Samohi. Ninth grade gym class, 10 years ago. Non-Suit. Everyday. In the gym’s bleachers. A paper towel roll. Bounce fabric softener on one end, our mouths blowing pot smoke through the other side into a backpack filled with bounce. Trying to look as inconspicuous as possible when our gym coach would come by with a furrowed brow trying to place “that smell”. The last days of my daily adolescent encounters with “Evidence” aka Mike Peretta head commander of Dilated Peoples. Most acts have a difficult transition from the underground to crossing over. They never quite recover. “Expansion Team”, Dilated Peoples 2nd major release shows that they are only getting better. Babu is the hardest DJ in the business. – DANARCHY

INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPIRACY, Survival Sickness This is an interesting endeavor. INC has a punk vibe complemented with a hammond organ and various folky instruments. Song 2 “the Subversive Sound”, has great lyrics and good beats that dominate the entire album. – DANARCHY

FU MANCHU Sound production and skills make this more than an album to shred to. They are in contention for attention. This CD stays at home. – DANARCHY

BEERZONE, Strangle All the Boybands (Cyclone) The title track says it all. Serious spirit of ‘77 UK punk with a fun edge. The lack of bullshit politics here is refreshingly frivolous. With no fewer than eight of the fourteen tracks dealing with drinking beer, and a song called ‘Duncan Disorderly’, you can’t help but smile. – JJOBES

CHIMAIRA, Pass Out of Existance (Roadrunner) It takes a certain skill to be influenced by music without mirroring that influence in your work as an artist. Chimaira manages to pull that off better than anyone out there today. You can hear elements of of Korn-like melodies, the digital mayhem of Fear Factory, some Soulfly-style percussive abuse, and an original vocal delivery that hits like Hatebreed or Nailbomb. Crank this one and annoy your neighbors like I just did. – JJOBES

STUDENT RICK, Soundtrack For A Generation (Victory) Oh no, emo crossover? You knew it was inevitable. If the Descendents ever hooked up with the early Goo Goo Dolls they might have come out like Student*Rick. Cool enough to listen to in front of your Mom or girlfriend, but you might want to think twice about dragging this one out on your way to get your next tattoo. – JJOBES

PUYA, Union (MCA) So much for the sophomore slump. This band tops their 1999 debut by leaps and bounds. The music of Puya fuses so many influences, you’ll be amazed by the result. Their heavy grooves and Puerto Rican rhythms at times call to mind the spirit of Soulfly and Sepultura. But while these two often inject their metal tunes with touches of their Brazilian culture, Puya routinely injects some metal into their Latin grooves. You’ll hear traces of Stuck Mojo on tracks like “Ride” and classic Santana on “Ahorake”. This disc will make you feel good. – JJOBES

TWISTED FOREVER, Twisted Sister Tribute (Koch) Listening to Twisted Sister always seemed kind of dirty to me. I think it was the fact that it was semi-rebel bad-ass music being played by guys in Rocky Horror makeup. The majority of this tribute disc brings back that same feeling, a longing for anit-bacterial soap of the surgical nature. Several of the tunes are straight forward and vary little from the original (Lit and Joan Jett), while others are unique takes on the basic style (Chuck D, Anthrax, Overkill). But standout tracks from Motorhead, Cradle of Filth and Fu Manchu make this release special. That, and the bonus AC/DC cover by Twisted Sister. – JJOBES

HUDSON FALCONS, For Those Whose Hearts and Souls Are True (GMM Records) If given the chance, the Hudson Falcons could single-handedly save rock and roll. They can deliver it from it’s pop radio oriented, made for video, image-conscious, contract greedy, one-hit-wonder, destructive self. This is rock done right. Any band that can name Stiff Little Fingers as an influence right along with Bruce Springsteen knows how to get it done. The content is blue collar, but not obnoxiously so. If you are living without this, you are just plain wrong. – JJOBES

GRUDGE, Forgiveness (7N/BMG) Montana metal? Why not, we have Iowa metal . . . Grudge plays metal, but not of the nu variety. Their music has been accurately described as music for “metal veterans.” Think Faith No More and Anthrax combined with the chunky-heavy S.O.D. rhythms. But there’s no nostalgia here, just sweet heavy riffs and respectable melody. – JJOBES

