12 CENTS A SHOT  Sick Situation
We got turned on to these Sarasota yoyos a few weeks ago and Sick Situation has gotten  a lot of play up here ever since. Blasting hardcore that will peel paint. Can’t wait to see these guys live and they better take us to Drunk Jack’s. —  CRASH

ALICE IN CHAINS,  Nothing Safe (Columbia)
Layne Staley has been dancing with Mr. Brownstone for so long that it looks like it will be hell freezin’ over time before an honest to God new record comes out. That sucks because AIC still have at least one good record left in ‘em and hopefully they will get around to recording it before Layne dies or cleans up and can’t write good songs anymore. Maybe Nothing Safe won’t wind up being their Greatest Hits. —  CRASH

THE ATARIS, s/t (Kung Fu)
I’d recently lost my faith in punk music. Then the new album from The Ataris found its way into my CD player. Reminiscent of greatest punkers on the planet J Church, The Ataris don’t scream and there are actual music arrangements, not just some pierced bastards playing notes. So it may be a bit softer then your average punk rock, but it’s got that hard hitting potential. The coolest tracks are “Life Makes No Sense,” “Broken Promise Ring,” and “Better Way.”   — J. SMITH

A silly Frank Black story. I was at the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill, waiting for Frank Black to go on-stage. I was sitting on the stage, with a lollipop in my mouth, talking with some friends. A young man walks up to me, clutching his oilcan of Foster’s but not looking old enough to be drinking. He brandishes his lighter – lit – and asks “May I offer you a light?” I, being able to almost hear what he’s saying, remove the lolly from my mouth. “Excuse me?” The penny then drops, that this was not a cigarette, and there is no need to light it. I have never seen a face fall that fast in my life. Too bad, ‘cos he was cute. And the only thing this has to do with Frank Black’s new album is I hope that I can have the same sort of experience when Frank tours this album.  — L. GREEN

CHEVELLE, Point #1 (Squint)
Interesting story behind this band, they’re three brothers from Chicago that work as carpenters during the day. At night they chase away the shadows of boredom with wondrous music. The influences are so many that none are obvious, but Helmet and Tool come to mind. This CD is almost too good for a debut, there’s none of the rookie waste that’s on most debuts. Chevelle is serious and having Steve Albini producing only serves to bolster their credibility and sound. His distinct touch, allows the emotions to shine while backing them up with a solid wall of intensity. —  J. JOBES

CYCLEFLY, Generation Sap (Radioactive)
Two Irishmen, two Frenchmen and an Italian  make incessant songs reminiscent of Rachel Stamp or some odd combination of Marilyn Manson and Placebo. In particular, “Crawl Down” gets into your brain, stalking the cells around until they have muscle memory of the lyrics. Once you see the band, you won’t be able to forget the Ribena-dreadlocked Declan in his sour apple green PVC suit, spidering on the stage and wrapping himself around the mikestand. — FINCHLEY

DRAIN STH, Freaks of Nature (Mercury)
What an amazing piece of work from Sweden’s best female exports! Freaks of Nature tosses together heavy, pulsing metal with hauntingly revealing melodies. The result merges the raw energy of Corrosion of Conformity, the mystery and depth of Type O Negative, and the melody of Alice in Chains. The samples on several of the tracks could have been left out, though. Hope you caught them at Ozzfest, since unlike so many other female bands, you can actually enjoy the show without closing your eyes. These ladies from Sweden belong at the top of every heavy/hard rock list. —  J. JOBES

If you think you have heard heavy music, you need to check this out. British haze-masters Electric Wizard have cornered the market on down-tuned, mind-numbing stoner doom. This double CD set is the first American release of 1996’s Come My Fanatics and the entire thing will take you to another world. This one is a teaser for their upcoming release, tentatively titled Dope Throne. Ozzy should be proud, I mean who ever thought Sweet Leaf would lead to this? Fourteen tracks with some coming in at over ten minutes. Just remember to keep the screen clean. —  J. JOBES

