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One Punks Guide to Pinball, by Kayla Greet
Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
Pinned In Place, Ghostwritten By LP
Razorcake #91


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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STAPLES IN CARPET:
Beyond Belief: CD
Three-piece Seattle hardcore punk with a metallic edge. Certainly not reinventing the wheel here, but I could see having a lot of fun in a basement getting sweaty, bopping about to these jams. Six short and punchy songs chug away on this disc. Best song: “Small Amount of Something.” Solid and cohesive. Great job! –Jackie Rusted (staplesincarpet.bandcamp.com)


STAPLES IN CARPET:
Beyond Belief: 7”
Is “doom punk” a thing? Seattleites Staples In Carpet describe themselves as an old school punk and metal crossover, but that’s such a mouthful. Maybe doom punk is more appropriate. The Beyond Belief EP’s first two tracks, “Burn” and “Small Amount of Something,” tear ass out of the gate with blistering ‘80s hardcore intention, but eventually settle into a chuggy monotony dynamically reminiscent of the kind of doom metal that makes me sleepy. The latter half of the EP—”Closed Out” and “Ornaments”—dispenses with much of this urgency altogether, and the roughly two-minute tracks feel much longer than their actual running time. It’s difficult to qualify how Beyond Belief differs from Staples In Carpet’s previous effort “One of the Same,” which didn’t seem to suffer from this same affliction. Like that release, there is plenty of distortion here, the vocals are still angry and talky, and the drums are still serviceably helmed, but comparatively this record feels more lethargic, groggier, and cloudier. At least the translucent red vinyl is beautiful.  –Kelley O’Death (Totally Brainless, staplesincarpet.bandcamp.com)


STAR AND DAGGER:
In My Blood: 12”
Occasionally, you hear a band that is really ugly and domineering but somehow sounds like they could be poised for commercial success. I’m talking about the Baronesses and Fucked Ups of our time, bands that wrote songs that stuck in your head and had big production because they had an idea and knew how to pull it off, not because they were actively trying to sell more records. I imagine this will be the case with Star And Dagger, and not because they are easily marketable in terms of their “ex members” credentials, but because they just write really good songs. This 12” is three doomy stoner songs with female vocals that have a heavy focus on both the low end and the melody. The music is more reminiscent of early Sabbath/Jerusalem than more recent doom/stoner rock and everything is so methodic and in place it’s hard to nitpick. The guitar tone is perfect, the song structures are engaging, and the vocals fit the music perfectly. I didn’t really know what to expect from this record and I was pleasantly surprised. –Ian Wise (Last Hurrah)


STAR FUCKING HIPSTERS:
Until We’re Dead: CD
Of the myriad possible explanations that come to mind as to how this ended up in my review box, I like to think/hope it was put there by someone who knows full well my disdain for this sorta pop/punk/ska dreck and wanted to mess with my noggin a bit. If that’s the case, okay, heh heh, you got me. Oh, on a totally unrelated subject, please accept my preemptory plea of total ignorance as to how copies of the book Living with Chronic Bedwetting and 50 Cent’s A Gangsta Tribute to Liberace CD got in your review box but if I had to lay blame somewhere, I’d say Dale put them there.  –jimmy (Fat)


STAR FUCKING HIPSTERS:
Never Rest in Peace: CD
This is the second album from the new band featuring Stza of Leftover Crack and Choking Victim fame. I will go on record and say that Stza (or Sturg, or Scotty; I lose track) related bands have the most consistent record of putting stuff out that I like. In comparison to the first SFH album, Until We’re Dead, this record is a little less eclectic. So while there is nothing quite as amazing as the song “Empty Lives” on this new album, there’s also nothing as bad as the failed attempt at epicness that was the song “Death or Fight.” Everything on Never Rest in Peace fires on all cylinders. The male and female vocals between Stza and Nico de Gallo really make the songs click. The couple of songs with Dick Lucas from Citizen Fish and Subhumans really work, too. I love how the band is able to take black metal style guitar lines and vocals and fuse them with pop punk and ska hooks. Okay, the song “Church & Rape” does sound a little awkward at first. Everything else is aces though. I give this my thumbs up as my favorite slice of catchy cynicism and political discontent since last year’s 1-2-3 punch of Supporting Caste, Until We’re Dead, and The Chemistry of Modern Life. Plus the attempt at an epic closer, “Never Rest in Peace,” actually works this time around. –Adrian (Alternative Tentacles)


