RECORD REVIEWS
REGLAR WIGLAR #21
2005




A18
Dear Furious (Victory)
Would someone kindly, please tell me just what the FUCK everybody is so angry about? For Christ's sake, people, lighten up. A18 is a SoCal hardcore/metal band that's been growling around the scene for about a half dozen years or so. Heavier than some, angrier than most. Don't worry. No new ground was broken in the making of this record—Irresistible Frank

ABATTOIR 3000
Road Trip to Oblivion (Kommy Elektra)
I took a road trip to oblivion once. Fifteen years later and here I am working for this shitty magazine. So the deal on this CD, in case it ever comes up in conversation, is that it's a companion to the book, Road Trip to Oblivion by Kent Messer (also featured on this CD) which is about a dude growing up during the Cold War. Since this is a companion to a book I've never heard of, much less read, I'm kinda jumping in with no reference point and I gotta tell ya, I ain't following it. But if you've ever read Road Trip to Oblivion by Kent Messer and you wish there was a CD featuring lines from the book put to music, well then...—P.C. Jones

AGAINST ALL AUTHORITY/ COMMON RIDER
AAA/Common Rider split CD (Hopeless)
This is a split release between two punk rock stalwarts. First up is Against All Authority who give us four-on-the-floor for your punk ass. Although I don't think their attempt at ska/reggae on "World Dominator" works. Common Rider (lead by Operation Ivy's Jesse Michael) on the other hand, pull it off with ease on "Where the Waves are Highest" and thus are a little more melodic in general and therefore more to my tastes—Joey Germ

ALEXISONFIRE
Watch Out! (Equal Vision)
AOF are a Canadian hardcore/emo hybrid that I'm told (by their press kit) is named after a lactating contortionist–the world's only lactating contortionist! I think they're really milking that angle though. Ha! Get it? Anyway, these guys are pretty good musicians and a tight band to boot, but personally, I don't like this blending of musical genres, this emo and this hardcore. It's like reggae and western, man, they don't mix—Joey Germ

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AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN
Print is Dead (Double Zero)
Maybe it's the six Old Style tall boys I drank last night, but I wanted to hate this band as soon as I slapped it into the CD player. Don't get me wrong, I did hate it, I'm just saying that I wanted to hate it first and that's not right. I'm sorry—Joey Germ

AMBER PACIFIC
Fading Days (Hopeless)
The bad news is, this is five songs of pretty mediocre, if not downright awful, unoriginal emo rock. The good news is, it's only five songs. The great news is, it's going out the window just as soon as I'm done typing this sentence (and signing my name)—Joey Germ

ANADIVINE
Zoo (The Militia Group)
Didn't U2 already make a record called Zoo or am I completely off my nut? A quick Google search would probably reveal the answer but it is much, much easier to lazily speculate. Anadivine, the OC (New York) band, may be stretching themselves out musically and straying a bit from the emo formula on their self-titled debut, but the vocals have a way of making it all sound the same in the end—Jake the Two-Eyed Snake

ANAGRAM
Songs from Far Away (Scenery)
Mragana, Gramana, Nagarma, these would be anagrams for anagram if they were actual words, which they are not. Anagram is a fitting name for this duo of Bay Area musicians, in the sense that if you were to take the elements (or letters) of their songs (or words) and rearrange them, you would have different songs (or words). But why would you want to do that?—The Puzzler

ATOMIC 7
En Hillbilly Caliente (Mint)
The Atomic 7 are back with another piping hot batch of instrumental snacks (seventeen in all) running the gamut of Western-style to surf-flavored jams (had to get that surf part in there). And if you think this Canadian band sounds a bit like Shadowy Men from a Shadowy Planet, it might just be because guitarist Brian Connelly headed up that project too. In fact, that is the reason—Irresistible Frank

ATREYU
The Curse (Victory)
Music for vampires by vampires. Atreyu is at the forefront of the new brand of "hard" music that is determined to make "nü metal" look like "üld metal." But I must say, as innovative as people tell me this new hybrid of "hard" music is, I can't get with it in its entirety. I like parts of this kinda shit and I dislike parts, but I think Atreyu is at the forefront of whatever the hell this thing that I shouldn't categorize or pigeon-hole is called. I'm stymied. Hogtied. Ham-strung on this one—Irresistible Frank

