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Razorcake #79
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Spokenest: We Move 12"EP

Record Reviews

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“Prison Walls” b/w “Lies”: 7"
Dunno how they’re managing to pull it off exactly, but Last Laugh is on a tear, releasing über-rare punk 45s from the days of yore, and this one is no exception. Originally released in 1980, this gem by San Diego punkers The Injections has apparently fetched a pretty penny on the collector circuit. “Prison Walls” fancies itself a primitive anthem of empowerment and nearly succeeds as such. The flip is a quieter, moodier piece punctuated with occasionally louder outbursts. If you’re interested in this solely for the music, you’ll be pleased as punch with a copy of this. If you’re one of them collector snobs, you’d be a total ninny to pay oodles of dough for an original pressing when copies of this are so readily available. –Jimmy Alvarado (Last Laugh)

Self-titled: Cassette
Quick little four-songer. Spray painted tape face, xeroxed cover, and about five minutes of well done, frantic ‘80s-era hardcore. It all sounds pretty authentic, so if you’re a fan of Gloom or 625 stuff, keep your eyes out for these dudes. –Keith Rosson (Injustice System)

Split: 7"
This is a great self-released split from a couple of really good hardcore bands. Injustice System from Tampa is up first. Relentless and to the point. Their lyrics are somewhat easy to make out. I like to know what bands are angry about. They are my favorite here. New Jersey’s Bloodtype are pretty damn good, too. Faster and a little bit screechier, I liked it but could see myself losing interest after awhile. Fortunately they come in, blast their message out, and are done before you can screw your head back on. I love the home screened covers too. I’m a sucker for screen printed stuff! –Ty Stranglehold (myspace.com/injusticesystemhc, myspace.com/bloodtypexxx)

Self-titled: 7”
Caseracer play gruff-vocal, beard punk. I’m sure they really care about what they play, but it fails to interest. Ink & Sweat have a similar sound but with a male/female tradeoff over Hot Water Music riffs. They too fail to move me. –Craven Rock (Self-released, no address listed)

In So Many Words: CD
Flashy, nu-emo rock that’s all the rage today with the kids. But, for me, tortured screams do not equal real emotion. Competent playing, but no song ever breaks out of that musical straightjacket. Bands like this are in rags like Alternative Press every month and that’s pretty much why I use most of that magazine for spare toilet paper. –Sean Koepenick (Doughmain)

Well on the downside, these guys are big on the ska punk trip. Their saving grace is that somehow they manage not to sound like total fuckin’ ninnies doing either. The lyrics indicate that circle-A ain’t merely a fashion trapping; their hardcore, while not blazing MDC-style ranting, is catchy and their use of ska to occasionally throw a wrench in the thrashing (occasionally mid-song) keeps ’em from sounding like so many nth-generation Operation Ivy Xerox bands. While the unfortunate cover of “Guns of Brixton” almost sinks ’em, the work they put in before that tune hits the speakers is more than worthy of attention. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rodent Popsicle)

Released in 2004, about half of the album is previously released material like “War” with its ska guitar line, the folk punk “Barry Horne,” and thrashy “Off with Their Heads.” Their cover of an Ewan Mcoll song, “Movin on Song,” is damn fine, too. These U.K. punkers spit articulate lyrics on their ideas of anarchy, freedom/oppression, and media. This comp of old and new songs is just enough to whet my appetite for their new album Tales of Terror. –Kristen K (Rodent Popsicle)

1,000 Years, Courageous b/w Luvlord: 7”
Take the Reatards, Billy Childish, a pocketful of dirt thrown in the air and choked on, polyps on vocal chords, static, feedback, no bass, all played in a house that’s about to collapse, and that’s what the Innocents are going for. It’s lo-fi, shows flashes of much greater competence beneath the rubble, yet the din fits ‘em perfectly like a stained, decade-old denim jacket frayed at all the edges with the elbows blown out. –Todd Taylor (Jonny Cat)

