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"Music Reviews Issue #13 A-F"

3rd Window - "Tell Me Why" - CD
(TWindow Records 1209 Gillette Ct. Franklin, TN 37069)
3rd Window is Bryn on six- and 12-string acoustic guitar, lead vocals and flute, Jacky Bell on percussion, harmonica and vocals, and Jeff Lauterbach on bass. Surprisingly, the vocals and instrumentation work to create a melodic album with hints of jazz, power pop and rock. Bryn's vocals are strong, womanly statements and the lyrics rely on images of heartache, survival and cityscapes. Troy Stone on drums and Chris Griffin on keyboards and saxophone flesh out the sound, giving it a more whole, rounded feel. Overall, a pleasant surprise. {Fibi}
TWindow Web Site

22 Jacks - "Going North" - CD
(Side One Dummy Records 6201 Sunset Blvd Suite 211 Hollywood, CA 90028)
Another great release from Side One Dummy Records. All I simply have to say about 22 Jacks is that they deliver rock n roll as it should be-- loud, sweet, strong, and intoxicating like a great vodka sour. {Gail}
Side 1 Web Site

100 Watt Smile and Reason Flew - "100 Watt Smile and Reason Flew" - CD
(Thirsty Ear Recordings 274 Madison Ave Suite 804 New York, NY 10016)
On the CD it mentions that the lead singer, Carrie Bradley(ex-Camper Van Beethoven), is a permanent member of the Breeders. What ever happened to the Breeders anyway? The vocals on this release do have a Kim Deal smoky sweetness about them. In fact the song Dewlaps sound a bit like the Breeders during their Pod days. Another local reference (Kim Deal is from Dayton) and that is the violin on the song Dewlaps sound similar to Annette's violin style in the defunct local band Pure Plastic Tree.

100 Watt Smile offers up some wonderful grooving songs with marvelous female lead vocals (if you haven't figured that out yet). The liner notes state that the sound is a fusion of rock, pop, symphonic principles, good books and more rock. That's sounds way better than anything that I could come up with, so I will just leave it at that. {Mite}
Thirsty Ear Web Site

500 Ft. of Pipe - "The Electrifying Church of the New Light" - CD
(The High Clopse Music P.O. Box 401465 Redford, MI 48240)
Well what can I say, Deep Purple? Perhaps a little punk flavored, but mostly classic rock with lots of guitar solos and obviously they're going for the psychedelic drug influenced theme. Some really deep, awe inspiring things are said here....NOT! And why do they use the phrase "God Damn" over and over and over?! I think I shall report these guys to the Moral Majority and the Committee on un-American Activity! Bad Bad Boys! Well if you like late 60's thru 70's influenced hard rock, then this might be just the groovy ticket, man. Far fuckin' out! {Tom CoreKill}
500 Ft of Pipe Web Site

Agnostic Front - "Riot Riot Upstart" - CD
(Epitaph Records 2798 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026)
Wow! Power Packed and Hard Hitting! Fast punchy songs. I know Agnostic Front has been around for fucking ever so it's good to see that they can still fuck shit up! From the very get-go they make it clear that they're from NYC and they fucking hate Mayor Rudie Giuliani! They also speak of disgust with their surroundings and a belief in certain morals and standards of behavior. I feel like making a message comparison to The Exploited, but you know, that probably sounds pretty obvious and I could just as easily compare them to a million other bands who sing with moral outrage. I must say I like it though. They've got these great "we're totally fucking drunk at a show and everybody's singin' along" chant-like non-harmonizing choruses. {Tom CoreKill}
Epitaph Web Site

Aloha - "Ahola" - CD
(Polyvinyl Record Co P.O. Box 1885 Danville, IL 61834)
Polyvinyl Web Site

Aliya - "Free Spirit" - CD
(Sound Temple P.O. Box 490863 College Park, GA 30349)
Put this CD on your disc changer, hit play and do laundry or eat a bowl of cereal. You'll probably walk out of the house before you remember you left it on. It's inoffensive, soft-spoken poetry set to Native American-type sounds. Very calming, almost to the point of sleepiness. Aliya's brand of nature-gospel music expresses the virtues of simplicity and a love of all creatures - not a bad theme. Still, it comes across like it's music for the Christian coffeehouse set. {Fibi}
Sound Temple Web Site

All Systems Go! - "All Systems Go!" - CD
(Coldfront Records P.O. Box 8345 Berkeley, CA 94707)
Mite and I had to fight over this one since it features John of the Doughboys and Frank & Mark from Big Drill Car. If you’re curious what it sounds like think of the two aforementioned bands colliding and there you go…extremely catchy, well played punk-pop. Get this and enjoy. {Grog}
Cold Front Web Site