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THE BAMBOO KIDS
The Bamboo Kids (Get Hip)
The Bamboo Kids serve up the garage rock in the vein of the Kinks and the Stones. Eleven chunky rocking foot stompers. Get Hip has been doin' the garage rock thing for years. Years! Are you people even aware of this fact?—Slim Jim

BAGHEERA
Twelves (Asian Man)
For some reason Bagheera sounds like a metal name which is probably why they gave this CD to me to review, but metal Bagheera is not. I do not hold that against Bagheera as I like saying the name Bagheera, but that is neither Bagheera nor Bagthera. Bagheera is Heather Dallape and Todd Moll and this St. Louis duo write some pretty laid-back, catchy, indy-type rock that even I, Boots McMurphy, don't mind listening to on a Saturday night curled up in front of the fire with a good book. And if you tell anybody I said that I'll cut your throat—Muggsy McMurphy

BAMBIX
What's in a Name (Daemon)
Until I checked the press sheet–which one should never do by the way–I was pretty confident that Bambix was from the sticks of the American Midwest. Maybe not the sticks necessarily but they definitely have that Midwest bar band sound, and by bar band I mean punk rock bar band. In fact, Wicks Bambix, the husky voiced singer, reminded me of Toledo, Ohio's (late?) great Gone Daddy Finch. Turns out, however, Wicks and crew are from The Netherlands and not The Ohio. So there you have it, if you like that Midwestern, melodic, beer-soaked punk rock then check out the Bambix—Jayne Wayne

BENCARBEN
demo (no label)
BenCarBen is a band of teenagers from suburban Northbrook, Illinois. This is their badly recorded demo. Included with this CD-R are the lyrics to their songs. They have a photocopied band photo. The drummer is wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt which won't be ironic until 2019 at the earliest. I was once a teenager in a band and if some jerkoff zine writer would have said my music sucked I would have been crushed (and very vengeful). Therefore: BenCarBen Rules!!! Their demo is awesome!!!—Slinky Bob Neil

BLOOD FOR BLOOD
Serenity (Thorp)
My what a serene record. Not! This is some angry Boston hardcore. After four records on Victory, Blood Blood is back and they're looking for all you little hardcore poseurs to wipe their sweaty, veiny brows with. You know who you are. No, you probably don't do you? Ha! That figures!—Muggsy McMurphy

BLUEPRINT CAR CRASH
Rhetoric Of A Marionette (The Militia Group)
Some interesting, heavy guitar at play here. Loud/soft, noisy and heavy at times and a little more melodic in places. Not bad for this kind of music that mixes the screaming with the singing with the anger with the angst. I'm gonna go ahead and give them props for this EP: Props, dudes!—Goose Neck

BOTTOM LINE
Eloquence (Nice Guy)
Press sheet says that Bottom Line is "one of the most explosive acts in punk rock today." Which is funny because there is nothing punk rock or explosive about them. They're a pretty well-coifed, safe, unoriginal, pop band. Yeah, they have an edge but only compared to Yellowcard or New Found Glory. I think the bottom line here is that kids tend to buy this watered-down punk rock in greater numbers than really explosive punk rock bands like Fleshies . . .or, or. . . shit, I don't know, name one—Joey Germ

BRANDTSON
Send Us a Signal (The Militia Group)
If you want to hear a young man emoting to some pretty generic rock then this piece of music might be just what you've been waiting for all these years. Hey Brandston, let Aaron Carter sing this shit, but PLEASE, keep it away from The Kid—The Kid

THE BRIEFS
Sex Objects (BYO)
Love it. Love it. Love. It. The Briefs are a living, breathing homage to the best punk rock of the Seventies and somehow they do it without sounding clichéd, out-dated or too terribly derivative. A welcome blast from the past that's planted firmly right here in the present. IF you have one Good Charlotte CD in your collection you should buy three copies of Sex Objects to get your punk rock karma back on track. . . AND so you won't burn in hell—Irresistible Frank

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BULLETS AND OCTANE
Revelry (Criterion)
I can hear the Misfits and it definitely has the octane, but the B&O dance with a little more straightforward rock sound that can come off as a little generic at times. It pulls no new tricks out of an old hat, but I couldn't sit here and tell you that it doesn't rock or that I thought the passion wasn't there. A guilty pleasure for old punk rockers and not a bad gig if you can get it—Jayne Wayne

