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Record Reviews

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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)


PINK REASON:
Ache for You: 7” single

Must confess, this is my first time hearing this group. I know, I know, they’ve been around for some time, and I do remember seeing the name in a lot of the zines, blogs, and whatever forms of media the kids are talking about these days. So, without that out of the way... “Darken Daze” on the B-side is the more down feeling of the two. Sounds like a mix of early American punk with some bastardized take on the blues. Then they put a slightly noisy spin on it towards the end. Nothing overbearing; it just creeps in and makes itself known as the song unrolls. The A-side, “Ache for You,” is more upbeat musically, though the lyrics and the way they are delivered give one a sense of desperation and confusion. I like how the guitar is up and has this noisy way about it. The playing is urgent and really pushing things around. The way both guitars come in towards the end and ratchet up the dissonance is great! I like this, but I can’t help but think to really develop an appreciation of this band, one would need to listen to an LP’s worth of music.

–Matt Average (Savage Quality, savagequalityrecordings.com)


PINK SEXIES, THE:
Rock and Roll Moustache Ride: CD
Were Pere Ubu gay? Because if they weren’t, these guys are the gay them. Poppier, too. –Cuss Baxter (Wrecked ‘Em)


PINK SEXIES, THE:
Self-titled: 12"
Label says: “Pink Sexies first 7-song EP originally released in 2001, re-released on pink vinyl with one never released song from The Rock N Roll Moustache Ride sessions in 2003. Limited numbered edition of 150 wreckords.” I say, praise them for reintroducing this to the public. Feels reminiscent of old Black Randy ‘70s punk: soooo desperate, strained vocals, and popping punk hooks. It’s great. But it’s better than just fitting into an old punk sound. They feel like they came upon their anxiety naturally, blowing out frustration with the band. The post-it note says “Knoxville, TN” and that sounds like a great place to feel trapped in, needing to blast out. Cool wreckord you should check out. –Speedway Randy (Wrecked 'Em)


PINK SMOKE:
No Party: Cassette
Some great mid-tempo punk residing somewhere between the good company of Marked Men and Bad Sports. Coincidentally or not, these songs also happen to be recorded by Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke of Marked Men. That’s not to say these fellas can’t rely on their own merits, no sir. The songwriting seems to reach the level of outstanding on the second side when traces of the Dead Boys’ menacing punk anthems are woven into their already infectious style. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Pink Smoke because I know it’s only a matter of time before they’re offered a proper release. –Juan Espinosa (Jolly Ronnie, kurtbaker.bandsonabudget.com/pinksmokeband)


PINK SWORDS:
Shut Up & Take It: CD
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no saint and that some—nay, most—of the bands I’ve been in have been, at times, quite un-PC. I am also open-minded enough to say these guys are laying down some pretty solid rock/punk here. That said, I think depicting women’s faces and genitalia as urinals is a bit much. In fact, I think it’s pretty fucked up. I’m in no way in favor of censorship and wholly believe that if the intended message they’re trying to convey is that women are equal in worth to something you piss into, then more power to them; but if that IS their intended message, I hope any women currently involved, or who have the potential to be involved with these guys, make note of this, as it is pretty obvious from the artwork on this that they have some pretty deep seated issues. I would also to venture a guess that the moniker they’ve chosen is more than just a clever name. –Jimmy Alvarado (Gearhead)


PINK SWORDS:
One Night High: CD
What do you get when you take the dirt out of trash rock? This. I don’t know if it’s in the recording, but it just comes across so clean. There could be something there, but I lose it in the sterility. This makes me think of office girls going out for a night on the town and so they trade in their suit-dress for a mini skirt and a spiked bracelet thinking that they’re so bad. However they do thank some awesome bands that you should check out if you haven’t yet: Riverboat Gamblers, The Ends, and the Motards. –Megan Pants (Mortville)


PINK TURDS IN SPACE:
The Complete: CD
Honestly, I know fuckall about this band outside that they were from Belfast and they appear to have started out in the mid-’80s and managed to survive into the early ‘90s. What I do know is that they cranked out some serious thrash that seems to carry the DNA of both the U.K. anarcho-punk crowd and U.S. ‘80s hardcore, with a dash of metal guitar to add a little personality. The lyrics are angry yet laced with a bit of sarcasm around the edges; the tunes are fast ‘n’ furious and tight as hell. In addition to what I’m guessing from the title is their entire oeuvre presented on once CD, you get a thick booklet with lyrics, pictures, flyers, and interviews culled from various fanzines and other sources. –Jimmy Alvarado (Anti-Society, antisocietyrecords@yahoo.co.uk)