American Football - "American Football" - CD
(Poly Vinyl Records P.O. Box 1885 Danville, IL 61834)
No, don’t worry…this is not some cheesy K-Tel compilation dedicated to football. What it is, is one ex-member of Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc along with two other guys playing some great emo. There are loads of weird time signatures that flow within the songs and bring to mind the better aspects of jazz fusion. This is an enjoyable CD overall, but nothing that really sticks in my mind. {Grog}
Polyvinyl Web Site

American Steel - "Rogue's March" - CD
(Lookout Records P.O. Box 11374 Berkeley, CA 94712-2374)
Very Clash and early Rancid sounding release here. Ska tinged punk rock, with gravely vocals and catchy songs. At times the vocals get a bit much, but otherwise a solid punk release. {Grog}
Lookout Web Site

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead- "Madonna" - CD
(Merge Records P.O. Box 1235 Chapel Hill, NC 27514)
Picture a daredevil wearing a black crash helmet, sitting calmly in a rickety, dining room armchair. He’s surrounded by piles of dynamite--fuses lit and sparking. The crowd is hushed, rubbing their knuckles on the edges of their seats. There’s a flash and a deafening concussion. The faces in the slack-jawed crowd get hot and clammy. Then the smoke clears. The daredevil sits motionless--a dramatic pause--then he jumps up waving to the roaring crowd! …Trail of Dead is controlling a ferocious explosion. Focused and calculated rage; uncompromising growling guitars balanced on a pulsing, and unrelenting rhythm. They have the earnest rage Black Flag, fermented and filtered through the noisy maelstrom of Sonic Youth. {Superchunk Steve}
Trail of Dead Web Site

Ann Beretta - "To All Our Fallen Heroes" - CD
(Lookout Records P.O. Box 11374 Berkeley, CA 94712-2374)
"To All Our Fallen Heroes" is pure power driven rock music that will anialate most punk music with it razor sharp guitars, snappy back beats, and punchy vocals. Ann Beretta makes fun music that creates a danceable sense of chaos and will get the listener drunk with energy. The highlight of the album was Burn the Bridges, which is a power packed rock anthem complete with a horn section and red hot rhythm. Also, Ann Beretta performs a heartfelt cover of the classic Surrender originally recorded by Cheap Trick. Simply, outstanding!! {Gail}
Lookout Web Site

Anti-Heros - "Underneath the Underground" - CD
(GMM Records P.O. Box 15234 Atlanta, GA 30333)
The album was produced by Lars Frederiksen, so it has a lot of Rancid-esque qualities to it. Frederiksen was perhaps a little too vocal with his opinions; the Anti-Heros come off sounding less like the rambunctious Atlanta punk band they're known for being and more studio shiny. A good release from a solid band, but there's nothing new from this band whose crowd usually contains a skin or two. {Fibi}
GMM Web Site Anti-Heros Web Site

Apocalypse Hoboken - "Inverse...Reverse...Perverse!" - CD
(Suburban Home Records P.O. Box 40757 Denver, CO 80204)
Sorry to have to use a local reference, but on the first few songs the singer for Apocalypse Hoboken sounds just like Dave Graeter of Art of Choke (ex-Barnhills, ex-Larry Brrrds, Ex-Planet Ed, ex-Liquid Draino, ...). Anyway, this is a snotty punk rock release that starts out great, but degenerates to the same old punk sound that way too many bands have. Still I would love to see these guys play live, because something tells me that they put on one hell of a show. {Mite}
E-Mail Suburban Home Suburban Home Web Site

As Friends Rust - "As Friends Rust" - CD
(Doghouse Records P.O. Box 8946 Toledo, OH 43623)
This five song EP is full of great catchy punk rock anthems which bring to mind a young J-Church..especially lyrically. The bass really drives the band, which is always a plus for a bassist like me. {Grog}
Doghouse Web Site

Atomsmasher - "Up & Atom" - CD
(Rock Room Records 32 Rolling Hills Ln Harrison, NY 10525)
Atomsmasher is a true 60's influenced pop rock band. "Up and Atom" features post psychedelic guitars which twist and spin the listener around, drug tainted lyrics, and crisp vocals that are almost dreamlike. The best song on the album is Sick which is an upbeat pop song about a hopeless addiction to a chick. Check out Atomsmasher if you like Dramarama. {Gail}
E-Mail Atomsmasher Atomsmasher Web Site - "Vaya" - CD
(Fearless Records 13772 Goldenwest St #545 Westminster, CA 92683)
This band at least is trying to be a bit experimental in their alternative rock styling. I've been listening to this CD over and over, trying to find a good band comparison for them, but I just can't think of one. A good release. {Mite}
Fearless Web Site

