chump change

Dresden 45 – Paradise Lost (expanded)Dresden 45 – Paradise Lost (expanded)
re-issue on Arclight Records

YEEEEAAAAAH! Punk fucking rock! Thrashing hardcore with substance and a wide speculum – meaning they stretch open this beast called humanity and expose all the bare nasty stank of it, pull the grisly pieces out and lay them on the table. This band will beat up your band. Hard to believe, but this record is just as bad-ass as their live show that left spacks of ground humanoid beef on the floor. I mean, put it this way: this record kicks your pinly ass and your fat friend’s ass too. The whole thing – it’s like watching Mad Max and eating three Casino burgers – a big, fat, fulfilling series of head-on collisions between self-destruction and annihilation of everybody stupid in general.

Fast, raging, raw, straight from the balls. No contrived poser horseshit here. Squaggling metallic leads and vicious juvenile delinquent tantrum yelling – gaaddammit that Brumby has got a cool voice. He writes kickass lyrics too – wisely blunt, taut and rhythmic, sardonic observations and valid complaints from worldly to petty. Stylie details splattered here and there: raunchy skratching and voice-of-authority narratives. Favorite tracks: Smoke – a harsh ridicule of weak, phony people and habits; and Briar Patch – a tore-up account of trying to leave home... but, wherever you go, you bring yourself. Or you run into the same shit you’re running away from?
This is not the same old shit. This is good shit, from the old school; D45 has aced the test of time. And they beat the snot outta all these star-search assembly-line nu-metal whine-core pussy-farts. 20 tracks of ass-beating bliss. What more do you want? Buy it! And like the sleeve says, play it loud. Or I’m-a kill ya!

- Bek Sabbath

Sex Slaves – NikkiSex Slaves – Nikki

I hate doing reviews. I always get stuck doing reviews for bands that are friends of mine. Unfortunately, the CD/show that I have to review ends up suuuuuuuucking. It’s always a battle between telling the truth and wording things to ensure that my tires don’t get slashed. With this in mind, I shoved Sex Slaves’ debut EP, Nikki, into my stereo. As always, I prepped for having to diplomatically slag a lemon of a record while trying to stay on the good side of some really cool guys. Thankfully, Sex Slaves saved me the hassle. This record is a rocker. As a glam/punk/rock band that only NYC can produce, Sex Slaves do their forefathers proud. These boys are armed with impressive pedigrees. Hailing from bands like Manscouts of America and Queen V, they have a head start on becoming a force to be reckoned with. Being a fan of “arena/anthem” rock, I dug into most of the songs right away. What the mid-tempo songs lacked in speed, they made up for in nasty lyrical content. Bry’n (lead guitar) fucks with the normal anthem formula by spitting out tight, meth-velocity leads. Think of your run-o-the-mill paper cut. Now pour gasoline on it. Kicks like that. Where bands often use bass and drums as mere anchors, Marty (drums), and Del (bass) break out with sucker punches of their own throughout the record. Crass as hell, Eric (vocals) epitomizes a psych ward’s version of a crooner. If you’re looking for an epic, thought-provoking experience, you took a wrong turn. If you’re looking for a dirty hit-and-run by skilled rapists, this is for you. Rocket science? No. Rock-N-Roll? Abso-God-damned-lutely.

- Ronia Blake

tia carrera - the november sessionsTia Carrera - the November Session
Perverted Son Records

The question is: had Tia Carrera set the perfect trap to poach their “live” sound for the studio? It seems that Friday they hauled the equipment into a studio instead of Room 710. What succeeds about this trapping is that the studio takes of the jams are stellar. I recognized most of this disc from the many times watching the band. On the November Session Tia treats us to the same foundation on which we rock with them live but with a studio mood that makes me feel like I’m witnessing an intimate outtakes session that’ll be locked in a vault; property of the estates of Jimi, Ginger, and Geezer.
Some “jam” albums have a tendency to just reference the riff that the band might play (if you catch them live). Shrunken, the song’s melodies appear, blow their wads and move on—pass the Kleenex.

This is not the case with Tia Carrera’s release. Tia‘s disc is nice to just rock your home stereo and take all their groove spontaneity, at a controllable volume. Plus you can clean house whilst listening.

The recording is crisp. This of course aids in the sense that you’re a poor fly who landed on the wrong mic in the wrong room back in ‘70. The album’s 5 tracks have various names like “Telepathic Confirmation”, “Scenic Oversight” and “DOOM”. Most songs have parts a and b with referential phrases saying things like “the four open six” or “initial drum check @ 2:30 p.m.”. All this title play lends to a raw and voyeuristic mood, as if you’re taking a peek at the band’s diary.

The players are in peak form. The November Session has yet to form a memorable pattern; as if the songs change each time you play the CD like a living, breathing, free willed musical Frankenstein.

From the Band of Gypsies to Sleep, Tia cites from an array of dark, slow, and revolutionary influences without seeming like three guys who are just good studies.

-Kevin Stack

The Sweethearts - L.U.V.The Sweethearts - L.U.V.
Mortville Records

Despite its homogenization, commercialization and hybridization, punk rock is still alive and kicking - albeit a bit balding and long in the tooth. However, the kids in the Sweethearts have taken the old man, given his Doc Marten’s a spit shine, reapplied the glue and egg yolks to his comb-over, plied him with whiskey and sent him spinning and cavorting right back into the mosh pit.

Young and aggressive, the band takes its cues from the X-Ray Specs, the Descendents, Nirvana and yes, even the punkier side of No Doubt, churning out eleven songs in under thirty minutes. Short and sweet, L.U.V. is a litany of broken hearts, teenage angst, and desperate cries for redemption, forgiveness and an end to pain. Just as any good punk record should be.

L.U.V. doesn’t have quite the energy and abrasiveness of the Sweethearts live onslaught, but the production more than makes up for the lack of kinesis, illustrating the band’s intelligence when selecting an engineer in the form of Frenchy Smith. Although constantly on the road wowing European audiences with Young Heart Attack, Smith has, without a doubt, one of the best ears in Austin. He has taken a batch of songs that might have come off as generic or trite in the hands of anyone else and made damn sure the Sweethearts came off in a manner befitting their talent.

See them, buy this, and thank me later.

-Trevor Wallace


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