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Razorcake #79
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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SHARK TOYS:
Self-titled: LP

Repetitive, clean guitar riffs telegraph a Wire quality in this record. There is a lot of fast riffage over primal drumming with dry, blasé vocals in the best way. “Pot Holes” could be a post-punk classic. “Who Cares?” expresses well the reckless abandon of youth. It’s instantly catchy. The whole thing’s like that. If you’re into that sort of thing, it’s a home run. Nice one.

–Billups Allen (Dead Beat)


SHARK?:
Kreegah!: 7”
Annoyingly boring indie rock with barely noticeable surf guitar noodling. This potentially could have been pretty popular back in those days when bands like Toadies and Hum were getting played on the “alternative” radio stations. Ya know, back when you didn’t need to see pictures of the band’s members throwing money in the air to know they had dollar signs for eyes. I tried to find some kind of redeeming punk qualities to this record, but aside from the fact that it’s pressed to vinyl, there are none. –Juan Espinosa (Oops Baby)


SHARKPACT:
Ditches: LP
Sharkpact is a male/female, drums/keyboard duo out of Olympia, WA. They may only be two people with two instruments, but they make that little bit go a long way. Unfortunately, I don’t like the saccharine emo punk way that they take it. Features members of Mutoid Men and Chin Up, Meriwether. –Vincent Battilana (Rumbletowne / Ditch)


SHARKS AND SAILORS:
Builds Brand New: CD
Chock full of dissonant, odd chord progressions guaranteeing them oodles of hipster alt-rock points they can collect and later cash in for expensive pre-stressed jeans, T-shirts, and name brand sunglasses. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.sharksandsailors.com)


SHARKS COME CRUISIN:
A Past We Forget That We Need to Know: LP
Yarr matey, here be the latest musical voyage of pirate punks Sharks Come Cruisin. These scurvy sea dogs play what many swabs would classify as folk punk or Irish punk, with traditional folk influences. There’s a lot of energy on this recording, but I can’t get on board with the style. The inserts included with the vinyl, a pack of “trading cards” with song and band info, are among the coolest I’ve seen for album packaging, and the band definitely wins in that regard, but, overall, I find this more a sinker than a swimmer. –Paul J. Comeau (Sharks Come Cruisin, sharkscomecruisin.com)


SHARP BALLOONS:
“Evening News”: 7”
Raw punk rock here. As amateurish as Kleenex and Catholic Discipline. “Evening News” was recorded at someone’s house. The music doesn’t hide it. Fucking brutal as hell. And impressive. Then again, it’s on Goner, so what did you expect? –Ryan Leach (Goner, goner-records.com)


SHARP EASE, THE:
T-Spin: 7"
The title track reminds me of Psychocandy-era Jesus and Mary Chain, except fronted by some ladies: more fuzz than a shaggy mohair sweater, sexy drippings of vocals, restrained keyboard, inviting guitar. "Lick My Ass" has the keeper of a line, "If you're going to gonna lick my pussy, you're gonna lick my ass." Then the word "lick" is repeated a bunch. It almost sounds like a nasty, finger-jamming Bjork. Not a bad world to live in. "Rock'n'Roll Detox" pulls the erotic dancing pole of the Pixies between their legs and starts swinging around. Occasional high squeaks, down to breathy Kim Deal interludes, dappled with smooth, heated guitar bursts. Not a bad (debut?) at all.
–Todd Taylor (Soft Spot; www.softspot.com)


SHARP ENDS:
Northern Front + Crack Trap: 7" + 7"
Lotta sounds over the four tracks on these two discs. “Northern Front” has no shortage of moody gloom in its grooves, bringing to mind Death In June circa The Guilty Have No Pride, while its flip bops along with an early Joy Division feel. “Crack Trap” is by far the catchiest tune of the four, with a catchy odd hook and an air of ‘60s rock to counter the warbly vocals, while “Loaded Hearts” is about as straightforward punk as they get here. Hopin’ they’re working on a full-length, ‘cause it should be a doozy if these two singles are any indication. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mammoth Cave Recording Co./Hozac)


