Civet – Hell Hath No Fury

(c) 2008 Hellcat Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

Civets are small, lithe-bodied, mostly arboreal mammals native to the tropics of Africa and Asia. Civet may also refer to the distinctive musk produced by the animal.

Hell Hath No Fury is the Hellcat Records debut from Civet, the hottest all-girl rock n’ roll band (both literally and figuratively) to erupt from the Los Angeles rock scene since Joan Jett and Lita Ford formed The Runaways.

I’m gonna let you decide which of the previous paragraphs you prefer, but whatever it was that created the CD I’m listening to certainly knows how to bring the rock. Part Zeke, part Distillers, all punk rock and roll. Hellcat records new artist Civet make gender no barrier to their swagger. The 13 tracks on their new disc are full of all the spit and vitriol that you’d expect from a Hellcat release and more. I also feel a bit obligated to mention that this quintet is also quite attractive, but I don’t want to backpeddle on women’s rights, so I wont. In all seriousness though, this is a fun disc well worth checking out. Personal favs include 2.) Son of a Bitch and 4.) All I want (written by Tim Armstrong) I look forward to more good music from Civet in the future.

–Jerry Actually

Lagwagon – ITMOBUTLTL

(c) 2008 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★☆☆

All aboard the Lagwagon party goers. The original Fat band is back with a new release. By my account it is an EP. Seven tracks clocking in at minus 20 total, not that EP’s are a bad thing by any means. An EP is a great amount of work when your band is focused on more than one project. (Two of the members are also in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.) Side projects notwithstanding, the obviously back dating and self-depricating “I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon” is exactly what one should expect from an older and wiser Lagwagon. The songs have more depth, both sonically and contextually. Along with additional depth comes additional weight. I’m pretty sure that must be what is making the songs a bit slower than I like 🙂 In all seriousness though, this is a must have for any fan and for all the new kids to the punk rock block, pick up a newie but a goodie from an oldie but a still goodie band. As I said, “All aboard the Lagwagon!”

–Jerry Actually

The Real McKenzies – Off The Leash

(c) 2008 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Real McKenzies are to Scotland what the Dropkick Murphy’s are to Ireland. That is punk rock music with strong ties to cultural heritage. Like Dropkick, The Real McKenzies are displaced from their roots, but those roots still run deep. The new release, “Off the Leash”, will have you swearing that, “If it ain’t Scottish, it’s crap!” Though these fellows hail from the land of DOA and Michael J. Fox, their music still has the rebellious power of William Wallace. “Off The Leash” delivers 13 tracks of Scotted up punk, all of them totally sweet. If you like your punk anthemic and Celtic culturalocentric, don’t hesitate to let your self off the leash and go buy this disc. Ha! I made a less than humorous reference to the title of the CD in the review itself. That makes it a good review; kinda like movies that use the name of the movie in the dialog of the movie. I win! One to nothin’

–Jerry Actually

State of Grace – State of Grace

(c) 2008 Hellcat Records
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Three cheers for the Street Dogs my friends, back again with a brand new record. The disc will be out soon on none other than Hellcat Records. It all seems very full circle, what with Hellcat being the home of the Dropkick Murphy’s. (for those of you outside the know, Street Dogs’ Mike McColgan is the former frontman of those very same Dropkick Murphy’s) Since their forming in 2002, Murphy’s connection aside, Street Dogs have come into their own.

With the lineup currently cemented as Mike McColgan on Vox, John Rioux (of Bruisers fame) on Bass, Marcus Hollar and Tobe Bean III splitting guitar duties and Paul Rucker on drums the collective Street Dogs deliver to you a State of Grace. 11 punk rock songs with a distinctive Boston flair. The songs are about life. The lyrics have depth. It’s very existence offers promise. After the slew of post nu-metal mallrat pablum that has disgraced the the name of music lately, it is great to hear a disc that not only is true to form punk rock, but also has some meaning. It is very easy to discern when a band believes in what they do or if they are just going through the motions. Street Dogs’ State of Grace is very obviously the former. With a formidable foundation and diehard persistence State of Grace is the Street Dogs best effort to date.

–Jerry Actually

U.S. Bombs – We Are The Problem

(c) 2006 Sailor's Grave Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

The U.S. Bombs are back with a new CD — fronted per usual by the venerable Duane Peters. Peter's is arguably one of the hardest working guys in punk rock with The skating, the shoe and clothing lines and of course the myriad of musical projects: U.S. Bombs, Die' Huns and The Duane Peters Gunfight.

"We Are The Problem" brings 15 new surprisingly diverse tracks of punk, from sing-a-long anthems like the opening title track, flanged out 50's style punk like "Just Like You" and near folksy ballads like "Guns of the West"

"We Are The Problem" shows that old punks need not fade away, but why? because they're a shit ton better than the bullshit radio baby pablum that the hot topic punks can muster today.

–Jerry Actually