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Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
Pinned In Place, Ghostwritten By LP
Razorcake #91


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Record Reviews

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STALKERS:
Sun’s Coming Up b/w I Couldn’t Wait to Get Home: 7"
This band and record appear to bear at least superficial resemblance to the Crowd’s A World Apart album, but, in the cold hard reality of my piercing critical gaze, i have decided that they’re more like ultra-early Misfits (just after “Cough/Cool”) playing Sweet Baby songs. Both tunes are fairly strong, and, at my advanced age, that’s what i like to see in a new band. I hereby declare myself in wait for the band’s next record, before i throw the raw meat to the masses. We have all been warned. BEST SONG: “Sun’s Coming Up” BEST SONG TITLE: “I Couldn’t Wait to Get Home” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: That lead singer dude sure looks a fucking scary lot like my buddy’s ex-girlfriend. GO HOME. TANIA, YOU’RE DRUNK. –norb (Dollar Record)


STALKERS:
“Lady Sonia” b/w “When We Get There”: 45
The sleeve art is a photorealistic pencil drawing of a nekkid girl ((well, i take that back – she’s actually wearing opera gloves, a studded leather belt and a matching collar)) bending over just enough that you think you might be able to see something cool, but with her arms positioned in such a way to block your view of her boobs—which is an odd thing, because right above her head, there’s also a close-up sketch of her boobs, submitted for your approval. There really is no other context for the imagery; it’s just doggy style asses and hands-on-boobs for the apparent sheer fun of seeing doggy style asses and hands-on-boobs. She isn’t whapping her butt with a drumstick, or drying herself off on a Voxx Teardrop bass, or, really, anything rock related. It’s just a nude chick. I don’t know exactly why i am so fascinated with this; it’s just that, when someone sticks a nude girl on their record cover, there’s usually some…point? Like, some, i dunno, attempt at a statement or something? It’s usually just not “OK, here is our cover, which is a naked girl, because we all like naked girls.” There’s usually at least something more to it, isn’t there? Well whatever. So, flip to the back cover, and it’s more pencil drawings, this time of guys with Small Faces haircuts and what-not. I am prepared to cast this record out the window, sight unheard, just for annoying me with its, i dunno, general rock-star-ish-ness, but, in the spirit of fair play ((possibly also in the spirit of further checking out the chick’s ass)), i put it on the turntable, and, amazingly, the a-side is actually really pretty good. It’s a fast, snappy, Powerpearls-style, ‘79/’80-ish skinny-tie-Beatles-on-speed ditty, with up-and-down-the-scale vocals and lyrics about a “self-declared masturbatrix” ((go figure)). I mean…i still kinda think that overall, these guys are probably dorks, but, shit, if somebody told you this was the Rousers or somebody, you’d be all over this shit, so call a spade a spade and admit it’s a good song! The b-side employs acoustic guitar and is pretty forgettable. In any event, there probably haven’t been many better reasons to think about installing a turntable in your bathroom, have there been? BEST SONG: “Lady Sonia” BEST SONG TITLE “Lady Sonia” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Artwork by Sophie Thunder! –norb (Oops Baby)


STALWART SONS / SLATES:
Split: 7”
This sounds a bit like a punk rock version of the backwoodsman man coming into town for the weekend. I’ve rarely come across a record that is so obviously Canadian without becoming a parody of itself—songs about fishing, drinking, drinking water in the woods, etc., that seem to be under the poetic influence of Gary Snyder and Tennyson. Musically, both bands have a bit of the mid-’90s Kansas City sound to them, except for the quick, punky little ditty that Slates finish the record with. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Revolution Winter)


STAMFORD BRIDGE / BASTARDS CHOIR:
Split: 7"
I like me some of that “oi” type of punk rock, but I can get a little picky about it. As I dropped the needle on this record, I read the back and realized that StamfordBridge is essentially a one man band featuring Carl from The Templars (with Phil Templar on drums). I love The Templars, so I geared myself up for the unexpected. StamfordBridge is more of an oi-tinged pop group—and it’s really amazing! I am on the hunt for more from these guys now! I couldn’t imagine how Bastards Choir could hold their own after that, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t kick ass as well. Super catchy songs that have to do with roasting pork and such. A real Beltones flavor to the sound that I loved. What a great split record! –ty (Oi! The Boat)


