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· 1:Razorcake #79 Now Available
· 2:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79
· 3:#308 with Kurt Morris
· 4:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79
· 5:Zine Party 2014

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Razorcake #79
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Spokenest: We Move 12"EP

Record Reviews

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Nothing Always: 7"

The Feelers are like going to a really good show, a strong bill. The first bands are pretty darn good. Good enough to sway along to, not mock, and it’s a pleasant, if not mind-blowing, evening. The bands are as good, or better, than the drinks you’re drinking. Then The Feelers come on, and it’s like someone tripped a booby trap. The chaos is precise, it’s directed right at the audience—all from above, out of nowhere, in an ambush—and all the songs are filled with lethal intent, delivered with certainty of muscle. Even if this 7”s is less vicious than the previous one on Contaminated, holy hell, if it’s not as great and still going directly for all the softest parts of the listeners’ bodies. I’m pleased as punch to find strains of hardcore and non-fancy garage snaking around the same stick again, biting from both sides. Supercharger and The Fix fans, hold hands against the enemy of complacency!

–Todd Taylor (Bachelor)

Nothing Always: 7"
This band continues to deliver: KBD, tight guitars, strained singing to the point of inventing new melodies, immediate fun. Easily one of the more exciting bands today, as they are just fun, but have a feeling of danger in their sound. Will make girls jump up and down and guys break windows. Anyone out there making a running zombies movie? The Feelers are your soundtrack. –Speedway Randy (Bachelor)

Fuhrer’s New Miniskirt b/w Special/Next Boy: 7”
Great, raw 1980-style lo-fi punk that makes me think of the Zero Boys, but that’s probably because the Feelers are from Ohio, and I haven’t heard the Zero Boys in a really long time. –Cuss Baxter (Death by Noise)

Split: 7”
Rad split featuring two bands that have generated quite a bit of a buzz in a very short amount of time. The Feelers have me kicking myself for not picking up their earlier 7”. Fast, hard-hitting, guitar-driven punk that sounds like a lost early-‘80s Midwest hardcore band. More evidence that Ohio is an often-overlooked hotbed of rock and roll. Folks who dig the first Baseball Furies album will find much to like here. Vocally, the Blank Its remind me of the guy from Servotron singing underwater. Musically, they play really twisted lo-fi stuff that’s not exactly easy to categorize but would fit in between your A Frames and Spits records. Addictive hooks, too. Pick up a copy quick because these might not be around too long. –Josh (Contaminated)

Ensom Blandt Mennesker: 7"
Eight tracks of ripping Danish hardcore. They keep ‘em coming at ye short, fast, and unrelenting. –Jimmy Alvarado –Jimmy Alvarado (Spaghetti Cassetti, spaghetticassetti.dk)

Where’s the Wire: 10”
Folk punk with a political bent. Fans of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb and the Plan-It-X crowd will wanna be all over this. Earnest lyrics, solid playing, and heartfelt spirit here, but the tunes don’t really grab me. All you bike punks are gonna love it though. –Mike Frame (Make Or Break)

The Buried Life: CD
Starts off kind of folk-punk but gets more rockin’ as things move along. It’s almost like emo went out and met up with folk-punk and the two have a stellar evening at a low-brow microbrewery swapping stories loaded with ironic humor. Me like more with every listen. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Dead Broke)

Stable Life: LP
There is nothing I can really say negatively about this record other than the fact that I didn’t like it. Every song was screamed with passion and the band was tight, but like a bunch of the other Latterman-style of pop punk bands, I find myself bored quickly. Kind of like how everyone else in the world loves Doctor Who, but I’m too lazy to get into it. –Bryan Static (Answer Key, answerkeyrecords.com)

Split: 7”
It’s kinda funny: I’ve had releases by both of these bands for a long time, but never really listened to either of them. A while back, there was a mishap with an order I did with Dead Broke. When I received my actual order, I got a free Fellow Project CD for the trouble. I never listened to it, thinking that it was something that they just had lying around (I guess that’s just how my mind works). Jonesin did a split with Shang-A-Lang. I listened to the Jonesin side when I got it, noting that it was ex-Down In The Dumps. I recall thinking that it was okay, but much preferring the SAL side—no offense, but they do an awesome fucking Lou Reed song on their side. So this is kind of the first time that I’ve really listened to either band. Fellow Project offer up some poppy, punky post hardcore. Jonesin lay down two tunes in the Tiltwheel via Crimpshrine vein of gruff-voiced dude punk. –Vincent Battilana (Kiss Of Death)

