Jersey Beat Music Fanzine



A Caustic Acoustic: A Benefit Compilation for Bucket O Blood Books and Records – Johanns Face Records

This is a great collection of acoustic tunes featuring a dirty laundry list of punk rock artists from the Sass Dragons Jason Smith to Jon Lewis of The Dopamines. Marc Ruvolo, Bucket O Blood proprietor, and Chicago punk rock mainstay contributes as well. By 2013 if you haven’t developed a place in your heart for acoustic punk rock, you have either been living on another planet, or you’re the last stubborn hold out that hasn’t realized that you don’t have to be pissed off and angry to be umm… pissed off and angry. I know it’s cliché when you hear someone state in a record review that “there isn’t a bad song on this record” – but really their isn’t… well…maybe one….. fine. Track 12 is awful. The songs by Jason Smith, Mike Petruccelli, and Dave Merriman stick out as the strongest tunes. Definitely not a single listen release here, I can assure you that you will find more than one tune that you would like to hear again, and again, and again.
This compilation was put together to benefit Bucket O Blood records, a multi purpose record, books, art store/center deal that Marc Ruvolo has been running for (excuse me for being factually inaccurate) close to a couple years now. While I have never been to the store myself, I do correspond with Marc quite often, and if I understand correctly they not only sell books, records, and art, but have poetry readings, spoken word, and live acoustic music as well.

In the short period of a few weeks Bucket O Blood not only experienced a water issue in which a good amount of inventory was lost due to water damage, but Marc suffered from a ruptured appendix. Cry me a fucking River right? Everyone has problems? True, nonetheless, if you don’t know Marc, this man has contributed to carrying on the spirit of punk rock in Chicago for three decades and running. His record label Johanns Face records has released music by several generations of punk rock bands from Oblivion to the Sass Dragons. Credited with giving the Alkaline Trio their start by releasing their first seven inch (we don’t hold it against him…too much) Marc has also helped out a countless number of nameless, nonetheless great, bands that have come and gone over the years. For years Marc has been that sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, alternative to the alternative in Chicago punk rock. Throughout the years Marc has fought the fight of refusing to let punk rock get pigeonholed and labeled. If a true spirit of our community really does exist Marc Ruvolo embodies it, and for five dollars you can help Bucket O Blood get through some trying times. My guess is that Marc would do it for you… Five bucks.. Great songs. Good cause.

Purchase the compilation for a donation of $5 or more here...

Tim Barry - 40 Miler (Chunksaah Records)

It's hard to believe that Tim Barry has delivered his fifth record. It seems lke just yesterday I was in a tent, in my friend’s back yard, drinking cheap beer and listening to Rivannah Junction on a skipping CD in amazement. The sounds I was hearing were opening my eyes and light bulbs were going off in my head. It was bluegrassy, countryish, punky, acoustic, aggressive as fuck Rock n Roll. It was as if I was hearing something brand new, like when I first heard the Ramones. I remember looking at the cover of Tim's third album, Manchester, and wondering if he had it in him to keep pace with Rivannah Junction.

Two records later and Tim still has everything that his fans love him for. In fact, I would say that 40 Miler is clearly his finest moment. 2010's 28th and Stonewall showed us a Tim Barry who was starting to finely tune his craft, but to me the album sounded a little slick compared to his other work. On 40 Miler Barry and his gang of friends perfectly catch that spot-on yet gritty and dirty muscianship that defines a Tim Barry record.

The record simply has no bad songs, it’s simply all killer and no fller. From the dirty, dark, and bluesy "Adelle and Hell" to the singalongs "Fine Foods Market" and "Amen," Tim Barry drops an entire album full of those songs that ya just gotta hear again. And of course, there is that one song.... While most of Tim's songs tell somewhat of a story, every album has that one that plays like a book on tape and makes you feel like you know the characters: "Prosser's Gabrial,""South Hill," "Dog Bumped," and now "T. Beene" - one of Tim's greatest short story/songs to date. Whether you are a casual fan, a die hard fan, or just someone looking to check out something new, this album won't disapoint you. If you like good songs, if you like good music, this album delivers both. Keep ‘em coming, Mr. Barry.

The Fur Coats - Dont Make Me Beg (Dirt Cult Records)

Chicago's Fur Coats featuring Marc Ruvolo (No Empathy, Traitors, Das Kapital) on lead Vocals and guitar, Davey Houle (Das Kapital) and Deven Kay (Devon Kay and the Solutions) on Bass and backing vocals, play up beat "garage pop" with a touch of more upbeat Husker Du and Replacements-like harmonies. Fans of Das Kapital and No Empathy will definitely enjoy hearing this side of Mr. Ruvolo's unmistakeable voice backed up by great, catchy bass playing and Davey Houle's always on point drumming. "Talking to Myself" is my top pick on the record, but each song is good. Only 300 copies are being pressed so get your hands on one while they are still floating around!


