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Feb./Mar.'05 Articles:
Freedom & Hypocrisy
The New Abolitionism
The Next Gingrich
Reinventing the Future
The Muddlemarch: 1
The Muddlemarch: 2
Opinionated Lizards
(music reviews)

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CD Reviews | Vinyl Reviews | DVD Reviews
Label Addresses

These reviews represent the "best of" music that was reviewed for this issue by IMPACT Press music reviewers. Please visit our
staff page if you want to match a reviewer's initials with the name of the person who did a review.

AcidaLa Vida Real Sonic360 • Argentina's Acida merges rock with other genres such as tango, bossanova and jazz. There is a very laidback, groovy vibe on the record. I kept thinking of Soda Stereo's ultra cool Unplugged album. This makes perfect sense, since one half of this duo is Tweety Gonzales, who used to play for Soda Stereo. Also present are some popular names among the Spanish rock/pop scene, including Gustavo Cerati (also from Soda Stereo) and Dante Spinetta (from Ilya Kuryaki & the Valderramas). (AL)

Bibio fi Mush Records • Warning: Do not listen to this album while driving or operating heavy machinery. It consists of track after track of hypnotic guitar loops and found sounds, all blending into one beautiful piece of work. Picture yourself lying in an empty field somewhere with a babbling brook nearby, listening to this through headphones, and it could quite possibly be the most relaxing experience you've ever felt, like floating in mid-air. (AL)

Busdriver (Fear of a Black Tangent) MUSH Records • No one will mistake Busdriver for another rapper. This guy has a flow that is decidedly his own, a rapid-fire style that has a precise poetic cadence and a bizarre, dark playfulness. Lyrically, he's all over the place, with some poignant stuff, some silly stuff and some stuff that's just strange. Examples include: "I am the first black astronaut to walk the bare moon from my air balloon" and "I've got a point system that determines my happiness/Its unit of measurement is your interest in my crappy shit" and also "They yelled out nigga lover/From the candy store/At the anti-war group hug/Putting computer bugs in the infrastructure of the World Bank/With white-guilt accepting big-lipped puckers/From any two-bit Chris Tuckers." Busdriver is one badass rhyme-writer and he shares all his lyrics in the liner notes. But I haven't even mentioned how dope the music is –from jazzed up tunes to cartoon music to funk. It's a loop-delight and a sample smorgasbord. Take just one journey on the Bus and you'll want to get a lifetime pass and seat close to the Driver. (CM)

Dälek Absence Ipecac Recordings • When I first heard New Jersey trio Dälek's 1998 EP Negro, Necro, Nekros, I was blown away by their unconventional style and raw sound. With this, their third full length album, they keep the intensity front and center, with an industrial sound seldom heard in hip hop. You just don't get dissonance and squeals in rap. There are no mentions of bling and 'hos here – only concern for culture (or lack thereof). Dälek's vocal style is over pronounced and a bit dramatic, and grabs your attention within the first few seconds of the opening track. Forget MTV and its cookie cutter, bikini-laden rap videosŠif you want a taste of the real thing, politically and socially conscious lyrics that expose society's ills, then Dälek is for you. (AL)

Libretto Ill-Oet the Last Element Dim Mak Records • This Misfit Massive crewmember out of Portland is joined by the Lifesaves, Dubb-Flex, Jumbo and Daddy O'Kokaine; who help produce a solid album of versatile rhyme styles and sounds. The beats on this release thump with precision, as soulful elements are included to punctuate the steady street-tale flows about Watts, California and growing up beyond the struggles of the streets. This transplant, by way of Atlanta, infuses west coast storytelling and east coast swagger to create a well-balanced record, which should cause underground heads to turn. "Last Drop" and "Volume" are just a couple tracks worth checking out. (JC)

Lorenzo Goetz Jesus Elephant Innocent Words • Bouncing between a pop-funk Beatles style and a true groove all their own is Lorenzo Goetz. This solid release is a ride through impromptu jazzy rock styles that allow the bass guitar to shine as much as the steady percussion and guitar strumming does. The rhythm throughout Jesus Elephant is comparable to mixing hippie music and Beck, whereas the instruments go off in different directions while smooth-out vocals harmonize to create a cohesive atmosphere of trip-hop and mellow rock sounds. (JC)

Nagisa Ni Te Dream Sounds Jagjaguwar • Japanese indie rock? You betcha. The lyrics are in Japanese, but they have been thoughtfully translated to English in the booklet, not that it will help you much to interpret the meaning. Unlike what a lot of people might expect, this album isn't cutesy, it actually has a pretty rootsy sound at times. My favorite track is "Anxiety," for the spare, poetic lyrics and the sublime vocal melody. This album surprised the hell out of me. (SJM)

Operation: Cliff Clavin Out of Control - A Discography of the 1990s 2xCD+DVD Plan-It X Records • This could be total crap and it would still be an impressive compilation, with two CDs totaling 89 songs, a 34-page zine full of band info and lyrics, and a DVD featuring a short film, live footage and more. Holy crap! And this is a DIY project –Chris is in the band and runs the label. The bonus is that the music is great; Operation:Cliff Clavin are one heck of a fun pop punk band (a la Crimpshrine, Sicko, Mr. T Experience, etc.). For those of you with ADD, this is right up your alley. The songs are fast and melodic, and a new one has started before you know it. Prepare to sing along with the politically-aware, activist-charged lyrics whether you agree with 'em or not. It's just so damn catchy –and the dueling of male and female vocals is outstanding. This collection is everything the band did in the 90s. There has been more stuff since, but it's not on here. Which is fine, because I've got a little way to go before I've got these all memorized. (CM)

Sage Francis A Healthy Distrust Epitaph Records • Track 4 finishes the deal. No question about how good this album is –track 4 seals it; this is dope shit. That track, "Escape Artist," starts off slowly; Sage waxes poetic (as he always does), stringing together eloquent metaphors. But then, a rapid-fire beat kicks in and Sage doesn't slip, his flow kicks into overdrive and he tears you along with him, holding onto your collar as your legs drag behind. Sage is a poet with a sick sense for killer music. His lyrics are wild, brilliant and poignant. But even he knows that you can get lost in some of his rhymes: "Grammatical mistakes in every sentence I speak/It doesn't matter, I make enough sense to seem deep." And while he's showing a rare bit of lyrical modesty with that line, Sage does get deep: "If they could sell sanity in a bottle they'd be charging for compressed air./They're marketing health care./They demonized welfare. Middle class eliminated./The rich get richer till the poor get educated." But it's not just a line here or there, it's an album thick with that kind of lyrical magic, a gift few MCs have. Coupled with the incredible blend of musical sounds on here, this is Sage's best album yet. (CM)

Ted Leo/Pharmacists Shake the Streets Lookout Records • How do you follow up two critically acclaimed albums? It's a dilemma most artists would love to be burdened with, and on Shake the Streets Ted Leo and his Pharmacists come through admirably. The album's opener, "Me and Mia", is among Leo's best. Starting with just guitar and vocals, "Me and Mia" explodes into its chorus and kicks the record into high gear. Leo's energy and passion are evident throughout the album. His songs acknowledge the ills of our society, yet retain a sense of optimism and hope that is so desperately needed in these times. Shake the Streets is another outstanding release by one of the best and most important voices in music today. (CL)

The Channel Personalized C-Side Records • The Channel are an indie-pop outfit that incorporates trippy sounds and a folk-rock feel; using a steady dose of harmony and acoustic guitars for the right atmosphere. With a fair share of writing duties to pass around to this five-member singing band, their time apart has provided new ideas to create in what amounts to a summer of love, Beach Boys offspring. The carefree sound comes off as authentic, making this release work; it's a catchy and intricate collection that sounds as if it were effortless for them to create. (JC)

The Exit Home for an Island Some Records • I really enjoyed this record. These songs are super catchy and very easy to listen to. The well constructed opener "Don't Push" paves the way for the rest of the record, which is followed by the U2ish sounding second song and title track "Home for an Island". These guys are big fans of delay on the guitar and that is not a bad thing for anyone who loves The Edge and everything he represents. At times the lead vocalist Jeff DaRosa comes sounding a little like Richard Page, the lead singer from Mister Mister of eighty's nostalgia. The kick ass last song "Already Gone" wraps up the album perfectly with powerfully driven octave chords that transcend into a bliss that makes you want to push play again and again. This is definitely my favorite of this issue and a keeper for sure. (SP)

