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· 1:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived
· 2:#330 with Craven Rock
· 3:#329 with Daryl Gussin
· 4:One Punk’s Guide to Poetry
· 5:Featured Zine Reviews from Issue #81


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Razorcake #81
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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STRAP-ONS:
$4 Whore: CD
Decent enough mid-tempo punk with some staggeringly stupid lyrics addressing asshole cops, being in love with bargain-basement prostitutes and the ineffectiveness of using a Glad baggy as a rubber. –Jimmy Alvarado (Naked Jain)


STRAP-ONS, THE:
The Pimps R.I.P.: clear vinyl 7"
This is dirty, decadent, depraved porno-punk at its gruffest and most caustic! It's hard-edged, snotty, pugnacious, disobedient, and incendiary. It's a repulsively rambunctious lil' romp that drives deep and hard into the inner ear like a flamin' hot icepick. If you're aurally inclined towards The Minutemen, Doggy Style, El Diablo, Habitual Sex Offenders, and naughty masturbatory sleaze, then The Strap-Ons will make you orgasmically gush somethin' fierce. Aaaaahhh, this feels good. –Roger Moser Jr. (Rapid Pulse, PO Box 5075, Milford, CT 06460; The Strap-Ons, PO Box 8241, Norfolk, VA 23503; www.thestrap-ons.com)


STRAPS, THE:
The Punk Collection: CD
Captain Oi shines a spotlight on another band that has fallen through the cracks of time, this one featuring alumni from the class of ’78, a number of whom went on to bigger and better things in bands like Theatre of Hate and Sex Gang Children. A number of “guests” make appearances here, including the odd Damned and Subs member. Included here are the tracks from the band’s single and album, both of which are fine examples of UK punk at its best, alternating between thudding primitive tunes and proto-post punk experimentation. This ’un’s a keeper. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


STRAWBERRY BLONDES:
Fight Back: CD
This album is extremely derivative of Rancid, right down to recording quality and structure of the album. I always felt the extended appeal of Rancid lay mostly in the quality of Tim Armstrong’s voice. The Strawberry Blondes don’t have that personality working for them. The music is competent in the overproduced punk-with-ska-riffs vein. I’m not trying to be a dick about it; if you told me there was a band derivative of The Devil Dogs, I would probably give it extra consideration. So if you are esoteric about Rancid, this might appeal to you. However, I will be a dick about this: their bio claims that their songs are “based on the rudiments thrown down by the classic first Clash album.” Couldn’t this be said about almost any punk album produced after 1977? Oh, how bands will try and try to noncommittally edge The Clash into their bios. Punk 101: Don’t compare yourself to the Clash. –Billups Allen (Wolverine)


STRAWBERRY GIRL:
Cassette Cacophony Collection II: CD
More noise collections culled from limited edition cassettes. This set drops all pretense and is almost completely comprised of static patterns and other found noises. Highlight here is a series of tracks made up of nothing more than sheets of white noise that are supposed to serve as a “soundtrack” for porn star Savannah’s film escapades. Should make watching porno flicks considerably more interesting, indeed. –Jimmy Alvarado (Enterruption)


STRAWBERRY GIRL:
Illuminated Communications: CDR
Assorted noisescapes and industrial-type rhythms occupy the majority of the tracks here. Most of it is engaging and there is an obvious purpose to what they’re doing, meaning it’s not just noise for noise sake, but the proceedings would probably benefit from either some quality visual stimuli or some really good acid. –Jimmy Alvarado (Enterruption)


STRAWBERRY GIRL:
Cassette Cacophony Collection I: CDR
A collection of tracks that previously appeared on limited run cassettes. What you get for our buck are tape loops, static patterns, “found” music, bits of dialogue from various sources and the like. Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood to appreciate this fully, ’cause it was an interesting listen, but eventually it became more like background noise than anything else, kinda like leaving the television on while you do something else with your life. –Jimmy Alvarado (Enterruption)


STRAWBERRY GIRL:
Cassette Cacophony Collection I: CD-R
A collection of tracks that previously appeared on limited run cassettes. What you get for our buck are tape loops, static patterns, “found” music, bits of dialogue from various sources and the like. Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood to appreciate this fully, ’cause it was an interesting listen, but eventually it became more like background noise than anything else, kinda like leaving the television on while you do something else with your life.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Enterruption)


STRAWBERRY GIRL:
Cassette Cacophony Collection II: CD
More noise collections culled from limited edition cassettes. This set drops all pretense and is almost completely comprised of static patterns and other found noises. Highlight here is a series of tracks made up of nothing more than sheets of white noise that are supposed to serve as a “soundtrack” for porn star Savannah’s film escapades. Should make watching porno flicks considerably more interesting, indeed.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Enterruption)


STRAWBERRY GIRL:
Illuminated Communications: CD-R
Assorted noisescapes and industrial-type rhythms occupy the majority of the tracks here. Most of it is engaging and there is an obvious purpose to what they’re doing, meaning it’s not just noise for noise sake, but the proceedings would probably benefit from either some quality visual stimuli or some really good acid.
–Todd Taylor (Enterruption)