Miséria e Fome: EP
A lot of old stuff is getting reissued lately, which is a great thing. But it’s easy to miss some stuff in the onslaught. I absolutely urge you to seek this one out. Put it at the top of your list. Hit all the mailorders you go through, or just go direct through the label. It was originally released in 1983, from Brazil, and during the time of a military dictatorship. The band entered the studio with the idea to record an album, however, all but four songs were cut by censorship (they even had to alter lyrics and rename the title track to “Apenas Conto O Que Vi O Que Sent”) that was self-recorded and released by the band. What you get here is four songs of potent, raw hardcore punk that has an undeniable amount of energy and spirit. “Aprendi a Odiar” with its stop-go parts and shifting tempos grabs your attention, and then there’s the urgency of “Calado” that has spoken parts that lead into short and frantic bursts. The songs are mainly mid tempo, but bouncy and catchy. The urgency is great and carries over to the listener. Absolutely love this record! I’m finding myself more and more obsessed with Brazilian punk and hardcore. And for good reason; most of what I’ve heard from that country is awesome. –Matt Average (Nada Nada, nadanadadiscos.com)

Miséria E Fome: 7” EP
Outside of knowing they existed, I gotta admit I know jack diddly about this band. This is what I was able to scare up: Inocentes were one of Sao Paolo’s earliest punk/hardcore groups, and contemporaries of Olho Seco and Cólera. This is a reissue of their debut EP, originally unleashed in 1983 and later expanded into a full-length in 1988. Outside of a mid-tempo opener, you get for your buck some prime Brazilian hardcore not unlike those more celebrated groups, with thrashing tempos and menacing vocals. Fine release for both the collector geek and the punker lookin’ for something worth a spin. –Jimmy Alvarado (Spicoli Discos, myspace.com/spicolidiscos)

Dropped Their Brains: 12”
This was an unexpected surprise. The cover art looks like Hellraiser goes to Disneyland, so I was leery of what I would find inside, expecting clichés and worn-out punk rock rhetoric. There is a bit of that, but, for the most part, this is a very solid record. Musically, it kind of sounds like Less Than Jake mixed with dirtier, crustier sensibilities; the ska influence is definitely there on some of the songs, but when the Inoculators crank it up this is a great vehicle for rock‘n’roll fury. They also have some overtly political songs in here, which seems to be a no-no these days, but they don’t dominate the record so as to define them solely as a political band. I woke up this morning with their “Two Party System’s Fucked Up” in my head—kind of a cheesy title, but it sent me blazing into the day. A solid record that is variously fun, thought-provoking, and critical of the State Of Things in the Twenty-first Century. –The Lord Kveldulfr (The Inoculators)

Dropped Their Brains: CD
I met the singer of this band outside the Troubadour right after I took pictures of the Japanese band Last Target. I was heading home because I wasn’t interested in the other bands, including the headliners. I think The Briefs headlined that night but I was right out the door. Not having gone out to a legitimate club in a while and going to DIY shows lately, I wasn’t feeling the environment. We had a brief conversation that was cordial and he quickly told me about his band. I told him good luck and I was on my way. The guy has a good memory because mine is decaying. Sitting in my in-box was an envelope addressed to me at HQ. He sent me a CD. I listened to the release and I can’t really find fault in the music. But at the current moment, I’m not really feeling it. The songs are melodic and the added ska parts make the songs more interesting. The recording is top notch. These are things that I enjoy in a band. If this was five years ago, I would be drooling over this. This goes into the pile of CDs and records that I have to listen to much later. –Donofthedead (Inoculators)

