Music Reviews:
AUGUST 2005

Barely 2 Much,"Guapolinda" (Indie Release)
Dontcha love it when people try to preach the "proper" way you run your life and tell you what you "should" be doing? There's nothing like lofty, moralistic, knee-jerk jingoism thrown at you like some lofty king tossing breadcrumbs to the peasants. Sure, it's your right - if you live in the U.S.- to speak your mind about your government. I mean there is nothing like a foreigner [in this case from Costa Rica] talking shit about the U.S. under the veil of "political correctness". Barely 2 Much manages to insert such topics into their songs: ecology, the economy, magazine media, politics, and gun control - and in every single case happens to get the facts wrong. Don't they have any decent news outlets in Costa Rica? I guess a third world country only gets third rate news. A clue to this clueless meandering of song can be found in "More Michael Moore". Singing the "virtues" of Michael Moore? With a straight face? Yep! If that's where he gets his "facts" it is no wonder that his view of current events is so skewed. However, "Bushwacker" is hilarious, even though it's supposed to be [I'm guessing like the rest of this CD] serious. While the music is adequate and even sometimes interesting, it is totally negated by the laughable lyrics and the over-dramatic vocals by Michael Guandique - you would think that someone that wanted to get their musical point across would at least get a decent singer, not someone who goes flat half the time. Basically, this is third-rate college coffee bar music that wouldn't cut it on a Tuesday night at any open-mic night at any bar!

The final song, "What Happened To Hippies?" asks the question, "What happened to hippies, are they done?" Nope, they are just extinct! Just like this CD will be extinct - destined to be only played at drunken parties for the comedic effect! Want a dinosaur of the retarded hippie mindset? Look no further than Barely 2 Much. They should think about changing their name to Barely Enough - at least there would be truth in advertising. Their only chance of fame [in a strictly Andy Warhol 15-minutes type sense] would be to add William Hung on vocals. Then the comedy would be complete [and an improvement].
www.barely2much.com
Rating:

Review by Scott H. Platt


Jason Dove,"Pronto" (Carbon & Monoxide)
Want to hear rock comedy? Good. I've got one here on my desk: Jason's Dove's "Pronto." Lots of catchy songs that are kind of like a softer Dinosaur Jr.; (ironic?) "classic rock" instrumental tracks; even a bonafide Belle and Sebastian parody in "Saddest Song in the World, Ever." It's hard to slice this one apart. "Pronto" sounds like a music fan goofing off in his basement, except the production is pristine and the songs are much more developed. "Mexico" could even be a decent hit. I've certainly been playing it over and over.

Buy this for the simple fact that it's not like every other bittersweet pop album out there now. Each song on "Pronto" may be an awkwardly conceived combination of sarcastic and sincere elements, but this is an album that will get lots of play. It's funny like your quiet friend who cracks subtle jokes during odd moments in a group conversation and says little more, but there is a hidden depth that will bring listeners back again and again, provided they can find this one in the stores. Worth the effort.
www.jasondove.com
Rating:

Review by Christopher DeCrocker


Electric Light Orchestra,"All Over The World: The Very Best Of ELO" (Epic/Legacy)
What kind of crap is this? An ELO 'very best of' collection that doesn't have: "Do Ya", "Can't Get It Out Of My Head", or "Roll Over Beethoven"? But, you do get liner notes by Jeff Lynne. Instead we get faux-ELO tripe such as "Alright" from the 2001 "Zoom" CD? Its funny, but I don't remember "Alright" being a "massive hit" [like is described on the sticker outside this CD]. In fact, it’s not really ELO as "Zoom" was merely a vehicle for Jeff Lynne's solo ambitions. If "Zoom" is really ELO, then you've gotta include tracks from Jeff Lynne's "Armchair Theatre" album from 1990. While you’re at it, why not include some Traveling Wilburys? But, you do get liner notes by Jeff Lynne.

I Love the band but hate this compilation, hence the bad rating. There are some great, timeless rock songs here, but as far as compilations go, this CD is crap. But, you do get liner notes by Jeff Lynne. You wanna get the real deal? The best single-disc ELO compilation remains: "The Essential Electric Light Orchestra" from 2003.
www.legacyrecordings.com
Rating:

Review by Scott H. Platt


Klaatu,"Sun Set: 1973-1981" (Bullseye)
At the time of their debut album, Klaatu had the bad luck of getting caught up in a rumour that they were in fact the reformed Beatles recording under an assumed name. It's a pity that Klaatu got blamed for the "Klaatu is the Beatles" hype because they were in fact a great little band. (And of course Capitol wouldn't DENY rumours that helped record sales!) I was one of those who bought their first album ("Klaatu"- titled "3:47 EST" in Canada) hoping and wishing that it was in fact the Beatles. Although I soon discovered that they weren't - I went on to buy (and love) their next two albums, "HOPE" (1977) and "SIR ARMY SUIT" (1978). Then 1980 rolled around and I bought (and hated) "ENDANGERED SPECIES", writing off the band and not even being aware that there was one more album left for the band, "MAGENTALANE" (1981). However, over the years I always came back to and played my old Klaatu albums (the first ones at least). Their music is simply well crafted, melodic pop...dare I even say "classic". And best of all, the music holds up after all these years.

With the release of SUN SET: 1973-1981, Klaatu is finally revealed as the great band they were! Ironically, this box set is set up similarly to the Beatles own ANTHOLOGY - in that there are no original album tracks, but only rarities such as demos, unreleased tracks, alternate takes and live tracks (yes, Klaatu DID play live!). What I find so amazing on this collection is that when other bands go the 'ANTHOLOGY' route, you inevitably get some substandard tracks that are for historic interest only. But ALL of these Klaatu "out-takes" are primo quality and really could have made it as album cuts. While there are too many individual songs to list as outstanding - the crème de la resistance of this set is the entire "orchestral" mixes of the HOPE album, including the missing "Epilogue" which was cut from the final official album! HOPE was always my favorite Klaatu album and this is like hearing a whole new album. While I was in heaven hearing outtakes/rarities from the first three Klaatu albums, the big surprise was the songs from ENDANGERED SPECIES and MAGENTALANE actually sound better to me than the "official" albums.

It's great that Klaatu finally gets the credit they deserve, and SUN SET: 1973-1981 finally gives a glimpse of one of the most underrated bands of rock!
www.klaatu.org
Rating:

Review by Ronnie


Alan Boyd,"Channel Surfing" (Indie Release)
This is the best Beach Boys album that they DIDN'T release between 1979's "L. A. (Light Album)" and 1985's "The Beach Boys". (I don’t' even wanna get started on 1980's "Keepin' The Summer Alive"!) But surprise! This isn't the Beach Boys, but an "incredible simulation" by Alan Boyd. You might recognize his name as an award-winning documentary filmmaker (receiving a Grammy nomination in 2001 for ENDLESS HARMONY) and historical footage archivist.

As it is presented, CHANNEL SURFING is a little crowded. In addition to the "regular" songs are two that I call "commercial jingles": "Down South in San Diego" and "Beach Boys Britain". While these are great mementoes from Beach Boys fan gatherings, they take away the focus from the rest of the fabulous songs. Then there are 3 instrumentals which aren't totally of a 'Beach Boys' style: "Miss America 1926" (Which feels more like a Van Dyke Parks tune than a Beach Boys tune!), "For A Summer Night", and "Hollywood The Unusual". These are nice tunes, but just seem a little out of place. If you take out the aforementioned songs, what is left is a phenomenal album of Beach Boys influenced music! "Channel Surfing" is simply a fabulous song that begs for replay. "Busy Doin' Something" parodies the Beach Boys song, "Busy Doin' Nothin' (1968 "Friends" ALBUM) AND I love the first half of the song (The spoken word at the later half is a little hoaky). Other highlights include: "You're The Beautiful" (beautiful ballad in the grand Beach Boys tradition!) and "Down South California" (another keeper!). Finally the CD ends with an "Untitled Track” which sounds like the little brother of "Little Pad" from "Smiley Smile" - cool ending to a CD!

Kudos to Alan because CHANNEL SURFING feels like that "long lost" Beach Boys album that you wished the band had made between 1979-1985!
www.boydproductiongroup.com
Rating:

Review by Ronnie



The A-Sides,“You Better Not Choke” b/w “Thirty Days” [7” vinyl] (Pint Size Records)
This is a really great record! I love the sound they have. It’s like you’ve found a long lost garage rock classic in some dusty old record bin. The A-Sides are an Atlanta based band made up of husband and wife team Adam and Stephanie Leland. Their website bio states that they play a combination of rockabilly, r&b and Merseybeat. That’s an okay description but I would definitely insert sixties style garage rock into that list. This is my latest favorite slab of vinyl. If you’re a garage fiend like myself, you’ll definitely want to check out the A-Sides.
www.theasides.com
Rating:

Review by J.R. Oliver


Lakota,"Hope For The Haunted" (Pop Up Records)
Thundering in from the high plains comes this 4 piece band from NYC. Fear not, they are not the latest electro-clash band from Williamsburg. Rather-Lakota is a band that features ringing guitars, emotion drenched vocals and a rhythm section that is tighter than a tin drum. They’ve been compared to Bob Mould and Superchunk, but really the band sports their own distinctive voice after only one previous EP to their credit. The title track (also conveniently track #1) kicks it into overdrive and the CD never lets up from there.

