CD REVIEWS 47

CD REVIEWS 47

JUICE MAGAZINE CD REVIEWS ISSUE #47

THE CAUSEY WAY – With Open and Loving Arms (Alternative Tentacles)
Maybe if David Koresh played aggro surf music, ATF might not have burned his ass to the ground. If and when Causey has to defend his tax exempt status, the man might find a more fortified compound, but to everyone involved’s insistence, CAUSEY IS NOT A CULT. Too bad, because if more religious fanatics embraced decent music they might find more receptive audiences. SUBVERSION? Perhaps Man Or AstroMan are experimenting with the highly suggestible types in the humid Florida climate, or maybe it’s that Causey’s views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to their newsletter. My Causey Way Judgement Form has been submitted for evaluation, please be objective. – Crash

HIMSA – Groundbreaking Ceremony (Revelation)
This is as heavy as a complete nervous breakdown and is pretty much an anomaly in a town like Seattle. The opening track “Daylight Savings” is like getting hit by a car and the rest of the record is spent rolling around in torment trying to recover. By the time you do, Himsa hit you with another fast part and then you’re down again. Something about the moisture and lack of sunlight translates into some vicious music in this case. I need to start taking lithium again. – Crash

STUCK MOJO – HVY1 (Century Media)
Atlanta’s hottest metal act throws some live stuff your way. The first fifteen tracks were recorded live at the Masquerade in their hometown and the last two are new studio tracks. The live tracks are amazing, as expected, and you can really feel the band’s comfort of being in front of a hometown crowd. The two new tracks are a vision of things to come for the band. Both seem to be more radio-friendly than any other Stuck Mojo tune before with “Reborn” being absolutely contagious. – Jeff Jobes

V/A NEVER GIVE IN: A Tribute to the Bad Brains (Century Media)
Finally, a serious tribute to Rasta-men of reggae-core! Fantastically diverse artists have come together to honor this legendary band. Each of the sixteen tracks shine, but the most outstanding come from a select few. Moby takes the ultra-speedy Sailin’ On and turns it into an ambient brooder. Snapcase takes I and makes it their own. Surprising excellence from Entombed as they crush through Yout’ Juice. Shai Hulud adds their own special twist to Fearless Vampire Killers. Cave In clocks in at over nine minutes with a tribalistic I Luv I Jah. All together, a great tribute to a great band. – Jeff Jobes

ENGINE – s/t (Metal Blade)
Love songs in the key of pain. Walls of sound and fury signify, well, a heck of a lot. Exorcism of personal demons always works best sandwiched between a slab of guitars and a powerful voice, in this case, Bernie Versaille’s axe to grind and Ray Alder’s blistering lungs. Shiny bits of metal, denser than mud. Metal Blade – cutting the locks of hair bands everywhere. – L. Green

GIFTHORSE – Excess, Lies and Heather’s Arrest (Pinch Hit)
Anyone who admits to wanting to hear their music on the elevator can’t be all bad. Particularly if they sound like they went to the school of the Pixies and angst masquerading as true weirdness. Of course, any band that has all four members sporting soul patches does have issues. But if issues come with what is the ideal band to be in a film scene involving a empty nightclub and the protagonists having the credits roll over their faces, well, we can accept the groovy bar band sound if we can take an elevator to get there. – L. Green

GRADE – Under the Radar (Victory Records)
Judging by the song titles alone, Grade certainly got good ones for their literacy. Loud screams of erudite anguish resound from a pathetic CD player, ultimately killing it. (It’s true. That’s why this review’s so short!) Canadian male angst-rock verging on hardcore electronics destruction. – L. Green

IDLEWILD – Hope is Important (Food/Odeon)
Whoever said Brits were fey, weedy and wimpy obviously has been listening to the wrong bands. Idlewild is the latest to come from across the pond and they’ve brought their guitars, attitudes and melodies with them. Think about the anthemics of Oasis, the attitude of Gay Dad and the guitars of Jesus and Mary Chain. With “Paint Nothing” their crack about “I’m in the art school” could be directed at so many in the British public eye. Graffiti their name now. Beat the little girls to it. – Finchley

THE MAYFLIES USA – Summertime (yep roc)
I lived in Chapel Hill, so I’m allowed – and qualified – to make the following generalizations: all twenty-something males in Chapel Hill are required to dress like thrift shop junkies; be in or support the music industry to the detriment of everything around them; and, Chris Stamey’s name attached to anything immediately means it’s going to be some of the finest pop around. The only name in the area that trumps it is Alex Chilton, but that’s another story entirely. Summertime is like Matthew Sweet times two, The Apples in Stereo gone Quadraphonic and it’s almost enough to get me on an airplane back. – L. Green

