JUICE MAGAZINE ISSUE #40 CD REVIEWS
MADBALL – Look My Way (Roadrunner)
Freddie and his hombres reclaim the throne as kings of NYHC moshpits. With each record, they keep getting better and tighter. This time around, the vocals are cut cleaner, set against a backdrop of chunky, tinny breakdowns. The lyrical focus remains adamantly empowering and in your face with a “don’t fuck with me” bend to them. “One Family” is a risky yet successful tune sung in Spanish. Each song is so infectious that you can’t help but look Madball’s way. Roger (Freddie’s older brother and legendary Agnostic Front’s singer) should be proud. -A. S.
FURY OF V – At War With The World (Victory)
Gardenstatecore all the way! New Jersey’s beefed-up, pissed-off and aptly-named Fury Of V have finally had justice served by signing to Victory and in turn serving up a feral, pit-inducing, aggressive clusterfuck of an album. Paying homage to their homestate with “Takin’ Respect,” and offering themselves up to any punk-ass takers on “Come and Get It,” FOF never backs down. It’s a musical experience that will leave you with two black eyes and some front teeth missing. -A. S.
TONY STARK – High Tech, Low Life (Resurrection AD)
Vocalist Jon Scondotto — yes, he’s the brother of Marky Shutdown and Mike Inhuman — proves he belongs in a league with passionate emo vocalists like Jonah Matragna of Far and Joshua Loucka of Shift with the rich, soulful and deep emissions that emerge from his pipes. His technical support tempers his sensual singing with raw and unconstrained guitar lines that pack a wallop all their own, making this release refreshingly low-key yet strong enough to feel like a suckerpunch in the gut from Mike Tyson. Stick around for the unlisted track. -A. S.
BTK s/t (Ignition) This is the thing about BTK; their shit is solid. There is not a loser on their 11-song, richly-textured debut album. “Beats Don’t Stop” and “Boilermaker” are the jewels in the crown. The Toronto-based band has been making waves in Canada, and are rumored to appear on tour with The Beastie Boys. BTK’s grooves, a psychedelic grungy “hemp-hop” pastiche, are tight, their lyrics quirky. Obviously these guys just got back from the chicken shack. -Mr. K.
BEASTIE BOYS, Hello Nasty (Capital) The Beasties are back and much respect to the work put into Hello Nasty. Still plenty of sty-lin’, pro-fi-lin’, and breaka breaka dawns, which is perfect because I never want to hear them be anything but B-boys. We’re talking straight studio lockdown arranging beats, vocals, samples, scratches, and other odd noises to complete this package. 22 tracks total, the kids can still run it. And if you’ve been around since Def Jam pay attention to “Three MC’s and One DJ”, and the “Negotiation Limerick File” with a nice deep roots feel. And keep an ear out for the voice of the Diabolical Biz Markie. Bottom line? C’mon, it’s the Beasties, you’re gonna buy it anyway. And there’s no reason you shouldn’t. -D.H.
MAXWELL, Embrya (Sony) Maxwell’s feeling the same old grooves and damn if they don’t come back but good. He’s worked the cool from his double-platinum debut Urban Hang Suite and slipped us a bit of organic soul, originality and continuity. Maxwell keeps us grooving with ballads, funk and soul and hits us with a bit of Latin smooth with liquid Spanish vocals. Maxwell’s album is a tribute to internal luxury giving us what we want, how we want it. Embrya is why we are still infatuated with such a peaceable and artist secure in his passion and willing to grow. – JC
DAVE’S BIG DELUXE – Miss Fortune (Slimstyle) Are you feeling pop-like angst? Dave’s Big Deluxe covers all the over-wrought emotions spawned from misunderstood and misplaced love and lust. All to the heavy horn-driven, hop and sway of big, well-done swing. At once precise and rapturously runaway, you simply must gyrate. And there are enough mellow tunes properly placed to get your heart rate back down. And then back up again. -JC
THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA – The Dirty Boogie (INTERSCOPE) Brian Setzer, the guy who made rockabilly cool in the ’80s with the Stray Cats, has taken big band swing and mixed it with some rock and roll, blues and rockabilly to create something very different. This stuff has an incredible vibe to it; you can almost imagine playing this CD at a cigar party and seeing the crowd hit the dance floor. Formed in 1992 after Brian joined an impromptu jam with some horn players at his next door neighbor’s house The Dirty Boogie is The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s third studio album and features a duet with No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani covering the Elvis classic “You’re The Boss.” The Dirty Boogie should solidify Brian Setzer as a true innovator in rock and roll music. Definitely a hot CD that’ll bring down the house at your next tupperware party. -S. D.
