasive guitars, rumbling percussion, and dark low end. The best song of the five is “Like Animals,” which is mid-tempo and has a darker and more forlorn tone, which sings about torture via the military and the government. It’s also a good break from the faster numbers on here which remind me of Disrupt, only these guys are more raw and intense. Nice packaging for this as well—silver j-card/lyric booklet with black ink. –Matt Average (countdowntoarmageddon@hotmail.com)


COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON:
Through the Wires: LP
Dark. Very dark, brooding, slow-burning, bleak, apocalyptic punk. Elements of Tragedy and Amebix combine with melodic (but dark) guitar lines, basslines, and drum parts that really keep things interesting. Well thought out and thoroughly dark lyrics cover all of your dystopian bases, from societal thought control through the media (“A Walking Dream”) to the destruction of earth (“The Portal”). The only sliver of light contained on this black disc is the hope of finding an escape from all the shit that these worldly forces shovel onto you—and fittingly—it’s the title track. This one takes a couple listens for the quality of the songs to shine through, but it’s worth it. Did I mention how dark it is?  –Chad Williams (Skuld / Aborted Society)


COUNTDOWN TO LIFE:
Tragedy So Irresistible: CD
With a name like Countdown to Life, I couldn’t expect much. Somehow they managed to fall short of even the low standards I had set. Rush meets nu metal-core. –Megan Pants (State of Grace)


COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION:
Discography: LP
I’ll begin this by saying that Left For Dead was one of the most important bands in my young life, and that Chris Colohan’s vocal style, lyrics, and overall approach in those early years left an indelible mark on me. For those who don’t know, CTO was one of Colohan’s many late ‘90s/early ‘00s bands, and while not sounding terribly unlike Left For Dead or The Swarm, CTO ramped up the Euro metal influence and brought a more chaotic vibe to the table. This record combines the band’s Brain Surgery for Beginners EP, the split with They Live, and demo tracks. Remastered, repackaged, and finally seeing the slick release it deserves, thanks to the always classy gentleman that is Dom at A389. Essential shit. –Dave Williams (A389, a389records.com)


COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION:
Discography: LP
Step back a little over ten years ago and marvel at how fast time moves and consider all the changes. Formed in 1998, this Canadian gang of thrashers (members of the Swarm One Blood, etc.) put out a demo, and two EPs (one a split with They Live) in the early part of this century. Their style was a mix of hardcore punk with some metallic elements (especially in the guitar riffs and some solos). A mix of Born Against, powerviolence and Y2K thrash, which was when these guys formed. The songs are fast, well executed, and the lyrics are sarcastic, but with a point, often critiquing the punk scene, as well as the insecurities and absurdity of society at large. The structure and riffs in “4 Alarm Fire...” is insane; a lot of near tech metal riffs, and there’s a crunching main riff that makes the song awesome. Comes on red vinyl and packaged in a gatefold cover with liner notes, as well as a separate lyric sheet. –Matt Average (A389, a398records.com)


COUNTERATTACK:
Fight Back: 7”” EP
DC skinhead music that’s not bad musically. The lyrics are relatively well written, even if it is more of the same old flag-waving, right-wing bullshit that goes in hand with the style. They talk about giving respect to the soldiers who died in combat because they didn’t know they were going to fight a rich man’s war and then slag draft dodgers. Huh? Had those who died known they were fighting for the benefit of the rich and decided not to go, they’d have been draft dodgers, and hence asshole cowards, right? So, with that line of thinking, the only way they could possibly earn any honor is by dying in complete ignorance for the sole benefit of the wealthy. Taking a look at the pictures of the band, they look no older than 14. Just think, in four years you’ll be old enough to join the Marines and become cannon fodder for the next war, waving that flag and taking them bullets, completely oblivious to the fact that, no matter what the “cause,” no matter who the enemy is, the rich are the only ones who will ever gain anything from your “sacrifice.” Jesus, your fathers must be proud. –Jimmy Alvarado (Reality Clash)


COUNTERATTACK:
Step Aside: CD
Stereotypical, uninspiring American oi stuff, meaning it pretty much blows. Included is their contribution to what is apparently becoming the mandatory post-9/11 pro-USA anthem genre, in this case a ditty called “Let’s Roll.” Thanks, but if I want mindless flag waving, I’ll turn on the evening news.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Reality Clash)


COUNTERATTACK:
State of Affairs: CD
This is a follow up to their 7”, previously released on Reality Clash Records. Straight from the nation’s capital, you get ten songs of slow to mid-paced oi that is comparable to tough Japanese and French oi bands, with a bit of the Templars mixed in as well. The topics of the songs are sometimes political, sometimes social. All the lyrics were pretty good and have meaning. This CD is not mind-blowing but it is good and we’ll see what these guys have to offer next. –Mike Beer –Guest Contributor (Reality Clash)


