Last Updated on February 18, 2023
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Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over
CD (SIDE ONE DUMMY)
….ah, 7 SECONDS. Hearing them is like looking at old photographs from golden summers of yr youth. This most recent rec was taped by Bill Stevenson, and it is a fiercely winning combination – Kevin’s vocals are as sublime as ever, while the band kicks up a right old thrashy stink behind him. Clean, fast, ass-whippingly cool, these seventeen pop-core anthems zip by in less than half an hour, and it’s one of the best ways of spending thirty minutes any person could possibly imagine, at least while they still had their clothes on. If you liked them already then you’ll love this, it’s actually probably better than their last one and almost measures up to classics like The Crew and Walk Together, Rock Together. Then again, if you don’t know who they are then forget it pal, yr too far gone for help.
– Tard A WILHELM SCREAM
….if it wasn’t for the nauseating double-gtr tiddly-squealage of the solos this would be a fantastic thing. Guess you can’t have it all, and thankfully when they’re not THIN LIZZY-ing the place up these Massachusetts boys turn in a highly snazz and steamrollering set of fast n’ furious, loud n’ energetic ‘progressive hardcore’ stormers, taped by Bill Stevenson at the Blasting Room and considered by him to be ‘the most amazing thing I’ve heard’. Wouldn’t go that far but still this is ace, the songs are tight and interesting, influenced by stuff as varied as BAD RELIGION, PROPAGANDI and HOT WATER MUSIC, w/ poppy catchy moments crashing into zippy punk explosions and often taking off w/ great speed, while there’s loads of vocal harmonies and plenty of aggression in the performances. Taking their name from a sound effect used in the 50’s flick ‘Distant Drums’, if only these guys could give up the ridiculous and pestilent bilateral string bending and just concentrate on rockin’ out they would really be something special. – Tard
CD EP (MUSIC FOR NATIONS)
….apparently this band wants to ‘change the face of British music’ and challenge the ‘pop obsessed music business and the establishment at the same time’. All they really succeed in doing is changing the good mood you were previously in and challenging you to try and stay awake thru their vaguely psychedelic rock slop. And anyway, if they’re so keen on all this change and challenge you’d imagine they’d have found other people to work w/ than producers who’ve also wasted time on DEPECHE MODE and FEEDER, all joining forces to make this just another heard-it-before lifeless dirge. Basically the sign of an inviolable band is how much money they’ve had blown on them, and these guys appear to have had far too much. Still, on the bright side, they will be in debt for years.
CD (SUGAR SHACK)
….we rather liked the driving angst of their ‘Return To Sender’ single and there’s some good stuff on this debut full length too, when they hike up the speed a little they’re pretty good, quite energised and interesting in an emo-rock kind of way. We could have done w/o the odd ballad they also toss into the mix but still, all things considered this isn’t too bad when you get used to the vocals.
….two tracks, or rather the same track in ‘radio edit’ and alb versions, and while it’s said they have an ‘aggressive new sound’ this is actually just a laid back, slightly ethereal and rather dull pop song that spends all its time basically going nowhere. We didn’t connect, sorry.
The Inuit Sessions
CD EP (Equal Vision Records)
Repeat after me:
Circa Survive. Circa Survive. Circa Survive.
Seriously, I’m struggling to convey my love for this band and I’m not even three lines in. Circa Survive were formed in February 2004 from the ashes of the original line-up of Saosin, this day forward and taken. Previous to this date, if I were to rank bands on personal influence the former two of those would have ranked well within the top 20. On that note it tends to bode well for this quintet on the strengths of their earlier endeavours and this EP just surpasses my expectations, screaming passed my ears with sophisticated excitement which swirls and lingers on every note.
The Inuit Sessions differ from everything that’s been put before me to date. There’s no forced urgency, the fluid stance and lure of the vocal parts engage you – it’s not about speed, the power comes from the energy they exude by the truck load. Don’t get me wrong this album is intense but it’s not strained. It progresses naturally with slow to mid tempo songs but capturing those obvious influences from the era from which they came incorporating heavy riffing and crashing drum tracks. But I’m loosing focus on what really makes this EP stunning. Anthony Green (ex Saosin) has a voice which I have no doubt that many will aspire towards but few will achieve. The arrangement, the lyrics and the pitch is stunning and it’s just amazing. .
