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Record Reviews

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SLUM CITY:
Hot Beef Injection: CDEP
These girls (and one guy) play some fast, snotty, sloppy punk that is infectious as hell. Their sound reminds me of the Lunachicks. Don’t be turned off by the gross cover of some ugly guy biting into a huge hot dog loaded with every condiment imaginable. That was gross enough to toss this aside. But one look inside and you will notice that the three girls in the band not only sound great, they are hot! With my interest now peaked, I went to their website (http://www.slumcitytx.com/) to find pics of Suzy Slum (guitar, vocals) playing a show in a spaghetti strap bustier thingy with her boobs spilling out the top of it. I’m in love. –toby (SSR)


SLUMBER PARTY:
Psychedelicate: CD
This band is sweet. I can imagine Alice listening to this on her walkman through her adventures in Wonderland, pulling out some of those pastries she picked up at the white rabbit's house now and again, and I know she would turn this up after hanging out with that caterpillar, while sitting on the magic mushroom. It’s almost Mazzy Star-esque. Chilling and soothing. Like it should, the title suggests its sound. –Guest Contributor (Kill Rock Stars)


SLURS:
Self-titled: Cassette
Melodic hardcore out of Winnipeg delivers dry throat, scratchy vocals on four tracks that precede their demo released earlier this year. Dense, melodic chords like Naked Raygun and G.B.H. bolster “Care Less,” while “Stay In” and “Pick Up” slow it down to a garage tempo, the latter relying on a chirping chord to carry it home. “N.I.L.” closes it out with a screechy, no wave guitar hook brining in elements of Deerhunter. While this is a good precursor to their five-track demo, the sound quality is muddy and the fact that only one track has managed to stick it out leaves me to suggest the demo over this. Still worth an ear if you can track it down. Recommended.  –Kristen K. (Self-released)


SLURS:
Demo 2014: CS
Energetic mid-tempo three-piece pop punk with high-pitched, shouted vocals. Someone get the singer a lozenge.  –Michael T. Fournier (slurs.bandcamp.com)


SLURS, THE:
The Problem with Rock and Roll: CD
“The problem with rock and roll is the girls don’t like it anymore. Yeooow! [Guitar solo]” Well, if these guys are the ones making it, I can’t say that I blame the girls. –megan (Record Records)


SLUSHY:
“Candy” b/w “Pocket”: 7”
Both songs are lo-fi, two-man band inspired rock. Echo vocals and guitars. Just the right combination of “we’re not trying.” Both songs are catchy enough with a ‘60s/bubblegum influence.  –Billups Allen (Slushy.bandcamp.com)


SLUSHY:
“Candy” b/w “Pocket”: 7”
This band truly defines the Midwest sound. Or at least what I try to tell my East Coast friends that bands in my neck of the woods sound like. I saw them live once where they played on a beach-themed stage and it seemed so natural. Garage pop without any affectations, as only kids from the flyover states can do. “Candy” is dandy, but B-side “Pocket” is the jam.  –Sal Lucci (Randy)


SLUT RIVER:
Off White: EP
Off-kilter, lurching, abrasive sludge punk with snotty femme vocals: this is the sound of Iowa after too many PBRs, no niceties, just a smack round the chops and a kick to the head. Bringing to mind the abrasiveness of the Bags coupled with the drunken ramblings of the grunge years… Dickless, L7, Amphetamine Reptile… ugly and deranged. Totally into this, just wish the cover and lyric sheet weren’t a pile of horrible pixilated crap. –Tim Brooks (Salt Water)


SLUTEVER:
Pretend to Be Nice: 7" EP
This band is about twelve-trillion times better than name and packing would imply. It’s like half girlie indie-pop, half “Psychocandy” Scot-pop fuzz, half Cramps-like drum pounding, and a third strawberry-oat porridge. Anyone who complains that the math on that adds up to something like 167 percent should just bust out their wallet and count their fucking blessings. SLUTEVER delivers VALUE!!! Value!! value! BEST SONG: “No Offense” BEST SONG TITLE: “So Prone” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design”
–norb (Bantic Media, banticmedia.com)


