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Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
Pinned In Place, Ghostwritten By LP
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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New Lows to Bear upon a Barren Earth: Cassette

This tape starts out twinkly and pretty, making me a little worried I was in for a wimp ride. Not the case whatsoever. It keeps that part short and sweet, moving on to a total ripper. It’s fast as fuck with some layered and gang vocals spread throughout. In the middle you get a moshdown with some sick pinch harmonics. Stressed out, stern vocals urge you to realize the end of our shit existence is coming soon. Second and third tracks give you more of the same with a bit more of a rock feel not unlike Damnation A.D. The last song is a roll around on the ground rager. The drums are definitely getting knocked over and the singer is going to need a tissue. The packaging for this tape is awesome—intricately scored and folded into a self-closing box and professionally printed on both sides. As someone who works in the print industry, I know this thing was not cheap by any means. Great job, boys!

–Adam Mullett (Baldy Longhair, baldylonghair@gmail.com)

No Joking: CD
I put this album on my computer and under the “genre” category in iTunes it automatically listed “folk”. Hmmmm. I’m not totally against folk music, and this isn’t a bad album, but if you’re reading Razorcake you’re probably not interested. I don’t mind the occasional catchy folk song with earnest female vocals and very wordy lyrics, but after a few tracks of this I felt like I was back in my dorm at university, running away from all of the sad nineteen year old girls reciting Ani Difranco lyrics and weeping. –jennifer (inertialily@gmail.com)

The Best of: CD
Essentially, what you get here is a nice chunk of their Still Out of Order album with a bunch of singles and comp tracks tacked on, which really isn't a bad thing considering the band in question. One of the better of the second tier punk/oi bands of the '80s, these guys managed to keep things blunt and minimalist without sounding boneheaded and inept, giving their tunes that "working class" sheen that so many of the modern punters lack. "Five Minute Fashions" still gets me singing along. –jimmy (Captain Oi)

Bad Labels Can Destroy the Best of Men: CDEP
Infamalde unleash an intricate and complex audial attack of fiery rage somewhat similar, but vaguely comparable, in sonic style, structure, and content to Fugazi in varying degrees of abstruse intensity. The songs are technically well-structured and energetically impassioned in delivery... ambitiously alternating between frenzied mercurial madness and calm mellow moroseness. After numerous attentive listens, Infamalde have left me deeply pondering the flurried brevity of my very own aimless existence... ah hell, nothin' another iced-down 6-pack can't cure! So if you'll excuse me, I now intend to get thoroughly sloshed on another round of foamy brewed beverages and the addictively ingratiating sounds of Infamalde... –Guest Contributor (Infamalde)

Boombala: CD
Given the press sheet, I was totally expecting to be wowed by a mélange of reggae, cumbia, ragga, meringue, and some African riddims. Well, they got reggae and its myriad progeny up the wazoo, but the cumbia and such don’t really make an overt appearance here. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is really good, and it especially sounds good at excessive volumes, but I was expecting a wee bit more of a mix of styles. –jimmy (Near and Far)

Tales of the Tortured Mind: CD
I am all for posthumous discographies, especially for bands that’ve long since disbanded and never really played that much outside their hometowns. In the case of Infected, that’s not entirely the case, as they apparently toured quite a few times, the first of which was a two-month stint of the States with Raw Power, which would lead me to believe that more people would’ve heard of them before. Anyway, these dudes were working within the framework of a pretty standard punk template, but that doesn’t mean that Tales… is bad, or even that generic, just that you know what you’re coming into here. While the liner notes are almost apologetic about how rough some of this sounds, I think it adds rather than detracts to the whole thing. As a whole, Infected sounds like a more venomous, pissed-off Crimpshrine without the hippie undertones. Only complaint is that the CD starts to drag a bit by the end, but that’s just because it’s a near-complete discography (the last four songs are from their never-released LP); I’d start to get burnt by a lot of bands after twenty-one songs. As a whole, this one’s pretty decent. –keith (Eugene)

Awake in Our Own Graves: 7"
I really like this record. It’s got a good helping of that Tiltwheel/Dillinger Four kind of raspy vocals and attention to detail kind of songwriting, but there’s something else going on that keeps it from sounding too much like those two bands. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I knows what I like. More, please! –ty (A.D.D.)