GOATSNAKE, Goatsnake 1 (Man’s Ruin)
Oh yeah, the record label with the best cover art ever tosses some serious doomsludge metal at you. Goatsnake picks up where Kyuss left off, accompanying newer bands like Fu Manchu and veterans St. Vitus and the Melvins along this hazy Sabbath-induced trail. Greg Rogers and Guy Pinhas from the Obsessed join Engine Kid guitarist Greg Anderson and Wool/Scream vocalist Pete Stahl to kick out some of the best ‘70s influenced tunes around. Haul out the bong and the corduroys and nod along by the glow of the black light.  — J. JOBES

Wow. GBV produced by Rik Ocasek ends up with handclaps. Robert Pollard’s voice and little sample-y things are used for punctuation as the eleventh album brings the band into the “Big rock” side of their schizophrenic personality as Pollard has often stated he wanted to do. Pigeon-holed as “lo-fi” in the past, GBV has decided to throw off and burn the term at the stake. It’s not so much that they were lo-fi as basic music with a vocabulary that still baffles computer spell-checks. Pollard’s dream of emulating Cheap Trick and other arena power-pop is coming to fruition; Partly because he’s not teaching fourth graders anymore, partly for the band’s revolving door cycling in a rhythm section of former Breeders, fifteen years is a long time to remain the critics’ dream – particularly when they’re still in Ohio – but Pollard and company are poised to take on Budakon. Just you wait. Handclaps and all. — L. GREEN

Leatherface is back, and teaming up with Hot Water Music from Gainesville for this awesome split record. Highlights include “Andy” and “Deep Green Beautiful Levelling” by Leatherface and “Wrong and Righteous” and “Take It As it Comes” from Hot Water Music.  These two bands definitely leave their mark in a scene full of generics. They’ve got an emo feel to them somewhat like Jawbreaker and Samiam but with more than enough of their own creativity mixed in. Highly recommended.  Amazing live.  — E. KELLER

LEN, You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush (Work)
It seems like no new bands are getting breaks unless it’s from some new teen film and Len is the latest in the line, with first single “Steal My Sunshine” appearing on the soundtrack to “Go.” It sounds like a younger Luscious Jackson if they drugged some boy and made him sing with them. Guest appearances by Biz Markie and Kurtis Blow among others make this Toronto brother and sister team’s collusion with Mumble C and Dust Brothers knob-twiddler John King a funky hybrid of what could be the music of the summer. Hey, it’s better that that infernal “Kiss Me” song.  — FINCHLEY

LORDS OF ACID, Expand Your Head (Antler/Subway)
KMFDM, Chris Vrenna, Rob Swift, Robbie Hardkiss, Joey Beltram, God Lives Underwater, Richie Hawtin. And that’s just the guest list of remixers! First single “Am I Sexy?” appears on the “Spy Who Shagged Me” soundtrack and is a lounge-y version that has more in common with Mr. Powers than Mr. Praga. It’s a little out of nature for them, but as the others are from previous albums and remixed by names, names, names. There’s a secret story between Miss Terri and the Lords. Write in and tell us what you think it is. Best version will replace reality and win some crap we have laying around the office. Lords cover girl Amanda Lepore not included. — L. GREEN

NARCISSUS,  And Forthwith Came Out Blood and Water (Clenched Fist Records)
Definitely at the top of the list as far as heaviness and anger go. This lulls from introspective instrumentation into full contact with the floor. Tortured vocals that echo with institutional pain-lock this guy up before he hurts someone. Did I say that this was heavy? I think it’s real interesting that a lot of these bands have really strong Christian beliefs but musically are more extreme than any Satan death kooks out there. Run To the Light. — CRASH

NINEDOWN,  Second Sight (Rockduster)
Step back, here they come. This band from N.C. kicks some fairly righteous tunes. Solid and jumpy grooves are layered nicely beneath interesting vocals. Singer Spencer Chamberlain has a range from innocent harmony to a strong rap to a throaty growl. These guys can sooth the masses or drive them wild. Lighter than Illphonic or Five Pound Bag, but altogether more melodic than either, Ninedown tosses off an undiluted amalgam of chunky metal riffs and earnest rap grooves. —  J. JOBES

PUSHMONKEY, s/t (Arista)
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started listening to this Pushmonkey CD. I fretted that it would be some new version of Pearl Jam, but much to surprise it wasn’t that bad. I would know where to put them category-wise, which is a good thing nowadays. All the songs seem extremely original. There’s the song, “Now,” which has loud guitars, and a slow drum beat with this lingering trumpet sound in the back. The song “Spider” has a sort of Rage Against the Machine feel to it, but with a more subdued lyrical line. I would recommend this cd for those stuck in the record store with money burning in their pockets. – J. SMITH