“Ember” features soaring vocals that Trevor Keith would be proud of while other cool songs on this disc include “Ornaments” and “Holiday Heart.” Get Hope For The Haunted before your friends do and maybe your nights won’t be so cold and dark and lonely. Ok, it won’t change the room temperature unless you jump around and start a pillow fight while rocking out to this platter. Lakota’s sound should leave your scalp burning and begging for a reprieve.
www.lakotarock.com
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by Sean Koepenick


Marc Bolan T. Rex,"Born To Boogie" (Sanctuary Records)
As the soundtrack for Born to Boogie, this double CD set is marred only by the inclusion of annoying dialogue from the film between tracks on the first CD. The only thing that saves disc 1 from being a complete throwaway is two tracks: "Children of the Revolution" (early versions with Ringo and Elton) and the amazing "Tea Party Medley" (Marc on acoustic backed by a string quartet). Both these songs are keepers! Disc 1 also includes a BBC interview with Marc Bolan from 1971. Disc two is the complete matinee show from March 18th, 1972 and gives a good idea of what T-Rex was capable of live! The inclusion of "Summertime Blues" is almost bizarre - why would ANYBODY try to tackle that song after The Who? While this 2-disc set does serve as a soundtrack for the Born to Boogie film, I think it would have made a better single CD if it was LIVE ONLY, incorporating the complete evening show.

Not for the newcomer to T-Rectasy, but seasoned T-Rex fans will really dig it.
www.borntoboogie.net
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by Ronnie


Nob Dylan And The Nobsoletes,"Positively 12 Stiff Dylans" (Alternative Tentacles Records)
This is absolutely the very best Dylan album I own. Period! And, Bob’s nowhere to be found on it. This is exactly the kind of album one would expect from a label like Alternative Tentacles. The cd mainly concentrates on Dylan’s 1965 work. I 100% agree with the liner notes that this was the year of Dylan’s best work. I know that a lot of folks wouldn’t agree but they’re not writing this. There are a couple of songs that are not from 1965. Namely, “Absolutely Sweet Marie” and “Motorpsycho Nitemare”, but both work well in the scheme of things. Jason And The Nashville Scorchers did an excellent version of “Absolutely Sweet Marie” back in their early days but I digress. Anyway, if you’re a huge Dylan fan you probably won’t dig this and if your not a Dylan fan you’ll probably be one after hearing this.
www.alternativetentacles.com
Rating:

Review by J.R. Oliver


Nicholas Alan,"A World Like Ours" (Top Down Records)
I wish all “new/indie releases” that we get at EAR CANDY for review were this damn good! Nicholas Alan is like a cross between 10CC and Christopher Cross, having the elegant harmonies of 10cc and the pop sensibilities and slickness of Christopher Cross. Like Christopher Cross, Nicholas Alan has a very distinctive voice, which can truly soar. Combined with these songs, it is a winning combination. All the elements are here: great vocal presentations, arrangements and songwriting. The songs sound just right, not over or under-produced like many debut CD’s. My favorite track is "A World Like Ours", which has a Simon and Garfunkle feel.

All artists putting out debut indie CD's take notice: THIS is the CD you should be aspiring to.
www.nicholasalan.com
Rating:

Review by Ronnie



Templars / Crashed Out,"title" [7” vinyl split] (Templecombe Records)
Here are two great songs on a single slab of half creamsicle orange and half lollipop red vinyl. I really, really love Crashed Out’s song “Outcast” with its reggae tinged verses that break out into punk mayhem on the chorus. Reminds me of a one time local Atlanta band called the Roys. The Templars song “Nowhere Fast” is another killer punk song with lots of hooks. This is a perfect all killer-no filler forty five that’s found a new home in my collection. A limited pressing of 1000 copies.
www.templecomberecords.com
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


Darkbuster,"A Weakness For Spirits" (Dumb Trumpeter Records)
In the tradition of great band theme songs like “This Is Radio Clash”, “Hey We’re The Monkees” and “Butthole Surfers Theme Song” this record starts off with “We Are Darkbuster.” Just in case you forgot. But from there the band delivers on the promise to bring the rock. “Try to Make It Right” has an old school Social D feel and “Rise Up” pummels your temple with some trashy beats.

Lenny Lashley’s vocals switch from raspy to smooth at the drop of a guitar pick. Eric Edmonston’s lead guitar riffs shine on tracks like “Whiskey Will” and “Give Up Dope.” Danny O’Halloran’s drumming keeps the whole record driving towards a cliff. And bassist Mike Gurley’s bass guitar licks are so important to Darkbuster’s style that he got his own song on this CD.

I could go on about how the CD features guest appearances from Ken Casey from The Dropkick Murphys and Dicky “Gone Hollywood” Barrett. But really all you need to hear is lyrics from a little ditty called “Skinhead”-


Skinhead, skinhead drink tonight
The beers are going down like water
You worked all week 9 to 5
Another day is over


A Weakness For Spirits will make every night feel like a Friday night. Who wouldn’t want that?
www.darkbuster.net
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by Sean Koepenick



The Orphans,“Electric S b/w W.W.W.D.” [7” vinyl] (Vinyl Dog Records)
If you like to get your moneys worth then this is some of the best punk music your going to find and it came from a little label called Vinyl Dog Records. This band is out there tearing things up with their old school style of punk. Think Blondie meets the Dead Kennedys or X meets the Circle Jerks. Both songs rock but I prefer “Electric S” over “W.W.W.D.”. Anyway, you won’t be disappointed with this one so check it out.
www.tkorecords.com
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


Gorillaz,"Demon Days" (Virgin/Parlophone)
People can complain about fabricated musical groups all they want, but this cartoon band just released the album of 2005, if not the past decade or two. Exploiting the culture's current fascination with 80s music, creators Damon Albarn (Blur) and cartoonist J.C. Hewlett use what was musically fashionable then and now to create a parallel between the time surrounding the Gulf War and the events surrounding our current war in Iraq and the Middle East. The influence of David Byrne's lyrics during Fear of Music, Remain in Light, and Speaking in Tongues, as well as the music of Tom Tom Club, is huge. Though like a cartoon version of Crass (right down to the album art), Gorillaz don't make music that is overtly political. Instead, like Byrne, they use loaded phrases to evoke. Songs have several meanings. "O Green World" is as much about fantasy and safety as it is about the protection of the environment; "DARE," the second single coming out in August, mocks the war on drugs while focusing on inspiration, aspiration, and the pursuits of the mind through psychedelics. You could even read something about the space program into it, as that is no doubt the next phase in our imperialism. The album cover also mimics The Beatles' Let It Be to say something about how fragmented our world is becoming.

The current single, "Feel Good Inc.," is catchy and will no doubt be overplayed. In the process, don't miss great lyrics about Guatanamo Bay, New York City, and the United States' obsession with terror attacks and possible threats. "Cities breaking down on a camel's back," as they sing. An album of unprecedented depth and emotion. Not since Brian Wilson's Smile has a group tried to open up its audience's emotions with such a political subject through children's music. Tears guaranteed, but not included.
www.gorillaz.com
Rating:

Review by Christopher DeCrocker


The Don’t Stop,"Ghettos To Gold" (Crafty Records)
About halfway between The Drive By Truckers and The Bottle Rockets is where these guys fall in the scheme of things. At least for me. They’re not really breaking any new ground here but what they’re doing seems to be working pretty damn well for them. I suspect that the songs from “Ghettos To Gold” play well with the bar crowd which means these guys are probably making a good living off the bar scene. This is a white trash rock opera of sorts. Just imagine the Who’s Tommy set in a trailer park somewhere in the south.
www.craftyrecords.net
Rating:
and 1/4
Review by J.R. Oliver


Emergency Music,"Kiss The Culprit" (Man With A Gun Records)
A debut that will have you clamoring for more, this Boston band delivers on this record. Songs about lost love, crying in your beer and then picking yourself off the barstool for another game of pool. I’ll even pay for the next round if you keep this record playing. Kiss… starts off strong with “Up For Hours” that has a catchy chorus that makes the song a winner. “Gloomy Days” even reminds me of “Doolittle” era Pixies without Frank Black’s howl. But “Aim Low, Young Man” will be the new slacker anthem of the 21st century. I’ll put money on it.

