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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:#331 with Mike Faloon and Todd Taylor

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Razorcake #81
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Nights and Days in a Dark Carnival by Craven Rock
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Seriously!, Volume 1: 7"
Holy crap, a regional comp that doesn’t blatantly suck. Now there’s a rarity. Seriously! features four Washington bands that all manage to deliver the goods. Snuggle sounds more aggro than I remember them (though I remember their earlier work tending to drag on a bit, and the song here follows suit). One Day’s song is ferocious and fuzzed-out and sounds like something that coulda been on a long lost EastBay comp like Benicia or Lest We Forget. No Hi Fives To Bullshit know the meaning of brevity and also sound strikingly like Crimpshrine, and Know Your Saints deliver a slower, simmering tune that showcases the fact that they’ve definitely learned their way around writing a song. Not a dud in the bunch, and everyone involved should be stoked. Nicely done. –Keith Rosson (Abandon Hope)

This Is Peterborough Thrice: CD
A disc showcasing the local talent from the city of Peterborough in the U.K. Twenty-one tracks and the great majority of it is an icky mix of alternative radio, bland-ass indie rock, sappy acoustic numbers, and overproduced soulless pop punk. Three of the bands, Taconite, Dun2Def, and The Destructors, contributed some mediocre street punk that did not make my finger immediately itch for the track skip button. A band called the Castros offers up some snappy indie rock with ample English post punk vibes which was decent. The best of the bunch is the song “Decadence” by Five Go Mad In Europe, which does an enjoyable imitation of The Fall with deliciously offbeat meandering. But, on the whole, this is a very bad record. –Jake Shut (Rowdy Farrago)

A Tale of Rotten Orange: 2 x CD
Took a thorough look at the credits provided, ‘cause this has that Rick Bain/Hostage Records sound all over it, but no, it looks like this is this label’s inaugural release, and a doozy it is. Two discs of grade-A punk from south of the (L.A. County) border from both legendary acts and new jacks alike—Druglords Of The Avenues, Disguster, Narcoleptic Youth, The Piss Pops, The Dogs, Crazy Squeeze, The Boners, I-9, The Crowd, Social Task, Broken Bottles, The Hitchhikers, Bonecrusher, Smogtown, The Junk, Fork Tailed Devils, Killing California, The Loyals, The Stitches, Foul Response, No More Saints, Neon Maniacs, Raw Helmet, and The Uncivil all contribute at least one song to the ensuing shenanigans. Omitted from the proceedings are the endlessly boring pop punk and ska acts that too often these days are propped up and handed the OC punk flag to run right into the ground, and instead the listener is treated by what is arguably the true OC underground sound, with styles ranging from the rock/punk to the trashy to the hardcore spectrums and back. Good stuff all the way ‘round and destined for a slot on upcoming year end lists of this year’s better comps.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Orange Fight, orangefight.com)

Buffalo Brutality: EP
I can’t remember the last time I’ve listened to a comp that was half way decent. Let me think.... Hmmm... Ummm.... Let me think... err... Nope, can’t remember. It has been a while. Welp, this comp is actually pretty good, and not one with a couple good songs and the rest shit. This one is good the whole way through. Focused on Buffalo, NY bands, this delivers on the hardcore, grind, and thrash fronts. Resist Control crank out two songs of hardcore with some Infest influence, though not a direct copy. Ordinary Men And Women blow my cloudy mind with some down-tuned, bass-heavy lurk. What I wish MITB would have sounded like. Avulsion, who should get some sort of reward for still being around (I remember them well from the ‘90s), have one song of their patented grind that’s tighter than hell and hits with brute force. Morax have a bit of crust side in their sound. I like the rawness of the guitar here. Inerds, Scheisse Krieg, and Ancients Of Earth keep the needle in the red. A comp worth picking up...
–Matt Average (Warm Bath)

