The Thirteenth Victim

Broken Bottles & Razor Blades

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Representing the self-consciously skuzzy end of street punk, Austin's 13th Victim often come across like a slightly more emo version of the Misfits, as if they're personally depressed and sickened by the tales of violence and degradation spewed all over their debut album. "Cut Yourself" may follow its repeated title exhortation with the line "Bleed your anger out," but it seems hard to believe that even the most priggish anti-punk moralist could take the song's lyrics as a celebration of self-mutilation; the song's -- indeed, the entire album's -- tone is simply too unsettlingly intimate to sound like Louis Pist is unaware of the gravity of the provocation. Produced by Bones DeLarge of Austin's Lower Class Brats -- who proves to be much more talented as a producer than he is as the leader of his own mediocre band -- Broken Bottles & Razor Blades flips the script of horror punk by inverting the scares to giggles ratio, and by sticking to a generally first- and second-generation U.K. punk sound instead of taking the easy grindcore way out. As a result, songs like "Live Fast, Die Drunk" and "Fuck Me, Fuck You" come off more assaultive than merely entertaining. Those expecting goofy comic book punk perhaps should look elsewhere.

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