Autumn Rising - "Dawn" - CD
(Brass Ass Recordings 10430 Springrun Dr Cincinnati, OH 45231)
This band features an ex-member of one of my favorite Cincinatti bands, Fourteen. However, they are not a punk-pop band. Autumn Rising play post-punk edging on emo at times with a very lo-fi edge. I like it for the most part, but find the songs too monotonious and droning for my tastes and the vocals are barely audible. I think I would like them live and in the moment, but here at work it just isn't cutting it for me. {Grog}
E-Mail Autumn Rising

Jessica Bailiff - “Even in Silence” and “Hour of the Trace” - CD
(Kranky, PO Box 578743, Chicago, IL 60657)
Graceful and quiet, almost ethereal. A lover whispering secrets into your ear; secrets falling like snow, cold and accumulating, a little disconcerting, sometimes chilling, but comforting the way that only honesty can be at the point of intimacy. Jessica Bailiff ’s voice glides just barely above the sparse instrumentation, ghostly and compassionate. Original, minimalist music, with something foreboding that seeps through the edges of quiet and beautiful songs. {Superchunk Steve}
Kranky Web Site

Beefcake - "Rejected" - CD
(Fearless Records 13772 Goldenwest St #545 Westminster, CA 92683)
I LOVE BEEFCAKE!!! They’re devils clad in plaid boxers who immerse themselves in acting like they have a collective I.Q.of 80 with the sex drive of a 13 year old male who masturbates to MTV and a five year old who is thoroughly intrigued with his poopy. "Rejected" is filled with teenage anthems about unemployment, proctologists, beer, sex, and an ode to Bob Saget. Also, they do a great cover of Surrender originally recorded by Cheap Trick.
The top three lyrics are…
1. “I rode the little bus to school.”
2. “It’s my job to make you piss your pants.”
3. “I wanna be a proctologist. I wanna stick my finger right up your ass.”

Beefcake is living la vida loca. "Rejected" is a must for anyone who enjoys Screeching Weasel, the Vandals, or Guttermouth. {Gail}
Fearless Web Site

Belle Morte - "Where Shadows Lie" - CD
(Some Wear Leather P.O. Box 4203 Charlottesville, VA 22905)
An excellent goth / electronic cd release. A mixture of a little Sisters of Mercy and Depeche Mode. Dark and depressing as all goth music should be. The track Away does a good job of capturing the isolation and alienation the many Goths feel. Grab your vinyl pants, grad this cd and enjoy. 10/10 {theSADman}
Bella Morte Web Site

The Belmont Playboys - "One Nite of Sin...Live" - CD
(Deep South Records P.O. Box 17737 Raleigh, NC 27619)
Lest there was any doubt, this band rocks in a very hard way. This is old-school rock, back from a time when the women were girls and the men were men. This CD successfully captures the intensity and talent of the Playboys, who put on one hell of an energetic show. Singer Mike Hendrix has a voice like velvet and a guitar style to match. Chipps Baker adds his own silvery style, while Jeff Hendrix keeps a toe-tapping pace on the bass and Marc Painter's scaled-back drum kit certainly sounds like it could rip your head off if he felt like it. These songs combine the intensity of Chuck Berry and the Ventures with the attitude of Elvis Presley and Hank Williams Sr. This is sexy music, boys and girls. {Fibi}
Deep South Web Site

Big Angry Fish! - "The 13 Electric Turn-Ons" - CD
(Beluga Records P.O. Box 146751 Chicago, IL 60614)
Let’s talk about Sohio, the fifth and best song on the CD. When I start reviewing I listen to a couple of songs, and then prioritize all the CD’s according to really good and really bad. This CD got stuck in the middle of the slush pile, because to be honest the first couple of songs didn’t do a damn thing. Then later I was listening to the whole thing and something strange happened. Right around Sohio, this other really cool band stepped in and started playing great and catchy songs in the Sebadoh/Pavement School. The middle of the CD is great. There’s an EP of good songs there and Sohio is the best among them. {Superchunk Steve}
Beluga Web Site

Bigfoot - "Dark Old Days" - CD
(Deraileur Records P.O. Box 10276 Columbus, OH 43201)
Derailluer records has stepped in to fill the void that Lizard family music left and is releasing some of Columbus, Ohio's best bands. I haven't heard Bigfoot for a while , but think they have found their sound now…it's reminiscent of mid '80s Camper Van Beethoven. However the vocals aren't quite so silly throughout, but the mood is the same. The lyrical focus is everyday life with a great intermingling of female and male voices. A solid release. {Grog}
E-Mail Derailuer Deraileur Web Site