East Infection: 7"
Mess Folk: I mistakenly put this record on at 45 rpm and thought this was some seriously deranged fast and noisy rock with a screechy female lead singer. Cool! About thirty seconds in I realized my error, started the record over, and realized this some seriously deranged slow and noisy rock with a male lead singer. Still cool! I don’t even know how to place this: like if The Cramps scrapped their rockabilly influences in favor of Scratch Acid? Meat Curtains: More deranged rock and roll. The guitar player is playing the same repetitive four-chord riff over and over again while the drummer beats the shit out of his drums and the lead singer screams incoherently over it all. Awesome! Strawman: Straight forward rock and roll. Not all that bad, but not particularly memorable. The Shats: Garage rock that could have easily been written by someone from Denton, TX (aka Mind Spiders, Bad Sports, etc). Pretty damn good! Oh, I just realized both bands on the A side are from Nova Scotia and both bands on the B side are from New Brunswick. Nova Scotia by a mile! Three cheers for the underdogs!
–Chris Mason (Foul & Fair)

Bloodstains across British Columbia: 7” EP
Though the title might be a bit misleading to fans of compilation albums featuring tons of moldy punk oldies, this is a collection of thirteen bands each delivering a one-minute tune about the titular Canadian locale from whence they hail. The sounds mined here are well varied—vaguely ‘60s pop, skronk, punk, trebly indie-rock, even a band that sounds like they’re on a Urinals bender, and so on. The bands could’ve easily just knocked off and sent over any shit, but by the sound of it, they took the idea seriously and delivered some pretty good listening and, as a result, a strong regional comp. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mammoth Cave Recording Co., mammothcaverecording.com)

Calvinball / Rumspringer / Mayflower / The Dauntless Elite: 4-Way Split: 7”
Calvinball: Gruff punk rock that’s not breaking any new ground but has enough anthemic energy to keep things interesting. Rumspringer: This is really weird, because I recorded a different version of this song for the band several months ago and I’ve heard that other version a million times before—so it’s hard to listen to this without getting caught up on how those subtle (and not so subtle) imperfections are no longer present. But that’s clearly just me because next to no one reading this has ever or will ever hear that version. Rumspringer is one of the best DIY rock bands around (don’t call them a “punk” band). They’ve written some of the best songs of the last several years and this one is right up there. Mayflower: Pretty much the same as Calvinball. I’ve heard this song a million times before by thousands of other bands, but somehow I’m not sick of it yet. The Dauntless Elite: Fuck yeah! How can you not love this band? Bouncy and catchy punk rock with a cockney accent. I have no clue what half of the words in this song even mean, but that won’t keep me from trying to sing along. –Chris Mason (Not Shy Of DIY, notshyofdiy.com)

Here’s Your Donkey Show: CD
People always ask about the donkey show thing. It doesn’t exist. I’ve yet to meet a human being who can vouch for its existence. You want a fucking donkey show? Here’s your donkey show! I uploaded this album to my iPod without putting any information in, so I wouldn’t know the names of the bands and attempt to circumvent any bias. You see people, I’m from Tijuana, this is my scene, and I’ve seen most of these bands a bunch of times. In fact, I’ve been going to Bumbklaatt shows for about a decade now. Like most scenes in big cities, this spans a few genres such as hardcore, punk, ska, and… well, I guess that’s it. It’s a great compilation featuring the best Tijuana has to offer, which is Bio Crisis, Teenage Kicks, DFMK, and Bumbklaatt. There are also three non-TJ bands, one of which, Dias De Radio are straight off a late ‘90s Hellcat comp. That song alone almost made me want to spike my hair and break out a certain jacket that hasn’t fit in years. –Rene Navarro (Blood Pact, bloodpactrecordstijuana.com)

Midwest Thrash Attack: Double 7”
If you see me walking around with my skull burst open and bits of my brain shooting out like meaty popcorn, it’s because of this four-way split of Wisconsin and Minnesota hardcore bands. It starts with two bands of yesteryear, including Stand Off, a name I never thought I’d see on a new piece of vinyl. They were around in the mid ‘90s, a precursor to Remission and Wartorn, but more on the straightforward American hardcore end of things. Damage Deposit keeps it hardcore and keeps it Midwest with a Die Kruezen cover. The second record starts with current Minneapolis mosh kings, In Defence, and an answering machine message from a disgruntled parent complaining that his son went to a show and got an Easter egg full of pubic hair. The message almost overshadows the awesome hardcore songs that follow. Almost. Choose Your Poison serves as the modern Wisconsin band with a quick burst of aggro that’s gone too fast. –MP Johnson (Give Praise)