JAMES PLOTKIN’S, Atomsmasher (Double H Noise) Digitally manipulated sonic chaos. That’s the only way to describe this trio that features the talents of experimental guitarist James Plotkin, ex-Discordance Axis drummer Dave Witte, and DJ Speedranch. This is grind/noise of the most experimental variety. But the precision used to assemble the tracks creates a tumultuous mix that is the musical equivalent of surrealistic art. Imagine Ministry, Aphex Twin, and the Butthole Surfers meeting at Robert Williams’ place to record some stuff while on massive quantities of acid. You haven’t heard anything like this. Trust me. – JJOBES

ROLLINS BAND, Nice (Sanctuary) This batch o’ tunes from everyone’s favorite thick-necked scowler picks up where Get Some Go Again left off. The backing band (Mother Superior) that took over duties on GSGA returns with more of those straight-ahead hard charging grooves. In many ways, Nice is a return to some of the early, edgy Rollins solo material (see Hello). Going out on a limb, you could say that this release sounds like some of the late Rollins-era Black Flag material with some classic Black Sabbath ambiance, with a few exceptions. – JJOBES

PARTISANS, So Neat (TKO) Genuine Clash-style punk rock, the first release from this band since 1984. Damn good and it leaves you wanting more than just an ep. Check out the cd only bonus track which pays homage to Iggy and the Stooges. Or maybe they just borrowed the riff. Seriously refreshing to hear real punk as opposed to the that godawful pseudo-rehash garbage that passes for punk these days. – JJOBES

THUMB, 3 (Victory) This second release from Germany’s Thumb is better than the inevitable comparisons that have been drawn. A healthy dose of hip-hop style hard rock is what you hear all throughout 3. The difference from all the radio schlock seems to be that these guys draw on the sound of the originators of this sound, Faith No More. Thumb’s vocalist should be familiar to most of you, he is none other than veteran skater Clauss Grabke. Good stuff to grind to. – JJOBES

DARKEST HOUR, So Sedated, So Secure (Victory)DC metalcore, harkening back to the origins of the style. The late ‘80s and early ‘90s saw a blending of two styles that had previously been as similar as oil and water. The crossover scene gave birth to literally all of the heavy music you hear today. Darkest Hour brings the best of this to the table. Abrasive vocals that will make any fan of The Accused remember the days of Martha Splatterhead. Riffs that chug along like the best of metal underdogs, Holy Terror, and song styles that owe as much to some of the non-cheese that Iron Maiden produced as they do to Animosity-era COC. – JJOBES

SOME MAY SAY, The Loneliest Hour (Livewire) Catchy tunes and good old fashioned punk rock riffs. Some May Say, this is a band you can get into. – EVERTS

COMIN CORRECT, In Memory of… (Triple Crown) This record stems from the and hits you with a pair of Brass Knuckles. One of the best efforts from well know frontman Rick Ta life. In memory of will leave you knowing why you listen to hardcore. – EVERTS

NORTHSIDE KINGS, (Thorp) Take a chainsaw and start it up over your roomates head while they are sleeping and then turn it off and push play fast forward to song three, lock them in the room and leave. I guarantee they will come out later as a fan of Northside Kings. – EVERTS

JUNCTION 18, The Vicious Cycle (Fearless)
If you were in the eye of a huuricane where there are moments of calm but you know the rest is coming this release would be a good soundtrack for that moment. Or just listen to it on a normal day; it’s good then too. – EVERTS

RADIO BIRDMAN, The Essential [1974-1978] (Sub Pop) Yet another brilliant production by Radio Birdman. The combination of Rob Younger and Deniz Tek are back with a powerful vengeance. This album takes you back to the Oxford Funhouse, where it all began. The Essential Radio Birdman is an essential part of any Birdman’s collection. So ask yourself, is there a reunion tour in the future? For those who aren’t familiar with Radio Birdman drop your pop punk and check in to the format of what was transcending in punk overseas in the early 70’s. All re-mastered re-issues of the originals. Finally. – OddoVon

