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· 4:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79
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Razorcake #79
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Record Reviews

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PIRX THE PILOT:
Famous in 47 States: CD
Done right, an overblown, operatic voice in punk rock can be a mark of distinction. Tilt, the Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Fleshies all have or had folks who could belt it out. Unfortunately, that’s the main hurdle I have with Pirx the Pilot. The main singer, Ernst (who also runs New Disorder Records and is a really nice guy) is so high up in the mix, sounds like a less nasal Fred Schneider of the B-52’s, and the instruments almost always watershed around his vocals. Regrettably, his voice – the instrument that most often dominates the music – is my least favorite part of the band. If Erica took the mic more, or they did more change offs, like in “Patriotism” and “Cloud Factory,” the equation might change a little bit. The music, sans male vocals, reminds me of early ‘90s college rock like Love and Rockets with dashes of the Pixies, and scrapes of late period Bauhaus (they’re arty and a little doomy, and have a fixation on Fozzie the Bear dolls) but more straightforward punk, which is nice. So, it’s personal taste, which all hinges on liking a type of voice. Comes with two home-made videos, which is admirable. –Todd Taylor (New Disorder)


PIRX THE PILOT:
Self-titled: CDEP
As I listen to this, I think about what later Government Issue would’ve sounded like if they’d stuck to the thrash beats and stopped taking the anti-depressants. No, I didn’t think it was all that pretty a thought, either. –Jimmy Alvarado (New Disorder)


PISS ANT:
Your Best Sucks: CD
From the band photo in the CD insert, the band looks like a good group of people. The band is comprised of Josi on vocals, Amy on bass, Dave on guitar, and Jeff on drums. However, right off the back, the album rubs me the wrong way. The first song, "Monkey," starts off with a Korn-like, dark, dramatic riff, and then it goes very rock'n' roll. The vocals are not bad. I enjoy Josi's voice when she is singing, as it is raw but feminine. I do not, however, enjoy her vocals on the choruses or the band's back up vocals, especially on "To Think I Thought," "Devil in My Backyard," and "Enemy." The choruses are higher pitched screaming that sounds forced and then electronically subdued. I can't get into it. I can say the latter part of the CD doesn't seem to be as formulaic as the first couple songs. –Jenny Moncayo (Malt Soda)


PISS N BLOOD:
F.T.W.: CD
Debut release from this California four-piece. Singer Ron Anger was in Lost Cause back in the 1980s. Here we get a strict ration of Stooges/Dolls/Pistols playing. There is even a Stooges cover tacked onto the end. If you like any of those bands, more than likely this will be up your alley. Solid playing and intense lyrics. The spirit of ‘70s punk is alive and well here. Don’t miss out! –Sean Koepenick (Self-released)


PISS N’ BLOOD:
F.T.W.: CD
Great mid-tempo, pissed-off punk rock. I don’t know what else to say. If you like U.S. Bombs, the Pistols or The (Canadian) Subhumans, then you’d really like Piss n’ Blood. –Ty Stranglehold (Piss n’ Blood, pissnblood.com)


PISS TEST:
Self-titled: 7”
I’ve been hearing a lot about this band lately, so I’m glad I finally got the chance to check this out. I just gotta say, “believe the hype!” This instantly perked my ears up. It’s got that jangly, snotty combination that seems to crawl out from the moss-covered rock up in the Pacific Northwest. I want more… I need more! –Ty Stranglehold (Jonny Cat, facebook.com/pages/JonnyCat-Records)


PISSED JEANS:
Don’t Need Smoke to Make Myself Disappear: 7”
A-side is a dose of the heavy, minimalist “Flipper after some musical lessons” sludge this label made its first million off of two decades ago, while the B-side takes on more up-tempo rock-meets-hardcore vibe. To be honest, I didn’t really expect much from this, so I’m kinda flabbergasted that it exceeded what low expectations I did have. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sub Pop)


PISSED JEANS:
Hope for Men: CD
Can I say that Pissed Jeans is one of the worst band names I’ve ever heard? Is that allowed? Their sound did nothing to win me over after that initial negative impression: thump thump thump thump scream scream scream. Yawn. –Guest Contributor (Sub Pop)