STAR FUCKING HIPSTERS:
From the Dumpster to the Grave: CD
There are a lot of elements of this band that I really do like (lyrics, especially), but try as I might, I just can’t get past that annoying “ticka-ticka” ska guitar that sounds like Voodoo Glow Skulls. A band I despise. I have to turn it off when I hear it...I really like all of the artwork in the disc, though. –ty (Fat)


STAR LOSERS:
Sabrás Lo Que Es Perder: CD EP
Smokin’ punk rock ’n’ roll from a bunch of longtime Argentinean scenesters. Included is a wicked cover of "The Witch." –jimmy (Ugly, C.C. 2975, C.P. (1000), Correo Central, Bs.As. Argentina)


STAR PATROL:
Step to This: CD
This band bases themselves on the video game of the same name. That's all I have to say. –Guest Contributor (N/A)


STAR STRANGLED BASTARDS:
Whose War Is It?: CD
Serious hardcore from a band that sounds like they could’ve been the house band at Fenders Ballroom circa 1986. Didn’t expect much, but I’m glad to say that they’re all that and a bowl of rare Final Conflict records –jimmy (Go Kart)


STAR STRANGLED BASTARDS:
Red, White and Dead: CD
Wow, did these guys move to Norway or something??? Don’t remember their last album being this heavy. We’re talking “Negative Approach covers Discharge” kinda heavy here, the result sounding reminiscent of both Out Cold and pretty much the entire Scandinavian region. This is gonna stay in my player for quite a while, partly because it’s so damned good, but mostly ‘cause I’m afraid it’s gonna up and kick my ass if I get too close to it. –jimmy (Rodent Popsicle)


STAR STRANGLED BASTARDS:
Red, White, and Dead!: CD
I love music that, even when you’re sitting in the softish nice confines of your domicile, you are made to feel like you are in the middle of the pit, bashing into other euphoric cavemen and feeling your blood copulate with the obscene amounts of alcohol in your system. Even though it’s all conjured with electric guitars and whatnot, it is a joy that is atavistic and pure. This is surging political hardcore that has some of the same energy and the slight metal edge of Total Chaos at their best. I don’t know how long Star Strangled Bastards have existed as a band, but I’m going to guess that I can thank the stumblefucks in the plutocracy currently reigning over this country (aka: Dubya, Cheney, et al) for the inspiration behind this slab of spleen-venting rage. More and more I’m thinking you can’t go wrong with anything on Rodent Popsicle. –aphid (Rodent Popsicle)


STAR STRANGLED BASTARDS:
Whose War Is It? : CD
Serious hardcore from a band that sounds like they could’ve been the house band at Fenders Ballroom circa 1986. Didn’t expect much, but I’m glad to say that they’re all that and a bowl of rare Final Conflict records. –jimmy (Go Kart)


STARING BACK:
On: CD
Think of a genetically modified hybrid of MxPx and Samiam and you're getting close. The music is more Samiam (partly Billy, partly Clumsy) - ringing, meaty, thick guitar riffs. The vox are more MxPx but aren't even close to half as annoying. Keep in mind that the music is also lightly cross-pollinated with MxPx and Forbidden Beat drumming. I can't help but think that this would absolutely rule if the vocals didn't sound so pure and youthful (i.e. if a bleach-gargling, chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking punk was belting them out, I'd have no reservations about this disc) but, despite all of the potential here (and there's a pretty fair bit - think about Thursday's artistic and intellectually interesting version of commercially successful emo and you're on the right track), it just needs some more balls. These guys claim to like In Flames and I can hear slight bits of that band here? until the singing starts. –scott (Lobster)


STARING BACK:
On: CD
Think of a genetically modified hybrid of MxPx and Samiam and you’re getting close. The music is more Samiam (partly Billy, partly Clumsy) – ringing, meaty, thick guitar riffs. The vox are more MxPx but aren’t even close to half as annoying. Keep in mind that the music is also lightly cross-pollinated with MxPx and Forbidden Beat drumming. I can’t help but think that this would absolutely rule if the vocals didn’t sound so pure and youthful (i.e. if a bleach-gargling, chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking punk was belting them out, I’d have no reservations about this disc) but, despite all of the potential here (and there’s a pretty fair bit – think about Thursday’s artistic and intellectually interesting version of commercially successful emo and you’re on the right track), it just needs some more balls. These guys claim to like In Flames and I can hear slight bits of that band here… until the singing starts. –scott (Lobster)