Emergency Music’s debut is sugar coated power pop without the toothache. If artists like Don Dixon and Marshall Crenshaw used to sing you to sleep at night, this band will do the trick as well. Kiss The Culprit will be on a lot of best of 2005 lists-just slightly late to the party.
www.emergencymusic.com
Rating:

Review by Sean Koepenick


System Noise,"System Noise EP" (Demon City)
Blondie + Fugazi + Hillbilly Frankenstein + Talking Heads + P.I.L. + Television + King Crimson = System Noise. Art rock for a whole new generation. This cd ep may only contain 5 songs but you get an excellent feel for the band and what they are capable of doing from it. It clocks in just shy of twenty minutes, which is about the same amount of time as most full-length cds. I could definitely get used to listening to this. It’s the kind of music you hear playing in your favorite hip little record store downtown if that helps any.
www.systemnoisenyc.com
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


Longwave,"There's a Fire" (RCA 2005)
"There's a Fire" is a bit subtle for a pop album -- a grower-- but it does have its charms. John Leckie's production provides its usual amazement while bringing dynamics to an album that otherwise sounds like a toned down version of recent Flaming Lips, XTC's "Mummer," and current pop groups like The Shins (though with better vocals from Steve Schiltz). The title track is bland, but songs like "Underworld," "River (Depot Song)," "Dancing in the Light," and "We're Not Gonna Crack" stand out by mixing soft distortion with synthesizer and the musical equivalent of a pastoral scene. These songs are much more effective than, say, "The Flood" which sounds like a pale copy of The Flaming Lips' "Soft Bulletin." The simplicity of "Down in Here" even recalls the calculated percussion of The Residents, the clarity of a Chris Stamey or Scott Litt production, and some of the melodic beauty of Red House Painters. Longwave show a lot of potential here, but need a few more songs with big hooks to put themselves over as a totally unavoidable pop band.
www.longwavetheband.com
Rating:

Review by Christopher DeCrocker


The Life And Times,"Suburban Hymns" (Desoto Records)
Booming drums, bass that bends your sternum and guitar that swells like a 50 foot monster about to destroy your fake plastic city. Remember when bands like Swervedriver, Catherine Wheel and Ride could rip your head off by just looking at you funny? (Or at least until the amps kicked in) Well, the boys in The Life and Times do. Every kid would be better off with a copy of this next to his Chemistry homework.

“My Last Hostage” and “Skateland” are my faves on here-but they all rock with solidity. “Running Redlights” makes me wax nostalgic for the times (that was your subliminal subconscious’ door I just knocked on) when my pals and I whizzed through lights while tossing empty Milwaukee’s Best cans in the back seat. We weren’t really worried about our car insurance rates skyrocketing at that point. “A Chorus Of Crickets” which looks to tie in with the fantastic cover art brings the listener back even further. Picture running in a too dark softball field, trying to catch a high pop fly, missing, but just fading into the shadows. This is what the fine haberdashery of Suburban Hymns will do to you every time.
www.thelifeandtimes.com
Rating:

Review by Sean Koepenick


Various Artists,"Hurry Home Early – The Songs Of Warren Zevon" (Wampus)
This was an excellent idea. Warren Zevon was one artist well worth a tribute. An unsung hero of sorts, Zevon somehow flew under the radar for most but for the ones that were in the know he made our lives a little better. Of the thirteen classics represented here my favorite song is Robbie Rist’s version of “Mr. Bad Example”. This is a song that ranks right up there with Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” as far as the song describing how bad a man he is. But, with Zevon, you believe every word and know he’s not exaggerating. Hell, if anything, he’s probably being modest about it. You should buy this cd for this song alone. Oh, and did I mention, there’s 12 more tracks you’ll dig as well.
www.wampus.com/warren.html
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


Ringo Starr,"Choose Love" (KOCH)
You can’t really blame a Beatles for copying the Beatles and Ringo does just that in "Choose Love" - the title song of Ringo’s new CD has a "Taxman"-like groove, and Beatles-related lyrics about "long and winding road" and "tomorrow never knows". My favorite has to be "Oh My Lord", which has a George Harrison feel complete with Harrison-inspired slide guitar riffs. There are also plenty of strong rockers like "Give Me Back the Beat" and "Don't Hang Up". Since his Beatle days, Ringo has always loved country and includes one country track called "Wrong all the time", which reminds me of “old” country (not the current “pop” versions which permeates the country radio). There are not really any bad songs on this CD, just a few forgettable ones like "Me and You", "Satisfied", and "Turnaround". And "Free Drinks" borders on being a very annoying song, no two ways about it.

All in all, this is exactly the type of album that you would expect from an ex-Beatle, which isn't a bad thing. While not as memorable as RINGO RAMA or its predecessor VERTICAL MAN (with the catchy as "La De Da"), CHOOSE LOVE is a close third of Ringo's recent albums. But its still better than ANYTHING McCartney has done in the last 10 years or so.
www.ringostarr.com
Rating:

Review by Ronnie


Tim Miller,"Out Of The Box" (Indie Release)
Acoustic driven singer/songwriter style pop. It’s easy to see how Miller could captivate a live audience after giving “Out Of The Box” just one listen. He has a way of making the simplest line sound so very important, much like Neil Diamond’s does. His voice even sounds a bit like Diamond at times. The ebb and flow of each song, and the whole album for that matter, is very comforting and extremely captivating. Neil Diamond is one hell of a songwriter and any comparisions I’ve made here are compliments and should be taken as such. Besides, you might not admit it, but you’ve probably got a favorite song by the Jazz Singer too.
www.timmilleronline.com
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


Schleprock,"Learning To Fall" (Fiend Music)
This is the much clichéd “definitive retrospective” but in this case it’s 100% true and one hell of an album to boot. “Learning To Fall” follows the band from beginning to end. It even includes the song that got them signed to the majors but every song on this cd is just as good if not better than the song that got them signed. Twenty-one punk rock anthems that get better with each and every listen. In 2002, Schleprock guitarist and songwriter Jeff Graham died of a drug overdose and plans of a reunion tour died along with him. If you’re a fan, this is a must have cd. If you’ve never heard of Schleprock this is the perfect cd to enlighten you to one great L.A. punk band.
www.fiendmusic.com
Rating:

Review by J.R. Oliver


The Black Watch,"The Innercity Garden EP" (Pink Hedgehog Records)
This is an American indie pop band with a fresh UK release. A little sneak preview of their upcoming full length “The Hypnotizing Sea” from what I’ve read. Two of the songs are from the full length and two are b-sides. Often compared to Robyn Hitchcock and My Bloody Valentine, the guys in The Black Watch are more than capable of creating a catchy pop gem. This four song EP paints a pretty picture of what you’ll find growing in their innercity garden.
www.pinkhedgehog.com
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


The Divorce,"The Gifted Program" (Made In Mexico Records)
Hearty portions of rock grace this second release from this Seattle 4 piece. “Cash Machine” may be the best song about the green stuff since The Damned’s “Lovely Money.” “Houses in Hurricanes” literally describes a home about to crumble to pieces, but the song’s rock solid foundations keep it in place. Best track on here is saved for the end. “Fishing With The Party Sharks” features lyrics like “and you can’t show me the door/cuz you can’t see through people yet/unless they’re touching their nose/or trying to light that cigarette.” Ever wonder what The Hives would sound like if Peter Murphy showed them a few tricks. The Divorce’s sweltering, melting rash of swollen rock may be the answer. You won’t need a retainer for this puppy-just a few spare ducats and the raygun is set to only slightly maim.
www.thedivorce.net
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by Sean Koepenick


Patient Zero,"Seemingly So…" (Indie Release)
The rainforest relaxation style intro of “For Carlos” sets the mood for the hypnotizing rhythms of “And Sold”. One of my favorite tracks from the cd. “Seemingly So…” is a ten song cd (eleven if you count the hidden track) of radio friendly, moody, indie pop. In medical terms, patient zero is the first person to contract a disease or the first to undergo treatment. The guys in Patient Zero hope their brand of music spreads like an epidemic. For fans of Radiohead and Incubus.
www.patientzero.net
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


Various Artists,"Don’t Make Me Stab You – Morphius Distribution Sampler" (Morphius)
Samplers are put together in hope you will find something you like. Well, here’s what I liked on this 19 song disc. Clouds Forming Crowns “Wishhound” because it’s pure pop rock with all the mandatory hooks. Electric Frankenstein “Injected” because it’s freaking Electric Frankenstein. The Homosexuals “Technique Street” because it’s pop punk with lots of energy. The Shakedowns “Arrogance” because it’s part Kiss - part Aerosmith and has a lot of garage rock spunk. And, last but not least, Secret Crush Society “Love/Hate Rock” because it’s that Weezer style slacker rock with an odd twist of a sixties girl group chorus. So, I guess Morphius did their job. I found some new bands to check out and so will you.
artist's web site
Rating:
and 1/4
Review by J.R. Oliver


Dan Smolla,"Sky Of My Mind" (Indie Release)
Dan Smolla is a singer-songwriter from just outside of Chicago, IL. He’s released three other cds that received considerable airplay from roots oriented stations overseas and small independent stations here in the United States. Smolla jumps from the down right dirty funk rhythms of the title track to the stripped down harmonica and flattop of “Vishnu”. It’s a bit like flipping through the stations on your radio. I mean, “Mary Lou” is half Bob Dylan and half Steve Earle for Christ’s sake! Needless to say, with this much variety you’re bound to like at least a couple of tracks.
www.dansmolla.com
Rating:

Review by J.R. Oliver


Ani Kyd,"Evil Needs Candy Too" (Alternative Tentacles Records)
Now, what would expect from a label run by Jello Biafra, a man who fronted a band called the Dead Kennedys, a man that performed nude in front of 3000 Clash fans, a man that ran for major of San Francisco and came in forth out of ten candidates with 6591 votes? Well, you’d expect something different that’s for sure. Ani Kyd is definitely different but not as different as one would expect. I mean, you probably won’t hear this on your local rock radio station but it’s not so bizarre that it couldn’t happen. She sounds a bit like Cher fronting Queens Of The Stone Age on a few tracks and like Siouxie Sioux on others. I can dig it. This is an interesting listen that rocks from front to back.
www.alternativetentacles.com
Rating:

