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· 1:Razorcake #82 Now Available | Baby J, (Can Of Beans, Stoned At Heart)
· 2:#336 with Marty Ploy
· 3:Tom Neely and Keenan Keller Interview
· 4:#335 with Bryan Static
· 5:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived 5

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Record Reviews

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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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Get off Your Ass, Get off Your Knees: 10”EP
Hailing from Boston, Opposition Rising is a mash-up of a wide variety of genres of hardcore. Usually an attempt at this is the sonic representation of a train wreck but that’s not the case here. The first side is three songs of fast-paced, anthemic hardcore—anthemic without being too singsong and keeping all of its bite. Music to dog pile for the mic to. The second side takes a turn for a different anthem and throws in a lot of ska punk, but, again, not totally shitting all over it. They execute it flawlessly by throwing in lyrics relating to working class issues. I have listened to this record a lot in the last few weeks and will continue to do so.  –Adam Mullett (Riot Ska,chris@riotskarecords.com/ Pirates Press)

Ones That Control: CD
Reminds me of Mystic Records bands like R.K.L., Don’t know, and Scared Straight minus the double bass drums. On first listen, it didn’t really move me. Something in it took me back to the mid-’80s and the local LA scene. Bands like these were a dime a dozen back in the day but they’re probably considered old school today. If this band was local and I had seen them many times live, I would probably have a different perspective. But as a newcomer, I was not blown away. The almost out of tune sound of the guitars mixed with the double bass drumming on this rubbed me wrong. –Donofthedead (Blazing Guns)

Won’t Say Sorry: 2 x CD
Long-running skinhead band that has been a favorite, compile some covers that run the gamut on this release. They pay homage to Jamaican legends Simaryp, the 4 Skins, the Clash, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Sham 69, Cockney Rejects, Slade, and others who came before them. I can’t believe how may covers this band has recorded. Makes me want to break out the hair clippers and shave the head, followed by cleaning things up with a razor and dusting off the fourteen-hole Doc Martins, grabbing a wife beater out of the dresser, pulling out the suspenders out of the box of clothes I haven’t worn in a couple of decades, and trying to squeeze into a tight pair of pegged jeans. There are so many classics covered with competency. Worthy of the price of purchase are the two versions of the oi classic, “Skinhead Girl. –Donofthedead (Insurgence)

Oi! Singles & Rarities: CD
"Oi! Singles and Rarities" opens up with the song "White Flag" and finishes up some twenty-eight songs later with "Living with Unemployment." In between is pretty much everything the band ever released on Eps and splits. Though most of my favorite Oppressed stuff came off of "OI! OI! Music," their ten or so EP's are a great way to chart the band's political views as well their growth. From the played-to-death pub cover songs to one of my personal favorites "Do Anything You Wanna Do," this comp has got it all from one of the greatest oi bands around. –Keith Rosson (Captain Oi)

Self-titled: CD
Emo/metal stuff from Russia. Yup, you read that correctly. –Jimmy Alvarado (OSK)

Surviving Avalanches: 7” single
Ex-members of bands like Dead And Gone, the VSS, Year Future, and others that escape my foggy memory make up Optional Body. The style is on the post-punk side, a bit like where Cat Party is at these days. What really hooks me with the group is Rocky Crane’s guitar playing. I was always a fan of the stuff he was doing in Dead And Gone, and wanted to hear more, especially when he would add a little extra between songs in a live setting. The sound is simultaneously sprawling, cold, and dark. The A side is the best of the two. The tempo is moderately quick and has a bit of urgency without going the too easy spastic route. Percussion keeps time, and sometimes bashes around, but is still in control. The guitar brings the darkness. “Inelastic,” which is on the flip, is good, but it contrasts too much with the mood set from “Surviving Avalanches.” It’s a bit more ratcheted up. The vocal delivery is more forceful and the bass and drums are snaking in and out of one another. It’s like if Scratch Acid went more goth and less punk. Still, a good song, but I’d like maybe one more in between for a smoother transition. –Matt Average (25 Diamonds, 25diamonds.com)

Dead to Realise: CD
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Dave Grohl teamed up with Leatherface to provide interpretations of Bill Stevenson compositions that were weeded out from the Descendents/All’s set list for being way too goddamned dense and busy even for them—but are so catchy that someone oughta be taking a stab at playing them—here you go. Though the pop hooks are a plenty, you’ll be hard pressed to find extended pieces here to whistle while you work. Some mighty fine work on all fronts—from writing to proficiency to performance—has been put in here and, though the tunes may feel a bit cerebral at times, these Aussie kids pack one mean wallop. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/theoptionals)