SHARP ENDS:
Self-titled: 7" EP
The “art” and dark brood are still very evident in the four tunes here, but the tracks here have a bit more of, oh, a groove imbedded into ‘em. According to a piece of paper included on the release, this is a reissue of their first self-released EP, which I guess would mean the stuff here is closer to the base from which they expanded on subsequent releases. It also says they’ve called it quits, which is a fuggin’ drag, ‘cause they were one of few who are really trying to push a bit at the boundaries and coming up with interesting results. Gonna miss ‘em. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mammoth Cave Recording Co., mammothcaverecording.com)


SHARP KNIFE / LOVES SONGS:
Split: Tape
Yay! Three Sharp Knife songs and two Love Songs (featuring Craigums!) songs on a tape! Punk rock! Love Songs use the phrase “apples and banaanaas” from one of the most ridiculous children’s songs of all time! Score one! Sharp Knife just rocks and rolls until your neighbors are pounding on the wall begging you to turn it down. Punk fucking rock! If this were a cereal, it’d be a single-serving double pack with silly, fun Froot Loops (Love Songs) and amazing, innovative Rice Krispie Treats cereal (Sharp Knife)! I am a dork! –Maddy (Grateful)


SHARP KNIFE/QUEER WÜLF:
Split: LP
Both of these bands are fucking great. They both have bits and pieces of Fleshies and the Thumbs coupled with a fine tradition of bands that might not be revolutionizing rock and roll or anything, but will sure as hell rock your living room like their lives depend on it. Both of them play catchy, scruffy, sweat-drenched punk rock, which is just the way this reviewer likes it. This is the perfect excuse for buying a record player. –Josh (This Here)


SHARP OBJECTS:
Zero Ambition, Another Victim, Five Song EP: 7", CDEP
I know someone will inevitably come forth to decry this statement, but I’d say on the west coast there’ve been two labels that are pretty much the go-to places for ‘70s punk/power pop/kitchen sink influenced stuff. In the south there’s Hostage (been a while since I’ve seen something from ‘em, so they may or may not exist at this point), who unleashed Smogtown, The Stitches, Broken Bottles, Bonecrusher, Smut Peddlers, and tons of others, while the north has been ruled by the mighty Dirtnap, who’ve released crucial material by The Briefs, The Gloryholes, The Spits, the Epoxies, and a veritable who’s who of the subgenre. With recent releases by The Bodies, Modern Action (the band), The Orphans, Smogtown, and others, it appears that Modern Action (the label) is now making a play to fill the void left by Noma Beach’s absence and rule the territory both literally and figuratively between the other two, and these releases are a few more warning salvos over the bow of anyone trying to move in. Like so many of their label mates, the songs on both singles feature an amalgamation of northern quirky punk pop sensibilities and southern thud-punk muscle. Yeah, the style might be starting to get a bit cookie-cutter, if you wanna be nitpicky about it, but I’ll be goddamned if these guys aren’t milking it for all it’s worth and ending up with some choice hits here, and there ain’t a clunker in the bunch. For those who prefer their music on a more recent dying format, The Five Song EP CD has the four songs from the two singles, plus a Satan’s Rats cover. –Jimmy Alvarado (Modern Action)


