APE SOUNDS, Ape Sounds (Mo Wax) Legendary graff artist Futura 2000 did the cover for this CD, whose music feels as random as spontaneously tagging a building. Ape Sounds seems to be a recording studio whose work attracts cool people like Cornelius and Ben Lee. Check out Money Mark’s “The Very Urgent Dub” and MoWax head honcho James Levelle’s “March of the General”, which was produced by UNCLE and Scratch Perverts. -Mia

MOTORHEAD, The Best of (Metal Is Records)
What could be better than an Iron Maiden best of record? Motorhead, that’s what. Disc one (yes, there are two discs) kicks off with (what else) Ace of Spades. I wouldn’t care if this record were two discs of Ace of Spades over and over again; I would still listen to it. But, it’s not. There are 20 songs on each disc; some are live and some are bands covering Motorhead. This rocks, ’nuff said. – Ritchie

V/a, CD Sampler Vol. 2 (HydraHead/ Tortuga) When you start looking for what’s bubbling in the heavy underground, give this one a listen. These two labels have tossed together a sampler that includes names you have heard like Dillinger Escape Plan, Cave In, and Botch and some you need to hear like Knut, Scissorfight, and Milligram. Add in an unreleased live track from Soilent Green and you have the sampler of the year. These two labels are today poised in a position similar to where SST Records was in the mid-80s (think Black Flag, Husker Du, Descendents) and where Sub Pop was at the end of the 80s (think Green River, early Soundgarden, Nirvana.) This is important music. Pay attention. – Jobes

GOTOHELLS, Rock-N-Roll America (Vagrant)
Good, hard rocking for good, hard partying, to put it bluntly. Here’s a suggestion for all you kids on the party boat: do a shot every time the singer says “rock-n-roll America” and see how you like your stomach pumped. Funny, huh? Yeah, rock and roll! – Steph

PATRIOT, We The People (GMM) Fifteen tracks of piss and vinegar from the infamous North Carolina skinhead band. If you know of them, you need this. If you know street-punk or oi, you need this. It’s all here, drinking, women, drinking, street smarts, drinking, and oh yeah, drinking. Play it loud and sing along. – Jobes

PRIMAL FEAR, Nuclear Fire (Nuclear Blast)
German heavy metal that sounds a lot like Judas Priest with the wailing yeeeaaahh vocals and multi-guitar mayhem. Every track on this CD rocks out with unrelenting speed. My favorite is track 3, “Back From Hell.” If you like good, fast, leather-clad heavy metal, you should check this out, Nuclear Fiiieeaaaaahhh. You gotta love German metal! – Ritchie

Straightfaced showed up to rock! They seem like they’d be “Happy” if you were “Disappointed” to find out the truth. The “Impression” is honesty. They make it clear they don’ like a “Liar”. So, don’t bullshit coming in all “Straightfaced” on this disc. These heavy hombres play with hardcore ambitions. If you don’t watch it, you might start a pit in your living room! If you’re still in doubt, check the chunks of guitar flying at you! – B-LOAD

THE MISSING 23rd, Ctrl+Alt+Del (Sessions)
Some of the best punk I’ve heard in a while. I’d heard a lot about these guys and I understand why now: this album’s sick. Check it out because you’ll definitely enjoy it. If you don’t, check out theGoToHells’ CD review in here and follow suit as suggested. – Steph

GROUSER, Harmonic Freight Train (Porcelain Productions) This is some aggressive music with ear crushing vocals and heart pounding drums. There is a 18” twin bass on this record with a good metal punk feel to it. Another recommendation for the skate session when it heats up. – CIA

PSEUDO HEROES, (Theologian) A three piece punk pop rock ensemble from Florida. Driving riffs and stinging drums provide vocalist/guitarist Sam Williams with a solid canvas to paint his unique lyrical style. If you want original punk rock ala 2001, get some. – CIA

LEATHERFACE, The Last (BYO) On tour right now with Hotwater Music, Leatherface has released The Last finally in the US. This record has some songs on it from Frankies other group Pope which I have a feeling if you get your ass off the couch and go support live music you will see on tour maybe even in your own home town in the next couple of months. Add this one to your list of music to buy. – CIA

TALES FROM THE CRYPT, Monsters of Metal (Capitol) Well, you get a bunch of metal bands here that are actually real metal bands, not these new hip hop metal hybrids. Black Sabbath (with Dio), Armored Saint, Megadeth, Pantera, Judas Priest are all on here. Perfect for the metal fan in all of us. – Ritchie