The Matches Live at the House of Blues DVD Kung Fu Records • This is the fourteenth episode of Kung Fu Records "The Show Must Go Off!" series. Most of the bands featured by Kung Fu Records in this series are already well established. In an effort to facilitate a band during its most critical stages, Kung Fu Records opted to highlight the California D.I.Y. phenomenon, The Matches. This punk band has the most infectious songs that hook anyone that has a soft spot for catchy tunes. But to me, the band's best feature is their live show. The guitarists and bassist do not remain in one place for more than a second. They are all over the stage and reeling in concert goers with their energetic live show. This is all documented on this DVD for everyone to see. Besides the full concert footage, there are tons of extras such as multi-angle, band commentary, and extra footage, just to name a few. If you enjoy a good live performance or are a fan of The Matches, then this DVD is definitely a must have for you. (KB)

The Priests Tall Tales Get Hip • What The Priests bring to the table is a raunchy rock-n-roll sound complete with swagger, attitude, lust and lies. The opening track "Not From Me" is jammed packed with raspy vocals, an organ, percussion and guitar sleaziness that shows no signs of letting up throughout 9-tracks. The organ and bass parts are the backbone of the music; with a heavy dose of that 60's Ray Manzerak sound thrown in with their garage rock style. As much as this album is layered with familiar rock sounds of the past, the mess of music on the airwaves nowadays makes this sound like a fresh collection of songs. (JC)

We Versus The Shark Ruin Everything! Hello Sir Records • Music shouldn't bore you. We Versus The Shark apparently know that. While many bands sound repetitive with simplistic, cookie-cutter song structure, the four musicians in WVTS keep things hyper-fresh, mixing tempos, styles, instruments and genres in a schizophrenic ten-track roller coaster ride called Ruin Everything! It's math rock, hardcore, jazz and indie rock twisted, pulled, kicked, banged and bloodied into some of the most original and intense music you could ask for. Think Minus The Bear meets The Dismemberment Plan meets Modest Mouse. Damn, this is good. (CM)

CD Reviews

54 sq. ft. trampoline That Simple Hill Billy Stew Records • On this album of primarily downtempo, mostly indie music, there is an undercurrent of darkness that is constantly being resisted. The combination of acoustic and electronic instrumentation is inspired, and the shared male and female vocals are at times excellent, recalling what is often called "a simpler time." This album is great. (SJM)

A Guy Called Gerald To All Things What They Need !K7 Records • While most of this album is made for dancing, it is not your typical techno record. The first track has no beats at all, and others feature house, world beat, drum n bass, and spoken word. It also contains some documentary footage that you can view on your computer. (AL)

A. Graham & the Moment Band This Tyrant is Free Sonic Unyon • This Tyrant is Free is the debut release for this Kansas band. These guys play some mellow indie rock, with a touch of old school Modest Mouse and the Death Ray Davies. But the most apt comparison for their geeked out slack rock would be Pavement; Andy Graham's got a bit of a Stephen Malkmus thing going on with his vocals. This is a fun listen and a nice little debut record. (CL)

Akimbo City of the Stars Seventh Rule • This is the second time I have had the pleasure of reviewing this band and they only seem to get better each time. Akimbo have managed to put together another solid release of rock'n'roll-influenced hardcore for your listening pleasure. This album sounds like a mix of The Party of Helicopters styled riffage, the ferociousness of Marakate, and the acute technical abilities of Botch. (RP)

Alva Star Escalator Tinder Box Music • Great songs, great music, so why the long face? Alva Star has created some great emo-pop songs. They sound different than anything you've heard in a while, I'm willing to bet. At times it sounds like it could be one guy and his keyboard doing this, but then they go big and you know this is more than the work of one evil mind. Fans of David Gray, Zero 7 and Air will dig this hard. (SH)

Always The Runner self-titled Myla Records • Most of this is instrumental indie rock; an EP with a whirlwind of tempo changes wrapped up in a holiday cover. Song titles include "Not What Jesus Would Have Done" and "A Falconer's Prayer." Much of the album is made up of slow building guitar parts and sound effects that max out with exuberance before beginning the decline downwards. Two tracks contain vocals and the overall vibe is a good one, a consistent collection of music that makes for something good to hear in the background. (JC)

Amberjack Rice Get So Little self-released • This is old-fashioned roots rock, a la Creedence Clearwater Revival. This Austin, Texas trio makes no bones about their roots and they music they love, and they're proud to show you how rock-n-roll was played 30 years ago. You kids probably won't take a shining to it but remember this: respect your elders!!! (SH)

Amestory & Tim Wilson self-titled Portia Records • Amestory and Tim Wilson team up for a six-song split CD. Armed with a voice, a guitar, and his emotions, Tim Wilson gets things started with his folk-influenced singer-songwriter tunes. Amestory sounds more like major label-period Elliott Smith; it's well-crafted melodic pop. Our judges have made a unanimous decision: it's Amestory with a TKO! (CL)

Ana da Silva The Lighthouse Chicks On Speed Records • Ana da Silva used to front the Raincoats in the 80's, and in the process became a punk folk icon. In this solo excursion, there is just her voice, a keyboard, and a sequencer. The only thing I could compare her sound to is Kevin Blechdom's Bitches Without Britches: an electronic sound with off-kilter vocals. (AL)

Anthony David 3 Chords and the Truth Brash Music • Anthony David plays soulful, smooth acoustic music. His voice is smooth yet gritty. He reminds me of a stripped-down Ben Harper or Lenny Kravitz. He's extremely talented and is making a helluva racket up in the ATL. If he gets a break you may hear him on an R&B station near you very soon. (SH)

ANTiSEEN Badwill Ambassadors TKO Records • ANTiSEEN plays punk rock with a garage rock vibe and a trashy, raw energy about them. The four guys in the band are frightening enough to scare you into liking their music. The southern-fried brand of punk they play is an acquired taste, and if you don't acquire it they might hunt you down and kill you. I can only imagine what a mess of a good live show these guys put on. They've been doing their thing for over 15 years and they don't seem ready to stop any time soon. (CM)

Architects Keys to the Building Anodyne Records • This band sounds huge! If I didn't know better I'd think there are like 15 people in this band. This is a great blues-funk rock band. They play straight-ahead rock, which is something I've been sorely missing. Architects are much more talented than all those flavor-of-the-week "The" bands. They delve into the blues where those other bands get twangy and pretend they're from the UK. Additionally, the lead singer of Architects can actually sing. He has an outstanding, gritty, strong voice, rather than that nasal crap we're so used to hearing nowadays. If you've been missing the Black Crowes, check this out. And don't think you're too cool and hip for this. I know you and you're not. (SH)

Ari Scott I Can Open My Eyes self-released • Ari Scott's music is passionate and wonderfully recorded. Her vocals are confident and emotional - fans of Alanis Morissette should really latch onto this one. (SJM)

Astropop 3 Allies and Stepping Stones Planting Seeds Records • For the high schooler in all of us, this is an indie rock space-trip through stories about the people we meet along the way, and eventually step over in the end. Distorted popish guitar riffs and crisp vocal harmonies are manufactured to produce an aura of basic sounds on this release from Virginia based Astropop 3. Nothing much stands out here, just a British-pop vocal delivery and formulated sound. (JC)

Ateriavia Regarding The Midwest: Sleeping EP Lujo Records • Ateriavia have been around for less than two years, but their brand of highly skilled, hardcore, hyper, indie rock is exceptional. The vocals are a mix of shouted and sung, always passionate. The music, meanwhile, is spastic, anxious, harmonic and melodic, changing tempo and style seamlessly, constantly throughout the six-track EP. There's a frantic nature to this album, but it's a franticness that makes you want to dance, not pull out your hair or crash your car. (CM)