Big Meteor - "Wild River" - CD
(David Wimble P.O. Box 6043 Ottawa J 1365 Richmond Rd Ottawa, ON K2A 0A0 Canada / $15 Canadian)
Oh wait, okay. This is very twangy. Just needed to get adjusted. Sometimes this reminds me of karaoke in a truck stop. But there is really a very cool Roy Orbison quality to it, too. Lots of pedal steel. This is definitely good driving music. Late at night, sipping coffee between rest stops. {Superchunk Steve}
Big Meteor Web Site

Bitchy - "Black Socks and Happiness" - CD
(Thick Records 409 N. Wolcott Chicago, IL 60622)
The band scores points for the title of its latest album, I'll give them that. Beyond that, the music is punk revival in a sort of hardcore, garage counterpoint to former labelmates Blue Meanies. Bitchy assaults you, screams at you, taunts you and leaves you in a heightened state of angst. {Fibi}
Thick Web Site

Black Cat Music - "This is the New Romance" - LP
(Cheetah's Records P.O. Box 4442 Berkeley, CA 94704)
Wine In A Box, hypnotizes the listener into a thick drug induced haze and paints the scenery with dyed black hair, dexedrine, and a faint stench of patchouli. I fell into deep thoughts of the late 80’s when the Replacements and Dramarama ruled the scene. Black Cat Music seems draw their passion from the indy scene in the 80’s and picks up where the predecessors left off. A listen to this record will entangle the listen in a web of soothing yet, eerie music. I really enjoyed Black Cat Music. {Gail}
E-Mail Cheetah's Cheetah's Web Site

Blanks 77 - "C.B.H." - CD
(Radical Records P.O. Box 77 Bleecker St #C2-21 New York, NY 10012)
These guys have been around for a while and have made a name of playing 77 style punk rock. It’s just what you’d expect snotty, beer drenched punk rock. Yes, this is also the band that was searcging for two punk-rock girls to make out on their cover. They succeded.{Grog}
Radical Web Site

Bloody & the Vaynes - "Bloody & the Vaynes" - CD
(Black & Blue Records PMB 222 400D Putnum Pike Smithfield, RI 02917)
Strange?. Very strange. This album primarily sounds metal, but it's got these weird little elements of rockabilly, pop and other genres thrown in, which makes for a dissonant musical salad. After the first few songs, I was all set to write a review saying the band sounded like almost every alt-metal act out there, but the juxtaposition of Darth Vader-style vocals with jangly, twangy guitars makes you want to listen to the CD a couple of times to figure out what the hell is really going on. Unfortunately, on about the fourth listen, the lyrics start to be decipherable - which is a problem when the most profound artistic statement is "If you're gonna leave me baby / Check your pussy at the door." {Fibi}
E-Mail Black & Blue Records

Blue Dogs - "Letters From Round O" - CD
(Black River Records P.O. Box 21062 Charleston, SC 29413)
The Blue Dogs are a Charleston, South Carolina trio. "Letters from Round O" is their third release and was produced by David Lowery of Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven fame. The Blue Dogs unite country twang with indie rock. The opening track, Isabelle is a love song that is about a girl trying to grow up too quickly. Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish makes a guest appearance and David Lowery sings lead on Carolina Heartache. "Letters from the Round O" is a strong release that celebrates the Blue Dogs American roots. Check them out if you like the Wallflowers. {Gail}

Bombshell Rocks - "Street Art Gallery" - CD
(Epitaph Records 2798 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026)
Formed in Sweden in the mid-90s, Bombshell Rocks preach the gospel of hardcore punk with a blistering onslaught of guitars, bass and drums. The band's US debut smacks listeners with political and social statements harnessed by sheer energy. They have a sound similar to the Pietasters and Rancid (the album was produced by Mathias from Millencolin), but Bombshell Rocks adds a bit more grit to their songs and creates an album that harks back to punk's heyday in the late '70s. {Fibi}
Epitaph Web Site

David Bowie - "'hours...'" - CD
(Virgin Records)
If I could be any rock star, it would be David Bowie. He looks better being over 50-years-old than I do at 30. Anyway, the first thing that I have to say is that this is an excellent release. This release was co-written and co-produced by Reeves Gabrels, who I'm sure we are going to be hearing more about in the future. I loved every song on this CD, with my favorite being Survive. Bowie's wonderful crooning and excellent lyrics make this yet another top-notch release. {Mite}
Bowie Web Site Virgin Web Site

Bush - "The Science of Things" - CD
(Trauma Records / Universal)
OK, I admit it, I like this release and think that Bush is one of the better top 40 alternative rock bands out there. Also their hit single from this album The Chemicals Between Us is actually one of the better tracks. However the next song English Fire is extremely laborious to listen to. Most songs have a space / science theme, which makes me, think of Black Francis. Sure they are fairly formulamatic, but their guitarist really leads the band into a more diverse. The lyrics are well…it’s a good thing he’s cute. {Grog}
Trauma Web Site