Modern Mexico: CD
Before you roll your eyes when I tell you this is a two-man band, lemme just point out that they veer less towards White Stripes-land and more toward the semi-acoustic skiffle-punk of bands like Brent’s TV. The songs are strong and hooky, well executed, and a fun listen, which I’ll admit was a bit of a surprise for me, too. –Jimmy Alvarado (thefemurs@hotmail.com)

Totally OK: CD
Hailing from the hometown of Jack Kerouac, Fenwick are a three-piece punk rock band. They don’t do anything fancy, preferring to keep it simple and straight forward. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that, largely because of the singer’s lack of range, every song tends to sound exactly the same. If it was a single, I’d probably say it’s a pretty good, Muffs-style, aggressive melodic punk. As an eleven song full-length, it’s repetitive and boring. –brian (My Little Rock Star, www.mylittlerockstar.com)

Self-titled: Cassette
I like the cut of your jib here, fellas. Awesomely frantic hardcore ala old thrashmeisters like DS-13 or Sugar Pie Koko mad-libbed through seminal ‘80s L.A. punk ala the Adolescents. Solid, grouchy punk that’s gleefully malevolent and snarling in all the right spots—the sonic equivalent to throwing a pair of meerkats in a bathroom and closing the door. Five quick tunes, nice packaging, and I bet they can flatten a goddamn room live. I would love to see this band play someday, and I look forward to hearing whatever they decide to release next. Worth seeking out. –Keith Rosson (Feral Babies, noreprieverecords@gmail.com)

Self-titled: Cassette
There’s some serious Los Angeles punk/hardcore worship on these five tracks and it’s not just the Weirdos cover. Tapping into the influence of West Coast masterpieces such as the Yes L.A. compilation and the Middle Class’ Out of Vogue EP, Feral Babies are indeed a godsend and the answer to the question: “Why aren’t there any more bands as intense as Street Trash anymore?” Perfection. Go find this! –Juan Espinosa (Self-released)

Violent Boredom: EP
Pretty good debut EP from this Florida outfit. They play straight-up hardcore punk that has more in common with the past than the present, but doesn’t sound like anyone in particular, which is a rare thing anymore. The only comparison I can make is that the vocalist, Justin Arnold, sometimes sounds like Sam MacPheeters. But that’s it. These guys are their own entity. A little bit fast, a little bit slow. They definitely have more than one color in their pallet. The bass has a beefy sound and you can always hear it snaking around in the music. A crunching guitar is loud in the mix. The drums bring the urgency. I can see songs like “Teenage Extinction” and “Bad Times” going over well at live shows. “Bad Times,” because of the simple and to-the-point lyrics, and “Teenage Extinction,” because of the ending with “All the teenagers are terminal” being repeated over and over. –Matt Average (Rigid)

Split: 7"
Feral Babies: Their mix of (totally non-obnoxious) rock and hardcore influences makes for some spirited pun rockin’ sans both all the wankery bullshit and macho chest pounding. There’s nods to punkers past buried in there, but none so obvious that yer goin’, “Oh, that’s who they’re aping.” Chemical Ache: More of the same, with maybe a bit more early ‘80s Southern California beach punk in the DNA. Nice work all ‘round. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kiss Of Death)

Come Out Swinging: 12” EP
Sounds like some lost artifact from the early ‘90s, a bit like Babes In Toyland. The playing is raw, and there’s a lot of attitude in the vocal delivery as well as the overall execution of the songs. I would imagine their live shows have more energy than the recorded material. This isn’t bad, but it doesn’t really grab ahold of your attention either. “Fughandi” sounds like two songs smashed together, with only one that should have been fleshed out more, and the other allowed to die in the rehearsal room. The ending of the song, where they sing: “You take and take and take...” is good, and I thought it was a new song. The part before that was meh. This record would have been more effective as a single. –Matt Average (Western Medical, westernmeds.com)

Dead Eyes: 7”

Canada is the place to be, it would seem, or at least it is if you like good music. So much of what I like these days seems to come from north of the U.S.A. border and Feral Trash is no exception. With a no-nonsense and edgy mid-tempo approach, this trio provides four bundles of warm fuzzy goodness, all of which give me the impression of a band midway between Low Culture and Royal Headache.

