Key: (LB: Lance Boyle)(EEK: Erick Elrick)(DH: Dave Hyde)(RK: Rich Kroneiss)(MS: Mike Sniper)
Black Lips/Demon's Claws 7"
Part of Norton's ongoing Rolling Stones cover series
(packaged in loving facsimiles of the original London
sleeves), Black Lips turn in what sounds like a
tossed-off version of "What To Do" (from the UK press
of Aftermath). It ambles along alright, but I would
have killed for their take on, say, "Stupid Girl."
Demon's Claws, on the other hand, nail the slurred
Irish ambiance of Beggar's Banquet's "Factory Girl."
Unless you are collecting the whole series, I wouldn't
say this is entirely necessary, but if you're a fan of
either or both bands, it might be worth the five
(Norton // www.nortonrecords.com)
Black SS/How We Are 7"
Split record pinning Syracuse's wrestling-obsessesed Black SS (Black Sheep Squadron) with Rochester’s How We Are. Black SS play some rough-n-tough hardcore with the kind of deep bellowing vocals, ala Slapshot or some shit, that will make it or break it for you. Personally, I was never a Slapshot fan...but either way, they hold things down musically. I’ve (by chance) seen them live and they sure did have a room full of stink bombs going batty for ‘em. How We Are drift much further from my normal scope of hardcore appreciation — they got 2 songs here of anthemic, melodic contemporary hardcore. They also have since announced their impending break-up this summer culminating in a late June show in their hometown.(LB)
(Stop Whining, Start Winning Records // Swx2records.com)
Black Time/Husbands 7"
So maybe Midnight World wasn't the ass-kicking
world-beating noir-spiked punk rock thrill-ride you
were hoping for, but it wasn't exactly dog-shit that
you accidentally stepped in on your way to Starbucks
neither (you fucking yuppie you). Black Time had been
running through those alleys at a hectic pace and
maybe they needed to run into a wall (and break a hand
or two). A little distance did them good and their
side of this West Coast (you fucking hippies you)
tour-only (not really though, I got this at a store)
seven-incher reminds you why you fell in love with
these post-Riot modsters in the first place.
"Downtown" is a bouncy urban rant with the whiny voice
of Limey Caution reverbin over some almost psych-key
action. Nice. "ESP Medium" is an instro the way they
used to make 'em, drillin the beat but still catchy.
"Charm Offensive" alternates its trad-garage verses
with fast punk choruses.
Husbands have always struck me as a novelty band, and
their side doesn't dispel such thoughts. The
Cramps-lite "Monster Party" was recorded live on WFMU
which is.....fine. I don't think I need another cover
of "I Idolize You," but if you do, well, here 'tis.
(Show and Tell // www.myspace.com/showandtellrecordings)
Bossy/Dirty Looks 7"
Two NYC bands featuring ex-members of Bent Outta
Shape, a band I've never heard, but I see their name
here and there, so maybe you have. Live, Bossy come
off like the sort of decent indie-punk band that
populated the underground landscape during the heyday
of '90s indie rock. On record, they display some major
K Records damage, the deadpan (female) vocals directly
recalling Calvin Johnson, but they ain't quite (Beat)
happening yet. Dirty Looks kick up a little more dust
on their two cuts, but even the youthful enthusiasm of
"Work in Progress" is not enough to save this slice o'
(Salinas // www.unshadowed.com/salinas)
CPC Gangbangs/Confusers 7"
If you pay attention, you will know I am a HUGE CPC Gangbangs fan. The 'bangs have one tune on it, "Waves of Hate", and it sounds fucked. Mastering problem? Shit recording? I don't know. I don't know, it just seems like it could be a great tune, but it sounds way too fast at 45, which is the speed I'm 99% sure it should be played at (like, drums are silly fast but everything else sounds sorta normal). After a half and hour of playing this and messing with my pitch controls I say fuck it. Could be a good tune. Looks great on the insert. I guess it's fucked in a good way. Oh well. The Confusers play popped-up Brit-style punk of the mediocre variety. Slighty Clash-y. Pass on this record unless you're an uberfan of either band. Scums stats: 1000 copies, half on black, half on swirly blue. Co-release with Radio81 Records. Color insert. (RK)
(P.Trash Records // www.ptrashrecords.com)
Deadly Companions/Steppin' Razors 7"
Split from two Austin bands, neither of which are very stirring. Deadly Companions give us "Midnight Soldiers", which is really ploddingly bad garage rock. I hate to shit talk bands/records that sent me their shit for free, but this is what you would call a real stinker. Oof. The girl drummer sings the second number some in a moany Exene-style. It's not as bad as the first tune, which is about all I can say. Featuring ex-Fells and Cryin' Out Louds if you're interested. Steppin' Razors play some sort of power-metal-garage hybrid on their first song, and the second is some sort of rootsy out-take. A gruelling listen. (RK)
