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· 1:The Rikk Agnew Band, Symbol Six, Barrio Tiger and A Pretty Mess
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Record Reviews

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ONSIND:
Dissatisfactions: CD
For some reason, I always prepare to hate any hippie-punk that’s sent my way. I don’t know why. I mean, I’m certainly not wild about TBIAPB or Defiance, OH, but man… Ghost Mice’s Europe? That record is a ten. And, thankfully, Onsind lean way more in Chris Clavin’s particular stripped-down, catchy-as-hell, melodic direction than toward those other gravelly-voiced hippie-crusts. Super-sincere, adorable, acoustic pop punk songs that reminds me a bit of Gordon Gano’s Army (due in large part to their accents, no doubt) meets (and don’t get bummed out on this) Swiss Army Romance-era Dashboard Confessional (and for the record… I love that shit. Ya, that’s right.). A very pleasant surprise. –Dave Williams (Plan-It-X)


ONSIND:
Mildred, Margie, Annie, Clarice: 10” EP
When I mention a band is feminist and acoustic I know a lot of you will automatically consider that a big bag of suck and probably try and trip me when I walk past you. I get it, I know. Understanding that, I still want to shove these four songs down all your throats, knowing you’ll eventually thank me for punching your esophagus with my personal tastes in music. Don’t believe me? Each song is about a female character from four movies: Mildred (Nurse Ratchet) from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Margie from Fargo, Annie from Misery, and Clarice from Silence of the Lambs. So it’s smart, catchy, fun, very well written, and full of movie references. If you were listening to me talk, instead of just reading this in my voice, this is part where I grab you by your shoulders and shake you violently while proclaiming, “This is my favorite EP of the year!” very loudly in your narrow-minded face. –Donna Ramone –Guest Contributor (Plan-It-X, onsind.bandcamp.com)


ONSIND:
Anaesthesiology: CD
ONSIND is one of my favorite bands currently. I mean, err, “favourite.” They’re from this very real place called Pity Me, where I pity nothing because these two are too talented for that entire British Isle. This album is just as beautiful, heartfelt, emotional, smart, and driven as their previous efforts. Only moreso, since the songs are “loosely connected” but not like some pretentious concept record. And also the first track has “Pokemon” in the title, and I fucking love Pokemon. Fuck you, don’t judge me. –Donna Ramone (Discount Horse, nathanisacynic@gmail.com, onsind.bandcamp.com)


ONWARD PILGRIM:
Get What You Wanted: 7"
Indie rock that brings to mind Sebadoh, Archers Of Loaf, early Lemonheads, and other bands from that time frame. I respect the effort here, but Onward Pilgrim, at least on this record, lack the tightness and originality needed to warrant repeated listens. A little more work on the song writing and less emphasis on the guitar wanking. There’s no need to wank this hard unless your name is J Mascis or you have your own pedal named after you. Until then, I’ll stick to Icky Mettle and You’re Living All Over Me. –Dave Disorder (Eugene)


ONWARD PILGRIM:
Self-titled: CDEP
More alt-stuff here. These guys bring to mind Neil Young on occasion, though I’m thinkin’ that’s more ’cause of the guitar sound than anything else. The cover art is gorgeous. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.eugenerecords.com)


ONWARD PILGRIM:
Self-titled: CD
Conventional and non-threatening hard rock. I use the genre term very loosely in describing this to you, as I’ve concluded that the music on this disc is neither hard nor does it rock. Normally, this would be a prime candidate for something I’d take with me to sell at a used record store. But this time I think I’ll do the music world a favor and just chuck this coaster into the blue recycling bin. –Juan Espinosa (Brotherhood Of The Snake, brotherhoodofthesnake.com)


OOPS, THE:
Taste of Zimbabwe: CD
Total f’n ripper! They sound like an early ‘80s hardcore punk (emphasis on the punk) band. Short, reckless blasts that have the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. The cover of “Small Man, Big Mouth” is decent, and a bold choice to even commit to recording (considering the original is untouchable). However, their originals are where their strengths lie—”Wooden Cunt,” “Shave and Quit,” “On the Lift,” “Death to Brunetta,” and the shredder “Christian Gay.” Italy seems to be cranking out some great bands lately. –Matt Average (Slovenly, slovenly.com)


OOPS, THEE:
Happy Charlie: CD
Some Italian punkers OD on the old ‘80s American hardcore records in their collection. Thrashy tempos, yelled vocals, and aggressive overall without being dour, not unlike early Beastie Boys, whose “Egg Raid on Mojo” they cover here. –Jimmy Alvarado (Slovenly)


