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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)

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Record Reviews

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I See Sound: EP
Really enjoying this EP. Porcupine is a tight three-piece band from Wisconsin. Their sound reminds me of Queens Of The Stone Age if Queens recorded live as a three piece and didn’t layer their songs. They also bring to mind a lot of the classic indie bands of the ‘90s, like Sebadoh, Fugazi, and Shellac. The songs have super catchy vocals and the music goes from a pop structure to these angular parts that jam for a bit. It keeps all types of attention spans interested. Well worth checking out. The LP is limited to five hundred on white vinyl.  –Ryan Nichols (Riot House)

From Love Letters to the Morgue: CD
Any band that can seriously sing the lyrics “We are the Porn Stars of Horror! We are blood drunk!” is cool in my book. This straightforward horror hardcore band with dual male and female vocals covers all the usual territory: Bride of Frankenstein, zombies, murder, etc. When the horror half of the band’s moniker is set aside in favor of the porn half, the digressions into gang rape and blue balls ballads get a bit tedious, and I could do without the occasional ham-fisted acoustic bit, but those are thankfully outnumbered by the more exciting, rocking tunes. –mp (1332)

This That and Some Other Shit: 3-way split: CD
The cover of this CD’s glossy one-panel digipack looks like art that was lifted from some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan fiction that my roommate would blog about. It’s some Quincy punk male vulture and male warthog with female werewolf and female fish creature hanging on them. This looked like complete shit. In conjunction with the bands’ names, I was expecting complete shit. I don’t give a fuck if I come off like the PC Police on this, but the artwork, some of the song titles, and the band names, to a certain extent, reeked of reinforcing gender roles and stereotypes—and the lyrics on some songs reinforced this: these three bands that seem to revel in being shit, with a desire to be offensive. All three sections of the disc begin with malicious statements about the proceeding band, with a declaration about the whole disc being shitty at the outset. PSOH: Horror punk with hardcore punk songs, both male and female vocals. One of the male vocalists has a hankering to sound like Glenn Danzig. I hafta admit that their sexual juvenilia in the song “Touch” made me laugh, with its words of butthole touching in something of a romantic context. Perhaps the worst “love” song ever. Skexies: Male- and female-fronted Violent Society type ‘90s crap of a lower tier with metal bits. I thought it was harmless until the song “Sweet Tits.” The song’s chorus has the remarkable refrain of, “Slut, Slut, Dirty Slut, Dirty Whore Go Fuck Yourself,” sung by both vocalists. The song also has a line about shoving “black cocks” in one’s ass being a “blast.” Maybe I’m being sensitive here, but I’m calling racism based on the fact that the line is meant to offend whomever the song is about. They could just be the thoughtless words of a jilted meathead, but that shit is fucking too much for me. Potbelly: Pretty sure this is a live set. All male band. Shitty, unmemorable drunk punk hardcore bullshit. “Jaimee the Cock-Blocking Lesbian” is one of their songs. “Monkey-Fuckers from Mars” is another one. Don’t forget “Alcoholicide.” Come to your own conclusions on that one. –Vincent Battilana (PB / P.I.G.)

Split: 7”
For a band with one of the worst names ever, the Porn Stars Of Horror are surprisingly rad. Straightforward horror hardcore that gets bonus points for doing something so mind-blowingly obvious that I can’t comprehend how it has never been done before (or how, if it has been done before, I’ve missed it): they turn the “verata clatoo nicto” chant from Army of Darkness into a song. Of course, they lose major points not only because they did not use the official spelling of the chant (which originally appeared in The Day the Earth Stood Still), but because they chant the three words in the wrong fucking order (should be “klaatu barada nikto”). If you’re keeping track, that puts them into negative points. If you’re going to mess with nerd stuff, you best do it right. Stupid In Stereo’s side is a match thematically, even if their pop punk sound doesn’t mesh. They pay tribute to Ash and the evil dead with a song called “Tree Love.” And they spell everything correctly. –mp (Unrepentant)

Sex, Drugs, Violence and Sodomy: 7”
The Porn Stars Of Horror continues to perplex me. I hate them and I love them. Thematically, they have two sides. The side I love is the rad, anthemic songs about horror flicks. On this particular record, they do a super fast jam about the movie Child’s Play. The combo of throat-ripping female vocals and deeper, more sing-songy dude voice is used to perfect effect. I’m way into this kind of thing. But then there’s the thematic side of this band that I hate: the puerile, porn side. I’m not against sex songs, I just require that they either make me laugh or arouse me or outrage me or something, not just make me groan, which is what the song “Touch” did. It’s about butthole touching. To make matters more complicated, the band also has two sides musically: the straight-up punk rock side and the acoustic side. I really wish someone would steal their acoustic guitar.  –mp (1332)

