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AN ASSLOAD OF REVIEWS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2007

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Issue 142 Record Reviews
Issue 143 (24 ann ish) Record Revus
Issue 142 Bonus Review - ROYAL BRAT @ Cafe Berlin
Issue 140 141 Record Revus
Issue 140 141 Show Revu - THE GOLDBUGS @ The Social Room
Issue 140 141 Live Revu - RADKEY @ The Demo
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Issue 139 Live Revu - NOTS @ Rose Music Hall
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Issue 138 Live Revu - Tu Pest Pre Party @ Blank Space
Issue 136-137 Show Revu: New Tongues @ Diva Haus
Issue 136-137 Record Revus
Issue 135 (23 ann) Record Revus
Issue 135 Show Revu - Anti Flag
Issue 134 Streams N Demos (Sex Stains)
Issue 134 Record Reviews
Issue 132 133 Record Reviews
Issue 134 Show Revu : SLEATER-KINNEY @ The Blue Note
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Issue 127 922 ann ish) Record Reviews
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Issue 121 (21st anniverrsary) record reviews
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ISSUE 120 RECORD REVIEWS
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Issue 117 Recording Revus
20th Anniversary Record Revus
Issue 113 Record Revus
A Few Thoughts On the Pussy Riot Case
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18th Anniversary Issue Record Reviews
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Issue 99 Record Revus
DVD Review: Pansy Division Life in a Gay Rock Band
Issue 98 Record Revus
17th anniversary record revues
Live Review: Testament @ Pops May 13 2009
DVD Review - Still We Ride
Ish 95 - Check This Music Out
Issue 95 Record Revus
Gay Beast @ Lemp
Show Review Terra Caput Mundi @ Cafe Berlin
Issue 94 Recording Revus
Issue 93 Record Reviews
92 Zine Reviews - Belated
Bald Eagle @ Mojo's Spetmeber 10, 2008
bellafea @ Lemp September 7, 2008
Ish 92 Record Reviews
Live Review: "Weird Al" Yankovic
16TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE RECORD REVIEWS
Patches, Joe Stickley, Dark Blue Dark Green
Assorted Back Pages
Issue 89 Recording Revus
Ted Leo at the Gargoyl e October 10, 2007
Issue 88 Reviews
Drive In Oddities - The Pom Pom Girls
Issue 87 Reviews
15th Anniversary aside - Love Is Fucked
15th Annivrsary online extra: Love Is Fucked (1994)
Review: The Red Alert at Vintage Vinyl
Review: Degenerettes, Stiff Kittens
Live Review: Battlefields, Rosetta, Midnight Suit
Live Review: KING OF THE ROOTS BATTLE OF THE BANDS
Live Review: MADE OUT OF BABIES, MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT
84 Reviews
AN ASSLOAD OF REVIEWS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2007
LATEST ISSUE ONLINE STUFF
KIND OF SPUR OF THE MOMENT
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THE 2008 STATE OF THE ALMOST SUMMER MESSAGE
HOW TO GET A HOLD OF US
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ISSUE 82 REVIEWS!!!!!!
TIS THE END OF 2007 AS WE KNOW IT ... NOW HERE'S SOME REVIEWS!!!
ISSUE 90/91 RECORDING REVIEW
ISSUE 118/119 Recording Revus
Issue 138 Streams N Demos (Narrow Waves)

   We here at The Trouble With Normal want to hear your music.  Feel free to send your vinyl, CDs or tapes (“for sale” only or at least take the effort to make a cover for them.  This goes for CD-R’s also.) to our cramped but we call it home P.O. Box for review.  It may take us a while to get to them (we do have to deal with the not so wonderful world of backlog and other obligations not related to the zine), but we will review them in time and guarantee an honest review as we see it (how you take them is up to you).  Until then, here are some recordings that just might interest you.  Please feel free to read on, get interested, and hope you find something you like.  Boone.