SLUTEVER:
“1994” b/w “Spit”: 7”
Philadelphia’s Slutever live up to their hilarious name with this rocking two-song single. The two women that make up Slutever have a biting sense of humor, paying tribute to the year 1994 on this funny debut. They also have a demo and CD out, but I believe this is their first proper release. The vocals remind me of the 1990s epic girl band Snap-Her. Here’s to hoping that Slutever doesn’t relegate itself to gimmick status and instead continues pumping out kickass records like this one. That’s coming from someone with a soft spot for the ‘90s, so much so that he still bleaches his jeans. –Art Ettinger (Jade Tree)


SLUTS:
12” of Sluts: LP
I have a good friend who probably owns most of G.G. Allin’s records (although I think he feels some shame that his friends know this.) When I excitedly asked him if he was going to buy a record called 12” of Sluts, he told me he would pass, that he thinks he heard a bootleg of it years ago and didn’t care for it. Why old punx gotta be jaded? With a band name and a record name like these, you can’t help but be interested. I have a hard time making out the words, but with song titles like “Fuck You,” “Cunning Linguist,” and “Mom’s Cunt” you can kinda fill in the blanks. Makes me think of the “cursing club” I had with some friends when I was a kid. Our goal was to say as many bad words as often as possible. –Sal Lucci (Jeth-Row, jethrowrecords.bigcartel.com)


SLUTTY CHURCH CHIXXX:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Given how much of a cultural touchstone “early eighties hardcore” is, was, and perhaps always shall be—at least nominally—in the punk scenes of whatever NOW we happen to inhabit, it absolutely fucking AMAZES me how rarely anyone gets it right. I mean, what was the last good hardcore band, like, ever? Los Crudos? The State? Seven Seconds? Negative fricking Approach? Well, what-fucking-ever, the Slutty Church Chixxx knock this thing out of the fucking metaphorical ballpark with a bat that is pure, strong, and one hundred percent cork-free! It’s an eight-song 45, which is EXACTLY RIGHT i might add, managing to channel Dez-era Black Flag ((“Your Morality”)), MDC ((“Police Harassment”)) and first-album Circle Jerks ((“Exit 6”)) in the space of THE FIRST SIDE ALONE! Everything is LOUD and MEAN and FAST and TO THE POINT and, in the interests of consumer service, they’ve even eliminated the gaps between songs for your listening pleasure. None can ask fairer than that! This band rules. May they never release a full-length album ((especially one with a full-color cover)). Amen. BEST SONG: “Exit 6” BEST SONG TITLE: “Minimum Wage, Maximum Rage” i guess. We’re not really into song titles here, fucko. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I’ve been to Huntsville, to watch the Brewers double-A affiliate, the Huntsville Stars. Their team has “Faith Night” promotions, where every player wears a jersey number corresponding to a Biblical verse…so you’d think there would have been plenty of Slutty Church Chixxx at the ballpark, but i saw none. –norb (No Profit)


SLÖA KNIVAR:
Hemmakvälls Massakern: 7” EP
Dunno who the producer is here, but someone deserves a medal for some truly incendiary-sounding guitars. The band wrings every ounce of sleaze possible while keeping things mostly mid-tempo, but are just fucking on it the whole ride through while their singer vomits up lines like, “Are you a sailor? Do you like birds?” –jimmy (Ken Rock, myspace.com/kenrockrecords)


SLÖA KNIVAR:
Ingen Klass Ingen Stil: LP
Primo, grade-A thud punk from a buncha Swedes who deliver it up all nice ‘n’ overdriven, with snotty vocals, tons of attitude, and wall of fuzz. If you’re the type who thinks Legionnaires Disease’s tune “Rather See You Dead” was a hoot, this’ll blow yer skirts up quite nicely. –jimmy (Skrammel, skrammelrecords.se)


