Welcome to Razorcake | DIY Punk Music | Punk Bands | Punk Rock Bands | Punk Magazine Welcome to Razorcake | DIY Punk Music | Punk Bands | Punk Rock Bands | Punk Magazine
 

























· 1:Webcomic Wednesdays #124
· 2:Webcomic Wednesdays #125
· 3:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived VII
· 4:Webcomic Wednesdays #126
· 5:#358 with Jimmy Alvarado


Subscriptions
Renewal
New Subscriptions
Stickers and Buttons
"Because We're Fuckin' Classy" Koozie


Submerging Writers
My Dad Went to See Some Weird Music and... by Mike Faloon
Zisk #26
Razorcake #86
Wailing Of a Town, by Craig Ibarra


Can't find Razorcake at your favorite store? Lend us a hand and we'll send you a free issue.



Razorcake will send you one free issue if you ask your librarian if they would carry Razorcake in their stacks. (This offer is good for both traditional libraries and independent libraries.) To get the free issue, you must send us the librarian's name and email and the library's postal address. We will then contact them directly and donate a subscription to them. U.S. libraries only, due to postage.

No Idea Records

Record Reviews

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102

| 0-9| A| B| C| D| E| F| G| H| I| J| K| L| M |

| N| O| P| Q| R| S| T| U| V| W| X| Y| Z|

< Prev Section | Next Section >

RSS Feed

SMOKE:
Self-titled: CD EP
Stoner rock from LA. –Jimmy Alvarado (Smoke, PO Box 27663, LA, CA 90027-0663)


SMOKE:
Follows Beauty: CD

I thought Iron Butterfly broke up decades ago. Damn, if I was a hippie with a fatty, a six pack, and nothing but time to worry about, this would be blasting the walls of my apartment down.

–Jimmy Alvarado (Kozmik)