COUNTERATTACK:
Fight Back: 7" EP
DC skinhead music that’s not bad musically. The lyrics are relatively well written, even if it is more of the same old flag-waving, right-wing bullshit that goes in hand with the style. They talk about giving respect to the soldiers who died in combat because they didn’t know they were going to fight a rich man’s war and then slag draft dodgers. Huh? Had those who died known they were fighting for the benefit of the rich and decided not to go, they’d have been draft dodgers, and hence asshole cowards, right? So, with that line of thinking, the only way they could possibly earn any honor is by dying in complete ignorance for the sole benefit of the wealthy. Taking a look at the pictures of the band, they look no older than 14. Just think, in four years you’ll be old enough to join the Marines and become cannon fodder for the next war, waving that flag and taking them bullets, completely oblivious to the fact that, no matter what the “cause,” no matter who the enemy is, the rich are the only ones who will ever gain anything from your “sacrifice.” Jesus, your fathers must be proud. –Jimmy Alvarado (Reality Clash)


COUNTERCLOCK WISE, THE:
Wind ‘Em Up to Shut ‘Em Down: LP
With co-ed harmonies and lightning speed licks of the banjo, Counterclock Wise delivers a consistent record of folk punk and blues. The male vocals remind me of the Pine Hill Haints and transport me to a porch in the backwoods, while “Jo Jo Song” takes it down a notch with softer female lead vocals. The result of their harmonizing sounds like X but with a banjo. The chorus of “A Ghost of Future’s Past” is a great example of that. The female vocals become eerie ghost calls invoking a spooky element like a rural graveyard at midnight. Some of the best stuff I’ve heard this year. Recommended. –Kristen K (Arkam, myspace.com/arkamrecords)


COUNTERCLOCKWISE, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Lo-fi, down home creepiness in the best possible sense. It’s equal parts reckless Mummies slop, Hasil Adkins porch stomp, and something very bizarre that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’ll grow on you like some weird fungus, and then the next thing you know, you’ll be weaving down the sidewalk with half a jug of wine in your hands and these songs in your head. Embrace the madness. –Josh (Nation of Kids)


COUNTERFIT:
Super Amusement Machine for Your Exciting Heart: CD
If you like Jimmy Eat World, you’ll like this. I swear I won’t judge you. –Megan Pants (Negative Progression)


COUNTERFIT:
Super Amusement Machine for Your Exciting Heart: CD
If you like Jimmy Eat World, you’ll like this. I swear I won’t judge you.
–Megan Pants (Negative Progression)


COUNTERPUNCH:
Dying to Exonerate the World: CD
Modern pop punk processed, packaged, and ready for Warped Tour over-saturation. –Jimmy Alvarado (Go Kart)


COUNTING THE DAYS / HOLLYWOOD:
Split : 7”
It amuses me that many reviews for melodic hardcore use the term “fast” as a reason for calling an album good. If there’s one thing this split is, it’s fast. What does this entail? It kind of reminds me of Ruiner, and I hated that one 7” I heard by them. I guess if you buy music because it’s fast, this is for you? –Bryan Static (Burnbridges, www.burnbridges.net)


COUNTLESS SHADOWS/UNTIL THE FALL:
split: CD
Countless Shadows: A heavy metal band fronted by a guy who likes to scream a lot. My, how original. Until the Fall: A little better, but the fact that they are reminiscent of Excel ain’t exactly a plus.  –Jimmy Alvarado (High Fidelity)


COUNTRY DARK, THE:
Dead Man’s Handjob: CD
Highly adept Finnish perverts who sound like a sex-obsessed Cramps ((yes, more so than usual)) ninety percent of the time and make me recall the song “Homo Truck Driving Man” by the Pajama Slave Dancers the other ten ((with the notable exception of the first song, “Buttplug,” which, after much deep thinking, i realized sounded much like “Snobby Disdain” off my first solo record)). In additionally interesting matters, the Nick Knox/Mo Tucker drum style made me come to the conclusion that cymbals are the foreskins of rock’n’roll. You’re welcome. BEST SONG: “Don’t Wanna Come Too Soon.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Shemale?” “Truck Stop Whore?” “Cockteasin’ Chick?” There’s just so many from which to choose! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: All the naked ladies playing cards which comprise the brunt of the artwork here have panties Photoshopped in. Booo! –Rev. Norb (Big Money Recordings)