PIST, THE:
Ideas Are Bulletproof: LP
Does The Pist still hold up in a post-Fucked Up world? Coming from someone who’s spent very little time actually listening to The Pist and has absolutely no fond memories of the ‘90s hardcore scene, I’d say this record has its moments. Angry, oi-inspired, hardcore punk that tells tales of angry, hardcore punk life. “Street punks in the city / And street punks at the show / The kids are here and the kids are pissed / Yeah, the kids are ready to go.” Yeah like gang vocals? –Daryl Gussin (Havoc)


PIST, THE:
Input Equals Output Albums 1 & 2: LP
Double, but separately packaged and sold, set of material from the long gone, late, great Pist. Essentially, this is their discography of EPs, splits, comp tracks, demos, and live recordings from 1993 to 1996 (Ideas Are Bulletproof is reissued now as well). I remember seeing these guys open for Rorschach at Your Place Too in Oakland in 1993. A friend and I were totally surprised to hear a band like this at that time. When just about everyone else was delving into metal, or emo, or limp pop, these guys were playing pure punk, and their stage presence was honest, free of shallow posturing and played-out fashion. The music was well played, but it had this raw and gritty quality about it as well. They could thrash it out then play it slightly slower and never lose any momentum. These guys didn’t play punk to be cool, they played it because they meant it. I thought I had everything they put out, but seeing these two albums and all that is in here, there was quite a bit I was missing. Never knew they had a split with Malachi Krunch, which has the great song, “Mutual.” Then there were the comps I passed over back then; now it’s all here and easily accessible. This stuff holds up quite well twelve years later. Maybe it’s even better now than it was then. Like a fine wine. –Matt Average (Havoc)


PIST, THE:
Ideas Are Bulletproof: LP
Glad to see this back in print. The Pist are not to be denied! Seems like a lot of people had a hard time finding this album, at least on the West Coast, when it originally came out. The street punk influence is more prominent on here (and saluted in the song, “Street Punk”), and the songs have slowed down slightly. I always thought the mix on here sounded a little flat. They should have turned the guitars up a bit more, and maybe a little more low end to give the music more punch. But what can you do? Songs like “Energy” with its quick pace and stop-go breaks is a ripper, and you get the classic “Still Pist” on here as well. I would suggest starting with the singles collections, Input Equals Output, then get this. –Matt Average (Havoc)


PIST, THE:
Input Equals Output, Album Two: LP
Formerly best known ((to me)) for being on the early ‘90s “Punk USA” comp and thusly having their name spelled with an exclamation point in lieu of the letter “I”, The Pist were a troop of above-average mosh-pit maulers from the East Coast who were good enough to sound like they might have legitimately sprung from the Great Street Punk Uterus in 1983 or ‘84 or something, yet not transcendent enough that they cause me to wax particularly nostalgic for the musical emissions of that era. I mean, it’s not like the chord progressions, attitudes and sentiments expressed in this odds-and-ends collection are likely something you’ve never heard before; but, then again, it’s generally a given with fans and practitioners of this kinda music ((what do you even call this stuff anymore? “Hardcore?” “Street Punk?” “Punk/Hardcore?” “Moo Goo Gai Pan??”)) that whether or not you’ve heard it all before is not a particularly valued criterion ((in an embarrassing case of mistaken identity, i really thought i had heard “Creature in My Closet” before, and that it was a Freeze cover)). The longer this record played, the longer it reminded me of… well… pretty much EVERYTHING else along these lines, which is when it hit me: StreetPunkic QuadDecameter™. That’s right, i said it and i meant it: StreetPunkic QuadDecameter™!The reason bands of this ilk tend to sound similar is due to an unusual propensity for fourteen-syllable lines. STREETPUNKIC QUADDECAMETER™ I TELL YOU!!! Bear witness: “Small town lives, small town lies, you don’t fit in their small town minds”, “Shadows dance across my walls as I strain my eyes to see”, “It lurks inside of everyone though most may hide it well”, “You struggle just to make it but there are no guarantees”, “You gave your mind and body, no, you put it up for sale”, “We set our limitations, we can break them just the same”, “No idols to be worshipped, no commandments command me”—come ON, man, i cracked the code of the punk/hardcore molecule!!!Coming up next on PBS: “Iambic Pentameter: Is it Rad?” BEST SONG: “Bubblegum Bullshit,” although i love bubblegum BEST SONG TITLE: “Bubblegum Bullshit” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This is the first record i’ve ever owned that was a single album with a side C and a side D. –Rev. Norb (Havoc)