RANCID – Life Won’t Wait (Epitaph) It’ been three years since Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves blew the lid off of their melodic brand of punk/ska and sparked a national fad. Recorded at studios all around the country, with a brief stint in Jamaica that helped add some dub reggae flavor, Rancid’s sound is multi-coastal. An all-star line-up of guests doesn’t hurt either, with members of The Bosstones, The Specials, The Slackers, Hepcat and Agnostic Front all getting in on the action. Diehard fans will be happy to know that there is nothing on this album as radio-friendly as “Ruby Soho,” not that Rancid has lost its trademark rhythmic sound. – C.T.
GOB – Too Late, No Friends (Fearless) This is Gob’s first full-length, re-mixed and re-released by Fearless Records. Following several tours across their Canadian homeland as an opening act, Gob are now pushing their way into the US as headliners. With song titles like “Censorshit,” “Custer’s Last 1 Nite Stand“ and “Asshole TV,” and several songs that sound like specific songs by Strung Out and NOFX, Gob are bound to be a hit. -E. K.
BAUHAUS – Crackle (Beggar’s Banquet) It’s been 16 years since Daniel Ash, David J, Peter Murphy and Kevin Haskins have performed together live as Bauhaus. This summer, however, the early eighties cult phenomenon have reunited to kick off not only a new tour, but a new album as well. Well, sort of new . . . Crackle includes the original 12″ single version of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. Over nine minutes long, dark, flawed and superlative, this version of the single was released as the band’s debut in 1979, and, by request of the band, has never been released to the public until now. Not just another “Best of” collection, Crackle exudes the unique parody and experimental nature of this legendary band while sampling rare diamonds from their history. Also included is an extended version of “The Sanity Assassin,” which was released and given to members of the fan club after the band split as compensation for paying membership dues. Other faves include “She’s in Parties” and “Ziggy Stardust.” -T. K.
AGNOSTIC FRONT – Something’s Gotta Give (Epitaph) The legendary hardcore/punk leaders of the early nineties have returned with their 11th album, Something’ Gotta Give. Whether you like this style or not, it is hard not to get into the three-chord mayhem Agnostic Front plays. Roger Miret’s coarse vocals blend in perfectly with the wall of noise provided by the other band members. This album is 100% old school. All tracks are under three minutes, and feature the raw-sounding production reminiscent of the early stuff of bands like Black Flag. Something’s Gotta Give is a time capsule from 1981, where the hardcore scene first started in New York. It’s nice to hear a band like Agnostic Front sticking to their roots. -R. R.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Hopelessly Devoted To You, Too (Hopeless) The inside cover rocks; it’s a parody on punk, a fake advertisement for a booklet called “How To Learn Music at Home.” “Imagine! You learn without a teacher, in your spare time at home, at a cost of only a few cents a day! No needless, old-fashioned scales and exercises. No confused, perplexing study. You learn to play by playing. It’s thrilling, exciting, inspiring!” About half of the songs on this sampler are previously unreleased, by bands like Against All Authority, Funeral Oration, 88 Fingers Louie and the Queers, basically all the Hopeless bands. Mustard Plug is sounding great with their songs “Never Be” and the previously-unreleased “Lolita.” Dillinger Four keep getting better and are starting to look like the next big Hopeless band, with their first full-length on its way. -E. K.
MAD CADDIES – Duck and Cover (Fat Wreck Chords) Horns are the backbone of ska. The Mad Caddies horns sound like swing band session players accidentally wandering into the wrong club, given a time signature twice their normal speed and admirably soldiering on in proper manner. Sometimes. Other times, their sound takes on that “it’s summertime; I’m in my ’66 Dodge Coronet convertible with the top down, languidly driving down the street; don’t piss me off” thing that only certain musical styles can provide. Or is it the same sort of thing you’d hear at the beachfront amusement park? In any case, a fine driving disc, particularly in a convertible. -L. F. G.