OOZZIES:
Nation Out of Hand: CD
The Oozzies aggressively unleash a barbaric blast of “old school” hardcore unruliness... they’re defiant, unmanageable, and full of rage-fuelled insolence... they’re a mad-as-hell havoc-wreaking collective of musical malcontents chaotically creating a full-force flurry of insurgent anti-social sounds. This is the sort of nonconformist sonic chaos that frenetically inspired me to run rampant and free through the garbage-strewn streets of my hellhole hometown when I was a belligerent lil’ teen-aged hooligan... an angst-ridden era when I would carelessly careen across the pavement on my skateboard, recklessly rocket down the sunbaked sidewalks (all the while furiously flailing like a crazed maniac possessed!), and then daredevilishly bunnyhop the curb and wildly glide along its treacherous rugged surface as if my very life depended upon it (fists tightly clenched, teeth fitfully grittin’, and an impenetrable level of concentration so thick a chainsaw could cut through it)... damn, one precariously misplaced movement, and it’s all over in mere freezeframed seconds... SPLAT! Flesh and asphalt abruptly meet. Profusely sweating, bleeding, and cussin’ a meanstreak, I recover my dishevelled senses and quickly inspect my battered, bruised, and torn physique... yep, everything appears to be intact and still workin’. The youthful propensity for perseverance is pumpin’ strong, so it’s time for yet another futile attempt to conquer that damned perilous curb. Alley-oop! Ah, thanks for the memories, Oozzies... –Roger Moser Jr. (Industrial Strength)


OOZZIES:
Nation Out of Hand: CD
The Oozzies aggressively unleash a barbaric blast of “old school” hardcore unruliness... they’re defiant, unmanageable, and full of rage-fuelled insolence... they’re a mad-as-hell havoc-wreaking collective of musical malcontents chaotically creating a full-force flurry of insurgent anti-social sounds. This is the sort of nonconformist sonic chaos that frenetically inspired me to run rampant and free through the garbage-strewn streets of my hellhole hometown when I was a belligerent lil’ teen-aged hooligan... an angst-ridden era when I would carelessly careen across the pavement on my skateboard, recklessly rocket down the sunbaked sidewalks (all the while furiously flailing like a crazed maniac possessed!), and then daredevilishly bunnyhop the curb and wildly glide along its treacherous rugged surface as if my very life depended upon it (fists tightly clenched, teeth fitfully grittin’, and an impenetrable level of concentration so thick a chainsaw could cut through it)... damn, one precariously misplaced movement, and it’s all over in mere freezeframed seconds... SPLAT! Flesh and asphalt abruptly meet. Profusely sweating, bleeding, and cussin’ a meanstreak, I recover my dishevelled senses and quickly inspect my battered, bruised, and torn physique... yep, everything appears to be intact and still workin’. The youthful propensity for perseverance is pumpin’ strong, so it’s time for yet another futile attempt to conquer that damned perilous curb. Alley-oop! Ah, thanks for the memories, Oozzies... –Guest Contributor (Industrial Strength)


OOZZIES, THE:
Nation Out of Hand: CD
Pretty ho-hum punk rock. Produced by East Bay Ray. Must’ve been really cool having a real live Dead Kennedy produce your album. Yippee. Next. –Jimmy Alvarado (Industrial Strength, 2824 Regatta Boulevard, Richmond, CA 94804)


OPEN CASKET / SCRABBLE ROBOT:
Split: 7"
The “Vs.” between the bands’ names on the cover positions this split not as a collaboration, but as a competition. Open Casket’s first song features the sort of casually angry vocals that I find endearing. It’s sort of an armchair angry, a “Damn it I wish I had more root beer!” angry, rather than an “I’m gonna gut you and eat your intestines” angry. It’s the kind of angry you can get behind pretty easily when you’re sitting around listening to records. OC’s second song is sung by a different band member. It’s about falling out with a former bandmate and offers these fantastic lyrics: “Spent the money from the last show. I know that was wrong. I bought a bong.” Scrabble Robot’s songs on the flip are perfectly acceptable, but about halfway through the first one I found myself really anxious to go back and listen to the Open Casket side again. So I guess I’ve picked a winner. It should be noted that this is a beautiful package, with an amazing full-color cover, green vinyl, and a comic strip insert which, by the way, also depicts Open Casket as the winner of the competition. –MP Johnson (Mortville)