Atkins Lane The Guafrd E.P.K self-released • This Virginia-based band seems to have everything in place. What amazes me the most is that they do so without the help of a record label. The Guafrd E.P.K. is the third release for Atkins Lane. It has a solid and melodic sound to it. My favorite track is the first one, "Pink Slip". Anyone who has ever been in a fight with a loved one can completely relate to the lyrics and the music fits it perfectly. The two disc set comes with a video disc that has bios, photos, videos, and more. The music is great but it is also one of the best packaged CDs I have seen. Buyers will definitely get their money's worth. (KB)

Avid Cadaver Sire, You're On Fire! Gray Music Company • Dan Sloan is Avid Cadaver. He's the guitar, bass, drums, vocals – he does everything you can hear on this 12-track album. As if being a one-man band wasn't enough, this shit is good, too. It's a blend of indie, punk and hardcore and the mix is absolutely outstanding. The intensity and emotion that Sloan is able to evoke, despite being a one-man show, is especially impressive. The guitar play on this album is amazing, layered thick and delivered with reckless abandon. The vocals are the weakest part, but they're passable. (CM)

Ayin Nothing Islands Thrown Brick • Ayin are a five-piece band from Louisville who are hell-bent on making interestingly frantic, off-kilter pop music. At times they sound like Christiansen and other times like a bastard child of International Noise Conspiracy. Their mathy approach to making music keeps the listener on their toes through out the whole CD and the male/ female vocals are a pleasant addition. Ayin is definitely a unique act that we should all keep our eyes on. (RP)

Babyland The Finger Mattress Records • Here we have electro-pop with an edge. I keep hearing the lead singer of the ATDI spin-off Sparta. And this is not a bad thing. While the vocal melodies lead the way, the music is unpredictable. The third track "Fast Space" has an early INXS vibe to it with the addition of a highly intense electronic key and drum part. The electro aspect reminds me of both Trent Reznor's signature sound in NIN and Prince with his experimental commercial failure Come in '94. There's even a song entitled "Space" on that Prince record. Weird. The fourth track "Past Lives" brings you right back to the '80s where I keep envisioning the brat pack dancing on top of tables in The Breakfast Club. The lyrics in this track are very poignant and universal in effect, "Yesterday is not all that you are," so true. (SP)

Bad Moon Music Empire EP Hawthorne Street Records • Two of the members from BMM were previously in Midwest hardcore rockers Split Lip (which later became the less-hardcore band Chamberlain). BMM sounds like neither. They play passionate, aggressive rock and roll. To get the job done, they offer up some raging guitarwork and keep everything at an uptempo pace. But, on occasion, they turn a bit too poppy for my tastes. All an all, this is an excellent rock and roll EP, with six tight tracks to hold you over until their full-length comes out. (CM)

Bambix What's In A Name? Daemon Records • This is the melodic power pop that you've been craving. It's impossible to resist. The female vocals are passionate and the music, while constantly full of melody, crosses genres, from pop to punk to metal. While the song structure doesn't tread new ground, the quality of play is awesome, with blazing drums and soaring guitar riffs. (CM)

Bars Introducing Equal Vision • Bars are a pretty typical hardcore band that sticks to the recipe made famous by previous bands. Due to the fact that they stick so closely to this recipe there is nothing too groundbreaking here, which is really disappointing. If you're a fan of bands like Sick of It All or Ensign you should definitely check these guys out. (RP)

Basement What? self-titled self-released • BW? plays mainstream hard rock with a rootsy feel. The music is extremely tight and I could imagine this band putting on one hell of a jam session. This is melodic rock and roll that doesn't cover new ground, but also doesn't lack both skill and style. (CM)

Ben Lee Awake is the New Sleep New West • Ben Lee has been writing and recording songs since he was an embryo, and over the years he's gotten pretty good at it. After some spending some working with the likes of Evan Dando, Ben Kweller, and Ben Folds, and doing some acting in his native Australia, Lee returns with a new solo album. Lee seems to have settled into a nice groove on Awake is the New Sleep. The songs are more confident and mature, and have a very natural, organic feel to them. Fans of upbeat, catchy guitar pop will definitely enjoy this record. (CL)

Big Bear Theory Lake Street self-released • Big Bear Theory would probably belong in the jazz bin at your local record store, but it could also be categorized as instrumental rock. They also include some psychedelic elements and a bit of blues, so it's hard to pin them down, which makes Lake Street such an enjoyable album. (AL)

Bill Streett Ozmosis Deep Structure Recordings • Apparently this electronica album was inspired by The Wizard of Oz. Besides a few vocal samples, there is no evidence of the movie's influence on the record. In Ozmosis, Bill Streett mixes elements of ambient with trance and techno to create a hypnotic, pulsating mood. (AL)

Black Eyes and Neckties Stiletto New Regard Media • The dead have risen! Not, the Grateful Dead. Like the actual, once-alive dead. And they're playing kick-ass 70's garage punk to boot! This is loud, rude and scary. But in a good way, not in an Ashlee Simpson way. (SH)

Black Mountain self-titled Jagjaguwar • Black Mountain is a group formed from the Vancouver arts collective, Black Mountain Army. The band has a firm grasp of classic rock: elements of Black Sabbath, the Stones, and even Lynyrd Skynyrd are evident in the band's sound. However, Black Mountain is no classic rock cover band. They take these influences and create a very familiar, yet modern sound. (CL)

Blanket Music Cultural Norms Hush Records • The mellow indie pop on this release is bass line heavy with a groovy disco sound that takes things back to the '70s and '80s. The combination of influences found here sound like they range from the big band jazz styles to Jimmy Buffet to a chilled-out Perry Ferrell or the Beach Boys. The familiarities in these songs are packed with humor and jangled guitars, but are hard pressed to be very original. (JC)

Bloody Crackdown ...The End of the Beginning Valiant Death Records • The fusion of metal and hardcore-punk is such a good mix. Would you like some aggression with your aggression? Bloody Crackdown fuses the genres in a way that reminds me of old Suicidal Tendencies. It's rapid fire, snotty, funny and poignant. This album has 12 tracks of curse-filled rock and roll that should send a big "fuck off" message to whoever is sitting next to you at a stop light. (CM)

Bobby Lindstrom A Lick And A Promise Blue Eyed Crow Music • The highly competent blue-eyed Blues on this album could never make up for the atrocious graphic design on the packaging. I'd tell you to stick to your local bar circuit, but I suspect that won't be necessary. (SJM)

Breather Resist/Suicide Note split Hawthorne Street • I was pleasantly surprised by the Breather Resist half of this split. I've been a fan since hearing their first full length; this band has only improved since then. If you're not familiar with B.R., think D.C. meets post Louisville core, definitely a great mix. As for Suicide Note, they play somewhat spacious post core in the same vein as Yaphet Kotto or 400 Years. Overall, this CD was really great and you couldn't pick a better to bands to be paired together. (RP)

Buddy self-titled self-released • Buddy is a great singer. Rarely is there a singer who can carry a song merely on the merits of their singing ability. Buddy is an exception. His sincere, soft, melancholy singing style is irresistible, infectious and emotionally powerful. And while some musicians would focus only on the accomplished vocals, the layered, patient, melodic tunes that flow behind his honest voice make for a perfect match. The best comparison I could make would be a blend of Elliott Smith and Radiohead. Buddy has created a magical mix and showcases that he is a truly talented musician. Coupled with his good looks, I wouldn't be surprised to see his face gracing the cover of national music mags and getting time both on mainstream radio and MTV. (CM)

Bury Your Dead Cover Your Tracks Victory Records • Metalcore rock with growling vocals and the intensions to harm can be used to sum up this hard-hitting band out of New England. Hardcore down to the root of the word, Bury Your Dead is nonstop in the department of thrashing out, which in turn becomes too repetitive as the album progresses. It's tough to make out the lyrics as you hear them, but after reading through them, the storyline remains the same. These songs are about the lonely aggravation a man goes through before his time to kill, or his time to bury the dead. Song titles are conspicuously named after Tom Cruise movies, so try to put that one together!? (JC)