SHARP OBJECTS:
“Another Victim” b/w “Left without a Heart”: 45
Since the magazine for which i write is, in fact, a southern California-based publication, i must wonder aloud if Southern Californians realize how immediately identifiable their punk rock is as Southern Californian in origin? I mean, SoCal is like the Wisconsin accent of punk: It is clearly, immediately, and irrevocably identifiable as such. Damn near everything I hear, to this very frickin’ day, sounds like it stepped off of 1982’s “Somebody Got Their Head Kicked In Tonight” compilation LP. The eighth-note cymbal rhythms are the most easily isolated part of this sound, but i swear every other issue i get a record by a Southern California punk band to review, and all I can really say about it is that it sounds like it stepped off of 1982’s “Somebody Got Their Head Kicked In Tonight” compilation LP, and that it reminds me of something my old roommates would listen to at head-crushing volume whilst they drank Kingsbury® with chicks they picked up at the bars whilst i tried vainly to sleep in the other room. Singers sound slightly snottier in 2011 than they did in 1982, but, other than that, this is a double-sided example of that which i just said it was. Am i preachin’ to the choir here? Not a bad record on its own merits, if you were hoping that “Somebody Got Their Head Kicked In” came with futuristic bonus tracks. BEST SONG: “Pillbox” by the Joneses. Wait, what? BEST SONG TITLE: “Left Without a Heart” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I hail Modern Action Records’ use of rubber stamping. –Rev. Norb (Modern Action)


SHARP OBJECTS:
5 Song EP: CDEP
Modern Action is a new label that record collectors will want to watch. Complex packaging and pressing info is listed on their site for all of their releases, with the new Sharp Objects being no exception. They’re working on their first album right now, but have put out a few short releases so far, all of which kick ass. Kind of a punchier, even more vital version of The Briefs, Sharp Objects capture the best of ‘77 punk while not coming off as too corny or fabricated. It’s probably too late to get some versions of this release, so get your collector nerd glasses on and figure out what options you have left. –Art Ettinger (Modern Action, modernactionrecords.com)


SHARP OBJECTS:
Another Victim: 7"
Ah, the adjectives I could throw at you. Snotty, trashy, surfy, Modern Action-y... None of it matters. All you need to know is that if Sharp Objects aren’t part of the soundtrack to your beach bonfires or late night skate sessions, you’re doing something wrong! –Ty Stranglehold (Modern Action)


SHARP OBJECTS:
Zero Ambition: 7"
It’s as if the dudes at Modern Action records were able to tap into my brain and start putting bands out that they know I’d love. Every single band I’ve heard on the label is amazing, and Sharp Objects are no exception. A couple of barn burners that Briefs fans would gobble up in a second. Thanks again Modern Action, for introducing me to all my new favorite bands! –Ty Stranglehold (Modern Action)


SHARP OBJECTS:
Self-titled: LP

SHARP OBJECTS: Self-titled: LP

 

 

I know I have become a bit of a fanboy for all things Modern Action, but I am unapologetic. Especially with bands like Sharp Objects leading the pack. This here is a slab of punk rock perfection: driving beach punk riffs and catchy words. “Whoa-ohs” and “hey hey heys” in the right places. Short and to the point, I just keep playing this one over and over. And it keeps getting better! Now, if I could see them on a bill with Night Birds, I could die happy! –Ty Stranglehold (Modern Action)


SHARP OBJECTS:
Self-titled: LP
And the hits just keep on a-comin’ from Modern Action. There’s maybe a wee bit darker tone to the overall sound than on previous Sharp Object releases, but these cats are still dishing out some tasty and insanely catchy tunes that recall the best of California’s thud punk glory days while not sounding a bit like some mothball-laden rehash bullshit. Plop this puppy on and don’t be surprised if you find you’ve already pretty much trashed your immediate area by the middle of the first tune. Fuck yeah, this is recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Modern Action)


SHARP TEETH:
Self-titled: CD
These songs are dark, slow to mid-tempo haunts delivered from front women/guitarist Erica Krumm’s deadpan vocals. This three-piece from Minneapolis may take a minimalist approach on this album, but they manage to clamor the far edges of grunge distortion within a moody soundscape. I’d place this CD amid the vocal styling of Liz Phair circa 1993 and musical deliverance of a tempered Slant 6 song, minus any riot grrrl connotations that that comparison may invoke. All the songs here are cut from the same cloth without any standing out from the rest of the album. This is an interesting full length from Sharp Teeth, but I hope their next release will pack a little more punch. –N.L. Dewart –Guest Contributor (myspace.com/sharpteethmpls)


