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Record Reviews

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You Can’t Polish a Turd: Demo: CD
These eight songs were recorded on a four track. That’s just fine, ‘cause this is a demo. The songs are between hardcore and crust. Full on fast and ragging. No pretty melodies here. Reminds me of something from the early to mid ‘90s. Boy, these guys are pissed, too! Their lyrics are very hateful of the rich and what they do to the rest of society – not just to the people, but to the environment as well. I definitely liked this demo. Not only for the music but also for the lyrics. So just email these guys and I’m sure for a few $ you could get this fine demo CD. A definite winner in my book. –Mike Beer –Guest Contributor (FFWP)

Read Between the Lines: 7” EP
This is at least the third band I’ve heard going by this name, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when one takes into consideration that they lay down some serious hardcore here—flailing drumsticks, buzzsaw guitars, and a singer with an apparent fascination with stabbing those who piss him off. It’ll be interesting to see how the other Fed Ups of the world (if they still exist) manage to up the ante, ‘cause these kids have set the bar pretty high here. –Jimmy Alvarado (World Won’t Listen)

Discography 2004–2009: Cassette
The lyric-less insert that accompanies this cassette claims that this is “tooth chippin’ fastcore.” I’d be hard up to find a good argument against this being fastcore; however, I walked away from this tape with all teeth intact—well, no different than when I pressed play. The guitarist knows a few chords. The drummer knows one beat: the fast one. The bassist probably stares at his or her bass. And the vocalist screeches out the lyrics like he is being poked with a stick. Add that up to get an all right-sounding band…kind of. The first side is made up of two demos, a live set, and two comp tracks; it is pretty unlistenable due to poor quality recording. The back side is a bit better with only three demo tracks, the quality of which I can’t totally recall. This side also has two EPs and a split, which constitute the best material on the cassette. The sequence is chronological, and the band seems to have gotten better as time passed. If you are the type that likes to have all recordings by a band that did some pretty okay stuff and you missed out on the earlier releases, then I recommend the tape; otherwise, I would try to seek out their 7” with the Altered States rip off cover. –Vincent Battilana (Intellect, intcollective.com)

Sheer Poetry: LP
Weak ass bro hardcore played by knuckle-dragging imbeciles whose IQs are consistent with the number of their collective toes and fingers. If this steaming turd is “poetry” then the JerseyShore is Broadway theatre. I didn’t even bother listening to side B. No one should. –Juan Espinosa (Welfare, welfarerecords.net)

Live at WFMU: 7”
New York hardcore band playing live on the radio. Pretty much unlistenable and boring. –Ty Stranglehold (Welfare)

Such is Life: CD
Decent enough punk here that kinda reminds me of some of the early L.A./O.C. punk stuff. Although the vocals—a little too monotone and lacking oomph—and the recording quality—ditto—don’t really do it for me, the songs themselves, especially “Angry Fuck,” were strong enough to get me to listen to this more than once, and they get stronger as the CD progresses. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.thefed-ups.com)

Rally Day: CD
Gritty rock with enough Sabbath-inspired sludginess smooshed in to give it a stoner sheen. Not bad. –Jimmy Alvarado (Estrus)

X Patriot: CD
Bradley Williams sings the praises of Fed-X, so I checked them out. They’re a three-piece from Washington, but that’s where it starts getting weird. The three pieces are drums and two guitars, both with four strings and played through bass amps. The result? A dirty sound that hooked me. It has a southern feel, even though they’re about as far from the south as you can get in the States. I missed them their last time through LA. I won’t make that mistake again. Oh yeah, Steve Albini recorded the album for those of you who care. –Megan Pants (Estrus)

American Folk Horror: CD
If you go with the abbreviated title of their name it becomes Fed X, which brings to mind FedEx (Federal Express) the Memphis-based global delivery service whose plane caused Tom Hanks to be stranded on an island. That movie was perfect for the fans of Survivor. Came out just at the right time. A sort-of supplemental point of reference for the identification of crap TV. Tom Hanks is no Tenacious D. And Tenacious D is nothing like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Speaking of which whatever happened to Conan? This is an important issue that should be reviewed in length at a later time. Back to the matter at hand—the new Fed X CD. This one is for the Graveyard Soup lover in us all. –Brad (Estrus)

