This board's been looking a bit dead as of late, so I decided to throw together a short-stack of abbreviated record reviews.
These are reviews of music that I bought this summer (actually purchased, not downloaded). Most of this stuff was released within the past few months, although there are a few hold-overs from last year.
Banner Pilot/ Monikers
Four pretty decent songs from Kiss of Death Records. The track “Dead-Ender” by Banner Pilot is worth the price of admission all by itself.
“New Maps of Hell”
This is not a good Bad Religion album, plain and simple. It's nowhere near the same galaxy of “horrible” as 2000's 'The New America', but it's just not all that great of a Bad Religion album. The songs “Dearly Beloved”, “New Dark Ages”, and a couple of others are pretty rad, but everything else comes off as sounding flat and/or uninspired.
The Blacklist Royals
One of the better new pop-punk bands I've heard in the last two years, but I'm going to resist the temptation to rank The Blacklist Royals up there with Teenage Bottlerocket and The Steinways for the time being. These guys get props from me for not sounding like they're trying to be The Ramones on every track. There's an odd mix of folk-punk and pop-punk on this record that reminds me of Ann Beretta's earlier stuff, just slightly.
Blood Bath and Beyond
This group is the sloppy bastard love-child of Dillinger Four and Tiltwheel. Imagine the worst Dixie Taverne sludgecore band you've ever seen and then multiply it by a thousand. And then stab yourself in the eye with a piss-filled beer bottle.
Dear Landlord/ Chinese Telephones
Two great bands, four great songs. This is actually Dear Landlord's first release (two members of the Copyrights + 1 ex-Rivethead member). Can't wait to get my hands on some more stuff from these guys.
A really solid debut from a Midwest pop punk band. Six tracks. This record sounds a little bit like “Total” (Teenage Bottlerocket's first album). These guys are apparently doing a full-length sometime later this year with members of the Tattle Tails and Rehasher sitting in, so more good stuff from this band should be on the way.
The Gaslight Anthem
“Sink or Swim”
Probably my favorite album of 2007 (so far). Part Bouncing Souls. Part Lucero. All-around amazing. I cannot recommend this album enough.
“The Horror of Life”
This is J Church's 10,000th official release. Pretty standard J Church recording quality. A couple of really good pop punk songs and a couple of really terrible pop punk songs.
The Measure [SA]
Just picked up this one about a week ago after I read their interview in the most recent issue of Razorcake. Fairly “okay” stuff from some Jersey kids. They sound a bit like One Reason, but with a bit more emphasis on alternating male/female vocals. It's growing on me, slowly.
Off With Their Heads
“All Things Move Towards Their End”
A collection of OWTH singles from the past four years with a couple of new tracks mixed in to make people like me buy the album. I got a free t-shirt with my pre-order. The CD sounds great. The t-shirt sounds like cotton.
Decent songs, somewhat drowned-out production quality. Sounds almost identical to their first album from '05. “Okay” fuzzy indie-punk. Might not be everyone's cup of tea.
This is My Fist
“History of Rats”
I gave my 15-year-old sister a CD-R copy of this album in hopes of giving her an example of a really good, female-fronted hardcore band. She listened to it once and told me that she didn't like the sound of the recording. And then she went back to listening to Avril Lavigne and The Distillers. Kids these days...
A Wilhelm Scream
Nitro Records crap, released about a year and a half ago. Written for dudes who like to rock out with giant belt buckles. I saw these guys while I was living in Ohio and I can confirm that their belt buckles are quite intimidating. I paid 75 cents for this CD on eBay. I'm still not sure if I got my money's worth...