STRAWBERRY MUD PIE:
You Sing! Me Play!: CD
I liked this CD the minute I saw the cover art and the name of the band. I like food names (Razorcake, Strawberry Mud Pie, Punch and Pie, and, uh, more that I can’t think of right now). And I love female-fronted Japanese punk bands. (Pear of the West and Thug Murder are high on my list, which needs lengthening. If you are in a rockin’ female-fronted Japanese punk band, send me stuff to review, care of Razorcake!) You Sing! Me Play! didn’t disappoint me, either. Strawberry Mud Pie’s songs are very catchy, with a happy, rock’n’roll feel without being too poppy. Within the first song, you are already singing along: “Woohoo, she used to run away.” (At least, I think those are the words. Sometimes it’s hard to get past the singer’s Japanese accent, but that’s okay. It’s fun making up words, too.) You can tell the band is influenced by fifties rock’n’roll, and in the case of You Sing! Me Play!, that’s a good thing. I want more of this kind of stuff! –Felizon Vidad (1+2 Records)


STRAWBERRY MUD PIE:
You Sing! Me Play!: CD
I liked this CD the minute I saw the cover art and the name of the band. I like food names (Razorcake, Strawberry Mud Pie, Punch and Pie, and, uh, more that I can’t think of right now). And I love female-fronted Japanese punk bands. (Pear of the West and Thug Murder are high on my list, which needs lengthening. If you are in a rockin’ female-fronted Japanese punk band, send me stuff to review, care of Razorcake!) You Sing! Me Play! didn’t disappoint me, either. Strawberry Mud Pie’s songs are very catchy, with a happy, rock’n’roll feel without being too poppy. Within the first song, you are already singing along: “Woohoo, she used to run away.” (At least, I think those are the words. Sometimes it’s hard to get past the singer’s Japanese accent, but that’s okay. It’s fun making up words, too.) You can tell the band is influenced by fifties rock’n’roll, and in the case of You Sing! Me Play!, that’s a good thing. I want more of this kind of stuff! –Felizon Vidad (1+2 Records)


STRAWBERRY RUNNERS:
Self-titled: CD
Pleasant indie rock with cool rhythmic interplay between the vocals and various instruments. Female bandleader. I’m surprised I didn’t see them with Jejune and Rainer Maria in 2000 or so. Reminds me of the sweet spot of my early twenties, when I could drink coffee until two am, everyone was my best friend, and I wasn’t sick of having six roommates. –CT Terry (wildbabyrecords.com)


STRAWMEN:
Jack Rabbit: 7”
If you can dig this, the beginning of the first song (“Jack Rabbit”) on this record sounded to me like an alt-country/country-punk version of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades.” Interesting! From there, it quickly moved on to some kind of Starvations/New Bomb Turks hybrid, although, if you listen closely, you can hear that underlying “Ace of Spades” guitar riff throughout. It’s a pretty good song. The next one up, “Sour and Vicious Man” is great, I really loved it. The vocals are excellent and reminded me even more of the Starvations than the first song. There was an added harmonica, the pace was slow, and the tone was kind of blackly ominous à la Munly And The Lee Lewis Harlots. Upon closer inspection of the insert, I learned that it’s a cover of a Greg Cartwright song (explains why I liked it so much), and I actually have it (it’s on the Compulsive Gamblers’ live LP), so I was a little surprised that I didn’t recognize it straight off (I love that Gamblers record!). I’ll have to listen to it again. The Strawmen’s third song, “Red Barn,” features some fast acoustic guitar strumming and is also pretty good. The artwork on the cover of the record is really nice, despite the fact that the rabbit therein has seen better days. In all, it didn’t blow me away but it’s a solid effort and I’d be interested to hear more from these three Canadians. –Jennifer Federico (Foul & Fair)


STRAWMEN:
Jack Rabbit: 7"
Although tinny, I hear something decent brewing beneath the screamy-shouty vocals. Fast and simple country twang with a sloppy-punk bent that could stand some beefing up and tightening up. The unbridled vocals need some containment but all in all a serious effort that just needs time to solidify into a cohesive group. “Jack Rabbit,” “Red Barn” and a cover of the Compulsive Gamblers’ “Sour & Vicious Man.” –Jessica Thiringer (Foul & Fair)


STRAWMEN:
Loud & Mean at the Aberdeen: CD
Out of Canada, this trio hands over some ‘60s garage punk with this live recording from 2009. The yips and yelps add country and bluegrass flair. I suspect a banjo could easily be substituted for a guitar and I wouldn’t be surprised if Strawmen have already traveled that dirt road. Without a bassist, the two guitarists finger chords that both thrum and jangle, while the drummer barely keeps everything from bubbling over. My only regret was that the sound quality wasn’t what it could have been. Given that this was a live recording and put on cassette, the vocals were pretty indecipherable. But perhaps that was their aim. Either way, I’m interested to see what these men of straw are planning next. –Kristen K (Hamburger Tapes, hamburgertapes.blogspot.com, hamburgertapes@gmail.com)


