PUNK AND OI! REVIEWS

If you'd like to see your music reviewed here feel free to drop me a line at info@bittersweetrecords.com

Tanka Ray

...And So I Shall Abide

Costa Nostra Records

If you've been wondering what happened to all the great music that was coming out of KC in the past few years, you can rest assured that Tanka Ray is carrying the Torch, for KC and most of the Midwest. Musically Tanka Ray can be described as streetpunk, but to do so would be to miserably peg hole a band that deserves so much better than that. Tanka Ray is phenomenal 14 tracks that are all worth listening to again and again. Jimmy and the boys deliver a sound heavily influenced by Naked Raygun, but unlike other bands they manage to live up to the comparison and even outshine it at times. "And So I Abide" is easily one of the best cds you'll here this year and will definitely be something you'll have for years to come.

NY Rel-X She's Got a Gun/ Paranoia

TKO RECORDS

My only complaint about this record is that I didn't get it sooner. If like me you missed NY Rel-X on their recent tour you should be kicking your self in the ass, the best way to make up for is to check out this CD, which is a re-release of two Previous EP's. I normally dismiss female fronted bands as a gimmick, but the Rel-X rock. The lead singer has a vocal range and uses it, which is a nice change of pace from alot of the monotone punk and oi! thatís been coming out lately. The style of music is close to eighties punk with vocals that are similar to Cinder Block, but the Rel-X blow tilt out of the water, both musically and content wise. Stand out tracks here include , Third World, Paranoia and Open your eyes.

Hudson Falcons/ The Gc5

64,104 miles later...

Cosa Nostra Records

If you found this website chances are that your a fan of both of these bands, Both bands deliver straight up and unforgiving rock and roll, that has your toes tapping along with the furious pace. The Gc5 delivers some quality tracks that are in the same vein as their previous recordings, my favorite was Rhythm and Booze. The Falcons include a studio recording of their live staple "Rich Kids Can't..." which is as much fun on your way to work as at the show. Altogether ten tracks from two outstanding bands you've already come to love.

The Generators

State of the Nation EP

TKO RECORDS

I had never listen to the generators before getting this ep and was definitely pleased with what I heard. The Band has a sound that falls somewhere between classic oi! and the misfits. The EP features six studio tracks that will have you singing along after the first listen. My favorite cut on the album is definitely Here Comes the plague, but each of the six studio tracks are great. My only complaint about State of the Nation is that two live tracks are used to round out the disc and while they capture the spirit the Generators put into their live show, the poor recording quality turned me off. All in all this was a great ep and definitely worth picking up if your a fan of the generators, and if your not you soon will be.

Beltones

Cheap Trinkets

TKO Records

Not only one of the Best releases in TKO's formidable catalogue this is one of the best punk releases in 2001. Thirteen tracks of rock that demand to be listened start to finish and then once more. The only negative thing I can find to say about the Beltones is they haven't been to the Mid-west yet. The songs are face paced, and catchy as hell, if you haven't heard these guys yet your missing out on a damn good thing.

Scene Killer 3

V/A

Outsider Records

Keeping in the strong tradition of the previous Scene Killer Comps this Cd delivers 30 tracks from 29 different bands with Bonecrusher showing up twice. The bands read like a who's who of both Outsiders roster and beyond. This is also the first place you can hear Roger Miret and the Disasters. I really liked the tracks by The Wretched Ones and the Vanilla Muffins. This CD is also chuck full of quality covers. The casualties cover The Exploited, Hudson Falcons play a SLF tune, The GC5 do a killer rendition of Billy Bragg's "There is Power in a Union" The Drunks do John Cougar, Funeral dress plays leaving on a jet plane, Menace pay tribute to the ruts classic "Babylon's burning. and finally forced reality plays Mama Tried. If your a fan of cover this is for you if not, there is enough high quality original material to please even the stingiest critic.

