A brand new release for New Jerseys’ NIGHT BIRDS. If you haven’t heard of this band yet, then you my friend are missing out. You might say that there is a surf resurgence coming back if more bands could play as well as these guys. The first track is a nice instrumental surf song that sets the pace for the entire album. “Born To Die In Suburbia” is the title track off this record and it is a nice gem of a song spastic guitar and vocals makes you think of what punk rock should still be and sound like. Personally my favorite track is “Maimed For The Masses” being a huge wrestling fan and this track is dedicated to the hardcore legend Mick Foley. Fast and catchy vocals and loud guitar and drumming on this track makes this amazing. Plus all lyrics about his real life in the wrestling ring is awesome. GRAVE MISTAKE RECORDS put this out and I suggest you go support this label. I wrote in a blog I used to do that this label cannot put out a bad record and that still stands in my opinion. (XbezerkerX)
First I wanted to be clear that this review is for the 2nd edition(the first edition is pictured here), but for some reason a good quality photo was hard to find. The second edition includes 20+ more pages of new material. Whether or not you ever hung out in train years or hopped a train, this is a very entertaining read that due, to the zine format, never drags out. There’s also a ton of photos of hobos, bums and tramps(and little guides to tell the difference) and the graffiti on trains done by them and rail yard employees. A constant theme throughout is the real identity of the freightcar graffiti artist who came up with the Bozo Texino tag. Lots of speculation in interviews and letters written by current and past rail yard employees and clips from old train industry magazines. It’s a fun read that you don’t really have to do in any particular order for it to be informative and interesting. Perfect backpack book. (Jake)
Microcosm Publishing / 636 SE 11th Ave. / Portland, OR 97214
FULL TITLE: Why We Drive: The Past, Present, and Future of Automobiles in America, by Andy Singer.
“The automobile by its very nature is an inefficient people mover, and this inefficiency and need for space means that it creates sprawl.” And thus the basis of what this book is about. Andy Singer is a Minnesota resident, that takes pride in being without a vehicle for 47 years, and explains to readers why we should all attempt the same. Via quotes, comic / cartoons, and summaries; he explains what America was like at the turn of the 1900s, and how big business and profit goals have drastically changed it for the worse. Phenomenons such as “white flight” out of the cities and into the suburbs would have been impossible without the family car. Singer argues that with increased emphasis on public transit and less on driving, American cities would still have lively and energetic urban cores, and also many less symptoms of air pollution, isolation, and violent crime. With fully half of the 159 pages being comic cartoons, this book is an easy read which can appeal to anyone who makes the effort to read it.
Microcosm Publishing: microcosmpublishing.com
15 blasts of hardcore thrash are on this seemingly self-released tape from New Jersey band S’o’ftdov. This music has been self – described as cyberdelic disnöize / surreal death crust played at d-beat tempo, and the vocals are layered with reverb. The work on the package is superb, including printed lyrics for all songs and a profesionally done band photo. This tape came with a felt backpatch of the cover art, black on grey. Well done!
SöFT DOV: http://softdov.bandcamp.com/
Hailing from St. Paul Minnesota comes a 5 piece punk rock and roll band. If there was one band to define the term Punk Rock & Roll here is the band. All sporting there jean jackets with there love for TURBONEGRO. This cd kicks off with “Darkness Forever” and rocks all the way through to “Heavy Set Girls”. The guitar intro to “Night of the GSD” reminds me a lot of BLUDWULF and a lot of the other guitar riffs remind me of them as well. “Vault 23” is a good through back to the spirit of Rock & Roll of the 80’s with its catchy lyrics and amazing bass riffs. If you like the guitar riffs of MOTORHEAD then “Hell Ride” is the song for you. Personally knowing most of this band, they are a very hard working band and supportive of there scene by playing countless shows and very different venues around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (including The Triple Rock Social Club, The 7th St. Entry, Memory Lanes, Station 4, The Fine Line, Memory Lanes and countless House and DIY spots) This gets the Bezerker stamp of approval PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check this band out. (XbezekerX)
Here is another cassette release from REALITY IS A CULT. The more I get from this label the happier I become. Falter are a very fast hardcore band from Milwaukee Wisconsin. Here is there 6 song demo, very lo-fi and heavy. Guitars are smashing along with the drums very angry vocals on top of all that. All in all not a bad demo very excited to hear more from these guys.(XbezerkerX)
Damn the band is called STABLER who else watches Law and Order SVU like I do? Maybe these guys? STABLER hail from Louisville Kentucky and play a really fast clean form of powerviolence and hardcore. Most of the songs are less then a minute long and this will keep you raging for the entire 8 minutes a total of 10 tracks on different colored cassettes, think WEEKEND NACHOS but more understandable lyrically. You can go download this on REALITY IS A CULT bandcamp page for FREE but throw in some money to support an amazing DIY label. Also check out there website for more awesome releases. (XbezerkerX)
the 2 songs on this flexi 7″ are crusty melodic punk rock from the Midwest. this 4 piece from Omaha use great drum rhythms with guitar melodies and gruff political vocals. the sound is a bit muddy but the bass doesnt get lost in the mix. for fans of melodic crust punk, this is a fully competent band. Released on World Trade Records, and Bezerker Records.
Relentless Approach: www.relentlessapproach.bandcamp.com
World Trade Records: https://myspace.com/worldtraderecords
Bezerker Records: http://xbezerkerrecordsx.bigcartel.com/
every once in a while I get something to review that is a real gem in the underground punk scene. when I first picked this CD up, I thought it was a zine because of the package. the cover art is a hand drawn collage of some political statement about Obama. inside is a Gee Voucher style mini-poster that would be really cool if it was full size. the track listing is layed out like a table of contents, which also make it seem like a zine. highly political lyrics in the pages following cover most anarcho-punk topics, and although they dont mention any womyns topics, Planned Parenthood is mentioned in the Groups to Support section. The CD is 25 songs of Subhumans / Citizen Fish style punk rock with elements of Rudimentary Peni and some reggae dub songs like the mellower side of Conflict or Bad Brains. top notch crisp and clear production with snotty English accent vocals. the art on the back cover is a chimpanzee holding a human skulland laughing at it while a bomb explosion is seen in the background, kind of like saying “you had it coming motherfucker!” this band should bring St Louis back into the spotlight, and I really hope they will come play in Minneapolis! released on their own DIY label Recluse Records, and UK based Active Distribution. a real gem.
Recluse Records: http://www.recluserecords.net/
Active Distribution: http://www.activedistributionshop.org/shop/
whenever I get anything music-wise from California, Im always skeptical at first. with such great music scenes along the coast, I can be very picky as to what bands are good and which ones aren’t. this record is no exception. Death Rock 45 is the latex record from a female fronted “hardcore goth” band that tries but fails to nail the 45 Grave sound. imagine Bikini Kill vocals (but perhaps with more talent) over 1970s heavy rock / punk. the B-side reminds me of Heart mixed with Siouxsie (and the Banshees). singer apparently auditioned for American Idol (Mary Powers). My advice: drop the punk / death rock name, add some more originality, and maybe you will have a decent record. released on Scare America Records.
Death On The Radio: https://www.facebook.com/deathontheradio
Scare America Records: https://myspace.com/scareamericarecords