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20TH CENTURY TOKYO PRINCESS:
Ive Never Been Happy & Ive Never Had Fun: Cassette
This tape sounds kind of funky, the way tapes sometimes do, where turning it up just makes it worse. Somehow, this is a positive. If I had the internet, Idve downloaded it, but I dont and they sent this tape, so it is what it is, fancy download code be damned. Dont expect your head to explode. Its, musically, the Germs and, vocally, the Modern Lovers. Theres a picture of Lou Reed on the cover. This is the kind of band that Id like to be from my town so I could drunkenly bounce around while they play, but not a band I would go out of town to drunkenly bounce around to. That does make sense? If youre into the whole, How fucking doped out do we sound? thing, this is all you. Also, their bass player is good. –Rene Navarro (Random Old Records & Tapes)


ZEBRASSIERES:
Black Brainwave: 10 EP
An engaging cross of the Eyes bouncy bubblegum punk and the synth-laden future punk of the Epoxies to get ye bouncing n bopping about. The right amount of each ingredient and the sense to know not to let a song overstay its welcome make this a definite Bandstand Pick to Click. –Jimmy Alvarado (P.Trash)


YOUTHBITCH:
Youthbitch Youthbitch Youthbitch Youthbitch Youthbitch: Cassette
At first glance and listen, I kind of chalked these cats up to being another Ramones-core band. After taking the tape for a few test spins though, I detected a serious 60s rocknroll garage vibe going on here that I quite liked. These guys hail from Portland, Oregon and I would venture to say that seeing them live would be a fun time indeed. You can tell that they must have spent quite a few rainy days cranking out songs in a basement as most, if not all, of the songs on this tape buzz with a sort of manic intensity that could only come from some serious confinement. The tape also sports a lyric sheet with some awesome illustrations for the songs. Well played sirs, well played. –Garrett Barnwell (Gnartapes)


YOUNG GOVERNOR:
Pizza Face: 7
Ben Cooks in that elite group of songwriters who have unassailable punk roots, who havent completely abandoned what they learned at an early age, havent divorced themselves from edgy, dark, fast beginnings, and are still exploring. How does someone continue to make music without just repeating themselves, yet theyre instantly recognizable? Its a mystery that Mark Ryan (Mind Spiders), Jeff Burke (Potential Johns), Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound) and Alicja Trout (River City Tanlines) are also unraveling. So, after a small raft of records (7s, 10, LP, Marvelous Darlings output), its safe to say that if Ben Cooks manning the steering wheel, its worth a listen and worth the ride. This originally came out as a super-limited lacquer; now its a Japanese import. But theres one caution. Listening to music this goodsoak in it, let it permeatewill make you start shelving other records that you thought were passable. Heres to asking more of your music. –Todd Taylor (SP, sp-records.com)


YOUNG AND IN THE WAY:
Amen b/w I Am Not What I Am: 12
Young And In The Way are a hardcore band, but they play black metal. They dont play cheap blast beats and distort it with cassette hiss. They dont simplify old Mayhem into formulaic interludes with cheesy bursts of noise. They play fucking black metalbut like a hardcore band. Thats the only way to describe it. The recording is warm and heavyand the vocals are throaty and evilbut lack distortion or augmentation. The metallic hardcore parts break up the song structures, but are sparse and provide just the right level of creative variety. These two records have been released previously, but A389 saw fit to put them together in one package. They fit well together. Everything flows and fits perfectly into one sovereign, disgusting, dark mess. My only complaint is that I wish the records had been released with lyrics or notes. –Ian Wise (A389)


YALE, MASSACHUSETTS:
Act Like Youve Been There: 7
The first song on this record starts out with buzzsaw guitars riffs and pounding drums. Its a little more indie rock-sounding than the rest of the record and starts things off just right. The second song, which sets the tone for the rest of the record, is total pop punk, but in a way thats not too candy coated, just catchy like good rock n roll should be. You get three more songs on this record and theyre everything that I would be desperately looking for if I was desperately looking for good pop punk, but Im actually never looking for pop punk at all. I often am, however, looking for good rock and roll with hooks and such needs are sated here. The lyrics deal with self-doubt, scene parasites, and faltering friendships. Others have done a better job on such topics, but I can still appreciate their choice of subject matter and the lyrics work well with the upbeat songs. So, no complaints. Ive put this record on quite a few times in the morning before heading out the door. And Ill definitely be watching this band. –Craven (Self-released)