THE PUSH STARS, After The Party (Capitol)
I don’t know what they put in the water in Boston, but it makes practically every band that comes out of that area on my favorite CD shelf. The Pushstars are no different. Along with the likes of Buffalo Tom, The Pushstars got that whiny lead singer thing going on with dreamy and sometimes hard music to back it up. The lyrics are to die for. Songs to chew on are “Any Little Town” and “Drunk is Better Than Dead.” I can’t stop listening to this CD. — J. SMITH

SIX FEET UNDER, Maximum Violence (Metal Blade)
As the title implies, the death masters have returned with a vengeance. Vocalist Chris Barnes came up writing some of the most repulsive lyrics for Cannibal Corpse, but lightened up somewhat after joined the death-supergroup Six Feet Under. One listen to Maximum Violence and a quick read of the lyrics proves that Barnes is back to his old ways. Few bands can churn a pit and a stomach at the same time but these guys pull it off every time. Add a fantastic cover of Kiss’ “War Machine” and you have a full plate of death and gore. Eat up.  —  J. JOBES

US MAPLE,  Talker (Drag City)
Weird. You know what thorazine is? My college roomate’s dad was a med student who volunteered for the ‘60s LSD experiments. He went in with visions of free acid and instead wound up being strapped to a table and pumped full of Owlsleys finest. He was able to maintain by counting his heartbeat and knowing what his pulse should be, was able to essentially tell how much time had elapsed. This blew the minds of the doctors in attendance who kept asking him what time he thought it was. How does this relate to US Maple? If you have to ask, you need to listen again. —  CRASH

V/A, Incompatible 2 (Punk Uprisings)
This compilation comes complete with a CD rom zine and art gallery.  Although I wasn’t too impressed with the Punk Planet style columns (“duh… I have to write a column… what should I write about…”), the fact that someone put this together is pretty cool. Some more info. on the bands (besides their contact info.) would have been nice. The bands are mostly punk/hardcore and mix nicely with each other.  Included are Anti-Flag, I Farm, Gameface and Death by Stereo. This CD combines a good try with a really good idea, but could use some more work and more in-depth political statements than “racism bad.”  — E. KELLER

V/A, Nu York-Nu Skool 2 East Coast Drum ‘N’ Bass (Sm:)e)
These days I never know what I’m gonna hear on a DJ album. All sorts of CDs say Drum and Bass, which I love. Then I go to play it and it’s some techno shit. Not the case with Nu York-Nu Skool. From the phat beats on the first track ‘til finish I couldn’t stop my head from doing that jungle-drum-and-bass bob. Bobble, Jason Jinx and Trace have the best tracks on the CD but the whole things is great. It’s real mellow and sedate, nothing too bawdy. Surely a good buy. — J. SMITH

V/A, Take Action! Comp (Hopeless)
This is a benefit sampler for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Hopeless Records, featuring the new, more poppy and radio friendly Fifteen, along with Scared of Chaka, FYP, the Weakerthans (a project from ex-Propagandhi bassist John K. Samson) and the awesome Dillinger Four from Minnesota. All in all, it’s a cute little plug for Hopeless bands, taking action to write a couple of good songs and show how PC they are by doing this comp.  And it’s free…  — E. KELLER

V/A Unsealed: A Tribute to the Go-Go’s (4 Alarm)
The punkest girl group to come out of SoCal, the Go-Go’s were drunker and more debauched than any boy could ever want to be. What better than to get a bunch of not-yet-household names to cover songs that they were probably too young to have heard in the original formats? Season to Risk makes “This Town” sound like the sort of thing that should’ve come out of Columbine. Worth it if only to hear the Pinehurst Kids sing “I want to be that girl again.” — L. GREEN

THE SHEILA DIVINE, New Parade (Roadrunner)
No. It’s not a woman named Sheila, but probably some Yankee’s version of “attractive girl.” The three Bostonians that make up the band are dark, heavy . . . pop. Okay, with sometimes sustained vocals that remind you of hair bands of yore, but you can almost see the video now: the band playing on a hillside with a helicopter circling around them, and some of us wondering how in hell they can play with no electricity in the middle of nowhere with that damned chopper hovering. It’ll be interesting to see if this comes over in a live situation. — L. GREEN

