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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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Record Reviews

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ONE STEP SHIFT:
Chemical Burn: 7"
I’m at odds on this one. At times, I like it and at other times, I want to kick my own ass for liking it. When they slow down, it’s really soggy mathy rock that’s less intimidating than a second grader with bad eyesight. When it speeds up, like landscape seen from an accelerating car, all the angles seem to add up and get interesting, in a Jawbox, Nomeansno smartguy punk rock sort of way. Not abysmal, not an emo turd, but not fully endorsed, either. –todd (Loder Brock)


ONE THOUSAND DIRECTIONS:
Miniscule Lives: LP
Mix of Clashy punk singalongs, modern punk sensibilities, and maybe a little rock. Can’t say there was anything particularly bad about what they do, but nothing really stuck in the ol’ noggin enough to register as memorable. Can background music be “punk,” or vice-versa? This begs the question.Then they started fucking around with punky reggae arrangements and my interest barreled out the back door. –jimmy (Can I Say?)


ONE TIME ANGELS:
Sound of a Restless City: CD
Post-Husker punky pop that was pleasant enough to stay on the player for its duration. –jimmy (Adeline)


ONE TIME ANGELS:
…Tricks and Dreams: CDEP
This is a six song offering from a melodic rock band hailing from California. I’m pretty sure that this is Doug from Screw32 on vocals and guitar. I have no reference point for this, because it’s not the kind of music I ordinarily listen to. The tempos are midpaced but things pick up considerable in the second half. The songs are definitely well structured and the vocal hooks are smart and well placed. It might interest some people that Jesse Michaels sings backup vocals on this. The guitar work is also interesting. The fourth song, “Two Steps to the Edge,” really grabbed me, as it has a sort of mod-meets-XTC feel to it. I’ll definitely put this song on a mix tape this summer. I would definitely recommend this to fans of post-punk melodic rock. –Yemin –Guest Contributor (Lookout!)


ONE TIME ANGELS:
Sound of a Restless City: CD
Post-Husker punky pop that was pleasant enough to stay on the player for its duration. –jimmy (Adeline)


ONE TRICK COBRA / SUS:
Split: 7"
This is a split release of raging thrash/hardcore from two bands from Corpus Christi, Texas. Sound quality is decent and both bands do their style quite well. The record comes with a CD version containing the same songs, so that is a bonus. This would be right at home on Deep Six Records and fans of bands like Manchurian Candidates would find a whole lot to like here. –frame (TFC)


ONE WIN CHOICE:
DefineRedefine: CDEP
These five songs sound halfway between Rise Against on Revolutions Per Minute and the more straightforward Avail songs, which lands them in Strike Anywhere territory. While that sounds good and all, there’s some weak voice work going on here: harmonies that never really gel, some ill-chosen vocal melodies, and some angry screams that never really sound angry as much as a little whiny. I reviewed this band’s other album, and I said the exact same thing about the vocals. There’s some kind of oomph that the band’s lacking in the singing department. Maybe they’ll get it next time around. –Adrian (Jump Start)


ONE WIN CHOICE:
Conveyor: CD
I was a bit dubious of this one when the press one-sheet listed Rise Against as an influence. But the fearless reviewers here at the ‘cake have to keep an open mind, correct? Musically, everything was tight and moved along forcefully from song to song. I was hoping for a bit more melody in the vocals department. This issue seemed to be remedied as the record played on. “Who Threw Out the Itinerary?” and “Frame Your Favorite Pictures” were the choice cuts here for me. May take a while to grow on me, but it’s a good effort here. –koepenick (Jumpstart)


ONE-EYED MUSKRATS / NUMBER 9 HARD:
Passport to Party: 7”
Thanks to the mislabelled vinyl, I ended up listening to Number 9 Hard’s side first. Ska-punk that sounds like it would have fared well circa 1996. It isn’t terrible by any means, just didn’t hold my attention. One-Eyed Muskrats are the clear winners on this split with a mid-tempo hardcore assault that kind of reminded me of the early output of the Dayglo Abortions. I approve.  –ty (S.B.S.)


