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Razorcake #93
One Punks Guide to Pinball, by Kayla Greet
Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
Pinned In Place, Ghostwritten By LP


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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RAINY DAY SAINTS:
Saturday’s Haze: CD
Excellently executed solo project from the Keystone State (Pennsylvania oughtta sue that weak-ass beer with the mountains on the can for character defamation) that makes me touch the doll in the same spots as 20/20, the Jesus & Mary Chain and the one good Pixies album (i.e. the fourth one) did... and i kinda like it, so don’t tell anyone about what happened. Of course, i didn’t really like it when he was touching my Neil Young spot, and i was just confused when he was rubbing my Paul Simon unit, but the guitars were always up good’n’loud in the mix, so what the fuck did i care? Owing to the stylistic mish-mosh in place here – although the album has a certain beefy uniformity to it, things run the gamut from minor-chord laden ballads to things like “Lookout,” which sorta sound like “Electric” era Cult playing Hollies covers (which is good) (and definitely on the correct side of the Graham Nash timeline) (implying that the side where he leaves the Hollies to be in a band with Neil Young would be the wrong side) (which is right) – a whole hog recommendation would be a bit like passing off Neapolitan ice cream as Strawberry, so i’ll just state for the official ledger that about a third of this record is great, and another third isn’t half bad. Which i guess makes it three-sixths great? I think i’ll listen to “Lookout” again. You can check the math independently. BEST SONG: “Lookout” BEST SONG TITLE: “YOU!” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I was flipping through a free issue of Rolling Stone last week and on that little chart in the back where they list the Top Ten in record sales at one random record store somewhere in America each issue, this CD was #10. I still say it’s pretty good, though.  –norb (Get Hip!)


RAINY DAY SAINTS:
Saturday’s Haze: CD
Excellently executed solo project from the Keystone State (Pennsylvania oughtta sue that weak-ass beer with the mountains on the can for character defamation) that makes me touch the doll in the same spots as 20/20, the Jesus & Mary Chain and the one good Pixies album (i.e. the fourth one) did... and i kinda like it, so don’t tell anyone about what happened. Of course, i didn’t really like it when he was touching my Neil Young spot, and i was just confused when he was rubbing my Paul Simon unit, but the guitars were always up good’n’loud in the mix, so what the fuck did i care? Owing to the stylistic mish-mosh in place here – although the album has a certain beefy uniformity to it, things run the gamut from minor-chord laden ballads to things like “Lookout,” which sorta sound like “Electric” era Cult playing Hollies covers (which is good) (and definitely on the correct side of the Graham Nash timeline) (implying that the side where he leaves the Hollies to be in a band with Neil Young would be the wrong side) (which is right) – a whole hog recommendation would be a bit like passing off Neapolitan ice cream as Strawberry, so i’ll just state for the official ledger that about a third of this record is great, and another third isn’t half bad. Which i guess makes it three-sixths great? I think i’ll listen to “Lookout” again. You can check the math independently. BEST SONG: “Lookout” BEST SONG TITLE: “YOU!” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I was flipping through a free issue of Rolling Stone last week and on that little chart in the back where they list the Top Ten in record sales at one random record store somewhere in America each issue, this CD was #10. I still say it’s pretty good, though.  –norb (Get Hip!)


RAINY DAY SAINTS:
reflected: CD
I put “Lookout” off this guy’s ((i think it’s just one guy)) earlier “Saturday’s Haze” CD on my year-in-review CD a few years ago, and a lot of my friends specifically commented on how much they liked that song, but a lot of my friends are kind of “Alterna” and like shit like Neil Young and Interpol so take that for what it’s worth. This one starts promisingly enough, with kind of a “Rubber Soul”-ish pre-Byrds country-tainted jangler that, bolstered by a few more sweaty bodies and guitars, would not sound out of place in the repertoire of the Midwest Beat. Things move into a more darkly psychedelic songwriterly pop direction thereafter, with a few nuggets of minor interest ((“Sally Go Round” “Underwater Again”)) towards the top of the batting order, but, as things proceed down the dial, it becomes blatantly apparent that this CD is WAY TOO FUCKING LONG, droning on for eighteen songs and over seventy minutes. At about the two-thirds-thru mark, the song you liked at the beginning is pretty much a distant memory, and you spend the rest of the disc’s unendurable duration thinking “this has GOT to be the last song. This has GOT to be the last song”—only to find that, more often than not, that ain’t the case. Taken individually, i don’t think these are generally bad songs, but, taken collectively, i estimate that i will play this CD about as many times as i play my Posies CD ((if i still own that one)). Take that for what it’s worth. BEST SONG: “Please Baby Please” BEST SONG TITLE: “Underwater Again” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This album’s title is properly spelled with a lowercase “r” at the beginning. –norb (Get Hip)