RIGHT BRIGADE, s/t (Revelation)
Boston’s Right Brigade will kick you right in your ass. Good to pop in before you throw down a slappy. You know what I mean. – CIA

BLACK EYED PEAS, Bridging the Gap (Interscope) The Black Eyed Peas are one of the few mainstream hip-hop groups that showcase lyrical style and content. They don’t mention how many cars they own or how big their houses are, they just rhyme the way real hip-hop fans like it. Producer Will Adams lays down the perfect tracks for these guys to show off their talent, making this a really good hip hop record. – Ritchie

MARILYN MANSON, Holywood (Nothing)
That’s right, the infamous Marilyn Manson, the Bible Belt’s most hated band/man/whatever. This guy has achieved massive commercial success, and in the process has pissed off a lot of people, mostly religious political types, parents and idiots in general. You say you don’t like him, well tell me this, if you were forced to watch an MTV awards show would you rather see Brittany or the Backdoor Boys perform instead of MM? Who is more punk and stirs up more shit, Manson or N’Sync? He’s out there keeping it ugly and real in a land of “beautiful people”. I admire that. – Ritchie

DOG FASHION DISCO s/t (Spitfire)
An extremely eclectic twist on hardcore. Fast beats and good vocals. – MQ

EXCEL/SPLIT IMAGE, Chaotic Noise (Rotten) Excel, serve up West Coast punk rock only the way they could. Starting off with “Your life, My Life” before they rip into classics like “Insecurity” and “Make Up Your Mind”. Shaun Ross and Greg Saenz keep this motor buttered and rolling full throttle. “Wreck Your World” will make your day if you’re looking for something to kick you out of bed. If you already like Excel, you won’t be disappointed. 21 solid tracks, Michael Seiff art and scrapbook booklet, so you can look back on Dan “The Man” Clements style throughout the years. Now, if you don’t know who Excel is. . . stop sleeping under cars! If you can’t find this, get a hold of Don’t be scared. – B-LOAD

THE CAUSEY WAY, Causey vs. Everything (Alternative Tentacles) More than music – a way of life! Causey leads and I will follow. It’s been way too long since a decent band wore arm bands and matching outfits. Do whatever it takes to join this cause. Keyboard and bass – tight. Beats – rockin’. Cult – most definitely. – JED

V/A, Cornerstone: The Mixtape Vol. 22 featuring DJ A VEE & DJ KHALED Hip hop fans will love disc one. DJ Avee cuts 17 different tracks with Grand Imperial skills featuring Wu Tang, Outkast, De La F. Chaka Khan, Pharcyde, CN’N and many more. Disc 1 is entitled ‘Back to Basics’ and does so in true urban style. Take it from DJ Q-Bert! The cuts sit in a seamless medley format and after the fact my clothes had been shred into pieces the blunt angle left me fandangled! – B-LOAD

THE KILLING FLAME, The Dream Dies (Livewire) I would definitely recommend this album. Just don’t read the lyric sheet. It’s a short album that leaves you wondering where the other four songs are – which is far too rare in music today. The only problem is those lyrics – all Karl Marx and obvious metaphors. Your best bet is to get one of those CD cases and put this disc in there. You can store the liner notes elsewhere – with your manifesto and pictures of you wearing a lot of eye make-up. – JED

SELBY TIGERS, Charm City (Hopeless) Some of these songs are kinda pop punk, rock n roll-ish, some of them are kinda indie rock-ish, and some are in between. There are two male singers and one female singer that can all hold their own. ps. The girl’s hair is a wig. -Ritchie

MOODS FOR MODERNS, Whatever She’s Doin’ Popstar EP (Doghouse) “Hey! You got Tom Petty in my Weezer. Hey! You got Weezer in my Tom Petty!” Mmmmmm, not bad. – JED

PELE, The Nudes (Polyvinyl Records) People will call this emo, but I think it is a bit jazzier than that. It is all instrumental and that makes the perfect background music to a long drive. It’s soothing and interesting. I usually don’t like all instrumental bands, but this is good. – Ryan Ritchie

THE ATARIS, End is Forever (Kung Fu) The Ataris are like playing Pong when you’d rather be rockin’ PlayStation 2. This California quartet delivers stayed pop punk with an emo inflection. Nothing flashy. -Mia

ZERODOWN, A Lifetime to Pay (Fat Wreck Chords) Fast, polished punk. Melancholy riffs and touchy lyrics are supercharged with animosity to make this album bitter—and sweet. Sing along and flip out like you’re supposed to. – STEPH