THE DAMNED, Grave Disorder (Nitro) Nitro!! Send me a fat box of goodies to review as all of your current releases have been well worth my money!! Especially this latest offing from one of the great stylistic bands that are still with us. Enduring for more than a quarter of a century and still sounding fresh without losing their own sound is a great accomplishment. Being bolstered by the addition of Patricia Morrison (formerly of the Bags, and the Gun Club) five years ago, they return to the studio with a vengence. Just got back from their show in SF minutes ago, and had to let you all know that they are still sounding great and performing wonderfully. Treat yourself…and your neighbors! -SHITBIRD

IRON CROSS, Live For Now (GMM Records)
This is basically an Iron Cross box set on one cd. It contains “Flex Your Head Sessions ‘81”, “Hated Proud Sessions ‘83” and Lastly “The Skinhead Glory Sessions ‘82”. This band played right beside Black Flag, Minor Threat, Faith, Bad Brains and the Effigies and with lyrics like “If you fuck with one you fuck with us all, it’s a fight, it’s a fight, twenty to one.” You know this band was tough. This is a plus for anyone’s collection. Put it in your CD player, then go beat some ass. – LENTINI

SEX PISTOLS, There is No Future (Trojan) Nothing new here, I’m not even sure why they released this. Maybe it’s the whole punk revival thing going on. It’s better than a Wu Tang album being re-released any day of the week. – LENTINI

THRALL, Hung like God (Reptile Records) Let me just tell you something, with an album titled “Hung Like God” you know you got something classic on your hands. Verbatim from the band’s brosheet. ”Thrall’s new platter is a slice of delicious hate, tuned to the key of ‘fuck’.” I can not stop laughing right now. Even though these guys suck, they rule. – LENTINI

JACK JOHNSON, Brushfire Fairytales (Enjoy Records) One of the most God honest greatest albums that has come out in a long time. Great post-surf music. – LENTINI

TREMBLING BLUE STARS, Alive to Every Smile (Sub Pop) One of the guys on the cover of this record is wearing a Fred Perry shirt. Let me tell you, this is the furthest thing from a skinhead band. This is the type of band that makes you sit in your bedroom and contemplate suicide. – LENTINI

LOVE AS LAUGHTER, Sea to Shining Sea (Sub Pop) This is the type of music, Ethan Fowler would skate to. You know, kids who wear white jeans listen to this. It’s pretty good though, but they still don’t convince me that white jeans are cool. – LENTINI

VUE, Find Your Home (Sub Pop) This sounds like it was recorded in the ‘70s around the same time as MC5 and The Stooges except not as badass. Picture dorky emo kids covering MC5 and that’s the stuff they are made of. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is damn good. I just think Iggy would eat them for breakfast. – LENTINI

CKY, (Island Records) This is by far one of the most hilarious things to come out of the Landspeed / CKY/ Jackass guys. The fact these guys convinced Island Records that they were good, is enough to make you love them. I’m not sure if they are serious or not, but if they are, wow, that would be so amazing. Unbelievable. – LENTINI

ANGELIC UPSTARTS, Live From The Justice League (TKO) Can it get any better than live punk? I think not. Check this out if you missed the January show in San Francisco. If you can, get the double vinyl version for the true experience. – JJOBES

REACH THE SKY, Friends, Lies and the End of the World (Victory) Alright anyone into hardcore probably heard the news that Reach The Sky went all melodic on us but that doesn’t mean the singer Ian Larrabee won’t wipe you up in a bar fight. Although I don’t agree with the super emo title that’s ten words too long, and the suprerartsy fartsy layout. Yeah, yeah. Their old stuff is better, harder, blah… This still rules. – LENTINI

BURN, Cleanse (Equal Vision) Driving this five piece are the vocals of Chaka Malik (formely of Orange 9mm). If you ever had the chance to see Burn live, you know. If you haven’t, get this. Heavy guitars with a New York City attitude. I personally think it’s a good idea to try and collect everything Chaka has done. Even when his style changes, he’s progressing. – Stick

BEN HARPER AND THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS, Live From Mars (Virgin) I try to be the tough punk rock listening skater, but sometimes that hippie surfer comes out in me. I first heard Ben Harper on the stereo video “Tincan Foldlore” and I haven’t stopped listening since. This is a live recording and, as you all may already know, I’m not too keen on them, but I’m sure you’ll love it if you like Harper. – LENTINI

RATOS DE PORAO, (Alternative Tentacles) Man, I love this. I don’t know what language they’re speaking but it makes me wnat to eat a severed leg raw. Think Kill Your Idols in a language you don’t understand. – LENTINI

