7even Inches

7even Inches

Audio Explorations Audio Expolorations 7″ (Stripmine) I’ve been struggling to write this review for a few months now; I’m finding it difficult to judge the songs on this record by themselves, without taking into consideration Audio Exploration’s continually-evolving sound. At this juncture, the duo finds itself tangling with analog influences and minimalist structures, resulting in something that will surely appeal to Stereolab and High Llamas fans. Of course, given the band’s history, this might be just a passing phase, but it’s worth catching regardless. (IK) • Benumb Gear in the Machine (Relapse) This is what I want to see more of — death metal that is actually audible and listenable from Relapse. The one thing that makes me kinda hesitant about this band is the homemade looking drawing on 7″ label. I mean, come on, it looks gay. In this day and age of computers (and Kinko’s), there’s no reason for shitty drawings. Especially when you are on Relapse. (BS) • Blacktops We Desist! (In the Red) Double seven-inch record of go-go punk rock. Three songs on two records: “Hide and Go Seek (Pt.s 1 and 2),” “Self-Destruct Sequence,” and “Baby.” Good, garage-punk sounds. (DLB) • Blake Lamplight (Spectra Sonic Sound) Busy, up front drums and quick, repetitive guitar characterize this powerful mathy trio from Canada. Constant, smart changes link this to Braid in my mind, although Blake lean much more towards the hardcore side — they don’t sound like Braid at all. Regardless, all four songs rock. $4 ppd. (AC) • Boss Martians Boss-A-Martian-Nova b/w Evan’s Bossa Nova (Estrus) With a stylish Boss-O-Nova design, the single slides out and starts spinning… Ay Carumba! Bossa Nova Surf Psychedelicious! High strung twanged out instrumental a-side with some beautiful Latin percussion and cool daddi-o organ holding the dance together. The b-side is a bit more spaced out, Boss Martians doing what they do, giving Man or Astroman a race in space. hit the stars hard and ride the spiral arm of the galaxy doing the bossa nova on your silver surfboard. (MF) • Braindance/Oxymoron Mohican Melodies Split 7″ (Knock-Out) England-German Oi! team-up. Tattooed, mohawked, and big boot-wearing punk rock on banana vinyl. (DLB) • Catbox alt.sex.me/Why Don’t You Die? (This is Me, Unconscious) Two great new songs from the all-girl, hardcore trio, Catbox. They sound like a mix between Bratmobile and Tribe 8. These songs are so raunchy they make the Lunachicks sound like a church choir. (PB) • Cleveland Bound Death Sentence Cleveland Bound Death Sentence (THD) This band boasts St. Patrick of Dillinger 4 and Aaron Cometbus of Pinhead Gunpowder/Crimpshrine fame and it sounds pretty much like the middle ground between those bands. That’s a pretty good place to be. Six fast pop punk songs with lyrics by Mr. Cometbus on 5 of them. I’m beginning to think that the future of pop punk will be determined in the Twin Cities. (JR) • Clotted Symetric Sex Organ Budokan (Relapse) REALLY experimental Japanese noise shit. Sounds like a 70s TV theme song on crack. They’re stretching what is titled “music” with this one… (BS) • Dillinger 4 more songs about girlfriends and bubblegum (Mutant Pop) My vote for pop punk record of year! It’s nice to hear catchy punk rock that ROCKS and has intelligent lyrics (plus a sense of humor) for a change. This is my favorite record by D4 so far, but that’s not to say that you would be disappointed with any of their other ones. Everyone should own a copy of this. A full length should be on the way soon. I wish they’d tour more. I really can’t recommend this enough. (JR) • The Dirtbombs All Geeked Up (In the Red) Dirty punk rock that sounds like it was recorded in someone’s outhouse. Four songs, including the incredible “I’m Saving Myself for Nichelle Nichols.” For you degenerates out there. (DLB) • The Discocks 7″ Class of ’94 (Knock Out) Big contender for best punk rock 7″ of the decade. Four songs from Japan’s response to the Dickies, Exploited, et al. If this is any indication, there is a serious, serious 1977 punk rock scene in Tokyo going on right now. If you don’t have a record player, find a friend who does, but above all else, get this and listen to it. (DLB) • The Inbreds Yelverton Hill (Summershine) Two guys creating music. Sweetness and sadness. Melancholic pop fix for star gazing wishful thinking. Mike and Dave have put together honesty and melody and managed to speak through these sounds. There’s a definite low-fi slant to the production, but the rawness gives this pop an edge of light that doesn’t shine too often on other bands. The b-side is a very beatlesque pop song, slightly minimalized in true Inbred style, and at times the vocals have an early Elvis Costello stain upon them, and that’s just fine with me. Minimal soda pop. Full of bubbles. (MF) • Jones Crusher On Your Own (Nesak International) Top-notch NYC punk rock. Great guitars, melody, and sneers. On green vinyl, too. (DLB) • Karate operation: sand/empty there (Southern) More slow indie/emo rock from this Boston band. If you’re a fan, you won’t be surprised. The two songs on this record would fit very nicely on their last LP in place of real insight — also on Southern. To newcomers, this is a pretty good intro into what Karate is about. They’re far from the most exciting band, but they use space so well that it’s almost another member. (JR) • Karp Prison Shake (Up) Another one from UP, Karp are simultaneously heavy and slow and fast. They don’t sound happy. Punk Rock fusing with Heavy Metal isn’t necessarily a good thing, but with the way Karp structure this fusion you get something that works. Not all the time, mind you, but for those days when you feel like nothing matters