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Razorcake #84

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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Boxing Clever: CD
Ska is what they are going to be labeled as, but this band is definitely presenting more to the listener. Ska, two-tone, punk, dub, metal, reggae, new wave and rock are all incorporated to keep the songs individual here. The finished product is an interesting melodic blend that keeps this listener intrigued. The vocalist is one strong tongue twister when he belts out his lyrics. The guitars are recorded superbly and can start off clean and turn at a moments notice into a fierce metal sound. I truly enjoyed this and hope others will too.
–Donofthedead (Moon Ska Europe)

Injustice: CD
Ahh, that’s more like it. I thought that, after the waste of time that was their last album (why release your back catalog and then release new recordings of the same songs hot on its heels?), these guys were just gonna be content to sit back and rehash all their oldies like so many old bands that’ve reformed, but no, here’s some brand new stuff, back to form and sportin’ some kick-ass shit to boot. Although the reworking of “Buried Alive” was a mistake, the tracks here pretty much stand up to their “classic” work and blaze along quite nicely, thank you. You like your hardcore mean, nasty, and with some semblance of a point? Look no further than this. Recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)

What: CD
I don't get it. They just released a discography no more than two years ago and it's still available. Now they release this, which consists of re-recorded 15 tracks, versions of all but two of them were on the other disc and one of those two is a Motorhead cover. They sound as swell as they ever did, but what's the point? They add nothing new to the songs. After the long silence at the end of the last track, we're treated to the whole thing all over again. Fuck, "Buried Alive" isn't even on this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)

Self-titled: 7" EP
Four songs you can already get on their latest Alternative Tentacles CD. I don't get it. –Jimmy Alvarado (Transparent)

Self-Titled: CDEP
Assembled as a supergroup of sorts, from bands I’ve never heard before. If it helps: The Homosexuals, Attica 9, Universal Order Of Armageddon, The Uniform, Double Dagger. All I can say is that this EP is great! Eight hardcore songs sending me back to when I first heard Dag Nasty and Born Against! The music is mostly straight forward hardcore with some cool break downs. The best part is the vocals. The only way to explain would be to have you picture (or hear) Dave Smalley as a girl, minus the melodies he sometimes busted into. It’s a refreshing change to the trend of girl singers in hardcore bands who need to scream and sound tough, or try and sound like Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile). There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of that, but when every other band I hear tries to have a certain sound, it’s so great to hear something as cool as this. And the lyrics friggin’ rule! Songs about self hatred and hating parties. Not taking themselves too serious, preachy or pretentious, but through sarcasm and humor, throwing out their message. This is a great EP. –Guest Contributor (Reptilian)

I Saw You Coming Closer So I Ran Inside the Door: Cassette
Disposable, cheaply recorded punk rock. It’s hard to even describe it any more than that. If I told you to just imagine a punk band, no adjectives involved, I’m sure your brain could come up with something pretty close to Fashion Foreskins in a number of seconds. The production of the release leaves a lot to be desired, in as much as I would have desired some production. Recorded live, it sounds like a one microphone affair with no editing involved. It starts off grating, but five monotone songs and one unlistenable poem later, you’ll want to chuck your boom box out the window. I’ll give the band credit, because at least they designed the cassette with garbage in mind. The liner notes give instructions to “listen, copy, destroy,” but I’d recommend skipping to step three. Grade: D+.  –Bryan Static (Self-released)

Over Before It Ever Began: 7” EP
Going off the cover (where everyone has typewriters for heads), the band name, the band photo (jackets, sunglasses, and buttons), and a theremin listed, I was thinking new wave. Nope. More in line with the Candy Snatchers than the Epoxies, it’s blades-out, beaten-by-clubs rock’n’roll fronted by a guy whose eyes I can easily imagine popping out of his skull from screaming so much all the time. The more I gave up on the new wave idea of the band, the more I liked ‘em on their own merits. –Todd Taylor (Floridas Dying)

