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Razorcake #85
Pale Angels, Imaginary People LP
Toys That Kill / Joyce Manor, Split 7"
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Record Reviews

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POWERCUP / PIZZ HI FIVE:
Split: 10”
The thing about grind is that if you know what you’re doing, you don’t really have to do anything special because if you write catchy riffs and a drummer that can keep time, it will always be good. Thus is the case with both of these bands. The front cover for this record includes six crossed out quarter notes, two smiley faces, four upside-down crosses, skulls, beer, pizza, zombies, and a several general depictions of chaos. The back cover is a picture of a dude putting a power drill to his head. Credits include references to: “Thrashcan Dan,” “Blast Commander,” and “The Mighty Wizard,” and you can play either side at thirty-three or forty-five and it basically sounds the same. You know what you’re getting, and you can never own enough goofy grind records to throw on at parties. –Ian Wise (Give Praise)


POWERSOLO:
It’s Raceday and Your Pussy Is GUT!!!: CD
Swampy, stripped down, and distorted Danish release. Clearly influenced by SCOTS, Supersuckers, Andre Williams, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Flatlanders, garage, Appalachian folk, and honky tonk. There’s even a corrido! Surprisingly good, indeed. However, is “gut” missing an umlaut or am I missing something? –Jessica Thiringer (Crunchy Frog, www.crunchy.dk)


PRACTICE:
More Practice: 7”
This seven inch starts off with a Chip Hanna-style marching drum beat. It’s almost enough to make you think you’re listening to an old US Bombs record. Then the guitars kick in and you’re in for something completely different. I hear touches of the second Clash album, of Dillinger Four basslines, of punk rock that’s poppy without being Ramones influenced pop punk, of so many influences, really, that it makes the songs very original. Like the first Practice seven inch on Snuffy Smile, More Practice has three amazing songs that make me want ten more. –Sean Carswell (Snuffy Smile)


PRACTICE:
Fight Back: 7"
My feelings on Japanese punk rock summed up in two words? Woo hoo. Snuffy Smile Records, in particular, is practically flawless, and this is no exception. Practice is along the lines as the Tim Version, with the tunefully chaotic melodies and the tighter-than-fish-pussy instrumental interlock. The vocals sound a lot like their Japanese forebears Screaming Fat Rat, and it may in fact be the same guy. If you can find this record, or any Snuffy Smile release, buy it on sight. –Josh (Snuffy Smile)


PRACTICE/ SMALLTOWN:
Split: 7"
What a perfect idea for a split—to combine a Japanese band with a Swedish one who’re both approaching music in similar ways. Practice wear the Clash influence a bit more obviously, but it doesn’t matter. They come across neither as an extended Clash medley nor do they sound like they’re just rearranging the ashes of long-ago written songs. It’s fun, great stuff. Fourteen songs down, from a slew of 7”s and splits, Smalltown has done no wrong. They make water-tight unpretentious, instantly likeable yet stronger on repeated listens songs. “Fifteen” is an ode to turning off the TV and going for a walk and “Jimmy” is a cover of the neo-mod band, The Purple Hearts. Great stuff that fans of prime Jam and Stiff Little Fingers would sit up and pay immediate attention to. What’s odd about Smalltown is that they don’t come off as a revival band. They’ve studied the past and sheared off the best parts, but have their fingers on a map that’s leading them into places few bands have ever found. I’m not sure how they do it. That’s why I’m all ears. –Todd Taylor (Snuffy Smile)


PRAG:
Self-titled: Cassette
Prag is a tight mess, blending raw, raging hardcore with distorted, echoing, reverbed vocals. It has all of the feedback and distortion a Guitar Wolf fan could want but in the style of hardcore. The singer’s voice goes all over from whistling to echoed effects as the guitars burn through a short six songs. It’s the perfect noise to get me out of bed and raging.  –Craven Rock (brvcevon@gmail.com)


PRAMBATH, THE:
I Will Walk My Way: 7"
This power pop quartet rock it Japanese. It’s a combo of X-style riffs and male and female harmonizing, early early Go-Go’s and Puffi Ami Yumi. The female vocals, a signature of Japanese punk, are sugary, hyper, and as potent as a shot of espresso. “Cold Shadow” switches to male vocals and opens with chords resembling the pop persona of the Beatles –Kristen K (myspace.com/sonicjettrecords)


PRANK WAR:
Don’t Blame It on the Rain: Cassette
You could call Prank War pop punk but that would be selling them a bit short, because quite a few influences can be heard here, from the Breeders to The Muffs and, at times, a ‘50s rock sound, but that might be a bit of a reach. The lead singer has a sweet voice and most of the songs seem to be about relationships, be they friendships or lovers, and frequently take on a self-effacing quality. I wouldn’t say Prank War are super solid, yet, but this tape shows them off to a good start. Right now, it’s the kind of music that would be perfect for baking or cleaning, but I don’t really feel the call to listen to it often. –Craven Rock (nowarbutprankwar@gmail.com)


