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· 1:The Rikk Agnew Band, Symbol Six, Barrio Tiger and A Pretty Mess
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· 4:#323 - Future Virgins Edition with Todd Taylor and Mike Faloon
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Record Reviews

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POOR LILY:
Self-titled: CD
Poor Lily is doing a throwback Minutemen meets Fugazi says hello to the Dead Kennedys thing. It’s pretty good, as far as those things go. But my Ramones-addled brain wants a chorus, and a chorus you shall not find (for the most part) on this album! Poor Lily offers angular tunes, shouted vocals, short songs (two minutes or less) and lyrics like, “Why don’t you stick a needle in my head and extract my point of view?” Bonus fact: This three-piece includes the former drummer for Sick Of It All, Murphy’s Law, and H20 and the former drummer for the 1980s New York hardcore band Beyond. Two drummers, one band! (One of them now plays guitar.) If you like the Minutemen, then this is worth checking out. And the whole album is on the band’s website for free. Easy decisions! –Maddy (self-released)


POOR LILY:
Vuxola: CD
Weird and dynamic enough to appeal to folks interested in genres beside punk. How’s that? Confident, strange, and buoyant songs that are so precise they might as well be laser-guided. Similar in oddity and tone as NoMeansNo and Alice Donut or even more challenging shit like Ruins. Nineteen songs kind of pushes the limits of my endurance, but they’re undoubtedly good at what they’re doing. –Keith Rosson (Poor Lily)


POOR LILY: : :
Three Songs: CD
“Ooookay,” I think. “A shrink-wrapped CD single that won’t play in CD player. Great. Computer reads the band as Judas Child, and the songs as “Early Morning Peace,” “Happy Place,” and “This Soul Has Flown.” Huh. This will be stellar, I’m sure.” Then I press Play and my jaw promptly bounces to floor. Poor Lily’s a three-piece, mostly out of Brooklyn, that features dudes—I shit you not—from Beyond, H20, and Lightning Crabs playing what sounds like Some Girls deviously and fuckedupedly covering the Minutemen. Three songs. It’s bizarre, surprising, frenetic, wound tight as a spring, riveting as shit, and really, really good. –Keith Rosson (Poor Lily)


POOR LUCKIES, THE:
EP#1: 7”
This is fairly standard punk in the vein of Fang (but not quite as toothy) from this San Francisco three-piece. The three tunes, which are about murder and drinking for the most part, aren’t overly original in their sound, but they’re not bad. I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Self-released, reverbnation.com/poorluckies)


POP ATAK!:
Self-titled: CD-R demo
One should stop playing music when they no longer find it fun. Life can throw awful curveballs. Sometime along the line, Davey, Ross, and Bob stopped playing together as Tiltwheel. Davey kept his musical flag fluttering. They’re also all men of honor. So, years and years later, when Ross and Bob wanted to start playing again, Davey, who’s in a guesstimated five bands already, welcomed his friends to start anew. Since there was already a fully functional Tiltwheel humming along, they formed Pop Atak! This demo’s a good etching. A little more fidelity and fullness, a little more snapping together, and we’ll have some polished-up prime cuts. I’m more than patient and confident that a proper release will blow me away. More than anything, I’m just glad they’re all playing and hanging out again. –Todd Taylor (Self-released)


POP TARDS:
Hot Cum on a Cold Child: CD
From the little sticker on the front: “The Saint Louis six-piece craft an in-your-face approach that reconciles noise with pop once and for all. ThinkBeach Boys meets Stockhausen with shimmery, soaring vocals.” Well, if Stockhausen wrote meandering noise pieces (and I guess some would argue much of his stuff was just that) for an ensemble comprised of barely proficient fourth graders, I can see the connection. The Beach Boys, however, are nowhere in evidence as far as I am able to determine. Based on the shock tactic title and phallic parental advisory sticker, methinks the whole thing is a bit of a piss-take. Hope the Lou Bega and Soundgarden fans they recommend it to on the aforementioned sticker actually pick up a copy, ‘cause that would indeed be funny. –Jimmy Alvarado (Waste, no address)