Review by J.R. Oliver


Dope Smoothie,"Go Strike" (Elitist Low Brow Records)
These guys remind me of Ween. Pop music with plenty of hooks, great lyrics and a slightly heavy rock edge. “River Styx” and “All Day” are straight out pop, “Feeb” and “Seattle Size” have the great lyrics and “Go Strike” has the heavy rock edge but the best thing about this release is you get glimpses of the whole package in just about every track. If you like Ween you’re sure to dig Dope Smoothie. Oh yeah guys, if you label it a hidden track then list it on the cover it’s not hidden anymore.
www.dopesmoothie.com
Rating:

Review by J.R. Oliver


Pieta Brown,"In The Cool" (Valley Entertainment)
Pieta Brown is a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice. Normally that would be all that is needed to bring fame and fortune but she has so much more to offer with her talented songwriting skills and intelligent, thought provoking lyrics. “In The Cool” is a solid release from start to finish. Her voice literally oozes soul. Stripped down arrangements coupled with Brown’s voice and longing lyrics puts her in the same circles as Lucinda Williams and that’s some pretty fine company the way I see it.
www.pietabrown.com
Rating:
and 1/2
Review by J.R. Oliver


Coffinberry,"From Now On Now" (Morphius Records)
Somewhere between a rock n’ roll cabaret and the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack with R.E.M. sprinkled throughout. Hailing from Lakewood, Ohio, which I’m betting no one would have guessed after a listen to these seven songs on “From Now On Now”. “Cruise Control Psycho” and “Seven Months Gone By” are my two favorite tracks from the disc. They both have loads of energy and tasty hooks. All in all, this is a pretty cool cd.
www.morphius.com
Rating:

Review by J.R. Oliver


Lost City Angels,"Broken World" (Stay Gold)
The punk rock attack provided by Lost City Angels on the band’s latest 13-track effort melds the punk rock feeling of the days of yore with today’s popular punk, creating a maelstrom of power chords, attitude, and catchy shout out loud choruses. On tracks like “Today’s the Day”, “I’m Trying”, and “Final Wish”, this quintet evokes the masterwork of Social Distortion while channeling Hot Water Music through the body of The Descendents, yet pull it off with a convincing East Coast sneer. Gritty guitars, gang vocals galore, and fist-pumping rhythms are all devices used on BROKEN WORLD, as this band decisively shuns the mall and takes punk rock back to the alleyway for a dose of on the fringe punk rock.
www.staygoldrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Recourse,"Weakening the Structure" (This Dark Reign)
Recourse is a hardcore death metal troupe whose album was produced by Dying Fetus head honcho John Gallagher. The 10-track WEAKENING THE STRUCTURE wields an anger with crossover appeal a la Hatebreed and Lamb of God, as the band’s succinct hardcore chuggings and shrieking vocals are combined with a dastardly grinding rhythm section on tracks like “Point Blank” and “Nature of Conflict”, giving the band a death metal edge. Heavy in all the right places, and relentless throughout the entire disc, Recourse’s latest release jarringly builds a bridge between hardcore’s straightforward poundings and death metal’s intricate aggression.
www.devildollrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


The Forecast,"Late Night Conversations" (Victory)
The Forecast’s mix of jagged alt country and new school punk a la Hot Water Music elicits an intriguing listen, found on the Peoria, IL quartet’s 10-track debut. Armed with a male/female lead vocal tradeoff, and a barrage of hook laden tunes compact enough to leave a melody sticking in your head for days, songs like the searing “Seating Subject to Change” and “APR” thrust the blue collar American rock band into the 21st century. Merging Midwestern America’s rock savvy of artists John Mellencamp and Wilco with the real sense of heartbreak sans the annoying emo whine heard to excess these days, LATE NIGHT CONVERSATIONS is a disc whose townie charm and barroom shuffle-feel creeps up on you unexpectedly and ultimately tugs at every last heartstring, even as the obligatory emo-esque riff of “Fade In Fade Out” kicks in and the exhilarating six-minute plus “Exorcise Demons” leaves you breathless.
www.victoryrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Gospel,"The Moon is a Dead World" (Level Plane)
Gospel’s grandiose approach to hardcore is spiked with a progressive rock edge that sets this eight-track endeavor apart from many of its cohorts. Intense passages of screaming yield to moody synth rock interludes on “Golden Dawn”, a rousing slab of epic rock ‘n’ roll, while a psychedelic aura haunts tracks like (appropriately enough) “Opiate”, mixing the rich hallucinogenics of bands like Tool and Pink Floyd with the hair-raising unpredictability of The Mars Volta, wrapped inside of a hardcore wallop that rivals anything done by Isis. Breathtaking and risky, THE MOON IS A DEAD WORLD is an album to tune in, turn up, and bug out to.
www.level-plane.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Synthetic Sixteen,"Too Far Along" (Indie Release)
NYC-based rock group Synthetic Sixteen’s latest release is yet another solid outing chock full of aggressively charged hard rock music. The six-song endeavor by these grizzled veterans of the NYC rock and hardcore scene showcases the quintet’s fantastic sense of dynamics, as they effortlessly switch from full-on assault mode to quiet introspection on songs like “Walkthrough”. TOO FAR ALONG also finds the troupe branching out to heavier places, thanks to a dual guitar team to die for on tracks like “Clean” and a bass driven backbeat on “Twenty” that implores you to groove along. Radio ready and bursting with bite, Synthetic Sixteen’s latest disc should appeal to those that are digging anything from My Chemical Romance to Audioslave.
www.s16music.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Morgul,"All Dead Here" (Season of Mist)
Norwegian metal troupe Morgul’s latest evil endeavor is a bone chilling nine-track summoning of Goth rock meshed with black metal’s time signatures and mood shifts. Taking the path of bands like Dimmu Borgir, ALL DEAD HERE goes the operatic death metal route throughout, utilizing instruments like woodwinds, pianos and strings to round out the band’s massive attack. Despite being steeped in the classical aesthetic, Morgul still manage to crank out some Emperor-esque shreddery on tracks like “The Need to Kill”, truly balancing out the band’s stalwart assault. Emitting waves of despair with lush orchestration and a full-on metallic barrage, Morgul leave behind a stunning array of stimulus for the adventurous death metaller to toil to.
www.season-of-mist.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Beyond the Flesh,"What the Mind Perceives" (Screaming Ferret)
New Jersey metal clan Beyond the Flesh are trailing closely behind bands like Shadows Fall, Unearth, and others involved in the New Wave of American Metal movement judging by the quartet’s latest 10-track release. Blisteringly heavy, yet armed with the kind of melodics that you’d be accustomed to hearing from a Swedish metal outfit, tracks like “The Scars that Remain” juxtapose the coarseness of At the Gates with the thrash metal acumen of the late ‘80s Bay Area scene. Featuring some flashy fretwork, a good guttural growl (check out the low end of “The Sick”), and an endless stream of relentless metal, WHAT THE MIND PERCEIVES is an album a little low on creativity, but more than make up for it by combining different extreme genres in a cohesive manner.
www.screamingferret.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Biomechanical,"The Empires of the World" (Earache)
English metal troopers Biomechanical combine the wares of progressive, death, and thrash metal on the outfit’s latest 14-track endeavor with stellar results. Drawing from a vast array of influences, the sonic shred of Pantera, the complex structures of Death and the classic metal wailings of Judas Priest are all very present throughout the disc. Add THE EMPIRES OF THE WORLD’s brisk time signature changes and uncompromising song structures (which may be jarring at first), and chances are if you dig the aforementioned bands, then you’ll flip out for tracks like RAGE FOR ORDER meets FAR BEYOND DRIVEN vibe of “Relinquished Destiny” as well as the ballistic barrage of “Regenerated”.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Boris,"Akuma No Uta" (Southern Lord)
Japanese sludge rocksters Boris come back with a mixed bag of music on the trio’s latest, AKUMA NO UTA. This six-track affair displays the band’s love for the sludge as much as it does the psychedelic punk rock of bands like MC5 and The Stooges, as tracks like the no-frills assault of “Furi” and the driving “Ibitsu” have got the dirty rawking punk vibe all over them. And if you want sprawling epics laden with guitar feedback galore, then check out Naki Kyoku”, as it delivers a 12-minute presentation of mood music straight from the garage, fueled by bong smoke and noxious fumes.
www.southernlord.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Mistress,"In Disgust We Trust" (Earache)
Did you ever wonder what a cross between Entombed and Hatebreed with shards of Cathedral would sound like? Well, wonder no more, as the British quintet Mistress has beaten you to the punch on the outfit’s 10-track collection. IN DISGUST WE TRUST is the name of this crusty low-end monstrosity, and with song titles like “Fucking Fuck” and “Happy Ever Disaster” in tow, you can expect a range of metallic blasts that vary from heavy to really heavy to painfully heavy. If you’re looking for a disc to wreak havoc to, allow the lads in Mistress to assist your thrashing by providing a more than ample soundtrack of groovy downtuned mayhem.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Aspire,"All Ahead" (Indie Release)
When a metal album contains three songs that run over 16 minutes, instantly you’d conjure up visions of bands that are no strangers to epics such as Iron Maiden, Helloween, and Iced Earth. Brooklyn based metal clan Aspire try their hand at the long play with ALL AHEAD, and despite some monotone vocals and the keyboards being too far up in the mix, the band does an admirable job of unleashing tales of prophecies and mysteries of the world that compliment the solid six-string runs and maddening power metal beat.
Aspire_band@yahoo.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Molly Hatchet,"Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge" (SPV)
Molly Hatchet is a band name that most may know from a movie soundtrack or your older relative’s eight-track collection, yet this veritable workhorse still can crank out some no-nonsense Southern rock boogie. Their latest effort, a 12-track collection loosely based on the memory of guitarist Bobby Ingram’s wife, is a solid array of straight ahead swamp rock and down home Southern rock fried just to your liking. With a swing in its step and that unmistakable Southern rock charm firmly at hand, songs like ”I’m Ready For You”, “Behind the Bedroom Door”, and “Time Keeps Slipping Away” sound just as huge as any of the group’s hits from the days of yore. Grab your Rebel flag, a six-pack of brew, and rock the night away at the roadhouse with Molly Hatchet’s rousing comeback.
www.spvusa.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Beecher,"Breaking the Fourth Wall" (Earache)
Beecher is a band from the U.K. whose spin on hardcore implements a slew of jaggedly arranged, speed-driven tracks basked in dissonance. The 12-track offering showcases the quintet’s versatile assault on your ears, as bands as wide in range from Poison the Well to Dillinger Escape Plan to Refused are emulated here with explosive results. The frenetic guitars never fail to catch you off guard, while the utterly solid rhythm section should receive hazard pay for all of the dangerous timings and twists they perform. And the vocals, while craftily swiping pieces of every single screaming throat from the last few years of metalcore’s existence, always manage to sound invigorating and at times, chameleon-like. Showcasing the wherewithal to grind, blast, thrash, breakdown, and wreak havoc with the big boys, Beecher’s caustic release is a must-own release for those that value the sound of today’s extreme metal.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Zatokrev,"Zatokrev" (Earache)
This self-titled five-track affair from this Swiss unit is a sinewy offering that evokes comparisons to such atmospheric metal troupes as Isis and Cult of Luna. Tracks like the thunderously bass-driven “C Through” take a turn into sludgeville, sounding like Crowbar at its most vicious, while the death-defying screams audible on “Alive” rival cornerstone voices like Anselmo in brutality and pure sickness. Keeping it crushingly heavy (albeit a short album) throughout, Zatokrev (Czech for “blood for this”) provide a sheer sonic assault through undeniably punishing death metal ambiance.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Brand New Sin,"Recipe For Disaster" (Century Media)
Returning with a vengeance, Brand New Sin’s latest hard rock excursion, titled RECIPE FOR DISASTER, continues the quintet’s quest for championing the hard rock scene with the band’s Southern rock grit meets swampy blues style. Falling somewhere between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Label Society with a pinch of Pantera, this coarse 13-track endeavor combines pounding guitar riffs with hooks that could easily satisfy stadiums, all performed with a blue collar work ethic and a hearty helping of blood, sweat, and tears. They don’t make bands like Brand New Sin anymore, as songs like the crushing ‘80s rock revisit of “Black And Blue”, the ominous groove of “Vicious Cycles”, and the sitting on the porch vibe of “Running Alone” are reminiscent of times before MTV’s bastardization changed the face of rock. If you’re looking for an album to kick back and raise hell to, RECIPE FOR DISASTER is that triple shot of rock that fits nicely between your Sabbath and AC/DC discs.
www.centurymedia.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


