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· 1:Razorcake #79 Now Available
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· 3:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79
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· 5:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79


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Razorcake #79
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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PINEY GIR:
Peakahokahoo: CD
Twee synth-pop which sounds like little more than incidental music for early Nintendo games. –Puckett (Greyday)


PINHEAD CIRCUS:
Self-titled: CDEP
Kick ass! I can’t get enough of these guys. I about tripped over my belly getting to the CD player when this came in the mail. They keep getting better and better every time I hear them. Great songwriting as usual. They started out fairly poppy with their earlier albums but seem to get a little angrier with each release. Seems like they are mixing their pop punk now with a small touch of hardcore. Fucking awesome. Only five songs here at a length of about nine minutes. Just enough to tease me and get me excited for more to come. –Toby Tober (Not Bad)


PINHEAD CIRCUS:
The Black Power of Romance: CD
There's something tricky about Pinhead Circus. Their songs have a way of creeping into my brain. More than once, I've been singing along with a Pinhead Circus song and someone has walked into the room and said, "What are you listening to?" and I was stumped. I'll wake up in the morning with a Pinhead Circus riff on auto-repeat in my head and I can't, for the life of me, place the song. Then, gradually, the album grows on me. It reaches high rotation and I have to be careful not to play it too often. It's strange. "The Black Power of Romance," like all their other albums, filled me with apathy at first, then wiggled itself up there with my favorite albums. I think it has something to do with the way that Pinhead Circus can put together a song that sounds like no other band, but is vaguely recognizable pieces - a riff that almost sounds like Good Riddance, a tempo change that's almost like Tiltwheel, drums filling in like Youth Brigade, and so on. Which isn't to say that they're completely referential. They're not. They're a pretty original band that write solid, catchy songs. You just have to give them a few listens to creep up on you. –Sean Carswell (BYO)


PINHEAD GUNPOWDER:
“West Side Highway,” “Anniversary Song” b/w “On the Ave.”: 7” EP
The world is a much changed place from when I was listening to Kerplunk! on cassette in 1992. Some folks became millionaires and release multi-multi platinum records (Dookie sold over ten million). Other folks kept digging under an oppressive culture to write about a different kind of gold. Yup. I understand Green Day isn’t Pinhead Gunpowder and visa versa, and a major difference, as far as I can tell, is PG’s sustained, intentional naïveté, the lack of “progression” from one thing to another. Pinhead Gunpowder hasn’t hardly changed musically at all (and they started out a little after Green Day). In the land of DIY punk, they’re the Pete Seeger to Green Day’s Bob Dylan (or the Slayer to Green Day’s Metallica, if that helps). This is their first release of new material since their split 7” with Dillinger Four eight years ago, and it’s a smoker: prototypical, tight, catchy EastBay pop punk, perfectly played by some of the folks who were instrumental in forming it in the first place. (One weird thing about this release, considering the band: photos of the band on both sides of the sleeve.) –Todd Taylor (Recess)


PINHEAD GUNPOWDER:
Compulsive Disclosure: CD
I actually jumped around when I saw this, and I can be a pretty lazy fuck. I seriously can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love Pinhead Gunpowder. They’re still poppy, still simple, still just so catchy. It’s only nine songs, which leads me to play it a minimum of two times every listen. It’s the kind of album that your favorite song is always the one that you’re listening to for each song throughout the whole album. Perfect for mix tapes, car rides, and dancing around. –Megan Pants (Lookout)


PINHEAD GUNPOWDER:
Self-titled: 7"
Has it seriously been almost a decade since this band put anything out? Nicely done opaque 45 RPM vinyl that belts out two gemy gems from this prolific side project of Cometbus and that other dude. You know, that one guy. –Mr. Z (Recess)


PINHEAD GUNPOWDER:
Kick over the Traces: CD
What does it mean when one of your favorite bands releases a greatest hits album? Sadly, I am no expert in philosophical pop punk inquiries, so instead I’ll just say that I’ve listened to Pinhead Gunpowder in every possible context: in my bedroom in high school after enduring my mom screaming at me, on my headphones during countless late-night bike rides, in my college dorm room in the middle of ridiculous, almost-emo-ish relationship crap, in my apartment writing articles about labor history, and on the dance floor at punk rock dance parties. And, somehow, Pinhead Gunpowder always seemed like the perfect band in all of these places. Even though I’ve listened to these songs hundreds or thousands of times, it’s still hard for me to deal with how good these songs are. I drove from Minneapolis to Milwaukee last weekend and I listened to this CD for five straight hours. By the time I got to my mom’s house, I had a sore throat and my eardrums hurt. If this were a cereal, it’d be Lucky Charms, the highest honor this Razorcake reviewer can bestow. –Maddy (Recess)