POPDEFECT:
R.I.P.: CD
A surfy/thrashy/pop band for twenty debaucherous years, PopDefect takes its final bows with a little pathos, a little bathos and a dash of self-depreciating humor on this full-length album. This release contains new recordings of "Drunken Sailor," "Vena's Revenge," and "Rock in My Hand" that aren't too different from the previously available versions, but it's nice to have them all in one place on what might be the band's finest collection of songs ever. The CD's final cut, "Dirge Overkill," is a song lamenting the last beer at a party that has long run its course as the band finds itself "far from the greatest show on earth" and serves as a moving coda to the band's lengthy career. The keg may have run dry but the memories will last a lunch time. –Bob Cantu (Heart Murmur, PO Box 50602, LA, CA 90050)


POPDEFECT:
R.I.P.: CD
A surfy/thrashy/pop band for twenty debaucherous years, PopDefect takes its final bows with a little pathos, a little bathos and a dash of self‑depreciating humor on this full‑length album. This release contains new recordings of "Drunken Sailor," "Vena's Revenge," and "Rock in My Hand" that aren't too different from the previously available versions, but it's nice to have them all in one place on what might be the band's finest collection of songs ever. The CD's final cut, "Dirge Overkill," is a song lamenting the last beer at a party that has long run its course as the band finds itself "far from the greatest show on earth" and serves as a moving coda to the band's lengthy career. The keg may have run dry but the memories will last a lunch time. –Guest Contributor (Heart Murmur)


POPE, THE:
Live Aids Free Tibet: 7”
I put this record on all excited because of the Aztec-inspired artwork. I thought, “Ooh, neato, Aztecs!” The music started playing and my second thought was, “Ick, make it stop!” It’s fast, loud, obnoxious, with lack of any kind of organization or rhythm. The song “Aztec Pride” just pisses me off because it’s five minutes long! Five minutes of complete bullshit. Are you kidding me with this? I got totally bitchfucked with this one. Not my idea of good stuff. I’m throwing this crap into the TijuanaRiver where it belongs. –Corinne –Guest Contributor (Yosada)


POPE, THE:
The Jazzman Cometh: CD and Book
Noise rock that sounds like Unsane in a bad mood. Playing this loud might actually work well as a defoliant as well. –Jimmy Alvarado (Wantage USA)


POPE, THE:
Sports: CD
Sports is an obnoxious noise record that is surprisingly accessible at times. The album title and some of the song titles, such as “I Want a New Sport” and “The Power of Sports,” pay tribute to none other than Huey Louis. An over-usage of computer and synthesizer sounds overpower the sometimes-interesting frantic guitar work. It’s supposed to be a mess, and it’s a mess that gets old fast. –Art Ettinger (Wäntage USA)


POPITILOPITILUS:
Huh?: 7"
Popitilopitilus couldn’t have picked a more fitting title for this 7”. The music is all over the place, from early ‘80s SoCal punk to ‘90s anarcho-screamcore to blatant Dead Kennedys rip off. The lyrics appear to have been written while on a whacked out magic mushroom trip. Anyone who sings about telling a girl not to ride a bike while wearing a mini skirt has got to be high. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a big, dumb joke or an ill-fated attempt at pulling a scam. –Josh Benke (Stank House)


POPITILOPITILUS:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Oddball hardcore that swings all over the map—hyper-thrash one second, Cowsy noise rock the next—then on to tunes about terror gnomes and having lasers for eyes. –Jimmy Alvarado (Stank House)