FEAR FACTORY – Obsolete (Roadrunner) This could quite possibly be the best heavy record of the decade. Everything Fear Factory has been famous for in the past – like incredibly heavy riffs, amazing drumming and time signatures, and Burton C. Bell’s instantly-recognizable vocal gymnastics – still permeates this new CD. Only this time, they’ve taken those elements to the extreme. The band has opened up musically with hip-hop influenced tunes like “Edgecrusher,” melodic masterpieces like “Descent,” and the beautifully orchestrated “Resurrection.” Hardcore FF fans will not be disappointed. Produced by Front Line Assembly founder Rhys Fulber, Obsolete combines the groove of Soul of a New Machine with the sheer power of Demanufacture. No doubt, Obsolete will set new standards in the realm of hard music. -S. D.
MIXMASTER MIKE – Anti-Theft Device (Asphodel) Mixmaster Mike, a founding member of the groundbreaking crew The Invisibl Skratch Piklz and the Beastie Boys new tour DJ, has been scratching since people thought only alien lifeforms could do it. And with his debut solo album we know that he’s got the interplanetary goods. The scratching is always top-notch, and his sound bites – ranging from Austin Powers to the ominous alien noise from Contact – are fresh in a market littered with too many Scarface references. Once he gets a beat going, he will play with it as long as it holds his interest and then toss it and move on to another idea, which keeps things fresh. But with thirty-one tracks, the disc begins to fold under its own weight, even in outer space measurements. -C.T.
BILLY BRAGG amd WILCO MERMAID (AVENUE) The daughter of legendary American folk singer Woody Guthrie apparently called up British folk singer Billy Bragg and asked him to set some of her father’s lyrics to music. Somewhere along the way, the talented country-rock band Wilco got invited along too. How this all came to be appears to be a story of its own, but the results are three great tastes that taste great together. Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy (aided by Natalie Merchant on a couple of songs) are perfect choices to take on Woody Guthrie’s long-since silenced voice. And Wilco is the perfect house band, moving easily from folk numbers to twangy rock to obnoxious drinking songs. Records like this simply don’t come along very often. -T. B.
V/A Connected (3-2-1 ) This compilation brings together old school, East Coast and the new, uncategorisable breed with some fantastic results. Sha-Key and Priest’s “Ducking Lessons” is a gripping spoken word-ish piece about future President Giuliani, with a pulsating bass booming in the background, and Channel Live throw down some spooky, rocky horrorcore. There’s also Ayce International’s scratchfest, “Wrok,” and a DJ Shadow-produced soundscape. But the highlight undoubtedly is The Angel’s “Selector,” a trippy drum and bass excursion, touched with splashes of ragga. Connected brings together varying Black experiences and styles, passes the joint around and gets funky. – R. B.
WHALE – All Disco Dance Must End In Broken Bones (Virgin)
Whale released college-hit “Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe” in 1996, then broke up. They had moved from Sweden to Spain, where they gave Tricky swimming lessons in return for raps and mumbles. He went on to success with Maxinquaye and forgot he ever knew them. But that was then and this is now. This is also one of the most varied albums in years, with arty rap following ambient girly pop to what ‘used to be a really awful ska song’ with band members ultimately screaming at each other. If “Slobo Babe” garnered fans lo those years ago, All Disco Dance… will get more fans for fewer songs. – L. F. G.
SHONEN KNIFE – Happy Hour (Big Deal) Let’s go to the live planet! The Shonen Knife planet, that is. Fans of the Japanese rap/rock band Cibo Matto will love the three chord, punk/lite jams of Shonen Knife’s latest release. And if you haven’t heard either of these exceptionally refreshing Japanese bands, then it’s time you explored the alternative side of power pop. It’s delicious insanity—perfect for long road trips and upbeat lounge scenes. Cheeky and cheerful, and, who knows, with their lovely bilingual swing, you might even pick up a little Japanese. Konnichiwa! -T. K.
ONYX – Shut ‘Em Down (Def Jam) Surely, the best intro rap in history. Onyx is back and it is “a mass takeover.” The rude boys return and are insane as ever. The meanest voices in the music industry they speak in .357’s. This is Onyx. Sticky Fingaz, the bald headed bastard, continues his skilled-shogun attack. On “Raze it Up”, crafted after their timeless anthem “Slam”, Sticky ticks like a time bomb. Sonsee snapped off lyrics rat-a-tat-tat off the speakers like an AK. Pure Onyx. Bbbbbut wait, it gets worse! The album is angst on wax, with radically on-the-edge lyrics: “Fuck cocaine/I’m sniffin’ gunpowder.” On “Broke Willies” they bust on a few of the rappers making it big but forgetting their roots in the ‘old’ hood Onyx vows to remain “OG;s on OT.” They work hard. . .explaining life. . .Onyx style. Take Sticky’s words serious, bitch. – B. M.