4-Track Demos: CD
This is new wavish super-distorto janglish stargazin' sonic splendor that's all-at-once trippy, poppy, funky, sludgy, and feel-good giddy. In an unusually odd display of audial diversity, the succulently sweet songs contained herein are a magical mishmash of infinitely mind-reeling instrumentation ala Cheap Trick, Badfinger, Stereolab, Smashing Pumpkins, Devo, Spacemen 3, and even a bit of "Rubber Soul"-era Beatles. I especially enjoyed the invigorating spontaneity of the spastic tribal drumming, the sporadic eruptions of a synthesizer's ebullient emotings, and the intermittent effervescence of fuzz effects. The whiney bratty schoolboy vocals are strainfully similar to The Judys, Violent Femmes, and Dead Milkmen (annoying at times, but certainly unique and vividly impressive). All in all, this delightful lil' disc possesses a euphoric childlike innocent quality to it that's both endearing and uniquely divine... –Guest Contributor (Geff Grimes, Crystal Clear Sound)

Rock N Roll Trash: CD
This album has fourteen songs that clock in at less than thirty-two minutes. This reminds me a lot of The Stitches but with Guitar Hero-sounding solos. There’s a fun cover of The Damned’s “New Rose” on the CD. All the music is as straightforward as it gets. It’s just good, old-fashioned, assaulting punk rock here. –N.L. Dewart (Zodiac Killer)

RockNRoll Trash: CD
…meaning no disrespect to anybody up or down the food chain, but i’m kinda viewing the whole Poison Arrows/Cute Lepers fatal OD thing as kind of the Altamont for this kind of music ((and when i say “this kind of music,” i apparently mean some kind of post-Exploding Hearts punk/glam/rock & roll dealie-do where everyone has tight pants, studded belts, chain wallets, and creepers. And really nice guitars. Oh, and hair brushes, too)). I mean, the Poison Arrows played in Green Bay about a week before that whole deal went down, and, even then, you could tell that people were just sort of…i dunno, for want of a better word, smirking at the whole Renaissance Faire aspect of the whole deal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an inherently bad look—hell, i freely admit that if i could honestly pull off the whole “looking like a Bay City Roller as drawn by John Holmstrom” look, i’d probably do it, too—it just doesn’t seem like this is the way productive, vital cogs in the rock’n’roll bioorganism look right now, it seems, at this second, that it’s more like people being tethered to/frozen into whatever aesthetic template they decided was Boss and Gear after they heard “Guitar Romantic” or something ((and if OD-gate is this music’s Altamont, i’m thinking the Exploding Hearts tragic van crash is more like Elvis going into the Army than it is Buddy Holly’s plane going down, but these analogies are beginning to verge into the realm of the pointlessly insensitive so fuck it)). Anyway, enough high level shit. I neither hate nor wish to hate this record, but, for the cry-yi, could you POSSIBLY have thought of a more generic band name? And could you POSSIBLY have come up with a more generic album title?? I mean, i’d be depressed if i found out that “Fast Boys” and “RockNRoll Trash” were anything other than the result of some software program designed to scientifically and mathematically calculate the most generic possible results to the queries of “CREATE BAND NAME” and “GENERATE ALBUM TITLE.” Still, this record isn’t bad—it’s rehashed, generic and overplayed, but it still isn’t bad—and in between the mewling about “rock ‘n’ roll trash” and—i dunno, was it “Main Street” or “The Boulevard” or am i just assuming there’s a song that mentions “Main Street” or “The Boulevard” because it would be some kinda violation otherwise?—there are a few sorta memorable tunes ((“Wanderer” appears to mention a jukebox, “Grown Up Blues” is kinda good, and “Won’t Let Me Kiss Her” would be really good except that it’s sorta wrecked by some, frankly, awful backup vocals)) and the album does seem to pick up steam as it shambles along…but that plug is swiftly pulled when the band opts to include, for whatever reason, a humdrum cover of “New Rose” towards the end of side two. DUDES, WHAT THE FUCK??? You don’t cover a fuckin’ completely ubiquitous punk classic on your album! Ya put something like that on the b-side of a three-song 45! What’s your big idea for the next record, start side one off with “Blitzkrieg Bop???” I mean, JESUS! Couldn’t you even hit us up with “So Messed Up” or something??? You gotta do the HIT??? What fuckin’ RockSchool did YOU fail outta??? Well anyway…yeah. Pretty Boy, Nasty, Cocoa, Fitz and Mikey, i salute you: “RockNRoll Trash” is officially the first record of this genre’s post-Altamont era. Good luck with that. BEST SONG: “Won’t Let Me Kiss Her” minus the bad backing vocals. DUMBEST SONG TITLES: “Fast Boys DTK” “Rock N’ Roll Trash” “Late Nights” “Gettin’ Off” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Recorded at Crystal Rain in South Carolina by a mullett (sic) -headed jackass” –Rev. Norb (Zodiac Killer)