POPPETS:
Pre-Party: 7” EP
Sometimes the whole lo-fi approach actually detracts rather than adds to a band’s efforts, as is the case here. It sounds like they’ve taken what was originally a decent recording and intentionally dropped out the high and low ends to give it that lo-fi sound, but what they’ve actually managed to do is zap all the punch out of the tunes. As it stands, the songs aren’t bad in a simplistic punk/pop Loli And The Chones-lite kinda way, but I’m sure this would’ve been a stunner with some power behind it. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.bachelorrecords.com)


POPPETS:
Live På Utmarken: Cassette
Who thought cassettes would come back? In the last few years, the sturdy format that was once the standard for demos is returning with a vengeance in DIY circles. Burger Records is at the forefront of the tape revival movement and they specialize not only in making cassettes, but also in making cassettes of bands that sound especially rocking on that medium. Poppets is a great, sloppy Swedish pop outfit. This live set sounds extra vital on cassette. I want to hear more of Poppets and their danceable brilliance. This isn’t some shitty homegrown packaging, but a real, factory-produced tape. Hand-numbered and limited to just 250 copies, this cassette is a blast from the format on down. –Art Ettinger (Burger, burgerrecords.webs.com)


POPPETS:
“1+1=2” b/w “Poolside Fun at Michaels”: 7”
One of my professors had a story he quoted a few times about a friend who told him “only trust rock’n’roll from Scandinavia.” I have no idea why this statement is so accurate, but it holds true under a variety of testing. Sweden’s Poppets hold up the tradition pretty well, I say. Within this debut single, we have poppy garage punk somewhere between the likes of King Tuff and Japanther. The same pop sensibilities that showed themselves in the solo Jay Reatard albums are also front and center, although their mechanical steadiness is made by an actual machine. A drum machine! How novel! For a debut single, this is incredibly promising. I have high hopes. –Bryan Static (Windian)


POPPETS:
“The Long Highway” + “Heaven Only Knows”: 7”
If you listen really closely, buried under all that white noise, are a couple of amazing pop songs. And, honestly, that’s how I like my pop; under some grime and without the benefit of a six-hundred-dollars-a-day recording budget. I was excited to flip this over until I realized it was a one-sided 7”. You teases! –Chris Mason (No address)


POPPETS:
Steal It like a Thief: LP
Wow, i got almost all the way through the second song before i realized that the record spun at 45 and not 33. Sure, it kinda sounded like she had an unusually deep voice and all, but, fuck, the band is Swedish; who knows what kind of funky bodily transmutations they might routinely undertake there? Plus, i mean, it had a real nice lower mid-range crunch at 33. I kind of miss it. In any event, at the correct turntable speed, this girl/guy/drum machine three-way sounds somewhat akin to a songwriting demo for the first Donnas album, Helen Love minus the disco shit, or the Okmoniks plus the Helen Love shit. Well, with the Ramones being in no condition to attempt to release really obvious summertime albums these days, somebody’s gotta make music to spur our collective wine cooler consumption, and i applaud their selfless acceptance of this onerous civic duty. Huzzah! BEST SONG: “1+1=2” BEST SONG TITLE: “1+1=2” because i like math. “Hjärtats Slag” is a close second. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I actually wasn’t convinced that the record spun at 45 until i went to amazon.com and played their song samples. Huh. –Rev. Norb (FDH, fdhmusic.com)


POPSTERS, THE:
All Of You: CD
I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out why a band would call themselves The Popsters? Sure they play some of the best pop-punk stuff I’ve heard in ages, but why so literal? It started to dawn on me when I listened to the lyrics a little closer. Odd wording and backwards grammar. A check of the liner notes revealed my suspicions. Italians singing in English. There you have it. I cannot and will not fault these guys for their ridiculous band name because there has to be a translation error. Yeah, that’s it….Anyway, let’s talk about the music. If you can bear any more Canadian references from me, I think they sound a lot like Doughboys and Bum. Two of the best pop bands we Canucks ever had to offer. Yep, The Popst…I can’t even type it again...these guys are that good. Throw a Mass Giorgini mix on it and there you have it. The Tom Petty cover is pretty good too. –Ty Stranglehold (Incessant Drip)