Self-titled: Cassette
Talk about a Google search wormhole… deal with looking for a band and label whose primary words are “porno” and “fuck.” The Porno Pop-Ups hail from Finland and keep warm by pushing “Record” on a boombox and wailing away in an echo chamber. The groove is repetitive, loud, and barely held together by their shambolic drum beat. It’s refreshing in its pure brattiness—in a genre that has been overwhelmed with Guitar Center clerks playing psychedelia… maybe someone will pay their way to Gonerfest.  –Matt Seward (Fuck CDs)

Porn Again: CD
Really good musical melding of the Dwarves and early Poison Idea, but their weak attempts and shock value are unnecessary and boring. Damn good thing they were smart enough not to include a lyric sheet. –jimmy (Scooch Pooch)

You Don't Count: CDEP
Fast, thrashy Canadian hardcore with metal flourishes around the geetars and the burpy vocals kept at a tolerant level. –jimmy (www.100percentwild.com)

Silly Songs for Fancy People: Cassette
Snotty punk tinged with vague pirate themes and songs about drinking and degeneracy. It’s like Jake and the Neverland Pirates (yes, I have a kid) hit the booze and became dicks. In most ways, this is a typical No Breaks release: straightforward punk, not terribly flashy, but always solid. Good stuff. MP3 download included. –The Lord Kveldulfr (No Breaks)

Automatic Cars: 7”
Odd change-ups keep you on your toes on this single. Positive No’s EP is a release off of Negative Fun’s Singles Club, a label out of North Carolina, in a series with Bad Daddies, Hot Dolphin, Midnight Plus One, and Positive No. The vocals undoubtedly sound like Björk, and even the song title and chorus (“Automatic Cars”) on Side A sounds like an oddball topic that Björk herself might sing about. With a bit of controlled chaos and noise here, a bit of a disco beat drumming there, and a whole lot of bass drumming all over, Positive No creates a unique sound all their own. B-sides “Slumber Sequence” is notably less odd and a bit sweeter. Keep it coming. –Camylle Reynolds (Negative Fun)

Negative Fun Singles Club 2014: 7”
Kinda sounds like some sort of clash between At The Drive-In and Kim Gordon, but no screaming. Goes a variety of different ways but remains cohesive and well executed. Not sure if I’d wanna listen to much more than two songs of this, but that’s all you get here. Despite the name, I don’t think you hafta join any sort of subscription club to get this two-song 7” of art school indie rock.  –Vincent Battilana (Negative Fun)

Glossa: CS
Another Positive No release from Negative Fun, this time on cassette. Everyone has a cassette player in their car, a Walkman, and two tape decks as part of their everyday lives like I do, right? No? All grievances aside, cassettes are easy and cheap to produce, and are by far one of the best DIY tools to get your music out to the masses… or a lucky few. Positive No steps it up to the plate with twelve songs. There is no escaping that the lead vocals sound like Bjork. Coincidence or not, it adds a little quirkiness to their indie, Silversun Pickups punk sound. Positive No is sweet but not syrupy, with simplistic but catchy melodies. Pleasant tunes for these tired ears. Just buy a damn tape player already.  –Camylle Reynolds (Negative Fun)

2008 Hardcore Punk: Cassette
From the state that gave us Negative Approach, Michigan punks Positive Noise compiled all of their up-to-date released output onto one convenient blue cassette. Musically, they’re as fierce as they come. Straight-up hardcore with nods to Youth Of Today and R.A.M.B.O. As far as the lyrical content is concerned, so much of it is nothing you haven’t already heard before: cries for social, political, and communal activism with concern for the betterment of punks and humanity as a whole. Though, after reading their mission statement and liner notes, I couldn’t help but feel being preached to. I eat meat but I don’t necessarily feel that it makes me less of a person. If the band’s members can get past their hang ups about other people’s personal choices I wouldn’t doubt that it would be fun seeing them live, and possibly moshing alongside them. –Juan Espinosa (Otherwise Dead)

Cold and Blind: CD
Some pretty damn good Texas blues and folk stuff on the Swiss label of Lightning Beat Man. Not as blown-out as most of the Voodoo Rhythm output and, in my opinion, this is a good thing. Some bluesy stuff and a real folk feel on some tunes; there is some really pretty stuff in places on this disc. At times, there are even a few tunes that wouldn’t be out of place on one of the Roky Erickson acoustic records. That is about the highest praise I can give. Just a great collection of tunes sung with heart and soul. Check this great songwriter out. –frame (Voodoo Rhythm)

New Dad in Town: Cassette
This is great! Garage punk that was recorded (I think) on a boombox. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and there are some good fucking songs. Sloppy and dirty and all the things that made mud fun when you were a kid. – –Bryan Static (Super Sick Tape, no address)