PRANK WAR:
Don’t Blame It on the Rain: Cassette
You could call Prank War pop punk but that would be selling them a bit short, because quite a few influences can be heard here from the Breeders to The Muffs and, at times, a ‘50s rock sound, but that might be a bit of a reach. The lead singer has a sweet voice and most of the songs seem to be about relationships, be they friendships or lovers, and they frequently take on a self-effacing quality. I wouldn’t say Prank War are super solid, yet, but this tape shows them off to a good start. Right now, it’s the kind of music that would be perfect for baking or cleaning, but I don’t really feel the call to listen to it often. –Craven Rock (nowarbutprankwar@gmail.com)


PRANK WAR /PARASOL:
Split: Cassette
Parasol: The guitars of the Adolescents and the vocal warble of Sleater-Kinney executed exquisitely. Their melodies and songwriting show promise for what I assume is a young band. I await a solo release eagerly. Prank War: Vicious and angry in that way where you can hear the band breaking their instruments as they’re playing. In my book, that’s a good thing. If you’re going to be angry, be angry about it. Recommended. –Bryan Static (Trashy Tapes, no address)


PRAYER BREAKFAST:
Family Business: CD / Cassette
While their first gig may have been opening for the Spin Doctors, Bloomington’s Prayer Breakfast sounds nothing like them. Instead, with a sound more reminiscent of acts such as mid-‘90s Sunny Day Real Estate, Guided By Voices, and Jetenderpaul (I know no one knows who this is, but I’m going to keep referring to them in reviews), Prayer Breakfast creates songs with lo-fi influences and solid build-ups and explosions. The addition of the occasional twangy guitar, keys, and harmonica round out the sound of Family Business, giving it some depth and variety, making for a fuller, richer sound. Overall, there are some nice, summery tunes on the album (see especially “Clover Crowns”), making for a positive listen. I know it’s primarily because it’s influenced by so many great bands from the ‘90s (when I was in high school and college), but Family Business is definitely one of the better albums I’ve heard in a long time. –Kurt Morris (XRA / Flannelgraph)


PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS:
Self-titled: CD
Rap-metal-hardcore with decent political lyrics, played well for people who, ahem,like that sort of thing. Oh, but wait! The website says, “With years of anti-war organizing and a storied career laden with protest arrests, Jared Paul has become somewhat of a modern folk hero within the underground American counter-culture.” And if you order it from the website, you get a signed copy. –Craven (Strange Famous)


PRE MADONNA:
Self-titled: CD
The name of the band made me laugh because when I was little, I used to think that when people said “prima donna,” they were saying “pre-Madonna.” Anyway, I am into the sound that this band is working with. You can hear the guitars ringing over a sharp snare beat, and the vocals are way distorted and far-away sounding. They have a very anthemic, post-punk thing going. The vocals need some work, though. Some of the time, the vocalist is just talking deadpan into the loudspeaker. Needs a little more energy, for sure. It’s hard getting unique-sounding vocals through that much distortion, but it can be done and this band would really benefit from it. –Lauren Trout (Self-released, wearepremadonna@hotmail.com)


PRE-TEENS, THE:
Mess: 7”
When I saw that Cheetah’s Records put this out, I was hoping for something as good as the American Steel stuff they’ve put out. Sadly, not the case. The Pre-teens are pretty boring pop punk, with girl vocals. (Isn’t it annoying how I havta mention this, since there are so few girls in punk bands, and therefore “male vocals” is assumed unless I say otherwise? But I digress with my riot grrrl sentiments!) Not horrible by any means, but lacking something to distinguish it from every other pop punk record out there. If this were a cereal, it’d be regular Corn Flakes. –Maddy (Cheetah’s)


PREACHER GONE TO TEXAS:
Self-titled: CD
Oh, goody, my two favorite music genres (tough-guy neo-metal and emo) mooshed together all nice and purty. Listening to this has given me a whole new reason to pop off and whack myself. Thanks. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sinister)


PREACHER GONE TO TEXAS:
self-titled: CD
Oh, goody, my two favorite music genres (tough-guy neo-metal and emo) mooshed together all nice and purty. Listening to this has given me a whole new reason to pop off and whack myself. Thanks.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Sinister)