STAMPIN:
Carved from Empty Words: CD
Intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. Too bad they waste them on jacked, sub-par Slayer riffs. –jimmy (Thorp)


STAN MCMAHON:
Self-titled: Cassette
Apparently, this guy is famous because of a sort of half association with Guided By Voices. Aside from being their roadie for a while, and appearing on one of their bootlegs, he is also the lead singer of the first Guided By Voices cover band. Of course, we’re all thinking, does the album sound anything like Guided by Voices? Well, kind of. If Guided By Voices used a lot more acoustic guitar and was sung by a guy who sounds like he’s the lead singer of a Guided By Voices cover band. I’m assuming if you use over a decade of your life to dedicate yourself to one band, it’s likely that their influence is going to sink in, no matter what kind of musical project you do. I guess what I’m trying to say is that in this guy’s head he has a set of tastes, or voices, by which he is clearly being guided. –Bryan Static (Burger, burgerrecords.webs.com)


STAND AGAINST:
Until the End: CD
Youth crew-sounding hardcore here, and it ain't bad for what it is, I guess, even if they do remind me of SOD in all the wrong ways. –jimmy (My Own Wallet)


STAND AGAINST:
Until the End: CD
Youth crew-sounding hardcore here, and it ain’t bad for what it is, I guess, even if they do remind me of SOD in all the wrong ways. –jimmy (My Own Wallet, no address)


STAND OUT RIOT:
Carnival Militia: CD
Just when I let start to let my guard down, in sneaks some ska punk piffle and I’m right back to loathing Operation Ivy, a band I once liked twenty-odd years ago, for unleashing this scourge upon us. A POX ON YOU, LONG DEFUNCT BERKELEY PICK-IT-UPPERS! MAY YOU SPEND ETERNITY UNABLE TO HIDE FROM WAYNENEWTON COVERS OF YOUR SONGS! –jimmy (www.tnsrecords.co.uk)


STAND OUT RIOT:
The Gentleman Bandits: CD
Decent ska in the vein of Public Access and Arrogant Sons Of Bitches. Now, when I say decent, someone who has any taste buds for ska would probably like this substantially. Just tastes like onions to me, man. God, I hate onions. –Bryan Static (TNS)


STANDARD AND POOR:
Filthy Basement Secrets: CDEP
You got some street punk mixed with a pinch of rockabilly here. The first track, “Born Bad,” ditches the punches and goes straight for something sharper: “Born bad your gonna get my knife.” Standard And Poor takes well-traveled ground by writing tunes about liars (“Liar”) and broken hearts (“Heart Crusher Baby”) but put their spin on those topics and, let me tell you, there’s never a dull moment. I’ve already written about three of the six tracks on this EP. Needless to say, it’s going to be on repeat. Get your hands on these Filthy Basement Secrets! –N.L. Dewart (De Ville Basement Music, www.myspace.com/standardandpoor)


STANDARD AND POOR:
What’s in the Big Black Bag?: CD
Basic bowling night punk that holds out the promise of being more interesting than it actually is—not to mention more Crampsy than it actually is ((which is “not at all”))— on accounta it’s got a hot Bettie Page type chick on the cover. A few songs sound like Americanized versions of U.K. Riot City Records-type punk circa ‘82, a few others sound kinda like those Ramones songs where Dee Dee sang, and “Liar” sounds the most like the Sex Pistols, although it is, curiously, not the Pistols song of the same name. The record contains not one but THREE songs—”I Wanna Go Back,” “Middle Earth,” “Taken Too Young”—which are essentially big lists of bands and/or punks and/or records they used to like back in the day. I’m not necessarily opposed to a little nostalgia trippin’, but if there’s a way to achieve greatness by association via invoking the past, this ain’t it. The kick and snare drums sound triggered sometimes ((though not all the time)), which i hate, even if i’m just imagining it. Tony has a cool guitar strap. The girl looks nice. BEST SONG: “Sex Doll” BEST SONG TITLE: “What’s in the Big Black Bag?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Don’t bother to sit thru the eight minutes of church bells at the end of “Religious Right.” There is nothing at the end but a fade out. –norb (Unrepentant)