MACHINE HEAD, The Burning Red (Roadrunner)
I’ve had a tough time getting into this band’s previous material, but this release (their third) has the band hitting full stride. The Machine Head sound has evolved and dares you to stand still. The band builds on experience and adds a healthy dose of pit-churning rage to create the musical equivalent of Niagra Falls, both amazing and powerful. Add an incredible interpretation of the Police’s Every Breath You Take and you have a sweet piece for your collection. —  J. JOBES

V/A Go! sdtrk (WORK)
I’m so sick of stupid ass soundtracks to lame ass movies. No Doubt, Natalie Imbruglia, FatBoy Slim and Leftfield are the only songs worth listening to, but if you dig them go buy the fucking record instead of this horrible mix for a sucker’s movie. Unless there’s photo’s of Katie Holmes naked involved in the aural pleasure of this CD why waste your time.  —  J. SMITH

DJ RAP, Learning Curve (Columbia)
So the cover of this CD is of a hot-piece-of-ass girlie sitting with her legs spread and her cleavage blazing. I figured this would be a good CD. I was so wrong. I don’t know who this DJ RAP person thinks they are, but the lyrics are repetitive and lousy, the music in similar on every track and the whole albums vibe is like “you might be able to get your groove on to this record if you also like to get it on to Ace of Bass.” Out of 12 songs I can only stand one minute of one song called “Good to be Alive.” Besides that, I’ve a new coaster for my frosty beverages. — J. SMITH

If you’re fond of the music on K-Rock then you’ll love this CD. Although the last album had one or two good songs this record completely regresses back to days when they must have just learned to write songs. This is the type of album you’ll find in the selection in the jukebox of some stupid bar whose clientele is mostly 30 something people trying pick up lines from the 80s. It’ll be the CD between The Goo Goo Dolls and Neil Young. — J. SMITH

LINDA DUNN, s/t (Prime CD)
I’m not really sure but I think that Linda Dunn is a country singer. Somewhere between country and sappy ass folk music falls Linda Dunn. If I were to be introduced to her I wouldn’t even shake her hand. As a matter of fact I want the last 50 minutes of my life back that I spent listening to this piece of trash. Heart felt mushy words backed by semi-acoustic music, I believe this Dunn woman has set feminism back 50 years. Thanks a lot Linda. — J. SMITH

7 SECONDS, Good to Go (Side one Dummy)
The first show I ever went to with a fake ID was 7 Seconds. It was in Asbury Park, NJ. I loved them then, and I think I have nothing but apathy for them now. I put this CD into the player and I honestly couldn’t tell when a new song was playing. The tempo and arrangements didn’t change a bit and there was not a space between the songs so it seriously sounded like one long long song. I mean, they can certainly play the punk music thing well. It’s just tired and routine to listen at this point and I imagine they must feel the same way by the way this record sounds.  — J. SMITH

JT MONEY, Pimpin on Wax (Priority)
I’m a sucker for rap. Rap of any sort for the most part, but I gotta say, this JT Money guy sucks ass. He isn’t saying anything that I haven’t heard before and worse yet the beats are weak. He gets some help on a couple of tracks from Big Gipp of Goodie Mob, Too Short and Trick Daddy Dollars. The problem is this brother is so lame that the Junior Mafia couldn’t have made this record any better.  — J. SMITH

HYPOCRISY, Hypocrisy (Nuclear Blast)
One of the most widely respected bands ever to make a presence, defy their own odds set against themselves with their latest extraordinary work, simply self-titled, signifying something of a new start for this talented Swedish act as well as lighting a new path for their own established tradition.  Convinced to stick around longer than they had prepared themselves in the past, the stage for Hypocrisy’s return was set with the release of the incredible live release, “Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken,” culminating with a recent tour that included a rare trip to the states where they were met with overwhelming response.  Peter Tagtren, master producer and elite song-writing talent, leads the recharged trio through what previously was uncharted territory of new material that envelopes a futuristic sound concept consistent with the science fiction theme originally intended.  Imagine the difference between the newest material from fellow metal innovators, Voivod, to that of their earliest work—it’s similarly equal to what we’ve gotten now with Hypocrisy.  The songs, taking on a less faster magnitude, maintain the heavy consistency always produced, only opting to now take the music in a more majestic, mid-tempo direction, exhibiting a class and dignity that will intrigue anyone, and impress everyone. — V APICELLA