DEEJAY PUNK-ROC – ChickenEye (Independiente Ltd./Sony Music)
A big beat bouillabase of old school grooves, breakbeat science, deep booming bass lines, and a fierce, ingenious sense of sampling. It’s hard to believe this drops from Brooklyn, but easy to believe Punk-Roc is more well-known in Europe than in American hip hop. Which is a shame, but, given the chance, his psycho-boombox missives will, true to the cover, tear your head off, not to mention peel your caps back. -R. B.
VISION OF DISORDER – Imprint (Roadrunner) VOD’s second effort cuts deeper than their debut, leaving a lasting imprint on all faculties. Racier, rawer, faster and with much better production, Tim Williams and company show us their gutsier and more visceral sides. You’ll still find VOD’s patented shriek-echo vocal duality, and cryptically anthemic lyrics, just a million times heavier. Philip Anselmo of Pantera fame and glory has a cameo on the skullbusting “By the River,” and “Landslide” grinds down relentlessly. The band takes a chance with the emotionally mellow closer “Jada Bloom.” All this makes Imprint one of the premiere loud rock releases of the year. -A. S.
JOHN FORTE – Poly Sci (Ruffhouse/Columbia) Best known for spouting one of the coolest, if not puzzling, lines, “I’m eating mangoes in Trinidad with attorney,” on Wyclef’s “We Trying To Stay Alive,” Forte has released his first album, “executive produced” by Wyclef and Pras, but this ain’ no carnival. Those dreads aren’t there just to impress some East Village babe, as Poly Sci is filled with the rasta spirit, such as the dark “They Got Me.” Elsewhere, there’s “P.B.E.,” propelled by an industrial strength beat, the smooth “The Right One,” and “We Got This,” with some fierce rhyming (by Forte and DMX) and a groove waiting to be set free, but never quite escapes. Hopefully, Forte, so far known as a Wylcef protege, will be more lucky. – RB
Various Artists Fresh (Mutant Sound System) Usually, compilations that are subtitled, “Futuristic jungle and drum + bass” are to be avoided – all those cheesy rave comps that flooded the market in the early ’90s come to mind. A collaboration with the UK drum and bass label Labello Blanco, Fresh surprisingly lives up to its billing, swallowing up the genres’ hallmarks and spitting them out in varying combinations. Highlights abound, but my favorite is “It’;s All Gone Sideways,” by Dr. S. Gachet: a cloud of atmospherica interrupted by a swelling beat, which builds to a furious climax before it all collapses with its skeleton groove intact. Fresh makes a convincing statement that drum and bass continues to be the most exciting and influential (from Timbaland to speed garage) genre in music today. – Ravi Baskaran
PARIS – The latest release from the master producer, ex-Tommy Boy Records artist, Paris, whose single “The Devil Made Me Do It” swung throughout the club circuts worldwide in the early ’90s, is as “west coast” as the Pacific. Paris bleeds Dre-like backdrops with tongue- shattering street stories. Occasionally, he combines a heavily romantic Barry White type groovy lounge loop, (Fair Weather Friends”) with his matter-of-fact lyrical style. Paris mixes all of his mic skills while showcasing some of the talent found in the stables of Unleashed brothers. Spice 1, Nutso, Jet and Mystic among others lend silky syllables onto the album creating a tasty bass full record. Unleashed flows successfully from the hostile track “Heat” into a 2Pac tribute “Thug Livin’.” Guerrilla funk at its finest. This record is real. It’s doper than a hundred dollar sack. Smoke on Paris.
COCOA BROVAZ – The Rude Awakening (Priority) Smif-N-Wessun, R.I.P. Steele and Tek, aka Cocoa Brovaz, bound into the forefront of hip hop with “The Rude Awakening.” A proverbial who’s who of lyrical allstars coat this masterpiece (Buckshot, Professor X, Raekwon, F.L.O.W., Storm, and reggae superstar Eek-A-Mouse, with stories about love, family, brova-hood ad Crooklyn life highlight the genius of the album. Eerie guitars blow from out of the background. Pianos range chromatically underneath snapping-snares and jungled double kick drums. There are clever crossover mixes from their skilled DJ and super mic battles all over the album. The Brovaz chase each other in harmony throughout the record like the perfect shadows. The hood of CB is heavily represent in true home town East Coast style. Sit with this record and be prepared for a rude awakening.