Class this what you like but there is very few comparisons to draw on but the fact is that April 19th just can’t come quick enough for the release of the full length. To sum up and awesome masterpiece of style, energy, talent and breathtaking highs – you need this album once it arrives. It didn’t score full marks simply because it just isn’t long enough!
Rating 4.5 beers
Lump In My Throat
….plenty of comedy value here, not least because they probably take themselves oh-so-seriously while they’re being so unapologetically crap. They played w/ Graham Coxon and GANG OF FOUR and are so proud of it that they have the temerity to mention it in their press yawn, for christ’s sake. It’s the vocals that make you want to kill them first, all cockerney Jack The Lad crassness. Then the twee, pointless music gets you wiping down the barrel. Not heard anything as bad as this for months, and I can only recommend you steer as well clear as possible.
….this is one of those ‘hip hop collectives’ w/ a disc of the same song repeated three times, so you get a ‘radio version’ (where they’ve presumably not been allowed to use ‘bad’ language on it, which sucks by the way, there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ language), an instrumental yawn-fest and an acapella stinker. Means nothing to us.
CDS (POOCHIE CORP)
….an Anglo-Yank five piece, fronted by a wailing Haitian model who sounds like Lydia Lunch and w/ a professional poker player on guitar or something – now you don’t see that every day. They play this weird style of paranoiac rock and roll that’s sort of like the GUN CLUB-meets-SUICIDE-meets-the NY art scene, if you can imagine that. Actually, don’t bother, they’re not really that good and you could probably use yr time much more productively sticking things to yr deck.
We Will Bury You!
Double CD (TKO)
….oh cool, this two-disc, thirty one song set of all the covers these monsters have done over the last ten years starts w/ their smart vers of the CIRCLE JERKS’ ‘Wild In The Streets’. Hooray! You also get more old punk gear like ‘Out There’ (F-WORD), ‘Frustration’ (CRIME) and ‘Savage’ (FUN THINGS), while they also leave their garage slime across tunes originally done by the likes of X (‘Sex And Dying’), GIRLSCHOOL (‘Not For Sale’), DICTATORS (‘Borneo Jimmy’), AEROSMITH, TUBES, MOTORHEAD, AC/DC, CLASH, IRON MAIDEN, BLUE OYSTER CULT, PINK FLOYD, FLEETWOOD MAC….the list goes on (and on). There’s some great snotty spew here, and as ever w/ ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN it’s all a ton o’ fun. Nice packaging, plenty of loud n’ filthy guitars, the odd spasm of thrash – yeh, this is a keeper, and it ain’t just for completists either, so give it a spin, slim. You’ll be singing along to the SUPERSUCKERS’ ‘She’s My Bitch’ before you know it.
….is that a stupid name for a band, or is it a stupid name for a band? Answers to yr editor please, I don’t give a fuck cuz they’re rubbish. Apparently the PLACEBO producer had a hand in this, but that doesn’t really help any, they’re still the kind of basic, guitar-heavy lugnuts that ‘Kerrang’ and Radio One think are ‘cool’ and ‘progressive’ but are in reality the musical equivalent of Rotherham when compared to the aforementioned PLACEBO’s Man Utd. Or something. Oh, just noticed that ELVISS stands for Enhanced Low-light-level Visible and Infrared Surveillance System. Yeh, good work w/ the acronym there, ya losers.
CD (ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES)
….it’s maybe pointless talking about this, since FLESHIES fans will have played it to death already, but just for the uninitiated, The Sicilian basically sounds like a rampant and rabid mix of the DWARVES, the DICTATORS, TURBONEGRO and AC/DC. You may also be interested to know that they don’t give a fuck ‘bout nuthin’, Vonny Bon Bons has moved from bass to second guitar, Johnny Pseudonym is still screaming his arse off and they’re all still rocking on tracks like ‘Desperate, Middle Aged Woman’, ‘Maelstrom Of Whirling Bullshit’ and ‘This Is The City Where All The Dirty Assholes Are Safe’ as tho their hair’s on fire. Bitchen, gas-soaked punk rawk all the way. Peachy.
