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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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Por Vida: LP
I was a bit conflicted on this. My friend Rawl said it was great. My friend Josh said that one of them had to be physically removed from his house after spray painting their bathroom. I gave it a listen. It’s really fucking good. Spastic in the vein of Fleshies and The Bananas. My advice: Definitely pick up the album, but pat ‘em down before letting them in your pisser. –megan (Onion Flavored)

Por Vida: LP
Musical regrets are a dime a dozen. But, I think this one hits many DIY punk folks more acutely. Por Vida was initially released on Onion Flavored in 2002/2003 in a pressing of five hundred. Poof. Gone. No re-press. And although the CD version remained (remains?) available for quite some time, I’m with you on this. The CD isn’t the same as the LP, especially with a band like Sexy that seems at home being played on shitty stereos with milk crates of records by the side. Christians can have their Easter Bunny, Buddhists can Big Wheel into the next life on their reincarnation wheels, and I’ll put my chips in with the importance of keeping great music (especially records) in print, long after other bands from 2002 are understandably buried and forgotten. It’s because this shit makes me feel happy and alive and good and human. Sexy’s great. Sexy’s dead. Long live Sexy. –todd (Thrillhouse)

Split: 7”
Sexy Crimes: Good gravy! This is awful. Her voice is so high I thought I had the turntable on 45. Looks like they’ve got the Shellshag/Carpenters set-up, but, sadly, don’t come close to those. Yup, the Carpenters are better. Sports Bar: My experience with sports bars is that sitting here, I kind of hate them, but when I’ve actually gone to one, had a few beers, and actually taken in all it has to offer in person, it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I feel like Sports Bar would be the same if I ever saw them live. –megan (Sweet Dreams/Flisa)

Dream Out: CD
Sexy Neighbors are one of those bands most people I know would probably consider an “acquired taste,” but I’d totally geek out over at a gig—a guitar player who prefers trebly, clean channels and often veers off into his own herky-jerky rhythmed world; what might be a Farfisa organ layered over quirky, arty punk, and a singer who sounds like he’s trying to find some sorta sweet spot between Gordon Gano and Chris D. The ten songs here often teeter dangerously on the brink of going on a bit longer than they should, but their sound leaves plenty of room for experimentation and growth. –jimmy (Kings Highway, no address listed)

Too Weird to Live: CD
Full discography release from this North Carolina punk trio that existed from 1999-2005. The CD starts off strong with “Animals” and plows through another twenty-six songs after that. Fans of Fear and Murphy’s Law would probably dig this record. Other than an ill-advised ska number and a throwaway instrumental at the end, there is solid material here from start to finish. Don’t expect a reunion show though, since one of the members joined ANTiSEEN. –koepenick (Mystery School, myspace.com/mysteryschoolrecords)

Proggy synth punk from Philadelphia, drawing from both Rush and Gary Newman with Ozzyish vocals. If you wanna get weeiiirrrrrddddd, this is the record to do it to. Engaging, but still goes way out there.  –Daryl Gussin (P. Trash / FDH)

self-titled: 7"
“True drug-addled, hate-inspired, precision punk rock in the form of one minute tunes.” That’s what their label says about this record and even though the tunes were a little over one minute, that’s a good description for this. It’s a two-song punk rock single with all the trimmings. If you like fast and furious punk, here you go. Don’t mind that the band has long since split. The music will still remain the same: fast and rockin’. Well done and put out by Rapid Pulse, who are known for mainly doing 7”s of their favorite bands –Guest Contributor (Rapid Pulse)

self-titled: 7"
Two short blasts, of lean, mean punk rock, the first being an original clocking in at 1:12 and the second a cover of Slaughter and the Dogs’ “The Bitch” that ain’t much longer. Good stuff. –jimmy (Rapid Pulse)

Self-titled: Cassingle
Well, to this untrained ear, these dudes are doing a damn nice and authentic-sounding surf/psych thing. I mean, if you told me, dunce that I am, that this was from 1964 or something, I’d be like, “Huh. Cool.” So there’s that. And yet! My hypocrisy is boundless! For some reason, 7” vinyl is fine, full-length tapes are fine, but I hate cassingles. (And at four quick songs, that’s essentially what we’re looking at here.) Still, these guys are really good at what they’re doing, and this cassette’s limited to seventy-five copies, so if this is your thing, ya better jump on it.  –keith (Shake)

Lower Broadway Lo-Fi: CD
We can talk about punk rock: dissect it, categorize and compartmentalize it. But the fact remains, for this reviewer, a lot of times what draws me to a band is something that’s absolutely unclassifiable: the energy involved: that intangible but immediately apparent thing that, frankly, you either got as a band or you don’t. That said, Th’ Shack Shakers aren’t punk in a sonic sense—this is country music, straight up. But goddamn, energy? Are you kidding me, here? Energy, they’ve got buckets of. Recording’s live and raw—busted speakers, tiny amps, and fuzzed-out as all hell—and all the better for it. LBLF is apparently the only existing recording of this band (culled from the one cassette copy they gave out) and it’s a story like that, that sense of bucking the odds, that can’t help but endear me to the music. It was recorded live but as a session, not in a show environment—but Jesus Christ, it sounds like a live show, like a crazed and chaotic stomp of a live show, full of frenetic bluegrass and the kind of translated energy that you so rarely get outside of the punk scene. Fans of everyone from rockabilly to country would dig this—if your record collection holds anything by The Pine Hill Haints to Reverend Horton Heat, you’ll be all over this. There’s something to be said for an album that could’ve come out last week or in 1955 and still makes you grin with the uncontained and relentless fury and joy of it. I rarely even listen to bands of this genre, but the sheer guts and sweat is so audible here that I’ve found myself putting it on long after I could’ve written a review and been done with it. –keith (Arkam)

