Friday, June 6, 2014

Sparks Film Review

This originally appeared on Film Threat.  Published 6/4/14.  Read the Sparks review here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Unclench Araby Review

This was originally published in 1998 in issue 13 of Married Punks.

Unclench Araby

Unclench is back!  (Though the band is no more.)  With new songs, old songs and new members, this band is/was stronger than ever.  I kid you not, Unclench is becoming my favorite hardcore band.  It's raw, powerful, intelligent and driven.  Unclench is everything a hardcore band should be.

I could go on and say things about a full-length release being needed, but that's pointless now.  Mark my words, though, this band is incredible.  Check it out, and thank me later.  Hell, one of my columnists threatened to sue me if the band sucked, and I don't have legal papers before me, so figure it out yourself.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Unbelievable Jolly Machine 7" Review

This was originally published in issue 13 of Married Punks from 1998.

Unbelievable Jolly Machine 7"

UJM does the theme song for the Scud video game.  Neat.

That said, this seven inch moves!  I liked it even better than the Flap Jack CD.

The music, which reminds me of several different bands, though I can't put my finger on a single one, is energetic, schizo and fascinating.  Both of the songs ("Bitter" and "This is My Life") were like a fine Italian meal.  Filling.  Tasty.  A smooth blend of flavors.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Todos Tus Muertos Review

This was originally published in issue 13 of Married Punks from 1998.

Todos Tus Muertos Argentina to Asesina

"Argentina Will Kill Ya" is the translation of this CD's title.  If Argentina doesn't do the job, Todos Tus Muertos will.  This live CD has 14 tracks of pure firepower that encompasses punk, reggae and beats from the band's home country.  This group is angry and political, just how a good band should be

One of my favorite songs, "Dale Aborigen" is here too, which makes this even more necessary to true music fans and revolutionaries.

Grita! makes magic again.

*Grita is the band's label.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Training for Utopia Review

This was originally published in issue 13 of Married Punks from 1998.

Training for Utopia Plastic Soul Impalement

If you notice the record label [Tooth & Nail Records], you may have an inkling of what drives this band: God!

Forget that.  God doesn't matter.  He's a myth.  The music on this release, however, is far from a fairy tale.  It's hard hitting, in your face, screaming, industrial metal.  It's powerful and pulls no punches.  There's a bit of a spiritual message to the lyrics, sure, but nothing I couldn't handle.  "Single Handed Attempt at Revolution" even takes a nice swipe at Marilyn Manson.  Take my advice, Training for Utopia, Satanism is just as ridiculous as Christianity.  The two are interwoven, yes, and Satanism is wrong and weak, but only because it links itself to Christianity at some points.

Overall, an excellent release.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nothing Men Out in Paperback

Nothing Men is finally out in paperback.  If anyone is interested in obtaining an autographed copy, please contact me. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Third Harmonic Distortion Review

This was originally published in issue 13 of Married Punks from 1998.

Third Harmonic Distortion

Like noisy guitars?  Like feedback?  Like emotional vocals?  Like to hear "Psycho Killer" from Talking Heads covered?  Like people that get ungodly sounds from their instruments?  Well, I do.  Therefore, I like Third Harmonic Distortion.  I'm not a big fan of having to search for hidden tracks, though, so that's a complaint, but my only one.

A lot of people have compared this band to Fugazi.  I wouldn't go that far, but if you dig Fugazi's sound, you just may like this.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Space Cookie Your CD Collection Still Sucks Review

This was originally published in issue 13 of Married Punks, published in 1998.

Space Cookie Your CD Collection Still Sucks

This CD is a collection of rare songs and out of circulation 7"s bearing the Space Cookie name.  Interesting.  It seems that I've been missing out on some decent punk rock.

At times, there are hints of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, and at others, Rancid, but with more balls, for lack of a better word.  Great get-your-ass moving music that belongs in your CD player.

I don't, however, think that every song is a classic.  Instead of dwelling on that though, listen to "Surfstoff," "Dreamtime" and "Gun, Butts and Glory."  Those are the stand-out tunes.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Savatage The Wake of Magellan Review

This originally appeared in issue 13 of Married Punks, which was published in 1998.

Savatage The Wake of Magellan

I've always considered Savatage to be a loser band.  After all, my brother saw them at the Airport City Music Hall in Allentown, PA during the Gutter Ballet Tour and stole a bunch of tapes from the guys' tour bus when he was invited to hang out with them.

That said, this CD blew me away.

Zachary Stevens handles the vocals, singing writer Paul O'Neil's lyrics with aplomb.  The end result is a hard rock opera that is incredibly well done.  Imagine Billy Joel, who is a successful songwriter becase he writes catch songs, doing a hard rock concept album.  Sound strange?  It is, but it works.  One can't aruge that Savatage's heart isn't in this.

I don't want to go into the story on the CD, but I do want to mention that this has changed my view on Savatage.  Stevens, back by a band that acts almost like an orchestra, brings a voice to this story that will chill you to the bone.

True music fans of whatever genre will agree that this is one hell of a release.  People who look to music for little more than entertainment may find this hard to swallow.  Their loss.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Red Aunts Ghetto Blaster Review

Originally published in issue #13 of Married Punks.  Published in 1998.

Red Aunts Ghetto Blaster

Red Aunts are everything the Spice Girls are not (no matter how much Larry Livermore likes that band).  They are talented, clit fortified, raw and angry.  Red Aunts is real girl power.

Ghetto Blaster is twelve songs fueled by emotion of the worst kind.  "Poison Steak," the second song on the CD, exemplifies all that is good in this band.  Oddly enough, though, Red Aunts doesn't seem to have gotten the respect the band deserves.  I'm here to garner it upon it.  All hail Red Aunts -- pure guitar punk queens.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reagan Youth Live & Rare Review

Originally appeared in Married Punks 13, which was published in 1998. Reagan Youth Live & Rare Reagan Youth, in its day, was anti-Nazi and pro-anarchy (the two should always go hand in hand), and that's why it's great that New Red Archives, one of the best punk labels around, has released this. Face it, a lot of today's "popular" punk is sorely lacking in the political department. Live & Rare is exactly what it claims to be. It's live cuts from CBGB's and demo versions of songs. The straightforward punk of "It's a Beautiful Day," "New Aryans," "USA," "Are You Happy?" and "In Dog We Trust" are the epitome of good punk music. Sadly, the singer, Dave Insurgent, never got the recognition he and the band deserved. Dave killed himself after his mother's death, his girlfriend's murder at the hands of serial killer Joel Rifkin, and years of drug abuse. This is a fitting way to remember him.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Pressure Review

Originally published in issue 13 of Married Punks in 1998 The Pressure Is there a bit of Man or Astroman? influence here? Who cares? This spacey, experimental stuff is go in my book. The vocals, what little there is, are similar to the style Doug Evil used in Orgy of One, for all you old-timer completists. On the downside, there's only three songs. I want more! Oh well, maybe next time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Polar Bear Review

This originally appeared in Married Punks #13, published in 1998.

Polar Bear

Polar Bear is a trio with Thoman Van Wendt, Biff Sanders of Ethyl Meatplow and Eric Avery of Jane's Addiction, which should've broke up after Nothing's Shocking.  That said, I think I can openly admit to finding this band ... interesting.

With a feeling of something almost gothic, this band has put together a slightly unique sound that surprised me.  "Water," the second of five songs, really had some cool samples in it an an excellent groove.

I'm not overly impressed by this band, but I'm not dismissing it either.  That's too premature.  I want to see where it's headed before passing final judgment.