CATCH 22
Catch 22 Live (Victory)
This is a live Catch 22 CD/DVD. Yes, audio and video documentation of this New Jersey ska band and their performance at The Downtown in Farmingdale, New York in August of 2004. As New Jersey ska goes, this is probably pretty good, but I don't really know what that means. Let me break it down like this, because it's easier for me: I like Less than Jake less but I like the Slackers way more—Inconsiderate Boy

CLASSICAL ASS
After Lunch We Kill Tony (Diaphragm)
Part hard rock freak out with Big Black flourishes, part schizo surf rock. This band has an identity crisis but its members seem to be dealing with it OK and I say we kill Tony right freakin' now!—PC Jones

COMEBACK KID
Wake the Dead (Victory)
Comeback Kid are a heavy band that may be from Canada. Alternative Press listed them among their "100 Bands to Know." I gotta know a hundred bands? Life just keeps getting harder and harder. Is CBK that "must-knowable." Perhaps if you like this kind of heavy punk, melodic hardcore music, then perhaps they are "must knowable." Maybe I'll call them up and get to know them—Joey Germ

THE C*NUTS
Eat My Nuts (Disturbing)
The C Nuts have done it again! Back with eleven new songs and six bonus tracks, the Sout' Side's most enduring punk rock legacy persevere, or should it be pervertsever? No, it shouldn't. That would be retarded. The album cover features a squirrel made out of wood or quite possibly coconuts. Need I say more. No, I needn't—PC Jones

THE DEXATEENS
Red Dust Rising (Estrus)
The Dexateens are a four piece bluesy, swoozy rock band from somewhere in this country. They play a laid-back Exile-era Stones kinda homegrown rock that sounds good on a Saturday morning. It being both a Saturday and morning right now—Captain Krunch

THE DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND
Destination...Get Down! (Estrus)
The DOSS keep it groovy. Dig it. These cats play a mellow, groovin' dance party that will keep the cool kids dancing all night long. The DOS are thee Ambassadors of Instrumental Soul, baby, and they're outa' site—Captain Krunch

DIRTY BLUE
Out of the Blue Sessions (no label)
And you thought Alan Keyes was the only rocker in Cal City, huh? The Dirty Blue are also from Calumet City, Illinois and like Alan Keyes, they prefer to keep their rock blue and perhaps a little dirty—Irresistible Frank

DOWN TO EARTH APPROACH
Another Intervention (Vagrant)
This CD was sent without any cover art or any press kit which means I don't have to spend any time on it. Thank God—Sloppy Seconds

DYNAMITE MASTERS BLUES QUARTET
The Essential Sounds from the Far East (Estrus)
The Dynomite Masters Blues Quartet's a great and nutty, heavy, psychedelic demolition team from Japan. To my ears, they do a more tightly composed, though no more "in control" sounding, take on whatever it is that Comets on Fire are supposed to be doing. The berzerkest moments of early (but not Rod Evans-early (if you know what I mean)) Deep Purple could be a useful reference point for where these three gents and one lady lift off from. Whew, the sheer gonzo-ness of the band's attack–wild riffs, wandering fuzz bass, wailing he-man vox, and drums that may be operated by an unusually limber octopus-is just alot of fun to listen to. The musical action doesn't barrel forward so much as float above the ground erratically like a hot-air balloon that's lost its captain overboard. While a band this great and uncategorizable may seem a little out of place on the Estrus label. I'm not going to complain or hold it against anybody. More people should make records like this—Country Joe McDonald's

ESTEE LOUDER
Ohio's Best (Diaphragm)
The album cover has boobs on it. I don't know how you feel about that but it doesn't bother me. The music is what matters though, right? This is some Columbus rock and roll the likes of which that town never seems to run out of. Fast, rockin' tunes, fronted by Big Daddy Ray Ray and backed by three rockin' ladies who also provide the backing vocals. Also features an amped up cover of Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" to boot—Muggsy McMurphy