Camp Susannah Happy Today self-released • Susannah Blinkoff showcases her beautiful voice on this record. The songs can be described as pop music but there is definitely a strong jazz sound throughout the twelve tracks. Blinkoff's music has been compared to other female artists such as Lisa Loeb and Dido. The music coming from her backing band suites her voice well and the whole album comes off as sultry and sophisticated. (KB)

Cardinal Trait You Already Know Emanon Records • If Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) was able to trademark his vocals, then Cardinal Trait's vocalist, Aaron Vaughn, may have a lawsuit on his hands. In fact, much of this 10-track CD sounds like Matchbox 20. For those unfamiliar with Matchbox 20's sound, Cardinal Trait plays mainstream, melodic, sensitive power pop that pretends to be rock. (CM)

Casey Neill Memory Against Forgetting AK Press/Daemon Records • Neill got his musical start in Portland and the affect of that city's political prowess shows in his music. He now lives in NYC, but that hasn't seemed to jade him. This 13-track collection of songs is a mix of Americana folk and rock (and a dash of Celtic charm), with socio-political lyrics dominating most of the music. But Neill's lyrics aren't immature rants against war or deforestation. Instead, he gets his message across by telling stories, not unlike Billy Bragg. Neill's welcoming, honest vocals make his music that much easier to absorb; I imagine him at a party just picking up a guitar and starting to play. If I were there, I'd be singing along in no time. (CM)

Catch 22 Live CD/DVD Victory Records • Recorded last August in Long Island, this CD/DVD gives you a glimpse into a Catch 22 show. This is a band that has survived the demise of ska's popularity, and flourished in its aftermath. Their music is as bouncy and in your face as ever, and the DVD includes tons of extras, including three music videos. (AL)

Classical Ass After Lunch We Kill Tony Diaphragm Records • This generous seventeen track long album shows Classical Ass to be a mixture of surf rock, hardcore, and misanthropy. Recorded in the revolutionary "Compact Dick" format, these often hilarious songs are more than up to the task of kick-ass rockin'. (SJM)

Clay Hawkins Traveling Songs Visionguild • Not to be confused with Clay Aikens, but this release from Hawkins happens to be just as dull. Hawkins plays a slow and detailed guitar-picking style with a folk-country vibe. This is simply one man's collection of deeply felt songs with a guitar and some time and emotions to kill. A good sound that requires you to be in such a mood as the album provides. (JC)

Colleen Coadic You Feel This Good 12 Records • Colleen belts out dramatic vocals over mainstream power pop rock. Fans of Alanis Morrisete, Sheryl Crow or Natalie Merchant may find something worthwhile in this 12-track release. (CM)

Colonial Excess Short Hair Extender for Hail Damaged Cattle self-released • A diverse and distorted collection of sounds are unleashed, as expected, on this new release from Colonial Excess. Combining schitzo-synth and industrial garage-rock, it's all meshed together like it belongs together. By the time you get to the trippy intro and bi-polar journey on "Keeling Where the Mrs. Sleeps," you've already been mind boggled by the chaos of the first two tracks. The fun doesn't stop there though; this album continues to bend the brain with effects and noises that make for an unusual ride. (JC)

Comity The Deus Ex-Machina as a Forgotten Genius (Andy Warhol Sucks) United Edge • Comity is a French black metal powerhouse on a warpath to destroy all that does not rock. With songs clocking in at over 12 minutes, one can only imagine the damage this band can evoke on the world. Comity does a great job keeping the listener's attention throughout the whole album, which is a feat in itself being that the songs are so great in length. I strongly recommend this album to pretty much anyone with ears or to fans of This Building is Cursed or Emperor. (RP)

Crazy Man's Basement ThereandBack self-released • The four guys from Wisconsin-based CMB play mainstream pop rock ala Counting Crows. The vocals remind me a lot of the guy from Bare Naked Ladies. The music is pretty mellow, definitely not as uptempo as BNL; it's kinda jangly and dramatic. Anyway, this is decent stuff, but nothing new, likely bound for regional college radio play – which is more than most bands can say. (CM)

Crooked Fingers Dignity and Shame Merge Records • With each subsequent Crooked Fingers release, it seems harder to believe Eric Bachmann was ever an Archer of Loaf. Or is it just me? Anyhoo, Bachmann continues his post-Archers existence still sounding like a grizzled, drunken Neil Diamond. But hey, it works for him, and I for one dig it! Bachmann's songwriting continues to grow, as his songs on Dignity and Shame take on a Springsteen-like anthem quality. This is another impressive step in the evolution of Eric Bachmann. (CL)

Darediablo Twenty Paces Southern Records • Darediablo is back after 2003's excellent Feeding Frenzy. This guitar/drums/organ trio creates quite a racket, somewhat inspired by 70's rock without sounding like a dumb retro band. The organs add a touch of blues to the already unique sound. (AL)

Demon's Claws self-titled Dead Canary Records • Sweat-drenched and feedback-heavy, Demon's Claws will rip you apart and put a swagger in your step. This is like a fuzzed out, amp'd up version of the Rolling Stones. I can only imagine how beer and sweat-soaked their live shows must be. (CM)

Devolver Life Science Lifeboat • Abandon all ye preconceptions about what music is before listening. Devolver is an incredibly innovative Bay-Area duo, defying convention with their haunting vocals which wail oddly in the ever-restructuring peaks and valleys of the minimalist music. It is not-so-obvious genius, I thinkŠ the rational mind says that this oft-discordant album shouldn't work, but it does. It feels. It's right. It's my job to tell you why, but I can't ­ it's truly spellbinding. (DP)

Dezinfekce Staci Najit Duvod Pohoda • I don't know very much about this band, but I do know they are from the Czech Republic and play aggressive punk rock music. This band sounds a lot like Total Chaos and The Exploited only the Czech version of the two. If you're a fan of old school punk, you should check Œem out, but be warned that they don't sing in English. This shouldn't deter true fans; they are a really solid band. (RP)

Dough The So Long EP self-released • This is some rockin' power pop, so thick with melodies you might drown. But their hook-laden pop sensibilities may be their downfall. They're a bit too sweet for my tastes. This reminds me of a bit more edgy Material Issue or a less edgy version of Jimmy Eat World, maybe even a bit like Foo Fighters. (CM)

Driver of the Year Statik Future Appletree Records • Solid indie rock with vocals that range from an '80s hair band to Built to Spill to David Bowie. An interesting mesh of sounds makes this hard to put into one genre. "People you hate, turns out they hate you too." That's just a bit of wisdom the band lays out for you lyrically. So this isn't the most amazing album I've ever heard, but it's different and worth a listen just for their musical meshing of styles. (MP)

Dutch Elms Music For Happiness Jigsaw Records • Very jangly and upbeat, this is sunshine music with a happy-go-lucky attitude. On this release from the Dutch Elms, the four-piece out of the Northwest is full of harmonies, as each provides their own vocal spin. They also trade instruments back and forth to create an AM radio vibe that will take you back to the '50s and '60s, but not with enough pizzazz to keep you there. (JC)

Duvall O Holy Night Asian Man Records • What a great collection of sugarcoated, indie rock Christmas songs that sound like a mix of Weezer and Morrissey. Former Smoking Popes members Josh and Eli Caterer join forces with Rob Kellenberger to recreate traditional songs that may inspire holiday flavor for the unconventional, nonconforming individual. Soothing vocals and punctuating instrumentation add depth to a number of classics. Standout tracks include "Little Drummer Boy," "Do You Hear What I Hear" and "Jesus Christ." (JC)

Early Day Miners All Harm Ends Here Secretly Canadian Records • First of all let me praise the artwork. There is an awesome picture of a beautiful topless girl inside, the Stephen Roach photo "Knot", a bonus for those who inquire like me. These guys are mellow, but good at what they do. The drumming is incredible in the opener "Errance", with its Appleseed Cast feel. "The Union Trade" makes me feel like I warped back to 2000 when all these emo bands were coming out of nowhere. If you were a fan of the "emo movement" then this record is for you. All Harm Ends Here could be the perfect soundtrack to a long car trip. Although in the future it wouldn't hurt these guys to beef up the tempo and wake up the people who fell asleep in the car listening to them. (SP)