Left Of Centre
….incredibly awful, self-indulgent MTV rock that has been compared to MONSTER MAGNET and SOUNDGARDEN but comes nowhere close to even their limited appeal. This fucker is yr typical bland, going-nowhere, mid-paced, ‘ooh look, we can make guitar solos last for ages’ bullcrud, complete w/ namby-pamby, no-balls vocals. Thankfully there’s only two crappy tunes here, and believe me, that’s enough to last you and yr offspring’s lifetimes. Avoid it like it was a politician.
GET UP KIDS
….fourth studio alb from this great band, and this time they’ve constructed an epic and mesmerising collection of highly popped emo rock that at times sounds very influenced by the bittersweet melodies of SQUEEZE. Which is a good thing – the keys seem more up-front and somehow more melancholic, and while the band does spend a good deal of this rec in uptempo mode there are still some really quite affecting mellower moments too where strings mournfully hum and the atmosphere is heavy w/ regret. Not that it’s depressing, after all this is the GET UP KIDS and if there’s one thing these guys know how to do it’s give you a good time, and w/ choice rockin’ tunes like the killer opener ‘Man Of Conviction’, ‘Wouldn’t Believe It’ and ‘How Long Is Too Long’ they’re totally on the money. Developing and exploring their style all the time, this is one fine alb by one fine band and we must urge yr immediate involvement.
Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery
….isn’t this that guy from BLUR? So why is he bothering us w/ this crappy 70’s folk style garbage? Lifeless, vapid, dulled and duller than a fortnight hiking through Wales. And you get two different versions of the same ghastly song. The music press probably loved it. Tossers.
CD (TOOTH & NAIL)
….produced by the always-fab Kim Shattuck (ex-PANDORAS/MUFFS), this is killer all-gurl snotty pop, kinda like the RUNAWAYS cranking amps w/ the GO-GO’S. Brilliantly crafted and catchy melodies, tight chugging guitars that explode into glorious fireballs whenever a chorus comes into sight, and choice shared vocals from this (let’s face it) rather foxy collection of chains and studs wearers. If you like yr tunes w/ an edge and have a penchant for chicks w/ guitars then this is definitely for you. Perfect summertime rock and roll. Yay!
CD LP (Warner Brothers)
I first heard of this band from one of my best friends who raved about this album to the point I had to buy it to find out. And I was so shocked as I wasn’t expecting anything very good at all. But was greeted by some amazing music which is a blend of virtually every genre going, but reminds me mainly of Disco music. This album is stunning throughout, catchy lyrics, memorable beats and overall not one bad song on the album makes this one of my favourite one off albums I’ve ever bought.
The album opens with “At the speed of a yellow bullet” which is pretty fast and catchy, and is a great opener to an album. The third track to me if the best song on the album. “Beating heart baby” is as far as I know there most well known song, but it is there best, its catchy, lyrically and musically excellent, and I can guarantee is a sing a long song as me and my friend have found out. I actually bought this album on my way to the Caribbean, saw it on offer, only £7.99, and thought ok I will buy that. I listened to it my whole holiday, and I took nearly all my favourite CDs too. The fifth track on the album, “Dance party plus” is a bit heavier than the rest and has some great backing vocals in the chorus. The standout tracks that have not been mentioned are “Head Automatica SoundSystem”, “The Razor” and “Brooklyn is burning” which all remind me of Grand Theft Auto and American in general.
Im not so good at reviews, and this is pretty bland but I can tell you this is a go happy album that suits all genres and doesn’t disappoint at all!
It gets a 9/10 from me for its diversity, and the fact its so lyrically good makes it an album that does not get boring. I find myself singing to “Beating Heart Baby” many a day.
This album is a MUST buy!
Hold Onto Your Breath
….this guy Roddy Woomble – what kind of a name is that? Surely it can’t be his, like, actual proper name, can it? And if so, why not change it? And if it is a fake name, why the hell did he choose that one? That’s about the biggest question that hovers over this band, apart from, why hasn’t anyone ever told them that their sub-SMITHS wailing and unexciting ‘rock’ garbage has no place in the 21st century? You can always spot a pretentious band by their naff packaging and stupid song titles, so take IDLEWILD’s cardboard sleeve and their ‘Love Steals Us From Loneliness’, ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’ and ‘These Wooden Ideas’ and you’ll get a general idea about their self-satisfied lameness. Plus, they wear flares and look like they wouldn’t recognise a good time if they woke up w/ their fingers in it. Losers.
