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· 3:#341 with Daryl Gussin
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· 5:Jimmy Alvarado Photo Page, Deadbeats

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Record Reviews

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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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Self-titled: LP
This band is from Brooklyn and sound like they are equally into early Sub Pop and various John Reis projects. There are hints of DC emo and some heavy Mudhoney/Nirvana in parts as well. Pregnant seem like a band that could have had a Sub Pop singles club single in 1990, or—come to think of it—2010, the way things have been going. –Mike Frame (Burn Books, burnbooks@burnbooks.org)

Split: CD
Benumb are metalheads from Northern California who offer up hardcore mixed with a huge helping of grindcore, the likes of and speed of the good ol’ Charles Bronson 10” and a slight wink to Aus Rotten lead vocals. Premonitions of War deliver straight forward metal which isn’t all that bad, and they almost steal the show with their cover of the blues classic, “Born Under a Bad Sign.” This is definitely a necessity for your grindcore or metal libraries. –Mr. Z (Thorp)

Urban Truth Rural Myth: CD
Seattle band made up of members of Mudhoney, The Fluid, and Mother Love Bone. The music is heavy rock with melodic leanings. There is an indie rock feel to it, but it still sounds very much like the past bands in other parts.  –Mike Frame (Flotation)

The Compete Press—1984-1994: CD
I’ve got to admit that, although I do consider myself a fan of “oi” punk (though the reviews I write may not always reflect that), I’ve never heard The Press. I’ve been missing out for a lot of years! As the title states, this is a retrospective disc, and right from the start, it rocks in the same vein as Cock Sparrer, Sham, and the like. Simple and catchy, I found myself humming and singing along almost instantly. Even the obligatory ska track is good! I have no idea if their claim of being “America’s first Oi band” is true or not, but they’re great and it’s easy to see how they’d be influential on plenty of today’s bands. –Ty Stranglehold (Insurgence)

Beasts: 7"
I knew things would end up here when RNR and Annihilation Time opened the hard rock floodgates for the hardcore kids. Those two fantastic bands have gone on to influence many a kid who owned every Deathwish and Bridge 9 record, but had never heard Sabbath or Thin Lizzy. Few, if any, of the bands who have come in the wake have lived up to the rock action of RNR or AT and there have been a lot of half-baked attempts. Add another one to the pile here: “badass” artwork, tough record title, and mediocre tunes on another boring half red/half black slab of vinyl. –Mike Frame (BurnBridges)

“Spirit of 69” b/w “Pull No Punches': 7"
Two-tone and oi sound with elements of The Adicts and The Clash. They only gave me two tracks, so there’s not much else to say. –Jessica Thiringer (Longshot, longshotmusic.com)

To Be Continued...: CD
Every time something new comes my way from these talented street punks from Sacramento, I am amazed by their progression. The songs on this new release are catchy and upbeat. The production really brings out the melody without sacrificing their energy. The bass player is fucking amazing on this one. You have to hear him ripping on "Face in the Mirror." Take the shining elements of the Dropkick Murphys and the Beltones and mix that into a large beer vat of lager. This is the end result that would be produced and shared with a good crowd of misfits. I need to get off my fat ass and try to see them the next time they come through. I’ll shine my boots and hold my beer mug up high. –Donofthedead (GMM)

Get Young: CD
Joe Jackson and ELO knock back a bag of that legendary rockstar coke and head out to see Devo play their latest musical endeavor, “The Video Game Pop Aria.” Put another way, odd, off-kilter pop that sound like someone took some prime hooks and fed them into a very stressed out Atari computer. It’s a fuggin’ shame that “Tora Tora” hasn’t yet been identified as the massive hit it should be. –Jimmy Alvarado (Hardly Art)