OPEN SEX, THEE:
Self-titled: LP
The little one shit sheet that accompanied this record made a lot of lofty comparisons that are not true. Allusions to Rocket From The Tombs, Can, John Lydon, etc. They’re all bands and people I can get behind. They tend to have me putting the record on immediately. However, the reality is Thee Open Sex are just another boring indie rock band with a sound that’s accessible and non-challenging. You’ve heard this shit a million times before, and will hear it for time eternal. Doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, or something that needs to continue. Blehhhh... –Matt Average (Magnetic South, magneticsouthrecordings.org)


OPEN SEX, THEE:
Self-titled: Cassette
Meandering between psychedelic and shoegaze, this five piece out of Indiana makes me want to crack open a beer or smoke some weed. These are sweaty, sunshiny summertime tunes with Miss Mess on vocals, sounding like Grace Slick meets Kathleen Hanna circa Le Tigre. Her nasal cry floats from orgasmic to indifferent, while prog rock chords ebb, crest, and crash. “Gimme Away” veers into garage with a ‘60s Chuck Berry pogo structure while “Light of Love” and “Live Dead” show off their musical chops. The latter is an epic, six-and-a-half minutes of scat singing, rife with “oohs and ah ahs” that gently escalates to what I can only imagine must resemble a religious rapture if seen live. Not your typical debut, this is well crafted rock’n’roll at a comfortable 25 mph, much like The Velvet Underground. Recommended. –Kristen K (Let’s Pretend)


OPENIGHTMARE:
The Harder We Come: CD
How many records get bad reviews just because they got sent to the wrong reviewer? I apologize, OpeNightmare, but the style of music you play sounds terrible to my ears. I hear influences of Rancid, H20, and a vast array of other skate punk bands that plagued the scene in the ‘90s. I hear your songs and they have all the elements to be good to someone who listens to this genre, but not to me. So it goes. –Bryan Static (Vegas)


OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN:
Freedom of Choice: CD
O.C.C. spastically play hard-edged bursts of pop-punk liveliness that's fiery, volatile, fierce, and highly flammable. While intently listenin' to this heavy-hittin' gut-puncher of a disc, I just couldn't sit still, and my toes were frantically a-tappin' one million beats per minute, I shit you not! The snotty taunting schoolyard-bully vocals, furiously roarin' napalm-laden squadron of fighter-jet guitars, diabolical bone-rattlin' bass boomings, and frenzied pneumatic-drill jackhammer drumming mayhemically mesh together in an ear-pleasing blend of social-loathing sonic slashings that have me urgently pleadin' for more! Yep, I'm whorishly hooked on O.C.C., and I ain't gonna be a good boy no more, Ma... –Roger Moser Jr. (Plan-It-X, 5810 W. Willis Rd., Georgetown, IN 47122-9117; http://go.to/planitx)


OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN:
Out of Control (A Discography of the ‘90s): CD
I just can’t believe how often the Operation Cliff Clavin CDs go out of print and then warrant a repress. Now that’s a cult following! This time around, there are even MORE songs than before and a nifty li’l live DVD. I’m glad to have gotten this though, otherwise I never would have heard the anti-Star Wars song, called “C3PO Can Suck My Ass,” and the two amazing covers: one of the Misfits song “Astrozombies” and the other of the oldies hit “Blue Moon.” –Mr. Z (Plan-it-X)


OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN:
Freedom of Choice: CD
O.C.C. spastically play hard-edged bursts of pop-punk liveliness that's fiery, volatile, fierce, and highly flammable. While intently listenin' to this heavy-hittin' gut-puncher of a disc, I just couldn't sit still, and my toes were frantically a-tappin' one million beats per minute, I shit you not! The snotty taunting schoolyard-bully vocals, furiously roarin' napalm-laden squadron of fighter-jet guitars, diabolical bone-rattlin' bass boomings, and frenzied pneumatic-drill jackhammer drumming mayhemically mesh together in an ear-pleasing blend of social-loathing sonic slashings that have me urgently pleadin' for more! Yep, I'm whorishly hooked on O.C.C., and I ain't gonna be a good boy no more, Ma... –Guest Contributor (Plan-It-X)


OPERATION LATTE THUNDER / ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS:
The Kitchen Split: 7"
Operation Latte Thunder: A funny song title, “Point Your Compass in the Direction of Fun,” whip-smart lyrics about being in a band; “sardined in a van,” and “you can’t be homesick when the cure’s right beside you,” while referencing Lifetime all add up to a good listen. I’ve been hearing the word “screamo” a lot lately, and I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean. If it’s a couple of dudes yelling really well, over instruments you can see chip their paint when the vinyl spins, sign me up. OLT mix shades of Guyana Punch Line, where everything’s going off, but in the same direction so it doesn’t sound like mud, along with good, old fashioned audio destruction by guys I suspect have a lot of marbles rolling around in their noggins. Are You Fucking Serious: Have the best song title this rotation: “Cows Go: Moo, Pig Go: You’re Under Arrest.” They’re blunt (SUVs, malls, cops = bad / ripping it up = good), owe a lot to GBH and a poor man’s Iron Maiden (think crusty not-metal-afraid, speedy punk), and have a good song about washing dishes, but lack the extra ooom pa pa that Operation Latte Thunder packs. –Todd Taylor (Mis En Place)