(self-released // www.myspace.com/deadlycompanions)
Flip Tops/Yokohama Hooks 7"
I had thought the Flip Tops were defunct along with the other 95% of the Rip Off roster, but here they are with some new vinyl. I didn't mind their LP so much, but they were a band I thought sat better with the listener in small doses. Their high energy garage trash was fun for a couple songs but became redundant over the course of a full length. And they prove my theory correct here, with "Sick Dirty Mind" blasting the doors right off the garage and then simmering to a mid-tempo on "Medication". Good enough that I spun the first tune a couple times before I flipped it in a pique of Rip Off nostalgia. You could do a lot worse frontman-wise than Joel Jett. He has the pipes to get a tune over by himself if need be and was certainly created of the mold that is perfect for this type of punk fuck. And I'm glad to see him doing this stuff instead of The Minds. Yokohama Hooks are a real surprise here. I was expecting your run-of-the-mill girl-garage, but what I got was some Au Pairs-esque minimal post-punking. "Panic" and "James Yer Out" are both solid tunes, sharp guitar lines and driving bass/drum martial rhythm with some well done vocals from a girl with a faux-accent that matches up really well. Well worth hearing. Final verdict = well, I guess if you've heard a few Flip Tops tunes you've heard them all. But the Yokohama Hooks make this thing worth checking out. They have a single of their own coming up on Tic-Tac-Totally that I would buy based on this outing. (RK)
(Iron Goat Records // www.myspace.com/losat_live)
Grave Blankets/Touch-Me-Nots 7"
One tune apiece from two bands that I have enjoyed quite a bit on their lonesome. GB's do "Foreward", a slower tempo hack at the trashy swamp-blues they proved they can do quite well on their debut 7". Not quite as enthralling as anything off that record, but still not a bad showing. Touch-Me-Nots would win this mini-battle of the bands with "Cool Enough For California", a quite upbeat, dare I say happy-go-lucky number complete with some finger-lickin' hot guitar lixx. A great "Summer jam", as the kids would say. Again, not enough of either band on this. I could've gone for two from each. But I'm not gonna blame these bands for the shortcomings of the format. I hate splits.(RK)
(self-released // www.myspace.com/thetouchmenots)
Jumpin Beans and Willie/Gary & Josh Forney 7”
For a few years Jumpin Beans had a new release every few months, culminating in his “Milwaukee Sessions” album, which must’ve taken a lot out of the man, since after that the releases ended. That was really a shame, especially since, although there are more than half a dozen records, there wasn’t enough to fill up an “all-Jumpin’ Beans” mix tape (that’s not counting the rumored JBAW album in which they just cover, uh, “The White Album,” I think…it might’ve been something else, but no one I knew ever did get a tape of that). I’d just about given up all hope of adding to my incomplete C90 when this showed up in the mail, one more track that picks up where we last heard from them. JBAW’s track is a ferocious cut of primitive rocknroll with blown out geetars and thumpin’ from Willie. An amazing little monster. The flip is a track by Gary & Josh Forney, a father/son duo from Iowa, called “Mojo Bone,” which sounds like a low-rent George Thorogood styled tune with almost spoken vocals. There’s not a whole lot of energy here, especially in contrast to the raucous flip.(DH)
(Ball Records // www.foreignfrequency.com/ball.html)
The Patsys/Magic City 7"
Double helping of Columbus rock here. The Patsys have been around for some time, one of those bands I've heard of but never heard. And I haven't been missing much. "Have You Got Soul?" is their tune, I guess they have some, but of the whitebread variety. Slow-moving sub-Dirtbombs garage take on soul-n-roll. Not diggable at all. They have Jim Weber on guitar now apparently, and this is certainly the low point of his resume. Magic City, however, who I've never heard of or heard save the day here. Dishy girl garage with "Teenage Electricity", two crisp guitars and no bass, strong vox. A crispser cleaner Husbands or Mr. Airplane Man perhaps. I would recommend hearing this song and/or band, but one decent tune isn't enough for me to suggest buying this. If Magic City come up with some vinyl of their own, that might be worth looking into. (RK)
(Umbrella Records // www.thepatsys.com)
Rizillos/C'mon Tutankhamon 7"