PINK BLACK:
Self-titled: CD
I’m not quite sure how to classify this. I mean, is anything still allowed to be straight up indie pop anymore? If it is, then that is what Pink Black is. The music is complicated but not overpowering. It damn near forces you to move back and forth. The best part of this, though, is the vocals. Sweet and powerful, she comes across in much the same was as Allison from Discount (although the two bands are quite different). I liked this a lot, but not as much as Elise did. I have a feeling this will be a car disc for some time. –Ty Stranglehold (New Disorder)


PINK FITS:
Don’t Ask Why: CD Single
The opening chords to “Don’t Ask Why” are cribbed from the Mummies “Shake!” the vocal lead-in “aaahhh-aaahhh-aaahhh-AAAHHH!!!” from the Beatles “Twist and Shout,” and the cymbals crash roughly forty-six times per second. It’s wild garage rock from Wollongong and will send you into epileptic hysteria if you go for this kind of thing. The Pink Fits music will get yer ass off the barstool and onto the dance floor, plugging the top of your bottle of beer, shaking it recklessly, and watching the foam squirt all over every other dancer around you. Song number two on this CD single comes from none other than the aforementioned Mummies, a cover of their version of “Just One More Dance.” I could see myself falling down drunk and dancing with a hot girl to the Pink Fits at a future Budget Rock Festival. –Josh Benke (Outback R’N’R)


PINK HOLES:
Breakfast with the Holes: CD
Seventies trash punk a la the Pagans from a band apparently active during the same period. Some of this was pretty darn good and others were, well, not so interesting. If you’re some kind of completist, this’ll probably float your boat well enough. –Jimmy Alvarado (Smog Veil)


PINK HOUSES:
Self-titled: LP
Some decidedly atypical punk rock, with a bit of a tribal vibe in evidence in some places, hints of mid-period Fugazi in others, with flashes of a more straightforward approach popping up now and then. –Jimmy Alvarado (Pink Houses)


PINK LINCOLNS:
Background Check: CD
Things started off well enough with this disc and then—yugh—all of the sudden there was the theme song from the odious Friends TV show, sitting there like a finger in my chili. Thankfully, my music critic superpowers kicked in and I was able to overcome my initial revulsion and continue listening with a more receptive attitude. And it paid off, as it usually does. The PLs’ snotty deconstruction of that particular putrid butt-brownie of a song turned out to be funny and deeply satisfying, as did the rest of the CD. This is one heaping helping of the Pink Lincolns. Thirty-two tracks of previously unreleased songs, demos, alternate mixes and covers, which are all over the map, ranging from X-Ray Spex, 999, Flipper and Wire to Elton John and Flock of Seagulls. And they get extra-credit huckleberry points from me for a faithful rendition of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” The incestuous blending of punk and hillbilly always produces such wonderfully deformed offspring, in my humble opinion, because they are, underneath it all, both “folk” music. As good as the covers are on this disc (and the Black Flag covers in particular are extra good), the originals are even better. I think my favorite song of them all is a scathing anti-celebrity paean called “Fuck Madonna.” Anyone who attacks celebrities and bad TV shows like a retarded pitbull—and, at the same time, manages to snot-rock it out as much as the Pink Lincolns do—wins me over everytime. –aphid (Hazzard)


PINK LINCOLNS:
Back from the Pink Room: LP
A fancy, high production re-issue of Tampa, Florida’s Pink Lincoln’s first studio record from 1988. If you’ve never heard of them before, think Angry Samoans, Vindictives, and split releases with The Queers and Screeching Weasel in the early ‘90s. If that doesn’t help, think of a rusty knife stabbing you in the ear by a bunch of snotty malcontents whose Ramones pop sensibilities are as evident as their unresolved hostility issues. If songs were cars, the Pink Lincolns would be spray painted, on blocks, and in a weeded front yard. The stereo would work and there’d be a functioning BBQ where the gas tank used to be. Life’s pretty shitty, and it gave the Pink Lincolns a lot to sing about. A welcome reissue. –Todd Taylor (Jailhouse, www.myspace.com/pinklincolns)