COUNTRY TEASERS:
The Empire Strikes Back: LP

Lots of things can be said about Teaser mastermind Ben Waller’s lyrics: they are meant simply to aggravate, he explores taboo ideas to make you think, he’s just drunk. “Points of view are very hard to understand….all human life must be destroyed.” I don’t think he is just trying to fuck with people, they could do that a lot easier and even rhyme. But yes, the Teasers are fucking with you, in order to move things forward. Exploring taboo ideas in music means you are talking more about culture than just “my parents suck.” So that’s an easy statement, too. Waller uses lots of non-PC words in his songs but if you see the cover of the album, an old political pulp-sized book about racism in England, you might think you are going to get a Zinn-Chomsky breakdown of language and politics (nothing wrong with that, by the way). But this is a Lenny Bruce vibe, using language that can sound funny on stage but you take meaning home. No, I think Wallers does what a songwriter does: sings about his world. He’s a thoughtful writer and that means he is not going to tell you how to fix the world or what his lyrics mean. And Lord, people hate it when you don’t tell them exactly what a song means. He sings about race, music, women, sex, war, drinking, government and even about his own music. He is observational. Not in a “I don’t hate others, I’m just proud” bullshit way. That’s for skins and collegians who analyze too much. Not even in a “I hate people” way. I think more of a “I hate people who don’t think” way. And singing about your world is the core of what country, blues, rap, and rock and roll should be about in the first place. On the music end, this is the Teaser’s slow to medium paced melancholy twang, super plucky, as opposed to the faster version of the band. For thirteen years now, the Teasers have keyed into a childlike fascination of simple sounds that work together, bump and thump and whirr, and process it into pure charm. It sweeps you up and carries you through the whole album. Waller’s voice has that old deadpan country-drinker, forced-singer whine that you can dive into. I do think he drinks a lot, though.

–Speedway Randy (In The Red)


COUNTRY TEASERS:
Full Moon Empty Sportsbag: CD
There does not exist one single bad Country Teasers track. Though he may be construed as a racist, sexist, homophobic, off-key hater, I construe primary Teaser Ben Wallers as one thing above all else: a genius, capable of high comedy and devastating sadness IN THE SAME SONG. Arrangements are often ramshackle, tumbling over themselves from lack of rehearsal (or concern for what’s “right”), lyrics often self-referential, puerile and/or plain silly, but who (you?) can deny the plain fucking inspiration of a line like “it’s very cold outside but you have a warm vagina/may I overnight leave my penis inside ya?” That’s the comedy. How about some sad: “Don’t cry for Crichton [a former Teaser], his suffering is over/cry for Dominique and his unfortunate mother/cry for Nicola, of whom he was her brother,” from “Deaths.” I mean, emosize all you want about kisses and the end of summer, but this is real shit about real dead friends. This is the real emo, the real DIY (see “Boycott the Studio”), the real essence of punk (despite lack of pretty much everything that hallmarks punk musically), the actual synthesis of all that’s right and all that’s wrong about the world onto a 25-cent piece of fucking plastic. Now “get off my fucking planet and take Alex Stuart with.” –Cuss Baxter (In The Red)


COUNTY LINE RD.:
The Birth of Hank Malloy: 7”EP
Years ago, Davey Quinn and I were driving around, and the topic came up that he wanted to write songs that could transcend genre: pop, punk, country, soul, and folk. Write, essentially the same song, but approach it from all different angles. If done correctly, the songwriting would survive the slightly different expectations of the genres. His thrust was going for something honest and purely distilled. Fast forward five or seven years, and Davey and J. Wang (both of Dan Padilla and Tiltwheel) pair up with Mario (Madison Bloodbath), and they chop out and spit polish four straight-up country songs about atheism, bad weather, and the American Dream crumbling at its foundation. There’s nothing slapdash, cheeky, or ironic about the songs. They’re all direct shots, the record’s dedicated to the birth of a good friend’s son, and it’s well worth picking up. –Todd Taylor (Fast Crowd)


COUP SAUVAGE AND THE SNIPS:
“Sneaks” b/w “(Don’t Touch My) Hair”: 7”
This is a wacky one, from the flawless highlighter-pink-and-yellow jacket to the music itself, an offbeat pairing of old-school Motown and soul with programmed beats and synth lines. At its core, this D.C. ensemble is rooted in the spirit of ‘60s girl groups, but between the garage-fuzzed guitars, the glittery disco flair, and the smart, confrontational lyrics, there are a few dozen layers of additional weirdness. This record is really tailor-made for a certain DIY demographic that you either recognize or you don’t: dance party punks. I’m not one of them, but if I were, Coup Sauvage And The Snips would be ruling my world right now. –Indiana Laub (Paroxysm)


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