Self-titled: 7"
I like the name of this band (It’s cute! Even though I imagine shackles aren’t really very cute at all!), and I really like the paper the record comes in, thick and textured with a gorgeous pink color. Unfortunately, the singing is a little watery for my tastes. The songs overall didn’t do much for me or stick with me after the first listen, but I did like the sound of the keyboards in the second one. The guitar is kind of garage-y, but for me it just doesn’t rock. I am missing the rock spirit! It’s sweet, it’s nice, but it’s a bit mild, even when the last song picked up at the end. –Jennifer Federico (Sweet Rot)

Split: CD
Don’t know if it’s always the best choice to put two bands who sound very similar to one another on a split. There really isn’t too much difference between either band. Shades Of Grey drink deep from the well of From Ashes Rise. Even their style of lyrics sticks close to the F.A.R. style. Shades of Grey are definitely adept musicians. The songs are solid and sonic, but they need to inject a bit more individuality into their sound if they want to stand out. Otherwise they will sink in the mess of a zillion bands who have the Tragedy / F.A.R. sound. Massmord have a bit more going for them. The songs are more dynamic and explosive. They mix From Ashes Rise with some Tragedy. Not much difference, really. But it’s there if you listen closely. If they, too, were to inject more of their own personality into their sound, Massmord could be a force to reckon with. Until then... –Matt Average (Profane Existence)

Nightmare Future: 7”
Shadow Laughter is from Tampa and play terrifically mainline oi/streetpunk, with retro lyrics about being punks and skins. Similar musically and thematically with the New England fashion punk bands of twenty years ago, this is oddly refreshing in today’s largely anti-mohawk scene. The cover art by James Von Sinn, the singer of Rotten UK, is great, too. This is easily my favorite record of the issue, and is one of the best streetpunk 7”s I’ve heard in ages. Oddly sincere given how time-tested its tropes are, Shadow Laugher is anything but laughable. Get on board. –Art Ettinger (Self-released, shadowlaughter.bandcamp.com)

Demo 2010: Cassette
Tech-y, at times noise-y, chaotic math-core. Like the basement-shackled son of early Dillinger Escape Plan and Orchid. It sounds a bit dated for today’s tastes, though, since most people who were into that kind of stuff moved on to either indie rock or big budget prog metal. –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, no address)

Self-titled: CD
Surfy, circusy goth rock with a (man) singer who’s a cross between Wendy O. Williams and the lady from Christian Death. –Cuss Baxter (www.shadowreichenstein.com)

Self-titled: CD
Surfy, circusy goth rock with a (man) singer who’s a cross between Wendy O. Williams and the lady from Christian Death. –Cuss Baxter (www.shadowreichenstein.com)

A Big Pot of Hot: CD
Raucous rock music with a punk afterburn. Heard better, heard worse. –jimmy (www.tnsrecords.co.uk)

Hand in Hand: LP
Shadowhouse describe themselves as “post-punk/goth” from Portland, Oregon. I don’t get around to those genres too often but, for the most part, appreciate what is going on here. Reverby guitar riffs, big drum sounds, synthesizers, and a deep, booming voice. Every piece sounds like it was recorded in a different section of a spooky cave on the Oregon coast. If you’re tired of your favorite ‘80s singers acting like assholes or paying two hundred dollars to see some cover act at an embarrassing convention, try this LP out. It’ll get the job done.  –John Mule (Mass Media, massmediarecords.com)

Unforgiveable Things: CD
This Louisville musician plays country-influenced songs of self-deprecation, loss, and hardship (which I guess is to be expected on an album called Unforgiveable Things) in a style akin to Ryan Adams or any of his various projects. There seems to have been a lot of sorrow in Shadrack’s life, but he does an effective job of sharing it in a means that doesn’t seem too tiresome. I like the addition of harmonica, violin, and electric guitar to the songs, which give them a fullness and strength. Wilde is a decent songwriter, too, although his focus on the morose could stand to be tempered to a degree. I wouldn’t mind hearing the next album, though. –kurt (myspace.com/shadwickwilde)

Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Kind of cutesy garage/droney indie rock. Not bad. I’d probably be into it a little more if I was in the mood for cutesy/wish I wasn’t in the mood for droney. –joe (kylemccormick12@gmail.comR)

Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Somewhere between the lines of Thee Oh Sees and Best Coast, this band is definitely outside my jurisdiction of my credibility. Here’s what I can tell you though: I really hope the fuzz is intentional. I don’t know if this is a demo or what, but I see promise. There’s a lot of alternative rock influence, but I couldn’t but my finger on what exactly I was hearing. The first track is easily the best. –Bryan Static (kylemccormick12@gmail.com)

A Comprehensive Retrospective or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Release Ba: CD

Two awful singers, mediocre riffs, and four songs at the end of the guitarist’s practice tapes? Complete tommyrot. This is sixty-five minutes of my life that I will never, ever get back. I would rather watch golf all afternoon than listen to this CD again. To add insult to injury, Revelation Records neglected to include a jewel case so I can’t even use it as a coaster for my vodka tonic. Bastards.

–koepenick (Revelation)

A Comprehensive Retrospective: CD
Demo, live, and warehouse recordings of a band who has become one of the biggest names in hardcore. Compiled by original member Matt Fox, this is one more to add to your collection if you’re a fan of this stuff. Otherwise, it’s a complete waste of time. –mrz (Revelation)

Or It Will Take Everything: CD
My general disdain for one-man bands notwithstanding, this, um, group is steeped with a nice, slow-burning Delta blues influence, which makes for a not too painful listen. –jimmy (no address)

Self-Titled: CD
Take a little Hives, thrown in some Northwestern nouveau-punk and add an Endino production and you get this. –jimmy (Morphius)

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