PINK RAZORS:
Scene Suicide: CDEP
Oh yeah. Fuck yeah! This band is from Richmond, VA, where I grew up. This record almost makes me wish I still lived there. It totally reminds me of the glory days of Avail, but doesn't really sound too much like them. It's more like Dillinger Four or Tired of You-era Scared of Chaka. It's fucking excellent. Great lyrics: my favorite is the song "Dear Jurisprudence," about the shitty urban sprawl that's been fucking up Richmond the past few years (hey guys, you're not alone, that shit is happening everywhere). Great production and I'm really stoked to see this on Robotic Empire. It's nice when a label doesn't just stick to one kind of music ‘cause this thing is awesome and I think I might glue my CD player shut with this in it. I cannot possibly give this record a higher recommendation. Just go fucking get it now! –ben (Robotic Empire)


PINK RAZORS:
Waiting to Wash Up: CD
I want to like this record more than I do, and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s got that fuzzy sweater on fire charm of Dead Things, the raygun happy zapping (but they’re really sad) of Screeching Weasel, the watertight, seamless quality of Funeral Oration—pop punk’s the score and they’re navigating adeptly through a maze on wheels of prior invention—but there’s something… something not there for me. And it’s not a, “Oh, the production blows,” or “That dude’s voice sound like a twelve-year-old girl’s,” or suckin’ “high school sweetheart left me, whoah, whoah” lyrics. Maybe it’s just that it’s fifteen songs that could easily be just one with fourteen short beaks, but that’d mean I’d have to rule out the Ramones, and I’m not about to do that. So, at this point, I’m gonna say pass, but it could easily turn into a thumbs up if that one thing clicks into place. Huh. Weird. –Todd Taylor (Robotic Empire)


PINK RAZORS:
Waiting to Wash Up: CD
I want to like this record more than I do, and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s got that fuzzy sweater on fire charm of Dead Things, the raygun happy zapping (but they’re really sad) of Screeching Weasel, the watertight, seamless quality of Funeral Oration—pop punk’s the score and they’re navigating adeptly through a maze on wheels of prior invention—but there’s something… something not there for me. And it’s not a, “Oh, the production blows,” or “That dude’s voice sound like a twelve-year-old girl’s,” or suckin’ “high school sweetheart left me, whoah, whoah” lyrics. Maybe it’s just that it’s fifteen songs that could easily be just one with fourteen short beaks, but that’d mean I’d have to rule out the Ramones, and I’m not about to do that. So, at this point, I’m gonna say pass, but it could easily turn into a thumbs up if that one thing clicks into place. Huh. Weird. –Todd Taylor (Robotic Empire)


PINK RAZORS:
Self-titled: 7"
I like to make up games to play with myself. The latest is seeing if I can straighten my bedroom before this three-song record ends. Will a receipt on the floor distract me? Will the needle lift up before the last song ends? I usually get too amped up on these guys’ Dillinger 4-ish pop punk to focus on much save for pacing the apartment, speaking gibberish at the cat. The recording here is a little rougher than that on their latest full-length, which adds some much-appreciated grit to their sharp, melodic sounds. Also, they might be playing a tad slower, or maybe the 7” format allows the listener to focus on the individual tracks, but I am also detecting an element of British punk like Stiff Little Fingers here. New game: can I write an objective review of my friends’ band? CT Terry –Guest Contributor (Rorschach)


PINK RAZORS:
Leave Alive: 12”EP
Honest, emotional pop punk from this former Richmond, VA, four-piece, and now dispersed between Richmond, Bloomington, IN, and Tucson, AZ. Male and female vocals trade off between tracks. Songs sung by newest member, Erin Tobey have a familiar sound to them, familiarity without mimicry, however. The easiest point of reference is likely Discount, but there is much more going on here than just tracing over points plodded out previously by Alison and co. A rollicking instrumental, “Clouded,” is a nice touch and is followed by the very Vena Cava-esque “No Secrets.” Erin shares vocals and guitar duty with Jeff Grant. Jeff’s songs are fine, though a little more straightforward pop punk (in the DIY school of pop punk that is—think Shorebirds) and a little less dynamic, less remarkable, showing Erin to be a truly inspired addition to the band. I look forward to new releases and more incorporation of Erin’s voice in the mix. Nine tracks in total here, released on Houseplant Records, a label created by Jeff and Erin. Definitely worthy of multiple listens. Recommended for fans of Superchunk, Discount, and Vena Cava. –Jeff (Houseplant)


PINK RAZORS:
Leave Alive: CD
Fun, zippy, revved-up poppy punk, and at nine tracks the record was far too short. I think that this is one of those occasions in which a band’s name really does reflect the tunage…Pink Razors are sharp and cutting but there’s an element of frivolity and panache at the same time. Well done. –The Lord Kveldulfr (No Idea)