ABATERIA – “Presenta Su Somido Indestructible” CD

      This was one of those surprises that came our way during the (seemingly) long cold winter of 2007 – Abateria coming out of retirement for a brief gig and to resale their new CD.  This disc finds the seasoned band laying down a collection of Latin dance songs rooted in a Cuban son vibe as well as various world and Latin music influences.  These Spanish language songs are full of tight percussion grooves, melodic nylon sting guitar work and a vibe and energy that would have you convinced they were from Latin America or a Spanish speaking part of the Caribbean rather than the middle of Missouri.  Unfortunately, this disc may also be their swan song given their previous retirement and the long distances between band members.  Still, those people with an interest in  Latin dance music will find Abateria enjoyable.  (BOONE)

(www.abateria.com)

 

BAD LIEUTENANTS – “Every Time I Come Around” CD

      This disc was in the backlog pile for a little while so when I got to it again the cover had me both curious and a little wary.  Musically this band revels in straight ahead raw punk flavored hard rock from two different band incarnations (the latter songs feature a second guitarist) full of snide sarcastic lyrics regarding women, dealing with people, religion, recovery, and even Christmas to name a few things.  While some of their material appears lyrically to be more for shock’s sake the hooks are enough to make up for it on many songs.  Though a couple tracks seem to be filler on first listen, this album will have its fans overall.  (BOONE)

(www.teenageheart.com)

 

JELLO BIAFRA – “In The Grip Of Official Treason” triple CD

      I’ve really wanted to finally have the time to review this for a while now.  The latest spoken word document from Jello finds him continuing the examination of the world around us, focusing mainly on the Bush administration’s foreign policy.  Beginning with his Rock Against Bush appearance from 2004 (pre election), the album continues to look at foreign policy, the war in Iraq, the mainstream Democrats, increasing surveillance, the Bush administration, Hurricane, Katrina, communication and more.  It can seem to be an overwhelming listen to some, but there’s enough here to inspire, provoke thought, anger, shock, and surprise people.  Due to the gap between recording and release there are a couple of things that changed since this came out (remember many of things on here are still going on in one way or another), but overall this is the education that most people should get (and unfortunately rarely do).  This is a must have for anyone interested in social commentary and is angry enough to want to change it.  (BOONE)

(Alternative Tentacles Records. P.O. Box 419092. San Francisco, CA 94141-9092. www.alternativetentacles.com)

 

DREW DANBURRY – “Live From Detroit 2006” CDEP

      I picked this up when I saw Danburry in concert a while back but couldn’t get around to fully checking it out until now.  This disc documents Danburry’s show at Baltimore’s Charm City Art space last year.  Here, in stripped down fashion, the songs highlight a mix of introspection and humor with just an acoustic (an acoustic-electric actually) guitar backing him up (though one song has an audience singalong).  Whether singing a personal song or commenting on early gangsta rap such as Dr. Dre and NWA (metaphor – you be the judge), the lack of pretense makes for an interesting listen.  It’s a nice lo-fi document on Danburry’s live show.  This is definitely worth checking out.  (BOONE)

(www.drewdanburry.com)

 

DUFUS – “The Last Classed Blast” CD

      I’ve been meaning to get to this for a while but this got misplaced so I didn’t get to it until I was rummaging through some pile of CDs and came across it.  The latest from Dufus carries on their trajectory of eclectic art/folk rock with enough twists and turns to surprise you.  These acoustic guitar based songs are personal examination that factor in a variety of life experiences and take us along on the ride. However, this is far from typical singer-songwriter fare incorporating elements of art rock, soul, blues and a punk attitude at moments.  This album won’t be everyone’s cup of sake, but Dufus’ sound and vibe has a sense of the unexpected that’s refreshing in this day and age.  If you’re interested in checking out something different, get this disc.  (BOONE)
(Iron Man Records. P.O. Box 9121. Birmingham, B13 8AU. UK. www.ironmanrecords.co.uk)

 