STRIKING DISTANCE, March to Your Grave (Thorp) Not to sound like a homie or anything because I’m anything but that, but this is straight up hardcore and nothing else. Bloody noses, bruised ribs, and beatdowns is what this stuff is made of. One of the best new albums I have heard since American Nightmare’s first 7”. – LENTINI

BURIED ALIVE, The Death of Your Perfect World (Victory) Lots of kids who listen to this band give it a bad name. They kickbox when they should be punching. They clap their hands when they should be tackling the unaware. And lastly, they dress like thugs but end up not pulling it off because they only weigh 120 pounds. These guys are fast, hard and tough and crucial badass hardcore. – LENTINI

THE YARDBIRDS, Ultimate (Rhino) It’s hard to review a box set of The Yardbirds, I mean what do you say about a band that basically fueled the fire to heavy metal and punk rock? I am sure the guys in MC5 and The Stooges listened to these guys over and over. Would these bands have happened without The Yardbirds? Think of the Gods that came out of The Yardbirds; Jimmy Page went on to start Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton started Cream after his stint in the Bluesbreakers in the UK as well as the short lived supergroup Blind Faith and the allstar group Derek and The Dominos. God Bless The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock N Roll and God Bless The Yardbirds. – LENTINI

GODFLESH, Hymns (Koch) Wow. It’s been a while since we heard from these guys, but this is just amazing. The band’s past material was always good, but distant. The addition of ex-Swans & ex-Prong drummer Ted Parsons in recent years may have made the difference. This is the closest thing to industrial stoner metal that has ever existed. The sound is uniquely Godflesh, but think Prong, Tool, Fear Factory, and a little Butthole Surfers blended at half speed. The rhythmic sludge is an interesting progression, and it’s fucking awesome. – J Jobes

SPRUNG MONKEY, Get a Taste (Surfdog Records) Sprung Monkey’s latest cd proves once again that this is a band that rocks. You can always count on Surfdog to pick the winners. With a little volume you can turn your neighbors on to it too. “Plant one, grow one, taste one, know one.” (Song 2) – Stick

5IVE, The Telestic Disfracture (Tortuga) Straight out of nowhere, that’s the only place this could have come from. This is the sludge metal equivalent of Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy. Stoner rock on acid. The entire album is a churning cacophony of thick sonic density, containing equal parts Kyuss and Flipper. It would be wrong to call these tracks mere songs. A collection of epic compositions seems more appropriate. – J Jobes

MINUS, Jesus Christ Bobby (Victory) Iceland has given us so many things, good lamb, Bjork, Emiliana Torrini, that’s all that I knew of until I heard Minus. The obvious comparisons to Refused are accurate to an extent, since this cd offers the diversity of the aforementioned band. But a surge/halt delivery, similar to System of a Down, given at a Slipknot-style intensity and speed best describes this batch. Watch out for these guys, you’ll hear more about them. – J Jobes

HOODS, Time . . . The Destroyer (Victory)
Hmm . . . NY-style metalcore from California? It works though. You can feel some serious old-school vibes in the Agnostic Front meets Celtic Frost vocals. Back that up with with some crushing Hatebreed meets Crumbsuckers tunes and it’s a pit churning good time for all. Constantly on the road, the band should be your way soon. – J Jobes

MISFITS, Cuts From The Crypt (Roadrunner)
Not much to say here. By now, everyone has heard the “new” Misfits and formed their own opinion. This cd is the band’s last for this label and features a half dozen demo tracks, a few covers, and some unreleased tracks. The band has had an interesting history of legal disputes, lineup changes, and critical desecration and liner notes here only scratch the surface of what’s gone on with the Misfits since they “came back to life”. Apparently, a book is in the works so stay tuned – J Jobes

OZMA, Rock & Roll Part Three (Kung Fu) Anyone who would have a song called “Natalie Portman” deserves a good review. On top of the fact that their CD cover art looks like Fisher Price’s Light Bright. And closer observation revealed the keyboard players name is “Star”. I just like the whole package. If you want a comparison I think song #5 sounds like old Weezer. – Chelsea