On Broken Wings,"It's All A Long Goodbye" (Eulogy)
They call it mosh-metal, but Boston’s On Broken Wings’ 11-track release sure sounds like a metalcore disc not unlike bands like Bury Your Dead and Evergreen Terrace. Songs like “Pushing Up Daisies” and “Frozen Over” contain those punishing rhythms with a plethora of parts and breakdowns that kids will be able to beat the hell out of each other to, while “More Than Life” and “Tongue in Teeth” commendably follow the growl/ sing trend. IT’S ALL A LONG GOODBYE is an album that lacks distinction, but is brazen with ballistic barrages of demonic aggression with the potential of unleashing furious waves of unforeseen chaos.
www.eulogyrecordings.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Silk Helvetika,"Silk Helvetika" (Screaming Mimi)
Silk Helvetika is a Philadelphia-based outfit whose retro ‘80s metal liberally borrows from bands like Krokus, Accept, and other heavy handed acts whose flashy fretwork and penchant for melody, coupled with brass ball deliveries, were all the rage back in the day. While tracks like “High on You” and “Skies” sound a bit dated in 2005, they still wield that classic metal crunch of a Dokken or Love/Hate tune that undeniably prods your hands to play some air guitar, while the obligatory ballad “September” sounds like a lost hair metal classic. The 15-track offering is passionately performed, and displays a killer low-end chug on tracks like “Swine” that makes the overall vibe of this self-titled release a bit more foreboding than most, making Silk Helvetika’s debut perhaps a few years too late, but worth it for those waiting for the revival.
www.silkhelvetika.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


The Taste of Blood,"Predator" (Tribunal)
Santa Cruz, CA isn’t a place you’d expect a guttural metalcore band to hail from, yet here come The Taste of Blood. A quintet armed with a hearty helping of chugging riffs, rugged rhythms, and the type of blood curdling screaming you’d expect to hear in a horror flick, their 10-track ode to aggression takes the West Coast hardcore sound and meshes it with shades of death metal on tracks like “I Guess That’s Why They Make Safety Pins” and “I’ve Stolen From Posters and Drawings”. While PREDATOR isn’t as groundbreaking as other band’s releases, this album is bursting with fierce breakdowns and pummeling transitions, making any moshpit’s activity reach peak levels.
www.tribunalrecords.net
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Trephine,"Trephine" (Public Guilt)
Instrumental gold? Absolutely, thanks to the jarring noise rock offerings of Maryland’s Trephine, whose most recent exquisite excursion into the avant-garde generates an eight-track grab bag full of musical treats. What sets this thrill-seeking unit apart from other bands of their ilk is their use of alternative percussion besides the standard guitar, bass, and drum tandem, giving flavor to tracks like “Metal Detector” and “Devil’s Activist”. Well, that and the shredding riffs, the spastic rhythm section, and the utter disregard for normalcy. Trephine’s self-titled affair is fine musical fodder for those audacious sets of ears that have grown weary of the watered down.
www.publicguilt.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Quell,"One Man's Struggle with the English Language" (Goodfellow)
With a perfect description adorning their album title, North Carolina’s Quell actually sounds like a band embodying a man grappling with our native tongue, as this dizzying array of metalcore brutality, avant-garde hardcore, and acerbic abrasiveness is perfect for the thrill seeking contingent. Not for the weak-spirited or closed-minded, Quell’s cacophonic sprees are divided into 10 tracks of menacing instrument bashing, as vocals from beyond growl, scream, and make you feel much more unsettled than a typical offering. And with song titles like “Circumventing Language Barriers By Speaking Louder”, you can tell that the music’s not the only thing clever here. If you enjoy hardcore bands that freak out, you’ll love Quell’s latest endeavor.
www.goodfellowrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Manntis,"Sleep in your Grave" (Century Media)
Coming to prominence from the MTV reality program BATTLE FOR OZZFEST, Southern California’s Manntis prove themselves to be the real deal on the quintet’s debut 10-track disc SLEEP IN YOUR GRAVE. Juxtaposing the current modern American metal sound with some hardcore elements (especially song lengths) and traces of classic metal, songs like the pummeling “Weathered Soul” and the skull bashing “Axe of Redemption” may not be the most in depth lyrically written songs in the world, yet manage to cohesively mix together brevity and brutality for a relentlessly honest metal assault. Showcasing the notion that not all reality shows churn out disposable entities, Manntis’ staying power is damn near guaranteed in the metal realm if they can successfully build off of the profound pounding of SLEEP IN YOUR GRAVE.
www.centurymedia.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Ben Jackson Group,"All Over You" (Screaming Ferret)
Ben Jackson comes from a metal background, having previously played with Parish and Crimson Glory, so it’s no surprise that his latest project (known as Ben Jackson Group) ALL OVER YOU is strewn with the same kind of powerful yet melodic overtones. The 10-track collection contains heroically screaming guitars, rich vocal harmonies, lush piano arrangements, and the sort of metallic swagger that you’d expect from some of metal’s icons of yore. Tracks like “Eyes of Ice” exemplify the majesty of bands like Savatage, while the irrefutably ‘80s metal tone of “All Over You” has got that Dokken mid-tempo stomp all over it. ALL OVER YOU is a wide-ranging release that showcases the band’s solid hard rock chops and vast understanding of how to make a top-flight metal record.
www.screamingferret.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