Speed Kills…But Who’s Dying?: CD
Three bands here repping a nice spread across the hardcore spectrum with five songs each. On one end you have Sheisse Minnelli (a play on “Liza Minnelli,” with the first word in their name translating to “shit”), who are more or less a straightforward hardcore band. They keep the tempos ratcheted up, with some interesting chord and tempo changes, and liberal doses of humor and intelligence in the lyrics. On the other end you have The Shining who, while also keeping things quite zippy, go with a more “metalcore” (as we would’ve said in the mid-’80s) sound, with muffled chugga-chugga guitar strumming and screamed vocals. Between the two we have the belles of the ball here, Verbal Abuse, turning in work more along the thrashy lines of Just an American Band than Rocks Your Liver. No surprise, this considering Nikki Sikki is back manning the mic, and as an added bonus they even serve up a ramped up cover of Sick Pleasure’s (is it a “cover” if the singer sang for that band as well?) “Three Seconds of Pleasure.” While the new Verbal Abuse stuff is hands-down the reason to pick this up, and it’s fuggin’ aces to hear they’re back in such fine form, all three bands turn in admirable work, making this definitely worth the search. –Jimmy Alvarado (Just 4 Fun, j4f.dk)

City Limits: Down and Out in Toronto and Montreal: LP
Twenty-three songs by twenty-three bands who all hail from the fair cities of Toronto and Montreal, Canada. Plenty of household names (Career Suicide, Inepsy, Urban Blight, Brutal Knights, School Jerks, Burning Love) some eyebrow raisers (Mad Men, Foreign Bodies, Mature Situations) and um, the rest. Such is the curse of a compilation album with this many bands on it: too much filler. At first glance, the better-known bands make this record seem like a steal because, yes, the good songs are really fucking good. But upon closer inspection, the intent of giving some seemingly deserved, lesser-known newer bands some exposure doesn’t quite meet the standards set by their predecessors. Also, the fact that all the best songs are almost all on the first side of this platter makes me wish this were a single-sided LP. –Juan Espinosa (High Anxiety / No Idea)

Crack Rock City Volume II: CD
Seriously, if there’s a Crack Rock City Volume III, I’m buying a gun, finding some kinda bell tower, and people are gonna die. (So, yeah, I wrote the previous sentence like a month ago, and it seems mighty fuckin’ insensitive in light of recent events in Norway. I obviously wouldn’t shoot anybody over a bad record. If you’re offended, get a life. This CD still sucks though.) –Ryan Horky (Pirated)

Kill Rock Stars: LP
This is a special limited Record Store Day version of Kill Rock Stars’ first release, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the record and the label. That many of the bands on this comp are now considered “legendary,” or “classic,” is a testament to how smart the folks at Kill Rock Stars were at putting together a collection of some of the best bands of the era. Featuring tracks from Melvins, Bikini Kill, Nirvana, Nation Of Ulysses, Mecca Normal, and others, this album is more than just a document capturing a particular era of music, it is also a collection of some of the best music of all time. Fans of great independent music of any stripe owe it to themselves to add this comp to their collection. I can’t recommend this enough –Paul J. Comeau (Kill Rock Stars)

We’re All in This Together: LP
A hardcore punk comp here with four tracks each from Triple X, MDC, Hanker Hoax Haphazard, Asspiss, and Crackbox. Music’s good, but the advertisements stuffed in for good measure—one for the Institute for Anarchist studies, one for Asspiss’ Fuck Off and Die seven-inch, one for the label’s other releases, an Asspiss stencil, and a patch with the label’s logo on it ostensibly so some punker can give ‘em some free advertising at a show—seems a bit capitalist-overkill, considering this looks to be some sorta anarchist-themed release. Then again, the white vinyl and great cover art’s gotta get paid for somehow, I guess. –Jimmy Alvarado (Suburban White Trash)