Live At WFMU
CD (BEER CITY)
….actually it’s the first seventeen tracks here that were recorded for WFMU, taped at a New Jersey show in ’93; you also get twenty more, consisting of a bunch of cuts from ‘No War’, ‘Sometimes’, Logical End and He Who Laughs Last…, as well as a load of outtakes and whatnot. Though the live stuff only muddily hints at their blistering HC power, it’s on the studio stuff that their potty-mouthed blasting really comes into its own. Unpolished, trashy and kinda spazzo, IMPULSE MANSLAUGHTER are one of those older bunches o’ punks that definitely need to be heard by today’s urchin generation. Beats wimps like BLINK into a cocked hat any damn day of the year.
Live In A Dive
CD (FAT WRECK CHORDS)
….it’s the ‘WAGON’s turn to be immortalised by Fat’s Live series, and it’s about freakin’ time too. Still amongst the top five bands I ever saw, this huge 22 song set captures Joey and the boys in all their 300 miles-per-hour, 12 melodies-per-song glory. Just check the choons – ‘Alien’, ‘Violins’, ‘Never Stops’, ‘Sick’, ‘Razor Burn’, ‘Bombs Away’, ‘After You My Friend’ and plenty mo’ wonderful stuff from Duh right the way thru to Blaze. Great, full sound, the crowd sings along w/ gusto and the band proves that there ain’t a tighter, more energetic act out there; these guys are pure n’ simple past-masters at this kind of hook-laden, jet-speed punk glee. Comes w/ the usual ace packaging, cartoon strip n’ all, plus there’s a tasty live vid of ‘Mr Coffee’ too. Just add it to yr collection as soon as you can. Yes, this means you.
Fuck World Trade
CD (HOUSEHOLD NAME)
….previously CHOKING VICTIM, these NY noisemakers remain in top hardcore form w/ this sophomore full-lengther. John Yates (from AT) did the art, Steve Albini did the producing and LEFTOVER CRACK handle the blistering thrash-attacks, and this time they even add bits of FLIPPER, DEAD KENNEDYS, folk, piano and violin to their full-on (and highly understandable) frustration w/ the fake ‘war on terrorism’ and the world’s scariest radical war-mongering machine (the USA). Not especially fond of the ska bits but the punk’s great, dirty, angry and brutal. You know, it’s a pity that probably the only people stupid enough to assassinate Dubya are exactly the same cunts that voted for the forked-tongued cretin fuck in the first place. Still, there’s always hope…
ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES
Ruin Jonny’s Bar Mitzvah
CD (FAT WRECK CHORDS)
….like the press release says, it’s not every day that a punk band gets asked to play at some kid’s Bar Mitzvah, so they obviously figured they’d take the opportunity to record the event for posterity. Bet Fat Mike n’ co have never before stood in front of a completely silent room at the start of one of their sets either, and even after little Jonny’s blessing and a rip thru ‘Stairway To Heaven’ they still only manage to illicit the most polite ripple of applause. It’s weird, and maybe they organised it that way for greater comedic effect but anyway, don’t let that put you off cuz the tunes sound fab, from the thrashy ‘Heart Of Glass’ thru ‘Delta Dawn’, ‘Come Sail Away’, a hilarious ‘O Sole Mio’, a turbo-charged ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (mistakes included), a version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ that sounds like the DROPKICK MURPHYS or something, they start ‘The Longest Time’ w/ some ‘Suspect Device’, give Elvis a kicking w/ ‘Always On My Mind’ and they close up w/ not one but two ‘Hava Nagila’s. Oh, and there’s an Anglo-French version of ‘Seasons In The Sun‘ and a fun ‘Sloop John B’ at the very end, as well as some ‘actual Bar Mitzvah footage’ thrown in for good measure. Doesn’t quite reach the heights of their first couple of records but it’s still good, honest, dumb punk fun.