UNION 13, Youth, Betrayal & The Awakening (Epitaph) Okay, I admit it! I liked this band before listening to this cd. The Union 13 set is tight wound and furious, not to mention bi-lingual. Their weaponry loads with an instrumental that kicks right into “The Game (We Don’t Have To Play)”, with a quick body check. A fast ensemble rips through a 17 song clip, including such classics as “A Short Supply (of Truth)”, “Illusion, Violencia Y Maldad”, “Innocence”, and “Mundo Egoista”. You’ll want to crawl back to the East Los punk rock sound again and again. Another solid album from Union 13. Go arm yourself with some of this. – B-LOAD

THE WESLEY WILLIS FIASCO, Live E.P. (Cornerstone Records) Who are these guys? What the hell are they singing about? What ward did Willis escape from? I dunno, but this is frickin’ awesome. It gets you into that quirky mindset to be quirky like the W.W.F. and make up quirky words like “FUN-nifying,” because that’s what this EP is: Funnifying. Use that word. I’m not even kidding about this one; this is a mandatory must. – STEPH

LTJ BUKEM, Journey Inwards (Kinetic)
DJ Extraordinary. . . unbelievably beautiful. One solid disc. I disappeared for a little bit on my bike with this CD. Travels well with intelligent passages from the likes of sax inspired jazzy blitzes too. . . It’s like I get a whiff of modern-day Van McCoy smoking by with the tide. If you want something refreshingly new in your collection, you might just want to dig deep in your pocket for this stuff. It’s good shit. Probably in the import pile. -B-LOAD

V/A, A Punk Tribute to Metallica (Cleopatra)
Full of greats this is a tribute album that doesn’t leave you saying, “Oh great, another tribute album.” With groups like Sloppy Seconds, D.O.A., and Dr. Know paying homage to Metallica you feel refreshed and wanting to listen to the originals just because you’re stoked. “Seek and Destroy” performed by Agent Orange will have the decibels cranked and the repeat button in full use. – CIA

U.S. BOMBS, The World (Epitaph) That is, “U.S. Bombs the World.” Quality punk rock with awesome songs that are polished off with politically aware lyrics. This one should satisfy everybody’s indecision about what to play on the stereo when point of views collide. – STEPH

JOHN WESLEY HARDING, The Confessions of St. Ace (Mammoth) This here is the strangest album I ever heard. The whole first half sounds like a collection of TV theme songs. I was sure track one was the “Too Close For Comfort” theme. But the second half, sounds like some sort of tribute album. I may have heard Steve Earle, maybe even Billy Bragg. I’m not sure who the guest players are on this album, but I swear there’s a pretty good impression of Elvis Costello singing a tv theme song here. – JED

POWERHOUSE, What Lies Ahead (Resurrection A.D.) Oakland is responsible for Powerhouse – a rare showing in today’s hardcore world. Combining old school style with fresh powerful energy, this is a record of which producer Lars Frederiksen can be proud. Powerhouse is putting in their time and playing with fire. – CIA

COCK SPARRER, England Belongs to Me (Taang!) Your favorite old British working-class band brings you a collection with all the great early singles—twenty of them. This one gets some serious play and when it’s not on blast, it’s playing in my head all day. – STEPH

PLAVU, Life Instructions Enclosed (Pocketmouse Records)
The album starts with what sounds like a sample of Bruce Springsteen playing harmonica. Then some crappy guitar and scratching starts. And then this girl starts singing and it sounds just like the scratching of records. This album is a good reason why home recording equipment should be too expensive for regular people to purchase. This sounds like something I might make in my garage if I was high on Lysol and estrogen pills. And I suck to begin with. And I don’t have a garage either. What a mess. – JED

22 JACKS, Going North (Side One Dummy)
22 Jacks have put together a feel good record with some teeth. Psycho guitars accompanied by potent drumming and powerful vocals. Produced by Ed Stasium and recorded in LA you can tell these guys put in work to get this sounding just right. – CIA

DOWNSET, Check Your People (Epitaph) The title track and cover set me up for the bitter sweet romp of Downset. I’ve always liked the organic sound of original rap with real instruments. Rey Oropeza keeps a vocal edge throughout the album minus the singing bit. Strong rhythm by Morris on bass, Hamilton on drums keep the back support solid. The politically urban conscious lyrics will have you throwing molotov cocktails well after the Friday night show. “Tear Us Apart” gives a clubbing. Let it be known, Downset is down for you people! The graffiti inlay by Skill makes for a nice wall piece. – B-LOAD

