The Zodiac Killers

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Here is a band that demonstrates a deep respect for the traditional verities of hardcore punk, as you might expect from a group that covered the Angry Samoans' standard "Steak Knife" on its previous album. The Zodiac Killers have paid homage to this grand tradition by choosing a deliberately tasteless band name; adding the requisite fake violence to their album cover, lyrics, and liner notes (as well as venting their hostility on the classic safe target of "fake poseurs"); and crafting their short (13 in less than 20 minutes) and unelaborate songs around the vocals with the intent of developing catchy refrains. Come to think of it, their insistence on making music that's not only loud and aggressive but also catchy does separate them from some of their punk brethren, who seem to believe that melodies are for wusses. Granted, their decision to name the album's first song "Kamikaze Attack" makes it seem like they're trying too hard to convince people that they're fast and dangerous, an impression that their remaining song titles and lyrics don't necessarily change. But this song, and much of the rest of the album, does a respectable job of living up to the title. So if you're looking for a classic hardcore buzz, this is a good place to go.

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