The Underlings - Vice Squad (Meth Bog Records)

This record sounds like it could be two different bands. Standard punk rock, nothing ya havn't heard before or already have in your collections. The B Side features two really good song and the A Side is unlistenable.
If you like punk rock, you probabally won't hate this record, but you probabally won't prefer it over anything you already have in your collection.



The Disconnects/Crazy and the Brains - Split 7-inch (Baldy Longhair Records)

The Disconnects are great, and definately dominate this split ep. The Disconnects will remind you of just about every awesome band that Rip Off Records signed and put out little black and white sleeved 7" records for in the 90's. To say that they are doing anything original would be a lie, but I just don't see this band disputing thier originality. This band is good at playing straight ahead rock n roll based dirty punk rock. A three songs songss are absolutely rockin.

The other side of this record bores the shit out of me. The Ramones cover while in good spirit appears with absolutely no balls. Kinda reminds me of the BEatnik Termites or something... If you like punk rock that sounds like a children’s music class meets circus music, then you will definately dig this band. I don't.

The Mix Tapes - Hope is for People (Animal Style Records)

The Mix Tape play pop punk, with male/female vocals, and sound like the Ergs with a girl in the lineup... WAIT! WAIT!WAIT! They are fucking awesome at it! - - Yes, this band is overly poppy, and the songs are emotional and geared towards love and other pretty stuff.. But ya can't help but sing along. You can't help but tap your foot. You can't help but feel… ashamed. You might even break out the first Teen Idols record after this one gets played a few dozen times... Maybe the Teen Idols thing was taking it a little too far.. This band is good. This records is great. Buy!

The Explosion - Bury Me Standing (Chunksaah Records)

This is a great punk rock record that has been down a long hard road to finally getting released! Boston's Explosion deliver ten fast paced catchy and aggressive melodic punk tunes that are all equally great. Good thoughtful lyrics backed by great dirty yet pretty backing vocals that complement the singalong chrouses. Apparently this record was recorded years back and never released due to label and or internal issues. After this recording The Explosion dabbled in the world of the major labels briefly, and like many that did so fell apart shortly after. All this information may have been included in the press sheet that I spilled Mountain Dew all over. I'm sure whatever other information you need can be found on the label or bands website. The Explosion remind me of great 90's/00's punk that remind me of different bands such as No Use for a Name, Pinhead Gunpowder, Suicide Machines, The Bouncing Souls and Rattail Grenadier. I suggest anybody that likes punk rock that is equal parts grit and pop gets their paws on this release as soon as they can. I couldn't find a bad track on this record.

The Destructors –P OW! Thats Killmusik. Vol 2: Rewind (RFAO)

This is the kinda shit that just gets under my skin. Bad generic sounding street punk with British accents. This over romanticized bullshit is what keeps punk stupid. The Destructors play some seriously boring, uninspiring, dime store punk rock with peppered in outright wierd electronic breaks that just make the entire thing sound awkward. Lets just go ahead and get something straight here. England sucks. These guys are proof. The Destructors have been sucking since 1977 or someplace around there. Much like
The Sex Pistols, Cocksparrer, and The Damned .... they suck. Slow, poorly executed garbage with no hooks, nothing intelligent to say and an anoying fucking accent to boot. Please don't buy this CD. In fact - I say we get everyone that got review copies togegther and send them all back to the shitty little island they came from.

The Freshkills - Raise up the Sheets (The End Records)

The Freshkills play quirky new wave inspired power pop with highly annoying vocals. In all honesty if they sent this double douche packing, got a proper vocalist and laid off the synth garbage they might be a pretty damn good band. The guitar works well with the Bass and and the drummer plays some very interesting stuff... but then the Vocals start and I can't even get past the fourth song. I'm not sure who this guy thinks he is but it sounds like Bono meets that disheveled fat guy from The Cure. Don't buy this. Please.