12th and G, Chino, CA: LP
One yardstick to hold up a comp of a super-down DIY place (1919 Hemphill, 924 Gilman) is looking at the listing on both sides. (This doesn’t work as well digitally. I’m looking at you, interwebs.) But don’t treat them as sides of a record. Treat them as two shows. Would I go to side A’s show? Side B’s? And even if you don’t know all the bands, are you in good hands? Do places make friends? No—12th and G was just a leaky warehouse with a skate ramp, a fridge, and a PA—but the people inside those places can. Friendly, honest, fun-loving, down-for-the-cause people. Not hypothetical circumstances, not a fantasy football version of punk rock or a corporation rock version of punk. This is rent-to-pay-is-not-an-excuse-to-be-a-douche-to-bands punk rock. And the comp. reflects the guiding principles of 12th and G. well. It’s unmistakably DIY punk at its core, but it’s unafraid to lend high fives to bands who also dip into metal, hip hop, and the mellower fare. The strongest testament to this comp is that it’s a direct, honest reflection of music that’s being made in America today; of music that came through their doors, to music that they helped nurture by providing a genuinely great place to play. Due to cops on the interwebs (again, fucked by digital) being bummed that the city of Chino wasn’t getting their graft and kickbacks—and under the guise of “protecting the children”—the warehouse was shut down in April, 2011. This comp is a love letter. I intentionally didn’t mention one single band in this review because it’s bigger than just one band. It’s a matter of trust, like when Donna Ramone or Horror Tim or Marty Ploy or Christina Zamora say, “Dude, just listen to this band.” You put time aside in your busy schedule and just listen to some really good shit. –Todd Taylor (On The Real, ontherealrecords.tumblr.com)

8Up Records: CD-R
Once again, another shoddily thrown-together compilation from 8Up Records. Packaged in a photocopied paper sleeve—one that doesn’t bother to list the band’s song names—is a CD-R simply marked in Sharpie with an 8 and an arrow pointing up. Of course, this is probably free. Nonetheless, a little effort goes a long way. If you’ve written for Razorcake for any length of time, you’ve probably got a compilation from this label to review. You’re just as likely to have reviewed something by the ever-ubiquitous and prolific A Disco For Ferns, who always seem to sound completely different. The first CD-R demo I got from them was really shitty, growling grindcore or something of that sort. I also got a tape of joke punk songs from them that was equally as shitty in quality, but was, nonetheless, quite funny. This time, they play some weird stuff with a hugely distorted bass and a male/female vocal exchange. The bass was often so distorted it sounded like Suicide’s synths. I kind of liked it. Everything else on here is shitty punk rock. –Craven (8Up)

PML Zine Compilation: 7” EP
According to the front cover, this is the “foreign edition” of a compilation featuring Four Finnish bands, originally released in 2010 with issue four of PML zine. Lebakko drop another virulent bit of punk/hardcore, Escape To Death take a more traditional thrash route, No Heroes brings to mind the best of DS-13, and Anvils Drop are more on the pain/hardcore end of the spectrum. Excellent teaser of what’s going on in the Finnish underground—four rock solid tracks and zero bullshit. –Jimmy Alvarado (PML, pikakelauksellamaailmanloppuun@gmail.com)

Box of Sand: CD
If you’re a regular peruser of Razorcake and its review section, a lot of the bands making an appearance here—like Shang-a-Lang, Too Many Daves, Unfun, Rations, and Abolitionist, f’rinstance—will sound familiar. They, and many more crank out poppy indie-punk of various shades, hues, and sizes. Gotta say while this stuff ain’t always my cup o’ poison, there is much here to be diggin’ and diggin’ hard. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lost Cat)

Traveling with George: 2 x CD
A few L.A. veterans making appearances here—like the Gears, RF7, and Symbol Six—alongside more recent hellraisers like the Livingstons, Spermometers, Puke For Breakfast, TV Eye (who again are mind-blowingly kick ass, but I digress), Standard And Poor, American Jihad, and tons of others, enough in all to fill two discs with punk rockin’ of all kinds of hues and shades. As can be expected, there is a clunker to be found here and there, but, for the most part, this ain’t shabby at all—diverse enough to keep things flowing nicely, yet very much on the “rock” side of the punk fence. –Jimmy Alvarado (Scare America, myspace.com/scareamericarecords)

UDC 4 Way Split: LP
Four current Alabama musical outfits come together for an intriguing taste of some weird ass shit that’s currently going down in the region. The outer edges of each side are occupied by elder acts—Rise Up Howling Werewolf and The Baker Street Irregulars—while the middles contain Shining Path (who are technically not allowed to be a band by the state of Alabama, because they painted black face on a Confederate statue!) and Walker Yancey. Musically, it varies from rootsy folksiness to psychy punkness. This record is an endearing multi-generational snapshot of four bands that are keeping DIY well and alive in the non-stop state of Alabama. Totally legit. –Daryl Gussin (UDC Audio)