and you want to rage against the world around you but you can’t find a place to rage… Just play Karp… Loud. Feel it well up inside your chest, your throat. Feel your head shake throb pound. -Marcel Feldmar (MF) • Lost In Translation 2×7″ (Burnt Hair) Jace Krause is Lost In Translation. Literally. You’ll know what I mean after you hear this four-song EP. Website. http://members/tripod.com/~L-I-T. A weird slant, aggro background muzak. (RTT) • Melt-Banana 7″ (Slap-A-Ham) Another amazing record from the Japanese mad genius god/goddesses of speedy, intelligent noise-core/grind. Innovative, bizarre, driving structures host eight spastic compositions with high, distinctive chihuahua-esque vocals. Insane, strangely catchy, and superb. (AC) • The Mercury Program The Mercury Program (Boxcar) This new Jensen Beach group features ex-members of Yusef’s Well. This is very Hoover-esque but in a leaner and meaner way than YW was. Expect big things out of these guys this time around. I was really blown away when I saw them live not too long ago. This is my favorite east coast Florida band on my favorite east coast Florida label. That may not be a very prestigious award, due mainly to the lack of any serious competition, but both the band and label are very deserving of your support. (JR) • Modest Mouse Other People’s Lives (Up) It’s another single from Seattle’s darlings of indie rock, and no, I don’t mean Harvey Danger… I mean Modest Mouse. No, they don’t sound like the Pixies. Yeah, I guess there is some Built to Spill inspiration. Mars Accelerator sound like Modest Mouse? The mouse sounds like mars? Mouse on Mars? What?? Now we’re way off track. No, Modest Mouse sound nothing like Mouse on Mars, and yes, Sometimes you can hear hints of Modest Mouse in the songs of Mars Accelerator. Anyhowz, this single has the seven minute slow drowning sonic indie a-side, makes me think that indie rock goth is an area that needs to be explored more by someone. The b-side is prettier. Pick flowers with your eyes closed and hold hands with a sweetheart and hum the tune to Grey Ice Water. How west coast. (MF) • Murder City Devils Dancing Shoes (Die Young) …do you know where murder city is? These guys know. They live in it. Garage swing punk with Iggy Pop dancing shoes. These ain’t no ruby slippers, them shoes are stained with blood. What I want to know is why are these songs always too short. Rolling drums and crushed guitars that stop right when the waters begin to boil. The b-side is a bit more sparse, but still a gritty rock ‘n’ roll rave up colored tokyo gold. In your face and loving it. Detroit touched but burning with a fire of their own. (MF) • The Musk Oxen Yakkity-Yak (Eskimo) The punk rock scene above the Arctic Circle is something to be watched in the coming days if the Musk Oxen are any indication. While playing a blazing punk cover of “Yakkity-Yak,” the b-side original, “I Said ‘Mush’,” sounds like they’re trying to be the ice age Ramones. On clear vinyl. (NC) • Nightcaps You Lied (Estrus) Heartbroken swingin’ at the beach party. “You Lied” is a smokin’ go-go dancin’ ditty with tough girl vocals and garage guitars. Catchy and jaded and paying respects to some purely cinematic visions. This isn’t lounge, it’s what you listen to after you’ve left the lounge where your boyfriend became your ex-boyfriend and you feel like crying, but you don’t want to cry… you want to get angry, you want to get angry with style. You light up a smoke, get in your big red boat of a car, head towards the depths of the city nightlife with the Nightcaps blaring on the tape deck. The b-side is a Lee Hazlewood tune sending shivers of cigarette smoke and shadows through the speakers. Secret agent sounds with sunglasses, shot in slow motion black and white. (MF) • The Rebels 7″ Diggin Up the Dom (Knock Out) Previously unreleased 1979 demo from UK punks who went their separate ways and formed the Angelic Upstarts, Red Alert, and Red London. Great snot-nosed punk rock. Good punk rock novelty to have. (DLB) • REO Speedealer Double Clutchin’ Finger Fuckin’ (Royalty) Unstoppable Texas Guitarsaw Massacre that can’t be beat. Good candidates for the Mötörhead of the new Millennium. (DLB) • Soilent Green A String of Lies EP (Relapse) Good, solid, aggressive, grinding metal with a bit of a Cajun punch. 1998 marks the 10th anniversary of Soilent Green, who celebrate man’s inhumanity to man. (DLB) • Tomorrowland Futurist bw Sea of Tranquility 7″ (Burnt Hair) This kind of ambient droning makes me think — what Sub Pop did for rock, Burnt Hair are doing for more esoteric forms of electronica. Poor man’s ambient? (RTT) • 22 Jacks/Wank Split 7″ (Time Bomb) Sorry folks, but I hated this. Not enough piss and vinegar and too much weeping. Both bands need to do something about their energy crises to be called “punk,” which is what they’re usually billed as. (DLB) • We Will Fall Iggy Pop Tribute Sampler (Royalty) Good collector’s item to go along with the full-length We Will Fall album. Pansy Division does “Loose,” Adolph’s Dog (find out the name of Hitler’s dog and you’ll know the real name of this band) does “Ordinary Bummer,” and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts do “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Cover by Mike Diana. (DLB) • Keith Welsh 9:35am (Thinktank) Keith Welsh is a man who can listen to any Smiths or Morrissey song and honestly say “been there, done that.” This seven inch is emo rock without the rock. One man, one guitar, and four songs of longing, loss, and graceful understanding that will send your emotions spinning out of control. Look for a full length coming soon, and if you ever get a chance to see him live, take a tissue. Better yet, take a box. (KM)