Home for the Holidays: CD
The first song, “Home for the Holidays,” on this CD falls neatly into the normal Inoculators catalogue. It’s a high-energy blast of satirical cadence about most everyman/woman’s lament of going home for the holidays. It would make a great punk rock theme song to that Chevy Chase classic movie, Christmas Vacation. I write “theme” because, lyrically, the song follows the theme of that movie but doesn’t go into specifics of why family holidays suck. If people had relatives like Chase had in that flick, then they would love to have this tune to blast over the antics of their family. The second song on Home for the Holidays is a cover of Sting’s, “Message in a Bottle.”Unlike the original, The Inoculators’ version has harder-hitting drums and vocals that crescendo into almost screaming. It’s hard for me to conceptualize why The Inoculators would decide to release a Sting cover song on a holiday CD, making this record bizarre to me. I’m sure it’s just my own pee-brain problem but part of me always wants to laugh at anything Sting-related because of his pop culture reputation for bragging about having seven-hour tantric sex. –N.L. Dewart (Self-released)

Home for the Holidays: CD
The first song is a pop punk tune about hating going home for the holidays. It’s fairly catchy. The second track is a pointless cover of “Message in a Bottle” by the Police. I’m not a huge fan of the Police in the first place and I really never got the point of covering them. If you enjoy pop punk covers of Police tunes, you might dig this. –Ryan Horky (Self-released, myspace.com/inoculators)

Revolution... I Think It's Called Inspiration: CD
Here's one thing I personally never have seen before. I take the CD out of the promo sleeve, not noticing anything wrong. I popped it in the player and it would not read. Curious, I eject it. The CD looks okay from the top where it's screened. I flip it over and see that the CD is shattered only on the bottom layer. A spider web like crack that resembles a cracked windshield. Either it is the fault of bad manufacturing or someone needs to learn that CDs are not indestructible and take a class in proper mail packaging. So... What does the music sound like? I don't know. All I know is that members of this band went on to play in Strike Anywhere, Ann Beretta and River City High. Glad there was some promo material to read. –Donofthedead (A-F)

Revolution...I Think It’s Called Inspiration: CD
Crusty punk politics of California’s Fifteen meshed with the unmistakable East Coast radical optimism of Anti Flag. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about this until the repress. How in the hell did I miss this gem the first time around? Highly recommended!!! –Mr. Z (A-F)

Sins of Saints: CD
The only things i really remember about the Insaints from back when was that they did a record with the Diesel Queens (turns out to be the only record they made), the singer was Tim Yohannan’s girlfriend, and something about a stage show involving lesbians, urine, and a banana (Stop! You had me at “urine!”). That said, in the cold hard light of 21st Century retrospection, i am shocked, grossed and mildly agog that this band was only represented by that one measly split double-45 in the product-happy ‘90s: This shit is pretty fuckin’ good. While i can honestly say that i have never understood the appeal of pierced nipples on any level, and that music which accompanies a noteworthily confrontational stage show is generally either funny once (if that) or abrasive-and-nothing-else (if that), to say that the Insaints sound kinda like one imagines the Avengers might have sounded like were they fronted by a dominatrix (but not in a cheesy way—in, like, a FOR REAL way) is not an untoward stretch of the imagination by any means. A few tracks here and there might bring glimpses of Lunachicksville to mind, but, all told, this stuff has got WAY more in common with the classical model of female-fronted West Coast punk bands (Avengers, UXA, VKTMS, DOA—er, never mind that last one) than i would have ever suspected. Singer Marian Anderson’s fatal OD in 2001 seems as wasteful and stupid as my sister-in-law’s SUV. Could people please stop doing that? BEST SONG: “Losers Club” BEST SONG TITLE: “Mikey Like It” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Record is co-dedicated to Tim Yohannan, whose name is misspelled “Yahannon” twice herein, which is interesting because 1. In Bob Dylan’s book Chronicles: Volume One, he misspells the Minneapolis street name “Hennepin” as “Hinnepen”—reversing the position of the first and last vowel just as was done with “Yahannon;” and 2. The reason why i am highly sensitized to the spelling of Tim’s last name is because i still have the yellow Post-It™ he sent me stating “If you’re gonna bitch slap me, at least spell my name right! It’s YOHANNAN!” –Rev. Norb (Disaster)