–Rich Cocksedge (Dirt Cult, dirtcultrecords@gmail.com, dirtcultrecords.com)

Desplazados: CD
This band, which I believe is from Colombia, exhibits more of an ‘82 sound in punk. They play a very garagey, raw punk sound with elements of speed in the music. The female led vocals are raunchy with a throat-screeching delivery. The production is thin, probably due to economics, but does not downplay the total package. They play tight and seem to be using all their might to make this a good recording. The band reminds me of early Colera meets Ratos de Parao from Brazil. You can feel the angry energy and conviction in the songs that they play. –Donofthedead (Fertil Miseria)

Psi Vatikanu: LP
Just when I thought crust was on the outs, along comes this record to change my narrow way of thinking. Holy fuggin’ Kuhryst! This record is a crusher from start to end. It’s heavily influenced by Swedish bands like Skitsystem, Wolfpack, and Victims, but with added intensity: massive wall of guitar, low end forever, pummeling percussion, and throaty, raspy vocals. They have a way of building the songs, creating a tension—then when it all comes together—there’s this underlying groove that pulls you in and carries you along for the duration. There’s a definite urgency in the playing that really makes this stuff work and not sound tired or like a band going through the motions. You can hear it in the way the guitars are bashed and the drums are smashed—as fast as they are rhythmic. Fast without being thrash, just give “Osada Nezivych” a spin, for example. I love how the bass has a tough-as-nails sound, thick with some distortion. The transition between “Driv Nebo Pozdeji” to “Kde Clovek Dodychal” is fantastic and keeps the energy constant. Great, great, great record! –Matt Average ((Insane Society, insanesociety.net)

Protostar: CD
I can’t start this review without mentioning the amazing packaging that accompanied this CD. I’m not even going to describe it all but let’s just say it involved a handwritten note on tissue paper addressed directly to Razorcake and put in an envelope that I could have mistaken for coming from the 1700s. That’s not to mention that great black, cardboard case with a monogram of the band name on it and the booklet with a series of drawing of each of the planets in the solar system on tissue paper. It’s all really amazing and makes for a good impression. Unfortunately, that impression disappears as soon as the CD starts to play. The music is average emo-indie rock fare with vocals (a bit too high pitched perhaps?) that don’t seem to fit in with the music. It’s nothing that I haven’t heard a million times before. It sucks because the packaging was really amazing. Well, as the late Kurt Vonnegut would say, “So it goes.” –Kurt Morris (feudejoie.notrock.com)

Square Go?: CD-R
The Feuds are a Scottish punk/rock band a la The Black Keys or the Ramones. Each member even takes the last name Feud. And, like the Ramones, it’s catchy and a pleasant enough listen, but, unlike the Ramones, it didn’t cause me to want to sing any of their songs at karaoke. (I always dedicate “The KKK Took My Baby Away” to Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey.) –Kurt Morris (myspace.com/thefeudsvstheworld)

The Lonely Sailor Sessions: 12” EP
I don’t know if formats get any better than this: 12” that plays at 45 RPM with the same program on both sides. I also don’t know if I’ve heard anything this good recently. Imagine The Nerves coming out fifteen years later and recording in a bedroom after having listened to Teenage Fanclub and early Ramones. Supplement that with a soft-voiced rocker who exudes a striking amount of self confidence in his concerned-yet-suave delivery. Note the subtle hint of Big Star. Now be amazed by the results: fuzzed-out power pop run through an indie rock filter that has an appreciation for punk. (From what I found on the internet, this is one of the guys from The Fevers, whom I checked out after hearing this; they are good but not nearly as good as this. I do believe that I also read that Fever B actually recorded this a while back.) This one is limited to 500 (at least numbered out of 500) and comes in a screen-printed jacket with hand-stamped labels. Don’t wait. I really don’t know how this got outta HQ and into my hands. I can’t recommend this enough. –Vincent Battilana (Burger)