PISTOL FOR A PAYCHECK:
At the Pinnacle: CDR
Mediocre rock band. Sometimes I really wish there was more to say about music. If this were a cereal, it’d be Total. Yawn. –Maddy (Endless Vertigo Music)


PISTOL GRIP:
Another Round: CD
So much better than their debut, The Shots from the Kalico Rose, that it’s surprising that this is the same band. The street punk is still there but the music sounds more mature. The production takes them off the streets and makes them sound more legitimate. They seem to have more hooks than a bunch of fisherman on a chartered fishing boat this time around. The music is definitely more rocking than they have been in the past, almost like they have taken the influences of Youth Brigade (since they are on the band’s label) and punk pioneers of the past to truly fine tune their sound. Now I have to make the effort to go see them live. –Donofthedead (BYO)


PISTOL GRIP:
The Shots from the Kalico Rose: CD
I had an idea what these guys were going to sound like when I saw their name listed on the line-up for the Holidays in the Sun festival. What I didn't expect was great, melodic arrangements of their brand of street punk. They show that they have chops and offer a little more than the standard formula that you hear these days from bands of this genre. Good background vocals on the "ooohhhss" on the choruses that are in key. The guitars are in sync and have a punch that sometimes get lost in recording. The bass sounds almost happy and is tied in with the drums to mix it all together. The vocalist has a strong voice and can actually sing. Nothing more annoying to me is listening to a street punk band with a singer that can't sing in key. I haven't been listening to street punk that much lately, but this is a pleasant surprise. A good listen to shake a beer at. –Donofthedead (BYO)


PISTOL WHIP:
Terminal: CD/DVD
Smog Veil unleashes some killer Erie, PA punk from 1977 and ‘78! This band is incredible, coming on like a great combination of the Dictators and Radio Birdman. There is a lot of that hard rock turning into punk sound to be found here, and that is some of my favorite stuff of all time. Fans of Nervous Eaters would find a whole lot to like here, although this band has a dash of that Australian dark sound that seems to inform so many of the Oz bands. The DVD has some footage shot on 8mm from way back when, as well. I am so glad to hear some more of this proto-punk style stuff and having studio recordings instead of crummy-sounding live recordings just make it all the better. This is simply an essential reissue for anyone who is a fan of the rockin’ punk end of the spectrum. –Mike Frame (Smog Veil)


PITCH BLACK:
self-titled: CD
I was really hoping I was going to like this. I heard something about a guy from the Nerve Agents was in this band. I heard a few tracks by the latter band and thought it wasn’t half bad. This release rubs me in the wrong way. It’s like having your underwear stuck up your ass, soaking up the sweat while you are trying to run down the street. Not horrific, just not my cup of tea. I would say that it is a mixture of the current TSOL meets a non-psychobilly Tiger Army mixed with some AFI. –Donofthedead (Revelation)


PITCH BLACK:
This Is the Modern Sound: CD
This goes in kinda sounding like (International) Noise Conspiracy and comes out kinda sounding like the Murder City Devils. I am a little wary of this record. The artwork is really "pro" and the whole thing comes across looking like a Target commercial. The music's not bad, just a little contrived. I kinda get the feeling this band wants to "make it," and that kinda makes me not like them. I don't trust 'em. –ben (Revelation)


PITCH BLACK:
Self-titled: CD
Horror punk coming out of the East Bay featuring ex-members of the Nerve Agents and Screw 32, which really didn’t show up in the their sound. Let me start by saying I didn’t care for this very much. I have no problem with bands going for the horror thing, but the band didn’t do it for me musically. In fact, the best part of the CD was the artwork (cool cover courtesy of their singer) and lyrical content (horror themes, duh!). Musically Pitch Black play punk borderline on hardcore at times with goth interludes here and there. The songs generally had dreary intros with melodic guitar work throughout, which was alright musically, but unfortunately there was nothing that stood out. What really killed it for me, though, were the vocals. The singer sounds like a younger, higher pitched version of Rudimentary Peni's Nick Blinko. I found his voice both distracting and annoying at times. No thanks. –Mike Dunn –Guest Contributor (Revelation)