DAZ DILLINGER – Retaliation, Revenge, and Get Back (Death Row)
Another Suge “sure thing” from another West coast Death Row camp member. Dat Nigga Daz is on a mission with this new record. “It’s Going Down” is straight bangin’. The background beats are fat all by themselves. But coupled with “Gangsta Shit” lyrics, this track is the kill (includes cussin’, gun shots and sirens). Batteries are not included in the package because they ain’t needed: Daz supplies enough power for a small militant country. Dat Nigga blasts with left coast satyrs Makavelli, aka 2Pac and Snoop. In “It Might Sound Crazy”, a duet with Too $hort, the triple X lyrics–tits, dicks, and ass—come off with such brute force that it has $hort’s pimp ass covering his ears. On “O.G.”, Daz hooks up with Nate Dogg and the OG himself, Snizoop Dizogg, as they all down memory lane. (Trivia: What happened on 2/17/79?) The title track is so “the bomb”, it’s indescribably. Mr. Dillinger has it goin’ LBC style. Much love for Daz and his whole crew. Check it out.
SLOAN – Navy Blues (Murde) Coming from Canada in the ’90s but sounding almost like England in the early ’70s, Sloan takes their fourth full-length to the masses in a frenzy of melodic power pop trapped somewhere between Sweet and Big Star, and Led Zeppelin. Until the guitars kick in. Then it sounds even more like that. Single “Money City Maniacs” recalls the origins of legends like Thin Lizzy and AC/DC without actually requiring a listener to put on the dark flares and post-hippie big hair, although it probably helps. Pop and hard rock come in many sounds; this just whips the two together. The sound is wide, but to span a few decades, it kind of has to be. – Laurie Green
WILLARD GRANT CONSPIRACY – Flying Low (Rykodisc) Do not adjust your stereo. Nick Cave has not joined a group of post-modern homegrowns. That’s the wrong conspiracy theory, albeit a popular one. Actually, he could have made an appearance at the weekly informal gatherings that have formed the ever-changing line-up of Willard Grant Conspiracy. We may never know. What we do know is that influences and comparisons such as Tindersticks, early country and a certain black-cloaked Aussie do somehow add up to this music being a fit for closeted English nihilists crying in their pick-up trucks with the gun rack. Come to think of it, Cave hasn’t been heard from lately, . . . – Laurie Green
SWINGIN’ UTTERS – Five Lessons Learned (Fat Wreck Chords) Poetic lyrics in silver ink over black-and-white photos that look straight out of an old mobster movie. The music is good, mellow pop punk with a nostalgic feel. Since A Juvenile Product of the Working Class came out, Swingin’ Utters have slowed down a bit and added the occasional violin, accordion and various horns. This album is very original and well crafted; I feel like I’ve been time-warped listening to it. “Of all the ones who’ve come and gone, it never matters, it’s all the same; and as the days so very long, it’s alright to miss the train.” – Emily Keller
NICK HAYWARD – The Apple Bed (Big Deal)Released close to a year ago in England, Nick Hayward’s latest continues what he does best: pop. Coming from the former lead singer of Haircut 100, a band that, in a single early ’80s photo session dressed in raingear, fixed vinyl in the minds of young girls everywhere, this is no big stretch. Now he’s flaunting his Beatles-esque harmonies, his strummy guitar and his tambourine-playing, Oasis-labelmate’d melodies at the masses again. With this, his fourth album, he takes that imminently-hummable music of his younger days and adds the muscles that he has physically cultivated in the ensuing years, both on his biceps and surrounding his lungs. Yes, the little girls know he’s grown up; now the boys will, too… even if he does look like Austin Powers’ geeky older brother in the liner notes. tttt – Laurie Green
TRANCE ATLANTIC AIR WAVES – Air Sound (Atlantic) Michael Cretu, the man behind Enigma, re-emerges with a strange(r) new concept: covering movie and television songs from the ‘;70s and ’80s. Okay… highlights are “Axel F” with a dance thump to it and the still-New Age-y “Crockett’s Theme.” The sound remains very Enigma: dark, sensual grooves and Rock dramatics, the soundtrack to a Skinemax flick imported from Europe (but no vocals, so do your own moaning). No one thought Enigma would work, and look how long we had to put up with those Gregorian chants. Arnold Hillside (Columbia). Consider a band signed to Creation that sounds like Oasis only when they damned well feel like it. Now consider the same band signing to Columbia in America, still sounding like their labelmates on one song that they use to lure people in, then adding 13 others with bells, whistles, tambourines, samples and spoken word that don’t sound like anything you would expect from the Brothers Gallagher. This can range from the later twiddlings of the Beach Boys to that slow melodic pop at which Britain is so talented with a side trip to jangly bhangra land at one point. Ultimately, this could pass for an hour of radio if you don’t pay enough attention . . . but I suggest you do. – Laurie Greene