Bloodless: CDEP
Well, here’s an interesting bit of noise. The title track is a catchy, almost dancey bit of modern artpunk, but from that point on, things get a bit more abrasive with odd tempos, guitars that are simultaneously angular and punky, and vocals delivered with a cadence that almost sounds like Eve Libertine trying to rap. Five tunes here, all of which are worth a spin, though I’m very intrigued as to whether a full-length from them would go off into even odder, even more interesting territory. –Jimmy Alvarado (cherryademusic.co.uk)

Love Always Wins: CD
Signs that this record is not entirely On Its Shit are apparent from the get-go: Side One, Track One ("Dance") is a song about slow dancing, but it is not a number that can be slow danced to—which places it, of necessity, into the role of a sound-the-call-and-rally-the-troops-it's-dancin'-time type album kicker-offer, which is foolish, because a song about wanting to slow dance implies that the main character, who represents both the singer and the listener, wishes to stop fast dancing at his earliest convenience, so he can slow dance: As a fast dance number with a built-in deathwish, the song essentially neutralizes itself, and makes as little sense as starting L.A.M.F. off with “Going Steady” would have. The second song would have been an okay second song if the first song was really great, but, as the first song was not really great, as first songs should be, the second song is forced into a role of delayed de facto first song, which it does not succeed at. The third song, "Don't Tell Me It's Wrong," is a great third song, but third songs on albums like these are always a twinge more downbeat and wistful than the two which precede it, so now we've got an album that, for all practical purposes, skips the first two songs and comes in on the slightly more melancholy third song. Okay, fine. Song four, "Bound to Cry," is an excellent fourth song; an uptempo potboiler if you will, but it is followed by the 6/8-time ballad "Lonesome Tears," which, at Side One, Track Five, is in the exact right spot for a 6/8-time ballad (if you believe in that sort of thing), yet it also unfortunately kills the late-developing momentum developed by the third and fourth songs. Side One ends with a cover of the Flamin' Groovies' "Let Me Rock" with new lyrics added by Fever B on accounta the original ones are unanimously unintelligible. I am neutral on this song because no one yells "oh, skooby-doo-oo!" at the end. The historically important Side Two, Track One spot (important because the first songs on each side of a vinyl record are the two most likely to be played by beleaguered DJs since they require much less time to cue up than other tracks) goes to the title track. I am kinda unimpressed with it. It sounds like one o' those songs where the inconvenience of it being not-so-hot of a song blinds people to the fact that, it is, in fact, not-so-hot of a song. The record's fate is sealed: This is... But the Little Girls Understand to their first album's Get the Knack. Sandwiched between an okay Side Two, Track Two and a completely blah Side Two, Track Six, however, is the album's secret fizzy center: Three tracks of perfect bubblegum—a cover of the 1910 Fruitgum Company's "Get Your Luvin," the "are-you-sure-Lancelot-Link-and-the-Evolution-Revolution-never-did-this" bittersweet kindergarten genius of "Photobooth," and "My Iy Iy," a song of such amazing gummi-perfection that i swore it was on some Buddah Records thing that i couldn't find until i contacted the band and found out that they wrote it in like 1997 or something (he calls her at one; she’s out having fun. He calls her at eight; she’s out on a date. How the guy managed to make it through the entire song without saying I call you at six, you’re out sucking dicks is beyond me). By my count, the band goes about 5 or 6 for 12 here—disappointing but not devastatingly so. Dammit, entropy is what always actually wins. Ask around. BEST SONG: "My Iy Iy" BEST SONG TITLE: "My Iy Iy" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The "WHAT? WHALE" pseudo-record-label-insignia on the cover is a parody of White Whale Records, best known for being the Turtles’ label. –Rev. Norb (Screaming Apple)

Don’t Tell Me it’s Wrong b/w He’s in Town: 7"
Rockin’ poppy rock/punk fusion. Side A rocks the way a Phil Spector song might, and side B is a slower song of the same. The cool little insert is a sheet of perforated labels made especially for juke box selection menus. Gotta admit... even though I don’t own a juke box, that’s a pretty clever and unique insert all the same! –Mr. Z (Get Hip)

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