It's Been a Long Way Down...: CD
Lexington’s Infected returns with another solid collection of its odd brand of metal-infused pop punk. Sounding like what Face To Face would have sounded like if that band didn’t abandon its metal roots, Infected is delightfully catchy. The metal lead guitar riffs are off putting, but somehow end up not being as obnoxious as they could be, given the context. Very 1990s in feel, tone, and even lyrical subject matter, this album sounds like a lot of bigger label punk records did twenty years ago. That era was a shitload of fun, as is this release. Some of the tempo changes and breakdowns don’t quite mesh, but overall, this is too well put together to knock. –Art Ettinger (ADD)

Out for Blood: CD
This band lists their influences as Broken Bones, the Misfits, and Iron Maiden. I’ll admit I am not intimately familiar with those particular bands, so my interpretation of their reliance on those influences is going to be fairly vague. That being said, The Infected is pretty fucking sweet. Their blistering metallic guitar riffs pay homage to ‘80s metal and hardcore that even I can recognize, without sounding too derivative. I’m pretty picky about screaming and Cookie Monster vocals, but vocalist Luke Diseased pulls it off with aplomb, sounding badass without coming off like he’s trying too hard. The difference between this and so many other “hardcore” acts out there is that this is still rock’n’roll at its core; noisy, frantic, and pissed off as hell, but it’s still music, and doesn’t tip the scales into the “just noise” category as so many others sadly do. They’re not afraid of a little production, either: the album still sounds raw, but not like it was recorded by someone’s cousin in their mom’s basement. Overall, a quality piece of punk rock worth checking out. Plus, they sound like they’d kick ass live. –Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (Bouncing Betty)

Self-titled: CD
If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was some long-lost early ‘80s hardcore demo tape that never got released and had been unearthed by one of those labels that do that sorta thing. You know, the good stuff, before it got all rigid and there were too many rules. (Although, who am I kidding—I love that later stuff, too.) Nine ragers that blow by in about eighteen minutes with just enough changes and different parts to keep you interested but not enough to suggest that too much thought went into them. I imagine firing up the bong and deciding who’s making the beer run (and searching for that beer money in the couch) are more important to The Infernal Names than practicing. As it should be with music like this. Good shit. –Ryan Horky (Scumbros)

II: Lust Feels No Pain: 7"
Two more originals from these Toledo miscreants and a Dashburns cover on the flipside. The cover depicts a dude handcuffed to a towel rack, passed out on a toilet with cups of beer and cigarette butts sittin’ next to him. This scuzzy, pissed-off, Flag- and Misfits-worshiping crew play hardcore that sounds like the cover looks. And I mean that as compliment. –Ryan Horky (Scumbros, scumbrosrecords.bandcamp.com)

II: Lust Feels No Pain: 7”
Thrashy noise punk with a pretty grating singer. The vinyl is the color of bloody snot. That is all. –ty (Scumbros, scumbrosrecords.bandcamp.com)

Pioneering Work - Discography: 2 x CD
As in life, the annals of hardcore are filled with bands that were good, fewer bands that were great, and maybe a handful that just went above and beyond the rest and ended up with a singular sound that one can say, “that’s ____,” when a tune comes on. Germany’s Inferno handily falls within the latter. From their introduction to U.S. punkers via their tracks on MRR’s Welcome to 1984 and Pushead’s Cleanse the Bacteria comps, it was clear these cats were working on a whole different level from the pack of generic thrashers then glutting the market. Like legendary DC band Void, Inferno’s brand of revved-up hardcore contained copious amounts of metal and sly hooks buried under all the Sturm und Drang. Inferno delivered their tunes at velocities that made ‘em sound like they were always on the verge of completely falling apart, yet somehow never quite doing so and, in some cases, oddly enough sounded tight in their borderline chaos. This American pressing of their collected works pulls together fifty-six tracks from assorted albums, splits, EPs and comps spanning the years 1984-92 spread over two discs, and throws in a thirty-two page booklet with the band’s history, flyers, and English translations of their lyrics for good measure. There are some strange differences in the re-mastering from the originals (the intro to “Steinkopf,” has been inexplicably excised, for example), but that shouldn’t dissuade fans of the genre from reveling in the fast ‘n’ spastic thrash these cats unleashed. To paraphrase something Pushead once wrote in a review of one of the band’s releases, plop this into the player and explode.  –jimmy (Beer City)