RAISED FIST:
Sound of the Republic: CD
Burning Heart put this out so I’m thinking maybe these guys are from some Scandinavian country. Heavy metal with screamed vocals. The drummer slaps the skins to the same beat every song. The vocals are sometimes screamed in a rap style, which always bugs the fuck out of me. Here’s my advice: If you are in a metal band, for God’s sake, at least appreciate the classics like Maiden or the filthy styles of Neurosis, Dead and Gone, Buzzoven, etc. The lyrics seem like they at least realize the world is fucked. That’s a plus, I just don’t like the music. –Guest Contributor (Epitaph/Burning Heart)


RAISED FIST:
Dedication: CD
Ever wonder what it would feel like, being that lone sock tumbling around in the dryer at the laundromat? This is what the soundtrack would sound like. From the opening drum roll, the music accelerates at a rapid pace, feeling like you are about to be run over by a Mack truck. The vocalist has the skills to compete with Spike from DRI. He is pretty phonetic for the sheer speed he has to sing to. The guitar is tuned down a tad and expels the metal at a high tempo force that it is played. The drummer bangs with the best of them and can stop on a dime and move into machine gun mode. The bass thuds like feet stuck in mud to effectively add the character of heaviness to their music. The lyrics are personal observations of question but written with thought and insight. Metalcore that beats you the way you like to be beaten. One of the heaviest releases I have heard this year. If you are familiar with this band, I personally believe this is ten times better than their Fuel album. Did I mention they are from Sweden? –don (Burning Heart)


RAISED FIST:
Ignoring the Guidelines: CD
I was working at trying to find a clever way to say they suck when I learned from the webpage that their name is taken from a Rage Against the Machine song. Think Rage meets Pantera. I think they're ignoring the wrong guidelines. –Cuss Baxter (Burning Heart/Epitaph)


RAJBOT:
Self-Titled: 7"
Barely irritating experimental hip-hop on marbled vinyl. The ones without the raps are better. –Cuss Baxter (Sedition)


RAJOITUS:
Discography: CD
If you thought the only thing Scandinavia was good for anymore was black metal and bad ‘70s rock, here’s some mind-blowing, crucial fjordcore madness here in the classic mold of bands like Mob 47 and Protes Bengt that’ll slap that notion right outta your head. A total of forty-one tracks, from three 7-inchers and a 12-inch spanning the years 1995-’98, are here for your aural enjoyment and the displeasure of all the fake-ass punker wannabes at your school. Best news of all is that this band is apparently still going strong. You can bet your sweet patootie this is recommended. –jimmy (Hardcore Holocaust)


RAJOITUS / RATSTAB:
Split: 7” EP
Rajoitus: Five tracks of vicious Finnish fjordcore coming at you like a hail of angry hornets armed with jackhammers aiming for your forehead. Been a while since I’ve heard anything from ‘em, but based on this, it sounds like they’ve lost none of their charm. Ratstab: Blown-out, spastic hardcore that, at times, sounds like someone is howling while banging on the inside of a very heavy, lead barrel.  –jimmy (Patac)


RAJOITUS / RATSTAB:
Split: 7” EP
Rajoitus: Five tracks of vicious Finnish fjordcore coming at you like a hail of angry hornets armed with jackhammers aiming for your forehead. Been a while since I’ve heard anything from ‘em, but based on this, it sounds like they’ve lost none of their charm. Ratstab: Blown-out, spastic hardcore that, at times, sounds like someone is howling while banging on the inside of a very heavy, lead barrel.  –jimmy (Patac)


RAKEHELL:
Pure Pop Poison: LP
This appears to be some sort of Buddhist-themed band and record. The sides are split into “passionate side” and “political side.” This distinction is decidedly above my head but appears to be quite important to the artist. There is a paean to making love to eight people with Barry White on 8-track on the song “8-Track Love.” The sound of the band and record fluctuates between a rough and ragged Krupted Peasant Farmerz kind of sound and the goofy, twee sound of The Bartlebees or even Beat Happening at times. –frame (Three Peas)


