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Razorcake #84
Tim Version, Ordinary Life LP + bonus 7"
Radon, 28 LP
Zisk #25
Razorcake #83

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Record Reviews

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Hiya Hoya: 7”
Dripping with symbolism, this seven inch appears to be a sort of parable of punk rockers or indie rockers as the ill-fated American Indians, being forcefully assimilated into the greater WASP culture, having their identities co-opted and watered down in to a mainstream mess. The cover art prominently displays a picture of a braided Apache-chief-from-Super-Friends-looking dude ripping a pilgrim in half, with the A-side “Hiya Hoya” and B-side a couplet of tracks dedicated to the seventies half-breed anti-hero, Billy Jack. Musically, it is akin to the more tuneful Flipper numbers: perhaps a bit off-putting at first with its thrashy noise; with repeated spins you’ll come to find a seductively clandestine layer of pop sensibilities buried beneath the sonic rubble. This is an interesting and unexpected follow-up to their previously released split with 1-800-Band, also released on Slow Gold Zebra. –Jeff Proctor (Slow Gold Zebra)

Party Is Over, Pornstar: CD
I began listening to this for the first (and only) time while driving. It was the first hot day of the year, which meant that I had my window down. Goth-y, electroclash rock poured from my speakers because of this, and embarrassment poured through my mind. “Oh, how I hope that nobody I know pulls up next to me while I have this playing,” I thought to myself. “I don’t want to mention this moment to anyone!” Just as I thought this, one of my cousins drove by—perhaps the only person whom I know who would take me to task for listening to this utter crap. “That was too close,” I told myself, as I ejected the CD and hid it away. –Vincent Battilana (Maybe Mars)

Self-titled: 7"
Mid-tempo, thudding punk with constant female gang vocals. Pop sensibilities with frayed edges and borrowed equipment. It’s scrappy DIY punk with fiery, burning passion that transcends musicianship. Awkward sounding at times, but it just adds to the punkness. Imagine The Shaggs meets Cleveland Bound Death Sentence songs that Emily sung. –Daryl Gussin (Plan-It-X South)

Self-titled: 7”
When I received this record in the mail to review, I was really excited since I knew that it was the band that Cindy Crabb ofDoriszine and her sister were doing. However, in spite of my excitement, I ended up shelving it for a while. Why? Because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Just because someone can write a great zine doesn’t mean that everything they do is going to be great. However, when I did get around to playing it, I found that my reservations were ridiculous. It’s a great record. It’s dirty three-chord punk with shouted dual female vocals. A raw, urgent, beautiful mess. The subject matter of the songs has a lot of the same themes you’ll find in Doris zine: songs about respecting past revolutionary struggles and some about self-preservation and empowerment. A lot of the songs also deal with living through trauma and abuse. For instance, the song “Generation 5,” seems to be in the voices of both an older and younger sibling as they try to heal from sexual abuse from their childhood as adults: “tell me, tell me / we can trust each other now / there were nights I knew nothing about / I couldn’t protect you like no one protected me.” The song “The Things That You Fear Are the Things That Will Save You” is an anthem about not listening to what we’ve been taught to fear by society and our upbringings and how wonderful and full that can make our lives. What more could you ask for in a punk record? It’s heavy, powerful, gutsy stuff. –Craven (Snarlas / Plan-It-X Records South)

Stag: CD
Take a Black Crowes 45 and play it 33 RPM and this is what you get. –Donofthedead (MoRisen)

Self-titled: LP
This reminds me a lot of old school British punk a la The Damned but I could just be racist over The Snazzy Boys’ accents. One thing’s for sure, their brand of punk has The Briefs written all over it. It’s difficult to pin point what makes some seemingly derivative bands doing basic pop punk sound more genuine than other’s. After all, most the time it’s the same basic four chords and blues based guitar solos/riffs. But I think for The Snazzy Boys it’s their cohesiveness as a band, their precise drumming, quirky back up vocals and upbeat up-tempo approach to all their songs. It’d be truly a waste of time to shout out specific songs on this album because all of them are good. This is one where you can lay the needle on the white vinyl and be ready to party. –N.L. Dewart (Pure Punk)