SMACKIN’ ISAIAH:
Benefits of Thinking Out Loud: CD
I saw these guys open up for the Co-Dependents at Chain Reaction and they knocked my dick in the dirt. Multiple singers, stop-start rhythms, sophisticated time changes compounded with furious guitars – I thought I was back at Bollocks watching Dillinger Four for the first time. Never mind they had come all the from New Bedford, Massachusetts, where Moby Dick was written, the thirtysomething O.C. teens didn’t quite know what to make of them, and Smackin’ Isaiah held nothing back. No chorus, scant repetition, each song is a prose poem set to music, a long message left on an answering machine at three o’clock in the morning that you can never take back. Benefits of Thinking Out Loud gets my vote for best surprise album of the year. –jim (Smackin' Isaiah)


SMACKMADAM:
Self-titled: 7"
The little propaganda sheet that came with this record compares Smackmadam to a “head-on collision” between Social Distortion and the Supersuckers. I guess I can kind of see that, but to my waxy ears they sound more like the Quadrajets or maybe a low-carb version of the Midnight Evils. Either way, this is the type of grubby, white trash, snoose-drooling race-car rawk that seems to irk the orthodox ‘77-style punk constituency to no end these days. For me, well, it makes me want to drink beer naked in the front yard with a farmer tan for all the neighborhood to see. And that’s a good thing.  –aphid (Fonzie Town)


SMACKS, THE:
Protected by the Ejaculation of Serpents: CD
A two-man band on a art rock bender offer up twenty-seven tracks of minimalist skronk that’s better than one would expect. –jimmy (www.4dw.net/jtdoc)


SMALL ARMS DEALER:
A Single Unifying Theory: CD
Giving the songs nifty titles does not adequately hide the fact that emo blows snail wee-wee. –jimmy (Deep Elm)


SMALL ARMS DEALER:
Patron Saint of Disappointment: CD
Some bands start big things, only to have waves of bands follow their path. This is a band that follows along the lines of the Gainesville hardcore sound, and doesn’t come up short in the ass-kicking department. Small Arms Dealer makes some great music. There are times when I wonder if they kidnapped Panthro UK United 13 and forced the band to record for them, and I really think they would hold that as a high compliment. There is a Southern California pop punk influence mixed in (think traces of Descendents or older Ataris), but I was surprised to see they were from New York. Listening to the album, however, you get the feeling you’ve heard it all before, even though it’s really good. It’s derivative but occasionally better than its influences. Try it, you’ll like it. –Will Kwiatkowski (Deep Elm)


SMALL BONES:
Self- titled: CD
Ah, I could almost taste the cheap beer and cigarettes at a show in some DIY punk house down south when this CD started playing. Small Bones are a relatively new band from New Orleans and this is their first release on Plan-It-X. They play this super fast punk rock with a little melody thrown in here and there. They sounds a lot like a sped-up version of This Is My Fist!, and I’m not just saying that because the singer is a girl. Small Bones doesn’t sound like any of the other bands that are on the same label as them, which is sad because I usually like the quirky acts that Plan-It-X puts out. The best song on here is “Cold War Storage,” which starts out with a forty-five second sing along with no instruments, and it sounds good because they’re not rushing through it at full speed. This CD is a decent first effort, but maybe before their next release, they need to sit down as a band and meditate on what they want to do next to make themselves stand out. –Lauren Trout (Plan-It-X)


SMALL BROWN BIKE:
Dead Reckoning: CD
Small Brown Bike is touring with Leatherface and Hot Water Music now, and that line-up sounds just about right because Small Brown Bike is definitely in the same vein, musically. There's a sense of racing towards the edge of chaos without going off. The sound is very full, and everyone seems to be doing something interesting. The bass guitar is more prevalent in this album than in most rock'n'roll records, but not in a wanking way. Ben Reed has a way of playing bass like it's a drum, filling in spaces between beats. It's very cool and it matches well with the rest of the songs, which all rock. Lyrically, it comes across as the poetry of a melancholy guy in his twenties, which I don't really dig, but when you don't read the lyric sheet, you catch only snippets of pretty poetic lines, and I do dig that. No Idea found a real gem in this band. I'm looking forward to catching them live when they come around. –sean (No Idea, PO Box 14636, Gainesville, FL 32604)