Two bands from Spain who are apparently competing to see who can come up with the worst band name. You don't hear too much coming from Spain these days, probably because France is hogging all the vinyl over on the continent. Both bands prove to be better than their names would lead you to believe. Rizillos (and I just have to ask why that name...) actually steal a bouncy page or a half from the Rezillos and are the goofier of the two bands I guess. Peppy straight/party-punk of sorts with some synth action going on, all lyrics in Spanish, they wear masks it seems, and do have a slightly dark/desperate angle happening too. They pack four songs on their side including a cover of "Fix Me" (actually, they change the title to "Willy", but I have no idea what they're really saying, but the music is the same). C'mon Tutankhamon are the more hardcore punk band, two tunes with synth and one without, gruff vox again in espanol, these guys are more heavy punkers. Synth-punk that is interesting for its locale I guess. If it were American bands doing this stuff I wouldn't be intrigued at all. Hey, at least they aren't playing blues punk. 333 copies with really nice black-on-black printed sleeves. (RK)
(Blondes Must Die Records // www.myspace.com/blondesmustdierecords)
Self-Destruct Button/Clan of the Cave Bear 7"
Cleve-o double shot here, with SDB being the far better offering. Sort of a hardcore colliding with noise-punk thing going on but with some strong melodic lines connecting the mayhem together. Damaged key/synth effects combine with some hard-edged near indie-rocking (if you still consider Sonic Youth indie-rock, which I do) to make intriguing noise. And the singers a screamer, but not annoyingly so. Recommended for those of you into the more experimental side of the coin. For those of you freaked by "noise bands", these guys are not three minutes of feedback and synth-squall, they have actual tunes, good ones, that draw you in and go somewhere. Great song titles ("Egg Collection" and "Key Lime Pie (Head Roast)") and artwork on their side are a bonus. Clan of the Cave Bear...I got no time for this stuff. Repetitive tech-noise with a metal bent that had me looking at the clock waiting for it to be over. Their Venom tribute art is the best thing about their contribution to this record. For those of you freaked by "noise bands", this is why.(RK)
(Tower Control // try www.myspace.com/selfdestrucbutton)
Times New Viking/Psychedelic Horseshit 7"
This split sucka by two of the current leaders of the
lo-fi resurgence was pressed in honor of their short
East Coast tour a few months back. Both sides are 33
rpm, so there's a nice chunk of music to chew on. On
TNV's side, "Lover's Lane," which was recorded back in
'04, hits the same noisy goodness as their Dig
Yourself LP. "Common Cold" is a short hint at
something bigger a la' Guided By Voices, and the
newest of these songs, "Bad Looks," continues the
The strange, garbled "modern folk" stylings of
Psychedelic Horseshit sound like Bob Dylan tuning into
a Fall-dominated John Peel radio show via shortwave
radio. They even namecheck ol' Zimmerman on "No Soul
2" shortly after the graceful couplet of "I wanna
fuck/and take a ton of drugs." Falling apart at the
seams, these acid casualties are the sort of rejects
you should be looking to for answers to life's
(self-released // good luck)
Cross-country lovefest on this puppy. Trashies from
Seattle give us a quick Devo-gone-hardcore sumpin
sumpin called "Mongo Retardo" and then do a decent
cover of "Sooprize Package for Mr. Mineo." Stab a
motherfucker in the (hunch)back. Straight outta the
Pine Barrens, New Jersey devils Hunchback lay down an
organ-driven workingman's lament called "Sixteen
Tons." They follow the format with a good but kinda
puzzling cover of "Too Drunk to Fuck." We would've
preferred their dirgy version of "Heart of Gold," but
this'll do. (EEK)
(Freedom School // www.myspace.com/freedomschoolrecords)
Wizzard Sleeve/LiveFastDie 7"
To read past reviews go here.
From the Deep Dirty Souf comes the
molasses-and-cough-syrup spludge of Wizzard Sleeve.
"Chrome Intensifier" conjures nasty thoughts of A
Frames covering "Hamburger Lady" on a silt-barge.
Hypnotic bass dirge meets clattering drum machine and
moaning far-off vocals like some sort of chopped n'
screwed version of punk rock. Get 'em to Houston,
gather up some codeine, set up a sesh with the ghost
of DJ Screw, and let's hear a new sort of "crossover."
LiveFastDie are a bunch of poofs from the tri-state
area who go by silly nicknames like Faghag,
Bedshittalker, and Braygay. Oh yeah, cant forget Gozac
Termbo. But they make some tasty punk, well, at least
one of them does (think it's Faghag, but I can't keep
it straight). "Armageddon" seems to be yet another
song in the LFD canon about getting hammered past the
point of no return, while "Pizza and Vomit" is a
nausea-inducing bassy/tweaked vox number that almost
lives up to their side of the cover art. (EEK)
(Jeth-Row // jethrowrecords-at-yahoo.com)