THE FIGHT
Nothing New Since Rock 'n' Roll (Repossession)
The Fight are a British band that seem more influenced by bands who were influenced by old school Brit punk rock than the original source. They sound like they could be from Southern California and that's not necessarily a good thing. In fact, it is absolutely not a good thing. In fact, if it wasn't for the twist on the SoCal punk rock formula in singer K8's gender being F instead of M, they could pass for any bouncy pop rock band you're likely to see come down the pike. It's not bad in that it follows the rules of that rather limited genre but it ain't all that—Joey Germ

THE FIRST STEP
Open Hearts and Clear Minds (Livewire)
Not too many open hearts and clear minds around the Wiglar Compound. Nope. Nor are there many open, friendly people, or a lot clear skin for that matter, but enough of my co-workers' many shortcomings. The First Step is back with another round of hardcore punk rock, which I would be negligent if I did not mention at least in passing, sounds like what most eighties hardcore sounded like. No new twists, but for those whose first step into hardcore is this band, you could do a lot worse. Hardcore was always was for the kids anyway—Irresistible Frank

FOUR HORSE
demo (no label)
From Providence, Rhode Island, where a hot dog covered in ground hamburger and onions is considered a delicacy, (hot ween-ahs) Four Horse come to kick your ass back a year or two. Back to the AmRep pig-boinking, nut-scalding days of the early 90s. A full-on noise assault on the ears and a fine piece of meat for the dining table—The Turkey Slayer

FROM SATELLITE
From Satellite (Pat's Record Company)

Dear Record Label,

Thanks for sending this insignificant pissant zine a CD without any cover art. Are you trying to suggest that I, as a record reviewer, should do an incomplete record review? Point taken.

Sincerely,

Record Reviewer

RACHEL FULLER
Cigarettes & Housework (Universal)
What in the Wide World of Sports would make Universal Records send this Rachel Fuller CDto us? To us!—Joey Germ

THE GAMITS
Antidote (Suburban Home)
The Gamits kinda float to the top of the bowl in the power pop/punk genre in my esteemed and much sought after opinion. It's got some catchy hooks and singer Chris Fogel doesn't milk the whine so much. Not like some of these guys, know what I'm sayin'? Antidote starts off with the "Dotted Lines," a high note not duplicated on the rest of the album, although some moments come close. "Golden Sometimes" being an example—PC Jones

GATSBY'S AMERICAN DREAM
In the Land of the Lost Monsters (LLR)
Don't really know what the GAD is going for on this one but I do know this: I don't particularly care for it—Irresistible Frank

THE GHOST
This Pen Is a Weapon (Some Records)
The pen is mightier than the sword, someone once said. I wanna say it was Shakespeare, but that sounds too, I don't know, obvious? Well, for The Ghost their pen is their weapon (they play pens onstage, you see). The press sheet says that The Ghost in This Pen is a Weapon has written "the most sincere album of this generation." But Spin (and everyone else in the mainstream music press) has been telling me Connor Oberst already did that. Now I don't know what to think—Irresistible Frank

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE
Gone Without Trace (Thorp)
This record actually vanished from my memory without a trace a few seconds after the last song played. It is not very inventive or original, but it is heavy, and brutal, and quite possibly sick. It's also like a White Castle Hamburger in the sense that you may enjoy it while you're ingesting it, but it ain't gonna be with you very long—Frankie The Boot

THE INSOMNIACS
Switched On! (Estrus)
Either Mike Wing (Vambo Marble Eye, Team Satan, Caboose, Booker Noe, Leghorn) sings in like twenty-five hundred freakin' rock bands or the populace is coping his vocal style. Anyway, The Insomniacs are exploring the more pop-oriented, jangly, psychedelic side of the garage in which the more rockin', distorted and spazzy bands have been hogging all the outlets lately. It's switched on, so switch over, Grease Monkeys—Irresistible Frank

IN THE HOUSE THAT LORDS BUILT
In the House That Lords Built (Initial)
The cover art and ridiculously long name had me fooled that this was some gothy, egghead-psychedelic Radiohead shit. I couldn't have been more mistaken in my prejudgement. This is hardcore simple and plain, like Rollins era Black Flag only sped up to Keith Morris (and the rest of them) era Black Flag. Pretty ferocious, raw, loud...you know the drill. You've heard it before, but now you can hear it done well again—Joey Germ