JUGHEAD’S REVENGE – Pearly Gates (Nitro)
This record starts off with some old retardo guitar instructional record teaching you to tune up, then blasts into a muse about sterile suburban youth on a summer night. What else what would you expect from a band with a name like Jughead’s Revenge? Actually this record is a really good example of indigenous SoCal punk rock, and JR have the edge cause they’ve been around for a pretty long time. That and the guitars blast pretty good. – Crash

THE LADDERBACK – Honest, I Swear it’s the Turnstyles… (BiFocal Media)
Juice voted them “2nd best band you’ve never heard” some time ago and now the world has the opportunity to hear them. Jangles, screams and more screams. Luckily, the lyrics are enclosed so those of us with CD players taken out by earlier listens can attempt to follow along. Overall, this would appear to be a painful catharsis for guitar/vocalist “B” – and then song 3 “bee stung hollow” comes on and he’s singing. Ah, bliss. Earlier it was a fair amount of formless noise, now they reach their stride and settle into some good, loud hardcore. – L. Green

LAND OF THE EL CAMINOS – Doll Face (self-released)
Is Japan the Land of the El Caminos? With the Japanese surf/guitar-rock band the El Caminos releasing around the same time, it may surprise a few consumers that this band is neither Japanese nor of the Dick Dale school. Instead, they are loud, from Chicago and singer Dan Fanelli will be in need of Vick’s Vapor Rub for a sore throat by the end of the CD. Thick, heavy rawk and punk stuff with the sensibilities of female-written lyrics in over half the songs. What they do to The Cure’s “Let’s Go to Bed” has to be heard to be believed. It sounds like several large beer-soaked men inviting the strippers of their dreams back to the trailer for more flying flannel. The funny thing is that with this version, at least the lyrics are intelligible.- L. Green

LONELY KINGS – What if? (Fearless records)
If you’re into pop-punk in the vein of Husker Du and Samiam, you';d really like this. This record showcases rocking pop music with somewhat scratchy vocals with the perfect blend of harmony and melody and some balls to back the music. I think the recording quality could have been improved a bit but overall this record is a fine example of what this band is capable of. – Ryan Ritchie

COOTER – Looking Up (Fast Music)
Cooter look ‘cool’, dress ‘cool’, and play ‘cool’ music. Someone in this band must own a Lifetime record because this is similar to Lifetime in the sense that it is fast paced punk rock with melodic, harmonizing vocals that fit well over the music. Many would consider this punk, but it just sounds like a really fast pop band with a Woah Ooh Ooh vocalist leading the way. Not that that is necessarily bad, it’s just that a fast drum beat doesn’t mean you are a punk band. – Ryan Ritchie

BLANKS 77- CBH- (Radical Records)
Blanks 77 look way more punk than they sound. Don’t worry kids, this is still pretty damn punk but when bands wear the punk costumes (liberty spikes, dyed, spiked hair,etc.) I tend to think of another Exploited rip off. Fortunately, this isn’ one of those bands. This record is taking punk back to the old, old days when New York City bands such as the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders, and the Ramones were playing punk rock with a definite rock n roll influence in their sound. If that’s your thing, you’d probably like this. PS 18 songs on any record is way to many. – Ryan Ritchie

ICU- Mad Truth- (Radical Records)
The music on this jumps from slow, sludge style rock to a tad bit more up tempo. The female vocals save this record because for once it is shown that slower, heavier rock can have a singer who an actually sing. In a weird way, this record reminds me of Nirvana ‘Bleach’ because both are gloomy, up tempo sometimes, and have a whole lot of rock. In other words, this may be our first new wave grunge band. – Ryan Ritchie

SIDECAR – All Those Opposed- (Fast Music)
Sidecar display the drum beat, guitar leads (and tone) and time changes that almost every band who ever bought a record on Fat has. This isn’t the most original thing ever, but who is? If Fat style punk is what you’re looking for, this might be it. – Ryan Ritchie

ALL THE MISERABLE TIMES – I Love You Loudly- (Fish of Death)
This is weird, plain and simple. If you want all of your times to be miserable, give this a listen. This record is depressing but in a refreshing, tasteful way. It consists of a female vocalist who is sometimes singing, sometimes talking over abstract noise, and other times it’s near spoken word. If you like offbeat or unusual music, get this because it might not get any more surreal than this. – Ryan Ritchie