The Atomic Bitchwax,"3" (Meteor City)
The Atomic Bitchwax bust out of their New Jersey garage for album number three, appropriately titled 3. This 10-track tour de force of smoked-out riffs, space-aged rhythms, and freaked-out jams features the talents of ex-Core mainman Finn Ryan, who doesn’t miss a beat in replacing Monster Magnet’s six string king Ed Mundell. Tracks like the scorching “Force Field” retains that fuzzy warmth of the band’s past collaborations, while the comically titled yet delectably fortified “Going Guido” hands over all of those psychedelic parts you’ve been hankering for. Solidified with a new lineup and a reinvigorated spirit to kick out the cosmic grooves, 3 is an album to ditch work for the day and take on your newest adventure to.
www.meteorcity.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Divinity Destroyed,"Eden In Ashes" (Screaming Ferret)
Divinity Destroyed is a five-piece New Jersey band whose progressive power metal style meshes with an influence of intricate death metal, creating a tumultuous yet grandiose eight-track offering. This band of upstarts sounds like a cross between Dream Theater, Death, and Novembers Doom, merging the three styles on tracks like “Empty the Sky” and “Threnody” with hellacious histrionics and an exquisite attention to detail. Expansive and explosive, Divinity Destroyed has a slew of things to offer to ears that are thirsty for a new twist on old themes.
www.screamingferret.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Bleed For Me,"Composition" (Sin Klub)
Supplying an intense hardcore experience accompanied with sampling and unabashed anger, Buffalo’s Bleed for Me and their latest 10-track endeavor is a seething cross between Ministry and Converge. Branching out enough to be experimental, but without sacrificing an ounce of raw power, tracks like the hypnotic instrumentals “My Thoughts Light Fires In Your Cities” and “Bully” allow the listener to catch a moment of rest before the unsettling virtues of the frenetic “Fresh Air Hymnal” detonates. Unapologetically vicious guitars, crushing rhythms, and unearthly screams all prevail on COMPOSITION, making it an album that the avant-garde purveyor of all things violent can truly call their own.
www.sinklub.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


The Crest,"Skeptik" (Uprising)
Midwest rapping brother duo The Crest have been at it since 1997, but SKEPTIK is the outfit’s first taste of national exposure. Like most rap albums, a slew of guests lending perspectives adorn these 18 tracks, but the real spotlight shines on Jack Cracker and AD, whose rhyme schemes and verbal barrages are reminiscent of a certain other white rapper that hails from Detroit. Dropping knowledge on social and political topics that range from the Iraqi War to corporate America’s stranglehold on media and big business, The Crest’s lyrical flow may be a far cry away from good times rhymes, but the backbeat behind it all makes your head bob and your body move, even though you’re getting educated in the process.
www.uprisingrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Monolithe,"II" (Candlelight)
Monolithe is a French doom metal troupe whose latest release II contains one track, which runs 50 minutes in length. And here’s the kicker…it never gets dull. This outfit pull off the Isis meets Neurosis interplay with chilling clarity, creating vastly atmospheric harmonic hums while implementing a few strokes from Opeth along the way, securing a place in the heart of funeral metallists everywhere. Slow, deep, and hard, Monlithe’s elaborate textures and keen sense of dramatic dynamics keeps you glued to the headphones for the whole duration of this enormous entity.
www.candlelightrecords.co.uk
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Electric Frankenstein,"Burn Bright, Burn Fast" (TKO)
East Coast punk rock veterans Electric Frankenstein are celebrating their 13 years of existence with BURN BRIGHT, BURN FAST, a 14-track album chock full of the explosive melodic hard punk we’ve come to expect from these veritable purveyors of the rock. Tapping into their roots, tracks like “Gone to the Other Room” and “Just For You” cross the AC/DC swagger with the Dead Boys stomp with fist-pumping conviction, while “Life in Rewind” supplies those nuances of So Cal punk swirled inside a New Jersey snarl and “Electric Misery” throws Sabbath. Aerosmith, and MC5 into a blender and lets the cocktail fly. Much like the band’s namesake, BURN BRIGHT, BURN FAST is a monstrous rock ‘n’ roll release suitable for any time you want to have a kick ass time
www.tkorecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Agents of Man,"Count Your Blessings" (Century Media)
New Jersey’s Agents of Man debut release continues in the tradition started by Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage, dropping 12 songs bursting with hardcore’s intensity and today’s metal vibe. Yet, songs like “Be My Savior” dare to bare it all and goes acoustic, showing that these veterans of such acts as Sworn Enemy and Bulldoze aren’t afraid to write tender ballads (a.k.a. potential hits) alongside churning slabs of chunky riffs and caustic screaming. Songs like “Headless” and “Death of Me” satisfy fans of the entire spectrum of today’s American metal scene, while “Can’t Run” hooky chorus will make those guys in Atreyu really jealous. If you like everything from Sevendust to Sick of It All, chances are there’s something here for you.
www.centurymedia.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Force of Evil,"Black Empire" (Escapi)
Force of Evil returns with yet another pristinely pounding metal offering with BLACK EMPIRE. The 12-track endeavor’s lyrics are patterned after newer horror movie classics like FRIDAY THE 13TH and THE OMEN, and the accompanying ominous metal march does the subject matter proud. The twin guitar assault of legendary duo Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (ex-Mercyful Fate) has never sounded sharper on cuts like “Empire” and “Cabrini Green”, while the volatile vocals and resounding rhythm section hold it down in true metal fashion. Blending power metal’s presence with Goth rock overtones and a slew of nasty guitar riffs, BLACK EMPIRE meld classic metal with operatic progressiveness for an overwhelmingly outstanding experience.
www.forceofevil.net
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Johnny 5,"Plastic Galaxies" (Indie Release)
Synthesized punk ‘n’ roll is on the menu courtesy of the Queens. NY based Johnny 5, whose latest five-track endeavor takes a sharp left into hipsterville, complete with massive amounts of keyboards and dreamy vocals. Keeping the balance however are the Weezer meets Taking Back Sunday-esque guitar licks, like the one found on “Husher”, infusing the Devo-esque jaggedness with a shot of modern day arena rock flare. Otherwise, it’s a first-class train ticket into the glamour and guises of pop culture, complete with a dance rock backbeat courtesy of this eclectic crew with the huge ’80s sound on the brain.
www.gojohnny5.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Darkest Hour,"Undoing Ruin" (Victory)
Darkest Hour triumphantly return with UNDOING RUIN, a lean, mean Devin Townsend produced endeavor that will redefine the way you view this band of merry metal men. From the soul shaking opener “Without a Thousand Words to Say But One”, you can feel a different kind of intensity oozing from the quintet. Make no mistake, folks, the group’s volatile yet glorious Swedish metal chops are still very much a part of the enormous assault on your senses. Only this time, the 11-track collection seems more refined, a lot more polished, and way more focused overall, with an impressive attentiveness to dynamics displayed on the blistering tracks “Convalescence” and “Paradise”. Darkest Hour has always been a band that strayed from convention (they call it their punk rock mystique) but managed to work under distinctive guidelines, and UNDOING RUIN finds the band doing that and much, much more. A solid outing, and definitely the band’s most cohesive release to date, this CD is a must for all fans of the heavier side of metal.
www.victoryrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Abandon,"In Reality We Suffer" (Earache)
IN REALITY WE SUFFER is an album that should come with all types of warnings and cautions slapped all over it, for this disc is by far the most dreary and depressing release to come to light in a very long time. Slow and tortured throughout the entire nine-track entity, Abandon have compiled a collection of disturbingly heavy music that people with any type of unstable inclinations shouldn’t even come close to. Eerie and foreboding, the dirge-like rhythms and bellowing low notes that resonate through tracks like “Will Gladly Perish” and “Trauma is the Trigger”, coupled with the helpless vocal cries that emanate from the chaos on “Piles of Pigs” (the album’s fastest yet shortest track) are just the fodder kids on the edge don’t ever need. Keep the sharp objects away when listening to this one, as the doomy churn of IN REALITY WE SUFFER is hazardous to the well being of even the most mentally strong’s psyche.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