MANXX, THE:
Messin Around b/w Hard Lessons: 7"
Swank cheese from Denver, shrewdly blending the enthusiastically rinky-dink with the low, throaty gurgle of a high-performance Leslie organ speaker. Clipped female vocals waxing poetic about cannonballs in the swimming pool and doing it with boys bring to mind visions of the Okmoniks doing Radio X-era Donnas numbers, and its hard to kick that particular concept out of bed. Although i applaud the inclusion of a download code, ill register a token grouse about the running length, though...a sub-two-minute A-side backed with a minute-thirty-five B-side suggests plenty of room for a third song on the flip, or, at bare minimum, doubling up the A-side, Rip Off Records style, and leaving the B-side blank. That, of course, gains me no additional Manxx songs, but it does help me sleep better at night knowing all resources are being used to their fullest utility. But yes, it is as the sleeve says: Another Fine Batch Of Snappy Little Numbers! BEST SONG: Messin Around BEST SONG TITLE: Messin Around FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Run-off groove etchings read this party has a pool! on the A-side, and la mauvaise education... on the flip. –Rev. Norb (Snappy Little Numbers)


WORSHIT:
Self-titled: EP
Lawdy! Lawdy! This is some good stuff. Hailing from sunny Moscow, Russia comes the blazing Worshit. Listening to this has me grinning from ear to ear and wanting more. Its that damn good. They are definitely punk with jumpy beats, a gritty guitar distortion, and a vocalist who sounds like hes gurgling on blood and throat tissue (yet through it all, the words come out nice and clear). Kind of like Satz from the Lewd. Most of the songs are mid tempo. Sometimes they pick up the pace, but no matter how theyre dishing it out, its done with blunt force. All the songs on here are great, musically and lyrically. They dont pull punches, opt to tell it like it is, and offer some astute political observations (Numbers and Worshit) that apply to the American political landscape as well. I guess the apathy disease is worldwide? –Matt Average (Worshit, worshithatesyou@gmail.com)


WINDOWSILLS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
I think this band is a contender for the most mundane band name contest (is there a band called Chairlift? If so, in my mind, they would win.). Apparently, this band shares members of The Apers and The Accelerators, so while not exactly my cup of tea, fans of those bands will certainly enjoy this. For the uninitiated, this is straightforward, pleasant, pop punk that takes its cues from bands like the Riverdales and the Queers. –Chris Mason (Monster Zero)


LOOSE: Dodge This!:
Dodge This!: CD
These guys sure do wear their influences on their sleeves, unabashedly so. From Italy, Loose churns out twelve 70s-influenced proto punkers on this CD, taking their cues from some of the most famous and legendary bands from both Detroit and Australia of that bygone era. I call most current bands like this Mans Ruin Rock, as their style of hard-rocking retro guitar rawk/punk would have fit perfectly on the defunct Mans Ruin Record label. Included are Radio Birdman and Sonics Rendezvous Band covers, supporting my point above. Well done. –Mark Twistworthy (Loose, loosemax@alice.it)


LONESOME SAVAGES, THE:
Self-titled: 7 EP
Four tracks of unbridled Cramps worship, right down to the sludgy tempos, two guitar/no bass shtick, covers of Slim Harpo and Johnny Burnette standards, and reverb aplenty. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kind Turkey, kindturkeyrecords.com)


WILD BILLY CHILDISH AND THE SPARTAN DREGS:
Forensic R&B: LP
New combo featuring Billy Childish, a man synonymous with garage rock. The mention of Childishs name conjures up images of guitar tones and lyrical themes, making the listener familiar with the album before its first spin. The Spartan Dregs are different than many of Childishs previous groups in that he doesnt sing or play guitar, instead he plays a snarling bass and chimes in some backing vocals. Im not sure who the singer/guitarist is, but he isnt just a Childish clone. His voice is warblier and his guitar less slashing, but that doesnt make The Spartan Dregs any less powerful. I think these songs were initially released as a limited series of 7s with handcrafted covers. I dont even want to know what kind of prices theyre fetching. –Sal Lucci (Damaged Goods)


LIQUOR STORE/NATURAL CHILD:
Split: 7
Liquor Store: High-strung Jay Reatard punk that recycles the riff from Suspect Device. Catchy and snotty. Natural Child: Melancholy, strummy sing-along, like you might hear on an early Mats record. Two good sounds that go well together. Both recorded lo-fi. Chris Terry –Guest Contributor (eradicatorrecords.bigcartel.com)