SMOKE:
Self-titled: CDEP
Stoner rock from LA. –Jimmy Alvarado (Smoke)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
The Sinking Ship: CD
These guys are like the In-N-Out Burger of punk rock. Their really good, pretty satisfying, and definitely a lot better than a lot of the other stuff out there (I.E. Fall Out Boy = McDonalds, Hatebreed = Carl’s Jr.). The music’s speedy hardcore pop punk with plenty of harmonized vocals to sweeten the deal. In fact, they sound a lot like Rise Against but with a less scream-prone singer. Their topics tend to be both explicitly political and more personal, which strikes a nice balance (sometimes it gets tiring to have to fight the system without a little breather). This is a really good album, but also like In-N-Out Burger, it seems to lack that extra little bit that would make it really special, like a well-crafted burrito from that taco truck on Glencoe Ave. in Marina Del Rey. These guys have gobs of potential though, and I look forward to seeing what they can do live. –Adrian (Fat)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
This Sinking Ship: LP
It’s got some very good lyrics and the music is tight, but it’s basically disc two of their last album Above the City. If you were a fan last time around, this LP won’t disappoint. High points include the song “Patty Hearst Syndrome” and the title track. –Bryan Static –Guest Contributor (Fat)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
This Sinking Ship: CD
Second album from this band out of Richmond, VA. Continuing on with their melodic obsession and pro production that you get with Fat, I’m really surprised that this band has not been snapped up in a bidding frenzy by the majors. Songs that sound like a cleaner Rise Against mixed with some Anti Flag, they would market well to the melodicore set. The songs are catchy and could easily be recognized as being commercial. They have a knack of finding a melody that makes their music palatable. Added this time around is Dave Atchison the former drummer of From Ashes Rise, to replace their drummer who they parted ways with. Coming from a band like that, it only could be good. He adds a solid punch to the music. With their constant touring, I could only see them gaining an ever-growing fan base. –Donofthedead (Fat)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
Above the City: CD
So I had heard that this was Jericho’s first release for Fat but had to change their name because a ‘70s Christian rock band originally had the name. I wonder if it would have been worth it to contact the old band and had a tournament of dodgeball, drunk bowling, and marbles. Winner gets the name. I never heard Jericho’s music before. If I did, I don’t remember. I can’t just make this stuff up. I have to actually listen to this. So the singer sounds like Justin Sane from Anti-Flag. The music sounds like water balloon fight between Rise Against and Hot Water Music. Not a bad combination and a worthy addition to the Fat family. This release will definitely get a few more rotations on the player. –Donofthedead (Fat)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
Above the City: CD
There’s a perishability quotient involved with gruff, melodic, socially conscious punk. Many bands have found and explored the hallmarks: the understated poetics of Leatherface, the soaring jet fighters high in the sky guitars of Hot Water Music, the riot of anthems of Strike Anywhere, the hidden complexity presented through mugs of beer of the Tim Version, the playful seriousness of The Grabass Charlestons. There’s actually a pool of bands that stand comfortably in those waters, and although very good, don’t warrant extra spins. At first, I was just okay with Smoke or Fire. The vocals seemed just a hair too processed. Several of the songs blended together. But then I started to realize that the CD wasn’t going out of rotation. And then—here’s when I know a band’s got me, because I listen to so much music on a continual basis—I was humming one of their lines while shampooing in the shower. Ever since the first couple of listens, I’ve taken this CD on trips through three states, it works well both in traffic jams and wide open spaces, and all the little bits that first bothered me have disappeared. They remind me of a mix between Avail and early Explosion: catchy, sincere, and a full body experience (head, chest, and legs are all affected), and that’s pretty darn good for a debut. –Todd Taylor (Fat)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
This Sinking Ship: CD
Second full-length from this four-piece. Does it beat the stellar Above the City? It comes pretty fucking close, my friends. Songs about loss, family, pain, and just getting through the day. Solid arrangements backed my actual melodies? This is getting to be a real rarity in punk rock. Play this one over and over again—I doubt you will ever get tired of it. Seriously.  –Sean Koepenick (Fat)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
Prehistoric Knife Fight: 7”
Remember those old fast food ads that would go something like, “We take a sizzling beef patty and pile it with crisp, smoky bacon, then drizzle on melted cheddar cheese and add a handful of zingy caramelized onions…?” By the end of the commercial, your mouth is watering because they’re exploiting your hungry, hungry senses that already know and love what a bacon cheeseburger tastes like. Well, I’m going to attempt the same thing with this 7”. “Smoke Or Fire flame broil Richmond by taking driving Hot Water Music punk and throwing in a sweaty former member of Avail. They top it off with high, clear vocals that make you miss those Richmond summer days when it’s so hot that you sweat in the shower.” Does that work? Does it trigger a Pavlovian response? Are you drooling and growing a beard and cutting some Dickies into a pair of Daisy Dudes? One question. Since when is it okay to give a title to a two-song punk 45? Isn’t there some kind of rule about this? Shouldn’t this just be called “Speak Easy b/w Modesty”? Rev. Nørb, where are you when I need you? –CT Terry (Fat, fatwreck.com)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
The Speakeasy: CD
The Speakeasy builds on the strengths of Smoke or Fire’s previous full length The Sinking Ship and tops it by adding the little extra pop that was missing before. The catchy, political discontent starts right away from the lead off track “Integrity” and holds sway with its melodic punk all the way to the closer “Utah.” Actually, there’s one stumble and that’s the acoustic track “Honey I Was Right about the War.” While I understand the song’s sentiment of “I told you so,” it comes off mostly as arrogant. If I was dating the dude, I don’t think I would be changing my politics so much as punching him in the nuts. That aside, the rest of the album really is aces. –Adrian (Fat)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
The Speakeasy: CD
The third full length from this band originally from Richmond finds them exploring new sounds and pushing their songwriting capabilities with spellbinding results. Joe McMahon is asking a lot more questions on this release, and the world does not seem to be providing any answers. “Monsters Among Us” asks, “I’m trying to find a way to understand how people justify how much they take/white collared crimes by well-dressed thieves everyday in the casinos on Wall Street.” “Neon Light” weaves a downtrodden tale of someone looking for redemption on an off night through the bottom of a drink. It’s not pretty, but it works. Politics also weighs in on songs like “1968” and “Honey, I Was Right about the War.” Musically, McMahon’s songs are powered by the one-two punch of Gwomper on bass and Ryan Parrish on drums. Fiery guitar leads from Jeremy Cochran brings it all together on each track. This is a rock and roll record that shows that you can think and burn all at the same time. A must-have for your collection. –Sean Koepenick (Fat)


SMOKEJUMPER / PILLOWFIGHTS, THE:
Split: 7"
Smokejumper: I’m aware they’re a new band, but my best way I can think to describe them is that I saw them in a New Jersey VFW Hall in 1998. They played with a bunch of generally pop punk bands, and played what I assumed was a cover (again, I can’t keep track of all of these covers these days). The Pillowfights: They played the same hall in 2003. A little more of a Jade Tree hardcore sound that veers more towards cutesy than chugga chugga, in the vein of Lifetime, or stretching, the Bouncing Souls. It mildly bothers me that their side seems to end with the “serious” song. It’s a fact that you’re supposed to end on the laugh (unless this is meant as the cliffhanger, in which case shame on me). –Joe Evans III (Silver Sprocket)