KANE HODDER
The Pleasure to Remain So Heartless (Suburban/Cowboy v. Sailor)
I like this record right up to the point where vocalist Andrew Moore shifts into the throat wrenching screaming that seems so popular with the kids these days, like that band My Chemical Romance and that other band whose name I can't think of right now but the singer is a mormon who drinks a lot and so everybody's real worried about him. What's their name, dude used to go out with out with that fucking spoiled brat Kelly Osbourne? The Used, that's it! Anyway, vocal somersaults and comparisons to next big thing on Fuse bands aside, this is pretty good compelling rock music—Irresistible Frank

KARATE
Pockets (Southern)
Karate play jazz-tinged chops. They sound like an indie rock Steely Dan and if that hasn't turned you punkers off then you've been frontin' all this time. Karate is to jazz what Ted Leo is to punk rock, neither label fits but it's the closest comparison I can force upon them, and force I must for that is how our brains process abstract ideas. Anyway, if that makes any sense you're a lot smarter than the Kid—The Kid

JUSTIN KATKO
Pixel Cloak (no label)
A collage of sounds and spoken word diatribes/poetry comprise the short bursts of chaotic and creative energy that is this CD-R from zinester, Justin Katko. Politcal. Edgy. Wierd. I like it—P. Wolfowitz

LAST AMANDA
Last Amanda (FEA)
Awww, dudes, you must not have gotten the memo about how you're not supposed to use a girl's name in your band's name anymore on account of that fact that it's been done to fucking death. Anyway. It's a good thing that you can't judge a band by their band photo. Well you can, but you shouldn't. I do, but it's not right. Do as I say not as I do. Last Amanda, despite their being from Sweden, are neither black metal nor are they the Hellacopters, which is okay, but they just happened to be a little too straight-forward and radio-friendly for my tastes—Muggsy McMurphy

TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS
Shake the Sheets (Lookout!)
An accomplished guitar player in his own right and a literate lyricist, Ted Leo and his RX buddies, The Pharmacists, create a sound not unlike his predecessors, Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, and others in the angry young man, singer/songwriter category. Perhaps angry is a bit overstated. More like disappointed. Disappointment in people or things (or governments maybe?) that don't live up to their own high expectations can lead to anger, which can in turn lead to such cathartic measures as Shake the Sheets—Jayne Wayne

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LETHAL REJECTION
2,1,2,2 (Day 51)
Lethal Rejection kick out the short bursts of old school (overdone?) punk rock. Don't make me list the bands they sound like, please. The important thing is that they rock sufficiently enough to wake me up after listening to some of that godawful boy band punk rock they can't seem to send us enough of around here—Joey Germ

LITTLE WINGS
Magic Wand (K)
Kyle Field, a.k.a. Little Wings, has a childlike vision: pure and direct into a world magical and present. Listening to these simple and honest songs is overhearing Little Wings relate his personal and unique view of the world. For what is surreal he brings a clarity that is a rarity. Field is an experienced hand at creating Little Wings albums, but the lyrical content of "demos" and singing and "I am your local band" all make it sounds like a first time effort, an exercise in confidence building. Rather than becoming amateurish, this honest reflection ("the music brings me back to life") adds authenticity to this quirky electro-folk, lo-fi odyssey. For this album, Field worked with producer Calvin Johnson at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia. Among the guests that showed up during the process are Phil Elverum, Bobby Birdman, Lee Baggett, Genevieve Elverum, Miggy Littleton and more. However, none of this overwhelms the sparse, stripped down approach Little Wings is known for—Tom "Tearaway" Schulte

MANHANDLERS
Manhandlers (Criminal IQ)
I want to be manhandled! That didn't sound too gay, did it? The Manhandlers are a Chicago manifestation of nasty estrogen-fueled rudimentary rock and roll. These ain't sophisticated ladies, although they may say thank you for allowing them to dig a stiletto heel into your scrotal you-know-what—Sam Doodle

M.O.T.O.
Single File (Criminal IQ)
A collections of singles that range from the silly to the absurd, from the sloppy to the divine, but all catchy poppy gems by the New Orleans via Boston via Chicago ever-morphing M.O.T.O. phenomenon. This is a re-issue of the mid-90s Mind of a Child release by Chicago's hardworking Criminal IQ label. R.I.Y.L: M.O.T.O. (I forgot what that means or why I typed it, but I'm leaving it in. If anybody figures it out, let me know)—PC Jones

