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"Music Reviews Issue #13 U-Z & SOUNDTRACKS"

U.K. Subs - "Left For Dead" - CD
(ROIR Records 611 Broadway Suite 411 New York, NY 10012)
Another re-issue from “Roir”. This time it’s a live album by the UK Subs. The UK Subs always seemed to be one of those other bands that came on during the 76/77 punk outbreak with the Damned, X, The Strangles, The Clash, The Ramones… I like them, but they just never stood out like their contemporaries did. Many good songs, including my fav CID, but nothing really makes this a necessity to me. {Grog}
ROIR Web Site

Unruh - "Setting Fire to Sinking Ships" - CD
(Pessimiser Records P.O. Box 1070 Hermosa Beach, CA 90254)
(Unruh P.O. Box 357 Tempe, AZ 85280)
Mellow acoustic and piano music for about 50 seconds that quickly turns into all out insanity. Speeding guitars, guttral growls and screams from hell. Speed metal/ Black metal/ Death metal this cd will please fans of any of those categories. Fast, brutal , and insane. 7/10 {theSADman}
Unrah Web Site Epitaph Web Site

U.S. Maple - “Talker” - CD
(Drag City, PO Box 476867, Chicago, IL 60647)
Devo began the de-evolution of music back in the eighties. Here in 1999 U.S. Maple has achieved perfect and precise deconstruction. Precise and calculated compositional entropy and random, flourishing guitar squeals are impacted over a total irreverence for the single-time-signature-per-song/verse/instrument theory. They break songs down into tiny bits. It’s kind of like smashing plate glass, picking up six of the pieces, gluing them back together and calling the finished product a jar. (And, it’s a pretty fucking amazing jar, by the way.) If the corporate rock gods knew what a band like U.S. Maple means to popular American music, they’d have them immediately thrown to the lions! {Superchunk Steve}
U.S. Maple Web Site

Johnny Vance - "Johnny Vance" - Cassette
(Johnny Vance P.O. Box 158203 Nashville, TN 37215-8203)
(Note to Dayton locals: No, this is not the son of the crazy Nu-Sash window guy.)

This Johnny Vance turns back the hands of time to create some timeless rock ballads in the vein of the Baby’s and Charlie Sexton.

This Johnny Vance has an obsession with Mia Farrow and he could live his life without sorrow if the star of "Rosemary’s Baby" would just dance with him and he would never chase your offspring. This Johnny Vance sings about life, struggles, fame, and broken relationships with a hint of hope. {Gail}

Valerie - "Valerie" - CD
(Counter Clockwise Music 34841 Mound Rd Suite 313 Sterling Heights, MI 48310)
Gahhhh?. Obviously designed as an inoffensive showcase project for another as-of-yet undiscovered Amy Grant. It would be even more perfect if she had some rags-to-riches Shania Twain angle. Valerie has that powerful, sultry vocal perfected by artists such as Chrissie Hynde in the 1980s; difference is, we wanted to hear Hynde sing because she had some tough-girl grit to back it up; Valerie sounds for all the world that she just got dumped at the prom by the minister's son. There is nothing too inventive on this record - even when she tries to be the soul seductress on Angel she comes off sounding like a frustrated suburban housewife who's listened to one too many Christian rock albums. {Fibi}
Valarie Web Site Counter Clockwise Web Site

Welfare Gypsies - "Upstairs / Downstairs" - CD
(Chris Alan 614-237-4427)
Welfare Gypsies sound like the white boys trying to have the blues. The band sounds like they have studied every predictable way to play their instruments and they probably have been listening to their Pat Methany records religiously. The best thing about the Welfare Gypsies is their lead singer, Shaun Booker-Chitison, who has a very soulful voice. My advice to Shaun is to skip town and lose these boys. The Welfare Gypsies are another edition in the never-ending saga of frat boy rock. {Gail}