Bloodstains across Philadelphia: LP
I have just been exposed to a twenty-four-band, twenty-four-song survey of the state of the Philadelphia hardcore scene, unless somebody changed what the word “hardcore” means again, in which case just substitute whatever word the kids use today when they’re talking about what I’m talking about when i say “hardcore.” I now feel like running up a side of beef and punching the courthouse steps. I dig the comparatively new-wavey Bad Doctors and marginally oddball Cousin Brian the most, which is funny, because i kinda never liked the not-all-the-way-punk-enough bands on compilations back in the day. As far as the more or less straight-up hardcore bands go, i think i dig Laffing Life the most, but if you ever wanted to know how dopey “Hippy” by Supernova would sound if it was completely re-written by a big dog/little dog HC band, you’re sure to swoon before the ungodly might of Jenkem’s “Fuck You Hippie.” What more can one man say? There might not be something for everyone here, but there’s definitely everything for someone. Even if that everything is “Dildo in Dad’s Shoe” by Bucket Flush. BEST SONG: Bad Doctors, “Sisyphus and the Gate” BEST SONG TITLE: I’d hate to say “Dildo in Dad’s Shoe”…so I’ll say “Dildo in Dad’s Shoe.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Hey, somebody out there is still trying to draw like Pushead! –Rev. Norb (Eaglebauer Enterprises)

Dude Sounds Vol. 2: CD-R
A compilation of tunes handpicked by the Dudes at Dudes Magazine—the likes of Something Fierce, Bad Sports, Dude Jams, Too Many Daves, In Defence, The Steve Adamyk Band, Ninja Gun, Leatherface, and the Copyrights amongst twenty-five others. There’s nothing on here that hasn’t already been released or isn’t available anywhere else. Though I’m sure that some of the lesser known bands (The Bugs, French Fry Guys, The Slow Death) on here will enjoy the exposure. This is a CD-R after all, the most disposable of all formats, and I suppose its purpose is to serve mainly as a mix-tape or soundtrack to a night of reckless drinking soon to be followed by a blacked-out memory, an empty wallet, and the realization that you slept in your shoes. Good times? –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, no contact information)

Punk ‘n’ Pissed: CD
Modern U.K. punk/hardcore of varying qualities here, courtesy of UK Vomit, Citizen Keyne, Total Bloody Chaos, Lowlife UK, Dogsflesh, Poundaflesh, The Fiend, Keysdie Strike, Pedagree Skum, The Septic Psychos, and TMF. A lot of the stuff here suffers from pandering to a well-worn template in dire need of freshening up (a bit of a bummer when one can hear a song and know exactly which Exploited or One Way System album was being listened to at the time said song was written), and in at least one case is dumb in all the wrong ways, but most still manage to transcend the limitations of the UK82-inspired pigeonhole to varying degrees of interest. Ah, what the fuck do I know, anyway? The kids with the patches all over their underwear will eat this shit for breakfast and ask for seconds. –Jimmy Alvarado (Unrepentant)

The Rock Garage Texas Live Concert Series Vol. 1: CD
Nashville Pussy, The Hickoids, Brutal Juice, Pocket Fishermen, Amplified Heat, and others tear it up live here. Sound quality is great, lotsa diversity, and the song selection ain’t to shabby if rock, garagy rock, Southern rock, and points between are your bag. –Jimmy Alvarado (The Rock Garage, therockgarage.com)

A Ray of Hope: CD
Underground music changed once the idea of a compilation album disappeared. Sure, label samplers still pop every now and then, but it’s a slightly cheaper version of a great concept. Granted, I wasn’t even around for the comp CD heyday, but I really wish it were still around. Eager Beaver put together a great comp of a ton of bands (mostly American, mostly gruff pop punk) to help raise funds for the recent earthquakes in Japan. In the grand scheme of things, I know that no punk comp is going to create a huge splash in the charity efforts, but it’s beautiful that CD exists in the first place. I highly recommend that you purchase a copy. As a reader of Razorcake, you’re probably already familiar with a good chunk of the bands on it, but your car could probably use another mix CD. (This review is not intended as an insult to anyone who does not own a car.) –Bryan Static (Eager Beaver, eagerbeaver.shop-pro.jp)

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