SMOOSH:
She Like Electric: CD
This drum and keys sister duo of pre-teens are playing and writing better songs that three quarters of the self-important and “vital” bands out there. The collection of songs on this release is so chock full of fun and creativity that it’s no wonder the band has already played shows with Sleater-Kinney and Death Cab for Cutie. Adorable without being cutesy, light-hearted without being fluffy, and smart without wondering if it was someone else who wrote the songs… Smoosh are deserving of your attention, and not just for novelty’s sake. The only bummer? You probably won’t be seeing them play live until school’s out and they’re on summer vacation. –Kat Jetson (Pattern 25)


SMOOTH BRAIN:
Fleas: 7”
Raw punk rock goodness. Five songs on a 7” means you’re getting right to the point. A lot of bands come to mind, but don’t actually fit in a direct comparison. The vocals are kind of like The Shitty Limits and it has a tiny bit of pop to its step, like early to mid-era Queers. I don’t know. I do know that I like it and will keep an ear out for more from them. –Ty Stranglehold (Lost Cat, lostcatrecords@gmail.com, lostcatrecords.org)


SMOOTH BRAIN:
Fleas: 7”
There are a few moments where Smooth Brain sound like they’re covering a Cleveland Bound Death Sentence song—that same kind of grit and scrappiness, though Smooth Brain are slower and don’t crackle with nearly the same kind of exuberance and energy. Not really my cup, as it were. –Keith Rosson (Lost Cat)


SMOOTH BRAIN:
One of Them: 7”
I’ve never visited Cleveland. Judging by this record, which features members of bands like 9 Shocks Terror and Pleasure Leftists, I have a feeling that they have a very specific method of partying. That method probably results in getting black and blue. Is happy-angry a thing? Because that’s how I’d describe this—emphasis on the angry. Sort of like, “Well, I don’t want to be at this party, but I’m here so I might as well kick holes in the walls because that would make me feel good.” Maybe happy isn’t the right word. It’s more like reveling in the anger, taking pleasure from it, thriving on it, and asking everyone else to do the same by singing along. Whether you do or you don’t, you’re probably not leaving without a bruise.  –MP Johnson (Dead Broke)


SMOOTH BRAIN:
One of Them: 7”
Smooth Brain play aggressive garage punk that is more like adrenaline-pumping street racing, not beach balls, pastel sunglasses, and jean jackets. Each song is a tasty morsel of shouted melodies—albeit indecipherable lyrics—with the type of fuzzy production values that enhance the attitude instead of solely disguising the flubs. I find myself satisfied, nothing less, nothing more. Big bonus: Nathan Ward’s cover and insert art is killer. It reminds me of Gary Panter in the best possible way. –Sean Arenas (Dead Broke, deadbrokerec@gmail.com / Lost Cat, lostcatrecords.org / Root Of Evil, rootofevilcollective.com)


SMUT PEDDLERS:
Bipolar Girl: 7" EP
Tickle me pink and tattoo a skull on my throat. This is good. When I'd cordoned off the Smut Peddlers to the playground of The Dwarves and GG Allin camp of white trash punk, comes this slab of wax. The playing has always been powerful (shit, with Roger Ramjet (X-Members, Pushers, ADZ) skinning his guitar, leading the attack) and with Julia's drumming and Gish's bass, the music's been as tight as a liposuctioned thigh on a soccer mom, but the lyrics seemed - well - a bit dumb. I'm not asking for "Masterpiece Theatre" or anything, but it seemed they were gonna get as complex and deep as shooting speed. Maybe I wasn't listening closely enough before. For example, with the song and main chorus "Let's Get (Fucked Up)" is the inverse of what you're thinking. It's about the travails of a sober guy drinking fizzy apple cider on New Years Eve. And the other two songs complete Polaroid snapshots of Orange County in decline - surfers with Hepatitis C, washed-up construction worker surfers, and being in love with a girl with a bona fide psychological disorder. I'd even go far to say that "Surfer's Grave" is an epic. A surprise. What separates this release from the rest of the Hostage pack? The band's actually smiling on the picture on the insert. –Todd Taylor (Hostage, PO Box 7736, Huntington Beach, CA 92615)