Time To Lose
….nerve-shredding distorto-crank of the highest (or should that be lowest?) order. This is the debut full length from these degenerates, and a fine slab of feedback-drenched, barbed wire guitar noise it is, totally raw and filthy garage rock that makes the early recorded output of the HIVES sound like ELO. There’s seventeen songs getting a gutting here, including a version of ‘Still Rock n’ Roll To Me’ that’s like Billy Joel being mauled by a giant cheese grater. Makes you want to jump up and down and shout ‘c’mon, motherfucker’ at the top of yr voice – always a good sign w/ bands. It’s probably a bit too wired and decadent for puny-eared pop kids, but filthy punk bastards will love it.
Off Key Melodies
CD (NO IDEA)
….furiously ace, singalong thrash-pop that comes w/ choice-as guitar lines and a nicely-done hint of emo, all coming together maybe better’n you’d imagine a mix of LESS THAN JAKE, ARMY OF PONCH and SAVAGE BREWTALITY members. Yup, there’s plenty of speed here, maniac drumming, wild chord trashing, fab vocals – in fact it has to be up there amongst the best, no-shit ‘core fun we’ve had the pleasure to duke in the longest time. Even comes w/ an expeditious vers of ‘Suffragette City’ at the end that’d make Bowie proud (maybe). Apparently they’re gonna be taping two more albs this year which, if they’re anything like this piece of beauty, will be absolute must-gets. Recommended like hot gurls in summer dresses.
CD (BURNING HEART)
….first solo outing from MILLENCOLIN’s singer and bassist, a collection of mostly laid back acoustic tunes that cheerfully flirt w/ country and pop, aided by various people like a BOMBSHELL ROCKer and a PEEPSHOW member adding piano, drums, harmonica and whatnot. At times there’s a certain AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB feel, at others it gets a bit Dylan, and it’s all pretty nice, w/ intimate lyrics and a general theme of that old kick in the face – love. Named after a fantasy football team Sarcevic and his brothers used to ‘play for’ when they were little, this is an ideal rec for when you fancy a change of pace w/o getting too depressed about everything.
A Long Walk On A Short Pier
….in the biography thing it says that OCTOBER FILE don’t care what anyone thinks of them, don’t care about trends and don’t care about success. Probably just as well. Imagine KILLING JOKE, BIG BLACK and BOY SETS FIRE mixed together w/ bleeding-throat vocals and chuggly-luggly, bass-heavy guitar moshing and you’ll be close to getting a handle on what these bores sound like. Head ache yet? Actually hearing them should do it.
Rule 3 Conceal Your Intentions
CD EP (SUGAR SHACK)
….whoever VEX RED were, their singer is now in SEPTEMBRE, a band attempting to traverse boundaries between RADIOHEAD, PINK FLOYD and JOY DIVISON, a plainly stupid idea that doesn’t work anyway. No, this is just tedious, over-inflated rock w/ added acoustic breaks, and it’s no wonder they spend so long exploring the ‘pain and destruction that can accompany love’ since they probably lose their dates the first time they invite them to one of their shows. As stimulating as a bag of wet socks, and equally as memorable.
Out of a Black Pool
CD LP (Just Say No To Government Music)
This chunk of heavy pink vinyl is without doubt the first classic punk single of the 21st century. The Higgins track is an excellent modern day reworking of “California Uber Alles” renamed “Cool Britannia Uber Alles” and works very well. SICK56 contribute two tracks “Violence” and “Crash and Burn”, the first of which is rousing and infectious. The chorus chant of “we are the writing on the wall” is spine tingling and inspiring. This song isn’t violent, its about raging anger against violence. At this time SICK56 should be the writing on the wall on every street corner, every back alley and every toilet wall. Do yourself and punk a big favour and buy this now!
SICK OF IT ALL
Outtakes For The Outcast
CD (FAT WRECK CHORDS)
….Lou Koller must get thru more throat sweets on any given tour than the whole of Shetland in a decade of winters. So this does exactly what it says on the tin, in that it’s a fifteen song collection of unreleased stuff and hoozits, B-sides, covers, live bits, the whole shebang. There’s a pretty nifty take on ‘Borstal Breakout’, loads of breakneck metally hardcore thrashing, whirling drums, scattergun guitars and those larynx o’ pain vocals, and presumably their fans will be clubbing each other to death to get a copy. There are plenty of decent globs of speed here, it’s just a tad too tinged w/ HM moshapalooza for the likes of us, and anyway, someone once told us that you should never trust men wearing basketball jerseys. Still, they can indeed rock.