SHARP TEETH:
Lines and Stars: CD
Female fronted, dirge-tempoed noise pop heavy on the early ‘90s influence and rife with sloppy guitar chords. –Jimmy Alvarado (No address)


SHAT:
Cuntree: CD
Upon completion of this release I felt as if I walked into an inside joke that leaves only the band in a state of furious, madcap laughter. This record has managed to place in the top slot for my own “Most Infantile Record I Have Listened To” list in my own head. This consists in entirety of punk-cum-metal-idiotic-odes to pussy, boobs, bodily fluids, and sex. Shat features an ex-Dillinger Escape Plan member and underground porn star, Jeff Wood, on bass. This album is terrible but it should be noted that the band is highly enthusiastic about the material and lyrics. This release sets a somewhat high standard for low brow humor. The lyrics reach a point of being so intrinsically dumb that they reach a level of almost being avant garde: “Eating a girl out is the most brilliant thing.” They were also clever enough to sequence the sixty-nine songs so that they would fit into sixty-nine minutes in length. The all-knowing genius squad over at Buddyhead (who actually spent money on this) tagged this fact as a selling point, enough to provide this information for the discriminating listener as a sticker on the cover. Perhaps such marketing antics are necessary when the songs cling so tightly to gimmicky nothingness. The winner of Buddyhead’s top tax write off of 2006 is Shat’s Cuntree! –Chris Prorock –Guest Contributor (Buddyhead)


SHATTERED FAITH:
Bootleg: CD
Okay, gripes first: 1) What is this insistence in using the version of “Right Is Right” with the guitar intro cut off? If the original master wasn’t available with the intro intact, why not find a pristine copy of the second Rodney on the Roq comp and use that instead? Most perplexing of all, who decided starting off the disc with that song was a good idea? 2) Why are the Life Is… comp tracks absent and replaced with the vastly inferior Volume 2 versions? Goblin did a fine job singing on them, and one of ’em, “The Omen,” isn’t represented here at all. 3) Given the number of rarities that didn’t make it on here, why the inclusion of so much stuff readily available on the CD GTA put out a couple of years ago? Seems like such a waste, you know? Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me say that any collection highlighting Shattered Faith’s “golden era” is friggin’ mandatory listening. Although much is missing here, the fact that the inclusion of all the tracks from The Future Looks Bright comp, “Discontent” from the Who Cares comp, and one of the two tracks from the Destroy L.A. comp make this an invaluable addition to the collection of any self-respecting punker. Bitching aside, I’m stoked as hell to hear these songs again. –Jimmy Alvarado (Finger)


SHATTERHAND:
Compliancy Is Not an Option: CD
Let us examine the nature of Shatterhand. Here we have a band from Scotland who sounds like a mix of Descendents and Leatherface. At points, you might think that they have two different singers, but no. There is only one vocal credit on the insert (note: lyrics are not included). This is a compilation with no inherent logic to the order of the songs. I have no idea which ones are earlier or which ones belong to the same releases. Shatterhand definitely sounds better when the singer is channeling Milo Aukerman than those few awkward attempts at his Frankie Stubbs impression. For the sake of continuity, pick a vocal style and stick with it, or at least tell me if those were early songs so I don’t complain about them so much. Otherwise, a fine retrospective of a band I had never heard of. Good job. –Bryan Static (Unsane Asylum, unsaneasylum.com)


SHATTERHAND / CIGARETTE CROSSFIRE:
Split: 7”
Both bands play generic punk with vaguely political lyrics. Based on their names, one band is American and one band is from Europe. Doesn’t make a difference which is which because they basically sound the same. The artwork has a cool communist theme, but it’s not enough to save this one from the dustbin of history. –Ryan Horky (Unsane Asylum)


SHAVED CHRIST:
Bad Mind: 7” EP
A nice slab of ‘80s-influenced hardcore here. Odd structures and careening tempo changes not only keep things from getting stagnant, it shows they’re putting much thought and creativity into things instead of merely playing to a template. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bakery Outlet, bakeryoutletrecords.com)


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