Egon All Theory and No Action Has Anyone Ever Told You? • The opening guitar riff on the first track "Desired Leftovers" is very reminiscent to that of an old Blondie tune. The vocals in most of the songs come across like the harmonies entwined on a Sunday's Best record. There are very few moments when it is just one vocal and that takes away from the overall sound of the record. Most of the songs lack any type of pop structure format and are way too long for their own good (this may be what they were going for), but whatever. Examples are all throughout the album, but in particular on tracks like "Name the Animals" and "On Thin Ice." I mean there are some good parts of songs, but what good are they if they are not used effectively. (SP)

Electric Frankenstein Super Kool EP VMS Records • For nearly 10 years, EF has been playing their high-octane brand of raw, garage punk rock. Not much has changed over those many years. This eight-track EP features two new songs, four rare songs from overseas releases and three cover songs (tunes originally by The Nomads, The Sex Pistols and Black Sabbath). If you're looking for sweaty, aggressive, no-frills rock and roll, EF is waiting for you. (CM)

Eleven Eleven The Unlovable EP Forever Records • The bond in this Philadelphia based band goes back many years to when the singer/guitarist and drummer were in elementary school together. As their friendship grew, so did their musical talent. They released four independent recordings before adding a bass player and additional guitarist, as well as forming Forever Records. The Unlovable EP was the second release on this new label. Their sound is reminiscent of the Cure and the Smiths though the EP in question is very mellow and has an even tempo all the way through. If you want to listen to something that will lull you to sleep, then this is definitely for you. (KB)

Eluvium Talk Amongst The Trees Temporary Residence Ltd. • The thing with ambient music is that you either like it or hate it. It's hard to dislike the hypnotic sounds recorded by Matthew Cooper under the Eluvium moniker. Washes of repetitive guitar loops and unrecognizable sounds pull you in and its hard to keep from drifting away. It's almost like lying in the middle of a forest, listening to the sounds of the leaves rustling. (AL)

Ember Swift Disarming Few'll Ignite Sound • Some Ani DiFranco girl rock for those of you starving for more. Her voice, with backing harmonies, is beautiful and full of soul. The music is all over the place. They definitely try to give the female folk sound a new lift. Of course there is a lot of folk feel to this 70 minute album, but they explore jazz, rock, swing, hip-hop, latin and reggae. They even have a spoken word song they label "porn funk." (MP)

Eric Larsen A Boy Meets Girl Story Union St. Machine • I like the idea behind this opera-like concept album, broken down into two parts. Aside from the home-studio sound, which makes it hard to thoroughly enjoy, this project is intriguing. The opening track begins the album in a drug-era Beach Boys way, and then moves on to an under produced, guitar-heavy outrage before settling with an acoustic vibe and backward sound samples. The intimate drama unfolds with the background music, mostly keyboards, adding punctuation to the tale that Larsen tells. These degrees of emotion are of course entirely based around the story of a boy meeting a girl, and the deceit and violence that ensue. (JC)

Estee Louder Ohio's Best Diaphragm • "Big Daddy" Ray Ray is the front man for this otherwise female-heavy foursome known as Estee Louder, which hails out of, you guessed it, Ohio. The punk rock sounds on their Diaphragm Records debut will become a smash locally, or at least It won't be hard to miss the cover which features a photo of two naked girls from neck to waistline holding their breasts for the camera. The David Bowie cover "Moonage Daydream" is a good starting point to hear what this band is about, but other than that, not much really stands out. (JC)

Fake Problems Oh No! EP self-released • At first I said "Oh No!" aloud to myself when I pushed play on the first song and title track of this EP by the five-piece Fake Problems. It's badly recorded and really doesn't have that hook to capture the listener, which I initially look for in any record I give a fair chance. However, the second song "I Think You Should Let Me Drive" is right to the point and packed with personality. It has a very cool lead in distorted guitar intro followed by a second clean guitar with a John Frusciante feel to it which sets the pace for the remainder of the track. The mellow "Found You Out" has a beautiful undertone with just the right electronic beat to carry it in perfect sequence with the EP. Drop the first song and this is a cool little EP. (SP)

Fax Arcana / The Disease We, The Bankrupt (split EP) Alone Records • The Disease is a tightly wound rock band that speeds through guitar riffs and screams between instrumental tracks, that are sub par synth parts. Fax Arcana adds a little more punch to their sound and has a lot more to decipher than does The Disease. They should have just put out eight tracks of their own, though what is provided here seems to be enough. "Grave Negotiations" ends with the lyrics "it's like a butterfly, wingless and dreamless, fear-froze and forgotten, ready to hatch and consume its cocoon," and a secretaries panties get wet in "Pink Slip for a Silhouette." Wonder what they'll come up with next. (JC)

Feverdream Freeze! Coalition Records • Sharp indie rock with some tongue in cheek lyrics make this five-track release work well. The opening track "America" slams the country for which the song is named with lines like "America you pay the price for preaching your morality / the white man's burden, the niggers burned on crosses / made of great American trees." Then on "My Johnson" they ask "do you know what it feels like to be that hung" before encouraging to "shake hands with my Johnson / shake hands with the man." This three-piece maintains a fresh delivery on an album that mirrors their influences such as Shellac, Fugazi, The Van Pelt and Blonde Redhead. (JC)

Finless Brown Next Caper Browntown Wreckords • The Roots certainly weren't the first live-music hip-hop group ever. But they are probably the most well known and successful and their success has spawned an increase in hip-hop bands, actual musicians backing MCs, as opposed to producers crafting beats and DJs cutting records. This is a great thing. MC'ing and live instrumentation go together like peanut butter and jelly. Hip-hop music is full of energy, but often muted by the manufactured beats and repetitive loops. Live instruments allow for more flexibility and make the music feel more honest, real and live. My ranting aside, attention turns to Cleveland-based Finless Brown, a skilled group of musicians, six deep, with drums, guitar, bass, turntables and two MCs. The music is jazzy and thick with rhythm, rocking a head-nodding beat throughout the album's 13 tracks. (CM)

Frickin' A Big Egos... No Ideas Toucan Cove Entertainment • Frickin' A like to refer to the music they make as "snot rock." With a sound similar to that of Fountains of Wayne and Bowling for Soup, the band seems to just want to have fun with their music, and I think that fact comes across on this album. The band draws its sound from eighties hair bands, and lace that style throughout their pop rock album. Accompanying the original tracks is a cover of Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl." (KB)

Fuck You Ups Black and Black and Black Formula 13 Records • I don't know if Mazer will even print this, what with all the profanity. But if he's printing it, I should fucking take advantage of it, right? Fuck yes! So here are the Fuck You Ups. They clearly have no intentions of making it to stardom and why the fuck should they? Have you listened to the radio lately? With tracks like "I Fucking Killed You," "Love the View, Hate the Smell," and " Fuckin Runnin Outta Dope," I really don't think they care. Oh, by the way, this is fucking garage punk and it's fucking good. Check it out, fucker. (SH)

Furious Billy Sleep Mungler Winslowe Records • If you enjoyed the variety of sounds and styles found on Sissyfoot, Furious Billy's previous offering, then you'll thoroughly enjoy the follow-up. Armed with a low-fi sound and a style that blends the line between sarcasm and reality, this release created by Casey Brandt is full of spaced-out tendencies from an innovative musician. Expect a lot of jangly guitars and the mix of folk rock and pop. (JC)

Gary Wilson Mary Had Brown Hair Stones Throw • After the re-release of his new-wave opus You Think You Really Know Me, originally released in 1977, the nostalgia for Wilson's funky synth sounds and electro music were abound. It's no wonder that Beck, ?uestlove and Matt Goening are fans; his nerd-pimp style is full of sincere sarcasm with tales about girl trouble, in an '80s kind of way. This release is an ode to the days of cheesy movie soundtracks and disco parties of yesteryear, sure to help the cult following to grow. (JC)

Genghis Tron Cloak Of Love Crucial Blast Records • I'm guessing that Genghis Tron's musical style was dreamed up during a night of heavy drinking/drug taking. How else would someone think to take the sometimes sweet sounds of electropop and synth music with the brutality of grindcore and metal? No matter how it was conceived, this is an EP worth listening to. The juxtaposition of genres is jarring at times, but works in a weird way. (AL)