STRAY BULLETS:
The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: CD
Yet another ska/punk band to bore you to tears. We're about due for yet another ska revival, aren't we? I bet you're all just as excited about the thought as I. Don't worry, 'cause like Jim Jones, I've got some special Kool-Aid for the bands. –Jimmy Alvarado (Fork In Hand)


STRAY BULLETS:
The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: CD
Yet another ska/punk band to bore you to tears. We’re about due for yet another ska revival, aren’t we? I bet you’re all just as excited about the thought as I. Don’t worry, ‘cause like Jim Jones, I’ve got some special Kool-Aid for the bands. –Jimmy Alvarado (Fork in Hand)


STRAY FROM THE PATH:
Our Oceania: CD
Them: Chuggachuggachugga. Howlhowlgrumblehowlgrumble. Doogadoogadoogadooga. Howlgrumblehowl. Chugggachuggachugga. Me: Yawn. –Jimmy Alvarado (Five Point)


STREET BRATS:
See You at the Bottom: CD
I like this. It's fun, well produced oi-or streetpunk or whatever you want to call it; catchy songs with a soaring guitar sound that remind me, of all things, Face To Face circa '92. It's an interesting dynamic that makes this band anything but run-of-the-mill in a genre that is full of mediocrity. I guess that's saying something. –Guest Contributor (Full Breach Kicks)


STREET BRATS:
See You at the Bottom: CD
This struck a strange chord with me. It’s not bad, not great, but catchy. The more I listened to it, the more I began to feel like I’d heard the songs before. Then it hit me: there’s a lot of stuff stolen, borrowed, or extremely coincidentally sounding like parts from other songs. The song “We’re Alright” bears a strong resemblance in the chorus to “So Lonely” by the Police. I wasn’t sure if it was intentional, but the fact that they attribute all of the songs to themselves and then close with a “Lean on Me (One Life One Love),” which has a chorus of “Lean on me when you’re not strong/ I’ll be your friend/ I’ll help you carry on.” One of the guys does win the pretty-damn-great-shirt award for his “All Ramones All The Time” shirt which, in the spirit of the music, I might just rip off. –Megan Pants (www.fullbreach77.com)


STREET BRATS:
You'll Never Walk Alone: 7"
The song on side one fucking sucks. I think they were going for an Exploding Hearts-type thing, but it comes across as very awkward glam rock-influenced Clash, and it sounds like a truck commercial. Things get a bit brighter on the other side: two songs that sound a lot less contrived and almost remind me of Japan's Practice. The girl in the lower right picture on the cover is Ugly. (No, that's her name. It says so on the back.) –ben (Full Breach Kicks; www.fullbreach77.com)


STREET BRATS:
See You at the Bottom: CD
Wow. Love this. Great, catchy energy and anger that I would expect from the brutal city of Chicago. And this delivers. Finally, punk rock and roll that doesn’t lose sight of the punk. Strong Clash/street punk influence but faster and more upbeat. And yeah, anger. Doesn’t lose energy as it moves along. My only criticism is the lack of variation in the songs. They seem to all have the same beat, and I think they’re capable of more. It’s definitely formulaic, but they do it well. I can tell these guys have been together for a while. A warning: the eighteen minutes of nonstop feedback on the hidden track at the end will have you clawing at your eyes! Turn the CD off immediately at the end to avoid risking loss of sight. A solid, worthwhile release. I’m gonna go listen to it again in my car. –KO! (Full Breach)


STREET DOGS:
Back to the World: CD
I got hit by a promotions person a couple of years ago to review a live show by this band. I responded by saying, “I don’t like to go see bands I have no idea about. Send me a CD. I will think about it after I hear it.” Well, that CD was the Savin Hill record. Man, the first thing I thought was, “Dad name, I hope the music isn’t.” I was thinking the vocalist sounded familiar. It’s Mike McColgan, who used to sing for the Dropkick Murphys. Well, the music was superb: melodic street punk that was heartfelt and yet urgent. The track titled “Fighter” is one I still listen to. Here is their sophomore effort and that can always go two ways. The first album was a fluke and the second is terrible or it will be as good or better than the first. This is the latter. They continue on with great songs that are enjoyable and can be listened to over and over. The Celtic and reggae/dub track didn’t get under my skin. If you can handle an acoustic track, the last track has a lot emotion and seems sincere. Glad to see that they are on the right track. –Donofthedead (Brass Tracks)


STREET DOGS:
State of Grace: CD
Another great one from this Boston band of punkers. “The General’s Boombox” is an ode to Joe Strummer. “Two Angry Kids” is the most rocking of the bunch and is getting repeat plays here at home. “Free” even features some harp from bassist Johnny Rioux. They’re touring all over the place, so go see them live. They deliver every time: blood, sweat, and stale beer included at no additional charge.  –Sean Koepenick (Hellcat)


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