SMALL BROWN BIKE:
Dead Reckoning: CD
Small Brown Bike is touring with Leatherface and Hot Water Music now, and that line‑up sounds just about right because Small Brown Bike is definitely in the same vein, musically. There's a sense of racing towards the edge of chaos without going off. The sound is very full, and everyone seems to be doing something interesting. The bass guitar is more prevalent in this album than in most rock'n'roll records, but not in a wanking way. Ben Reed has a way of playing bass like it's a drum, filling in spaces between beats. It's very cool and it matches well with the rest of the songs, which all rock. Lyrically, it comes across as the poetry of a melancholy guy in his twenties, which I don't really dig, but when you don't read the lyric sheet, you catch only snippets of pretty poetic lines, and I do dig that. No Idea found a real gem in this band. I'm looking forward to catching them live when they come around. –sean (No Idea)


SMALL BROWN BIKE:
Composite, Volume One: 7”
Listen, I’m not going to pretend to understand this band or why they have the rabid, ferociously loyal following they have. I honestly just don’t get the appeal. I tried repeatedly to get into Our Own Wars ten years ago and there was just no spark there for me. Same goes for Dead Reckoning just a few months ago. And now there’s this two-song 7”, their first release since reuniting last year. I’ll admit, the band can certainly craft songs that sound thematic and cohesive, it’s just that those songs also sound… boring. They sound as well put together as they ever did—if you’re a fan of the band you’d probably say the songs sound dense and complex and have been crafted with a solid foundation and very little gimmickry or pomp, etc. Me, I think they’re just kind of… there. The second song, “Hourglass,” starts off promisingly, with a strangely playful indie rock guitar line; it actually managed to hold my interest for a few spins. But I think we’re all agreed: one song on one seven inch over a ten-year career isn’t much of a batting average. –keith (No Idea)


SMALL BROWN BIKE:
Fell & Found: CD/LP
I knew that The Casket Lottery had a connection to Small Brown Bike (they did a split together) but having never listened to SBB before this release, I didn’t realize how much the two bands sound alike. Thankfully, for someone such as myself, that’s quite all right, as I also really enjoy The Casket Lottery. Without knowing their back catalog or history (except that they’re from Michigan) I can only judge the band on this album. This is their first full-length album since they broke up in 2004. Recorded and produced by J. Robbins, Fell & Found’s eleven songs clock in at around forty minutes. Thanks to Robbins’ contribution, the recording sounds great. The band has three vocalists, all of which contribute fairly and complement one another. While not quite as broad of a contrast, there are similarities between the vocalists from Dillinger Four. Of the three, one is cleaner sounding while another is a little more scratchy and deeper. It serves as a nice distinction. Musically, the sound is very reminiscent of the indie rock stylings of… ah, fuck it. These guys sound just like The Casket Lottery and I love it. This album has the quality you’ve come to expect from No Idea’s releases, the fine production work of J. Robbins, and the sound of a band with nothing to lose and no care as to what anyone else thinks. Songs like “On Repeat” had me after the first listen: great lyrics, driving music, and an emotional sound that isn’t stagnant or sappy. And the whole album is like that. It’s as if the band took my favorite indie rock/post-punk stylings from my college years (late ‘90s and early ‘00s) and made an album meant to take me back there. And that’s okay by me. Thanks, Small Brown Bike!
–kurt (No Idea)


SMALL TOWN RIOT:
Fuck Those Who Go Unheard: CD
Melodic punk by a band from Hamburg, Germany that sings in English and has been around for nearly a decade. This is the band’s first proper release in the States and this album compiles a best-of from Small Town Riot’s catalog to date in reverse chronological order. A solid, if unremarkable synthesis of a lot of current bands with reverberations of Anti-Flag, Hot Water Music, Screeching Weasel, and Dear Landlord coming to the surface. There is one major misstep on the album, that being the acoustic folk punk track “Madness” that bogs down the album half way through. Fortunately, they recover quickly with the next track “Timmy” that is the most up tempo, hardcore-influenced, and perhaps finest on the record. The other standout tune is “Cemetery Hill” which adds a harmonica and the western swing of cow punk to the mix to craft a damn fine song. It ended up my favorite tunes on the CD were towards the end, so, apparently, I liked Small Town Riot’s earlier material and the newer stuff left me a bit cold. –Jake Shut (Warbird)


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