MEAT PUPPETS, Golden Lies (Breaking) The Meat Puppets are definitely one of the best bands of the ‘80s. Anybody who says different is probably a prick and I’ll gladly play Meat Puppets II for them while I smack them around. But the Pups have fallen on hard times – they had some personal problems a few years ago, and they’re having musical problems now. Curt Kirkwood, the only original member of the band, seems to be reluctantly playing the few decent tracks and several misses on this disc. There are moments of Kirkwood greatness, but none of the recklessness and power they used to have. I’m gonna keep buying though, as should you. – JED

Dropkick and Business went back to back on this one. A twelve track album of dedicated-in-your-face-punk-rock. If you get a chance, see Dropkick live, the best 15 bucks I ever spent. – MQ

GRADE, The Embarrassing Beginning (Victory) I have to admit, I had never listened to these guys before and that is something I will regret for a while. But this is a good start for anyone who was living in that same cave. For the seasoned fans, all of the tunes from the out of print Grade/Believe split cd are here, along with some demos and acoustic versions. There is way too much diversity in this band to try and lump them into any particular genre. No hard-ass, thug-wanna-be garbage here, nor is there any whiney Metallic-Cure that seems so prevalent today. I’m hooked. – Jobes

FACE TO FACE, Standards and Practices (Vagrant) This record is all cover songs, and you’re probably thinking, “Cover songs, come on.” But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that some of these renditions are even better than the originals. Listen to the CD. If I’m wrong next time you see me throw eggs at me. – CIA

GUTTERMOUTH, Covered with Ants (Epitaph)
Cynicism and balls-out-in-your-face energy is what Guttermouth’s latest release is all about. These guys lay it down with aggressive lyrics and a strong instrumentals leaving you ready to listen again. This CD will grow on you with every spin. – CIA

THE SLACKERS Wasted Days (Epitaph) Sixteen songs and a little over an hour of ska done the right way. They hit a hot one with this CD. I’ve enjoyed the Slackers since I first listened to them on a comp. They know how to jam. – MQ

PINHEAD CIRCUS, The Black Power of Romance (BYO) Fighting, drinking, and a little revenge––these are a few of my favorite things. Colorado’s Pinhead Circus shares in these beliefs and puts it down in a punk-drunk way we can all relate. This makes their fourth release and I think it’s the best one yet. – CIA

ISRAEL VIBRATIONS, Power of the Trinity (RAS) A box set of such ital-root vastness that few could put their ass in a place of Karmic troubles not for this highly collectible set. Buy dem. The truth of the trinity is sweet as ever with jewels like “Rude Box Shufflin” off Apple vibes, “Licks of Kicks” and “Never Give Up the Fight” off Swiss vibes and then the newer releases on the third cd like “On The Rock” and “Thank You Jah”. Fifty bucks ain’t no trippin for this roots dippin’ with the skelly vibes of “Perfect Love & Understanding” to guide and protect with harmony and grace. Check one love in these trenches of upliftment. Respect. – J. Hendog

DJ PREMIER’S Crooklyn Cuts Tape D – If you knew how raw it is to catch a sick kickflip off a sketchy ledge at speed. . . and then land on another ledge rolling. . . that’s deep like Redman on “Rock Da Spot”. Cuts like “Frankenstein’s” rip deep into the loin of our ears on tracks by The Roots and Ghostface. Q-Tip and the Queensbridge Mobb, run steady with their lyrical depth charges. Due payment and respect to “Do What You Feel” by Redman/Method Man and skripts and skits with fantastical dips and connections like no other. Guru’s top marksmen getting loves. -J. Hendog

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, Hollow Victory (Not a Problem) Yeah, a lot of people claim punk rock and a lot of those same people suck-ass. Lemme clue ya. If it ain’t available on vinyl, and doesn’t make you think, ”Hey, am I tearing shit up?” it ain’t punk, bro. These guys are the real deal with tight drumming, chunky-assed guitars, gnarly Conflict-toned-buzz-rippin’ bass and a wailing, energetic singer. I’m not going to waste space in this mag to compare them to other bands that rip. You know who rips, and it ain’t Blink 182. No MTV “punque” boy band shit here. I call it the “Spirit of ’85”. If you where there, you know what I’m talking about. If you want to know what that summer was all about, treat yourself to this delicious slab. PO 420802 SF,CA 94142 – SHITBIRD

NERD, Lapdance (Virgin) If you’e looking for a classification under instrumental/rap with clean beats and steady flowing lyrics, Nerd is all about it. – MQ