Youth Avoiders/Zombies Are Pissed – Split EP - Self Released

To put it simply, this is a good punk rock record. I can’t say I have heard of either band, however in both bands cases I would like to hear more. The Zombies are pissed side of the record features four great tunes that fell somewhere in between Jawbreaker and Blanks 77 (sorry.. that’s the best I can do). The band takes an interesting musical approach to melodic punk rock, but the lyrics seem to be a little bit cliché and sophomoric. We all know that the worlds a bad place, we all know corporations suck, and unfortunately none of us really care about much more than money substances and cheeseburgers, and it’s been done a thousand times better.
The Youth Avoiders definitely deliver the stronger side of the record. I can’t help but make the against me comparison. Even though a vast majority of all new punk rock bands sound like they are borrowing from Against Me, for some reason, Youth Avoiders are good at it, and unlike Against Me and all the pussy bands that try to emulate them, The Youth Avoiders DON’T suck. I’m not sure if that’s a back handed, piss in your chucks compliment, but I do believe it’s a compliment..

Most Deaf – “By 1994” – Kiss of Death

Well what a fucking surprise …. Emo hipster garbage from Kiss of Death. Can someone please explain to me the attraction to this vocal style? Please. I just can’t take it anymore In fact I have opened this email account - in the hopes that someone else can explain to me why people want to hear this fucking shit. Give it a whirl… Sway me… If we get any good responses I will post them in my next column. - -People, I just don’t understand it… Some of these bands are good. They can play…So what on God’s green earth possesses them to invite these whiney fucking ween bags over to ruin their fucking songs? I can just hear some hipster pussy getting all worked up about the passion and intensity in this jerk off’s voice and I just cant understand why. Is it possible that there is just ONE singer the fills the slot in every college boy emo band? IT ALL SOUNDS THE FUCKING SAME. THE FUCKING SAME DAMN IT. I can’t help but wonder if maybe all you back pack wearing socially aware future IT guy wanna be fucking poets out there don’t see it… because you are also all the fucking same.

Annabel – “Here We Are Tomorrow” - Tiny Engines

This is pop punk from outer fucking space. The Pink Floyd of cheesy pop I tell you! These songs are, believe it or not, quite good and the bands fluid style complimented with some great ambient vocals actually makes for some great pop. A little bit too much instrumental jerking off, nonetheless, in a new and unique style. Experimental punk rock that actually didn’t make me want to take a shot of Drano.

Diarrhea Planet – Aloha – Evil Weevil Records

Diarrhea Planet mange to capture that perfect sound wherein you can clearly hear every note and separate the instruments, yet the whole thing still sounds like it was recorded in a garbage can. FUCK YES! The songs are just flat out catchy and fun. Most bands that try to capture the aggression and power of stuff like the Stooges and MC5 and mix it with pop usually go too heavy on the candy coating. DP will have you singing harmonies in the car without losing a bit their high energy old school sound.

Sore Subjects – Self Titled EP – Self Released

I really enjoyed this record. Nothing flashy here, just straight forward punk rock. Ramones influenced (like it damn well should be) but unique and pulled off well, unlike so many bands that tread these waters. I love the female vocals with this style of punk rock. The Sore Subjects are Rock – n – Rolly, dry yet sassy. These guys get my stamp of approval. Yes.. the stamp exists.



Miniboone – Fight Song B/W The Other Summer -

It looks like Lego’s on the record and the music sounds like Devo. New Wave sucked in the 80’s and it sucks now. (same with picture discs) This band attempts to bring composition and art to fun silly music and ends up making stupid shitty music. Nuff said.

Ripface Invasion – Five Song CD and Seven Inch EP – IDK Music

Hey I like these guys!!! Ripface invasion are for people that like a little thrash in their punk. Both the CD and the vinyl EP absolutely rock your socks off in a manner I havn’t heard in long ass time. Think back to old school Suicidal, S.O.D. and the faster side of Anthrax and mix it with bands like Pennywise and you have a pretty good idea of what Ripface Invasion might sound like. Better yet – check em out for yourself!

The Heat Tape – Raccoon Valley Recordings – Red Scare

I really didn’t like this record the first couple times I heard it… it kinda grew on me like herpes or something, because now I know I’ll never get rid of it. The songs sound like they were recorded in a trailer(they were) and the whole deal just has a really lo fi sound. The songs can either be viewed as break neck or spacey depending how you listen. The Heat Tape definitely reach back to old school Rock N Roll for influence, and at the same time almost sound extremely 1972 and modern all at the same time. Thumbs up to The Heat Tape (See Toby..Sometimes I can be nice)


AFTERTHEFALL – Eradication – Mightier Than the Sword

See review for Most Deaf … the same thing applies – You email this address and tell me why this shit doesn’t suck… - Good responses included in next column. Email:

Better Luck Next Time – A Lifetime of Learning – Kid Tested

Well I thought that I might like this because it came from Kid Tested. Was I wrong!!! – This is horrible. This is that band that makes all the pussy pop punk songs for the American Pie and Van Wilder movies… you know – this is that band from that one soundtrack that made that song tthat played during the party scenes and the happy ending… Right? Right? - - I try not to mention press sheets too often, but this bands in particular was filled with crap about how big they are in Japan and even thanked the people of Japan in their liner notes… GO TO FUCKING JAPAN. GO THERE. You fucking suck. This is not punk rock. This is what went wrong. This is my fucking generation’s fault. Shoot us all.