Self-titled: 7” EP
Super low-fi and dirty recording. Then again, the cover is made of grocery bag type of paper, so that’s probably the point. Super-stripped down rock with folk-inspired elements (think This Bike Is A Pipebomb or mid-releases Against Me!). Overall, reminiscent of bands like The Measure (SA), but without the magic to really grab me. Not a bad EP by any stretch, and probably great to see in a kitchen, basement, or living room. I’ll keep my eyes open. –Megan Pants (The Party’s Over)

Self-titled: CD
What a difference recording can make. I reviewed their 7” in the last issue and thought it was decent, but felt that there was something missing. I can’t say the same for this full-length. There’s so much more energy and so much more passion. Maybe it was lost in the fuzz on the 7”, but the three songs that are on both releases (especially “Things I Should Have Told You Before” and “Two Step Across Two Harbors”) sound almost like a new song was created between the two recordings. They remind of me a bit of Shakey Bones, where there is a strong tie to roots music, but there’s way too much punch and energy to call it folk. (Plus it wouldn’t do either band justice to make pigeonhole them like that.) At times, reminiscent of Cranford Nix’s gloomy outlook and voice. At other times, they sound like they’d be right at home on a show with any of the Tampa/ A.D.D. bands. This, on repeat, has been my commute soundtrack for two weeks straight. I just can’t take it out of my CD player. Fantastic. –Megan Pants (Ragged But Right / Redemption Value)

Ain’t It Funny: CD
Don’t let the upbeat, jangley, and lovesick-adolescent-boy tone fool you—this sloppy-drunk punk is chock-full of forethought and honest, lighthearted lyrics about heartbreak, self-hate, and drinking to forget. Self-aware suburban punks who don’t take themselves too seriously maintain a sense of humor on ten tracks with titles like “I Know I Said I Love You but I Guess I Don’t,” “If the Drinking Don’t Kill Me Then I’ll Think of Something Else,” and “Things I Should Have Told You before.” Keywords: Crimpshrine, East Bay, Sweet Baby, Lookout!, Gilman Street. –Jessica Thiringer (Redemption Value)

Split: 7”
Pretty Boy and Worthwhile Way add to the fine tradition of coupling a rough, ragged, honest American DIY punk band that looks like it needs a hug, a razor, some alcohol counseling, and some second chances to a charming, way-proficient, earnest, probably very tidy, and talented Japanese DIY punk band. Scatter in seeds of old country and a love ballad apiece (Jesse’s is a song to a loved one; Worthwhile Way’s is a love song to life). It’s a tie for the best line on this one: “The mind is healed with my favorite tune and warm café au lait,” vs. “I got termites in the framework, so do you.” Excellent split. –Todd Taylor (Eager Beaver)

Split : 7”
Everyone’s new darlings on one 7”. Pretty Boy Thorson daringly covers a Dwight Yoakam tune in their sloppy, poppy punk way, and 24 Inch Pythons throw three standard “fury + shout = punk” tracks in the ring. –Jessica Thiringer (No address provided)

Split: 7”
Finally, a way to trick my friends into liking the Mountain Goats! This fine record includes a cover of the Mountain Goats song “Fault Lines” by Minneapolis’ own Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels, with no apparent credit given to the Mountain Goats, which is all the better for my deceptive plan! Me: “You know that awesome Pretty Boy song?” You: “That song about the couple that wish they were dead? The one that goes, ‘And the fights, and the lies that we both love to tell fail to send our love to its reward down in hell?’” Me: “Yes, that one.” You: “What about it? That song rules.” Me: “You are correct, and you are a Mountain Goats fan.” Success! Plus, two songs by Worthwhile Way, a super poppy band with girl singers from Japan. Sample lyric, “I wish my family to be happy every day.” Punk rock! –Maddy (Eager Beaver)

Split: 7"
Jesse Thorson has a beautiful singing voice. There. I said it. If John Cougar let a mean streak out in his music, was a DIY punk, and had a Civil War monkey farting as his insert’s illustration, he’d sound like Jesse. One original, one Cock Sparrer cover. I like the original better. The Anchor: Make me think of dueling throat polyps and barnacles. They didn’t make the boat they’re sailing on, but it sounds like they’ve been hanging on for a long time, underwater, and aren’t letting go any time soon. Kyle, you’re right. The blue/grey vinyl with the silver label looks snazzy. –Todd Taylor (Muy Autentico)