White Skull - "Tales from the North" - CD
(Nuclear Blast Records P.O. Box 43618 Philadephia, PA 19106)
Progressive Power metal. This cd seems to be a mixture of Manowar themes, and some Savatage sounds maiking me thing these cd could have been easily released 15 years ago. IF you would like to hear songs about Vikings, and sword fighting, then jut in your boat and sail on over to your local record store and pick this up (assuming the wind is blowing favorably). Hail The Gods of the Sea ! 7/10. {theSADman}
Nuclear Blast Web Site

Yanni Difranco - "Man's Great Achievements" - CD
(Negative Platinum Music P.O. Box 278 Hadley, MA 01035)
Yanni Difranco has an almost acoustical-alternative sound with lyrics that border on quirky. The band use to be known as Antiscene. The slew of fun songs include Don't Go Crazy, Ed McMahon, Anjie, Where's my Medicine and Smith Girl. A purely enjoyable CD. {Mite}
E-Mail Yanni Difranco Yanni Difranco Web Site

Yes - "The Ladder" - CD
(Beyond Records / BMG)
Believe it or not, Yes is still around. This takes me back to my prog-rock days from when I was a preteen into my late teens. I loved Yes and other bands like this such as King Crimson, middle period Rush, early Genesis… I always regarded Chris Squire is one of the best bass players around and after hearing this release nothing has changed. The rest of the band was great also, except that I find Jon Anderson’s vocals to be annoying. The first track is a typical Yes epic with several parts and many bridges to new structures within the framework of the original piece. Many of the other songs follow in the traditional Yes style with showcase of every persons ability on every song. From a pure musical standpoint I still love this band. But from a pleasurable standpoint I find it overindulgent and a bit annoying. {Grog}

Mike Younger - "Somethin' in the Air" - CD
(Beyond Records / BMG)
"Somethin’ in the Air" is Mike Younger’s debut recording. It is a beautiful and soulful blend of folk and blues. Mike weaves the themes of love, loss, anger, and hope tightly together in the songs. Mike has been heralded as “one of the finest root-based” singer songwriters by John Sinclair of WWOZ, New Orleans in 1996. Mike’s musical influences include Leadbelly, Woody Gutherie, and John Prine. I highly recommend this release that is simple yet elegant. {Gail}
Century Media Web Site

Camber / Kid Brother Collective - "The Long Goodbye/Sketches of Spain" - 7"
(Doom Nibbler Records 838 East High Street #186 Lexington, KY 40502)
Camber is an almost emo sounding punk pop band that is pretty catchy. Kid Brother Collective is the other band on this split. They play a really unique blend of punk pop, melodic hardcore and emo. They should be having a new CD coming out on Doom Nibbler soon, so watch out for it. {Grog}
Doom Nibbler Web Site

Swinging Utters / Youth Brigade - "Split Series Vol II" - CD
(BYO Records P.O. Box 67A64 Los Angeles, CA 90067)
The Swingin' Utters first song Angel's Pissin' On Your Head made me think of Mike Ness fronting Screeching Weasel. After that they fell back into the Swingin' Utters style I'm used to...however they have grown and expanded. Mother of the Madd has a great Irish influence and '39 is basically a folk song... most of the other songs have sometype of growth from the standard drunk punk style. The rest of the disc features Youth Brigade. The first couple of their songs sound so different than how I recalled them sounding. However, the rest were very much as I recall along the lines of Minor Threat with Let Then Know being a standout. {Grog}
BYO Web Site

The Vehicle Birth / The Wicked Farleys - "Toronto/How's My Driving" - 7"
(Doom Nibbler Records 838 East High Street #186 Lexington, KY 40502)
The Vehicle Birth start things off with a slow building post punk song that gets interesting about half way through. Then it started to decompose into something else. Pretty good. On the other hand The Wicked Farleys played a long rambling post punk instrumental that didn't do anything for me...well it did annoy me a bit. {Grog}
Doom Nibbler Web Site

V/A - "Across the Bridge of Hope" - CD
(White Records / Sony)
This is a benefit release for the people who died or were injured as a result of the Omagh bomb tragedy that happened last year. I'm sad to say that I found the release to be very weak. Some of the artist that can be found on this disk are U2, Ash, Enya, and Sinead O'Connor. This CD is a huge disappointment. {Mite}