The Ignorant – Loaded Statement – Northeast Records

Standard Punk rock that doesn’t exactly standout. I may have really like this as a younger man, but these days it’s just been drug into the ground. So many bands have done this same thing. From the harmonies to the gang vocals, to the cheesy little two string leads this is just been done too many fucking times. Nobody will remember this band.

Arluck Time – Music of Matt Arluck – RMR

This is a compilation of all things Arluck. The late Matt Arluck made his rounds as far as recording and playing punk rock goes. This CD features tracks by Crash Course, Deminer, Horace Pinker, Matt Flag (backed by Lynards Innards), Cooler by the Lake, Sweet Cobra, and Closing In. 22 Tracks in all. The Black Flag covers are fantastic, and the rest of the CD is absolutely kick ass. I have to admit I feel a little bit embarrassed being originally from Chicago, and not even aware of who Matt Arluck (even if I was familiar with a few of these bands) was. I gather from the liner notes that Arluck passed away, and left behind a slew of great punk rock, and apparently liked to skateboard as well. I suggest this CD to anyone that likes music that falls under the wide umbrella of PUNK ROCK because this CD is all over the place, from blistering fast Black Flag covers to pop punk, melodic hardcore and just straight forward Rock N Roll. I’m glad I got this CD. Lots of good stuff.

The United Sons of Toil – When the Revolution Comes, Everything Will Be Beautiful – Phatry Records

See AFTERTHEFALL review; email:

Mad Anthony - …I Spent All My Money on Speed Metal – Phatry Records

Mad Anthony play groove based riff rock and their singer sings every song the same exact way.

Karysun - …until the end – Destructure

Karysun are really slow. Really fucking boring. Not as heavy as I’m pretty sure they think they are and you can’t understand a single fucking word the “singer” says.

The Getback – Halfway Home – Livid Records

The Getback play punk inspired power pop. A lot of bands that attempt this style tend to bore the fuck out of me, but the Getback have some pretty decent songs on this CD. Halfway Home serves up 11 upbeat sing songy tunes that sound like what you would get it if you could somehow mix D Generation and Screeching weasel. The title track “Halfway Home” is a great three chord ode to getting older and less comfortable with your station in life and its backed by a whole disc worth of good heartfelt pop tunes. From the darker “Gimmie Routine” to the rockin “Tell Me Something Nice” The Getback managed to impress me.

The Jesus Rehab -
The Highest Highs and The Lowest Lows (

The Jesus Rehab make good music. If you are into Paul McCartney-esque pop that leans towards the progressive end of the spectrum, you might really be into this band. Heavy on synth and hooky choruses this album might get played again. The opening track after the the two identical introduction tracks is definitely the highlight of the record.

The Safes - Double Single (Merrrifield Records)

From Chicago Illinois comes The Safes. And yes, they are quite fucking safe. I dunno know if I like it or not. Great hooks reminiscent of sitting in the back seat of the station wagon while your parents listened to the oldies sation. You can hear a touch of influence from the "the" bands that were popular in the early 2000's. "She's So Sad" is a good song; if not for the horrible bass player, it would be a great song. The vocals are good, similar to the Australian guy that sang for The Vines. Thumbs sideways. One part awesome, one part suck. The Safes remind me of a Nineties Rip Off Records band, minus the balls, and something just sounds like a bunch of jerks fighting and clawing for the brass ring.

The Rivals - self released

The Rivals play what you would come to expect from a punk band in 2011. It's been done before but it's still catchy. What can you really say about this stuff? I'm sure the guys are nice guys and all, but let’s face it... I have been hearing this shitty punk record for the better part of twenty years, and unfortunately for the Rivals, some of it is written and recorded much better. I'm sure this review isn't going to make the Rivals hang up their guitars, and I surely don't want them to. I have nothing bad to say about this band... it's just that I have absolutely nothing good to say either. I just can't help but feel that this is exactly the kind of band that earns punk rock the "three chord, unoriginal, non progressive" stereotype, and that irritates me. But hey, we have all been in a shitty punk band in our day, and for some of us those were the best days of our lives. So I'm at a loss. They left a personal phone number
on the CD, maybe I'll get blacked out drunk and call them at 4 a.m. and then I'll decide if I like them or not. Good luck to ya guys. Time for your own sound.