The Buzzrats - "Cartoon Twilight" - CD
(The Buzzrats P.O. Box 4551 Ann Arbor, MI 48106)
The Buzzrats are an Ann Habor, Michigan band. The release "Cartoon Twilight" is a gloomy collection of alternative country songs. Lefty at Roswell repeats the line, “It’s easy to find god when you are lying on the floor of the jail cell.” Check it out if you like Whiskeytown or the Old 97’s. {Gail}

By a Thread - "The Last of the Daydreams" - CD
(Revelation Records P.O. Box 5232 Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232)
As I listen to this all I can think of are big hair 80’s metal bands. It’s weird, I know these guys are hardcore, but there is so much heavy metal influence it’s unsettling. {Grog}
Revelation Web Site

Cactus Pears - "Snacks for Slacks" - CD
(EFB Records)
This band reminds me a little bit of Wilco, Son Volt and other alt-country acts out there, with an edgy sense of cynicism and twangy melodies, but Cactus Pears incorporates a spacier/surfer feel to some of its guitars and drum fills. The instrumentation deserves note, too, since beyond the drums/guitar/bass thing, Cactus Pears uses mandolin and cello accompaniment as well. The songwriting and harmonies are lilting and tug on the heart; at times, the band's sound brings to mind comparisons with Tod Weidner and Shrug, equal bits folk, rock and pop. {Fibi}
E-Mail Cactus Pears Cactus Pears Web Site

Canned Heat - "Boogie 2000" - CD
(Ruf Records)
This band has been around since 1966 and has a staple for those living the Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic circuit. The latest release contains muted blues-rock-country music with some good guitar work, good grooves and some genuine rock-out moments. I found myself comparing it to John Lee Hooker (whom Canned Heat has worked with) and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Canned Heat remain viable contenders in the hippie ballroom blues boogie circuit. However, if you're looking for a better introduction to the band, you might try one of its earlier releases. {Fibi}

Catchpenny - "Little Shut Up" - CD
(Catchpenny P.O. Box 171 Irwin, PA 15642)
These guys play really good power pop that lies somewhere between Toad the Wet Sproket and Sicko. However, the vocals are just annoying and don’t fit the band. I’m reminded of the Hobbit trying to sing. I think his problem is that he has a geeky voice, but tries to sing instead of using it to a geekcore advantage. On a few songs he sounds like the singer from Our Lady Peace, but it just doesn’t work with this music. {Grog}
E-Mail Catchpenny Catchpenny Web Site

Catchpenny - "Dajom" - CD
(Catchpenny P.O. Box 171 Irwin, PA 15642)
Another release by the Hobbit singer…I mean Catchpenny. On this release I think the singer strays even further from the band…except when he yells or gets into some pissed off vocals. Like at the end of …Kidding Myself. I think that sounds great. If he could do that all the time I would be totally into this band, but the voice kills it for me…sorry. {Grog}
E-Mail Catchpenny Catchpenny Web Site

Cats & Jammers - "Hurray for Everything" - CD
(Beluga Records P.O. Box 146751 Chicago, IL 60614)
Boom-a-chaka, boom-a-chaka, boom-a-chaka. Very fast, tiny guitars racing over a thumping bass and spastic snare pops. At times I swear I’m listening to the Femmes, then the Turtles, then it’s the eighties and I’m listening to Adam Ant. But wait! There’s something that sounds like Radiohead. I don’t know what to make of it really. It’s certainly not complicated, pretty straightforward pop, but I can’t decide if I like it or not. The middle of the CD is the better part. I think I do like Hour Glass and Slave. The only thing I can really say for sure is, boom-a-chaka, boom-a-chaka, boom-a-chaka. {Superchunk Steve}
Beluga Web Site

Caustic Resin - "Trick Question" - CD
(Alias Records 10153 1/2 Riverside Dr Suite 115 Toluca Lake, CA 91602)
Never heard of them before. Hmmm, not sure if this is totally my thing. Very eclectic in styles thru out this album. Here and there I heard some Rolling Stones influences. The song Road Block was a real stand-out to me, like an early era punk vomitous in the vein of Iggy and the Stooges or Dead Boys which will always hold a dear spot in my heart. The last song, Marching San Xavier was like a Jane's Addiction soaring vocal distortion song. Weird, this is all stylistically over the place. There's some real instrumental talent presented here. {Tom CoreKill}
E-Mail Alias Alias Web Site

The Chicken Hawks - "Siouxcide City" - CD
(R.A.F.R. Records 11054 Ventura Blvd PMB 205 Studio City, CA 91604)
A southern rock-a-billy band with female vocals. Sounds like a poor man's version of the Cramps. I'm sure that this would be a wonderful band to see live, but after hearing the bite that Cramp-a-billy, many bands in the same general genre have a hard time living up to my expectations. {Mite}
R.A.F.R. Web Site