V/A - "Before You Were Punk 2" - CD
(Vagrant Records PMB #361 2118 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90403)
The sequel compilation, from the age of sequels, of current punk-pop bands (most of whose members are my age) playing hit new wave songs from the 80's (when I was a teen). You get a bunch of great old songs:What I Like About You, Just What I Needed, Every Breathe You Take (sans Puffy), Rebel Yell and more. Preformed by bands like NoFX, MxPx, Bouncing Souls, The Get Up Kids, Rocket From the Crypt, Lagwagon, All and many more. Even if you were born in the 80's you should get this and hear the radio stuff these bands grew up on and what most of them played in their first cover bands. {Grog}

V/A - "Blues Down Deep / Songs of Janis Joplin" - CD
(House of Blues)
Yet another great release from the folks at the House of Blues where blues artists cover the songs of a musical legend. What makes this release so great is that Janis' songs scream blues. She was one hell of a singer and while the artists on this release don't match the power that Janis breathed into the originals, they come close. My favorite on this release is Ball and Chain covered by Etta James, one of my favorite female blues singers right behind Big Mama Thorton. If you're a blues or Janis fan get this CD now. It is killer. {Mite}

V/A - "Cinema Beer Belly" - CD
(Hopeless Records P.O. Box 7495 Van Nuys, CA 91409-7495)
This CD is pure punk rock. Twenty bands offering up some great jams for everyone's listening pleasure. Everything was wonderful on this release but the tunes that really stood out were the ones by Mustard Plug, The Weakerthans, Superchunk, Man or Astroman, The Melvins, Alkaline Trio and the Queers. If you are a pop punk fiend who also likes to hear a smithering of other forms of punk then get this CD now! Wait! Not now now. After you finish reading the zine now. Jeesh. {Mite}
Hopeless Web Site

V/A - "The East Coast of Oi!" - CD
(Radical Records 77 Bleecker St #C2-21 New York, NY 10012)
When I hear Oi!, I always think about the story of the skinhead who got the word "Oi!" tattooed on his forehead. The tattoo bleed making the "Oi!" turn into "Oil". So I always imagine the stupid skinhead having to explain to everyone why he has "Oil" tattooed on his forehead.

Anyway, this release is typical Oi! music. Basically hard and heavy punk with angry vocals and lyrics. Some of the bands featured are Disorderly Conduct, The Ducky Boys and Broken Heroes. {Mite}
E-Mail Radical Radical Web Site

V/A - "Greetings from the Welfare State" - CD
(BYO Records P.O. Box 67A64 Los Angeles, CA 90067)
This is a compilation of some of the best current British punk bands. Most fall into the pissed off street punk arena. If you'd like a taste of current British punk, then this would be a good place to start. My favorites on this release were: Consumed, Snuff (doing a great cover of I Will Survive), Citizen Fish, The Stains, Newton Grunts, Imbalance, The 'Tone and Southpaw. {Grog}
BYO Web Site

V/A - "Jingle Blues" - CD
(House of Blues)
"Jingle Blues" is a collection of classy blues Christmas songs provided by the House of Blues. I really enjoyed the collection because it didn’t seem like the songs were performed by some over paid artist who wants to make more money simply by putting together another bland collection of Christmas songs sung with no soul or joy. "Jingle Blues" features blues legends including John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Bessie Smith, Floyd Dixon, and Albert King. The earliest track on the collection recorded November 18, 1925 was At the Christmas Ball, performed by Bessie Smith and it featured Louis Armstrong on cornet. "Jingle Blues" is a great addition to any holiday collection of music. {Gail}