SMUT PEDDLERS:
Coming Out: CD
Five LPs from a SouthBay or OC punk band? It’s almost unheard of. As a matter of fact, I can think of a handful. I’m sure there’s more. The Circle Jerks’ VI LP (not so good), Pennywise’s Straight Ahead (proficient), and TSOL’s Disapear (I’m not counting the Joe Wood ones, and, strangely, their latest, Divided We Stand is better than Disappear), FYP’s Toys That Kill (excellent, excellent stuff), and the Minutemen’s 3-Way Tie (For Last) (not their best, but far from slouching and I’ve got a soft spot for D. Boon). OC and the SouthBay breed a special, more resilient fuckup. Bands just usually can’t stay together and tend to crack from member’s jail visits, egos, addictions, old-fashioned wig-outs, or any cocktail of the four. For a band to keep it together when the lead singer’s fixated on skate parks and rattles on about pharmaceuticals better than your average neighborhood Sav-on white coat, the wheels should have flown off this dysfunctional wagon long ago. No so. For all the yahoo, numbnutty attention OC gets, it’s still nice to hear that neither dank and rank rock’n’roll nor the first wave of English punk have been abandoned for designer t-shirts and empty caskets of nostalgia with “1977” spray painted on their lids. The Smut Peddlers keep blapping along with a wacky-assed lead singer with a heart of gold and a short attention span, gun-rattling guitar work, and a wrecking ball, rock solid rhythm section. Coming Out’s a good listen, neck and neck with their last full length, Ism. My only complaint? Since I have the Exit Plan 7” and their self-titled 10” that preceded this album, only half of the songs were new to me. –Todd Taylor (TKO)


SMUT PEDDLERS:
Failure: LP

 

It still takes me a bit to wrap my head around the fact that the Smut Peddlers’ Failure came out over thirteen years ago. Really? Those unfamiliar with the Smut Peddlers, let’s just say that I think that John Ransom should become ambassador/MC of Orange County punk and that the band’s songs always remind me of Polaroid pictures. They’re definitely not the most “pro” band (I say that in the best way), but they definitely capture a raw, intimate snapshot of specific moments. Those moments are filled with being pissed about yuppies fucks, PC fucks, drugs (pro, con, plus, minus, snort, needles, pills) and hostility towards the increasing safety measures that society is imposing on itself (pads, helmets, smoking bans). It’s probably the most honest—and definitely a controversial—version of lifelong punkdom that’s come from Orange County. (No one I know says “The OC” without some retribution.) The hidden engine of the Smut Peddlers is Julia Smut, the drummer. And I’m just guessing here that she’s the one behind the gorgeous and detail-oriented 500-copy reissue of this self-released record. She sent us two versions. One comes in a sewn canvas sleeve, silk-screened, signed by the entire band, on booger and old-bruise yellow marbled vinyl. (Fifty made. Check out www.smutpeddlers.net) The other is a more traditional cardstock sleeve, on purple-swirly vinyl, but also comes with an honest-to-goodness photograph of the band, a sticker, a button, and a flyer that will come out in different configurations. Talk about a band taking care of its own legacy and embracing some of the awesome possibilities that only the vinyl format can offer.  –Todd Taylor (Ransom)


SMUT PEDDLERS:
Exit Plan: 7"
In the spirit of full disclosure, Julia, the drummer for the Smut Peddlers, helps us out with making sure our covers are correctly prepped for print, so there may be some favoritism. That said, I was a fan of the band prior knowing her. In true punk OC, the land where few bands last beyond two records, I can honestly say that the Smut Peddlers are putting together the best songs of their decade-long career. John’s vocals and lyrics are still simultaneously hilarious, kooky, sad, angry, and oddly insightful. The only thing a veteran Smut Peddlers fan might wrinkle an eyebrow over is that his vocals seem more intentionally tattered and roughed-up on this 7” than before. But his lyrics are a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of a frontman with bad balance. If you ever want to see how paranoia, love of older ways of life in a beach culture, and an obsession with skating pools works out in punk songs, look no further. Although I always liked Roger Ramjet’s single guitar work when he was in the band, the addition of Sean and Scott, both at guitar, really ratchets up the melodies and anxiety. Almost secretly, behind all the obvious stuff, Julia’s drumming cements these three songs, like a perfectly poured and groomed transition in a deep bowl, giving them the perfect, pumping material to carve through song after song. Recorded, engineered, and produced by X’s Billy Zoom. Thumbs up. –Todd Taylor (Ransom)


SMUT PEDDLERS:
Ten Inch: 10"
Has it been almost ten years? The Smut Peddlers have been firing on all cylinders lately – gigging constantly, recording on a regular schedule, and it shows why they’re emerging as one of the best, most reliable OC punk bands in existence. (Smogtown, RIP.) Gish Stiffness’s bass is the understated foundation, Julia’s drumming is both more frantic, inventive, and precise, and Sean’s guitar is right on par with Roger Ramjet’s (whom he replaced). Couple this with their last full-length, Ism, John Ransom, lyricist and singer, has emerged with a twisted, yet clear voice as the underbelly of OrangeCounty. He has an insatiable fascination with pharmaceuticals that are prescribed to overcome addiction and their effects on the body; specific parts to Harley Davidsons; big skateparks with bowls as the alms that will cure most of society’s ills; and expresses an understandable beef with “Escalade drivers wanting reparations.” This is a spot-on extension to their already considerable catalog, and it’s near the top. –Todd Taylor (Dead Beat)