Self-titled: 7"
Sorta garage-y rockin’ pop punk that sounds a lot like the Gotohells or Heartdrops. Not my fave style, but this band does it as well as any other. –Mike Frame (Young Monster, yngmnstrrecords.blogspot.com)

Party of Three: CD
An album by a Spanish pop punk trio released by a Japanese label. What a global age we live in. The cover art successfully evokes a spirit of fun, graphically relying on hot rods, UFOs, witches, surfing, ‘60s girl groups, food, and zombies. Basically all the coolest shit. Musically, Fast Food maintains its excellence with sixteen tracks of above-the-bar, sweet, melodic punk. What sets them apart from most of the sweet, melodic punk you already listen to is that all the lyrics are in Spanish, somehow cranking up the fun factor of the music by at least 130 percent. The only words I could discern in the English language were “Spiderman” and the phrase “gabba gabba hey,” which was invoked in three different songs on Party of Three. The entire album is basically a loving Spanish re-envisioning of the Ramones and Screeching Weasel and Fast Food are not shy about acknowledging their obvious influences. Besides all the “gabba gabba heys,” they also do a note-for-note cover of Screeching Weasel in Spanish by the moniker of “Fantasia de Supermercado.” Upon further research, I found out that Fast Food had been around since the mid-’90s and the new record is the best tunes off their previous two records recorded with a suitable recording budget. In any case, mucho gusto Fast Food, you have made my summer a bit more bouncy and enjoyable. –Jake Shut (SP, sp-records.com)

Self-Titled: CD
Oh man, you gotta hear this song “Daddy Has a Mullet!” It’s about this girl, right—and she’s, she’s embarrassed to be seen in public with her father, ‘cause he’s got a mullet! A mullet! A mullet is like a really uncool haircut—and her dad’s got one! Aw, man, you get it? You don’t get it? Crap. I didn’t tell it right. This one’s on me. Let me start over. This girl’s dad, right? He’s got a really lame haircut. A mullet! And she has to like, you know, go places with him, and be seen with him—with his mullet! So she’s embarrassed and she wants him to cut it off! Man, that’s great. Brings a tear to my eye. Really great stuff. Hey, where ya goin’? I didn’t even explain the song “He’s a Heterosexual” to ya yet!!! Oh well... if George Lucas ever decides to fuck up the Hell Comes to Your House compilation LP, i’d be cool with him sticking any two of these songs on the second side—however, i think Fast Mattress must only be a twin size, as three is pretty much a crowd here. BEST SONG: “Hot Boyfriend” BEST SONG TITLE: “Inappropriate Itch” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Scott thanks the city of Cleveland, Budweiser™ beer, and all those who serve it to him ice cold and promptly. –Rev. Norb (no label)

Tall Coin: CD
Hit or miss pop with some interesting play between guitar and Farfisa and guitar, and some bouncy bashers, but also a couple bland duds and a mostly-bland lady voice singing to the duds and the bashers. –Dud Basher –Staff (Semiotic Idiot)

Self-titled: 4-song CDEP
Here’s to hoping they forge their own identity on future releases because this sounds like the skinny alley of exactly who they like and little else. This band features former members of Rivethead, OWTH, and Tiltwheel. (Past members of OWTH and Tiltwheel could fill a parking lot at this point. No weight on that, just an observation.) Total conjecture on the band formation: “Hey, I love the Riverdales, Screeching Weasel, and The Copyrights!” “So do I!” “Me, too!” “And some Teenage Bottlerocket!” Unfortunately, they put nothing new on the table and all the other bands’ records are readily and abundantly available. –Todd Taylor (Self-released, fasterhousecat.bandcamp.com)