I Can’t Wait: 7” EP

…these guys sent me their first 45 a while ago, and, while i distinctly remember that it had a picture of Little Richard on the sleeve and came wrapped in tinfoil, i could not, after significant toil, account for the whereabouts of the item when questioned. Following a live performance that was, by my recollection, both vaguely amusing and mercifully brief (about ten minutes of a nude guy shoving a White Flag reject lookin’ dude if memory holds), i wound up with a copy of the second 45, under strict orders from a formerly nude gentleman not to lose it without listening to it as with the first one. I can say with some assurance that i was not expecting much from the record. I was in ERROR! In ERROR I SAY!!! The a-side, “I Can’t Wait,” is a THING of SHEEREST GENIUS!!! A low-fi—hell, no-fi—ode to underage ugly-bumpin’ that reminds the listener what the fuck the big deal was about those Radio X/Super

Teem era Brentwoods/Donnas/Bobbyteens 45s, anyway, melding that whole mid-‘90s SuperCatchy Darin Ravioli aesthetic with that “sensitive but horny” Buddy Holly via the Ramones crunch of M.O.T.O. “Everybody says that you’re too young/Everybody says that I’m too dumb/Come on little girl let’s have some fun/Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah!” Well RIGHT THE FUCK ON, formerly naked dude! “Eighteen years is a long long time” indeed! B-side is three more bursts of jeenyus, including the immortal couplet “I wanna blowjob/I wanna hot dog.” Strange as this may sound, this might be the best 7” 45 with one song on the A-side and three songs on the B-side since “Nervous Breakdown,” unless i forgot about something. Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah! BEST SONG: “I Can’t Wait” BEST SONG TITLE: “Life Stupid I Stupid” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The plain pink labels are not actually plain pink paper; they are a tint screen of magenta on white stock. Also, i still don’t know the name of that Goner Records font. –Rev. Norb (Rubber Vomit)

I Can’t Wait b/w Kill Kill Kill, Life Stoopid, I Stoopid: 7"
Word is that these guys are the Milli Vanilla of Tucson punk. They have a great live set, jump all over the place, and go nutty. The only difference between almost every other from-the-garage band you’ve seen is that it’s all synched. They don’t play a single note live. This, I assume, frees band members up to considerably more drinking and time to interact with the audience: two things that make going to a punk show fun. All this would be an interesting side note if the songs weren’t awesome on their own. Think the quirky, yet spot-on anxiety of M.O.T.O. and that balanced from-the-vaults but of the not-to-distant future feel of the Knockout Pills and you’ve hit it on the head. –Todd Taylor ($4, Rubber Vomit)

“Loner with a Boner” b/w “We’re the Punkles”: 7”
Described to me as the Milli Vanilli of Tucson punk (due to the fact that much of what they’re playing is pre-recorded so they can jump around more), these two precious tracks were originally released in the (correctly maligned) cassingle format years back. The Sneaky Pinks are amazingly retarded, the Einsteins of garage-stupid, but holy fuck if I’m not humming these songs days later when I’m squeezing bread in the supermarket, making sure it’s fresh, muttering the dumbest shit to the checker and bobbing my head along to the song inside my skull. Well worth the international postage. –Todd Taylor (Bachelor)

I Can't Wait: 7"
So 1-2-3-4 G-Skull re-issued this masterpiece and the world can't be more thankful. Four songs that define a state of mind. Have you ever woken up, shotgunned a beer in your underwear, done a little dance for a little dog, and maybe ate waffles while listening to polka? If yes, then this is for you. This record makes me wanna howl at the moon. –Daryl Gussin (1-2-3-4 Go!)

Loner with a Boner b/w We’re the Punkles: 7”
One of the members of The Sneaky Pinks is the mysterious Nobunny and the format for the music is similar. Crappy drum machines programmed over lo-fi recordings. It is really great music, and especially worthwhile if you love the Nobunny record. The people behind these bands have interested me in drum machines effectively for the first time since the second EPMD album. The Sneaky Pinks first single contained a psudo-classic called “I Can’t Wait.” “Loner With a Boner” should enjoy the same status. This 7” appears to be a posthumous release: the only information included on the sleeve indicates that these two songs were once released as a cassette single. That makes it all the better for me. –Billups Allen (Bachelor)