PINKERTON THUGS, THE:
The Pain and the…: LP
The Pinkerton Thugs have been making thinking-man’s street punk for almost twenty years now. Their music isn’t flashy. Their album art isn’t flashy. Hell, nothing they do is particularly flashy, which is only a problem because it may be why I haven’t really taken the time to listen to them until now. Then again, it’s their lack of flash that makes them what they are. It’s their roll-the-sleeves up and just fucking rock approach that makes them worth listening to, and if it takes a bit too long for some nerds like me to catch on, then so be it. They’ll keep doing their thing, and if you don’t listen, then it’s your loss.  –MP Johnson (Jailhouse)


PINKEYE:
Self-titled: 7”EP
It’s Jonah and Damian of Fucked Up’s side project. What’re you expecting? An all-instrumental tribute to Godspell, featuring dueling theramin, glockenspiel, and accordion? It’s hardcore and it’s much better than worthy of your attention solely because it features members of an awesome band: gritty, ADD-laden songs, more tuned to velocity and interested in killing jocks than Fucked Up. But, shit, if it doesn’t just flat-out rip with approved-by-Slayer solos, lyrics that read like laundry list of high school fantasies (highlighted by the aptly titled “In Praise of School Shooters”), and details taking acid while playing Dungeons and Dragons. It’s much better than I thought it’d be. Canada scores again. –Todd Taylor (Slasher)


PINKOS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Political punk that goes far beyond the empty slogans parroted by many. Instead, the Pinkos present their ideas with an informed background, and it shows in the lyrics as they read like stories and conversations. Think of the Dead Kennedys in this aspect. Musically they keep it simple with only two instruments: guitar and drums. They’re catchy, solid, and interesting, as they stay away from the usual stimulus. As you may have gathered, the Pinkos are not your typical punk band. Which works in their favor, and yours, all the more. Have a listen. –Matt Average (Empty)


PINKZ, THE:
Something About You b/w Be Mine: 7"
Fuck, this is great girl-strewn power garage pop in the firing range of Buck and early Muffs. Nice, bubblegummy thick choruses, catchy lyrics, fuzzed out guitars, and production that’s not too slick and not blown out (so it sounds human and fun without being clinical). It’s the stuff that Josie and the Pussycats wished they could have pulled off, if they had daggers hidden in their Converse and smoked a lot of weed. The Pinkz are kind of like a sweater on fire from a bunch of firecrackers. At first it’s soothing – “Yeah, I like that familiar beat,” snap-snap-snap, then they’re exciting on their own as they toss out these two incendiary little nuggets of songs that make me get up and flail around like a flaming tard. Way cool single. Me play lots. –Todd Taylor (Gearhead)


PINKZILLA:
Self-titled: CD
One o’ them bands that hop scotches between punk, metal, scum rock, and stoner rock. Things are heavy, the guitars chugga-chugga along, the drums wham-bam relentlessly, and the singer howls from the gravel pit that is his voice box. –Jimmy Alvarado (Pinkzilla)


PINS OF LIGHT:
II: CD
Imagine Lemmy from Motörhead fronting a new band that was influenced by Motörhead and more recent bands like Comets On Fire, Fu Manchu, Hellacopters, and the sort. Guitar rock without the theatrics of the past. The music is hard-driving, propelled by a drummer that hits hard, fast, and precise. For the most part, the songs are straight to the point, but on “Sound & Pressure” they go off into a more prog psych realm- a long buildup from rumbling drums, the bass keeps the tension, and the guitar melts and reforms at varying intervals. The song ends up being more of a jam, and while I do like it, I was hoping they would go even further into the psych side of things. Overall, this album is pretty good, but I think they could do better by adding a little more distortion and putting some dirt in the sound. –Matt Average (Alternative Tentacles, alternativetentacles.com)


PINSCH, THE:
Inside Jokes for Outside People: CDEP
Catchy ‘50s surf-influenced poppy punk with female vocals and keyboards. It’s just five songs in thirteen minutes, so it’s a pretty quick listen. The vocals are solid but the music is pretty basic and nothing excited me, although I will give the band credit for at least getting my toe tapping. Any band that can get some movement out of me beside hitting the stop and eject buttons on the CD player should be commended, but not necessarily recommended. –Kurt Morris (Ramo, ramorecords@gmail.com)


PINT LIFTER:
Delusions of Grandeur: CD

 

This most definitely feels like what most punk music sounded like when I was a freshman in high School in 1998. Sounds, vocally, like early Avail and, musically, like Jugheads Revenge. Somewhat formulaic, but a sound a lot of people seem to miss. Fast-paced, late ‘90s, circle pit punk.

–Rene Navarro (Self-released)


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