The Clay People - "The Clay People" - CD
(Slipdisc Records / Mercury)
Rumor has it these guys almost called themselves the Playdough People. Straightforward heavy metal release. Nothing too exciting and kind of boring. Better luck next time. 7/10 {theSADman}
E-Mail The Clay People The Clay People Web Site Slipdisc Web Site

Clone - "Not Feeling Like Yourself Today?" - CD
(Evil Eye Records P.O. Box 640264 San Francisco, CA 94164)
This bands is noisy, freaky and cheesy. Their sound is experimental and psychedelic spaghetti western-space age music. If I could use two words to describe this it would be funky monkey. {Mite}
Evil Eye Web Site

Consumed - "Hit for Six" - CD
(Fat Wreck Chords P.O. 193690 San Francisco, CA 94119-3690)
A dead bug and urinals greet your eyes when you pick up this CD and open it. Based on that iconography, the music has to be better, right? Well, while I wouldn't flush the CD down the toilet, I probably won't put it on repeat rotation, either. The guitars call to mind GNR at times (I'm sorry, but they really do) and the drumming reminds me of early Slayer. The end result is something punk with a definite rock-metal patina. On the Take Again is a genuinely good SONG, and calls to mind bands such as the Queers and Chopper. {Fibi}
Fat Wreck Chords Web Site

Chris Cornell - "Euphoria Morning" - CD
(A&M Records)
Chris Cornell’s debut solo record is a sweetly seductive treasury of songs that reveals Chris’s quiet and thoughtful side. "Euphoria Morning" is quite a departure from the loud thunder of Soundgarden. Chris recorded the entire album digitally, yet there are very strong sounds reminiscent to vintage 60’s music. "Euphoria Morning" is a great album to put on when you are in a reflective and meditative mood. {Gail}

Steven Cragg - "Entrance" - CD
(New World Music Ltd 154 Betasso Rd Boulder, CO 80302)
This release is swirling ethereal with the chants and sounds of the tribal intermixed with steady beats and electronica. The only track that seems to break from the mold is appropriately titled Carnival!, It's a lively tune that makes you feel like you are at some wonderful carnival in an exotic land. The cultural references which help in the eclectic feel of the music are too numerous to mention. Just be assured that this wonderful release that will take you into another realm of musical consciousness. {Mite}
E-Mail New World Music New World Music Web Site

Croatan - "Seperation Anxiety" - 7"
(GOD Incorporated P.O. Box 20195 Cincinnati, OH 45220)
Croatan sounds like somebody consumed plenty of acid, went into the recording studio, and attempted to sound like the heavy metal version of Joan Jett who spews out lyrics about strangulation and jocko homos. The sound is really muffled and the guitars have a very flat texture. Give this a listen if you’re a 14 year old white male who loves a metal band with a babe in it. {Gail}
E-Mail GOD Inc E-Mail Croatan Croatan Web Site

The Crayon Theatrical - "The Crayon Theatrical" - CD
(Skeptical Cat Recordings P.O. Box 973 Lebanon, OH 45036)
This six-song release by the one man wonder, Michael Homyk, is a proof that it's possible to home record and not suck. The music has a swirly psychedelic feel to it. The vocals are wonderful with hints of Ween. Michael is an exceptional songwriter, from the quirky hooks to the good lyrics, this is someone to be on the lookout for. The word is that he is current working on music for a CD. I can't wait. {Mite}
Skeptical Cat Web Site

Dance Hall Crashers - "Purr" - CD
(Pink & Black Records P.O. 190516 San Francisco, CA 94119)
The Dance Hall Crashers are back and on their own label…no more major label blues. They still play the same great ska flavored punk-pop and Elyse & Karina's vocals make me melt. Among the best tracks are Beverly Kills which is a cautionary tale, Everything to Lose with its great vocal harmonies, Do You Think You're Beautiful a great tune about self image and Cricket featuring a vocal duet and acoustic guitar. Everysong on this release is great and it hasn't left my side since I received it. {Grog}

Deep Reduction - "Deep Reduction" - CD
(Get Hip Recordings P.O. Box 666 Canonsburg, PA 15317)
On first listen I though of the Stooges fronted by a sedate Iggy, but mid period R.E.M. keeps spring to mind as well due to the instrumentalizations. It has its moments, but overall has too much of that slow and drugged out 70’s sound for my taste. {Grog}
Get Hip Web Site

Dig Dug - "Whoa...a Dig Dug Seven Inch" - 7"
(Rebound Records 17019 Evergreen Elm Way Houston, TX 77059)
Dig Dug play catchy, if not typical pink pop. It's well played and fun, however, it's just to prevelent these days. Another good punk pop bands to add to the long list of good punk pop bands. {Grog}
Rebound Web Site