V/A – Wall Of Sound: Bustin’ Loose (Ultra) Big beat may be a bad word in the UK but some of the most inventive combinations of sounds still fall into that category. British indie label Wall of Sound has been at the forefront of these beats for some time. Bustin’ Loose is a compilation of tracks from some of Wall of Sound’s eclectic artists which are available for the first time domestically. The collection is headed up by the label’s flagship, Propellerheads, whose signature tune “Dive!” is heard in its original full-length glory. From the hip hop-fused beats of Mekon featuring Schooly D (“Skool’s Out”) to the funkified beats of Les Rhythmes Digitales (“Jacques Your Body”) to the ’80s synth beats of Zoot Woman (“It’s Automatic”) to the sonic meltdown of beats of Wreckage Inc. (“Wreckage”) and the salsa’ed beats of Eklektik (“Maracana Madness”), slamming from one potent number to another, this bunch of tracks doesn’t let up the energy for an instant. – Lily Moayeri
FLICK – The Perfect Kellulight (Facility/Columbia) A glimmering modern rock declaration by brothers Oran and Trevor Thornton, The Perfect Kellulight is a delicious, spunky and misty flame that burns in your subconscious and nourishes your comfort zone. Despite the band’s humble Midwestern roots of Stockton, Missouri, Flick challenges the best of today’s most prevalent British pop rock acts with afflicted guitar tirades, trip-happy textures and troubled, thought-provoking inferences. Dedicated to their late elder brother Brad, a musician who took the time to teach his two younger brothers their first chords, The Perfect Kellulight draws influences from The Posies, Supergrass, the Beatles and Pink Floyd. Despite the ’60s influenced melodies, Flick’s sound is laden with an extremely appealing ’90s electronic structural defiance. Tracks you can’t help but stop to listen to include “Freezer Burnt”, “Drag”, “Electric Pear”, “High on You” and “Some Other Day”. – Tonya Knudsen
7 INCH REVIEWS
SKOIDATS/INSPECTOR 7 “Boots andSuits” Inspector 7 lead off with Asbury Park, a dark moody ska number played nice and tight followed with a punked-up rager, “Junior Guzzler.” Skoidats check in with “Skinhead Hop” with a classic bluebeat sound, then turn around with streetpunk shout “Patriot Decay.” Real nice.
CHICKENS “Egg Sac of Satan” Five songs from these rocking booze-fueled Raleigh stooges who have been a local institution for a few years. Loose, trashy and distorted the way God intended. “…nothing to say to you, I’m burnt.” Genius.
V/A “BYO Sixpack” The BYO has long been a bastion of punk rock from Youth Brigade to the cult flick “Another State Of Mind.” This is the ‘98 crop for this prolific label with Jon Cougar Concentration, Four Letter Word and Amsterdam’s NRA being the big winners here, but they’re all good Limited color vinyl through mailorder – you can’t go wrong.
FU MANCHU“Jailbreak” Fuzzy So-Cal rock stoners with riffs big as Phil Lynott’s afro smoke out the Thin Lizzy classic. Hell, yeah!
POWERHOUSE “Pandemonium” Straight outta Oakland comes hardcore monsters Powerhouse. Fast-n-heavy, singalong choruses, slower pit moving parts, it’s all here. A bit of old school East Coast influences give that the nod with an able run on the BadBrain’s “Pay To Cum.”
LATEX GENERATION “Whatever Happened to PJ Soles?” – Rocking Johhny Thunders-style tribute to “Rock n Roll High School” heroine Riff Randall. I don’ care about Kate Rambeau, either, and the flip is hot, too.
DECEIVED/ REVOLT / PROGRESS – Three anarchocrusty bands who are gonna party like it’s 1984. Early ’80s UK influences – you know ’em, you love ’em. Some really nasty stuff here that’ll make you remember how foul the whole Reagan/Thatcher axis was . . . as if you’ve forgotten. – by J. Bryan Stahel
BOILER – The New Professionals (MAYHEM) Were these guys at OZZ FEST? Why not. Hard hard – In the pit of the street. Melodic Hard Core that won;t leave you standing still..