The Only Fool Is You: 7”
This totally kick ass single is a great introduction to Federation X. I checked out some of Federation X’s other releases as a result and it’s unquestionably an overlooked band. Federation X originated in the Pacific Northwest, but has more in common musically with minimalist 1990s Chicago punk like Shellac. The two tracks featured here are both incredible. Can I join the federation? –Art Ettinger (Recess)

Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss: CD
Anger can be an amazing source for inspiration. This is classic, long hard-to-find, caustic, dark shit that would do you well to pick up. Spearheaded by the acid-spitting Frank Discussion, The Feederz never took any sides – left or right, right or wrong – except their own. Yet they were super-intelligent and graphically smart about pulling off this musical coup. You’d think that something so nihilistic would immediately implode on itself. Luckily, they recorded a couple albums before that happened (although they’re playing out again). The songs themselves are fantastic and it’s almost impossible to trace how many bands have shamelessly borrowed from The Feederz without giving credit where credit’s due – from the outright intelligent antagonism (rarely duplicated), the guitar strangulation, the absolutely amazing drumming that sets a definite mood and pace, the ability to play a slower song that’s completely frenetic and dizzy, how to make truly moving protest-against-everything music, and the flow of the entire album itself. The Feederz were many things, but they had several recurring themes: anti-capitalism, anti-advertising, anti-submission, and anti-religion. Indispensable jewels are songs like “1984,” which rails against working so someone else can make a buck off of you. (“You go to school for twelve years where you learn just one thing/ How not to mind being bossed.”) In every fold of the CD jacket, Frank suggests you steal this album, to use their artwork, to tape the songs at home. Juxtaposing the CD cover subvertisement of an attractive, busty bandita is the talk bubble, “Vandalism, beautiful as a rock in a cop’s face.” Leaving no big stone unturned and walking away from no fights, they go right for the robe. In “Jesus,” re-named from the original LP’s “Entering from the Rear” – leaves little room for interpretation. (“Jesus entering from the rear/ Fucking you in the ass/ Just another faggot/ In just another mass.”) I’ve always found it more than a little weird that The Feederz didn’t get as popular as, say, Dead Kennedys. Perhaps it’s because they fought with their gloves off and they constantly attacked for exposed, hypocritical throats. Perhaps it was because this album was fucking tough to find for years. The original LP version of Ever Feel… (“Pay no more than $0.00 for this record”) had sandpaper on both sides of the jacket, designed to scuff the records next to it, as a fuck you to record collectors (which backfired, because it’s worth a lot of dough.) All said and done, this is an extremely welcome re-issue that I’ll be playing incessantly. The irony that this is quite possibly more timely than when it was first released doesn’t escape me either. –Todd Taylor (Broken)

Teachers in Space: CD
With a picture of the space shuttle Challenger blowing up, the title doesn’t sound as nicey nice. While not as tickling my punk fancy as their first record, there are more harmonies, less thud, and opens with a Crass-y spoken word over tortured instruments song that isn’t as essential. In other words, a bit more arty, but upon repeated listens, it’s growing on me. It makes me realize how truly funny, diverse, and inventive The Feederz could be away from hardcore. The song titled “Intermission (Time for a Snack)” is just that. Mellow vibes and a ticking clock for a minute and five seconds. Half of “Taking the Night” sounds like a musical. A really good musical that I’d like. About rioting. So, if you see both this and Ever Feel…, get the other, but if you have a choice between this and, say, an emo record, this’ll do your head good. As an added bonus, this also has a long live show video on it (which can’t be played on record players). –Todd Taylor (Broken)