Welcome to the World of...: CD
It just feels wrong. Icky, really. Sure, the songs are as catchy as SARS and the production is top notch but none of that can hide the feeling of trying too hard. Sure, it has all the “plaid and zips” you could ever want on a record but it really lacks any kind of heart. You’d be much better off listening to the Briefs again. In fact, I’ll go do that. –Ty Stranglehold (Hellcat)

Welcome to the World of...: CD
This CD is for those of you who are in love with Rancid and the American Idiot Green Day of today, but are now looking for something new to blast in your car. The CD showcases what you’ve come to expect from Hellcat: amazing production and catchy songs from beginning to end. From the looks of the pictures on the layout, these kids are still in high school. Yeah, still pink in the cheeks and all… oh wait, that’s blush and lipstick. Whose mane did they have to stroke in order to ride the Hellcat? That’s what I wanna know! Either way, I hope these kids have not become egomaniacs since signing to an Epitaph imprint. And I hope they understand what sort of privilege it is to have music they created at such a young age propelled to ninety percent of the music stores all over the world and that—despite what talent they might or might not have—someone has given them a huge fucking chance that not many people get. Orange, I expect to see more politics and more “doin’ it for the kids” on the next album, or it’ll be (in the unforgettable words of UHF’s Stanley Spadowski) tossed like a bag of moldy tangerines! –Mr. Z (Hellcat)

Escape from L.A.: CD
I hate press releases! This one uses the phrase “brash swagger,” which made me think of a drunk pirate, but I doubt that was the intention of the mighty machines that are Epitaph Records! This is, to my ears, a poor man’s Rancid with an even worse fake British accent! Having said that, maybe I should disclose that I like the first Rancid LP, and kind of like the next two. But this, well... I know Rancid, and this sir, is no Rancid! If this were a cereal, it’d be generic Cheerios. It’s hard to hate ‘em, but I wouldn’t put this in my CD player if I had a Honey Nut Cheerios band’s CD available! –Maddy (Hellcat/Epitaph)

Self-titled: 10”
I thought I had heard the punk spectrum, but, I’ll admit, band geek rejects playing jazz/trash/punk is a new one. It could be best described as psycho clown music or angry seal music; take your pick. It’s hard to escape from the sax as a honking horn metaphor. There’s no guitar, no piano, no rhythm section to speak of, just the haunting barks of a lone sax played over a manic drummer and a screeching vocalist. Honestly, one of the worst records I’ve ever heard. Whatever the fuck this record is trying to be is completely lost on me. All I can see is a horrible mess of noise and frustration with hints of true intent. If you want music that grabs your attention, you could maybe find some solace in this, but for my taste the gold isn’t worth the treasure hunt. –Bryan Static (Self-released, no address)

Two Thousands: CD
Art rock. No, really—there’s a guy named Art in the band. –Jimmy Alvarado (Morphius)

Take My Hand: 7”
Seattle’s Orca Team offer up three tunes that recall a time where guys would wear suits and ladies would wear dresses to go dance to rock bands, after flipping a nickel to a soda jerk for a glass of pop. This is some classy stuff that has hints of proto psychedelia (that would later be fully realized in the hits of Nuggets). Neat stuff! Get on it. –Vincent Battilana (HHBTM)

Self-titled: CD
Sour hardcore dirges with lyrics showing some good election-year anxiety. The drummer is the singer, which is always a hoot live. These guys’ hearts are obviously in the right place; they’re just lacking that bit of oomph needed to make them really stand out –CT Terry (Sickle Moon, myspace.com/sicklemoonrecordings)

Self-titled: CD-EP
If you and your friends were sitting around air-guitarring made-up awesome metal riffs and then BOOM it turned into a hardcore band, it would sound like this. Play it while gathering the courage to kick a cop in the dick. –CT Terry –Guest Contributor (www.sointenserecords.com)

Kickball: 5-song 7” EP
Oh man, this is all over the place. Here’s a partial list of the bases they touch: electro-folk, drum machine hymnal, rap, art, and indie rock. It’s not without its brief charms, but the splattering of the influences just choggles me. In their approach, they remind me of the Mean Reds—mostly interested in the blender, or “making something new,” not the ingredients being chucked into the blender. I just don’t hear enough internal digestion (collage isn’t just ripping something out, it’s putting it back in a new context is where the art is) or self-identity (which is ironic, since they’re trying so hard to be different). So, if you want a single band sounding like a regional comp of truly unalike music (including a barely recognizable Who cover), then Order fits that request. –Todd Taylor (Blood On The Drash)

Self-titled: CD-R
And the award for “Best Kreator/ Sodom Impersonation by a So-Called ‘Hardcore Punk’ Band” goes to…. –Jimmy Alvarado (Aborted Society)

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