DR. KNOW / HELLION’S / FANG, Fish and Vegetables (Hello) All right now! I’ve always been a loyal fan of Oxnard’s finest. The first time my friend Mark smoked sherm was when he was 16 at a Fang show with Aggression and Dr. Know. Mark ended up feeling the effects of deep-inhaled punk rock hits. Then attempting to clear the whole crowd, he ran into Sammy of Fang’s mic chord, almost choking the guy, while resuming a downward descent into the middle of the pit, onto his head. The crowd claimed to have “seen it coming”. I’m sure a disc like this will bring back all those growing pains of the past. It did for me! – B-LOAD

BREAKDOWN, Battle Hymns For an Angry Planet (Thorp) This record has solid classic hardcore written all over it. It comes fully packed with New York attitude. Supported by wrist snapping drums, charred out guitars, and pioneering vocals Battle Hymns should find a home in your collection. – CIA

HELL BROTHERS 12 Steps to Heaven Check out one of the main veins of the SF soulcore. … longevity in raw rock applies here with these diamonds. Good players on hard city lyrics punkering their way into clear-headed electrics. Check your head with “Dream Date” Track 2, for a slowboat to Frisco. Also, “The Stapleton Technique”. Rawk on NorCal. – J. Hendog

V/A, Contaminated/Core 3.0 (Relapse)
RrraaaaaaaaHH! Riffs of metal polished speed hymns. Ooweeoohh! A morbid compilation ensemble. Our world seems to be infected by a disease called man that has contaminated Earth with genocidal contemplation. If you want to know more about this release, Email – B-LOAD

DOWNER, self titled (Roadrunner) If this band had mentioned Tool as an influence, then maybe it wouldn’t be so easy to compare the two. But they didn’t, so, Downer sounds like Tool. Not really a bad thing because they borrow from the most accessible elements of Tool rather than from the trippy, experimental stuff. Toss in a healthy serving of Helmet or Chevelle, and some cool Pushead artwork, and there you have it. The thing is, once I got past the comparison, this cd became one of my guilty pleasures. The more I listen, the more I like. – Jobes

DELTRON, 3030 (75 Ark) It’s the year 3030 and everyone wants to be an MC. Talk about a consciously creative joint. This one’s good to hit all day. We’re basically talking about Dan the Automator, Kid Koala and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien in 21 futuristic blasts with a shard of Dr. Octagon in a few beats. “New Coke”, “Virus”, “Things You Can Do”, “Love Story”, and “Madness” are all cool cuts. Coming to your rap collection in the near future. – B-LOAD

NONPOINT, Statement (MCA)This debut is Florida’s latest and greatest addition to rapcore/raprock but just when you think these guys are just another Rage Against the Limp Chamber group, they toss out some serious shit like the heavy and harmonious “What a Day” or the sweet and hefty Latin grooves on “Orgullo.” There’s enough original content here to set Nonpoint apart. – Jobes

THE JIMMY NATIONS COMBO, Tarheel Boogie (Rubric Records) “Do You Know” where, oh where Jimmy Nations is?! Ask Rubric Records. That is if you want a hang dry, good ol’ boy combo boogie by the Tarheel park. It’s got an upbeat western kernel in it’s back moler. Out of Jimmy’s punching bag come’s an all too clean, Leave it to Beaver time chime that warns you of those “Hollywood Partys.” – B-LOAD

HOPE CONSPIRACY, Cold Blue (Equal Vision)
You’re getting ready to go skate, not flat ground, you’re ready to go big. Put this record on as loud as your speakers can take, go out and bust your ass. When you get back from skating blast it again and realize what a wuss you were for not going bigger. Needless to say this record has balls. Yet another strong release from Equal Vision. – CIA

HASTE, When Reason Sleeps (Century Media) I first heard this record in Lost Angeles during rush hour which seems to be whenever I am driving. Needless to say this was a record that made me want to trade in the car, get a big ass truck and drive over everyone in my way. This record is one of the best releases Century Media has in their well-armed arsenal. -CIA

VARIOUS ARTISTS – OZZFEST, Second Stage Live (Divine/Priority)
This double live disk features some of the best of the second stage acts from Ozzfest 2000. Standouts include Soulfly, Disturbed, Slaves On Dope, and Kittie. The second cd is a reissue of the 1997 Ozzfest Live disk. Classic stuff that brings back memories. Sepultura (when Max was still on vocals), Slayer, Earth Crisis, Fear Factory, etc. In true Ozzfest fashion, Ozzy closes out both cds. You knew he wouldn’t retire, right? – JEFF JOBES


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