The Dwarves, Come Clean (Epitaph)
Finally! They’re still young n’ good lookin’, actually they’re down right gorgeous. A great big, chaotic, sassy ass mess. Still spreading the fuck off & fuck up values, their trademark sound is louder then ever and is enhanced by lasers, previously only used in disco. Marilyn Manson could learn a thing or two from The Dwarves, who sound more menacing than ever. Immediately go purchase this record, get some booze, get naked and crank it. – ROBIN FLEMING

The Reverend Horton Heat, Spend A Night In The Box (Epic)
I listened to it a few times and thought it needed more psychobilly than swing. I thought “Sue Jack Daniels” was funny and picked up the pace. The title track, “Spend The Night In The Box” made me want to slick my hair back and go find Betty Page, but I don’t think it’s one of The Rev.’s best. For the vintage fan it’s not that good, but to a new kid on the scene it might be great. – MIKEY SAMUELSON

Rakim, The Master (Universal)
“Tell me I ain’t finesse Mahogany”. The sexiest voice in hip hop is back. Rakim is back and the recipe is still the same, a slow, low thumping beat, a lazy poets timing, and the voice. Publicly noted as one of the greatest MCs, it’s admirable that he hasn’t integrated any of the “new school” hip hop clichés. He doesn’t need it and it’s refreshing as hell. Rakim is a lyricist with style and poise. Thank God he’s back. – ROBIN FLEMING

At the Drive-in, Vaya (Fearless)
Amazing, pull out your wallet and buy everything they’ve made… ever. It’s a few CDs & a couple 7 inches, but you’ll not tire of it. These Texans are on frickin’ fire, mucho caliente. The songs do what songs are supposed to do, make you think & feel. I listen to this record a lot while looking around and see things I might not have noticed without their soundtrack.  – ROBIN FLEMING

The Black Mob The Capitol (Will)
If you’re into DMX you’ll probably dig this. Heavy beats and the standard bad-ass shit talkin’. They’ll probably find their way onto MTV. Nothing wildly original, with R & B influences on the less hard tracks. It’s aahh-ite. – JOE

Motley Crue, Live Entertainment or Death (Beyond)
This double live record features all the hits. I haven’t listened to the Crue for 10 years and I still remember all of the songs and I’m not ashamed to admit, I still like them. Buy this. You owe the Crue for making you cool. Nothing says cool like “Take a walk on the wild side.” -R. RITCHIE

Vue, Vue (Sub Pop)
This is good rock n’ roll, not super heavy and not a bunch of whining,it’s just right. They romp all over the place, from garage style fuzz guitars to big arena rock. The production on the record is really good,highlighting what ya wanna hear and leaving room for a groove. Vue’s got songs, real songs. I’ll be glad to see them live.  – ROBIN FLEMING

Homemade, What Were We Getting Into Before We Got Into This? (Theologian)
Pennywise meets No Motiv is how I would describe this. Slick guitars and melodic vocals are featured on this release. One song will get the kids to run in circles and the next song could get them to call these guys pussies. Fast parts, slow parts, and breakdowns are what you are getting here.- R. RITCHIE

Solarized, Neanderthal Speedway (Man’s Ruin)
This record was the soundtrack to some of the best straight up, ass smacking sex I’ve ever had. I suggest you buy the record, find a partner and do the nasty. Solarized is an aphrodisiac taken in the ears. Like all good things (rock n’ sex) this record ends, but if you hit repeat it’ll inspire another round. It’s a solid guitar exodus of magnum proportions. Magnum hmmmm….. – ROBIN FLEMING

Glucifer, Get The Horn (Sub Pop)
Things to love; the rock, the clothes, their rigs, power and Satan. Hailing from Norway these guys ain’t church arsonists. Raise the Goat, “Get The Horn” whatever, just get some. And if you love to dance while intoxicated, these Vikings will spank you with “Manly Living”. – ROBIN FLEMING

The Neckbones, The Lights are Getting Dim (Fat Possum/Epitaph)
If George Thorogood, David Johansson, Johnny Ramone and Stiv Bators (rest his soul) had some sort of illicit relationship culminating in offspring, The Neckbones would be the unholy children. – L. GREEN

Blondie, Blondie Live (Beyond)
I want to say this is good, but it’s only as good as a greatest hits record. The fact that it’s recorded live adds nothing, unfortunately.  –  ROBIN FLEMING