PREACHERS KIDS, THE:
Is This Love?: 7"
Oxford, Mississippi’s Preachers Kids play an uncomplicated, boozed-up style of garage rawk on this 7” slab that toes the borderline of bar band-dom, but stays just this side of crossing into that barren, fallow territory. “Is This Love?” starts off with a riff that Aerobitch could have written had Johnny Thunders been their lead guitarist. That may sound good, but it’s not terribly original and would be abysmal in the wrong hands. Fortunately, Tyler Keith’s singing and guitar playing, plus an outstanding bridge, keeps this from going off the rails. Fact is, “Is This Love?” continues to grow on me in a way that straight forward garage rawk tunes seldom do.The flip is an excellent cover of the classic GG Allin song, “Don’t Talk to Me.” And, speaking of covers, Russ Meyer aficionados will marvel at the gazzongas of the chick on the sleeve. –Josh Benke (Wrecked ‘Em)


PREACHER’S KIDS, THE:
Wild Emotions: CD
Retro-garage punk with enough Cochran, Bo Diddley and the Pagans in the mix to lend authenticity. Not a bad listen and I bet they raise quite a ruckus live. –Jimmy Alvarado (Get Hip)


PREACHER’S SON, THE:
Princes of the Kingdom: CD
Combining the Gun Club’s appealing sordidness with the swagger and charm of Gram Parsons, The Preacher’s Princes of the Kingdom is a refreshing addition to a genre Gabriel Hart (Starvations, Fortune’s Flesh) has been building in Los Angeles; and to a smaller degree, a sound the Deadly Snakes in Canada tinkered with before their demise last year. Everything is here—American music: Doc Pomus, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jeffrey Lee Pierce; American literature: Carson McCullers, Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. It’s drunk, it’s dirty; The Preacher’s Son is about sin and redemption. It’s no coincidence these happen to be some of my favorite topics…A brief highlight in an otherwise dismal sea of uninteresting music. –Ryan Leach (Mule Blood)


PREDATOR:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Three tracks of primal thud-punk—simple riffs, monotone vocals, no frills drumming, and a bass that goes blurt-blurt-blurt. It ain’t Joe Satriani, but who seriously wants to hear that kinda mirror-worshipping masturbation-by-guitar anyway? These kids are quite fuckin’ effective just the way they are. –Jimmy Alvarado (Robs House)


PREFECTURE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Four concise blasts of angry punk that would have been called “hardcore” if i would have fished this record out of my mailbox between the summers of 1981 and 1982. I was cranking this record this afternoon, trying to put together some vague theory about it sounding like Black Flag playing “Bloodstains” when my girlfriend walked in the room, and said it sounded like Eric Cartman singing, and now that’s all i can think of when i listen to it. Oh well, the Cartman giveth and the Cartman taketh away. BEST SONG: “Automatic Labor” BEST SONG TITLE: “Patriot Act I” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The first sentence of this review is not a complete sentence. Also, i can’t figure out if the guy on the cover is Robotman of the Doom Patrol in a suit or not. –Rev. Norb (Rerun)


PREGNANCY SCARES:
Facelift: 7” EP
Canadian punkers serve up three tracks per side of noisy punk/hardcore. The songs kinda blend into one another, but they make their point quite effectively without resorting to parlor tricks or relying on ridiculously fast tempos. –Jimmy Alvarado (Deranged)


PREGNANCY SCARES:
Mind Control: 7” EP
Raw, angry, mid-tempo hardcore of the ilk that sounds like it could’ve made its way ‘round the “mix tape” circuit in the early ‘80s. The recording doesn’t have quite the punch one might hope for, but it is otherwise clear and appropriately frazzled, and the tunes are nice ‘n’ pissed.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Deranged)


PREGNANT:
Wanna See My Gun?: 7” EP
Despite the press material’s ridiculously hyperbolic claims that these kids are the new millennium’s answer to Black Flag, the Melvins, Flipper, Gang of Four, and “Void on Quaaludes,” they’re not-as-noisy-as-all-that rock nevertheless has enough oddness pumped into it to make it interesting at worst, catchy and pleasantly Stooges-inflected at best. Also says they’re working on a full-length, and if they pump that up with a bit more righteous fury, they might have something truly of note on their hands. –Jimmy Alvarado (Don Giovanni)


PREGNANT:
Wanna See My Gun?: 7”
These guys are not pregnant. And no, I do not want to see their gun. My record-reviewing assistant said that one of their songs sounds like Trompe le Monde-era Pixies. I say that they sound like a band that might have been around in the early grunge era. Just not my thing. If you’re a HUGE early Sub Pop fan, I’d recommend checking this out. Otherwise, if this were a cereal, it’d be S’mores. I know some people who really like it, but I’ve directed my spoon elsewhere! –Maddy (Don Giovanni)


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