Rocked-n-loaded

V/A

Rock and Roll Purgatory

If you read Rock and Roll Purgatory you'll be recognize the bands on this comp from interviews and reviews. If you don't read RRP you should start now go to the links page and find 'em. 25 tracks and an intro. The music is split between punk and rockabilly including bands like BKB, Hudson Falcons, the GC5, the Staggers on the punk side and Small Town Pimps, Hellvis, The specters and more on the rockabilly side. Before hearing this I wasn't into rockabilly, but now I can't get enough stand out tracks include two unreleased tracks from the Staggers, Hellvis Rocket 350, and the Roustabouts. I highly recommend picking up this comp.

Slaughter & The Dogs

Beware of...

TKO

Because I only knew Slaughter and The Dogs through the song "Where have all the boot boys gone?" I didn't really know what to expect. Their newest effort is twelve tracks that are hard to categorize, whatever type of punk rock your into you can find it somewhere on this disc. The songs tend to be longer than normal punk songs, but that's alright because they're good. The stand out tracks are "Saturday night 'till Sunday morning" "Hell in New York," and a smoking cover of the Beatles "Hard Days Night"

Punk Drunk III

TKO Records

This is dirt cheap sampler is a great showcase of what TKO has to offer 26 song for five bucks. On the plus side 13 of these tracks are either exclusive to this release or are from upcoming releases. Stand out bands include those everyone already knows, and some of the tracks that I was impressed with that I hadn't heard before were, Beltones "Better than a Kick in Head," Hard Skin "Down the Pub" and Limecell "Get the Bitch to Do It" which were catchy as hell. I love Terminus City but was a little disappointed with their Johnny Cash cover of "Folsom Prison Blues" this is my favorite Cash song and Terminus City's cover wasn't as good as I'd anticipated, though I'd still love to see the Johnny Cash tribute that was rumored to be coming out on Flat a couple years ago.

Agnostic Front

Dead Yuppies

Epitaph

NYC Hardcore legends Agnostic Front continue to deliver. This album is free of all the metal influences that were evident in their late 80s to early 90s releases, while it doesn't have the same sound as their early albums its right in between their last to efforts. If you like AF this is definitely for you, but if you haven't heard them before you might want to start with "Riot Riot Upstart." The whole album has a pretty dark feel to it with songs like "Urban Decadence," "Out of Reach" and "Uncle Sam." But the strongest message from AF is to be yourself and stand up for what you believe.

Blood or Whiskey

No Time to Explain

Eire Records

Fans of Dropkick Murphy's, Flogging Molly and the Tossers need to take note of Blood or Whiskey. These guys hail from County Kildare, Ireland and their unique brand of paddycore puts the aforementioned bands to shame. For fans of the more Traditional music that has been cropping up in DKMs latest releases this CD is a must have its not Irish influenced punk but Irish folk music that has a noticeable punk influence. The lyrics are catchy as hell and will have you singing along long after the CD stops. The stand out tracks here are "Sober again" and "your majesty." If your into Irish sounds this CD is a must have I can't say enough good things about Blood or Whiskey.

HUDSON FALCONS

For those Whose Hearts and Souls are True

GMM

Jersey's second favorite sons are back with a bang! 14 tracks a rock and roll that can't be turned town. Listening to this disc is only second to see the traveling menagerie that is the Hudson Falcons live. I really can't say enough good things about this Cd. Some of the Highlights include a Springsteen cover, and a song written by Mark and former DKM guitarist Rick Barton, Fallen Heroes. My favorite song is Scab its extremely catchy. A lot of people try to peg the Falcons as punk or oi! or streetrock, etc which is really a shame this is just solid rock and roll.

Why shouldn't I get this from Napster? Same as the last release this include lyrics and a full panel thank you, Also a statement the Falcons critics (left and right). And a large collage of pictures. Chicago fans can play Where's Callaghan, just like where's Waldo, but easier. striped beanie my ass.

REDUCERS S.F.

