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Saturday, January 21, 2012

MRR reviews MBR catalog...STOKED!

We were pretty stoked when we picked up issue 341 of MRR and read the review section. MBR 002 through 005 were reviewed in this issue. Various reviewers gave their takes on the records and here is what they thought:
 Goddammitboyhowdy "Is Rez Punk"-7 inch EP MBR002 (review by Fred Schrunk)
Super good and simple driving pop punk. You get heavy early-DESCENDENTS vibe, combined with a Florida meets Minneapolis pop structure. Songs about desperation and darkness. And as they are from Montana, you get that "music from the middle of nowhere" touch. You know, they're not trying to be cool or placate to whatever trend is hot at the moment. It's just some kids playing their hearts out, trying to create punk as they see it. And it destroys. (FS)

Ambassador Gun "Rich"-7 inch EP MBR003 (review by Brad Lambert)
This Minneapolis three-piece sounds like dudes who have been in punk bands who are now doing death metal. This is tinged with a bit of that proggy melodic guitar lead stuff that is usually done really badly in metalcore bands, but is also done awesomely in a few crust bands. In this case it sounds fairly ripping and I am a fan. The element that I probably liked the most is the growlingly screamed vocals, which are raw and gritty but you can still catch the words if you have an ear for pissed off dudes. Both jams on the disc are for the headbangers. (BL)

Squalora "Hell Is Other People" LP/CD MBR-004 (review by Kevin Manion)
Here we have a '90s style progressive crust assault from Portland. This platter opens with George Carlin (to whom the LP is dedicated) sample on top of an acoustic riff, and immediately I had some idea of what I was in for. The songs are either both long and drawn-out numbers featuring several tempo changes or done-in-an-instant ragers. While they are speedy at times, I get the feeling SQUALORA aren't really concerned with thrashing your face into oblivion. Most of their riffs range from atmospheric and melodic to straight up sludgy. Lyrically they are definitely political, and present interesting ideas without coming across as too heavy-handed. For instance, there's a pretty badass song about the subversive potential of graffiti. NEUROSIS is the obvious musical reference point here, but ECONOCHRIST also come to mind at times. Like the aforementioned Bay Area quartet, SQUALORA's members moved from a podunk town(Missoula,MT) to a punk haven, and their roots show. Perhaps I'm generalizing, but bands comprised of people from isolated areas seem to have a more "all over the place" vibe than those closely associated with thriving punk environments. There are a lot of different ideas at work on this LP, and while not all of them hit the mark, there are certainly some memorable passages. If they ditched the blast beats and faster tunes (which sound like they were written in haste compared to the longer songs) and just focused on being a progressive melodic outfit I think they'd be better off, because the band is definitely tight. (KM)

The Trashies "Space Jam" LP/CD MBR-005 (review by Mitch Cardwell)
I had previously pegged the TRASHIES as a SPITS rip-off band, as that's how their initial recordings came across. That opinion no longer holds any water. These guys learned plenty of new tricks on their hiatus and have returned wiser, weirder and far more enjoyable than I had expected. It's closer to UZI RASH than ever before (shocking, since both bands share the same brain trust), much more musical and manic than I ever expected. It's still totally absurd and generally uncomfortable, but you can dance to it. 
Disgusting. Good. (MC)

For more MRR fo here: Maximum Rock N Roll

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