STARING PROBLEM:
Self-titled: 7”
Illinois band Staring Problem play the type of post-punk that uses the bass as the lead instrument. Think Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division or early ‘80s Cure, but sped up a bit. Goth is back and it’s weird, because I work at an art school and now nineteen-year-old students dress like the women I was attracted to twenty years ago, when I realized that I wanted nothing to do with the preps. Three songs. Little bits of shoegaze and lo-fi pop for good measure. –CT Terry (blvdrecords.com)


STARK RAVING MAD:
Amerika: CD
Long has it been since I heard these guys—so long, in fact, that I’d completely forgotten what they sound like. You get two albums’ worth of stuff here for your buck, their self-titled debut and the Amerika LP, both of which feature fine thrashy hardcore and vocals that fall somewhere between Jello Biafra and Rodney Anonymous from the Dead Milkmen. Songs are nice ‘n’ short and have the requisite spazz quality, and the only major complaint is that the spaces between the tunes—we’re talking some ten to twelve seconds here—are way too goddamn long. Outside of that, it was good hearing these kids again.  –jimmy (Just For Fun)


STARKWEATHER:
This Sheltering Night: CD
I want to take this opportunity to pledge my undying love to the Deathwish Inc camp. Those cats consistently put out the best hardcore releases of every given year, and it just so happens that this year’s menu includes a fucking new Integrity LP, a new full-length from Bitter End—one of the best new-ish hardcore bands going—and, on top of those and scores of other top-notch titles, a fresh offering from one of the greatest hardcore (sorta) bands to ever grace the planet: Starkweather. The influence of Starkweather’s debut LP Crossbearer is inestimable. Converge, Overcast, Coalesce, etc… hell, nearly all of the hardcore “greats” of the last two decades have expressed debt to Starkweather’s unique brand of progressive metal/hardcore. After a lengthy lack of recorded output (ending with 1995’s Into the Wire) Starkweather returned in 2006 with Croatoan, an absolutely amazing double LP showcasing a new lineup and a complexity and proficiency only hinted at on earlier releases. This Sheltering Night continues in a similar vein, yet expanding on every element: intricacy, melody, production, everything. Rennie Resmini has never sounded so venomous (which, for those familiar, is quite an impressive feat) and the playing on this record is completely astounding. I could go on at (even longer) length about this band and this record, but put simply, if you are a fan of heavy hardcore and/or progressive metal, I implore you to check out this record and everything Starkweather has done before it. Essential. –Dave Williams (Deathwish, deathwishinc.com)


STARLA UBIQIUTIOUS:
Self-titled: CD
This new untitled outing doesn’t find Starla straying that far from her last album, Another Train of Thought, though there are a few noticeable differences. While it’s still one woman and her guitar, and her lyrical canon remains firmly centered between the personal and the political, this new one seems a tad more stark and somber. Might be the musical arrangements—which are an improvement—or the fact that her vocals seem a bit more solemn, more restrained. My only complaints are that a few of the songs, while undoubtedly sincere, come across as a little corny. It may simply be my own cynicism taking hold, but I still have yet to come across many acoustic outfits that can tackle the topics of a.) unrequited crushes and b.) anarchism without resorting to drawn-out clichés. Unfortunately, Starla does a bit of both here. Overall, it’s a pretty small grievance, though —the rest of the songs here are smart, pretty, calming; nice rainy-day music for those of us who don’t flinch at the sound of acoustic guitars. –keith (Sharpie Fumes)


STARLA! UBIQUITOUS:
A New Train of Thought: Cassette
“Ubiquitous” is defined, so says my battered copy of Webster’s 9th, as “existing or being everywhere at the same time.” While that sort of multifaceted quality may be true in, I don’t know, this woman’s personal life or her emotional canon or whatever, her sonic output exists firmly within the walls of folk music. I’m sure she’s just thrilled with what will probably be yet another Ani Difranco comparison to her stuff, but that’s a lot of what I’m hearing, I’d say somewhere around the first self-titled record and Not a Pretty Girl. Another reference would be Kaia’s stuff (mostly in the vocals), at least the live material I’ve heard. It’s very laid-back, very calm—I enjoyed the fact that there are a few moments of her and the engineer dude talking and laughing in between songs, giving it a very honest, “get it down in one take” feel. I’d say the one drawback (and this is where the ubiquity does more damage than help) is the song “Obsessive Compulsive Love Song”: it’s a sarcastic take on unhealthy relationships, and its cynicism clumsily flies in the face of the rest of the record’s hopeful, joyful, politics-are-personal tone. All in all though, rest of the album shines pretty nicely. –keith (Sharpie Fumes)