Giant Drag Lemona Leftwing Recordings •The sensual vocals of Annie Hardy are at the forefront of this two-person band that sounds influenced by the later years of Sonic Youth. Hailing from Los Angeles, Hardy (vocals, guitars) and Micah Calabrese (drums, synths) sound as natural together as it gets on this EP of driving indie rock. The steady dose of creative, rhythmic sounds on Lemona are both catchy and intriguing, adding slices of pop elements that roll smoothly song-to-song, without discrediting what they've set out to accomplish. (JC)

Glen Closer self-titled self-released • This Jersey band plays a smooth blend of roots rock, sometimes with nods to early R.E.M, at other times to the Dead and then sounding like the latest song from Matchbox 20. Grab a beer, throw this on and chill out. (SH)

Go Like Hell Hell Bent Rock n Roll Buttermilk • Holy BAM! This driving, powerful punk rock band has non-stop attitude that picks you up, throws you against the wall a few times, yells in your face, plays power chords, and then kicks you around the floor. And it's fronted by the most amazing-looking Road Warrior/Ming the Merciless girl I've ever seen. Really, they play passionate, solid power rock like there's no tomorrow, and if I saw a live show of theirs, there probably wouldn't be a tomorrow, because my head would explode. (DP)

Greenlight Promise In a Mirror That Lied the Truth self-released • Finally, a band that understands that a sound cannot always fit in one genre or be described in a couple of words. If you need the definition however, I would say that GP's sound is along the lines of mellow alternative rock. The band self produced the 13-track disc which I always find admirable. The songs on this CD are not loud, obnoxious, and in your face. Instead, they are slowed down and well executed. (KB)

Gym Class Heroes The Papercut EP Fueled By Ramen • Only four tracks, man, what the hell? This is some incredible live instrument hip-hop brought to you by four dope upstate New York fellas. The rhythms are infectious, contagious and mind numbing. You only get a taste, but it's good, addictive like crack. Seriously, I'm jonesing for more. The vocal flow is tight, dancing over the incredible music. But it's all about the music, in the end; the jazz-hop style is mesmerizing, while still packing a nice beat-laden punch. This is good music without any vocals; the vocals are just an added bonus for you to sing along with. (CM)

Heart Full of Dirt American Road self-released • Picture this: It's Saturday night. It's late and you just want one more damned beer. On the way home you spy a bar with about 20 Harleys outside. You figure, "Why not?" You walk into a smoky, loud bar and Heart Full of Dirt is what you hear. This band plays rough, straight-ahead rock with Southern rock influence and huge chip on their shoulders. If Harleys came with CD players, this would be the soundtrack. (SH)

Hedaya This Is Where I Keep It Clever Bedsit • From "the label for sad bastards," Simon Kean, aka Hedaya, delivers an eerie and disturbing album of insane thoughts and paranoid feelings. The steady doses of creative lyrics are the intriguing part to this release that musically compares to the moody tones of Simon, who is responsible for every sound within. On "My Beautiful Blue," you wonder after he sings "I promise those bruises wont show in the morning" if he goes on about killing a girl or abusing her lifeless body, then the story unfolds further on "No. Five (Part I – His Story)." Songs are made up mostly of laptop sounds that touch on the insignificant paths through life, arrogance of others, apathy and downright lonely misery. (JC)

Her Space Holiday The Young Machines REMIXED Mush Records • I can't say that I am a big Her Space Holiday fan, but I am a big electronica fan, so I really enjoyed this album. Ten artists were each given a track from The Young Machines to play with, and this album is the result. The tracks by Matmos and Boom Bip venture into IDM territory, Blockhead transforms his track into smooth hip-hop, and Stereolab dabbles in kitsch. Other artists include The Album Leaf, Arab Strap, Super Furry Animals, Dntel, Broken Spindles and Nobody. (AL)

Hirudin Neither Created Nor Destroyed Intermediate Swing Records • Not much to miss with this album from Hirudin, a three-piece indie rock band with some basic riffs and tiring tones. "Memphis Is For Pill-Poppers" is a humorous look at industry heads making a dollar off of the lost recordings of dead artists, and "Matthew, What the Fuck" is a steady instrumental track worthy of attention. But the bass guitar parts throughout this release are the attraction, as the rest is simply there. (JC)

Hitchhike Night Light EP self-released • The opening track on this five-song EP reminds me of New Order. Track two reminds me of Luna. I'll stop there with the blatant comparisons. Hitchhike gives the listener five lovely, indie pop rock tunes on Night Light. They are super catchy, mid-tempo gems, loaded with great guitars, plenty of feedback, a good bit of jangle and honest, unpretentious vocals. (CM)

Homeroom The Lovers and the Lonely self-released • This cute bubblegum pop with a little bit of a punky edge is a complete and total worship of being young, geeky, and pubescent in the '80s. More specifically, it's about being on the losing end of teenage power balances, the end product of which is having become an interesting adult capable of more engaging art then their former nemeses. In short, it is probably the most adorable revenge album ever made, dedicated to "all the girls who wouldn't couple skate" with them. (DP)

Hood Outside Closer Domino Recording Co. • I thoroughly enjoyed Hood's last album, Cold House. It blended electronica and indie rock in a pretty cool way. I was therefore a bit disappointed to find out that this latest album shies away from the electronica. However, the album is still going to please Hood fans, and will probably gain them some new ones with the laid back vocals and relaxed sounds. (AL)

Humans Bow Down A Mirror Phartry Records • Humans Bow Down, in addition to being a favorite phrase of alien races attempting to enslave all Earth, is a rock band from the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. On their latest full-length, A Mirror, Humans Bow Down play some powerful indie rock. The band is similar to Thursday and Sunny Day Real Estate, as they are an intense, expressive band. (CL)

In A Cage self-titled self-released • Can you imagine a mix of old, epic Queen with a heavy influence of old, epic Rush? Neither could I. this is a very synth intensive, coursing, pulsing flight through soaring walls of sound. All performed by one guy, this is a pretty impressive performance, to be sure. There are slower, more melodic tunes as well as the more powerful gusty arias. (MK)

James MacDonald Naked Soul Laughing Outlaw Records • James has a great voice and it gets full attention on this 11-track release. His vocals ride shotgun to the mid-tempo, jazzy, pop rock that glides along in the background. Overall, the energy and sound on here calls to mind Matthew Sweet. This is Sunday afternoon, chillin' with a cold beverage on the deck kind of music. (CM)

Jedi Mind Tricks Legacy Of Blood Babygrande Records • Vinnie Paz and Stoupe have released their fourth album of "war rap" full of excessive hostility and a similar vibe found on previous releases. Joined on tracks "Saviorself" by Killah Priest and "On The Eve Of War" by Gza the Genius, these Philly natives have limited the guest appearances. This time they've delivered their own fierce rhymes and orchestrated beats with drum kicks and layers of samples. The gritty soundscape of Legacy Of Blood carries the release and goes hand in hand with the scruffy flows about beat-downs, Islamic beliefs and the contradictions along the way. (JC)

Jesu self-titled Hydra Head Records • For someone who used to be in Napalm Death, Justin Broadrick makes some pretty mellow metal. Riffs take forever to finish, sometimes mimicking Type O Negative's oh-so-slow tempo. His singing is sporadic and just as relaxed, sometimes almost hidden behind the waves of guitars that wash over you. (AL)

Jujitsu self-titled self-released • Jujitsu play new school rock that sounds like a cross between Creed and Drowning Pool. This style of music is definitely not my thing to be commenting on for the simple fact that I find little enjoyment listening to it. As for the all-around sound of this band, I would not be surprised to see these guys competing for a spot on the next Ozzfest. (RP)

Kaos Hello Stranger !K7 Records • Like so many others in the dance music scene, Kaos is always involved in one project or another. When he is not recording with Terranova or Ghost Cauldron, he records as a solo artist. This album of dance tracks has a European flavor to it, blending disco and funk with a little bit of rock. You can just imagine the crowds jumping up and down in Ibiza while this music thumps in the background. (AL)