ONELINEDRAWING:
Visitor: CD
Lonely guy with a guitar and no friends unless he needs something –don (Jade Tree)


ONELINEDRAWING:
Visitor: CD
Basic math for the promotionally impaired: promo CD - liner notes = coaster. –scott (Jade Tree)


ONELINEDRAWING:
The Volunteers: CD
Well, Jade Tree finally stopped sending advance releases and started sending totally thrashed promo copies. For the life of me, I couldn’t get the liner notes out of the digipak… but that’s okay, because the tray in the digipak was shattered anyway. I consider these things to be fucking shames because I actually like this. It’s nothing fancy, nor is it new. It’s just well done, introspective, melodic indie rock which will fit perfectly into the record collections of people who like the Kinsellas’ work (see: American Football, Owen, etc.). While all of these songs are pretty, drifting musical pieces which frequently feature breathy vocals and most seem like the perfect thing to put on when putting on the moves on that special someone for the very first time, some of them are just slightly too energetic (see: New End Original) to serve as background music. With all of that said, these songs are simply too immediately catchy to think that this is a record that I would still like in a year or two—they’re too immediately present and enjoyable; as most of us know, the albums we like best are the ones that we have to fight with for a while. This record is simply too genial to take a swing at me on the first listen. While that speaks well of its craft, it doesn’t say much about its staying power or whether it will mean much to me in the future. 
–scott (Jade Tree)


ONELINEDRAWING:
Visitor: CD
Basic math for the promotionally impaired: promo CD - liner notes = coaster.
–scott (Jade Tree)


ONELINEDRAWING:
The Volunteers: CD
Well, Jade Tree finally stopped sending advance releases and started sending totally thrashed promo copies. For the life of me, I couldn’t get the liner notes out of the digipak… but that’s okay, because the tray in the digipak was shattered anyway. I consider these things to be fucking shames because I actually like this. It’s nothing fancy, nor is it new. It’s just well done, introspective, melodic indie rock which will fit perfectly into the record collections of people who like the Kinsellas’ work (see: American Football, Owen, etc.). While all of these songs are pretty, drifting musical pieces which frequently feature breathy vocals and most seem like the perfect thing to put on when putting on the moves on that special someone for the very first time, some of them are just slightly too energetic (see: New End Original) to serve as background music. With all of that said, these songs are simply too immediately catchy to think that this is a record that I would still like in a year or two—they’re too immediately present and enjoyable; as most of us know, the albums we like best are the ones that we have to fight with for a while. This record is simply too genial to take a swing at me on the first listen. While that speaks well of its craft, it doesn’t say much about its staying power or whether it will mean much to me in the future. –scott (Jade Tree)


ONES, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Egads, Meatloaf would be in trouble if he wasn’t already, you know, Meatloaf. –megan (Waxvaccine)


ONES, THE:
Self-titled: CD
This was on and off for me. The opening track “Yeah, You Make It,” is so catchy in that ‘70s pop kind of way that gets me so easily. Other tracks seem to fall a bit flat and into boring territory. When it’s good, I want to hear more, when it’s not, I barely know it’s there. –megan (Wax Vaccine)


ONES, THE:
Shame Shame Shame b/w Tunin’ in Tokyo: 7”
I can’t tell if they’re trying out some originals before they go full-on into their six-hour rendition of Zappa’s “Plastic People” or if they’re just trying to get airtime on their local classic rock station. Either way, there’s just way too much of a flagrant “we’re a quirky rock’n’roll band, look at us!” feel to this thing. You know how the Murder City Devils almost had a convoluted Lynyrd Skynyrd southern rock approach on some of their later songs? Post In Name and Blood, I mean. Well, consider the Ones to be the Murder City Devils Ultra Lite. All the weirdness with none of the threat. I feel bad for the guitarist; he’s wearing a Poison Idea shirt and you can’t help but wonder if a band of this nature is particularly suited for a guy who would wear something like that. (Endnote: I just read a review of this record in MRR and it turns out a guy in this band actually was IN Poison Idea. Not sure what he’s doing in this band, but one does wonder. Helping out a sick friend live out his last dream of rock’n’roll stardom? Fulfilling his community service obligations? Regardless, knowing at least one band member’s pedigree still doesn’t manage to improve this record, even a little.) –keith (Snakehead (no address))