OVERDOSE, Circus of Death (Pavement)
This has a great album cover.  Considering the band’s background and the fight against oppression in their native Brazil, the figure portrayed on the cover having a belly laugh and wearing a red clown nose must represent some sort of political figure or something.  An individual intentionally depicted as nothing more than a circus clown in need of a grip on reality.  Well whatever the case, this is a band that needs to be taken seriously.  The fact is, they’ve been around about as long as another Brazilian act that’s gained more notoriety over the years, Sepultura of course, yet Overdose matches up with them very closely on the musical scale, yet remains still a little known cult favorite in this part of the world.  That’s about to change with this album.  Only knowing them from their “Scars” release, though they’ve had several others, I first got into the band for their extremely aggressive approach, militant exhibitors of the fight for freedom—of expression in this case.  “Circus of Death” takes a varied route in the presentation, no less heavy than before, but not tied in to a one-dimensional style where by the time the disc is half over, you can’t for the life of you distinguish the last song from the first.  In that regard, the sound here is varied, each containing an identity all its own.  The elements of traditional thrash still exist in many cases, however many of the songs as in the case of “Dead Clouds,” and “Profit,” for instance, fire off round after round of heavy hooks and “The Healer” is as good an example of “groove-core” we’ll find, perhaps their biggest departure.  “Circus of Death” is not at all commercial by today’s unacceptable standards of judgment, but Overdose shows they can build on their sound and take it in other directions, while not turning anyone’s attention away from the main stage.  — V. APICELLA

CATHEDRAL, Caravan Beyond Redemption (Earache)
Caravan beyond redemption or “Carnival”  That’s what the intro sounds like before the first track “Voodoo Fire” kicks in.  England’s reigning kings of grind-core drive the stake further into the sacred ground plowed originally by the masters Sabbath, on their long-anticipated new release.  Having lost not a single step as they continue to trudge through the muddled fields of reverberation, Cathedral have hit their most significant stride in their five album, ten year career as they contentedly pursue the riff-ravaged promised land of post-Sabbath doom. Refreshingly distinct as we navigate through the twelve album tracks, we’ll learn quickly what sets Cathedral apart from many of the similar styled, though not nearly competitive stoner 70s revival acts that wouldn’t know what to do with an original thought if it flew out of their home made bong.  Traces of former labelmates, Entombed, can still be heard on more than the odd occasion, non-coincidentally in part to Lee Dorian’s singing approach this go-round as well as the bloodthirsty riffing that prevails upon an already weakened listening prey.  Caravan Beyond Redemption takes a great leap out from the past that breathes life into new surprises in the form of Earth Messiah Kaleidoscope of Desire and the trippy The Omega Man where they’ve tackled a new dimension or two to their already storied tradition. — V. APICELLA

ENSIGN, Cast the First Stone (Nitro)
Right from the first ten seconds of Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, I knew this was going to be good.  Ensign features an early hard-core style that’ll make you want to get up and slam!  The songs are short and quick, very loud with roaring gang vocals complimenting frequent time changes and occasional melody.  Quick reflexes are of the essence when you’re listening to Cast the First Stone because the songs rarely peak above a minute and a half and like an animal ready to pounce, they’re on you that quick!  Look for Ensign to tour with the likes of Sick of it All later this year. — V. APICELLA

HASTE, Pursuit in the Face of Consequence (Century Media)
In showing that haste doesn’t always lead to waste, the Alabama rockers let it fly with all guns blazing on a new record built on diversity and maturity that while befitting the times, is not a simple rehash of everything else out there.  Led by two vocalists and six full members, all of whom contribute their own styles and influences leading to the large degree of mixture in the sound, Haste is tough to pin down.  A hybrid of hard-core/metal stands out the most on this record, which is very guitar dominated, layered in heavy hooks, pleasantly multidimensional without the thin veil of machination to divert from the substance beneath the surface.  A relatively unknown area for heavy music, it looks like the heart of the South just acquired a consequential ache in the form of Haste’s troublesome new release. — V. APICELLA