Mizubukurentamashii: 7"EP
Nice, colorful packaging that opens up in all directions in a cross shape with lyrics and pictures on the inside. Musically, this is a little hard to get the mind around.... For the most part, it's grindy Japanese hardcore, but there's an almost emo undercurrent that causes the songs to lurch and stop, switch volume and tempo. This ain't bad, but it's gonna take some gettin' used to. No wonder the bassist looks painfully constipated. –Jimmy Alvarado (Answer)

Mizubukurentamashii: 7"EP
Really wonderful fold-out die cut cover on this eclectic (Japan = natch), but mostly heavy thrash, record player record. –Cuss Baxter (Answer)

Mizubukurentamashii: 7" EP
Nice, colorful packaging that opens up in all directions in a cross shape with lyrics and pictures on the inside. Musically, this is a little hard to get the mind around.... For the most part, it's grindy Japanese hardcore, but there's an almost emo undercurrent that causes the songs to lurch and stop, switch volume and tempo. This ain't bad, but it's gonna take some gettin' used to. No wonder the bassist looks painfully constipated. –Jimmy Alvarado (Answer, Hase Bld No. 2 B1, 5-49, Osu 3 Naka-Ku Nagoya City, Aichi 660, Japan )

Second Opinion: CD
The thrash revival slams on and it’s all starting to blend together. Yes, I’m impressed at how old school Insanity Alert sounds, with the screeching vocals and breakneck pace and songs about beer. However, with roughly five million bands doing the same thing with equal skill, I’m going to need something more, and Insanity Alert just fades into the patch-covered-jean-jacket-wearing crowd. –MP Johnson (Self-released, facebook.com/insanityalert)

Epitaph 1982-85: CD
A compendium of recorded material from a N.Y. band that existed during the period identified in the title. The opening salvo of tracks, from the Grudge Against the World demo, stick primarily to the tried and true circa-’82 thrash-o-rama sound, and they’re quite proficient at it, zipping along nice ‘n’ tight. The remaining stuff, from ‘85’s Pilgrim State LP, shows marked progression in structure without sacrificing speed when they get a good head of steam going. Lots of tempo changes, creative structuring, and a clear effort are made to not to fall into the dreaded “generic hardcore” well of misery. One o’ those bands that managed to slip by my ears back in their heyday. It was nice to get a chance to catch up on what I missed. –Jimmy Alvarado (Welfare)

Split: EP
Insect Warfare are one of the top grind bands in the U.S. today. However, I hear nothing on this record that makes them worthy of the hype. Run of the mill grind with standard high pitched shrieking followed by the low burping stuff. Despite the ridiculous name, Flagitious Idiosyncrasy In The Dilapidation are a bit better. Three blasts of super thrashing grind with the velocity of hurricane winds, and perhaps as sonically destructive. You’ll find this split packaged with Short Fast & Loud #19. –Matt Average (Six Weeks)

Self-titled: 7"
Blistering punk rock from Mexico City with tempos bouncing between mid-tempo and thrash, and vocals drowned in reverb. Three tunes, one side, and I’m guessing a very limited run by the look of it. –Jimmy Alvarado (Leather Bar, no address listed)

Split: CD
It is difficult to listen to grind-like metal with a straight face when it tries too hard. There’s a subtle line between fierce and farce, and this pair unintentionally zigzag back and forth across it. Inside Recess juxtapose a spasm of high-pitched screams with gruesomely deep growls, as their music apparently attempts to recreate how a person might react should he or she stumble upon a sleeping black bear, with the following vocals mimicking the now-woken and irritated animal’s “grrrrruuuuuhh.” Sometimes, IR sounds pretty all right, but then at others the shtick resembles sound effects for the TV adaptation of Goosebumps that were cut for being too ridiculous for kids to actually be scared of. Existential Dilemma is mostly the same, but then they decide to go all soft for a couple of admittedly intriguing instrumental tracks. But have no fear, because the action picks back up quickly enough with a very metal track that I affectionately refer to as “Opening Theme to a Count Duckula Marathon.” What’s the point to this kind of metal when it makes you think about how silly it is instead of forcing you to thrash your neck? –Reyan Ali (Self-released)

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