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Razorcake #79
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Spokenest: We Move 12"EP

Record Reviews

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Self-titled: Cassette
Putting on a five-song cassette with no information on it except three first names and having it rock is what it’s all about for me. This is a solid trio of players. The bass riffs are tasteful. The vocal harmonies are poppy and well executed. The drummer and guitarist play with a vocabulary of rocking, retro riffs. The pace of the songs hover around the speed of The Dead Boys’ “All This and More.” I was looking for a song to single out, but I like them all. Great tape. Keeper. –Billups Allen (primitivehearts.com)

Self-titled: 7”
Primitive Hearts is a sturdy trio of punk’n’rollers. This four-song 7” includes two tunes from their recent excellent demo cassette and two new songs that don’t disappoint. Good all-around Dead Boys-inspired rock. All solid. –Billups Allen (No Rules, norulesrecords.org)

High & Tight: LP
The songs on this album employ a variety of retro-style riffs. The bubblegum influence works at every speed. “Lone Wolf” moves at the pace of The Queers. “Keep Me Around” and “Wandering Eyes” have more swing to the pace and a hint of ‘50s song structure. Primitive Hearts keep the musicianship high. Guitar, bass, and drums are all solid. The vocals have high-pitched sincerity with a hint of attitude and are backed up with lots of good oooing and aaaing. It’s a good record for those who like the rock’n’roll with the punk and whatnot. –Billups Allen (FDH)

Self-titled: CD
Their website claims that Princess “willfully pushes musical contradiction and confusion to its elegant limits,” and I can go along with that to a fair degree. It kinda reminds me of early Devo meeting hip-hop sensibility with some John Zorn thrown in for flavor. (Or, is that flava?) Those around me right now claim that its experimental nature gets annoying because they’re trying too hard to be clever, and at times that’s true. Intentional enjambment of at-odds musical stylings can be hit or miss; when this hits, I’m enraptured, and when it misses I go racing for the skip button. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Tony Chaos)

Self-Titled: 7"
Sometimes when I’m on the bus I wonder about things—like what all the classic rock greats (Black Sabbath, AC/DC, CCR, etc.) would sound like if they had grown up listening to punk, hardcore, and other alternative rock in between the years of 1984 and 1994. It definitely would not sound like classic rock, but it might sound like Princess Thunderstorm. They play unapologetic guitar-driven rock that doesn’t wank at all, with anywhere from one to four people unleashing some extremely venomous vocals over it. It’s a mighty combo of fury, tongue-in-cheek humor, and relentless DIY rock. –Daryl Gussin (25th Hour)

Woodfin Confidential: Split 12”
Princess Thunderstorm: Given better recording capabilities, they really cleaned out the sound from last year’s 7” and are bringing out the full-blown metal. The guitars completely outweigh everything else on the record, but at least it’s still got those great pissed-off vocals that range from sung to a vicious yell. And the lyrics are still totally weird and punk. Electric Damn: This band is just tripped-out rock. There are lots of instrumental parts that involve massive amounts of harmonizing guitar solos. Headbangin’, mindblowing, hesher shit that borders on cock rock, if you don’t consider them the same thing. This makes me need to go listen to the Siege LP. –Daryl Gussin (Family Night)

Alive In High Five: LP
Drunken, flailing bar rock from Minneapolis. Similar to the Mannequin Men or hometown heroes The Replacements. These guys know how to take rock’n’roll tropes and pump them through their own keg with no foam. Highlights include “Diane,” the best rock’n’roll song I’ve heard this year; “Weekend,” which is either about having to work all weekend while your friends party or about your job being to rock out and party on the weekend; and the heartfelt glam of “All Souls Eaters Day.” I just realized it’s nearly six pm, so I should experience no guilt as I open a beer and play this again. –CT Terry (Learning Curve)

Lottery of Recognition: CD
Well, it is nice to see the influences on the press sheet be spot-on for a change. It mentions Drive Like Jehu, Failure, Barkmarket, and Jesus Lizard—and that is exactly what you get here. I would also add in some Avail and Fugazi influences in the vocal department. Being that they are from Portland, OR, I might also throw in a comparison to locals Thirty3, who put out a pretty damn good full length a few years back. Fans of ‘90s Dischord or Touch And Go can’t go wrong with this disc. Also highly recommended for the Hot Water Music/Leatherface/No Idea crowd; if you love those gruff vocals, this is for you. –Mike Frame (Exigent)