MAXIMUM RNR
Maximum RNR (no label)
After you hit the play button, this six song CD will already have blown by you before you even reach the couch, but you will have have been shaking your ass all the way there—Irresistible Frank

MIDNIGHT EVILS
Breakin' It Down (Estrus)
Man, do the Midnight Evils kick a donkey's ass (to coin a term from the late Wesley Willis). There is no such thing as a let up or a let down on this CD. I wanna walk in the garden of the midnight evils—Sam Doodle

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GUEST REVIEW

The American Idol® Judges Randy Jackson®, Paula Abdul®, and Simon Cowell®

MOMENTS IN GRACE
Moonlight Survived (Atlantic)

Randy Jackson® What's up, dog? How you doin', baby? You my dog, man. You my dog. What's up, man? I gotta tell you man, I wasn't feeling that. I wasn't feeling it tonight, man.

Paula Abdul® You have a great voice. You're terrific. You're a terrific singer and a terrific band. This material isn't for you though. This just isn't your strength.

Simon Cowell® I'm going to have to agree with Paula and Randy on this one. If I can be honest, that was the most atrocious thing–I won't even call it music–I've ever heard. Horrible.

*******************

OVER IT
Silverstrand (Lobster Records)
I really am over it. Seriously, they're right, I'm over it—Joey Germ

THE PEACOCKS
Silverstrand (Asian Man)
What's that you say? You've never heard a Swiss rock band before? Well, today is your lucky day Ugly, the Peacocks are Swiss like holy cheese. Unfortunately, they are not quite as flamboyant as a peacock, nor are they quite as versatile as a Swiss Army knife. Alas, it is a tad generic and a bit derivative. Buy a Swiss clock, 'cause Swiss rock ain't as precise—Irresistible Frank

THE PEELERS
The Peelers (Orange Recordings)
This Tim Kerr-recorded slab of aluminum is a deceptively massive collection of hard edged-garage revival rock. The Chicago band includes former members of Gaza Strippers, The Hodads, and The Hired Goons. The group's sound features a driving drum beat, clamorous guitars and fevered group vocals. The group is at its best when it dives headlong into a rough and psychedelic jam like "Into the Sun"—Tom "Tearaway" Schulte

THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Call Me Armageddon (Deathwish)
Call me apocalyptic but this music would make me wanna end it if the end was in sight. Like in real plain site, right out there coming over the plain, Four Horsemen and the whole nine. Actually, this would drive me out of the bar pretty fast if I saw this band playing. You know what? No, it wouldn't. I can deal with this shit. Who am I kidding? No I can't—PC Jones

THE PRIESTS
Tall Tales (Get Hip)
Totally competent and by-the-numbers. If someone (an alien? The Pope?) asked you what rock music sounded like, you could play them this. This would do. No doubt about that. The Priests have every stock move down pat and show professional courtesy by executing them at each and every exact moment listeners are accustomed to hearing them. They always stay inside the lines of their Seeds Coloring Book. Um. . . it's like they've got one of those old-fashioned dance-step diagrams, but it says "garage rock" on top of it. How many more ways should I come up with to say "this is really generic and uninteresting"? The only thing less original and uninspired than The Priests music, is the lame 'Unleashed in the East' send-up on the back cover of their CD. Okay, I'm done—Larry "Burger" King

RAT BLOOD
demo (no label)
Rat Blood has got a kind of lo-fi bluesy feel to it on this three song demo. It reminds me at times of the Modern Lovers or perhaps one of those bands from down the road there in New York circa the same time—Joey Germ

THE REPUTATION
To Force a Fate (Lookout!)
This band has a reputation for being quite amazing: excellent songwriting, brilliant lyrics, stunning production, but I'm not gettin' it. It's actually kind of boring if you would like me to be perfectly, if not irresistibly, frank—Irresistible Frank

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RIGHTEOUS JAMS
Rage of Discipline (Kung Fu)
First let me just say that I think it takes some balls to name your band Righteous Jams 'cause if you do that you got something to prove right out of the gate. Yeah, you gotta prove you don't suck with a name like that. Righteous Jams are pretty much a straight forward hardcore band in the Boston tradition and they have proven to me on this CD that they don't suck and that was all I required of them—Joey Germ