Karl Broadie Nowhere Now Here Laughing Outlaw • Singer-songwriters are not a rare breed, and depending on their approach, most of them sound similar to one another no matter the style. Broadie sounds a lot like a guy influenced by the likes of Dylan and Petty, only he lacks originality while he sings personal, philosophical lyrics over unimpressive folk rock songs. The overall vibe is depressing and self-indulgent, hard to follow with nothing to help you along musically. (JC)

Lights Out Get Out Youngblood Records • This San Francisco band is pissed off. I am not sure at what, but every song is full of hatred. In true hardcore style, all the songs are very short and very fast. There are thirteen tracks on the disc but six of them are re-released from a previous EP that the band put out. This CD is good to listen to if you need to get pumped up. It definitely gets your blood moving. I think the songs would be even better to see in concert though because of the energy behind them. (KB)

Like Moving Insects Musical Album amBiguous CITY! • A nice blend of instruments make up this release that ranges from mellow indie-folk to groovy indie rock, all the while incorporating soul and sound effects to add the right atmosphere. Each one of the five members plays a variety of instruments, such as a bowed banjo, stand up bass, saxophone, keyboard and trumpet that all help add depth to the entire album. The vocals are a bit gloomy, without being boring, as is much of the album. "We've Come a Long Way Since Morning" is a bass guitar heavy track that amps the mood and changes the pace without losing direction. The rest of the album continues like a snowball effect to what has preceded it, with much depth and emotion. (JC)

Little Brazil You and Me Mt. Fuji Records • Little Brazil is yet another indie rock group from that musical hotspot of Omaha, Nebraska. You've got your obligatory Saddle Creek connections: singer/songwriter Landon Hedges has performed with Desaparecidos and the Good Life, while Dan Maxwell and Corey Broman have played with Son, Ambulance. Indie rock pedigrees in place, Little Brazil brings us the catchy You and Me, which has elements of both the Get Up Kids and the Shins. More good stuff from Omaha! (CL)

Luke Doucet Outlaw (Live and Unreleased) Six Shooter • Without tricks to go along with this live recording in Toronto, Veal's Luke Doucet unleashes an album with authentic emotion and a cowboy's bravado. Luke's back-up band jams out like an updated version of the old "boom-chica-boom" country songs, only with an indie rock attitude, and a Tom Waites cover song included. Their sound adds a perfect backdrop to the flawless vocals from Doucet, which paint pictures for the mind to match images to. Songs sway between tempos that range from a night at the pub to a night on the couch. This release is a solid collection of well-performed tracks about a loner's confidence and what happens along the path as he journeys through relations and destinations. (JC)

Lycaon Pictus Deviation Amplifier self-released • Dare to step outside of the monotony of your everyday music collection. The imaginative basement sounds on this full-length release from Tycaon Pictus are a journey through dark free-form harmonies, gritty synth drones and thought provoking humor about the everyday workingman's grind through existence. Heavily favoring the keyboard throughout, this three-piece dwells at the depths of emotions musically, before transitioning into bass guitars and beat box rhythms at a moments notice. All the while, these guys have created a conceptual soundscape that keeps you in for the finale. (JC)

Maggie Kim Lesson 1.5 self-released • Maggie Kim plays the bass guitar and sings songs that are sub par at best. She has a good voice that goes along well with the album art picture of her lying on the concrete in her panties. Aside from that, not much stands out on this six-song EP that includes a cover of Prince's Raspberry Beret and generic background beats that make it hard to tell weather she's going for club jams or the pop charts. (JC)

Magnapop Mouthfeel Daemon Records • When I saw this amongst the stacks of CD's, I was shocked:  a new Magnapop record?  I thought they'd fallen off the face of the earth after 1996's somewhat disappointing Rubbing Doesn't Help.  Almost a decade later, the Georgia quartet returns with Mouthfeel.  It's that same mix of power pop and crunchy guitars that made 1994's Hot Boxing so enjoyable.  What took them so long? (CL)

Magnolia Electric Co. Trials and Errors Secretly Canadian • Having put the Songs: Ohia name to rest, Jason Molina takes the new Magnolia Electric Co. moniker out on a test run. Trials and Errors is a live effort featuring old Songs: Ohia tunes. The melancholy country rock is reminiscent of Neil Young and Son Volt. Molina fans shouldn't have to wait long for new material, as a new full-length should be out sometime later this year. This should definitely hold you over until then. (CL)

Malkovich A Criminal Record Reflections Records • Hopefully the Dutch can do better than this release of hardcore rock with the standard melodies and screams. After the opening track gets things off to a good start, the rest of the way is down a path called mediocre. Malkovich possess a punk rock rhythm with metal guitar wails that sound a bit bland, and concludes with few standout moments. (JC)

Manuok self-titled Loud And Clear Records • This 10-track release by Manuok, which is all performed by Scott Mercado, reminds me a lot of Elliott Smith. However, the music is a blend of live instruments and electronic elements, making for a varied and tempo-changing mix of tunes. Not every track uses electro-instrumentation; those that do remind me a bit of The Postal Service. This is dramatic, emotionally powerful and well orchestrated, particularly impressive for a one-man band. (CM)

Martin Dory The Vanishing Act Insulate Industries • The sounds from this Martin Dory release are a sub par blend of folk and rock. Similar to the pop hit songs put out by U2, the Rolling Stones or Tom Petty, elements of familiarity are present throughout this heart wrenching collection. The vocals are monotone at best, but without any feeling behind the lyrics and musical delivery. (JC)

MDC Magnus Dominus Corpus Sudden Death Records • "Fuck you and God Bless America!" That's a hell of a chorus. The best part is that the song is about our pal and president, Dubya. I'll bless you with more from that opening track: "Compassionate conservative you're full of shit/With the country clubbers you're such a hit/For tax cuts for the rich you will lie/As you plan for Social Security to die." These guys rip out tune after tune (18 of Œem) of poetic, socio-political brilliance, from the war in Iraq to Rumsfeld to punk fashion poseurs to environmentalism. The music is fast-paced punk rock with a raw energy and an understandably pissed off attitude. (CM)

Melk The G6-49 Glossolalia Sounds Are Active • With only drums and electric 4-string bass, Melk The G6-49 create some highly improvised noise/grind/hard rock that defies categorization. Slow, moody ambient textures flirt with feedback-laden noise fests, and some gritty fuzz rock. Not for the faint of heart, Melk The G6-49 takes some getting used to, but the reward is worth the pain. (AL)

Men in Fur self-titled Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records • With a name sure to inspire PETA protests, Men in Fur serve up their self-titled debut. Sure, it sounds bad, but PETA will be dancing gleefully in the streets when they hear these thirteen tunes (most of which are about animals, not just using their flesh as clothing). Men in Fur, which despite its name has female members, reside at the corner where indie pop and new wave meet. Imagine a new wave Belle & Sebastian singing about animals and you've got the picture. Now everyone chill the fuck out and dig some Men in Fur. (CL)

Michael Columbia These Are Colored Bars Alabaster • Central to Michael Columbia's sound is the steady and sometimes chaotic drumming provided by Dylan Ryan. On top lays the musical jumble that is produced by Ryan and bandmate David McDonnell. They use live instrumentation and blend it with electronics and synths. This mostly instrumental sound is experimental, hard-charging, and hypnotic, all at once. (AL)

Midwest Blue Alarm Clock Johann's Face Records • The acoustic guitar at the beginning of this four song EP sounded like an Oasis song, but they immediately go away from that route to a more rocking distortion pop rock in the realm of Hot Rod Circuit. The driving melodies reminded me of HRC, but the vocal harmonies were similar to that of Brandtson. There are definitely some roots in bands like Alkaline Trio and maybe even some hardcore. It's hard to say because they have the token song where one guy screams while another guy sings. I can't knock them, they do it well, but haven't I heard this band before? It's good fun catchy rock n' roll. (MP)

Milton and the Devils Party What is All This Sweet Work Worth? self-released • This band was founded by two English professors. So much for teachers not having a life outside of the classroom. These guys can rock too. They play good pop rock music and their lyrics are easy to take in and understand. Not anything like what you might have heard in your English classes growing up. (KB)