IN FLAMES, Colony ((Nuclear Blast)
Previously billed in heavy rock circles as one to watch, it’s easy to see why upon positioning this new disc in the CD tray, standing back, and letting it roar – burn baby burn!  In Flames reach new heights with this latest masterpiece, “Colony,” which will make a true believer out of metal skeptics everywhere.  Think you’ve heard it all before?  No room for growth or excitement within the confines of prevailing music labels and the preponderance of similar bands all writing the same song with different titles?  Think again. Not since the tremendous Slaughter of the Soul from At the Gates has their been an album that’s gotten me this pumped.  That one is more than likely one that many fans point to when digging through the rubble for that landmark album that just sets the standard for the rest to follow.  “Colony” will be the next one to set the industry on its ear.  In league with the newest material from other closely related artists as Blackstar Rising and current labelmates Night in Gales, another budding superstar of the realm, Colony spits fire at every angle leaving any potential thoughts of doubt, smoldering in the dark. It’s like when you meet someone who you really dig and you know its too good to be true and so you’ll try and try to find fault, even in the slightest degree to allow a conceivable let down be easier to absorb, yet for all your efforts, you can’t do it.  In much the same way, this album is faultless.  “Colony” has everything going for it, particularly recalling traditional metal borrowing the best left behind from vintage Maiden, with hints of Goth, to transitional black styles powerfully displayed with a bombastic production where the drums just explode and the battling twin axes in full splendor.  (No offense to mother-in-laws in general, you understand). You’ll need a rest at about the halfway point so the band graciously provided a minute’s worth of kick back with  “Pallar Anders Visa,” a short term orchestral maneuver, hypnotic in its effect, before fading aside for one of the album’s heaviest and best, “Coerced Coexistence.”  A breakout of a song, it twists and turns it’s way through your mind leaving an eventual paralysis that will go far in explaining the charred remains left of you four songs later.  If In Flames Colony is representative of the hopeful direction heavy metal’s continuing to move in as we head toward the next century, it’s going to create an earthshaking effect that will quickly put to rest any previous causes any of us had to bitch about in the first place. trust me, being engulfed never felt so good. — V. APICELLA

IRON MONKEY, Our Problem (Earache)
This is the English answer to Gwar – Neanderthal rock that will soon run rampant across your living room floor and take its rightful place alongside the poor and tasteless.  With a sonic intensity so big it’d have King Kong stomping the grounds for hours in sheer ecstasy and look now, there’s a cavernous pit right back where your yard once stood, Iron Monkey’s newest “Our Problem” might well become yours- with a little luck. This English beat is neither danceable nor pleasant any way you look at it, but rather noisy, leaning for the most part to the far left of excruciating and agonizing, where grind-core meets sludge-rock in a decibel-crush of rolling rudeness that patterns itself after no one in particular.  It’s hard not to imagine them as more than a rock and roll spoof with the name and with songs that include “Supagorgonizer” and “Nine Joint Spiritual Whip,” (how long is this?) but they can play – just not that well.  Actually they’ll play better than they can sing.  If there’s even one word anyone can pick up in the lyrics, I’ll eat bananas for a week! Imagine what Sabbath might have sounded like after a few too many nights of binge drinking and Ozzy’s spent voice after a full bout with touring and a 4 pack a day habit.  There’s nothing musically significant here but I’d imagine these guys must be a trip to see live.  The Kyuss vibe is unmistakable by song six, “2 Golden Rules” if you can make it that far past the sick cover booklet illustrations which have to be seen to be appreciated!  But no, I’d dare suggest not everyone would be so appreciative of it!  Yes, somebody had to have a lot of fun with this one!  Let the primates run wild!– V. APICELLA