Karma To Burn, Wild Wonderful Purgatory (M.I.A.)
If you love THE ROCK this is for you. No lyrics, no vocals, just bone crushing, ball grabbing rock. I’m kinda glad they don’t have a singer anymore and I truly (fingers crossed) hope they tour in support of this record.  – ROBIN FLEMING

Beck, Midnight Vultures (Geffen)
Dear Beck, Will you marry me? – ROBIN L.T. FLEMING

The Unband, Retarder (T.V.T.)
I’m burnt on the whole jump on the ‘I’m a drunk rocker’ band wagon, it’s not bad, just ain’t that good neither. If you lived in a vacuum & had never heard any of the great belligerent rockers, you might enjoy this one.
cocktail: beer (brand unspecified) – ROBIN FLEMING

Osker, Treatment 5 (Epitaph)
O.K., they’re young, from L.A. and on Epitaph. 18 songs in 36 minutes. I know you can figure this out. – JOE

Pachinko, Splendor in the Ass II: Electric Boogaloo (AlternativeTentacles)
Quality control was not slacking on this one. Cover art worth framing. The title, well I ain’t heard better in years. See the record & you think it’s a joke, listen & learn otherwise. The first song’s a murder confession made to a psychic hotline over gothic Sabbath like riffs. This is a seriously heavy, brutal, aggressive record with big balls n’ big brains. – ROBIN FLEMING

22 Jacks, Going North (Side One Dummy)
Led by Joe Sib and featuring ex-Adolescent Steve Soto, 22 Jacks apparently has swapped some members of an earlier incarnation (The Shifflets) but could still be seen as a super-group of sorts. They don’t have Joey Ramone guesting this time, but they do have Ed Stasium, his producer, which may explain some of that New York twang in Sib’s voice, most notably on “All I Can Do”. Hard to define, easy to listen to.  – L. GREEN

Scared of Chaka, Tired of you (Sub City)
“Tired of you”?! I got tired of this record pretty quick. I guess the feelings are mutual. – ROBIN FLEMING

V/A  I Love Metal  (Triple Crown)
‘80s metal covers by bands I like. Avail doing Motorhead, Modest Mouse doing Slayer & The Get Up Kid’s doin’ Motley Crue. When do ya get ta hear emo cock rock? Right here kid. None of the bands stray very far from the original, but, if you raised the goat as a teen, you’ll get a chuckle. – ROBIN FLEMING

Hot Snakes, Automatic Midnight (Swami Records)
An attack, terrorist musical assault on my senses. Downright inspiring how good this record is. The band’s made up of members of Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From The Crypt & The Delta 72. These ain’t no slackers. It’s no wonder this does not sound like a debut record. This record is huge and remember, size does matter.  – ROBIN FLEMING

Violent Femmes, Viva Wisconsin  (Beyond Music)
Every college freshman should be issued the first Violent Femmes record. It seems that’s when most people get into this band. And by the time many hear the second, they’re over it. So, this live record may take over for the first record. All of the “hits” are here, plus a lot of other songs that should be given a chance but usually aren’t. The sound quality is good for a live record and if you ever get a chance to see the Violent Femmes, you’ll realize that they’re a very tight live band worth giving a listen to. – R. RITCHIE

Funkmaster Flex & Big Kap, The Tunnel (Def Jam)
Having just moved to the West from the East, this record is like walking on Broadway & Houston during the summer. Everybody wears their best, the girls wear as little of their best as possible and every car that rolls down B’way thumps. All the great break beats, classic samples, and the total skills of Flex & Kap are complimented with appearances by new stars and hip hop veterans. Everyone’s in on this one & it beats down any mix tape yer boy could make. NYC’s premier radio DJ has given a gift, accept it and say “thank you”. – ROBIN FLEMING

The Forty Fives, Get It Together (Ng/ Artemis)
This quartet, who call Atlanta, GA. home, play like Speed Racer, go, go, go. This record is for the weekend, under yer car, grease on yer face, and yer honey only an hour away. This is for a good day. If you catch them live they love beer, ‘specially yours. – ROBIN FLEMING