Crappy Clubs and Smelly Pubs

TKO

I first heard this release when I was shopping at Clubhouse and had to pick it up. Crappy Clubs and Smelly Pubs is the right hook from the Reducers one two combo. Fans of 1999's Backing the Longshot will not be disappointed, and for fans of the classic oi! this is not to be missed. A lot of the songs deal with growing up while others deal with everyday subjects. There is no fake drink and fight bullshit here, just 13 fun oi/street punk tunes. My favorite is Not Fooled but the whole Cd is solid from start to end.

< THE TEMPLARS

Horns of Hattin

GMM/TEMPLECOMBE

Yet another solid release from The Templars. This new disc includes ten solid cuts and a cover. People who have been turned off by the "garage" sound of previous Templars releases will be happy to note that this has been recorded in studio. After listening this has become my favorite Templars release. Some of the best songs are Video age, enemies and Consequences, but each song is everything you've come to expect from The Templars. New fans might have trouble with Carl's vocal styling but will be reeled in by the music itself. Some of the things I didn't like were the opening cut which is a sample and the long wait for the cover.

THE GC5

Horseshoes and Handgrenades

Leprock Records

I first heard of these guys through Hudson Falcons and haven't been disappointed in anything I've heard since. This EP is four originals and a cover. If you've listened to the GC5 before you will be very pleased. If you haven't had the chance to listen to them before you can expect a politically charged lyrics with some great guitar and drum work especially evident in "The Bottom Line" Enjoy!

BRASSKNUCKLE BOYS American Bastard

Haunted Town Records

Do you miss the BRUISERS, if so thats only because you haven't heard these guys yet. The Brassknuckle Boysfull of sweet hooks and a couple of great cover including one Johnny Cash Song. The best tracks are "until that brother dies" and "Vet Named Ted" but this is incredibly solid album Thanks to Matt for the sound recomendation.

KING SIZE BRACES Land of Broken Dreams

Squigtone Records

After listening to this disc just once you'll be saying dropkick who? This is the catchiest CD I've heard in agesHalf the songs are about drinking and the other half are about values. 14 blazing tracks that you can listen to on repeat all day.

BUSINESS No Mercy For You

Epitaph/Burning Heart

If you found your way to this site chances are your You probably buy this no matter what I say, the best track is Guinness boys the touch that puts it over the top is the piano scales. This is a return to the early eighties oi! sound so its more rock and roll than hardcore, with depth to the vocal and some smoking guitar work. Special thanks to e-rock for letting me borrow his copy.

GBH/BILLYCLUB Punk Rock Ambulance

Hello Records

this split was pretty sweet GBH does two Billyclub songs, 3 piece suit and Happyville USA, while Billyclub covers GHB's Necrophilia and Drugs party in 526. Fans of either band will be pleased with this split both bands also perform their own different version of a song entitled Punk Rock Ambulance. For fans of GBH this is a pretty good introduction to Billyclub I recommend this split with out any second thought.

NAKED RAYGUN Free Shit

Haunted Town Records

Most of the people who stumble onto this site probably already have this but I would just like to point out that this disc is packed with adrenalin Recorded live at the Metro Nov 29th and 30th The album captures the intensity of the show. Thanks to Naked Raygun for the greta shows and Haunted Town for the CD.

IRON CROSS Live For Now

GMM Records

Finally Compiled on one official disc 16 traks from the legendary IRON CROSS. All I have to say is Hell Yes. If you were lucky you may have seen Iron Cross on their recent nationial tour or will be catching them at the BEER OLYMPICS, If not this disc may hold you over till next time. The recording quality isn't that great but better then some of the crap thats been passed off til now. Come find out who inspired bands like Agnostic Front, DKM, Madball and more!

MURPHY'S LAW The Party's Over

Artemis Records

Jimmy G's back with the first full length from NYHC giants Murphy's Law since 1996's Dedicated. They don't miss a beat from the opening track Maximum lie all they way to the closing cover "Woke Up Tied UP" by the Beer Nuts. This album is soon to be a clasic and continues to balance Murphy's Law's fun loving tunes with their classic hardcore, play it at ten!


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