STANDARD AND POOR:
Let’s Take Care of Our Own: 7” EP
Leather-jackets-and-jeans-and-standing-against-a-brick-wall punk from Southern California, which puts them at a strategic disadvantage right off the bat since they don’t really have brick walls against which to stand in earthquake zones, or so i’ve been told. The A-side is a sort of pseudo-UK melodic street punk anthem type deal, with ringy guitars and various exhortations and laments upon the state of domestic and foreign policy and such ((“Let’s take care of our own / if they need our help, I’m sure they’ll phone”)). B-side starts with “Let’s Go”—a song that somehow manages to use the title of a Ramones song for a completely unrelated song about going to see the Ramones ((fellows, please note this ship has sailed)) —and ends with the best song of the bunch, “Love Knot,” which is about tying up girls in the basement. No wonder they don’t wanna go down there, daddy-o! I like this 45 better than that album with the pink cover they put out a while back; their star is definitely in the ascendant. All they need are some bricks and they’ll be on their way. BEST SONG: “Love Knot” BEST SONG TITLE: “Let’s Go” i suppose. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: It says “All songs written PREFORMED and produced by Standard and Poor” in two separate places on the record packaging. –norb (D-Spite My Height)


STANDARD AND POOR:
Monsters in Uniform: CDEP
I will be honest, “standard” and “poor” was fully what I was expecting, but I got something much better than that. They throw down the up tempo rock ‘n’ punk not unlike something that Duane Peters would be involved with (but way more coherent). The anti-gun song was a refreshing point of view to hear, too! I would love to hear more from these guys because four songs were just not enough for me.  –ty (snppunk.com)


STANDING 69'S, THE:
Short Dress: CD-R
This is well-recorded, mid-tempo garage rock that is actually pretty okay. It's nothing special or anything, but the lack of a discernable Motorhead influence puts this head and shoulders above most of the other "garage rock" that I reviewed this time around and I kind of enjoyed it. -Not Josh –Staff (The Standing 69's)


STANDING 69’S, THE:
Short Dress: CD-R
This is well-recorded, mid-tempo garage rock that is actually pretty okay. It’s nothing special or anything, but the lack of a discernable Motorhead influence puts this head and shoulders above most of the other “garage rock” that I reviewed this time around and I kind of enjoyed it. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (Self-released)


STANDING FLAT:
Self-titled: CD
Standing Flat can be correctly categorized as acoustic-tinged highway-travellin’ alternative rock... and there ain’t a damn thing wrong with that, ‘cause this trio of sonically lucid Texans cohesively create pure soul-stirrin’ musical magic that’s intricate, spiritual, and structurally tight... sometimes grungey, somewhat trippy, and forever folksy... robust, ballsy, melancholic, and emotionally straightforward. The vocals are gravelly, powerful, and passionately delivered... the guitars swirl, shimmer, shine, and sparkle with an illustrious otherworldly glow... the soft and lilting orchestral stirrings of the keyboard damn near brought tears to my eyes... the solid well-structured interplay between the bass and drums rhythmically flows together in an impeccable display of tranquil unity. Man, this pristinely produced disc has stimulated and altered my mind to the point of no return... –Roger Moser Jr. (www.standingflat.com)


STANDING FLAT:
Self-titled: CD
Standing Flat can be correctly categorized as acoustic-tinged highway-travellin’ alternative rock... and there ain’t a damn thing wrong with that, ‘cause this trio of sonically lucid Texans cohesively create pure soul-stirrin’ musical magic that’s intricate, spiritual, and structurally tight... sometimes grungey, somewhat trippy, and forever folksy... robust, ballsy, melancholic, and emotionally straightforward. The vocals are gravelly, powerful, and passionately delivered... the guitars swirl, shimmer, shine, and sparkle with an illustrious otherworldly glow... the soft and lilting orchestral stirrings of the keyboard damn near brought tears to my eyes... the solid well-structured interplay between the bass and drums rhythmically flows together in an impeccable display of tranquil unity. Man, this pristinely produced disc has stimulated and altered my mind to the point of no return... –Guest Contributor (www.standingflat.com)