THE ROCKET SUMMER
Hello, Good Friend (The Militia Group)
My first reaction upon hearing this CD was, "Oh my god I hate it." But that seemed like a pretty knee-jerk reaction, so I made a promise to myself and The Rocket Summer (even though they couldn't hear me) that I would listen to this CD until I appreciated it. What could it hurt, right? Well, I'm still trying to come to grips with this band, which I think is one guy, Bryce Avery. This sounds like a young Richard Simmons singing over bouncy guitar and piano pop. I think that's a fair assessment. I'm just gonna leave it there and let ya'll decide for yourselves what you wanna do with that information—Irresistible Frank

SCREECHING WEASEL
Boogadaboogadaboogada! (Asian Man)
The re-re-release of the 1988 Screeching Weasel album, boogadaboogadaboogada! is here kiddies. I bet you thought you'd never see the day when boogada-boogadaboogada! would be re-re-released. Hell, it's been seventeen years since boogadaboogadaboogada! was released and thirteen years since boogadaboogada-boogada! was re-released, but now boogadaboogada-boogada! has been re-re-released! And now you can own the re-rerelease of boogadaboogadaboogada! So boogadaboogadaboogada! boogadaboogadaboogada! boogadaboogadaboogada!—Boogada Boogada Boogada

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THE SEXY MAGAZINES
Sex, Murder, Music (no label)
Imagine The Strokes only really, really bad—Jayne Wayne

SOUR DELUXE
White Noise (no label)
Sour? Not necessarily. Deluxe? It's all relative. Noise? That's very subjective. White? Probably white, yes. Sour Deluxe play a kind of lush, female-fronted (Carly Simon, maybe, at times?) pop music that has been described as a mix of shoegazing and Brit-pop which is not off the mark—Irresistible Frank

THE SOVIETTES
LP II (Adeline)
Like their fellow Twin City counterparts, Selby Tigers, The Soviettes play a similar brand of punk that rocks and pops and even slows down on occasion. And they bring it all in in under twenty-five minutes so you don't have to spend all day listening to it, but you could if you wanted to—Jayne Wayne

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STEREOTYPERIDER
Prolonging the Inevitable (Suburban Home)
Quadruple play-on-words band name aside, these guys play a kind of hard edge indie rock that reminds me in spots of Archers of Loaf. There's some melody roughed up with some distorted guitars. It took a couple listens until it sunk in but that was just prolonging the inevitable (which is that I would like this eventually)—Jasper Maltby

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
Guitar and Drum (Kung Fu)
Thee SLF? Yes, apparently Guitar and Drum is the return of the venerated 70s Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers. The lads have mellowed a bit in spots, but not completely and there's some quality stuff here. SLF capture the sound of their contemporaries in the 70s punk scene; The Ramones, The Jam, The Ruts, and of course their old selves. Much better than the bulk of the derivative punk rock that's been pumped out in stockpile quantities since SLF first hit the scene almost twenty years ago–Joey Germ

BUY!

 


SWITCHBLADE
Switchblade (Icarus/Trust No One)
"Scary" cover art, no song titles, and unintentionally hilarious lyrics printed on the CD case (example: "Bring your needles and glasspipes for meditation in contempt / Stone yourself to heaven as another pitstop to Hell") made putting this one on a dicey proposition, especially with all those unheard Cheap Trick bootlegs to listen to, but duty called. Not bad at all. I was expecting some pitiful nu-style-metal, but instead, Switchblade brings it heavy and droney with the mathematical, mostly instrumental spider-metal. Nice! Turns out they're from Sweden, which goes a long way toward explaining the lack of ironic B.S. posturing—Rick Pencilman, Rock and Roll Dad

TIME IN MALTA
Alone With The Alone (Equal Vision)
I don't remember my time in Malta being this extreme. Time in Malta is a Bay Area metalcore band that lets a little melody seep into their sound every once in awhile. Sure it sounds like a lot of bands playing in this genre, but when you want to hear country you listen to a country band, when you want to hear klezmer you listen to a klezmer band, and when you want to hear a metalcore that lets a little melody seep in every once in awhile you listen to a a metalcore band that lets a little melody seep in every once in awhile. Like Time in Malta for instance—Muggsy McMurphy