Self-titled: CD
I want so badly to be wrong about bands, I can taste it. As soon as I saw the junior high art-project cover and the song titles that look like titles of really dripsy poems penned by Maya Angelou, I felt that sick feeling like when you find a butt hair on your toothbrush. This thing just screamed “emo” and I hadn’t even taken the CD out of the jewel case yet. But I hoped to be proven wrong. And lo and fucking behold, the first song “Happy Fun Ball” ripped out from the speakers and brought out full-blown visions of Slip-era Quicksand in my head and I got excited. The second song dipped a bit, but still sounded like a mix of Quicksand and late ‘90s Integrity. Maybe this will finally be the band to make me wrong, I thought. But no. If this CD would have been only one song long – even two – I would’ve given this an embarrassingly glowing review. But you fooled me. By song three I felt stupid and hopelessly right. I wasn’t wrong again. Fuck. Why do they continue to torture me? –aphid (Loud + Clear)

Self-titled: CD
So I first heard of these guys after a bunch of praise from my friend/their label mate Jimmy of The Sass Dragons. Then I get this, with a fancy little promo/press sheet, which includes “RIYL Talking Heads, They Might Be Giants, Fugazi, The Unicorns.” Okay, nothing wrong with that. It just threw me for a loop. Then I put it on, and establish “Yeah, They Might Be Giants if they were some crazy, tiny record store/warehouse-playing hyper punk band” (and don’t get me wrong, I love me some TMBG). Calling this indie rock is an insult to innovative/creative punk bands. –Joe Evans III (Let’s Pretend)

Self-titled: CD
So I’m driving around, reviewing the latest batch of stuff and I put this on. I’m hearing muscular punk/rock with enough quirk in it to make things interesting, right? But I keep fixating on the guitar player and thinking, “Wow, this dude plays really weird. He’s really happy with the harmonics and it sounds like he bangs, rather than strums the strings.” I get to where I’m going and take a look to see who this unique guitarist is. Turns out that, outside of a lead in one tune, there is no guitar player. All that noodly, distorted racket was being laid down by a keyboard player. Of course, that ratcheted up the “cool” factor by at least twenty points. –Jimmy Alvarado (Let’s Pretend)

Chroma Cannon: CD
This is a reference I thought I would never use in Razorcake, but for all the world this band sounds to me like Bob Seger. Yes, a harder rocking, artier Bob Seger for sure, but Bob Seger none the less. The reason I say this is because the vocals have the bar rock vibe of something that would be on a classic rock station (In my hometown of Ruidoso it was 101.5, “The Kid”), and the alto sax on most of this album only reinforces that feeling. Some of the tracks like “Large Hadron Collider” and “New Shoes” actually have an alright spacey, party rock thing going on, but, man, I really don’t like the saxophone. It keeps making me feel like the song “Katmandu” is getting ready to jump out from behind a shady corner and aurally knee-cap me. –Adrian (Joyful Noise)

You Know You Want It: CD
Boring, experimental garage-meets-grunge rock, or something like that. If this were a cereal, it’d be Honey Graham Oh’s—a somewhat random combination of various bland and somewhat un-tasty ingredients. –Maddy (Rankoutsider, info@rankoutsiderrecords.com)

Rise of New Reason: CD
Emo and hardcore mix about as well as Kool-Aid and frog piss. –Jimmy Alvarado (Blackout)

Self-Titled: 7"
A record that could work on 33 or 45. Side A plods along for a good long while before applying your face to a belt sander. Side B gets to the point a lot faster and I think the pay off is better. Heavy, screaming, emotional, belt sander. Apparently recorded in 2000 but finally mixed last year and released recently. Features people from Skarp, State Of The Union, and Wormwood. If you like any of those bands, there’s something here for you. –Steveo (Inimical)

Self-titled: CD-R
Fairly mellow, lo-fi indie punk with a touch of horns (without it actually being ska). Did/are you going to college (not a knock)? Are you a Plan-It-X type dude? Then this is probably what you’d want to listen to in the days before graduation as you worry about the future and curse yourself over every minor mistake you’ve made over the past few years. –Joe Evans III (Let’s Pretend)

Thou Art the Man!: CD
Not bad from a noise standpoint: feedback and what’s probably a drum machine support assorted other noises and man-talking. However, from a product standpoint, it seems a little pointless: it’s only ten minutes (one track), and it’s the soundtrack from someone’s video footage of a live performance. I would’ve rather seen the video. For more substantial Professeur Ladybug product, see Heat Lightning. –Cuss Baxter (Horrendous Failure)