Spontaneous, Spur of the Moment Musik (Goodvibe/ Atomic Pop)
Kicked back beats & lyrical talent. This self produced debut from Spontaneous is real. Guests include Tash (Tha’ Liks) and the legendary Kurtis Blow and more. They’re on because they recognize the freestyle skills that Spontaneous has to offer. He’s coming up. Pay attention. – JOE

The Bar Feeders, Pour for Four, Por Favor (Fastmusic)
Fast, insolent, drunkard punk’s. I always like that. This definitely sounds like I should be at a backyard pool watchin’ folks grind the coping. Also, note the proud band member holding head of hangin’ pig, A.K.A. dinner. Proud to be carnivorous, drunk and pissed. Me too. – ROBIN FLEMING

Self, Breakfast with Girls (Dreamworks/Spongebath)
Speedy ‘70s pop with a healthy dose of the NIN-style ‘90s. Think BF5 with guitars and samples, and in a collective such as E6. If he was married to a movie star (he seems to favor Meg Ryan), better him than a scuzzy metalhead, then he wouldn’t have mountains of regret and his sorrow filling an ocean. Throw him a rope and make him feel better.  – R. RITCHIE

The Transmegetti,  Soon Be Seeing You Later (Art Monk Construction)
Super Rock. Yep, that’s what they call it and I gotta agree. This is the 4 song follow up to last years “Steal the Jet Keys”. It’s meant to satiate us, ‘til they release their next LP, due out this Spring. Like everything else they do, this rocks. Expect to hear more about The Transmegetti. – JOE

Demons & Wizards, Selt Titled (SPV)
Unholy shit! This fucking rocks! It’s dark and dramatic German metal with the obligatory ballads. Skip over that shit and go straight to the gnarl. It’s a side project from Hansi Kursch from Blind Guardian & Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth. Hansi belts out nut wrenching vocals and Jon must have a fore-arm like Pop-eye. This makes me want to raise the horns and scream “Rock On!” in a voice so loud only dogs can hear it. – JOE

Tourniquet, Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm (Metal Blade)
Do you wanna rock out to metal, but are afraid of the whole ‘going to hell’ thing? Then you’ve probably already heard of Tourniquet. This Santa Monica, CA. based trios latest release delivers more of the heavy you’d expect. Spouting views on God, animal rights and what dumb asses we all can be, this is guaranteed not to commit your soul to Satan. And if you’re already floorin’ it on the Highway to Hell, it makes good speeding music. – JOE

Deal’s Gone Bad, Overboard (Jump Up!)
Mellow reggae ska with a nice message and easy grooves. Nothin’ ya ain’t heard before, but at least it’s not that fast poppy ska. – ROBIN FLEMING

The Ziggens, Live: Tickets Still Available! (Skunk)
I wanted to review this record as I thought the title was silly. However, when inserted into my computer it promptly made my computer crash. I understand everyone’s all excited about ‘multi media’, but please, just music. If you break my shit, I break your face.  – ROBIN FLEMING

Face Value, Never Stray (Bettie Rocket)
Southern California pop punk. Typical chord changes and predictable breaks are a plenty here. It’s not bad, but I wish they’d try the road less travelled, as this is a beaten path.  – ROBIN FLEMING

The Pushers, Turning Blue (Disaster)
Yes please! “Thank you sir may I have another?” Bend over and let The Pushers spank you, I did, and feel a world better. This is a good punk record & the vocalist has a new voice among so many punk singers who could moonlight in any band. This rocks and the riffage made me throw myself into a wall repeatedly, for lack of a pit.  –  ROBIN FLEMING

v/a Boycott Radical Records (Radical)
Show offs! Good punk, good ska & new additions to Radical’s already solid roster. O.K. Radical, you win! – ROBIN FLEMING

Yellow Machinegun, Spot Remover (Howling Bull)
Three cute Japanese girls who will kick your ass! They are pissed & play hard fast core type aggression. I only wonder why bands who, clearly do not speak English, write in English. Since the lyrics make little sense anyway, ya might as well sing in your native tongue…am I wrong? – ROBIN FLEMING

The Loudmouths, Get Lit (702 Records)
Dedicated to the legendary Wendy O. Williams, this record would do her proud. Here’s 22 minutes of straight up punk. Real punk belted out by a real woman. I dream of seeing this band beat Blink 182 over the head with their guitars. Once they’ve conquered ‘em I bet the singer would wear their balls on a chain around her neck. – ROBIN FLEMING