“I’m Punk” b/w “Puke Pudding”: 7” EP
I couldn’t tell whether “I’m Punk” is facetious mimicry or a degenerate declaration, but then I realized that I’m totally over thinking this. I mean, these dudes put their first record out on Bubbledumb, which actually kinda nicely sums up the sounds contained herein. Snotty, lo-fi Ramones worship for all the glue sniffers. Once I decided to stop thinking and just listen, the track slayed. The backside is even less together than the front, like it was demo fuckery, yet it still sounds like it coulda been on Recess’s Hot Curly Weenie 2, which is bar-none my favorite sampler comp ever. Fun times. The dude from Nobunny constitutes half this here group, should things like that be of concern to you.  –Vincent Battilana (Almost Ready, almostreadyrecords.com)

I’m Going to Kill Myself: LP

Power chords rarely sound this powerful. The opening track will induce a full-body implosion that melts your brain into your lungs. You’ll find yourself coughing viscously while tapping your toes and nodding your empty head. Aurally, it’s at once derivative of grunge and garage, but simultaneously exciting and well-executed. Somehow, Sneeze is able to retread and deviate in equal measures. The lyrics are undeniably bleak (no surprise given the title), but it’s all so damn catchy that you’ll find yourself singing, “I head straight for the liquor cabinet so don’t blink. I’m not afraid to shoot.” Definitely the soundtrack to a bad day. Sure, it won’t cheer you up, but it’ll be comforting to know that some people are worse off—and, hell, you won’t have much a brain left to care with anyway.

–Sean Arenas (Close To Home, closetohome@live.co.uk, closetohomerecords.com / Midnight Werewolf, midnightwerewolfrecords@gmail.com, midnightwerewolf.wordpress.com)

Self-titled: 7”
Right off the bat, I want to listen to this band because I have no idea what in the hell to expect from a band called Sneeze Attack. Side A is a slower song that runs along the same bass line. It works, though. While the basic core of the song doesn’t change at all, it stays interesting: the bass chunks along and the guitars have some slow melodies over top of it. I’m a sucker for anything bass-driven. The flip side is a lot faster and a lot more traditional pop punk like super early Ramones. I feel like these guys could play a show with The Sonics and fit right in. The recording is raw and really gives the whole record a throwback feeling because of the simple melodies and grainy recording. Everyone seems to be a little off time with each other, but it sounds all right and definitely gives it a sort of character that just makes it fun. I really enjoyed this 45. It’s good to hear people just playing some fucking punk and having fun.  –James Meier (Pleasant Screams, pleasantscreams.com)

Self-titled: CD
When I was in high school, there was a point when all the band kids got into Primus. Bass strings started getting slapped every which way in the creation of quirk-filled songs fueled by awkward adolescent angst. One of those bands has apparently found a time machine and shipped itself straight to 2014, and of course the reliably what-the-fuck 1332 has put out a five-song EP featuring such brilliant tunes as “Shotgun,” in which the narrator is upset because he called shotgun and apparently didn’t get shotgun. Appropriately, it all ends in a rant about the TV show Who’s the Boss?  –MP Johnson (1332)

In the Meantime and in Between Time: CD
I was worried a little when I heard about a new SNFU record coming out. How could I possibly avoid being biased? I mean, this band was pretty much responsible for my punk rock existence. How would I take it if this didn’t live up to their near flawless back catalog? I can handle a lot of other bands losing their luster, but the mighty SNFU? I was nervous. To put it bluntly, this record kicked me square in the ass! I was not expecting to be blown away but I sure was. I can honestly say that this new record captures everything that an SNFU should be. Tight rhythms? Check. Soaring guitars? Check. Mr. Chi Pig? That’s a big CHECK! No one can write like he writes. It’s like when an abstract painting suddenly makes sense. No matter if he’s writing about his own issues, or about those around him, you know that it’s going to be clever and biting. Musically, the band has really come together. The new rhythm section fits in perfectly. The songs somehow maintain the SNFU feel while managing to sound fresh. There are many bands from the “glory days” of hardcore that continue to play today. The numbers are thinner when you count the ones that are still viable. I am happy to report that SNFU, aka “The Most Important Band in the History of the World According to Ty” are more than viable. They’re still the best! –Ty Stranglehold (www.snfu.com)

A Bad Time: Cassette
This is a high quality, five-song catchy demo from D.C. The Spits probably were the main influence on The Sniffs, or at least the main recent influence. That’s not a bad thing at all. I like the vocalist’s snotty tone and the lyrics are great, especially on the song “Prosecutor,” which is an indictment of those who indict. I’ll be sniffing out future releases from The Sniffs for sure.  –Art Ettinger (Self-released, thesniffs.bandcamp.com)