OPERATION MAKEOUT:
Hang Loose: CD
Fun time punk from the Great White North – a three piece, featuring two lovely ladies and one fine gentleman – singing fun, enjoyable, borderline pop punk songs. They remind me a bit of Sleater-Kinney, musically, if Sleater-Kinney would have stuck with the more fast paced punk rock of their first album. Operation Makeout has lots of breakdowns that remind me of Wire. Vocalists Jesse (bass) and Katie (guitar) have such different voices that they work so well together. Scratchy-voiced Jesse, couples with smooth sounding Katie, and it’s really nice how they switch lead from song to song. We even get vocals thrown in by the fine drummer, Anna. The album, overall, is terribly enjoyable and fun, with lyrics that are poetic and even arty, yet touchable (as in I can relate man.. I can!). The most standout tracks are “Current Events,” “Lost, Unwanted… But Still Nice,” and the oh, so cute “Contents.” There is also a sweet hidden track remix of “You and Me Geometry,” by schizo-samplehungry-electro-noise monger Secret Mommy (aka Andy from the Red Light Sting). Operation Makeout give me high hopes for the future of punk rock. Thank you very much, Canada. –Sarah Shay (Mint)


OPERATION S:
Self-titled: CD
French new wave, sung in French, featuring the Cecilia, the vocalist of the nicely trashy No Talents. Operation S remind me of early Siouxsie and the Banshees with a keyboard that wiggles and slinks with darkness instead of being a type of bright and bopping razor wire as wielded by the current crop of Northwest new wave/punk rippers. Operation S's songs are something I imagine playing in a bar of the future, like in Bladerunner. Androids. Droning. Cold. Mixed drinks that are more costly than 12ers of cheap beer. People with clothes more expensive than my car. A party I'm not really invited to. Many of the songs are super repetitive, too. Overall, it's okay. I thought I'd like it more. –Todd Taylor (Broken)


OPERATION S:
Self-titled: CD
French new wave, sung in French, featuring the Cecilia, the vocalist of the nicely trashy No Talents. Operation S remind me of early Siouxsie and the Banshees with a keyboard that wiggles and slinks with darkness instead of being a type of bright and bopping razor wire as wielded by the current crop of Northwest new wave/punk rippers. Operation S’s songs are something I imagine playing in a bar of the future, like in Bladerunner. Androids. Droning. Cold. Mixed drinks that are more costly than 12ers of cheap beer. People with clothes more expensive than my car. A party I’m not really invited to. Many of the songs are super repetitive, too. Overall, it’s okay. I thought I’d like it more. –Todd Taylor (Broken)


OPERATORS 780, THE:
Power Version: CD
Yet another ska/rocksteady record to wholly ignore for the derivative umpteenth-generation, played-out pilf it is. Can’t wait ‘til punta-core is the next big thing, ‘cause, much as I love the original stuff, this focus on only one Caribbean rhythmic style is beyond ridiculous. Fuck, even the Skatalites branched out now and then. –Jimmy Alvarado (Power Version)


OPPOSABLE THUMBS:
Self-titled: 7”
Can all three hundred of these records be so elaborately packaged?! The cover is two seven inch cuts of cracked and scratched glass taped together with blue duct tape with a couple photos taped to each piece of glass. Pretty cool, but pretty dangerous... sharp edges and all. And the music contained inside is excellent. The first thing that comes to mind is Monsula and late ‘80s/early ‘90s Dischord stuff. I really wish I knew more about this band, but no info was included. –Chris Mason (no info)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Aftermathematics: CD
An odd amalgam of tough guy hardcore and intelligent, political punk, Opposition Rising is an up and coming Boston band to watch for. In an era when musicians justifiably complain about music piracy, Opposition Rising takes the opposite approach, giving copies of this CD away for free. The entire album is likewise available online for downloading, with a link to by the LP, for those reeled in by the free version. The tough guy bits are interspersed with odd ska breakdowns that are only odd in that they somehow don’t seem at all out of place. The frontman’s vocals are way above average, too. No opposition here. –Art Ettinger (Opposition, oppositionrising.com)


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