Thou Art the Man!: CD
Not bad from a noise standpoint: feedback and what’s probably a drum machine support assorted other noises and man-talking. However, from a product standpoint, it seems a little pointless: it’s only ten minutes (one track), and it’s the soundtrack from someone’s video footage of a live performance. I would’ve rather seen the video. For more substantial Professeur Ladybug product, see Heat Lightning. –aphid (Horrendous Failure)

Discography: CD
I was stopped on the street by a young man. “You review records, don’t you?” He then handed me a paper bag with a couple of CDs and a cassette. “I have a label. Here’s some stuff I’ve put out.” With that, he was gone. I have no information about Profession: Ill other than I’m pretty sure they hail from the eastern part of Canada. They play stripped-down old school hardcore punk that had me thinking of Black Flag or The Weirdos without sounding like a carbon copy. Kind of like The Regulations. My favorite song title here is “Rum, Sodomy, and the Thrash” but a close second would be “Repetition Killed the Cat,” mainly because almost every song on the disc is on here twice. Good stuff. I’d like to hear more from. –Ty Stranglehold (Shred City)

Best of: CD
After The Sex Pistols fell apart, Steve Jones and Paul Cook formed the Professionals. Following numerous singles, a single album, and the requisite drug problem, the Professionals followed the Pistols’ lead and fell apart. This is a collection of their best work, which marries the patented Jones/Cook metal/punk whomp that made the Pistols’ work so fuggin’ heavy to an almost working class sensibility. While lyrically not as incendiary as the Pistols’ limited output, they nonetheless maintained that ability to milk a hook for all it was worth and deliver it with enough power to blow a hole through the nearest wall. Of particular note are the songs “One, Two, Three,” which was recorded by San Francisco’s Avengers as “Second to None” at least a year or two prior to the Professionals’ version, and “Join the Professionals,” made famous by its inclusion in the classic “lost” punk film, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

Corientation: CD-R
Dunno a thing about these kids, but based on a cover offering an academic-themed take on the first Minor Threat EP cover and songs addressing different aspects of college life, this is a piss take on the hardcore genre along the same lines as Crucial Youth and Anarchy 6. The tunes themselves are catchy and amusing, which will no doubt up its shelf life considerably. –Jimmy Alvarado (no address)

Space Snacks: CD-R
Professor cantaloupe needs to put the pipe down and think things through. This is sound collage music that is a repetitive skip for the first four minutes. All these tracks are live on the air at KXLU. So these college students had no musical talent but enjoyed mixing on the radio. Space Snacks leads into some Twilight Zone-style Future Sounds of London atmosphere stuff, but I was a lot more impressed by FSOL. If noises are your thing, maybe you’ll dig this, but it came off as just freaky in a stupid way to me. Random dialogue you sampled from obscure sources doesn’t constitute music. –Buttertooth (Sycophantide)

Professor Murder Rides the Subway: CD-R EP
I have the feeling that this band’s music is intended for art gallery openings. You know, you’ve been stuffing your face with free food and red wine all night, and now you’re gonna try and impress some girl wearing big shoes with your drunken dance moves to some weird crappy band. Professor Murder is percussion oriented with other instruments/vocals thrown in for atmospheric value. I guess if you’re into “progress-post-punk” (which is what they label themselves) then you’re into this kinda stuff. –Daryl Gussin (Kanine: www.kaninerecords.com)

Time Flies: CD
This is the long-awaited full length from one of SoCal’s finest grind outfits. Recorded back in 2006, the music finally sees the light of day: twenty-four anger-infested songs with none of the fluff that some of the more metal grind bands usually give. The band goes straight to the point with speed and energy, not holding back with unnecessary filler. There are no five-minute opuses here. Not one song even reaches the one minute milestone. Dual vocal assault with male guttural vocals and female yells give you the balance of high and low. Lightning fast guitars accompanied by blast beat drumming should fulfill most speed addicts’ desires. Progeria has been a personal favorite of mine for sometime and I know of a few who feel the same. Fans of extreme music should find that this meets the need for speed and aggression. –Donofthedead (Progeria, www.myspace.com/progeria)

Sorry for the Inconvenience: 7” EP
One of the latest in the ongoing series of punk bands coming out of Milwaukee that seems like it’ll never end, ever. First thing that comes to my mind when listening to this is that there’s a fairly heavy late ‘80s/EastBay influence to it. I’ll even say that the vocals remind me of really early Screeching Weasel, before everyone lost their shit over them. So basically what I’m saying is, this sounds like the first thing to go on The First 7”s Volume II comp on Lookout! Also, there’s a zine/comic book instead of a plain insert, like they’re fuckin’ Gas Huffer or Less Than Jake or something. –Joe Evans III (Repulsion)

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