FEEDERZ: Vandalism:
Beautiful as a Rock in a Cop’s Face: CD
The Feederz were a legendary eighties hardcore band. Lead singer Frank Discussion reformed this incarnation of the band, and we’re all better for it. They have a very confrontational approach to punk rock (as you can see in the interview with them, conveniently placed within the pages of this issue of Razorcake), and it’s easy to simply be offended by them. The trick is to go beyond that, to confront the issues that their lyrics force you to confront. This whole approach is what gives the Feederz their edge. But it would be a shame to discount them as just a message put to music. The music itself is solid. It’s hard for me to avoid comparing them to the Dead Kennedys, and not just because Frank Discussion ran off with Jello Biafra’s wife. Because Discussion also ran off with a handful of EastBay Ray-style riffs while he was at it. Apparently, he pocketed some DH Peligro drum sections, too, and put those beats on loan to Feederz’s drummer, Ben Wah. And, from there, they built their own disjointed sound that simultaneously irritates you and makes you enjoy the irritation. If you’ve never heard the Feederz, I recommend starting with Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss. After that, you’ll just follow the natural progression to pick up this album. If you’re thinking, c’mon, there’s no way the Feederz could be as edgy and relevant as they once were, pick up this album and prove yourself wrong. –Sean Carswell (Broken Rekids)

Self-titled: Cassette
Knuckle-dragging “I’m going to punch you in the face” caveman hardcore. It’s slow, plodding, and contemplative at points. As if the band is trying to find the exact right moment to punch you in the face. The reading of violence in the music isn’t imaginary. The band puts it right in front of your face during the first track, “Fight Them All,” but not before you notice that the front cover of the tape is a man holding a shiv of some sort. The vocals are similar to something like Sick Of It All: deep and loud. Screams from the bottom of the throat that sound like the angriest, largest man has found something so upsetting that he is now angrier and larger than he’s ever been before. Decent, all in all. Grade: B-.  –Bryan Static (Self-released)

Learn to Hate the Feelers: CD
Well, I can’t say that I hate them, but I was definitely disappointed with this full-length. The split with the Blank Its was fantastic and I was really stoked to get this, but I have a feeling that there was a lot of weed involved in the writing process. The two songs on the seven-inch were driving, fast punk rock songs, and the songs on here are more like Devo. I like Devo, but I was expecting something on the level of the Baseball Furies or Sweet JAP, so it kind of threw me for a loop. The reverb on the vocals was pretty annoying, too. Why do bands keep doing that? For the most part, the guy sings kind of like Jay Reatard, with the occasional moment where it sounded like David Yow of The Jesus Lizard. It’s growing on me but not at all what I expected. –Josh (Dead Beat)

Self-titled: 7”
The Feelers answer the question of, “What happens when a garage punk band is shredded against Negative Approach’s cheese grater, but the Oblivians’ desperate, rickety shack is still jumping in the background?” It’s a broken arm that you can snap your fingers along to. It’s like a chainsaw with a blade that’s teethed with sweet, sweet gumdrops or jackhammers lubricated, not with oil, but maple syrup. The result it fully interlocking parts between two things that aren’t necessarily supposed to go together, and that makes it all the more memorable. Improves on repeated listens, and is much better than the Willy Wonka-ness of the comparisons in this review. Great, fun punk rock. Remember that? Recorded by Alicja Trout (issue #29s cover lady), and she captures them in full stride, fully fanged, broadly smiling. Excellent. –Todd Taylor (Contaminated)

Children Are Kids Too: 7"
After the “Nothing Always” 45 this is the fifth single from The Feelers by my count, not including the split with the Blank Its and the single on the Killed By Trash comp. They may be reaching the Tyrades territory, a killer collection of 45s and only one full-length. Nothing wrong with that, upping the fetish scale a la The Rip-Offs. This one is for the “2007 European Tour” and continues their KBD sound, but they are as consistently good and fresh as anyone else you wanna name today. Some of their best stuff here. Not to mention, P. Trash is on a roll lately with some sparkling 45s. –Speedway Randy (P. Trash)

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)

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