Record Reviews

¡APARATO!: Huastech 3000: CD

¡Aparato! makes post-punk Chicanx futurism for people who want to change the world. Blending indie electronic elements with classic influences like Son Jarocho and the Ramones, they craft beautiful songs of celebration and protest with co-ed vocals, synthesizers, jaranas, and electric guitars. These seven songs are mellower than their debut, but cover a lot of musical ground, ranging from sweet ‘90s pop R&B songs written from Chicanx punk perspective like “Arullame,” to “Machine,” a poetic song about the dreams of migrants set to fast-moving experimental electro rock, to “Crooked Smile,” which boasts New Order vibes. ¡Aparato! is growing into who they want to be and staying true to their DIY roots. It’s no surprise they’ve received critical acclaim despite their lack of label support. –Candace Hansen (Self-released, aparatomusic.com)

ABRAXAS: Feral and Filth: 7”

Cinci punks ABRAXAS make heavy and dark hardcore in the vein of AFI and The Nerve Agents that any student of punk rock written in the early aughts will appreciate. Feral and Filth keeps it simple with five fast and furious horror punk tracks, but what I really love about ABRAXAS is lead vocalist Kursty’s vocal style. She’s not afraid to go for that classic low pitched goth punk tone and she fucking nails it. Limited to three hundred, the physical release itself is a piece of art, featuring beautiful silk-screened inserts with gold glitter ink on black matte cardstock, white vinyl, and black on black on black everything else without looking like a parody of the genre. –Candace Hansen (Self-released, abraxashxc.bandcamp.com)

ACCIDENTE: Pulso: LP

Madrid, Spain’s Accidente have unearthed that long-lost Hopeless (when the bands were great) and Go Kart pop punk sound and given it brand new and meaningful life. Imagine a punchier Lemuria that’s been binge listening to Lifetime or even a tighter-sounding, faster Earth Girls. What a pleasant fucking surprise. This one won’t be making its way to the buy counter at Amoeba. –Juan Espinosa (Vox Populi / No Friends / Ecabrupto / Inhumano / Chaos Rural / Dirt Cult)

ACRYLICS: Self-titled: 12” EP

Freak-out punk, with flanged guitars and a bit of psychedelia tingeing the edges amidst the dissonance. They’re effective, delivering all the right kinds of annoying, and their interest in avoiding the same ol’ same ol’ is refreshing. –Jimmy Alvarado (Neck Chop, facebook.com/NeckChopRecords)

AH FUCK: Alone in a Cusp: CS

Whoa. Can you get any lower-fi than the lowest lo-fi? One man ventured to find out for himself. Ah Fuck is the preferred pseudonym for a truly singular individual (né: ???) from Los Angeles. Upon first listen, Alone in a Cusp is a pretty unremarkable EP. Its seven songs are skeletal in their instrumentation, sporadically sprinkled with a spattering of lyrics, and hooks are hard to come by. The songman could instead be called a sound sculptor; between songs, Ah Fuck specializes in shaping mountainous piles of reverb, street sounds, and sound bites. Somehow this EP reminds me of the soundtrack to the Fugazi documentary, Instrument—heavy on the experimentation and light on structure. Though the vocals are spider web-thin and the guitar melody often gets lost in the wake of its own reverb, there’s something—a certain je ne sais quoi—about Alone in a Cusp that I really, really dig. Think I’ll go back for seconds. –Simone Carter (Self-released, ahfuck.bandcamp.com)

ALAN SIX: Illuminachos: CD

Seven songs of lo-fi pop punk from this band from Las Vegas. Coming across a lot like a band that might have been the opener on a bill with Tilt or Discount twenty years ago, Alan Six are solid at the style. Not nearly as good as, say, The Front or the F Bombers, but if you are a fan of mid-tempo pop punk with a rough and ragged edge, this gets the job done. –Mike Frame (Self-released, alansix.bandcamp.com)

ANCHORD: As a Real Return: LP/CD

The opening track, ingeniously entitled “Intro,” provides two minutes of simple instrumental indie rock, which I find hypnotic and could listen to on repeat for quite some time. What follows does manage to grip me, however, with an occasionally angular yet wholly indie/punk theme prevailing. This is one of those albums which have snuck up on me. Over the course of half a dozen listens, it has attached itself to the inside of my head like a barnacle on a ship’s hull. I feel warmth emanating from the songs, much in the way I do when listening to Samiam, and that is an entirely pleasing sensation. Another fine Spanish band comes to the fore on this excellent label. –Rich Cocksedge (Bcore Disc, mailorder@bcoredisc.com, bcoredisc.com)

ANGRY GODS: The Clearing: LP

Dissonant and, well, angry noise rock that is flat-out withering from go. These fuckers are seriously pissed off and taking it out on both the listener and their instruments. The soundtrack to your next appendectomy, sans anesthesia. –Jimmy Alvarado (Hip Kid)

AQUARIAN BLOOD: Warlock Cock: 7”

Memphis noise mongers deliver two blasts of dissonant, artsy minimalist punk with shades of psychedelia peppered throughout. Songs are brief but potent. –Jimmy Alvarado (Pelican Pow Wow, pelicanpowwow.com)

ATOWN SLUTS: I Hate the Atown Sluts: CD

A lot of times Razorcake tries to pick out things that I’ll enjoy or at least not hate when I get it for review. But the fact of the matter is that everything has to go somewhere and sometimes I get things that I’m not crazy about. I try really hard not to judge a record before I hear it, but I am instantly turned off when you put the words “slut,” ”whore,” or “bitch” in your band name. The cover art is them biting KISS’s Destroyer, with a Billboard Hot List as their tracks on the back. Some of these low brow titles include “Let It Rot,” “I Like the Blood,” and “Pass Me the Needle.” This is shock rock about drugs and sex, and they couldn’t even make it interesting. If you’re going to cover such lewd or unimaginative topics, at least play with your words a little. Throw in a mixed metaphor or an artsy allegory. Or even just play music that is so good; you forget about the trite lyrics that come with it. A spoon full of sugar is definitely needed to get their medicine to go down for me. If you like GG Allin, I’m guessing that you might find this up your alley—next to the dumpster you just set on fire. –Kayla Greet (Self-released)