Record Reviews

DEHUMANIZERS with PAMELA DES BARRES: “Pamela” b/w “Miss P”: 7” 33

Ms. Des Barres is, of course, the celebrated rock groupie of the ‘60s and ‘70s whose 1987 memoir, I’m with the Band, set the bar for Groupie Lit, such as it is. The Dehumanizers play music. On this record, Miss P’s breathy utterances are sampled over the Dehumanizers’ odd grooves. I can see this record having its primary value as something clever (?) college radio DJs can play as a sound bed when they’re reading their PSAs at the top of the hour, but, above and beyond that, I can say with some assurance that I am not with this band. BEST SONG: “Pamela.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Miss P.” “Pamela” is far too informal, ya know? FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This record was released six years ago and was reviewed in Razorcake in 2012. –Rev. Nørb (PIG / Little Mafia / Flytrap / RenegadeRadio, renegaderadio.com)

ABRAZOS: Self-titled EP: 7” Flexi

This is what happens when two zine editors (Suspect Device and Pea Brain) come together to knock out a bunch of songs. The result is nine tracks, which, on first listen, are like taking a time machine back to the 1980s, both in sound and lyrical content. It’s an amalgam of many bands of that era—predominantly Blitz and G.B.H.—and has a good mix of tunes and anger. Good stuff and worth checking out, especially for aficionados of the UK82 sound. –Rich Cocksedge (Suspect Device, suspectdevicehg@hotmail.com, suspectdevicezine.co.uk / Pea Brain)

ACRYLICS: “Structure” b/w “Gluttony”: 7”

Two more tracks of ugly and uncompromising hardcore from Santa Rosa’s Acrylics. It’s amazing that within the chaotic uproar there are melodic moments, but to the credit of the band it manages to squeeze them into the mayhem. “Gluttony,” the more accessible track, has a touch of East Bay Ray style punk/surf guitar, but for the main part on both tracks, the six string sound makes me consider a large turbine engine repeatedly being hit by a giant boulder. This is the best release I got to review for this issue. –Rich Cocksedge (Iron Lung, ironlungrecords@hotmail.com, ironlungrecords.bigcartel.com / Drunken Sailor, drunkensailorrecs@gmail.com, drunkensailorrecords.co.uk)

ACTIVE MINDS: The Age of Mass Distraction: LP

Thirty-plus (yes, that is correct!) years, and they are still going. Active Minds have always been one of the more outspoken bands within punk, and this album is a concise commentary on the current moment in time we are fumbling about in: screeds against economic inequality, sensationalist media, celebrity worship, social media, and other ills of today. Stylistically, they run the gamut of punk, d-beat, grind, and, at times, sounding influenced by bands like Blyth Power and Thatcher On Acid. When they go at it hard and fast, they really dish out some sonically scorching moments. Check out how effective the short blast “Side by Side” is. So good! –Matt Average (Loony Tunes, loonytunesrecords.bigcartel.com / SPHC, sphc.bigcartel.com)

AIVERY: Because: CD

This three-piece from Vienna is taking me back to the days when I would lay in my bedroom and listen to Veruca Salt. I am grateful for that. Aivery’s vocals are more lilting and lazed than that though, more Colleen Green than Nina Gordon. Dark and moody, this record’s main focus seems to be playing with your expectations—there are quick tempo changes and driving riffs mixed with ethereal leads. The moments where it’s more melodic can get a little rote, but the dissonant moments give us a peek into something more challenging. –Theresa W. (Siluh, siluh.com)

ALL BAD: No Good: CS

Beautiful, drawn-out, melodic crooning over straight-forward punk. Though this is another project out of Philadelphia, their drummer is Jarrett Nathan from New Orleans’ Pears. To be fair, this release is a few years old and Pears is on tour so much that I’m not quite sure where they’re based anymore. Quick riffs crash over non-stop cymbals and drum rolls, while the bass subtlety rumbles on in the background. Main vocals are taken over by guitarist Cat Park, but bassist Evan Bernard shares in the duties as well. “Solitude” instantly took me back to Tilt’s “Fine Ride” with enough differences to make them each distinctive songs in their own right. In all, No Good feels a lot like an EP as the longest of their ten tracks doesn’t even break the two and a half minute mark. It becomes awfully easy to listen to it three times in a row without feeling repetitive. –Kayla Greet (Get Better)

ANDY HUMAN & THE REPTOIDS: Refrigerator: 7”

Oakland’s Andy Human & The Reptoids describe themselves as “mutant sci fi rock n’ roll” which is fitting, and they remind me of Gang Of Four meets Devo with a garage punk feel. “Refrigerator” features a slightly robotic vocal cadence that leads into a psychedelic bridge. This song is heavy on guitar and features every word that rhymes with “refrigerator.” “You Don’t Even Know” gives me Jay Reatard vibes, and I am here for that. –Cynthia Pinedo (Total Punk, floridasdying.com)

ANTIBODIES: Demo 2017: CS

I don’t think I’ve ever heard punk from Prince Edwards, and I don’t think I’ve ever even thought anything about PE besides the fact that they have good oysters. Anyway, this tape is four songs that sound like Posh Boy records U.S. punk with some garage elements and vocals that are a little too monotonous. It’s a fine demo release but won’t blow the hinges off the door. –Ian Wise (High Trash Media, hightrashmedia.tumblr.com)

ANTI-SOCIAL / THE HAS BEENS: Split: 7” EP

Anti-Social: Full disclosure, here: Montebello’s Anti-Social are familia. Not only do I consider them friends, they were part of the same small cluster of mid-’80s ELA backyard bands that spawned this scribe, they’re one of the very select few of us to release anything on vinyl and, three-and-a-half decades down the road, they are still slugging it out in the trenches. Those reasons alone are enough to earn my utmost respect, but add the fact that they’re still one helluva band and you have yourselves a party, kids. Here ye get three new recordings of two older tunes and one of more recent vintage that gallop along at a good clip, keep themselves well entrenched within hardcore’s parameters, yet maintain a melodicism at their base. The songs come and go way too soon, which is more reason to supplement this with their most recent LP, Life Long Addictions, and to see them live. Has Beens: the large-brushstroke description of their work here would read the same as their record mates—firmly rooted in hardcore while keeping a melodic sense to the proceedings. Closer examination, however, shows a bit more in the details: they move largely at a much zippier clip, a sense of humor is more in evidence, and they’ve got a drummer who contributes heftily to their personality. Tight and precise, they handily hold their own on this split, making for a good listen throughout. –Jimmy Alvarado (Jerk Off, jerkoffrecords.com)

AUTARCH / LANDBRIDGE: Split: 12”

Seven heavier-than-heavy songs on this hardcore heavyweight split. From Ashes Rise and Tragedy are the obvious reference points for both of these bands. Superb musicianship and production make this an enjoyably dark listen. Both bands bring the riffs and the lyrical heft to make this a worthwhile addition to the “bleak and depressing” section of your record collection. –Chad Williams (Replenish, replenishrecords.com / IFB, ifbrecords.com / Alerta Antifascista, no-parasan.org)