POPSTERS, THE:
All of You: CD
Mid-tempo melodicore/pop punk from Italy that you would never believe is not an American band. I would have been all over this in the pop punk wave of the late ‘90s. But as too much of any one thing gets old, I really have to say that this band is average. Even the cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” is played straight up with nothing added. Was hoping for so much more since it was coming from outside the states and released here. –Donofthedead (Incessant Drip)


POPSTERS, THE:
The Scene: 7” 45
The band’s one-sheet (“one-sheets are retarded and we don’t like them, but you know, whatever…”) inexplicably classifies the band as “Ramones-descended pop punk,” but the guitar rhythms and song structures are almost completely a-Ramonal, leading me to wonder if the dude who wrote the one-sheet (or, for that matter, the band) has even heard the Ramones in the first place. I mean, the only band i can think of from that entire era that The Popsters might reasonably lay claim to being “descended” from would be the Professionals, and even that reference is more circumstantial than anything. Contains a cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” that serves the noble enough purpose of putting a version of that song into the record collections of people like me who always kinda liked that song, but didn’t like it enough to actually go out and buy a Tom Petty record (though the song stops short of being even vaguely exceptional owing to the fact that the drummer stops keeping time once he starts playing fills), and ends with a hookless, five-minute patience tester that one would tend to file under “What Exactly WERE You Thinking?” were one a meticulous bookkeeper. In summation, i like their name, but i think their records should be pinker. BEST SONG: “American Girl” BEST SONG TITLE: Wow, still “American Girl” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I honestly cannot figure out if the band is from Carbondale, Illinois or Italy. –Rev. Norb (It’s Alive)


POPSTERS, THE:
Two Minutes b/w Runaway: 7"
Yet another classic pop punk slab o’ wax from the infamous Kazakhstanian pop punk guru! No… not Borat… that’s an English comedian making an ass out of himself…I’m talking about the infamous Adam Alive from California! Side A of this 7” showcases the Popster’s songwriting ability: great guitar solos and sing-along lyrics to die for. Side B is a cover of Dee Dee Ramone’s song “Runaway,” and it’s done well. The recording quality and musicianship win on this 7”. I know it’s only two songs, but get it if you dig this kind of stuff. The pre-burned super slick CD-R of the 7” is another bonus, and your mp3 players and car stereos and CD Walkmen will be feeling as important as that record player. Everyone wins! –Mr. Z (It’s Alive)


POPSTERS, THE:
Our Bites Bring You Back: CD
Pop punk from Italy that is all too familiar. Reminds me of some of The Ergs songs but without the love and girl themes. I think there is also something in there reminiscent of The Queers, too. I can’t quite place my finger on it, but this band is worth checking out. –Corinne (Cheapskate)


POPULAR MECHANICS:
Time and a Half: CD
Smart, loud guitar pop with a ‘70s influence mixed in that I can’t quite put my finger on. Cover graphics are swell in a Soviet art kinda way. –Jimmy Alvarado (pancakeproductions.net)


POPULAR SHAPES:
Bikini Style: CD
Loosely, very loosely, the Popular Shapes are in the same camp as The Lost Sounds, the A-Frames, and Le Shock (RIP). Hyper-angular, almost robotic voiced, whelped guitars, Wire-loving, Gang of Four-idolizing, Stick Men With Rayguns-admiring punk for animated mannequins. There’s nothing wrong with them, and I find myself really enjoying parts of songs, but like a spice that slips off the side of your tongue instead of blooming right in the middle, I can’t hold my arms up in the touchdown position when listening to the Popular Shapes. What’s weirder is that, on repeated listens, I’m both liking it more and liking it less. Huh. If you don’t squint at adventure and don’t need straight-ahead melodies holding your hand all the way through a song, I say give ‘em a chance. I’ll sit here and see if it grows on me. –Todd Taylor (On/On Switch)


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