Douglas Shields and the X Factors - Self Titled (Jeremy Records)

This is apparently available on a 7-inch... but I got a special "press version" on a CD that had a unicorn on it. Really.... a unicorn. The CD came in overdone DIY packaging with lots of friendly little notes from the band and basic info stuffed inside. How nice. But isn't DIY supposed to be cheaper? Has some unknown art of making something look half assed sprung up in the hipster underground? The fact is, I would really like to kill Douglas Shields and the X Factors. Ten years ago, before everyone started swearing off the word "EMO," DSXF would have been billed as an "emo" band. Only then they would have been current; now they are just one of thousands presenting punk rock with absolutely no aggression and balls. DSFX can be equated to some whiney 20 year old whiney prick crying to world about how he wished he had done something important in his teenage years instead of taking beatings from his closet fag father for not making the football team. "Blah blah blah I think about stuff too much and can’t get laid" should be the title of this record.

Without a Face - The First Album was Better (Redbird Records and Tours)

Without a Face doesn't suck. But they aren't that great either. Without a face is mainly singer/writer sounding stuff that dances on John Mayer’s toes, but doesn't come off so intentionally pop. I know five guys that do this stuff, and they are all assholes. Thats really all I can say about this record. Listen to it yourself.

Anti You - Two Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams (Six Weeks Records)

Rome, Italy's Anti You are fantastic. It's clear to me that Europe officially kicks America's ass in the punk rock department. Not England though, Nothing good comes from England. Ever. Limey hating aside, good things apparently do come from Rome, Italy. “Two Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams” is a killer fast-paced aggressive punk rock record. Fans of traditional hardcore from early Black Flag to old school Suicidal Tendencies, will like this record. This is the album’s first appearance on digital format and includes the “Johnny Baghdad” and “Pig City Life” EP's as bonus tracks. Great, fast paced, angsty, angry punk rock. I like it, I like it, I like it.

Big Eyes - Self Titled (Evil Weevil Records)

This is a really good 7-inch. It's not mind blowing but the songs are good. This will become one of those records in the collection that sits by itself with no buddies. Just a one-off single with two and a half good songs... which isn't all that bad, considering 90 percent of everything sucks. This is good lo-fi Misfits-sounding rock n roll, with great hooks and female vocals. If these songs had been sung by a man, this record would be in the "free box" at my next show... but I think I'll keep it.

Screeching Weasel - First World Manifesto (Fat Wreck)

I have tried to write this damn review for two weeks. I have tried my hardest to think of the right things to say. Most people that would actually take the time to read my column might know that I have a poor taste in my mouth for anything Screeching Weasel. What most people don't know is that I was at one point one of the biggest SW supporters out there. I don't know what to do other than cut right to the chase and point out that this record blows. It should be titled "Screeching Wesael's WORST LP" Or "These Ones are Dog Shit Vol. 2." If you were a fan of "classic era" Screeching Weasel… a kid from the 90's that liked pop punk... someone walking around with a Weasel guy tattoo on your leg and "Is It Good Morning" in your head as you step into the shower, than you are not going to like this record. First things first, the production is too slick. Gone are the warm sounds of Sonic Iguana and the punk rock era of Mass Giorgini. This record SOUNDS digital, and it's kind of funny when you remember the Major Label Debut track "Compact Disc." The songs are what you expect, Ben Weasel attacking the current trends and attitudes of the current punk rock scene. Once again quite ironic when you consider that Screeching Weasel came to be known as a band that didn't take punk seriously and looked to acting goofy and having fun over hard politics and tough guy attitudes. Not a single song on this record manages to say anything important. First World Manifesto is on the same level as Bark Like A Dog, and to be honest i was expecting more than a half assed pop punk record. I wanted Television City Dream/Major Label Debut Ben Weasel, ripping my face off with blistering fast, snotty, insightful, and offensive lyrics. Instead I got "She Got Electroshocked" again.

Nothing about this record sounds right. From the vocals to the guitar, this is the worst record ever. As far as I am concerned Screeching Weasel was finished a long time ago. It costs a lot less to employ a few college kids and a producer from a shitty band that is really good with Garageband than it does to employ Mass Giorgini and a few bona fide punk rock musicians... and guess what? Ya get what ya pay for, asshole!!!! Out the window like a Frisbee goes this pile of shit.


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