THE ADZ – Transmissions From Planet Speedball (Asterdamned) Hard-assed, rippin’ punk speed riffs and thrills from Orange Co. spearheaded by Tony Reflex (of the Adolescents)
V/A – Honest Don’s Greatest Shits (Honest Don’s) Bay Area punk fun with the Gilman Street spirit. For ska-heads and those who think Green Day are sellouts.
LAUGHING US – Foxy Universe (Risk) My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult meets Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Looks like Gwar meets the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers or Mortal Combat.
SPEED BOOMIN’ – U.K. Underground (Garage Volume I) With a total absence of techno and a plethora of smooth soul-filled vocals and bitchy break beats, Speed is the reason for liking club music again.
ANTHRAX – Volume 8: The Threat is Real (Ignition) The undisputed pioneers of thrash metal. Disorderly, ungracious and steel-leaden, a shit-kicking Anthrax return to reclaim their turf.
PITCHSHIFTER – www.pitchshifter.com (Geffen) Intense sonic slams. Get impaled on the horns of this ruthless beast. Includes a special treat– fifty “free” samples.
V/A – Reggatta Mondatta 2: A Reggae Tribute to the Police (Ark21) The greatest reggae artists in the world pay tribute to that old Tantric Sex God Sting-fronted band.
SUNZ OF MAN – The Last Shall Be First (Red Ant) Another Wu Tang offshoot. The way things are going, the next World War will pit Wu against Disney. All hail President RZA!
ULTRABABYFAT – Silver Tones Smile (Vel Vel) Lo-fi, po-mo, alt-rock shoe-gazers. Belly melodies;Pavement attitude. Jingly pop girl-group with boy drummer.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN – s/t (American) Gear-blastin’ volatile hard core with political commentary, raw emotion and hypnotic rampages.
REO SPEEDEALER– s/t (Royalty) Head-banging, bar-bashing, eat shit and die music. These Southern-fried speed demons leave a blazing trail of blood, bile and blisters.
DAMN THE DIVA – Flow and Steer (Favourite 45) Transporting the listener into a dreamy, graveyard of childhood memories and forgotten lullabies.
DASH RIP ROCK – Paydirt (PC Music) A Royal Flush of Cow Punk. These Honky-tonking New Orleans boys mix a tough swill. Part progressive pop, part pushy punk – all evened out with a little country twang.
THE HUMAN LEAGUE – The Very Best of Human League (ARK/Virgin) A perfect pop collection that will have you longing for those days of disco.
SLOPPY SECONDS (Nitro) Blood pumpin’,, get-up-and-go punk rock. A smooth yet harsh trip the way it was before $$ came into the picture. California-style – the way it used to be.
HINGE – Pieces of Yesterday (Independent) Stick your finger in a boiling pot of caramel and you’ll feel something like the sweet heat generated by this fueled and passionate rock band. A fulfilling brew of driving beats.
CRADLE OF FILTH – Cruelty and the Beast
(Mayhem) Horrific goth metal madness. Worship the dark forces that emulate from your stereo. An absolute atrocity. Wicked and extremely erotic.
KID ROCK – s/t (Lava) Raunchy and bustin’. Sit your ass down and listen. A blistering mix of rap, hip hop, hardcore and funk. Ill-mannered, uncivilized and mother fuckin’ grand.
SLOW ROOSEVELT – Throwaway Your Stereo (One Ton) A stormy and staunch sound to throw on the back of your bike as you blaze through hell. Meaty.
CROWBAR – Odd Fellows Rest (Mayhem) A tortured realm of menace and mischief. Dank, rank and solidly produced. Crowbar doesn’t stop un;til you’re battered and blue.
MELBA’S PHONE – Militia Sonic Damn Nation (Mind Kontrol) Jerky Boys beware! From religious zealots to dope smoking snowboarders, it’s telephone party purgatory.
KIDNEYTHIEVES – Trickster (Push) Witchy, warped and wicked. This female Reznor’s spiral of sex and synth treachary is a sublime, sonic merri-go-round of slammin’sounds.
FAR TOO JONES – Picture Postcard Walls
(Mammoth) Poignant and thought-provoking. Affected and witty Americana with a distinct rockabilly flair.