Even a Butchered Carcass Can Shine: CD
Angry, angular metal with lots of speed, precision and complicated time changes. The first couple songs remind me of Poland’s Antigama, brutal, fast, and thrashing about. Things slow down a bit for “Mom and Me at the Zoo,” but it’s no less punishing than the faster numbers. Sounds like Helmet and Satan might be influences. I’m only halfway through the disc and already I’m exhausted. Aspiring serial killers, you’ve found your soundtrack. –Josh Benke (Empty)

Automatic Stomp: CD
Punky bar rock stuff here. While the restrained quality of the recording makes the resulting CD not exactly a stunner, the songs are strong enough and the performances spirited enough that I’m willing to bet this is one of those bands that can handily rip shit up live and would likely turn in a corker of a release with a producer who knows what he’s doin’. –Jimmy Alvarado (Night Fighter)

Steroids: 7” EP
High-octane garage punk. The production is remarkably clean compared to, say, the Mummies or even Teengenerate, which adds a bit more intensity and a sense of tightness to their delivery. Not bad at all. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bedo, bedorecords.bigcartel.com)

Cottage Cheese: Cassette
I suspect it’s going to be hard to separate this band from Sunny Day Real Estate— and, through transitive property, from emo—because of the singer’s vocals, which share Jeremy Enigk’s high pitch and inflection. It’s a shame if listeners do fall into this trap, because Snoozer is a band worthy of repeated listens. There are traces of late ‘90s indie stuff like Built To Spill throughout. The last song is an epic sprawl, with finger-picked segments leading the way to bombast and release. I’m not crazy about the recording of this one: it flattens the band’s attack and renders some potentially ass-kicking passages fangless. Still, a band with ideas and execution who probably kill live.  –Michael T. Fournier (Ranch)

Bankrupt: CD
A competent, but mostly unmemorable, punk rock band that deserves a rousing "hell yeah!" for the diatribe on the illegality of American currency that comprises the center of the CD's booklet. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.thesnotrockets.com)

Bankrupt: CD
A competent, but mostly unmemorable, punk rock band that deserves a rousing “hell yeah!” for the diatribe on the illegality of American currency that comprises the center of the CD’s booklet.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.thesnotrockets.com)

Deep Cuts, Fast Remedies: CD
Yo! Punk rock MTV style. –Donofthedead (Victory)

Self-titled: CD
Snowbyrd, not to be confused with the Byrds, likes to misspell things (I guess). Either that, or they like the association (the branding) that comes with linking their band’s name to that of one of rock‘n’roll’s greatest—the Byrds (Gene Clark [dead], Michael Clarke [dead], Chris Hillman [alive], Roger McGuinn [alive], David Crosby [fat as fuck]). That’s really awesome and a good concept. Snowbyrd’s filled with other brilliant ideas, like tacking on a press release to their CD detailing the following “Marketing Highlights”: “Print ads in No Depression, Big Takeover, and more”; “Radio Focus: AAA/ College broadcast, satellite, and internet…” All bullshit aside, here’s a quote from Jean Cocteau (dead) I like a whole lot: “I am altogether opposed to popular entertainment because I consider that all good entertainment is popular.” What Cocteau was getting at is that marketing strategies (hype) might last for an ephemeral moment, but works of great artistry win out. And that’s true. Take Larry Hardy from In the Red Records. That motherfucker keeps putting out brilliant records, and slowly but surely his label has risen. It’s like the Velvets or something—people will catch up; the Velvets are popular now, unlike Captain and Tennille. People will gravitate towards good art (if it’s available). (I think Hardy’s marketing budget is about the size of my old weekly unemployment checks, and he’s getting by all right). Anyway, my point is Snowbyrd’s album is at odds with itself—employing a Rolling Stone magazine-like press release to an album a thirteen-year-old reader of (insert fanzine’s name here) would like (a child of thirteen would probably like this record; it’s developmentally suitable to a teenager—just like the Spin Doctors were to me at that age). Snowbyrd’s debut is a collage of vastly different genres that don’t jibe together—a lot like that horrible band the Transplants, but not as bad. NOTE TO KIDS: If you don’t have them, go out and buy the Reigning Sound’s Too Much Guitar and the Starvations’ Get Well Soon. ADDITIONALLY: If you can’t write a song, play bass or keyboards or something. Hate your parents if they hate you. Love cinema and books. Hate rock critics. –Ryan Leach (Saustex Media)

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