PLEA FOR PEACE, Take Action (Subcity) Alkaline Trio, Hot Water Music, Suicide Machines, Boy Sets Fire, The Ataris and a whole slew of others all came in, let the Dr. pull some blood, and made an album for the reserve. 5% of the profits of the sale of this album go to the Kristin Brooks Hope Center (Suicide Hotline). Kind of makes me feel like poo after getting this for free and all. So please go now! Supplies are limited and with so many good bands how can you resist? Offer expires soon! Please call now!! (sorry, insomnia leads to infomercials) – Chelsea

THE GET UP KIDS, Eudora (Vagrant Records)
My favorite song on this new classic is “Beer for Breakfast. You can expect well thought out lyrics and some unpredictable change ups throughout each song. The cover art is kick ass as well. If you don’t want the same old, same old, try this.- Stick

SUICIDE MACHINES, Steal This Record (Hollywood) Play song 4. Play song 4. Play song 4. The tear sheet on this album says, “The Suicide Machines finish doing hard time in the studio for “Steal This Record”. I stamp them “time served”. It’s an up down ride through this album. A cover song, a poppy ska-type tune, but for the most part it’s punk as nails. – Chelsea

NO REDEEMING SOCIAL VALUE, 40oz. of Hardcore (Triple Crown Records) First of all if you call yourself hardcore and are a fan of NRSV then go by a 40oz of Old English and crank this record. Since 1993, NRSV has brought fast and hard lyrics and heat-seeking instrumentals. They have some how gotten faster and show no signs of slowing with this powerhouse. – Stick

TENACIOUS D, s/t (Epic) This is what happens when a couple of losers freeze their mental development at the junior high level, circa 1979. Two overweight guys play acoustic guitars and sing about how kick-ass they are. If you saw the HBO series that ran in 1997 and 1998, then you know how funny these cats are. Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and Warren from the Vandals do guest electric guitar work, and the overall effect is hilarious. You’d never skate to most of these songs, but they’re perfect for a long drive out to your favorite spot. Buy it, if only to hear a major-label debut that features the F-word at least a hundred times. – NICKWIT

IGNITE, A Place Called Home Great bands who call the underground their home for years inevitably want a piece of the pie themselves. Bands whose sound define a scene. Ignite may not be as influential as some, but tell that to the fist slinging, sober, maniacs that make up the Straight Edge scene. Hopefully Ignite won’t feel cursed by those fans for ripping up stadiums when they can’t pit. “Bullets included, no thought required” is a great song. It’s got that “Homesick” vibe of Pennywise. – DANARCHY

SCHATZL, Death of the Alphabet ep (Mammoth) A self-described “antidote to all the crappy metal that’s on the radio right now,” by the time the CD hits the bonus track “By the Silvery Moon,” Schatzi is somewhere between the Apples in Stereo producing Weezer doing Get-Up Kids covers and an antidote to the crappy rock that’s on the radio right now. And they won’t even mind being called sweetheart, meine Lieblinge. – L. Green

JIMMY EAT WORLD, Bleed American (Vagrant Records) I don’t really care what my boyfriend says I still really like this band. The lyric’s “I’m not alone cause the TV’s on, I’m not crazy cause I take the right pills, everyday”- oh! If I wasn’t a loon before, I am now, and I don’t even take pills. I saw this band before I owned anything of theirs and there are some other albums of theirs that are really good if you do your history homework. – Chelsea

NO USE FOR A NAME, Live in a Dive (Fat Wreck Chords) The only reason you’re reading this is because you know the band and if I am right then what the hell are you waiting for? It’s a live album, your favorite songs, and improv of the boys, CD-Enhanced stuff, and a comic book. All in one. One of the coolest things about this band is how much they exonerate their influences/friends. It’s on their clothes, their comics, their thanks. it’s everywhere!!! Go get it, wrestle with the stupid plastic wrap, shove it in your nearest CD receptacle and you are there. – Chelsea

THE STROKES, s/t (RCA) Equal parts Velvet Underground and Psychocandy-era Jesus and Mary Chain, this is the kind of record that some girl that you don’t know puts on at 3 o’clock in the morning, after you end up at her house at the end of one of those nights where you met a bunch of people that you wouldn’t ordinarily hang with. Not a record you’d buy yourself, but you wouldn’t tell her to change the music, either. – NICKWIT

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