DOWN BY LAW – Fly the Flag
(Go-Kart)
This is a really good record and that’s all I have to say. Oh yeah and Dave Smalley rules. – Brian Lentini

ANTI-HEROS – Underneath the Underground (GMM Records)
The Anti-Heros are punk. They sing about our country, our government, and our country’s government. This record has so many catchy sing-a- long choruses that for a second I found myself believing that punk rock could change the world. This was produced by Lars from Rancid and has a few (too many?) photos of him on the inside for all you cool kids out there. For kids who just want their punk pure, without all the bubblegum pop so many bands have thrown into this genre, this is the band for them. Your mom will hate it. – Ryan Ritchie

HUNTINGTONS – Get Lost (Tooth and Nail)
Yes, like (the) Ramones, there is no (the) in front of Huntingtons. And like the Ramones, they all have the same last name and wear leather jackets with buttons on them. In a world of so many Ramones copycat bands, Huntingtons are the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) one of them. I mean, they sound almost EXACTLY like the Ramones and that’s probably what they want to hear. Their songs are about girls and things they ‘don’t wanna’ do. There is nothing on here you haven’t heard before. Guys, if I wanted to listen to the Ramones I would. – Ryan Ritchie

SAVES THE DAY – Can’t Slow Down (Equal Vision Records)
Can’t slow down my ass. These songs are pretty fast and have lyrics that will make all the girls say ‘Ahhh.’ This is comparable to Lifetime with a small dash of Face to Face thrown in for good measure. There are even a few slower songs added to give it that ‘we are almost an emo band’ feel to it. Hmm, I suppose if this is your thing, you wouldn';t regret buying it. – Ryan Ritchie

BANE – It All Comes Down to This (Equal Vision)
I thought I was getting another metal band with this one. Luckily for me, I soon found out that Bane takes its musical influences from hardcore bands from yesteryear such as Youth of Today, Bold, and the Gorilla Biscuits and adds their own fresh, 90s touch to the music. I wish this is where hardcore had evolved to, but we don’t always get what we want. The best way to describe this is this: imagine if Youth of Today had stuck around and kept all the finger pointing, stuck with the ‘let’s get all of our friends to sing back ups on our records’, and dance like all the crazy kids dance these days and this is what you get. Highly recommended for those who wish it were still 88. – Ryan Ritchie

TODAY IS THE DAY – In the Eyes of God (Relapse Records)
In God’s eyes, 20 songs are way too many for any record. Besides that, this record contains some heavy rock that will scare most kids. The vocals are screamy and the music is loud. The record should be the soundtrack to every 10th grade kid with zits and a jean jacket. Metal fans rejoice, you now have a band which isn’t afraid to act, look, dress, and play metal. – Ryan Ritchie

THE STREETWALKIN’ CHEETAHS – Heart Full of Napalm (Alive Records)
From their name and the name of the record, you can all bet that there is a Stooges influence here. And you would be correct. 7 songs total, one of which is an MC5 cover with Wayne Kramer playing guitar. This record sounds like a band who listens to a lot of 60s rock, but in no way totally rip-off the sound. We may never see the Stooges, so we are left with the Street Walkin’ Cheetahs, which is in no way near the original, but still not too shabby. I liked this and I bet you will too. – Ryan Ritchie

TOTAL CHAOS – In God We Kill (Cleopatra Records)
Speed, power, anarchy and chaos combine with angry vocals and clean punk/metal riffs. If you like the Exploited or Rancid get this cd. Total Chaos has been around for awhile and have gone through several members, but one thing always stays the same: true punk rock. Total Chaos. – Dave Reul.

THE CRIMINALS – Burning Flesh and Broken Fingers (Adeline Records)
The kind of hardcore you like, opinions of angry youth blended with smooth, fast heavy and clean punk sounds. Paint the Criminals on your leather jacket, steal the cd, hold up a liquor store, rob a bank or skate a pool. Laws were made to be broken and face it, we’re all criminals. Tommorow’s too late. – Dave Reul.