One of the elite of the steadily climbing list of progressive rock talent, Liquid Tension Experiment, on their latest effort simply titled 2, is an hour and a quarter time piece that blends stunning improvisation with lyric-less ambiance, in cultivating an advanced body of work that captures the essence of supreme musicianship and maturity.  The four members, all of whom stepped aside from previous commitments Dream Theater for instance – flow together in perfect symmetry; an undercurrent of passion and transcendence that gives a life unto itself in the near seventeen minutes of the epic “When the Water Breaks.”  The only true compositional piece according to band members, this was written during the post-birth period of guitarist John Petrucciís daughter, proudly displaying the joy they must have felt and leaving nothing short of the emotional runoff that can be heard throughout the sessions.  The rest of the material is a spontaneous outpouring of intricate detailsóinfrastructures balancing between melodic ballads and assertive fusion rock that takes the listener into ìanother dimensionî of sight, sound and musical mastery. — V. APICELLA

MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, United Colors of Poverty and Shame (CBGB Records)
With a sound as explosive as the object they were named for, one of NYC’s nastiest punk players, Molotov Cocktail spew forth a determined flow of piss and vinegar from their well of politically active bilge set forth against the industry standard.  “Playlist Freak” opens the door toward commercial media hatred, rightfully aimed and striking the mark effectively even by the time they lash against the FCC.  There’s a mention of 1985 in the song Jerks in Progress which leads us to believe the group’s carrying a little mileage, a beneficial side-effect maybe, lending to the harshness to their already crude sound.  The punk trio covers every angle to promote their discontent with just about any issue that could be presented, which fittingly portrays all the music was meant to from the time it was born – an attribute sometimes lost in many of today’s pretenders and addressed in the song “Part Time Punks.”  Molotov Cocktail cover illustration speaks volumes about their given viewpoints of corporate run America.  One of the more memorable groups to hit the scene in recent years and for those non-believers among us, they’ll have you dancing the ìcha, cha, chaî even while the Old World Order continues to suck the spirit out of you.– V. APICELLA

PORTABLE, Portable (TVT)
L.A.ís Portable brings home that honest feeling to rock music, something that’s been either missing or just flat out ignored in recent years.  Their seven song EP fresh from release on TVT Records has just what it takes to turn heads again and give radio listeners or doubters something to hold onto again.  The songs are melodic and moody yet capture an upbeat style, following an outlook of having the glass half full as opposed to empty and it shines through most convincingly on tracks one and two “Help Yourself” and “All Over Again” among others.  We’ve heard this before but not from actually being exposed to it.  A slow-motion version of Gary Numan’s hit “Cars” turns up sans the pop/dance mix and might make an impact but in the end Portable is a band that will be known for producing their own elemental brand of U2 meets The Who style of rock and roll. — V. APICELLA

SOCIAL SCARE, “Sound Formula”  (Radical Records)
I can’t believe this is a band that began when they were in eighth grade only four years ago!?  So now they’re high school seniors?  Man, that’s discouraging.  Now I’ll be thinking the whole time I write this review, “Why didn’t I stick to playing the guitar?”  They’re pretty up there with the best of old school punk, but it makes you wonder, how when you consider their youthfulness.  “Sound Formula” takes that formula that first popularized the aggressive early eighties style of hard-core and punk music, recreated by a bunch of kids who weren’t even born yet!  Oh, by the way, Kevin, pull your pants up man.  And a sound formula is what you’ll hear after popping this disc on – nothing original, mind you. — V. APICELLA

1. FU MANCHU,  King Of The Road (Mammoth)
2. HOT ROD HONEYS,   Horny & Hungry (Man’s Ruin)
3. V/A Short Music For Short People (Fat)
4. FACE TO FACE, Ignorance is Bliss (Lady Luck/Vagrant)
5. U.S. BOMBS The World (Epitaph)
6. LEATHERFACE, Cherry Knowle  (BYO)
7. V/A  No More Prisons (Raptivism)
8. SENSEFIELD  s/t (Warner)
9. MC Eiht Section Eight (Priority)
10. 7 SECONDS  Good to Go (Side One Dummy)
11. GANG STARR  Full Clip (Virgin)
12. PARLIAMENT, 12” Collection (Casablanca)
13. v/a East Coast of Oi! (Radical)
14. MOLOTOV COCKTAIL United Colors of Poverty and Shame (CBGB)
15. V/A, Return of the Read Menace (Honest Dons)
17. TOM WAITS Mule Variations (Epitaph)
18. BARRY WHITE, White Gold (Mercury)
19. LILYS, The Three Way (Sire)
20. REVEILLE, Laced (Elektra)


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