PITCH BLACK:
self-titled: CD
I was really hoping I was going to like this. I heard something about a guy from the Nerve Agents was in this band. I heard a few tracks by the latter band and thought it wasn’t half bad. This release rubs me in the wrong way. It’s like having your underwear stuck up your ass, soaking up the sweat while you are trying to run down the street. Not horrific, just not my cup of tea. I would say that it is a mixture of the current TSOL meets a non-psychobilly Tiger Army mixed with some AFI. –Donofthedead (Revelation)


PITS, THE:
Introducing My New High: 7" EP
I used to hate the French, but I think I hate the English even more now. I take that back. I hate English people who sing in English complete with that repulsive snotty snarl that makes one think that they're not even English in the first place but a bunch of poseurs that listen to too many Sex Pistols and The Clash's "Best of..." records while fucking donkeys in the middle of a cow field in Butte, Montana. –Namella J. Kim (Rapid Pulse, PO Box 5075, Milford, CT 06460)


PITS, THE:
My Life In Ruins: 7” EP

Anthemic punk reminiscent of the UK Subs. I dug it.

–Todd Taylor (Rapid Pulse)


PITS, THE:
Introducing My New High: 7"EP
I used to hate the French, but I think I hate the English even more now. I take that back. I hate English people who sing in English complete with that repulsive snotty snarl that makes one think that they're not even English in the first place but a bunch of poseurs that listen to too many Sex Pistols and The Clash's "Best of..." records while fucking donkeys in the middle of a cow field in Butte, Montana. –Namella J. Kim (Rapid Pulse)


PITY FUCKS:
Oaks Bottom: 7” EP
This new three-song release from Pity Fucks contains two original songs as well as a cover version of Bo Diddley’s “Hong Kong Mississippi.” The two original tracks have a renewed Dickies vibe complete with organs to help with the flow of the songs. The vocals are a cross between Gluecifer and Lamont with a little Eddie Spaghetti thrown in for good measure, especially during the chorus of “Ain’t All There.” I would swear that was Biff Malibu making a guest vocal appearance. The Bo Diddley cover is a complete rocker raising the song’s pace to a whole new level. Would love to see these guys play this song live. I’m guessing it would be a highlight of their set list. –Brent Nimz (Felony Fidelity, no address listed)


PITY FUCKS, THE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Mangled drunken garage party boogie with commendably loutish keyboards that would not sound out of place on the “Busted at Oz” album ((then again i probably haven’t listened to that album in twenty-five years so don’t take my word for this)), or maybe one of those not-quite-punk fringe bar bands of the early ‘80s that had a keyboard but were kinda funny and obnoxious so you didn’t mind watching the drunken college guys try to quasi-ironically punk out to the best of their limited abilities by hopping around hanging themselves with their skinny ties on the dance floor or what-not. Or possibly what the Urinals would have sounded like had they had to play biker bars in Pennsylvania. Actually, no, not so much like that, now that i think about it. Yet, out of this drool, sputum and mayhem shoots golden beams of drunken profundity: “The last time I saw you you was lovin’ me good / But then you broke my heart like I knew you would!” That’s actually a pretty fuckin’ right-on line. Plus i like how the keyboard player appears to be playing one-handed, and seems to have obtained the full measure of his chops from that one song you learn when you’re like eight years old where you mostly just roll your fist over the three black keys. BRING THESE VASSALS TO ME! The czar wishes to cut a f’n rug! BEST SONG: “Why Right Now?” BEST SONG TITLE: “Why Right Now?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The record label states that this 45 RPM record is “unbreakable,” yet i could not find it in my heart to test this claim by giving the record a good sharp whack against a pinball machine, so the veracity of this assertion remains completely bound to the realm of speculation at this point. –Rev. Norb (Felony Fidelity)


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