Anthony Distefano - "Demo" - Cassette
(Anthony Distefano 17220 62nd Street Brooklyn, NY 11204)
This demo is a non-vocal project which comes off as a would-be soundtrack to an independent suspense/horror flick. I don't know, I guess he was influenced somewhat by Industrial and Gothic music, but it doesn't come off as such and is far from danceable (unless that wasn't the intention). With pieces entitled "Maggot Rain", "Bone Marrow" and "Piper (Infestation Mix), one might anticipate eerie Gothic splendor, but unfortunately this recording falls short. It seems like a home-grown experimental concept so maybe this would appeal to some one out there. The track called "Ansonia" reminded me of some of the cheesiest mid 80's Kate Bush electronic based material. Perhaps he'll find a more succinct style on future efforts. {Tom CoreKill}

Distortion Felix - "I'm An Athlete" - CD
(Alias Records 10153 1/2 Riverside Dr Suite 115 Toluca Lake, CA 91602)
Like the name of the band suggests, there's a lot of distorted guitar in the music presented on this album. On the song "Red Lips" they've got a lot of overpowering percussion and gravelly guitar almost drowning out the evil whispering of Manuel Nieto. On many of the songs there is a hard-rockin' basic feel that seems to work pretty well. Some of it a weak in my opinion but hey, who gives a fuck?! The revered Steve Albini recorded and mixed this puppy so that has got to give it clout! The final song "Drag", pops up a little surprisingly with orchestral music and a slow droning rhythm. This is something that a bad kid should take and pop into his daddy's home stereo system and crank so it drives the old man crazy! {Tom CoreKill}
E-Mail Alias Alias Web Site

Divit - "Low Speed Chase" - CD
(Coldfront Records P.O. Box 8345 Berkeley, CA 94707)
This band has the punk with a pop edge sound. The sound is fast and the vocals are clean. I really like the lyrics for their positive slant. This band would be a treat to see live. {Mite}
Coldfront Web Site

Donovan's Brain - "Eclipse and Debris" - CD
(Get Hip Recordings P.O. Box 666 Canonsburg, PA 15317)
This is what you get if you try to smoke banana peels and try really hard to be bizarre is a post-psychedelic sort of way. I’d rather huff freon than listen to Donovan’s Brain. "Eclipse and Debris" is void of any fun, creativity, or rhythm. The Young Fresh Fellows appear on the track Tad’s New Cymbal Stand. One Big Yawn. {Gail}
Get Hip Web Site

Drown - "Kerosene" - CD
(Slipdisc Records / Mercury)
I don't know, isn't there enough of this around...this is Korn wannabee stuff. I mean, I could definitely hear this on top 40 alternacrap radio and MTV. It seems like more product because they know the market is ripe for the picking kinda music. Basically, the featured song Kerosene is saying "I'm a bored fucking white trash kid, I'm bored and since I have nothing better to do and I see some flammable substances so I'm gonna torch myself!" Maybe it's also a veiled huffing reference. Who knows, who gives a shit! Oooo, they even have a politically correct in Espanol version! Oh, and there's a version for the radio that omits the "fuck each other" lines! Just what I needed. The remix Something To Do was a bit better; dark and Trent Reznor-ish. {Tom CoreKill}
Drown Web Site

Enemy You - "Where No One Knows My Name" - CD
(Panic Button Records P.O. Box 148010 Chicago, IL 60614-8010)
J Church instantly sprung to mind when I started this release up. They aren’t as political, yet the lyrics investigate who we are, relationships and society as a whole. Great catchy punk-pop with harmonious choruses. A great catchy album that means something. “I believe in truth and moral absolutes, but hey, what the fuck can I do?” {Grog}

Escape Velocity - "Escape Velocity" - CD
(Surf Into Space Prod 2604 Green Hills Dr Fairborn, OH 45324)
Sci-fi surf ala Man or Astroman. Lots of strange synth noise background, and creepy vocals. They usually seem content to kick back and casually ride the New Wave. {Superchunk Steve}
E-Mail Escape Velocity Escape Velocity Web Site

Ester - "Default State" - CD
(Thirsty Ear Records 274 Madison Ave Suite 804 New York, NY 10016)
If you’re into Soundgarden, then you’re into Ester. If you’re still mourning that loss, then go out right now and buy an Ester. I’m not even into this stuff, but these guys have a very good sense of the futurist, heavy metal groove. I can’t say anything bad about a good band. {Superchunk Steve}
Thirsty Ear Web Site

F-Minus - "F-Minus" - CD
(Hellcat Records 2798 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026 / Epitaph)