The Hatepinks,"Plastic Bag Ambitions" (TKO)
The Hatepinks, France’s resident snotty punks, have put out a 13-track release running a concise 17 minutes in length. How’s that for brevity? Armed with candy coated hooks and oozing with late ‘70s-early ‘80s Brit punk spirit, this quartet serves up a rehashed yet fun blend of poppy, bratty, no frills punk that will elicit numerous spurts of pogo-ing in your listening space. If you ever imagined a band that sounded like The Cars meeting Buzzcocks at a Sex Pistols gig, look no further.
www.tkorecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Figure of Merit,"Vatic" (Earache)
File Minneapolis noiseniks Figure of Merit under the broad extreme metal genre, as this pummeling quartet let loose eight tracks brazen with massive amounts of dissonant feedback and hardcore attitude. Tracks like “Arrow to the Sun” lock the listener inside a hypnotic groove underneath a bed of cacophony, while “This Will Not Save You Anymore” combines nuances of doom metal and hardcore to come off like Mastodon meets Snapcase. For an intriguing experience full of crashing instruments and jagged structures, Figure of Merit’s brutal barrage succinctly delivers.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Thrones,"Day Late, Dollar Short" (Southern Lord)
Prepare yourself for the expected sludgy doom as well as the unexpected everything else emanating from your speakers courtesy of Thrones, the one-man machine, better known as Joe Preston, now bassist for High on Fire. On DAY LATE, DOLLAR SHORT, a wide array of synths and bass is what you’ll find being manipulated here, as the underground sounds ranging from the gas-huffing garage rock of Ultravox’s “Young Savage” to the stoner rock soufflé of “Nostos Algos” tend to bubble up here. Most of these tracks have been compiled from various releases spanning the last 12 years or so that Thrones had appeared on, and while they may make an uneven collection overall, each piece serves its purpose in documenting an avant-garde musician who likes it both unusual and heavy. Who else would pay homage to a little known children’s television theme with “Epicus Doomicus Bumpitus” on one track, then do a cover of Rush’s “Oracle” a few tracks later? Thrones would, as this project’s way undefined boundaries stretch out way beyond the normal imagination’s inner workings.
www.southernlord.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Psychophile,"Vodka Milk" (Novadiem)
Psychophile is a British duo whose electro-rock stretches wide to reveal a bevy of influences on VODKA MILK. Everything from Kate Bush to Ministry to Dead Can Dance to Skinny Puppy has been placed in their space-aged blender, as songs like “Naked” and “Sussurus” intertwine piano, effects, and twin vocals with shimmering results. Danceable much of the time with an air of New Order (especially from the male vocal), songs like “All in the Mind” and “Dreams in Vain” keep the beat kicked up while leaving the mood relatively dark, exposing the band’s NIN side. Featuring top-flight programming and a tad of guitar-infused rock like “The Otherside”, Psychophile provides the soundtrack to that warehouse party that you’re skeptical about stepping foot inside.
www.psychophile.co.uk
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Widow,"On Fire" (Cruz Del Sur)
Widow’s haunting old school metal goes 10 tracks deep and conjures up the days when Eddie ran rampant with Iron Maiden and parents were freaking out over King Diamond’s imagery. Playing in a similar power metal style as the aforementioned, Widow’s chops are aces, especially on the harmonizing guitar runs that sound like 1986 all over again. The female vocals also are a nice touch, especially when accentuated by its male counterparts, giving off the epic flare a la Lacuna Coil. Unfortunately, with song titles like “Misstery” and “Sinderella”, this band’s rating on the cheese meter reads highly excessive, rendering ON FIRE tough to take completely seriously. But, if you can stand a bit of tongue in cheek with your dated metal, it’s all yours.
www.cruzdelsuremusic.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Things Outside the Skin,"You Knew It All Along" (Facility)
Brooklyn, NY’s industrial rockers Things Outside the Skin’s third full-length release contains a cavalcade of big synthetic beats, swirling effects, and a slew of vitriolic vocalizations. Making creepy music seems effortless for this trio of electronic gurus, as a plethora of scintillating sounds grab your ear’s attention as the pseudo rap of tracks like “The Most Appealing Thing” assaults you from the front. Mixing it up like Mike Patton meeting the Transplants on the homage to Phil Hartman “Another Dead Comedian” while taking the rave from the warehouse to your speakers on “Town & Country”, YOU KNEW IT ALL ALONG goes 22-tracks deep (including remixes and edits), leading you on a twisted ride through the minds of master musical manipulators that know their way around a synthesizer as well as they realize the power of a well-crafted song. If you dig left of center Goth rock, this group will not disappoint.
www.outside-the-skin.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


November Kills,"Russian Roulette" (Hotfoot)
The Long Island quintet November Kills’ passion rivals that which propelled The Used, Jimmy Eat World, and Taking Back Sunday to the limelight. The outfit’s 12-track release features sweeping choruses, ambitious guitars, and sensible, sturdy songwriting that supercedes the places in songs that may sound a bit too Story of the Year-esque. An excellent recording also captures every metalcore breakdown as well as it does the most tender whisper, truly benefiting the dazzling dynamics of tracks like “Familiar Sound” and “Wendy’s Song”. Not afraid to stomp out a la Thrice meets Deftones on “Mi Sforzo” and the spastic “Made for TV” or get all mushy on tracks like “Shotgun Falls”, RUSSIAN ROULETTE exhibits a versatile group who can hold their own in the heavy as well as break it down for the ladies.
www.hotfootrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Evolotto,"Smile" (Sin Klub)
Evolotto’s latest five-track sojourn finds the gritty trio laying down some aggressive, angst-ridden rock that wouldn’t sound out of place sandwiched between Helmet and High on Fire. With driving guitars commandeering the assault while the rhythm section hammers you into a hypnotic submission, it’s hard not to feel the sludgy stoner rock seep through your pores when this Toledo, OH outfit uncoils its Melvins meets Clutch style on your stunned senses. If you dig loud music that goes deeper than arena rock fodder, SMILE is your kind of 15-minutes of fun.
www.evolotto.net
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