RAKING BOMBS:
Self-titled: CD
Arty noise that was about as exciting as a macramé contest. –jimmy (rakingbombs@hotmail.com)


RAKTA:
Self-titled: 12” EP
Tough one to describe here. Which is a good thing, really. I hear strong death rock elements in the percussion and bass, and occasionally in the guitar. Then there’s this really wide and blown-out post-punk, post-rock, post-whatever, sort of art-damaged, vibe that dominates the sound that keeps everything from getting too dark and too heavy. Things really get interesting around songs like “Life Comes from Death” with its creepy graveyard organ sound, and the lumbering “Secret” where the bass has a loose and dark edge that takes the sound into the depths. Then there are the vocals in that song that have this distant dream feel. So good... Unfortunately, the songs “Ganex; Black Mob” and “Caverna” run too long and bog things down, killing the mood established by the previous songs. “Caverna” has its moments, and is more focused than “Ganex,” but neither song fit well with the previous four. Maybe it’s a matter of having to spend more time with these songs. Whatever the case, the material on the first side is definitely worth your time.  –Matt Average (Nada Nada, nadanadadiscos.com)


RAKTA:
Self-titled: 7”
Rakta from Brazil recently played here in Los Angeles at the Dog Haus (L.A. punks Generacion Suicida’s spot to host touring bands) and for whatever fucking reason I assumed two very stupid things. One: that Rakta were a thrash band. Two: I didn’t need to go to this show even though GS and the Bay Area’s Flesh World were both also playing. This two-song 7” will forever be a painful yet endearing reminder of bad, bad life choices. I’ve tried to sit through Siouxsie And The Banshees records. I’ve never made it past more than two songs. I get that they were innovators in the post-punk/goth realm but always felt like there was a key DIY punk element missing. Rakta have not only found that element but have run off with it and nurtured it back to health in dark rooms full of empty wine bottles, bone-chilling keyboard notes, and echoing incantations. The packaging and artwork is nothing short of perfect: silk screened cover and dust sleeve with a printed vellum insert. What more can I say? I’m smitten.  –Juan Espinosa (540, La Vida Es Un Mus, Dama Do Noite, Nada Nada)


RALPH:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Short blasts of non-metallic hardcore, some slower, others opting for full-speed ahead. Given the name and the cover art, I kinda expected more arty fare from this, but these kids kick up dust quite nicely on the seven tunes here. –jimmy (Scavenger Of Death, no address)


RALPH CARNEY’S SERIOUS JASS PROJECT:
Seriously: CD
Ralph Carney is a multi-instrumentalist who’s been associated with bands in what seems like damned near every corner of the new wave—B-52s, The Waitresses, They Might Be Giants, Talking Heads, Jonathan Richman, and the list goes on. As the band’s name and the title suggest, this is jazz, specifically along the lines of small-group, ragtime-derived early swing (hence the “jass” spelling, I’m guessing). The lion’s share of stuff here are run-throughs of standards (like “Echoes of Harlem,” “You Took Advantage of Me,” and “I Wish I Were Twins”), and they handily do them justice—solid musicianship, choice soloing, and a sense of respect not so bogged down with reverence that no room is left for some playful bounce. If traditional jazz is yer chosen poison, this’ll go down nicely. –jimmy (Smog Veil)


RALPH WHITE & THOR HARRIS:
Tossing Pebbles on the Sleeping Beast: CD
“I’m sitting here thinking of a cure for my insanity,” Ralph White sings on this album he’s done with Swans percussionist Thor Harris. It’s a tough listen and more likely to drive one to insanity than being any sort of cure. White (formerly of Bad Livers) has an off-key yodel that accompanies his accordion and off-beat banjo playing. It’s only when Harris is allowed to take front stage on the percussion (such as on the closer, “Canoe”) that I was able to stomach this album. His marimba and vibes playing can be mesmerizing and serves as a welcome relief to the abrasive sound of White’s banjo and voice. Not my thing but perhaps fans of the unique stylings of Bad Livers might dig this.  –Kurt Morris (Self-Sabotage, facebook.com/selfsabotagerecords)