FINAL CONFLICT – “No Peace On Earth No Rest In Hell” CD

      I was definitely surprised when I found out Final Conflict was back and this came our way.  The latest from this band’s current incarnation blasts out sonic burst of metal tinged hardcore punk full of simmering, almost explosive medium to fast tempos and ferocious power chords.  Lyrically the band tackles topics such as war, societal repression, religion, comparing Iraq to Vietnam, addicition, and the like dished out full of anger and rage.  While there has been a lot of changes over the band’s history, their sound carries on where it left off.  In an age where punk and metal crossing wires has gained a lot wider acceptance in some circles, it kicks ass to see the return of one of the subgenre’s initiators after a long absence.  Get this album.  (BOONE)
(S.O.S. Records. P.O. Box 3017. Corona, CA 92878. www.sosrecords.us)

 

THE GENTLEMAN CALLERS – “Don’t Say What It Is” CD

      Doing a zine has its good points and its difficulties.  Between doing it, your paying job, and the other things involved in everyday life that need to be done it becomes part of the job to try and make sure things don’t fall through the crack.  This somehow managed to do that when I came across it in one of my backlog piles and put it on.  On this album The Gentleman Callers dish out a batch of energetic garage rock songs packed full of melodic hooks and a snide attitude.  Whether taking on full on raveups or more mid tempo fare, the disc is full of tasty (often greasy) guitar parts and swaggering vocals.  Admittedly their influences are on their sleeves at times, but the band has enough verve and fire to compensate for any slight derivation in their songcraft.  The music of the Gentleman Callers is music you want to hear when you need a jolt of energy.  It’s been out for a while but I’m kinda kicking myself for not getting to it sooner.  (BOONE)
(Wee Rock Records. P.O. Box 333. Springfield, MO 65801. www.weerockrecords.com)

 

THE HI FREQUENCIES – “Money Isn’t Everything” CD

      This came my way a while back but I was busy with other obligations and wasn’t able to really check this out until now.  The latest from The Hi Frequencies is full of rock’n’roll songs with a distinctly early 60s flavor, combining instrumentals with vocal songs all built on clean guitar and hooks that wouldn’t be out of place on an oldies station.  The vibe of this band won’t be everybody’s 40 oz of malt liquor but the Hi Frequencies passion for early rock n’ roll and their ability to create hooks with relative ease make them a breath of fresh sea air given how homogenized a lot of music tends to be these days.  If you’re into late 50s/early 60s rock songs and ever wondered if any bands sound like that now, check these guys out.  (BOONE)

(Teen Regime Records. P.O. Box 100167. Pittsburgh, PA 15233. www.teenregimerecords.com)

 

THE ITCH – “The Courage To Be Heard” CD

      I know it sounds like a cliché but I’d been going through my backlog pile of CDs lately and while straightening things up I found this CD.  These guys seem to exist in the gray area blending raw greasy punk rock seasoned with elements of garage, and surf instrumental music.  The songs are delivered meat and potatoes with a fair amount of sarcasm as they take on such topics as women, sex, the Internet, and jail along with a few instrumentals.  Simple and often in your face, The Itch’s music is not reinventing the wheel obviously but their snide take on punk leaning rock will have some appeal to many readers.  (BOONE)

(Wee Rock Records. P.O. Box 333. Springfield, MO 65801. www.weerockrecords.com)

 

PARTYLINE – “Zombie Terrorist” CD

      This disc I wanted to get to when it came out a few months back, but the backlog made it impossible (though I reviewed it in the last issue of our comrade zine The Broadslide) until I finally got it in here.  Partyline’s full length debut finds them picking up where they left off with their crude but fun style of punk rock channeled into sing along songs with a lot of hooks and attitude while also filtering in elements of early new wave and even power pop.  Their songs this time tear into topics ranging from the firebombing of the abortion clinic Allison’s mom helped to run, zero tolerance in schools, sexism, relationships, et al with a mix of anger, worry, and even some hope amidst the sarcasm.  It’s a far cry from the corporate created pop that’s marketed as punk these days, and I get the feeling they wouldn’t have it any other way.  Get this album any way you legally can.  (BOONE)

(Retard Disco Records. P.O. Box 461163. Los Angeles, CA 90046  www.retarddisco.com)