The Jon Benet,"The Plot Thickens" (Pluto)
With a name like theirs, you can expect some abrasiveness, and from the get-go, The Jon Benet let loose. Bringing that kind of noisy hardcore that merges the dissonant melodies of Glassjaw, The Used, and My Chemical Romance with the sheer sonic assault of bands like Fear Before the March of Flames, this Texas-based quartet’s acerbic hardcore acrobatics keep your ears on guard for tasty twisted riffs like ones found in “Eleventh Century Folklore”, caustic sing along choruses in “Dramarama”, and an indie rock swagger throughout the entire disc. THE PLOT THICKENS is an album bursting with the kind of exciting explosions other bands in the genre fail to match up to, allowing The Jon Benet’s eclectic metallic musings to make a discernible impact.
www.plutorecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Embrace Today,"We Are the Enemy" (Deathwish)
Embrace Today’s latest release finds the straight-edge Boston quintet as seething as ever, yet despite the 12-track sojourn’s undeniable undercurrent of brutality, there’s a sheen of majesty to tracks like “The Immortal” and the dynamic title track that sets this band apart from your average chugging hardcore crew. Almost sounding if Hatebreed merged with Pantera, WE ARE THE ENEMY is an album that transcends clichés and stands out as an album whose metallic melodies, scornful screaming, bestial breakdowns, and overall ominous hardcore ruthlessly jumps for your jugular without regret.
www.deathwishinc.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Pistola,"Hold for Bliss" (Deseo)
Doing justice to the general attitude of hometown NYC, Pistola’s powerful seven-track release showcases an excursion of excellent musicianship, passionate performance, and unpretentious hard rock histrionics. There’s an impressive coating over the entire affair that yields a muscular yet bluesy tone, as songs like “Gone” evoke Concrete Blonde by way of Quicksand. Juxtaposing post-hardcore’s sonic firepower with a turbulent hard rock sensibility that bands like Rollins Band and Queens of the Stone Age employ, Pistola’s secret weapon is vocalist Patricia Gradin, a chanteuse that mixes the souls of PJ Harvey, Chrissy Hynde, and Robert Plant while the band’s caustic backdrop follows suit. Dramatic, dynamic, and enchanting, HOLD FOR BLISS is a hypnotic offering that oozes with coarse hard rock heroics.
www.pistola.us
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Honky,"Balls Out Inn" (Small Stone)
Apparently Texas schlock rockers Honky hit the bar as hard as they do their instruments, resulting in the 13-track tongue in cheek tour de force BALLS OUT INN. Fortified with the dirty grooves of Ted Nugent meeting ZZ Top at a Molly Hatchet concert, these songs of the South are profane reminders exalting the white trash way of life to every trailer park in the nation. Cuts like the swinging country fried stoner rock of “Trespassin’” and the B-3 organ led dirty dirge “Broken Days” display the kind of beer swillin’, hell raisin’ and ass kickin’ mindset that this trio share, creating an atmosphere where there’s sand on the floor, Conway Twitty on the jukebox, and blood on the walls. Careful enough to add some authentic badass blues-rock to their less than tactful subject matter, Honky is so un-P.C. it’s refreshing.
www.smallstone.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Circus Maximus,"The 1st Chapter" (Sensory)
Norwegian prog metallers Circus Maximus have a darker aura than most other bands in their genre, shown throughout the entire 70 minutes of THE 1ST CHAPTER. This quintet utilize much of the same technique of bands like Symphony X and Dream Theater, yet go the extra mile to include downright nasty riffs a la Meshuggah and Nevermore-esque vocalizations on tracks like “Sin” and “Biosfear” to enhance their ominous mystique. If prog metal seems a bit too Broadway musical-esque for your tastes, perhaps a sample of this outfit’s mind-bendingly molten metal assault laden with all of those prog metal devices will peak your waning interest.
www.lasercd.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Bear Vs. Shark,"Terrorhawk" (Equal Vision)
The Michigan quintet known for switching each other’s instruments Bear Vs. Shark decided to hole themselves up in a secluded cabin to make this 15-track endeavor, excluding outside sources (barring curious neighbors) and general responsibilities. The end result is a pulsating post punk rock clash with indie rock’s timidity, making songs like “Antwan” scream with Fugazi-esque purpose and “Six Bar Phrase Hey Hey” rock with touches of both Bad Brains and Pearl Jam. Shimmering at times like Sparta (“5,6 Kids”) while at others providing haunting melodies a la Neil Young (“What a Horrible Night for a Curse”), TERRORHAWK’s diverse directions, spastic deliveries, and disregard for anything but their own creative energies may seem a bit self-indulgent to some, but after a few listens, settles down and emits the kind of radiance that a cohesive, focused project exudes.
www.equalvision.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Blue Monday,"Rewritten" (Bridge Nine)
Vancouver straight-edge crew Blue Monday keep the pace fast and the message bold on REWRITTEN, an expedient 12-track release bursting with hardcore’s unstoppable spirit. Tracks like the gang chorused “Next Breath” come equipped with a breakdown circa 1985 CBGB Sunday matinee, while “Drenched” sounds like a collaboration between Hot Water Music and 7 Seconds. Blue Monday are by no means rewriting the hardcore playbook, but they are making interesting variations on common themes, giving songs like “Let It Out” and “It’s Your Life” refreshing twists that translate into good times in the moshpit.
www.bridge9.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Skullflower,"Orange Canyon Mind" (Crucial Blast)
Celebrating over two decades of ambient noise rock, Skullflower’s latest release comes off of a six-year hiatus. Featuring an eight-track smattering of atmospheric guitars, technological shifts, swirling synths, and melody buried deep beneath walls of multi-layered feedback, there’s good reason why bands like Isis, Neurosis, and Sunn 0))) cite Skullflower as a major influence. Creating fortified walls of hallucinogenic sound on tracks like the hypnotic title track and the pulsating “Starhill”, Skullflower’s stalwart fusion of doom, electronica, and psychedelic rock continues to break barriers and confound listeners.
www.crucialblast.net
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Deadbird,"The Head and the Heart" (Earache)
Southern doom metal clan Deadbird’s eight-track offering is a bone chilling barrage of dirty dirges that sound akin to Mastodon jamming with Down. Featuring former members of Rwake, this quartet succeeds in keeping the brutality underscored while raising the atmospheric awareness to Isis-like proportions. Tracks like “Mount Zero (is Burning)” employ the stuck in the mud melodics of fellow Southerners Soilent Green and Crowbar, yet take detours into Sabbath-infused jams and Neurosis-inspired noise noodles often enough to warrant THE HEAD AND THE HEART constant plays at top volumes. Carrying an air of melancholy that few bands can muster, Deadbird’s latest is an essential purchase for any card carrying doom metal fan.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Audioslave,"Out of Exile" (Epic)
The supergroup Audioslave’s second installment finds the merger of Rage Against the Machine’s music men and the voice of Soundgarden continuing their path for rock ‘n’ roll nirvana. Sounding way more relaxed and less contrived than their debut, Chris Cornell’s vocal gymnastics and the band’s undeniably airtight rhythms emit a funky hard rock vibe on tracks like “Your Time Has Come” and “The Worm” while the airy “Dandelion” and the expertly measured “Heaven’s Dead” branch into places both of the member’s former bands never were able to reach. Sounding like a ‘70s arena rock champion without the excessive musical bloat or dilapidated lyrical content, mature is a word that prominently gets tossed around about these rock veteran’s latest offering. It’s fair to say that Audioslave has salvaged what was great about their former projects, but have also grown as artists and songwriters much like late-era Zeppelin, knowing when to furl their collective brow and kick out the jams as much as realizing they are accomplished enough to have fun on tracks like the contextually lighthearted yet rocking chorused “Doesn’t Remind Me”. While this isn’t the album the band were proclaiming it to be, OUT OF EXILE is one of the most solid entities in hard rock today, and another feather in each member’s musical cap.
www.epicrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Massacre,"Barbarie Y Sangre En Memoria De Cristo" (Hateworks)
Massacre is a Colombian death metal tribe that have decided to re-release this 1993 release for the first time on CD to satisfy fans that had a hard time finding the vinyl version. Sounding like a cross between Obituary and Sepultura, this nine-track offering (complete with videos and live tracks) is sung completely in garbled Spanish, yet packs the kind of old school death metal wallop that some of today’s bands could learn a thing or two from. Grab your translating dictionary and mosh on!
www.hateworks.net
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Thy Endless Wrath,"Next to the Throne of Chaos" (Hateworks)
When thunder is the first sound that you hear on an album, chances are you should brace yourself for a vicious onslaught, and in the case of Thy Endless Wrath, such is the case. On the outfit’s 10-track keyboard-laden maelstrom of metal, the band does its best Cradle of Filth recreation, with traces of Dimmu Borgir and Emperor strewn in for good measure. And the cover, which features a chiseled demon-like character appearing to be summoning the listeners to join in the mayhem, is one of the most metal images seen in a long time. How’s that for enticing the impressionable to step to the dark side? If you enjoy black metal with a flare for drama, NEXT TO THE THRONE OF CHAOS delivers.
www.hateworks.net
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Thor,"Thor Against the World" (Smog Veil)
Thor (not the Marvel comic book super hero) has returned with THOR AGAINST THE WORLD, an 11-track rock record that sounds like those disposable albums done by Hollywood stars that get convinced that they can be rock stars on top of being crappy actors. You know the type, when they hire session guys and the music sounds great, but ultimately there’s something missing. Even though Thor has been releasing albums for over 20 years, has countless bodybuilding titles under his belt, and practically laid the groundwork for bands like Gwar, nothing can hide the fact that this disc, despite the fine musicianship and stellar production work, just doesn’t click. A guy with a name and a rep like Thor playing stuff that you’d hear from The Black Crowes? You do the math.
www.thorcentral.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


All Hell Breaks Loose,"All Hell Breaks Loose" (Suprise Attack)
Named after a Misfits song, plays brutal death metal infused hardcore…sound familiar? Well, they don’t hail from Connecticut (try Florida), but All Hell Breaks Loose do decisively pummel you with the barrage of crushing riffs, throaty growls, and intense breakdowns. Their take no shit style, combined with a frantically paced nine-track offering found on tracks like “Amsterdam”, are the perfect ingredients for wreaking massive amounts of havoc.
www.surpriseattackrecords.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Galas Pendulum,"Vite" (Hateworks)
Galas Pendulum’s progressive metal leanings coupled with their slight Gothic undertones make VITE an album that fans of Paradise Lost, Moonspell, and Lacuna Coil should be able to latch onto. This 12-track, over 70 minute offering contains all of the atmospheric twists and turns that the upper echelon of this particular style employs, but the stellar guitar work, heard on tracks like the dynamic “Vlad Tepes”, helps this disc stand out a little more than the rest. No strangers to creating lush musical landscapes, allow the solid work done by Galas Pendulum to whisk you away.
www.hateworks.net
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Hate Eternal,"I, Monarch" (Earache)
Erik Rutan is a busy man, having a hand in producing some of the most ferocious metal heard today. But, he’s found some time to reconvene with his outfit, the death metal trio Hate Eternal, for another round (the band’s third) of abrasive aggression. The title of the scathing new 10-track collection recorded and mixed by Rutan is I, MONARCH, and it finds the band in typical pummeling form. Vicious tracks like “The Plague of Humanity” and the blistering opener “Two Demons” doesn’t stray of the levels of extremity that Hate Eternal has pleased its legions of fans with. Chalk up another dose of savagery from this group who continue to push the envelope of extreme metal.
www.earache.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Hypnogaja,"Below Sunset" (Union State)
Hypnogaja is a quintet whose melodic metal meanderings sound very similar to a cross pollination of Staind, Flaw, and Onesidezero. The outfit’s 13-track collection is big on sweeping choruses, rising and falling dynamic changes, and angst-ridden lyrics, as tracks like “Nothing Left to Give” and “Normal on the Outside” fall somewhere between nu metal’s rage and alternative metal’s artsy side. Armed with dollops of disenchantment, and brazen with a powerful musical delivery that employs churning guitars, shimmering piano, and hearty vocals, Hypnogaja take mope metal out of the outer reaches of darkness and give it a much needed energy boost.
www.hypnogaja.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


Disbelief,"66Sick" (Nuclear Blast)
Disbelief’s latest 12-track offering sounds like the merger of Obituary, Bloodlet, and In Flames, as the quintet have compacted the Swedish metal tones inside of Florida’s old school grind and churn delivery. Tracks like the syrupy death rock groove of “Floating on High” twist the knife slowly inside your skull, while the majestic yet maniacal march of “Continue from this Point” sinks the slow and low motif to new depths. If you’re looking for a band to literally kill you softly with their mammoth mid-tempo metal, look no further than Disbelief.
www.nuclearblastusa.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


La Pestilencia,"Balistica" (Buitre Song)
Colombian quartet La Pestilencia’s rabid 13-track release displays a love for the punkier side of the metal spectrum a la Sepultura on BALISTICA. Despite the entire entity being sung in Spanish, the forthright conviction which the lyrics are screamed out denotes a sense of hardcore’s imminence, while the sharp riffs and swift rhythms on tracks like “Pestilente Asesino” and “Carne Molida” emit the kind of politically charged inclinations of the days when punk rock was unfashionably ugly and had substance to scream about.
elbuitresong@starmedia.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


New Dead Radio,"Avalon Bridge Will Burn" (Media Skare)
Somewhere between Refused and Amen comes the Los Angeles based New Dead Radio, a scathing hardcore punk quintet that aims for the head and knocks it clean off the shoulders of nearly all of the so-called angry bands on the scene. Seething vocals, menacing rhythms, and caustic guitars yield this 15-track ode to pain and punishment, as tracks like “Live the Lie” and “Revolution Blues” have all of the vitriolic vim to incite the kind of riots the City of Angels is infamous for. Artfully angst-ridden and creatively chaotic, AVALON BRIDGE WILL BURN is the soundtrack of the revolution of 2005.
www.mediaskare.com
Rating:

Review by Mike SOS


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