RAMBLER 454:
No Name Café: CD
I didn’t like this kind of stuff when it was put out by Johnny Cougar. Or John Cougar Mellencamp for that matter. –megan (Readyfireaim)


RAMBLER 454:
Talk Down the Sky: CD
Think “alternative rock’s answer to the Black Crowes” and then head for the hills. When they described themselves as “emo-billy,” I should’ve taken them at their word, ’cause this pretty much bites the weenie. –jimmy (ReadyFireAim)


RAMBLER 454:
Talk Down the Sky: CD
Adult contemporary country crossover, anyone? I need a Q-tip. My ears feel dirty. –megan (ReadyFireAim)


RAMBLIN’ AMBASSADORS:
Avanti: CD

Twenty-four minutes of top-notch surf and spaghetti western instrumentals. Great soundtrack for your next Fistful of Dollars-themed shindig.

–jimmy (Mint)


RAMBLIN’ JEFFREY LEE:
Self-titled: 2 x LP
If you’re looking for a Gun Club record, you may be disappointed by Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee. As Cypress Grove, Jeffrey’s collaborator on Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee, points out in the liner notes—Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee enters into vanity record territory. Instead of his usual blues-punk hybrid, Jeffrey performs straight blues interpretations on Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee, covering songs by Howlin’ Wolf, Skip James, Charley Patton, and Don Nix (“Goin’ Down”). Jeffrey was at his musical peak when this album was recorded (1992), and his desire to do a blues record was a reflection of his reverence for the genre that gave him a career. If you’re a seasoned Gun Club fan, this reissue is an absolute must; Jeffrey’s version of “Go Tell the Mountain” is worth the price of admission alone. Bang! did a great job with the packaging (double LP gatefold).  –ryan (Bang!, bang-records.net)


RAMBO:
Bring It!: LP
There’s a reason that Rambo’s huge in certain circles: like Propagandhi, Dillinger Four and Against Me!, they manage to convey an “us against them” kind of desperation in a manner that still remains inclusive, that allows you to feel that things are possible, and that makes you feel that this is a world that isn’t totally void of compassion or meaning. While Rambo sonically sounds nothing like the aforementioned bands, they all have (or had) that same inherent undercurrent of rage, that same ability to deal with overtly political issues in a way that’s still accessible to the listener. And the fact that this is some of the most tuneful, furious and intelligent hardcore to come rumbling down the avenue in some time doesn’t hurt either. Despite the lack of Mike Bukowski cover art, this record just kills from start to finish; songs like “That Lump in Your Throat” and “Kids Who Mosh Like Assholes Must Make Selfish Lovers” will hopefully be on mixtapes for years and years to come. Still, this literally has to be one of the ugliest LP covers I’ve seen in years. I’m not necessarily faulting the artist, just saying it was a poor idea for a cover, the end result being if I didn’t know who this band was, I wouldn’t pick this thing up in a hundred years. Both CD and LP versions come with a live DVD that highlights their ‘03 European tour, along with a bunch of additional material. If you’re wondering about the hype, it’s well founded. If you’re wondering why everyone’s talking about this band, there’s a reason. Seek it out, read the words, feel it, and wear the grooves out on the thing. –keith (Havoc)


RAMBO/CRUCIAL UNIT:
: Split 7"
Rambo: First track is a East Coast mosh fest that keeps the pit moving. The second and third tracks blasts off like a laser guided missile aimed at a strategic target, ready for destruction. Crucial Unit: More manic and intense than Rambo. The vocals are screamo and the beats fly by at lightning speed. You feel like you have to hold on for dear life. They definitely win the speed contest here. Both bands hail from Philadelphia. The theme of the split is bicycles. This was a great introduction to both of these bands for me.
–don (Ed Walters)


RAMMA LAMMA:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Ding dong! Moo-pow-pow! As fun as Otis Day made the toga party in Animal House, Ramma Lamma takes ‘70s teen arena fun pop, unzips the listeners’ skull, scoops brains out like ice cream with sugary, sprinkles crunchy candy bits on top, and dances around like kids let of out of school for the summer. Think David Cassidymania dreaminess, prior to that London concert where a fourteen-year-old girl got stampeded to death at the gate; an event that haunted David until his death. No haunting here, just repeated listens! –todd (Certified PR)


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