STARLITE DESPERATION:
Violate a Sundae: CD
Raucous rock’n’roll with more than its share of punk rock influence. Not a bad listen by any stretch of the imagination. –jimmy (www.coldsweat.com)


STARLITS, THE:
self-titled: CD
Four CD players in the house (five if you count the DVD, which I also tried) and not a one will play this three-track thinger from Florida. Three girls, one boy, two guitars, leather jackets. Sleeve photo looks like three high-school kids and one of the kids’ really hot mom. They should get in touch with whoever burned the CDs for em and spit on his face or something. –Cuss Baxter (Peephole)


STARS & STRIPES:
One Man Army: CD
At first inclination, I thought this was an American version of Hard Skin. Really, really well played oi with really, really hilarious and deeply satirical lyrics. I guess I was part right because Stars & Stripes do play really good music with really hilarious lyrics. It turns out that it’s not so much a joke as it is a side project for Choke from Slapshot though. Here’s a quick run through. The first three songs are about beating the shit out of people. The next one is about realizing your dreams and life are too short to be mean (?!); follow that with a couple telling us to lighten up and “shut the fuck up.” Now we’ve got a soccer song (in North America it is called soccer. People who are from North America have no reason to call it anything else) and an ode to invading Europe. The disc closes with two songs that I can relate to: hockey and getting drunk. The getting drunk one quickly sinks into going out to beat up rival soccer hooligans though so I got lost again. If it turns out that this is a joke band, then kudos to them for pulling it off in such a way that it’s hard to tell. If it’s not, well, I was still entertained. Musically, I’m thinking in the neighborhood of Menace or Sham 69. A fun listen. –ty (I Scream)


START, THE:
Shakedown!: CD
Complete crap. I usually don’t review the dreck Geffen sends me, but when the press kit describes the title track as a “punk rock anthem for our time” and it is anything but, I get pissed. The Start has less edge then most car commercials, and less appeal than a Berlin cover band. Maybe if they work really, really hard and catch a few breaks they’ll land a guest appearance as the house band on a 90210 reunion show and go away forever. –jim (Geffen)


START, THE:
Ciao, Baby: CD
This is the kind of slick pop rock that doesn’t really ever speak to me. At first, all I could think was that it sounded like Madonna or something, but I’ll give them credit for being a bit edgier than that. The songs are well recorded, well structured, energetic, but too perfect for me. Someone once told me that a certain female singer was great because she “sang like she knew she had a vagina.” As technically skilled as lead vocalist Aimee Echo is, I got through this whole disc without once thinking that she had a vagina. –jennifer (Metropolis)


START, THE:
Death Via Satellite: CD EP
I was so ready to write this off, but my interest was raised as soon as I started hearing what was coming out the speakers. Hard-driving, melodic rock mixed with some synth energy, topped off with female vocals that are similar to Gwen Stefani, like No Doubt meeting up with Concrete Blonde and adding some Cure influences to push the envelope and developing a little darker, almost gothic atmosphere in the music. The songs have a hard-driving beat with textures of keyboards that are not campy but add atmosphere. They take the experimental parts of ‘80s new wave but incorporate it with the right mix of modern rock. The vocal harmonies are the hook that catches the fish. Multi-layered and dreamy. A great beginning that hopefully will bear much more fruit down the road. Only thing that bugs me is on the enhanced video. Why have the bass player be portrayed by a female when the bassist listed on this recording is male?  –don (Nitro)


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·Chris Boarts Larson Photo Column - Drop Dead
·Featured Zine Reviews from Issue #91
·MEGACOOLS, THE
·BOMBAY SWEETS, THE
·924 Gilman
·SHUT UP, STUPID
·SOME GIRLS
·Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys
·MAGNIFICENT, THE


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