Sex, Love And Rock n’ Roll
CD (TIME BOMB)
….never was a massive SD fan, they always seemed a bit too cowboy or something, but this first studio rec in nine years is actually pretty cool, stuff like ‘Don’t Take Me For Granted’ has a certain rockin’ sleaze to it that really works. Big fat guitars, low-key booze n’ smokes vocals, this whole thing probably comes closer to MATS territory than the band ever has before, and for that we should be thankful. Could live without the ballady ones, the keys and the odd twelve string, but mostly it’s pretty good old-man punk.
Peace, Sex & Tea
….take a nineteen year old who was born in London but lived in Paris for most of her life, back her up w/ some thugs who dig the CLASH, the PISTOLS and NOFX, set them up for some rockage and this is what you get. The title cut is kind of like NY LOOSE mixed w/ Nena (it’s something about Tatania’s phrasing that does it), and though they do – worrying – let a little bit of ska edge into the other two tracks now and again, they’re primarily filled with enough good, honest, no-frills guitar damage to pass the test. Promising stuff. Let’s all keep our ears peeled.
TEXAS TERRI BOMB!
Your Lips…My Ass!
CD (PEOPLE LIKE YOU)
….love Texas Terri, that tattooed, flame-haired, outerwear-free punk siren, even if this time she is blowing up a little kitty on the front cover. This is balls-out, tough-gurl snot at its best, loose, trashy and brimming w/ attitude. Think Wendy O Williams, Brody and Joan Jett, combined into one viciously sexy and gravel-throated hyper-being, screaming and spitting across big hairy chunks of DWARVES-meets-STOOGES rock power. Guest stars like Wayne Kramer and Ryan Roxie show up, Cherie Currie sings a duet on THIN LIZZY’s ‘The Rocker’, and the rest of the songs snap and bite like cornered ‘gators. Do you think you can handle it? Well, do ya?
The Definitive Act
CD (KUNG FU)
….really liked the joyous speed-pop of The Ultimate Escape, so was looking forward to this like a fat guy waiting for a chocolate shop to open. Well, gorge on, chubby, cuz this is another coolster, maybe a tad darker than its predecessor but no less fun because of it. They’ve definitely fallen into more of a LEGAL WEAPON-type mode in places here, it’s a bit more TILT-ish too, and while there’s not as much of a chirpy edge to it and the blokes in the band seem to be shouting more than before, still it’s a fine thing. You can have too much saccharine anyway, and when the band is knocking ‘em out like this, and M’s voice sounds this great, you won’t be getting too many complaints from us.
Our Worlds Divorce
CD LP (Rocketstar)
This Providence have provided the soundtrack to my last week with Our Worlds Divorce gracing my ears each morning as the whirl of the CD greets my ears as I awake from my slumber. I’ve been involved in this malarkey far to long, not too long ago I would have looked for any “non overused” cliché to describe an energetic performance for a band potentially cast into that scorned genre of pop-punk. However, time is a wonderful healer of ignorance, or so I’m told! Anyway I’ve finally lost interest in where bands should be lumped. Genres can be very useful but let’s face it there’s so many that are on the cusp of blending genres now that the only time they’re useful is in record stores to stop you from looking through a million of the latest hip hop releases. So where does this album stand? This providence have an undeniable pop power which certainly has the ability to attract even the most disinterested scenester looking for another trend to hang onto after the horse has bolted but that’s a pretty unfair thing to gesticulate on the basis of this record. While the lyrics leave me fairly empty for an album backed with this soundtrack the vocal command and definition exceed. Melody is the name of the game and there is no shortage of post premix effects but they sit will with the songs apart from the odd crazy synth sound flying around the place but somehow Our Worlds Divorce reminds me of that summer feeling which means that small details like that which would often niggle at my auditory pleasure are somehow lost in the whole atmosphere of the record. Where does that leave us? With a decent attempt at a feel good record which is a pleasure to hear occasionally but drawing towards the end of the week I’m starting to tire of it. Still well worth hearing if it’s your style of music but it’s just not a life changing CD!
Whoever wrote this review didn’t put thier name on the bottom of it so I can’t give credit, let that be a lesson to everyone – Andrew Culture