STANDSTILL:
Demo 01: CDEP demo
Guitar and bass parts: Good Riddance, circa Ballads of the Revolution. Drumming: NOFX, circa White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean, the easier parts. Breakdowns: Hot Water Music, circa Fuel for the Hate Game. Vocals: hey at least he’s not crying into his socks. Proficient, but woefully predictable and done immensely better by hundreds of bands (starting with the three just mentioned). Melodicore’s been effectively strip mined. You gotta dig way deeper to find some audio gold (or even something that doesn’t sound like a bunch of already desiccated musical notes). –todd (StandstillMD@hotmail.com)


STANLEY ROSS/LOVE STORY IN BLOOD RED:
Split: 7?
Stanley Ross: It sounds like the singer for that Brit-pop band, Pulp, singing a Cat Stevens song. Like a British Cat Stevens. Was Cat Stevens British? I don't know. This is everything I should hate - I swear it's got that corner of a dimly-lit coffee shop with an acoustic guitar feel to it - but I actually like it. LSIBR: Okay, so we had Brit-pop singing folk, but on this I swear it's like Lou Reed singing Blur. This one is not the sexy. –megan (Nodak)


STANLEY ROSS/LOVE STORY IN BLOOD RED:
Split: 7"
Stanley Ross: It sounds like the singer for that Brit-pop band, Pulp, singing a Cat Stevens song. Like a British Cat Stevens. Was Cat Stevens British? I don’t know. This is everything I should hate—I swear it’s got that corner of a dimly-lit coffee shop with an acoustic guitar feel to it—but I actually like it. LSIBR: Okay, so we had Brit-pop singing folk, but on this I swear it’s like Lou Reed singing Blur. This one is not the sexy. –megan (Nodak)


STAPLER, THE:
Metaphysical Haircut: CD
Have I lost my magic touch? I thought I had a pretty good detection system, not for avoiding all crap (I actually, instead seem to have a strange talent for finding that), but for at least avoiding stuff that would do well with all the arty kids. Not so, I’ve discovered this rotation. I picked this up because the cover sort of reminded me of the Pixies, oh, and it was yellow, and sometimes I like yellow. I know some people will give me flak for not ever getting into (and barely have even listened to) Dinosaur Jr. or Sonic Youth, and this reminds me of a fuzzier version of them (but again, I haven’t listened to either, so it’s more that The Stapler sound like what I imagine those bands to sound like, but fuzzier). So, I mean, I’m sure it’s good for what it is, but fuck if you’ll ever catch me listening to it willingly. –megan (www.colombusdiscountrecords.com)


STAPLES IN CARPET:
Self-titled: CD
They call their music “old school crossover” and, when I listen to Staples In Carpet, I imagine that early ‘90s, power-riff, white-Nike-wearing metalhead with a Black Flag shirt on. –John Mule (Self-released)


STAPLES IN CARPET:
“One of the Same” b/w “In Secret”: 7”
This Seattle trio’s translucent green 7” is stunningly beautiful, and its cover—which stylizes the most iconic image from 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers—made this horror nerd do a happy, little jig. The single itself, “One of the Same,” features the kind of straightforward, gain-drenched guitar work, simple but precise drumming, and angry white guy vocals that will resonate with fans of ‘90s hardcore, then throws in a chuggy, slow-building breakdown to lock down the band’s metal cred. The B side, “In Secret,” blends Staples In Carpet’s punk and metal influences more seamlessly, utilizing the minor chords and disorienting fuzz of an old school horror punk song without compromising their thesis of being pissed the fuck off.  –Kelley O’Death (Totally Brainless)


STAPLES IN CARPET:
Beyond Belief: CD
This Seattle-based band specializes in hardcore steeped in mid-’80s punk/metal, wisely keeping on the punkier side of the fence for the most part. Some songs are a tad longer than may be good for ‘em, and on the whole, nothing really stands out enough to give the release some needed singularity, but neither is it offensive to the senses. It’s just kinda... there, which I guess speaks to some amorphous “promise” of something much better that doesn’t quite materialize. A bit more conviction in delivery? A bit more focus of intent? With this kinda stuff ye want it to take yer head off, leaving you going, “Whuuuut the fuck was that?!” Maybe next time. –jimmy (Staples In Carpet, staplesincarpet.bandcamp.com)


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