Fanmail - "Here Comes Fanmail EP" - CD
(Tooth & Nail Records P.O. Box 12698 Seattle, WA 98111)
Very good! Excellent rocked out power-pop with no seams showing. Good sound, good songs, good harmonies, great hooks. This works. I want to hear more. {Superchunk Steve} Tooth & Nail Web Site

Fastbreak - "Whenever You're Ready" - CD
(Revelation Records P.O. Box 5232 Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232)
This band is pop-punk with a furious beat, churning bass and driving guitars. The songs are wonderful. This is another one of those bands who would be great to see live. {Mite}
Revelation Web Site

Favez - "A Sad Ride on the Line Again" - CD
(Dirty Alternative Beat Productions)
Music from Bagdad. An acoustic cd that was made to be slow and depressing. True, this cd is rather depressing . It seems to be bordering on folk music, but also sounds like it could be an American alternative group doing an acoustic album. Songs This is how is ends , Bleak, and Friday morning, 1 AM sound like the singer may be crying as he sings. Yes this is a sad ride alright but a recommended on as well. 8/10. {theSADman}

Freddy Fender - "Lone Star - The Best of Freddy Fender" - CD
(Music Collection International)
Okay, here's the deal, while listening to CD's at Grog's I mentioned that on his solo album, John Popper sounded like Freddy Fender. Everyone kind of chuckled, except Johnny who had no idea who Freddy Fender was. Anyway, Grog e-mails me the next day to let me know that a record company was releasing the best of Freddy Fender and they were sending us a copy. Then about a week later Gail found a Freddy Fender plastic cup at a record show. I tell you it's way too eerie.

Freddy Fender is a huge country star of yesteryear (even though his music wasn't country). His voice is what strikes you first, and his songs have an early crooner rock n' soul feel about them. Freddy was once known as the "El Be-Bop Kid" and that is a perfect description for this guy who had twenty-one hits over an eight-year period. All I have to say about this release is that Gail and I had a violent fistfight over this. {Mite}

Filibuster - "Ceacly Hi-Fi" - CD
(Conerstone RAS / Skunk Records PMB #234 6285 E. Spring St Long Beach, CA 90808)
This album grooves - hard. Elements of ska, reggae, northern soul and world beat all blend seamlessly together to create one skank-able album. Chinbone's work on saxophone deserves special mention, his guttural tones and squonking calls to mind the late ska sax legend Rolando Aphonso, who is noted in a special remembrance on the album's credits. Filibuster's Third Wave Ska Revival sound sets itself apart from the pack by using hip-hop turntables and quirky samples mixed with funk-style drumming and straight-ahead guitar solos. {Fibi} Skunk Web Site

The Folk Implosion - "One Part Lullaby" - CD
(Interscope Records / Geffen / A&M)
Folk Implosion is mostly known for their hit Natural One from the soundtrack to the movie Kids. I have always wanted to hear more from this group and "One Part Lullaby" finally satisfied that need. The Folk Implosion is Lou Barlow and John Davis and do they know how to write great tunes. The songs on this release are diverse in feel and style. This is one of those albums where the only thing I am able to think of when describing this CD is F*ing Great! {Mite} Folk Implosion Web Site

the Foxymorons - "Calcutta" - CD
(American Pop Project P.O. Box 2271 San Rafael, CA 94912)
Ok, now this is funny. My band was the Oxymorons and people defaced our stickers at times to read the Foxymorons. Then we were on this "Shredder Records" comp and now Mel Shredders other label releases the Foxymorons. Well, ok so it's not too funny, but it is to me dammit! Come on give me a chance to stroke my ego dammit!

Anyway this is about them and their music which is pure pop. Nothing really to it, just smooth and catchy but with a '60s sound updated for the sterile '90s. Much better than most pop you're likely to find in the radio wastelands. {Grog}
American Pop Project Web Site

The Frogs - "Bananimals" - CD
(4 Alarm Records 660 W. Lake St Chicago, IL 60661)
I saw this band at Canal Street a few years back. Not only did they suck, but the guys acted like assholes. Quirkiness in the lyrics and vocals that is fun for about two seconds, well maybe not even that long. {Mite}
Four Alarm Web Site

Fudgegun - "Behind Closed Doors" - CD
(Futowan Records P.O. Box 262 Goodrich, MI 48438)
Fudgegun is back with another release that leaves me wanting more. There are ten songs but the whole disc only spans just over 15 minutes. They are down to a three piece, but have lost no power since Marty still remains on bass and vocals and Alicia is still pounding the drums. Marty and Ron share the vocals and waste no time saying what they want to say. Most of the lyrics have familiar socio-political punk rock themes. Overall they have a great melodic hardcore sound that reminds me of Bikini Kill when Marty sings. I love this band!! {Grog}

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