ONES, THE:
Self-titled: CD + 7”
A reissue of the band’s “one” and only 7”, “Short Dress,” b/w “Tight Rope,” plus a full CD of other stuff ((take that, Razorcake formatting conventions!)) this 1978-80 Milwaukee band slots in nicely as the regional proto-punk equivalents to La Peste when they’re at their most sophisticated ((“Tightrope,” “All Screwed Up,”)), to the Dictators when they’re at their dumbest ((“Short Dress,”)) and Unnatural Axe all the other times ((“The Dog Said Yeah,” “Disco Sucks”)). I trace this Boston-heavy evolutionary pattern back either to the Boston Braves’ move to Milwaukee in 1965, or irrepressible global zeitgeist, take your pick. Either way, this is a Levi’s®-load of solid rock-punk from dudes who look like Metal Mike used to look in the ‘70s! Thanks to extensive liner notes, my only question is where does Jason Ross FIND this shit??! BEST SONG: “I’m Normal/No Turn on Red.” BEST SONG TITLE: “The Dog Said Yeah.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The single was originally released on Blue Ribbon Records, which appears to be the first time, to my knowledge, a punk band co-opted the Pabst™ logo for their own devious ends. –norb (Rerun/Hyped To Death)


ONETHIRTYEIGHT:
The Sister: CD
Every now and then something makes it into the review pile that is so weird it defies categorization. The cover makes this look like the work of some third-rate black metal garage band, but sounds like a Godspeed You Black Emperor-penned soundtrack for one twisted fuckin’ movie. Titles like “Squid Boy” and “Sssix Foot Albino Penguins” are coupled to music that is more exercises in atmospherics than “songs,” all of which are delivered via assorted xylophones, acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and weird-ass vocals. All this, of course, adds up to a listen not only worth the effort, but I can safely predict will be one of the most original things you or I will hear all year. –jimmy (Tuesday’s Music)


ONETHIRTYEIGHT:
London Transmissions: CD
Spooky loops, mad scientists, surf riffs, spider babies, floating tea cups, disembodied organs, creaking doors, lost transmissions, and a whole lot of weird shit from this English band that’s really into making videos overloaded with creeped-out kitsch. –Jim Ruland –Jim Ruland (Self-released, onethirtyeight.co.uk)


ONEWORDSOLUTION:
Portrait of a Decrepit Nation: CD
Pitch perfect hardcore with all the knobs set just the right way, all the right notes hit, and the band playing with perfect precision. Makes me pine for the sloppy glory of bands like the Fuck Ups. –jimmy (www.dedicatedwreckers.com)


ONEWORDSOLUTION:
Impasse As A Failsafe: CD
By all rights I should love this band. They’re fast, tight and wear their politics on their sleeve. Truth is, though, they bug the shit out of me. The whys and wherefores are pretty simple: they’re too goddamned perfect. Every note is in the right place, every pitch is perfect, and not a fuck up can be found anywhere. If ProTooling the fuck out of a record effectively zaps it of all that makes it worthwhile, ProTooling the fuck out of a hardcore record is the kiss of death. These guys have clocked in another album that sounds wholly devoid of any of the passion, anger, frustration or excitement one should feel when playing it, let alone performing it. Ultimately, for all its bluster and flashy drum rolls and screaming guitars and color-by-numbers hardcore song templates, this is about as dangerous and threatening to the social order as Hello Kitty, or Seals and Crofts. –jimmy (www.fingerrecords.com)


ONEWORDSOLUTION:
Portrait of a Decrepit Nation: CD
Pitch perfect hardcore with all the knobs set just the right way, all the right notes hit, and the band playing with perfect precision. Makes me pine for the sloppy glory of bands like the Fuck Ups. –jimmy (www.dedicatedwreckers.com)


ONION FLAVORED RINGS:
Two Minutes' Enlightenment: LP
That first Onion Flavored Rings album didn’t leave my turntable for a long, long time. There was something about the way that fuzzy, sloppy pop tumbled out of speakers on top of some of the most self-loathing lyrics I’ve ever heard. So right away, Two Minutes’ Enlightenment has a tough act to follow, but they pull through pretty well. I think I still like the first one better, if only for the rougher production and sloppier, more enthusiastic playing. All the elements of their old stuff are still there, just polished up a bit more—not a bad thing, but it’s like getting Eternally Yours when you’re expecting (I’m) Stranded, you know? Still, they’re one of the best bands to come out of the East Bay in recent years (you can practically smell the El Farolito burritos while this record is playing) and this is a really good album. –Josh (No Idea)


ONION FLAVORED RINGS:
Perfect Evolution: 7”
Thanks you OFR for writing a conceptual 7” about the nothingness that is our life, and on top of that, orchestrating it with your own brand of jangly, melodic punk. And while I truly love the directness of older songs in regards to their topics, the vastness that they seem to be discussing in this 7” is much more lofty yet still applicable. It is hard for this band to do anything I don’t like. Its realist outlook on life and its authentic take on punk rock have always been great. –Daryl Gussin (Thrillhouse)


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