V/A - "Music in the Air - The Dixie Hummingbirds" - CD
(House of Blues)
"Music In the Air" is a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the career of the Dixie Hummingbirds. The Dixie Hummingbirds are a gospel quartet that originated in Greenville, South Carolina. "Music In the Air" is a very beautiful and soulful representation of the band which influenced many performers including Paul Simon and Isaac Hayes. Stevie Wonder reflected that “No group has been more important in the history of African-Americans, as well as American gospel, and inspirational music.” {Gail}
Platnium Web Site House of Blues Web Site

V/A - "Music to Listen to Music By" - CD
(Coldfront Records P.O. Box 8345 Berkeley, CA 94707)
This is pure, unadulterated boy pop-punk music. With the likes of All Systems Go!, Hagfish, Mcrackins, Diesel Boy, Electric Frankenstein, (REO) Speedealer, Toilet Boys and more what else could your expect? The final sounds on this CD perfectly sums up the rowdiness of this young male orientated release. Let's just say it involves a radio show out-take where a bunch of guys giggle at a female callers ability to make noises with her female anatomy at will. Nuff said. {Mite}
Cold Front Web Site

V/A - "My So-Called Punk Rock Life" - CD
(Melted Records 21-41 34th Ave Suite 10A Astoria, NY 11106)
The best thing that I liked about this CD is that it introduces me to many great bands that I have never heard of. This is a wonderful pop punk compilation that has received many plays on my stereo. I would also mention that many of the bands on this release seemed to have been influenced by the Ramones. {Mite}
Melted Web Site

V/A - "Never Give In - A Tribute to Bad Brains" - CD
(Century Media 1453-A 14th Street #324 Santa Monica, CA 90404)
16 Bands pay tribute to the Bad Brains. Highlights include Moby doing sailing on A very melodic and rather depressing track. Other bands include punk bands like Ignite, and metal bands like Sepultura and Entombed doing a fairly annoying version of :yout juice . Only recommended for die hard Bad Brains fans 6/10. {theSADman}
Century Media Web Site

V/A - "Paint it Blue / Song of the Rolling Stones" - CD
(House of Blues)
In this latest "This Ain't No Tribute" release the folks at the House of Blues take on the Rolling Stones. Like the Janis Joplin release, it wasn't too hard to put out a great release since the Rolling Stones were so influenced by the blues. While this CD was good, I feel like it could have been even better. Some of the artists just needed to put a little more oomph into their covers. {Mite}

V/A - "Petal Faster Bicycle Rider" - CD
(Accident Prone 306 n/w El Norte Pkwy PMB 305 Escondido, CA 92026)
This is a comp put out by the PR company Holiday Matinee. I think this is a great idea and a good way to showcase many bands at once. Most of the bands fall in the emo realm along with some excerpts from a spoken word album. My favorite bands from the comp were The Shyness Clinic, The Wicked Farleys, Piebald, Sunday's Best, Sterling Silver, Very Secretary, Tugboat Annie, Jejune, Egon, Rodriguez and Boilermaker, plus the spoken word from Adam Voith. A really good sampler and hopefully a trend that will continue. {Grog}
Accident Prone Web Site

V/A - "Start Your Engines" - CD
(Side One Dummy 6201 Sunset Blvd Suite 211 Hollywood, CA 90028)
Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines and let the music race from your head to your feet. The compilation features some of the best songs about sex, speed, and racing that can be found on a single CD. "Start Your Engines" highlights artists on the Side One Dummy Label is cool independent label out of Hollywood California that releases mainly punk/rock-a-billy/cow punk bands. Artists include: The Go To Hells,REO Speeddealer, Blazing Haley, Gaza Strippers, Teen Idols, Los Infernos, and the Hellbillys. {Gail}
Side One Web Site

V/A - "This Ain't No Tribute - The Songs of Led Zeppelin" - CD
(House of Blues)
This latest House of Blues release features an all-star lineup, including the Derek Trucks Band (if you ever get a chance to see these guys, do yourself a favor and go), Otis Rush, Magic Slim and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown to name a few. REALLY good stuff, folks. However, don't expect note-for-note renditions of the Zeppelin classics. Each of these blues artists takes the work of Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant and makes it into his own music. In some cases, I found myself forgetting what the original tune even sounded like. {Fibi}
Platnium Web Site House of Blues Web Site