I Ain’t Gonna Beg: 7”
The world wants me to listen to Thin Lizzy. Listening to Thin Lizzy is my destiny. I am not going to resist anymore. There’s no point, because Thin Lizzy is there everywhere I turn. It’s on the T-shirt of the guy at the record store. It’s playing when I walk into the ice cream shop. My friend has even worked several Thin Lizzy-related jokes into her comedy routine. And now it’s on the B-side of this record, a cover of “Running Back,” channeled through Pretty Boy Thorson And Lil Happiness, forcing me to play it over and over again. Fine! I’m into Thin Lizzy now, okay! And I kind of like the Pretty Boy Thorson gang too. –MP Johnson (A.D.D.)

“You’re Gonna Miss Me” b/w “Way Out”: 7”
There is no insert with this, and there is no label on the vinyl (which is transparent gold). The song titles are etched into each side. That’s the only way to know which song you’re playing. That, or the fact that Jesse sings the one on Side A, and Annie (from The Soviettes) sings the one on Side B. Lots of detective work is necessary here. The cover photo would have you assume that there are five people in this outfit; Jesse, who is an asshole (or at least that’s what a shirt that I have says), Annie, who is cool, Paddy Costello, who is cool, and two other dudes who look familiar. Both songs are about people leaving each other. The band features a full, laid-back sound on these catchy tunes. The music definitely makes up for the lack of information here. –Nighthawk (Rad Girlfriend, radgirlfriendrecords.com)

Split: 7” EP
Pretty Boy Thorson: They’re a sleeper. It took me awhile to get comfortable with the idea that a plugged-in band featured an acoustic guitar. But the earnest delivery, the self-effacement, and whiskey-true lyrics won me over. The band’s not flashy, but tenacious, like a weed growing through the seam between asphalt and the sidewalk, thriving on neglect, growing in a hostile place. I’ll say it again. If rockabilly didn’t off ramp into Fonzie-ville years back and empty out into a cul-de-sac of retro consumerism, these dudes would have been embraced far and wide by now. Cortez The Killer: A little bit of British Top of the Pops from the ‘60s, via cardboard and masking tape. The mastering’s a little rough, sounding like was recorded through massive fuzzy ear muffs (and with a more clean, pop-leaning band, it’s noticeable), but far from dismissible. With some more fidelity, they could be reminiscent of Bent Outta Shape. Nice split. Silk-screened covers. –Todd Taylor (ADD)

Take It Easy: CD
What is so damn attractive about misery? It seems like the only things that end up mattering to me, whether music or books (or, shit, even people some days) are all pretty miserable and self-deprecating. PBT and the F’n As are no exception. I can’t help but group them in with Off With Their Heads, not necessarily in sound (though Ryan OWTH shows up here too), but definitely in feel. The lyrics come off like they’re meant to be listened to in a dark room somewhere with only a bottle of whiskey as your company. But, the way it all comes together musically, sounds more like you should be throwing your arms around your friends in a packed and sweaty basement than anything the lyrics would have you believe. Maybe surrounding myself with all this misery will be the death of me some day, but I can’t think of a much better soundtrack to go to than Pretty Boy Thorson. –Megan Pants (ADD)

Split: EP
Two contrasting bands on here. Pretty Boy Thorson are modern punk crossed with country. Sort of like something you’d hear on a jukebox at a punk bar in OrangeCounty. Sing-along sort of stuff, and I guess it’s drinking music. Cortez The Killer play sixties rock with a definite British influence. A bit on the freakbeat side of things. “Can’t Quit Me” is a cold song, and sounds like a lost gem of that era. –Matt Average (A.D.D.)

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