WHOLE IN THE HEAD:
Them and Us: 7 EP
U.K. anarcho-hardcore, sorta like Disorder with more Kropotkin and less glue n cider. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dogdown, dogdown@hotmail.co.uk)


WHITE GUILT:
Self-titled: 7
Syracuses White Guilt offer up four tracks of mangled hardcore punk. Boundaries are met without hesitation. The vocals indecipherably affected. The noise rages on. The amps may as well be in the process of utter annihilation. It simmers down and picks right back up. The destruction seems endless and encompassing. Fans of Ecoli, Iron Lung Records, and feeling trampled: take note. This record nails it. –Daryl Gussin (Feeble Minds / Video Disease)


LIONIZE:
Superczar and the Vulture: CD
Cover looks like an outtake of something out of Asias catalog, and the music pretty much follows suitpainful dreams of grand arena rock fame mixed with a yen for a reggae backbeat on full display. The kids in Journey will be plenty jealous. –Jimmy Alvarado (Pentimento, pentimentomusic.com)


WEEKEND NACHOS:
Two Things at Once: LP
Hey Peabody, set the wayback machine to 2005 for a bit, then well move up to 2010 for more audio brutality. This album collects two EPs from Weekend Nachos. This shit is heavier than hell, akin to playing your Infest records at a slow speed, or better yet, Neanderthal at a slower speed. Dense, forceful, and moves with a deliberate, slow gait. The first side consists of their Torture EP, originally released in 2005. This is some slow, grinding (not grindcore) stuff that works at wearing you down to a fleshy puddle. Its as though they studied Noothgrush and Man Is The Bastard while simultaneously listening to the aforementioned Infest and Neanderthal. Theres some mid tempo, but, for the most part, its sludge. They really slow it down on the Bleed EP from 2010 (which makes up the second side of this LP). Songs trudge in iron boots across muddy fields as smoke rises from burning bodies type stuff. They pick up the pace here and there, but its more to create a tension and break the spell of the slow. Here are two reasons why the Weekend Nachos have a rep among the fans of powerviolence. –Matt Average (Cowabunga, cowabungarecords.com)


WEEKEND DADS:
Self-titled: 7
This is a summertime recordwhich is weird since the band is from Canada. Regardless, I would like nothing more than to blast this while drinking cheap beers in someones backyard. If there is a Slip N Slide involved, even better! Weekend Dads play great four chord punk rock that reminds me of King Friday and Vagina Sore Jr. Easily one of the best 7s Ive heard this year! –Chris Mason (Its Alive)


IN VITRO:
Konfrontacje: CD
Wow, lotta Polish stuff findin its way into the Razorcake bins these days. These cats are aiming for a catchy, sorta streetpunkish sound, with things never getting too fast and lots of chanty bits. Nothing here too crucial when alls said and done, but I can definitely see a crowd full of kids going nuts to em. –Jimmy Alvarado (No Pasaran, nopasaran.pl)


WEEKEND DADS:
Self-titled: 7
This band writes songs that are meant to be screamed along with by four dozen of your closest and/or drunkest friends at a Fest near you! Lyrics that are caught somewhere between nostalgia, depression, and nostalgia for depression, like, On an old bridge/On a rainy night/Pick myself up/Its gonna end right. Also, a classic Fest-esque line, The time is for drinking when you know that theres nothing worth fighting for! Nothing new here, but who cares? Solid stuff! –Maddy (Its Alive)


INTEGRITY:
Kingdom of Heaven: 7"
The three songs on this 7 are reissues from two separate releases dating back to 1992. Integrity werent the hype machine they are now, but they were a band that took chances and pushed the limits of what could be considered hardcore at the time (and eventually reshaped the definition for a lot of people). Its easy to see the influence they had on hundreds of bands that followed, but what I like most is that if you listen to these songs out of context of the bands later significance, they are still just really great songs. The down tuned, out of step guitar riffs are sick and evil, and the vocals are unique even though theyve been copied a million times over. Its cool to have these three songs on this format rather than buried in the deep cuts on some retrospective CD. –Ian Wise (A389)