V/A - "Ultra Swank" - CD
(Cacophone Records P.O. Box 6058 Albany, NY 12206)
Eddie Munster says,” Ultra Swank is a groovy collection of 28 songs from 22 bands. Woof Woof and I listen to Ultra Swank every night before I go to sleep in my coffin because it is American made rock-n-roll as it should be, loud, greasy, and out of control. Ultra Swank features my favorite band, Jack Black, which is one of the most underrated rock-a-billy bands around. My dad, Herman, likes to listen to Jack Black while he’s on the job at Gateman, Goodbury, and Graves Funeral Home. My mom, Lily, loves the Speed Devils and Turbo AC’s. She’s very impressed with the band 1313 Mockingbird Lane since they names their band after my family’s address. Well, I gotta go! Mom’s yelling at Spot. She said that if he eats more cars, she’s gonna rub his nose in the transmission.” {Gail}
Cacophone Web Site

V/A - "Welcome to Santa Barbara" - CD
(Fishbowl Records PMB 233 4869 S. Bradley #18B Santa Maria, CA 93455)
"Welcome to Santa Barbara" is a compilation of mostly Santa Barbara bands and labels. 27 bands with hot phat punk/ska party music. My favorite was Cousin Oliver and their song, Share. Other acts featured on the compilation include Riverfenix (great name),Ill Repute, Rx Bandits, Speed Racer, and My Ass. {Gail}
Fishbowl Web Site

V/A - "Where Blues Crosses Over" - CD
(Ruf Records)
"Where the Blues Crosses Over" features some of the blues artists on Ruf Records. The music seems bland and predictable like some white guys are trying to play the blues. Artists on "Where the Blues Crosses Over" include Walter Trout, the Paladins, Spooky Tooth, and the Nighthawks. Yawn. {Gail}

V/A - "WHITE: Nightmares in the End" - CD
(The End Records 556 S. Fair Oaks 101-111 Pasadena, CA 91105)
9 Track Compilation cd from the label The End Records. A label set up to help promote lesser know black metal and extreme bands around the world. Contains an excellent track by a Black Metal Band from Ukraine in Eastern Europe. A very interesting mixture of Slavic folklore, keyboards, and black metal vocals. Who would have though this kind of music could come out of Ukraine. Also on the CD Agalloch from Oregon, another top notch black metal offering and another amazing band from Ukraine, Epoch of Unlight. This cd is a perfect introduction to many lesser know black metal bands. 9/10. {theSADman}
The End Web Site

V/A - "The Year of the Rat" - CD
(Fueled by Ramen Records P.O. Box 12563 Gainesville, FL 32604)
"Year of the Rat" is a compilation from Ramen Records which was started by John and Vinny of Less Than Jake. "Year of the Rat" features some of the best artists on Ramen Records. Including Jersey, the Hippos, the Impossibles, Ann Beretta, and Animal Chin. {Gail}
Fuel By Ramen Web Site


V/A - "More Music From Austin Powers the Spy Who Shagged Me" - CD
Yet more great music from the movie Austin Powers:TSWSM. This CD features some great sixties tunes by The Monkeys, Marvin Gaye, Steppenwolf, The Zombies and more. Plus new tunes by Lords of Acid, They Might Be Giants, swinging music by Propelerheads and George Clinton, and a remix of the few Madonna songs that I like, Beautiful Stranger. {Mite}

V/A - "Dogma" - CD
This is the soundtrack to Kevin Smith's new movie that will have been out for a few weeks by the time this issue of MRZ is printed. It is mostly comprised of a phenomenally dark 'religious epic' score by Howard Shore, who also did the scores for such movies as "Seven" and "Silence of the Lambs". The big selling point of this release is that it features the tune Still by Alanis Morissette, who plays god in the movie. While it is a good song, I think that she needs to start writing tunes where the lyrics are more than just lists. {Mite}
Maverick Web Site

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