Who Wrote About Them

Phil Bailey • David Lee Beowülf • Andrew Chadwick • Nanoonk Cohen-Smythe • Marcel Feldmar • Ian Koss • Keith Mercer • Jason Rockhill • Brian Shelley • Richard T Thurston

Where to Get Them

Boxcar Records, P.O. Box 1141, Melbourne, FL 32902 • Burnt Hair, P.O. Box 5519, Dearborn, MI 48128 • Die Young, 1932 1st ave, Suite 1103, Seattle, WA 98101 • Eskimo Records, Third Igloo on the Left, Thule, Greenland 00000. • Estrus Records, P.O. Box 2125, Bellingham, WA 98227 • In The Red, 2627 E. Strong Pl., Anaheim, CA 92806 • Mutant Pop Records, 5010 NW Shasta, Corvallis, OR 97330 • Nesak International, 21000 Boca Rio Rd. #A15, Boca Raton, FL 33433 • Relapse, P.O. Box 251, Millersville, PA 17751; http://www.relapse.com • Royalty Records, 176 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 • Slap-A-Ham, P.O. Box 420843, San Francisco, CA 94142-0843 • Southern Records, P.O. Box 577375, Chicago, IL 60657 • Spectra Sonic Sound, Box 80067, Ottawa, ON K1S 5N6 Canada; http://www.cyberus.ca/~scallen • Stripmine Recordings, 313 Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202; audio@zb.net • Summershine, P.O. Box 23392, Seattle, WA 98102 • THD, P.O. Box 18661, Minneapolis, MN 55418 • Thinktank Records, 15551 71st Place North, West Palm Beach, FL 33470 • This is Me, Unconscious Records, P.O. Box 23467, Coma, NY 10783 • Time Bomb, 219 Broadway #519, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 • Up Records, P.O. Box 21328, Seattle, WA 98111

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