TUB RING
Zoo Hypothesis (Underground, Inc.)
Speaking of rings around the tub, if Dunc the Punk ever asks you if he can "kip on your couch for a few nights, mate," don't let him. But seriously folks, don't do it. It's never a few nights and you will always regret it. Anyway, Tub Ring is a chaotic (yet quite tight) mess of instruments and lightening quick style changes that run the gamut of...well, let's just say they run the gamut. Kinda like Mr. Bungle in their spastic, manic energy. They would probably be quite a site to see live but I would stay off the hard drugs if I were you—Joey Germ

THE UGLY BEATS!
Bring On The Beats! (Get Hip)
Nobody understands my pain. Maybe God does, but he lives way up in space and is therefore removed from my mortal sufferings. But maybe, maybe The Ugly Beats! understand my pain. They certainly sound like the do—Irresistible Frank

UNDERMINDED
Hail Unamerican! (Kung Fu)
Once again, I assumed when I shouldn't've, and made an ass out of u and me. I was expecting–I don't know, what I think Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday and all that bullshit sounds like, even though I've never heard any of it. Instead I got what Metallica should probably be doing these days. Which is what Metallica used to do. Excellent, precision-guided, stop-start, boomboom, wheedley-wheedley feats of inhuman crunch and crush. The tunes are nice and short, and boy oh boy do these gents have the chops. My only complaint is that the singer's throat-shredding howl sounds a little thin. Guys: promise me next album you'll put a little reverb on the vox. That'd be great—S.B. Sweaty

THE VALLEY ARENA
Take Comfort in Strangers (Astro Magnetics)
Yeah, The Valley Arena got kind of a 90s DC-era feel to them due to the angularity and sparseness of their instrumentory arrangements. Sounds like Fugazi only British. Sounds like a British Fugazi, although not really. Know what I mean? They're not British either. I hope that helped—Don Rumsfeld

VEE DEE
Further (Criminal IQ)
Vee Dee is a Chicago band that play the stripped down punk rock with some sixties garage rock influences ("Flashes of Her" reminds me of something the Screaming Trees would have attempted, them being influenced by the more psychedelic of the sixties garage rock canon). Vee Dee add yet another dimension to this town's 3D garage rock scene. This is the only kind of Vee Dee you wouldn't mind contracting at the Mutiny on a drunken Saturday night—Irresistible Frank

VOODOO GLOW SKULLS
Adicción, Tradición, Revolución (Victory)
Remind me again what the horn section is supposed to add to bad punk rock–—Joey Germ

BUY!

 


WORLD WAR IX
Panic Attack (Elis Eil)
You catch that, Gomer Pyle? World War IX! We're skipping III through VIII motherfuckers so get yer boots on! Pardon that outburst. This New York quartet play an old school brand of the punk rock music that is refreshing in its lack of overproduction. "Body Dump" reminds me of vintage TSOL and the song "Hungry for Beer" makes me thirsty for pizza for some reason—Joey Titanium Germ

YELLOW SECOND
Attitude (Flood Gate)
More like bad attitude—Irresistible Frank

7" VINYL:

STALKERS
"Sun's Coming Up" b/w "I Couldn't Wait to Get Home" (Dollar Record)
I've done a little stalking myself so I can relate. Light stalking though, not anything real intense and weird or anything. Anyway, these NYC stalkers serve up two heaping chunks of 60s garage rock and roll that sounds great on popping vinyl and would probably sound even better in a dark, bleary bar—Pope "Lil' John" Paul

SONIC LOVE AFFAIR
Sonic Love Affair Dble 7" (Dollar Record)
Ahhh, the double seven inch. Such a rare and fascinating beast. A beauty to behold. Indeed is there anything tastier or more rare than the double seven inch served in a gatefold sleeve. SLA provide the listener with four songs on this project, two covers (Thirteenth Floor Elevators, "Reverberation" and "Bad Attitude" by Boston punk band DMZ [known to cover the a Roky Erikson tune or two themselves]) as well as two of their own rockers. Dollar Records claims to be the home of lifers, people who are in it for life. Those labels tend to be broke, yet they got heart what can I tell you—Pope "Lil' John" Paul


 

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