Genitorturers, Machine Love (Cleopatra)
Dark, electronic, sexually themed music for ballin’, robbin’ cars or drug induced mayhem. Strap on this mechanized dildo and do what comes naturally. – ROBIN FLEMING

One Minute Silence, Buy Now…Save Later (V2 Records)
Melodic bass lines, lyrical pugilism and thick layers of sound. They could tour with bands I hate & bands I love. In the rap-rock times we live in this is one of the better choices, if you choose to at all. – ROBIN FLEMING

Zeke, Dirty Sanchez (Epitaph)
It must be the drugs, theirs or mine, but I love it. Finally, they got a chance to get their live sound onto a record. I threw a bottle at my wall, and tossed myself outta the house. Ride with Zeke or get yer ass outta my face. – ROBIN FLEMING

Chevelle- Point #1 (Squint)
Point well taken. They’ve picked up where a lot of bands have left me hanging. If you like the rock that makes you want to curl up in fetal position & hate, then I have this treat for you. – ROBIN FLEMING


Man’s Ruin Showcase
@ The Troubadour, L.A., CA.
January 7, 2000

“Hello Los Angeles. Are you ready to rock?” Nobody said it, but somebody should have. This show was packed from the minute the doors opened. Folks got there early, not wanting to miss the rock extravaganza. Man’s Ruin Records, based out of San Francisco, is a high octane gasoline, fueling the rock n’ frickin’ roll machine. For one night, L.A. got treated to some of the front runners of the “stoner rock” revolution. A moniker which I say is bullshit. Who says you gotta be a pot head to appreciate the dirge, the distorted guitars, the breakdowns….the rock?

The first to own the stage were Beaver, a Danish four piece. They got me head bangin’ & wishin’ I still had long hair. What, with a pugilist of a female drummer, an attack bass player and vocals so melodic, I didn’t even notice it was Dutch. Later, the singer informed me that it was in fact English, but what do I know? Next up were Acid King, I was at the bar for most of their set, not cuz they sucked, cuz they rule, but they inspired a wicked thirst. All I wrote during their set was, “Holy dirge, I’m on a Viking ship of hessians”, which =’s “fuck, yeah.” Goatsnake were up next. They had elements I liked, a harmonica & sick breakdowns, but I’d have gone home were it not for the rest of the line up. But, if I had I woulda missed the genius that is Fatso Jetsom. Go see them if you get a chance, shit, go find them. This was my second time being stunned and awed by their rock onslaught. Fatso Jetsom’s a four piece from Palm Springs, led by Mario. He plays guitar like a one man symphony and sings with more heart then I’ve got. Mario is also the only 400+ pound man, aside from John Goodman, that I lust for. At this point the crowd was well on their way to frenzy, but the main event was yet to come. Nebula took the stage with authority and graced us with thick ass layers of sound, which far surpassed the ‘stoner rock’ tag. They played some already classics and new songs off their new release …To the Center (Sub Pop)  for the packed house. At this point the crowd was alternating between a church like reverence and all out head banging. Finally, Unida, led by ex-Kyuss frontman Jon Garcia took the stage, leaving no doubt that they have testicles made of rock & steel. Having listened to their new release “Coping With the Urban Coyote” (Man’s Ruin) on repeat had not prepared me for the second coming of rock. This show not only satisfied the need to rock the fuck out, but inspired me. I’ve never seen such a good crowd in L.A., no attitudes, or douche bags on cell phones. Just some long hairs lookin’ for a good time, getting one better. Congratulations to Man’s Ruin for assembling an arsenal of great bands and putting on a kick ass show. – ROBIN FLEMING


1. THE DWARVES – Come Clean (Epitaph)
2. Q-TIP – Amplified (Arista)
3. AT THE DRIVE IN – In Casino/Out (DEN)
4. DR. DRE – Chronic 2001 (Interscope)
5. SUPERSUCKERS The Evil Powers of Rock n Roll (Koch)
6. FISHBONE A Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx (Hollywood)
7. THE GET UP KIDS – Red Letter Day (Vagrant)
8. Sdtrk “HEAVY METAL FAKK2” (Restless)
9. KARMA TO BURN – Wild Wonderful Purgatory (Roadrunner)
10. ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT – All Systems Go 2 (Swami)


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