 

THE ROGUE NATIONS – “The American Ruins” EP

      I was going through a bunch of seven inches I’d gotten recently and came across this; meaning to check this out for a while I put it on.  This is melodic high-energy punk rock with rhythms that call vintage HC to mind and hooks out the ass.  These songs are socially aware battle cries tackling Pat Robertson, suburban (and exurban) stagnation, military recruiting and class war, punk legend Alice Bag and more with the right mix of adrenaline, power and intellect.  Passionate and heartfelt, the Rogue Nations manage to sidestep some of a new band’s pitfalls, avoiding the clichés that can hinder both pop-punk and hardcore bands.  I hadn’t been able to check this out for a while due to work and other obligations I had to deal with, now I’m kicking myself for that.  If you have a turntable to play vinyl on, get this.  (BOONE)
(Suicide Watch Records. P.O. Box 9599. Charlotte, NC 28299 www.suicidewatchrecords.com)

 

THE SUBHUMANS (cANADA)– “New Dark Age Parade” LP

      One of the surprises of the past year was hearing about a reunion of this Vancouver, Canada band.  So when news of a new album came out way we were interested.  The “comeback” album from The Subhumans (labeled here as Subhumans (Canada) to avoid confusion with the UK band Subhumans) bursts out the speakers with a collection of catchy but rough around the edges melodic punk.  A blend of overadrenalined power chords and midtempo hooks that won’t let go, this trio turns songs into battle cries decrying the injustice of the current world taking on war, religion, foreign policy, corporate consolidation and more.  The vintage vibes here are as memorable as the songs are angry with tons of crunchy guitars (both electric and acoustic) and a delivery full of piss, vinegar and passion.  Great to see the Canadian band The Subhumans back after all these years.  Get this album.  (BOONE)

(Alternative Tentacles Records. P.O. Box 419092. San Francisco, CA 94141-9092. www.alternativetentacles.com)

 

SYBIL VANE – cassette EP

      Yes, you read that right – this is a cassette.  I got this when I traded a zine with the band when they played the first show ever at No Coast.  This band’s demo is a short collection of their piano driven post punk take on pop standards, opera, polka and the like using only (electronic) piano and drums as a backdrop.  While this might sound like a yawner, Molly’s operatic vocals move the songs forward and give a different twist on these songs from Cole Porter, Schubert, and Bikini Kill (yes, you read that right – they cover Bikini Kill on here, using an accordion).  Those who might have some interest in opera or old chestnuts will appreciate these songs (even the polka and the opera numbers).  However, the recording quality seems a little on the lo-fi side with some noticeable hiss if played at low volumes.  However, taking the tactics they do makes it come out of left field (hell, I saw them at an infoshop/performance space – not some recital hall).  I admit Sybil Vane won’t be everyone’s thing, but they pull this off relatively well (though it would’ve been interesting to hear these arrangements a little more fleshed out) and they deserve props for taking these songs out of music appreciation classes and recital halls.  (BOONE)
(Growler Distro. P.O. Box 9056. Denver, CO 80209)

 

TOTAL CHAOS – “Freedom Kills’ CD

      I’d been meaning to check this disc out for a while but somehow managed to misplace it after I got organized shortly after getting it.  I was beyond happy when I came across this again while looking for something else. Total Chaos’ latest find them continuing their sonic onslaught of HC punk with a metal flavor.  Kicking things off with an “emergency notice” (backed by an air raid sound), they move onto songs decrying the state of Amerikkka, the Project for a New American Century (the neocon think tank that gave us the current fiasco in Iraq), school, systemic oppression et al with blazing guitars and a feel that’s more stripped down than some of their earlier work.  Add to this a booklet that combines lyrics to some of the songs with mini essays and artwork related to some of the themes and topics the band covers and you have a killer hardcore album that stays faithful to the genre while managing to avoid clichés.  (BOONE)

(S.O.S. Records. P.O. Box 3017. Corona, CA 92878. www.sosrecords.us)

 