DMT Bike Ride: LP
Quirky garage/punk band with a penchant for childish tendencies in both songwriting and aesthetic. The music is asinine and overtly repetitive. Interesting ideas are few and far between, from the opening track that greets us with the out-of-tune crooning of the lead singer to some production problems when it comes to making the band sound full. My favorite part of the record was the cover, which is lovingly rendered in crayon and/or colored pencil. I’ve never seen a record that adequately represented the album’s audio on its cover. –Bryan Static (Obvious, no address listed)

Split: 7” EP
Inflatable Best Friend: Arty, dissonant noise punk. They definitely kick up some dust, but they have the sense to keep things structured so that things don’t get shambolic and jam rock-like. Bongonya: A mix of the same kind of arty, noisy sensibilities as their pals on the other side of the record, but they go the instrumental route, adding a bit more structure and elements of jam rock and maybe a tinge of surf. Somehow that sounds worse than the results actually are.  –jimmy (Don’t Panic)

Check Please: CD
Plop pop, fizz fizz, what a piece of shit this is... –jimmy (Adeline, 5337 College Ave. #318, Oakland, CA 94618)

Some of the Young: CD
Think of Green Day meets Squeeze, but even more poppy. If you can imagine that. –don (Adeline)

Check Please: CD
Plop pop, fizz fizz, what a piece of shit this is... –jimmy (Adeline)

The New Nightmare: CD
This is what the kids call hardcore these days. Well, maybe, they might not call this hardcore. But they might! Me, I know my metal and I can not be swayed. This is metal: East Coast hardcore with the down tuned bass and guitars and the heavy riffing. The drummer busts a lot of double bass action through the songs. Only thing missing is the guitar solos. But that would be dating myself. The singer reminds me of the singer from Strife. Pretty fuckin’ heavy, dude! –don (A-F)

Spoken Word: 7”EP
INJ/SYS, I guess, is shorthand for Injustice System. What I am certain of, however, is that this record is pretty damn good. Blazing early ‘80s style East Coast hardcore in the vein of Antidote, Abused (both bands get the cover treatment here), YDI, etc. Raw, bare bones, no frills. Just a loud and blistering guitar sound, thrashing drums, and some low end to keep it all together. The vocals are yelled and delivered with some snarl, desperation, and urgency. This is the sort of stuff I think about when I think of what a good hardcore band is supposed to sound like. Fast, distorted, and pissed off are a few of the qualities I look for, and these folks have ‘em in spades. Listen to the very last tracks, “A Colony Civilized,” with its fast and reckless approach, then capped off with the short “No Words.” Then go back and listen to the rest of the record. Can we expect more from these guys? Only three hundred were pressed, so jump on it! –Matt Average (No Reprieve, noreprieve.bigcartel.com)

“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 (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 (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 (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)

…Na Wlasne Podobienstwo…: CD
Per the liner notes, this is a reissue of the first record on Nikt Nic Nie Wie. The liner notes also give a synopsis of what the label had to go through in order to make the record, which was rather extensive, given the political realities of the time and place (late ‘80s/early ‘90s Poland and Czechoslovakia). Anyhow, Inkwizycia, which translates into “inquisition” in the lyrics booklet, are pretty good when they are playing fast, but they just can’t do slow very well. The faster stuff is pretty good metal-tinged thrash. The slower stuff varies, from goth rock to lame and tame metal. Unfortunately, the slower stuff pervades the disc, which includes the original album from 1990, plus five songs from a 1997 recording.  –Vincent Battilana (Nikt Nic Nie Wie)

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