PINK REASON:
Throw It Away: 7”
Either a Joy Division-y mood vibe with Lou Reed slide guitars (33 speed) or a higher pitched singing moody acoustic-y guitar lots of effects on the voices (45 speed). Pretty catchy and dreamerific either way. I honestly can’t tell and Criminal IQ always has cool, freaky, unexplainable bands. By the end of their three songs I feel in the territory of the Residents. Did I mention keyboards? –Speedway Randy (Criminal IQ)


PINK REASON:
“Borrowed Time” b/w “Scared Shitless”: 7”
Music to watch bulldozers move mountains of trash to as crows peck at filled diapers. Music that’s so consumptive that it almost elicits a smell. It’s all coming from behind a veil of deep static, especially “Scared Shitless.” The static is its own instrument, modulated, put in front, simultaneously abrasive and melodic. That brings to mind The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Birthday Party in snips and snatches—but in a way that sounds like the Functional Blackouts had flipped their van in a snow bank over those other bands’ songs, and are crawling out of the wreckage. Cold, slippery, toothy, craven. –Todd Taylor (Self-released (?))


PINK REASON:
Desperate Living: LP

First time hearing this group. I remember a lot of fuss about them in recent years. Walls of distortion and noise swirl in a dingy warehouse, while the drummer wails away, punching holes in the din here and there. “Empty Stomach” has a tuneful quality about it, then suddenly, it’s over and we’re racing full-on with a hardcore burner, “The Song with No Name.” The flipside is a V3 cover, “Your Girlfriend,” which is over as soon as it begins.

 

–Matt Average (Almost Ready, almostreadyrecords.com)


PINK REASON:
Shit in the Garden: LP
Pink Reason is not a shape changer. True, if you pick any two Pink Reason songs at random, chances are they are going to sound completely different. Well, completely different, except that they’ll both sound one-hundred percent like Pink Reason. Because Pink Reason is not a shape changer. Pink Reason is a hunger that consumes sounds and makes them its own, shapes them into songs unlike anything you’ll hear on any other record. Sparse acoustic guitar work collides head-on with walls of harsh electronic noise on “Sixteen Years.” Instruments that I can’t even name (Rusty fences being opened and shut? Amplified wind? Exploding computers?) are paired with sounds that have appeared on vinyl since vinyl first appeared, sounds that come and go with logic and no logic at all, and it’s all Pink Reason, and somehow it’s even more than that. These are songs that desperately need to be heard, but don’t care if they’re ever heard or not. –MP Johnson (Stiltbreeze)


PINK REASON:
Negative Guest List Jukebox Single: 7”
RIP Brendon Annesley. No one should die at twenty-one. If you happen upon a copy of Negative Guest List, pick it up. Brendon was a nasty fucker with razor-slash opinions and that’s a compliment. Pink Reason: modern conceptual art. It’s not just the music, it’s the experience, the entire package. The music’s a pastiche—manipulation, tones, noise. The a-side’s source material is complete re-rendering of The Hussy’s “Wrong/Right.” Think of magnetic tape being crumpled up, Ministry, blips of Digital Leather, and unattended electronics. I’m conflicted because it’s interesting, but it’s also pretentious as all hell. Your mileage will vary, depending on your appreciation of Kitchen’s Floor and the unhinged jaw, aching cartilage of the spun-out Homostupids tracks. The B-side blows. Litigiously. It’s a Guns’n’Roses cover played through ludes and cough syrup. Fuuuuck that. My “favorite” part of the original is that it was faster, thus it ended quicker. –Todd Taylor (Disordered, no address listed)


PINK REASON:
“Ache for You” b/w “Darken Daze”: 7”
Ohio and environs—close enough to be far away. Far away enough to be left alone to form a unique identity and not harvested by the microsecond by whatever style is in fancy, almost regardless if the shiny/fancy shit is on the backs of undocumented souls and decades of great work. I’m thinking Sun God, This Moment In Black History, The Chargers Street Gang, wherever the Homostupids are from. There’s a bleak desperation in Kevin DeBroux; a rust-encrusted, poverty-ensnared, life-is-shit, better-play-music vibe in Pink Reason that I really respond to. It’s outsider music for those without a backup plan. To give you a watershed, it’s garage rock without the comfort of a garage. Handgun in the Laundromat. –Todd Taylor (Savage Quality, savagequalityrecordings.com)


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