T.S.R. (THE SOCIALLY RETARDED) – “As One Voice” CD

      I had some free time on my hands recently and decided to put on some music I had in the backlog pile, where I came across this.   TSR throw down mid tempo melodic punk with a modern feel that filters in elements of metal and HC in it.  With a knack for a hook and a lot of energy, what emerges from this are songs commenting on the world around them ranging from personal topics like friendship to topics like oppression and the war in Iraq for example.  However, while the songwriting is good, the recording seems a little on the restrained side and not a rough around the edges as it really should be (at least in my opinion).  Despite this TSR created a CD that fans of more recent punk will appreciate on some level.  (BOONE)

(Mental Records. 2640 E. Burnett Rd. Suite E-331. Medford, OR 97504 www.mentalrecords.net). 

READING LIST BEFORE GOING BACK TO PRISO-ER, I MEAN SCHOOL!!!

            Yes, the TTWN reading review section is back.  Feel free to send in any zines or books you put out to our cramped for space and hungry for mail P.O. Box for a honest review by us.  Remember, an underground culture can only be covered and looked at if we know about it.  If you find something you think is interesting, let the people who do them know and ask for a copy.  There’s only one this time around but we’re going to have a big zines, books, etc section next issue, so stay tuned.  By the way, if you don’t like the zines you’ve read or think you can do better, start your own.  Boone.  

APPLICANT/$3.00

1/4 sized.  paperback 

I got this a little while back and have wanted to review this but couldn’t get to this before now.  This mini book (and previous zine) was assembled after finding decades old confidential PhD applicant files from an Ivy League University in a recycling bin.  Included with many were the attached photos of the applicants.  In this edition, the pictures have been printed above quotes from the personality and strength assessments from former professors or formed employers.  While this doesn’t sound like much, it actually is an interesting document that highlights how the education system operates with the quotes hinting at social mores of the time as well as the possible preferences of those who filled the profile for the students.  The introduction states many of these applicants have most likely gotten their degrees and may be professors, but who knows for sure.  (BOONE)

(Microcosm Publishing. P.O. Box 14332. Portland, OR 97293. microcosmpublishing.com)

THE CIA MAKES SCIENCE FICTION UNEXCITING #4/$1.50

1/4 sized. Printed.  32 pp.

      It’s always something a bit different to check out when we come across a new issue of this booklet/tract-sized zine.  This time around, they examine the history of Puerto Rico’s independence movement and the assassination of independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios.  Fairly in depth for its size, the brief read looks at the colonalism tat island has faced, occupation from both Spain and the U.S., FBI reaction to those seeking independenca and more.  Given how this topic can fill (and has filled) books, this zine isn’t that massively comprehensive.  However, this is a damn good primer on the issue and a good basic straight-ahead read.  (BOONE)

(Microcosm Publishing. P.O. Box 14332. Portland, OR 97293. www.microcosmpublishing.com)

 

GIVE ME BACK #51/$1.50 in postage

81/2x11.  Newsprint.  64 pages

      I picked this up at a show recently and was curious.  The debut issue of this zine is a continuation of the controversial HC zine HeartattacK  (which closed up last year).  GMB kicks their zine run off with interviews with Seein Red (from Holland), Tiny Hawks, Donna of Richmond , VA’s C.L.I.T. Fest (see this issue for review of locally held benefit for it), an article from Philly Pissed and Philly Stands Up about sexual assault, reviews, columns and more.  Given the state of flux in which this zine finds itself (the strange combination of both starting anew and continuing another zine – hence the numbering of the debut ish as #51 rather than #1 – which will confuse people), there are some rough spots in relation to this.  However, much of this zine (especially the article on sexual assault) is done in such a matter that makes this a much more than worthwhile read along the way.  While I was always somewhat on the fence regarding HeartattacK, I find myself interested in what this zine has to say.  Pick this up if you can.  (BOONE)
(P.O. Box 73691. Washington, DC 20056)

All material copyright 2007 - Boone Stigall/The Trouble With Normal except where noted.