WARCOLLAPSE:
Defy!: LP
Glad to see Profane Existence repress this. Dont know how I missed this when it originally came out, as Warcollapse were/are a band I was pretty into and would always get their stuff when I saw it. They play some blazing crust that stands head and shoulders over most. While they do have all the characteristics of crust core, they inject a lot more power and energy into their soundenough to appeal to people who are more into hardcore punk, such as me. The songs move quickly, there are a lot of time changes to keep it all interesting, the playing is dynamic, you get some solos over the wall of distortion, and the drummer can bang away like his life depends on it. Listen closely and youll find that their songs are pretty damn catchy. If any band is going to get tagged epic crust then Warcollapse are deserving of the distinction. Just check out the title track! The build up and then they launch into the main body of the song. Fuggin gold! The lyrics to this song are great! They follow it up with songs like Expendable and Fog that musically continue along the same lines. Doing so really hooks you in and sets the mood. They do blow it all apart with blazers like Nightstick Raids, and Secticide, which is a good thing. A good album needs to have peaks and valleys and carry you through from start to finish. This record is paced well and keeps ahold of your attention throughout. A worthy addition to your sonic library. –Matt Average (Profane Existence, profaneexistence.com)


VON ERICH SUICIDE MISSION, THE:
Self-titled: LP
This very agreeable Brooklyn bands debut album, finally available by vinyl, is refreshingly simple. A side project of one of the dudes form Ghetto Ways, theres clearly some highbrow plan at play here. That plan seems to entail playing catchy, straightforward pop with a tiny nod to Avail, plus some sing-a-long bits, while simultaneously sounding nothing like Ghetto Ways. At its best, it plays like a rougher version of The Arrivals. Its a good one for sure. –Art Ettinger (Hundemann, hundemannrecords.de)


IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC:
Pop War: LP
Nicke Andersson, one of my favorite musicians to have ever graced the planet (Hellacopters, Entombed, The Solution, etc.) started ISE as a solo project after the Copters disbanded a few years back. Pop War is ISEs follow-up to an incredible debut LP, and its pretty safe to say that Nickes not messing with the formula too much. Aside from incorporating his touring band into the recording sessions (he handled almost all musical duties on the first LP), the sound is still very Nicke. ISE looks to many more pop-oriented influences than did The Hellacopters (theres a distinct Motown-meets-Merseybeat-meets-70s glam twist injected here), but its quite likely that fans of The Hellacopters latter era will quite easily sidle up to ISE. Thisll undoubtedly be one of the staples of my upcoming summer. –Dave Williams (Psychout)


VOIVOD:
To the Death 84: CD
I got a call from a homie of mine back in 1984, insisting that I pick up the debut album by some new group with an odd-ass name, Voivod. Now, both of us were not much into most metal (especially since we were in the midst of an era when the word was synonymous with bands like Quiet Riot, Ratt, and Def Leppard), but based on his ravings that it was the best thing hed heard since Void, I dutifully went out and picked up a copy of the album in question, War and Pain. Damn if he wasnt right about it being something special. Clearly part of the then-nascent speed metal crop of bands (contrary to what all the after-the-fact accounts will have you believe, there was no thrash/black/death/grind/blahblahblah sub-strata early on, it was all speed metal) that were still so new that they actually all sounded different from one another, Voivod sounded even then clearly uninterested in being anywhere near the vicinity of the rest of the pack. The vinyl mastering of the album was loud and bass heavy to the point of rattling houses at low volume, the tunes were fast, furious, LOOOOOOONG, and blessed with vocals that were as screechy as they were wholly unintelligible. Underneath all that glorious, fucked up noise, though, was a technically proficient band that were working complex song structures to the benefit of what would later turn out to be the opening salvo of a concept/mythos that would play out over multiple albums and decades and zigzag between speed metal, prog rock, and points in between. The CD under discussion here contains the bands second demo, recorded in a garage/practice space via a cassette player and two mics. Given the primitive conditions (compared to whats available in this era of ProTools-generated demos) under which it was recorded, the sound is fuggin choice and fully blastable for those who dont mind things a little rough around the edges. Most of the tunes that would later grace their first album are here, along with tracks that would later make it onto various later albums and compilations, as well as a few Venom and Mercyful Fate covers, to boot. It may seem a bit quaint to new ears after years of Slayer and grunting black metal bands, but if loud and outside the realm of same-ol same-ol metal suits you just fine, this is definitely worth the damage to your hearing. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)


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