Guardo Avanti: CD
Well, hell’s bells, my ears have done melted and slid right down the sides of my face! Los Fastidios frenetically crank out a skull-hammering wallop of anti-fascist skinhead street punk that’s all-at-once confrontational, politically charged, and energetically raging. The vocals are gruffly spit forth in a slurred and emotional barrage of European dialect (Italian, I think… or maybe French. Damn, I dunno, I only speak Texan!). The brutal in-your-face instrumentation is roaring and wrathful, yet catchy and upbeat as all get-up. The lyrics (printed in three different languages) are a fervent, open call-to-arms for punk unity, spirited beer-fuelled good times with friends (hey, I can certainly relate to that!), animal liberation, and aggressively rousing revolt in the streets. There’s also a couple of robustly outspoken rants against half-wit racist knuckleheads, the US government’s greed-fed capitalistic policy, and the authoritarian abuse of power by corrupt cops everywhere. All in all, this is one heck of an oi-inspired punkrock release, and it should definitely be loudly blasted throughout the vast, cluttered expanses of America’s sprawling suburban wasteland. Fuck authority, hell yeh! –Roger Moser Jr. (KOB and Mad Butcher)

Rebels ’n’ Revels: CD
Italian street punk/ska stuff that is better than most, and I like the “radical” slant of the lyrics, but ultimately this really doesn’t do much for me. Funny, I seem to remember them being a wee bit more memorable. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mad Butcher)

Ora Basta: CDEP
Italian street punk that was so nondescript that I couldn't muster the motivation to pop the disc outta the stereo and into the computer to marvel at the accompanying videos. –Jimmy Alvarado (KOB)

Ora Basta: CDEP
The only thing that sets this apart from any other non-spectacular street punk band is that they're Italian. Not enough for me. –Megan Pants (Mad Butcher)

Siempre Contra: CD
Italian skinheads playing punk with an occasional ska tune thrown in for good measure. Subjects addressed include resistance, revolution, animal rights, and such. While I can’t say this knocked my socks off, they were catchy enough and the songs weren’t about drinking and beating people up, and for that alone they get deserve nothing less than tons of respect. If it sounds like your bag, it’s recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (KOB)

Ora Basta: CDEP
Italian street punk that was so nondescript that I couldn’t muster the motivation to pop the disc outta the stereo and into the computer to marvel at the accompanying videos. –Jimmy Alvarado (KOB)

Ten Years Tattooed on my Heart: CD
Italian skinhead music that is pretty good musically, but would someone please translate “Italians shouting ‘oi!’ sound just as stupid as Americans shouting ‘oi!’” for them? Thanks a heap. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mad Butcher)

New Start: CD
Another UK entry of melodicore for the Warped Tour set. If you put New Found Glory, Good Charlotte, or Simple Plan in your top-ten all-time list, this bubblegum will stick to the bottom of your shoe like no other. –Donofthedead (Sucka Punch)

Hold Your Breath: CD
Emo-saturated hardcore. I nearly made it trough the fourth song before the wretchedness of the music caused me to begin vomiting uncontrollably. –Jimmy Alvarado (Aggravated Music)

We Have Come For Your Mothers: CD
So I’m sitting here wading through some bottom-of-the-barrel reject discs I’ve been putting off reviewing for this issue and I come upon this buried in the crap I’ve scooped up. Depressed and more than a little punchy, thanks to the long line of affected college boys who have vented their politically correct rage into my ear over the course of the previous fifteen releases I’ve listened to today, I look at the cover, grunt, place the disc in the stereo and hit “play,” bracing myself for the pop punk onslaught that will no doubt come belching forth from my speakers. Much to my surprise, what came from said speakers if some prime-rate punk rock that sent my depression scampering for the hills. “Man, I needed this,” I say to myself as I crank it up to eleven. Fuck comparisons, this is just one of them discs that just rocks and nothing more need be said about it. A glance at the “thank you” notes on the inside reveals a Razorcake mention and I think how symbiotic that is – we Razorcakers only dig the finest in music and, in turn, are thanked by only the finest of bands. –Jimmy Alvarado (Diaphragm)

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