So Sick of Your Dependency: CD
You’d almost swear that Chi Pig of SNFU is singing here, but instead it’s a guy named Mark from the Netherlands. The first song is decent; not a bad listen at all. By the time I got halfway through the album, I realized that it’s quite possible that they only recorded one bass and drum track and just play each song on guitar over it. It’s repetitive, yup repetitive. I say repetitive. Hey! Hey! Hey! –megan (Mad Butcher)

Czarzly: LP
Nice! A re-press of their second LP by this legendary band from Poland. My love for Polish punk with female vocals does lead back to this band. To actually own a copy is a treat. I missed the boat the first time around due to it not being on my radar at time of release. But I did manage to get a download. From what I can tell, there was great care to re-release it with the original artwork for the cover. Not sure about the liner notes though. I have nothing to compare it to. But what is important is the music. It’s one of those few records where you can play from start to finish, flip it over, and listen over and over. It’s charging hardcore punk that does not lose its melody while straying beyond the boundaries of the conventional to add to the originality. Matching the dynamic attack of the vocals is the supreme musicianship of the guitarist. You get an aural experience from the textures and emotions he brings to the songs. Listening to current bands like El Banda, Slowa We Krwi and Eye For An Eye, also from Poland, you can hear how influential this band was. –don (Nikt Nic Nie Wie)

Ordinary Miracles: CD
Bands like this make me feel like the owl on those old Tootsie Pop ads. How many tracks ‘til it goes in the trade-in pile? Ah one, ah two, ah didn’t make it that far. –megan (The Control Group)

Self-titled: 7” EP
Sometimes that overdriven, lo-fi approach to recording is pitch perfect to what a band’s trying to get across, and this is a perfect example. The muddied, blown-out sound complements well the piledriver beats ‘n’ slashing hooks the band’s doling out like some sorta hardcore band trying their best at breaking the Top 40. Not quite as poppy as, say, the Marked Men, but no less intense. –jimmy (Post Teens)

The Heat: 7” EP
Goddamn, this is great! Six tunes of superbly performed mid-paced punk that packs quite a punch from beginning to end. It reminds me so much of the noisier Marked Men jams, but with just enough of their own touch to make their songs shine on their own. These boys be straight outta Gainesville, which means yes on the beards but no on the country/southern influence. Do yourself a favor. –Juan Espinosa (No Idea)

In the Event of Tomorrow: CD
All I could think of is, “Am I listening to the Cure or is this the Birthday Party?” I don’t know. –don (Jalisco)

Untitled: CD
One of those bands that sound interesting enough to pay attention when you hear ‘em on the radio but not interesting enough to find out who they are. –jimmy (Ionik)

A Tale of Debauchery: LP
This suuuuuuuucks. Hard. Stupid, generic thrash music played by fat troglodytes with idiotic, purposely offensive lyrics about sluts and drugs that my eighth grade English class students wouldn’t even write. (And those kids are pretty dumb—some of them are ICP fans.) The cover art is pathetic and there’s even an enclosed comic book done in the same style. This is like Gwar, without the costumes and stage show, but if Gwar were severely unfunny. And untalented. And huffed glue to the point of mental retardation. (Umm, wait...) Sometimes they switch it up and add in an acoustic guitar or a “ska” part and sing about weed. Whooo. Seriously, this really wasted an hour of an otherwise beautiful and enjoyable Saturday. To the band’s credit, they admit in their last song that they suck and recommend using the record as a frisbee. Believe I’ll do just that.... –Ryan Horky (PIG, myspace.com/portnowentertainmentgroup)

2011: A Spaced Oddity: CD
Uh oh. You’ve accidentally stumbled into open mic night at the local comedy club. Brace yourself for obvious jokes and expired subject matter. “Why is it that death metal singers sound like Cookie Monster?” “Boy, that Fred Phelps / Sarah Palin / Michelle Bachman / Dick Cheney sure sucks, right?” “Vaginas are cool, huh? Huh? Huh???” If only this laugh-free experience could be set against a backdrop of tepid and generic punk rock. Your wish is Potbelly’s command. –mp (1332)

Izzy Alcantara: 7"
Hey, did you know Izzy Alcantara is a baseball player in the Red Sox minor league organization who kicked a catcher in the face karate style and then charged the pitchers mound? He was suspended for six games for starting the brawl. I Googled him, so I’m a pervert. I like to Google people. Didn’t find much on Potboiler though, not the band anyway. So I had to actually listen to the record, which totally was an effort on my part. So here’s my convoluted reviewer explanation. “Pop punk that reminds me of defunct North Eastern bands like Mid Carson July, El Secondhand, and Weston. There’s also a hint of Fay Wray in there for the dudes in the South.” I could say, “Mix ‘em all up in a pot, boil it, and you get Potboiler.” But that would just be stupid. But, if you think about it, music reviews are stupid. –Dave Disorder (Salinas)

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