SMUT PEDDLERS:
Ism: CD
What’s this? A Smut Peddlers song about multinational corporations (“Playstation Generation”)? What the hell happened? Where’s all the songs about getting high? The Smut Peddlers have fucking nailed it. That’s what. Not only has the lyrical telescope been opened up beyond being a fuck-up (although the theme isn’t totally discarded, it’s just more of a starting point instead of an end destination), all of the songs on Ism can be laid next to one another like an audio series of Polaroids that go from urban California landscape shots, to shots from space, to shots at the tips of needles and the lives the swirl into them, to surf spots during a storm, to abandoned pools, to abandoned lives. The result is a crisp, unflinching, distinct string of songs that stand out by themselves, yet fit into a definite larger framework. Songs go from highly personal (“I can’t tell the difference between trying and greed”) to reviling against gentrification (“It’s a natural result of a bureaucratic cult who is fucking with the balance of power”) to just fun – “Dogtown Boys Vs. The Taliban.” Hand-in-hand with the vast improvement of the lyrics is that the Smut Peddlers play like a band now. They’re all in tight synch –Julia’s and Gish’s drums and bass provide an almost-unbreakable, rattling cage and spine to all the songs, Roger’s razorwire guitar never chokes or flails or wanks – it just seems to sneer – and John’s carnival barker/ monster truck announcer voice takes breaths and wraps itself in and out of the songs instead of just talking along. Fantastic. One warning, if you listen to this too much, you’ll be humming and toe tapping “It was an Inglewood heroin morning” when you’re pushing your shopping cart with a smile on your face. Fuckin’ catchy. –Todd Taylor (Ransom)


SMUT PEDDLERS:
Bipolar Girl: 7"EP
Tickle me pink and tattoo a skull on my throat. This is good. When I'd cordoned off the Smut Peddlers to the playground of The Dwarves and GG Allin camp of white trash punk, comes this slab of wax. The playing has always been powerful (shit, with Roger Ramjet (X‑Members, Pushers, ADZ) skinning his guitar, leading the attack) and with Julia's drumming and Gish's bass, the music's been as tight as a liposuctioned thigh on a soccer mom, but the lyrics seemed ‑ well ‑ a bit dumb. I'm not asking for "Masterpiece Theatre" or anything, but it seemed they were gonna get as complex and deep as shooting speed. Maybe I wasn't listening closely enough before. For example, with the song and main chorus "Let's Get (Fucked Up)" is the inverse of what you're thinking. It's about the travails of a sober guy drinking fizzy apple cider on New Years Eve. And the other two songs complete Polaroid snapshots of Orange County in decline ‑ surfers with Hepatitis C, washed‑up construction worker surfers, and being in love with a girl with a bona fide psychological disorder. I'd even go far to say that "Surfer's Grave" is an epic. A surprise. What separates this release from the rest of the Hostage pack? The band's actually smiling on the picture on the insert. –Todd Taylor (Hostage)


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102

| 0-9| A| B| C| D| E| F| G| H| I| J| K| L| M |

| N| O| P| Q| R| S| T| U| V| W| X| Y| Z|

< Prev Section | Next Section >

Razorcake Podcast Player



·How Nonviolence Protects the State
·CREEPY CREEPS
·FREE VERSE
·SCAM #5
·COMICS JOURNAL, THE Volume 5
·NIGHT BIRDS
·EMERGENCY, THE
·DIRTY TACTICS
·UP TO US


Black and Red Eye



If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to help us out, let us know.



Get monthly notifications of new arrivals and distro and special offers for being part of the Razorcake army.



 
Razorcake/Gorsky Press, Inc.
PO Box 42129
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Except for reviews, which appear in both, the
contents of the Razorcake website are completely
different from the contents of Razorcake Fanzine.

© 2001-2011 Razorcake/Gorsky Press, Inc. Privacy Policy

Razorcake.org is made possible in part by grants from
the City of Los Angeles, Department
of Cultural Affairs and is supported
by the Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors through the Los Angeles
Arts Commission.
Department of Cultural AffairsLos Angeles County Arts Commission


Web site engine code is Copyright © 2003 by PHP-Nuke. All Rights Reserved. PHP-Nuke is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL license.