V/A-NOT SO QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (Alternative Tentacles)
Just the damage this one record did to me at an early age is amazing. In one fell swoop I was hipped to MDC, Crucifix, Los Olvidados, Code Of Honor, Fang, Pariah, Free Beer, Flipper and bunch of other bands that completely destroyed and also got a crash course on youth anti-establishment protest politics, or at least what the punks in NorCal thought. My folks were less than stoked, and my first band’s songs showed the direct influence of the original Not So Quiet. It was a two lp set with a lyric booklet that was in the format of MRR, so each band got a page in the zine and a song to get their point across. That was 1982, so it was mostly anti-war, kill Reagan type stuff but Ronnie was still in his first term then so fuck off. It’s also interesting to note that MRR hadn’t get started their divide and conquer inter-scene politics yet so the album was loved by all. Today the current MRR junta disapproves of this reissue, but none of them were around then, too busy with kindergarten anyway, so what do they know. This record is legendary for a reason. – Crash

V/A ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY (RMC)
When you think about it, Jesus was like the first punk rocker, how question authority was that? Now witness that effect on today’ warped generation through the documentations of one Nashville label, RMC, with bands like Pocket Change, 5 Car Pile Up and Chagrin. Not what I expected, so check ‘em out and as always, support the indies and your scene.- Crash.

MIKE NESS – Under The Influences (Time Bomb)
Earlier on this year Mike Ness did the solo breakout with Cheating At Solitaire, a real roots exploring venture that came as no surprise to anyone listening to Social Distortion from Prison Bound on. Under The Influences is sort of companion piece to Cheating…, here Ness makes direct homage to his influences by doing a record of covers, twang intact. Some you’d guess, like Hank Sr. and Carl Perkins but then there’s lesser known ones like Marvin Rainwater, and then track 13 is a full on honky tonk version of Ball and Chain. I’ve seen Ness do his solo thing live and he’s great, and if you’re punk enough to think for yourself then you might dig what going on here. – Crash

NO USE FOR A NAME – More Betterness (Fat Wreck)
I was listening to this full blast running up PCH the other day. That’s pretty much the most objective environment I can find for music and if being on the road all day wouldn’t drive me insane, I’d do all my music writing in the truck. No Use For A Name hit me in a kind of way that even though there’s a million bands, old and new, that run to the Descend/All axis, I love NUFANS’s records. A turn of phrase here, guitar blasts in the right spot there, it just works. One of the best bands that Fat has, and that’s saying a lot. – Crash

SWINGIN’ UTTERS /YOUTH BRIGADE split (BYO)
BYO’s second entry in the split series and it’s a damn fine thing that someone is keeping that piece of punk rock expression alive. It used to be a split 12 inch thing and if you wanted to impress someone with your punk rock knowledge you might drop the famous Faith/Void split or the Code of Honor/Sick Pleasure one. CDs are what they are, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, and it’s pretty thoughtful of BYO to bust out six songs from SF’s finest, the Swingin’ Utters. The Utters rule and if you don’ agree, fuck you. Angels Pissing on your Head is a rad song. Youth Brigade have been favorites since the Someone Got Their Head Kicked In days, and the Brothers Stern make good again. The song ‘Where are all the old man bars?’ makes me think for the Subway bar back home in NYC. Dollar drafts anytime served by Robert Mitchum’s twin brother and real life Bukowski characters elbow to elbow. ‘Let them Know’ is another Stern anthem, a ‘What Will the Revolution Change’ for the end of the world. Thanks. – Crash

SNAPCASE vs. BOY SETS FIRE split (Equal Vision)
Damn, how much quality stuff can one label put out? Two heavyweights throw a couple of punches apiece, Snapcase with Energy Dome and throw crunch on a cover of the old Police song Truth Hits Everybody that doesn’t come off like a cover. Boy Sets Fire simmer and boil over on Unspoken Request then throw a full on fit with Channel, you wouldn’t think that emo kids would be so disturbed. Four songs that left me worked and I mean that in a good way.- Crash

SMUT PEDDLERS -Tarball 2000 (Ransom)
Gish gave me this at the 1 Man Army show, and the first time I listened to it I was like fuck how much more punker can you get? not much because what songs aren’t about shooting dope are just fucking hilarious like ‘driving down Sunset bought me a star map,went to Stallones pad and took a crap on his lawn, now I’m looking for Ricardo Montalban.’ Plus any band that has a song about Mickey Dora rules especially played in the Peddler’s gnarly punk rock snarl. I’ve listened to Tarball 2000 fifty times already. You must get this. – Crash

BY A THREAD – Last of the Daydreams (Revelation)
One of my friends said that emo was basically punk rock for college kids, one they get past that initial rage they need a better vehicle for expression once they become smarter. Not only does that might make a valid point in punk stereotyping, it raises a decent one about bands when they become more articulate. By A Thread reach for that depth with layers of crash-then-swirl guitars and wrenched vocals. The days DC’s of Revolution Summer caused a ripple effect that obviously reached as far as Vancouver, and By a Thread seem to have picked up on it but they have their own angle on it. Listen to this on your walkman while you walk on the beach when it’s stormy. – Crash

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