Minus Story Heaven and Hell Jagjaguwar • I reviewed Minus Story's last album, and loved its focused chaos – I am definitely not disappointed with this new one. Although Heaven and Hell has a less ornamented construction, the heart of Minus Story is even more evident. I've never been a fan of Glenn Danzig, and I don't know how the original compares, but Minus Story's cover of "Hybrid Moments" is awesome. I wish these guys a lot of luck getting their music out. (SJM)

Miracle of 86 self-titled EP Immigrant Sun • This is an indie rock gem, a hard-rocking collection of passionate, melodic tunes that capitalize on all three aspects of the music: solid lyrics, heartfelt vocals and skilled songwriting. There are similarities to Desaparecidos (Bright Eyes side project) and Muler (RIP). Comparisons aside, this release is six-tracks worth of original rock music that has enough heartfelt energy to please emo fans while not falling short of simply being good rock and roll. (CM)

Mommy And Daddy Fighting Style Killer Panda EP Kanine Records • If you're seeking some really fun, uptempo rock and roll, look no further. Sure, six songs may not be enough to really get the party started, but it's a good warm-up. Mix DEVO and The Faint with The White Stripes and Sex Pistols and you might have something that sounds a little like Mommy And Daddy. It's a brilliant blend of electro punk and garage rock, power pop and sweaty rock and roll. Put on your dancing shoes and prepare to wear the soles out of Œem. (CM)

Monarch Tragedy Holds the Hand of Hope Pop Faction • Monarch really reminds me of a more upbeat version of Graves at Sea. They have a singer that sounds like a tortured velociraptor and the instrumentation of your most feared hardcore metal band. Although not completely ground breaking, I did really enjoy this album. (RP)

Montag Alone, Not Alone Car Park Records • Even though a lot of the music recorded by Montag is electronic, their use of live instruments adds an organic sound to the songs. Harp, contrabass, horns, vibraphone, and strings are just some of the instruments adding to the atmosphere. The vocals are very mellow, as is appropriate for an album of such slow tempo. (AL)

Munly and The Lee Lewis Harlots self-titled Alternative Tentacles Records • WTF?!?! It's never easy, is it? I'm going to have to think on this one. String arrangements, country twang, yet dark, this release defines category. I guess if the Rev. Horton Heat dropped the guitar, picked up a few violins and harp(?), a female backing group andŠsee? See where this is going? You know what, just listen to this. It will challenge you to a. figure it out and b. turn it off. Good luck doing either. Bottom line, these songs work. They're interesting, beautifully crafted and they even tell a story. Well done. (SH)

Mutiny Rum Rebellion Fistolo Records • This reissue from Australia's Mutiny is packed with Irish-influenced punk music that boosts mean bass guitars, accordions, mandolins, horns and acoustics in fine fashion. This is a solid release of rebellion, full on tales about drinking, stealing and causing some chaos. The energy and sound here makes for a perfect soundtrack to the upcoming St. Patrick's Day festivities. (JC)

My Left Arm Departure self-released • My Left Arm is an indie rock band with a strong garage feel. Strong playing skills, powerful vocals, and infectious energy elevate this album above the crowd. One caveat, though: as the album progresses, there is a disturbing element of mainstream alt rock that begins to creep in. "Departure" good, "Hollow" bad. (SJM)

My Way My Love Hypnotic Suggestion:01 File 13 • I really don't know what to say about this band , their lo-fi approach to recording really took away from the over all feel. Musically this CD is really sparse and somewhat too bi-polar for my taste. Although I would recommend this album to fans of Die Monitr Bats or A.S.T. or maybe even God Speed You Black Emperor. (RP)

Navar Your Window self-released • This is why they teach you in review school to listen to more than the first song. Navar starts off with a mellow acoustic number, then opens up to straight-ahead rock, then falls somewhere in-between. Fans of Hootie and Seven Mary Three are going to dig this. (SH)

Ninja Gun Smooth Transitions Barracuda Sound • In a world where music genres are being mixed together every day, Ninja Gun seems to have created a unique style for themselves that is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Some of the songs rely on the monotonous voice of the singer and an acoustic guitar, while others lean more on the rock and roll side of their sound. They even throw in a short cover of the Beach Boys hit, "Barbara Ann." For someone who does not listen to music like this often, it took me a few songs to get into them. But this is definitely a band worth giving a chance. (KB)

None More Black Loud About Loathing EP self-released • Remember when Green Day was cool and weren't spewing all that whiny political bullshit? Remember when their music was edgy and in-your-face and kick-ass? If you've been missing that, check out None More Black. I don't think you'll miss Green Day anymore. (SH)

O.A.R. 34th & 8th Everfine Records • O.A.R. is a band that straddles the line between being a rock band and being a jam band. They have the same vibe you'd get from a Phish or Grateful Dead concert, but without the endless improvisation. It's all about the attitude. They inject a bit of Caribbean flavor into the music and a bit of funk as well. This package not only includes a double CD recorded live in New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom, but it also includes a DVD with a selection of the songs from the concert. (AL)

Okkervil River Sleep and Wake-up Songs Jagjaguwar • Sleep and Wake-up Songs is a five-song EP from Okkervil River featuring some new material and outtakes from previous sessions. It's a nice collection of mellow, folk-influenced indie pop tunes. A new full-length is in the works, and should be available at your favorite record store later this year. (CL)

One Star Hotel Good Morning, West Gordon Stereofield Recordings • OSH plays emotional, slow-moving, jangly pop rock. A couple songs pick up the pace a bit, but it's not enough for me. Don't get me wrong, they perform these mostly mellow, jangly, heartfelt tunes with passion, but it ends up making me want to take a nap. (CM)

Oneida Nice. / Splittin' Peaches Ace Fu Records • On just four tracks, Oneida combines many diverse sounds that induces a sonic shake-up compared to previous releases. The EP begins with "Summerland" where the line "summerland I am one with you" is echoed overtop distorted electro rock elements that possess a classic rock flavor and a saxophone part that sees the song to its end. "Inside My Head" contains a heavy synth part while explaining, "it's all fucked up while living inside my head." "Song Y" is a combination of electro and folk, and "Hakuna Matata" is a 14-minute trip that contains backward sound effects, adding yet another chapter to their extensive catalog. (JC)

Orion Magickal Music Alcyone Records • With elements of goth and industrial sounds mixed with pop melodies, Magickal Music could have been a pretty good experiment. But this release falls short for its lack of direction, these dramatic songs bounce around without a good flow, such as going from pop-tranced "Astral Nymph" into the urgent and hard-edged "Narcissus" without notice. Not to mention that the music put out by this band has something to do with astrology I'd suppose. (JC)

Page France Come, I'm A Lion Fall Records • Come, I'm A Lion is a reflective and emotional album, mostly languid and acoustic. It's good indie for those more thoughtful moments. (SJM)

Pinkie Sharon Fussy Planting Seeds Records • This is a concept album that held little to no interest with me on first listen. The songs mush together becoming one long monotonous track without any real emotion. I'm assuming this is a one-man band fronted by Alex Sharkey, as no one else is listed or shown in the pictures in the liner notes. He lolly-dollys his way through most of the record especially on songs like "Want it to Work This Time" and the dull "The Near Distance". This collection of songs resembles mushy REM Out of Time, if that. If this is up your alley, then go for it. But if you get nauseous at the thought of "Shiny Happy People" or "Losing My Religion", then please take my warning and stay away. (SP)

Race!!! Travels Prescott Recordings • RACE!!! is a quintet led by Ross Hammond, and plays instrumental free jazz. They seem to be improvising the songs as they go, keeping things mellow and relaxed. The group is quite democratic, with no member taking the lead in any song, but instead all share the spotlight. (AL)

Rapider Than Horsepower Rapider Than The World Alone Records • An ode to the teenage days of growing up are unwoven throughout this release by Rapider Than Horsepower. Speeding guitars, violin sounds, horns and some lazy percussion are all blended to add that spastic element for which the band is known. Some of this is just to overboard on being weird though, and I don't mean that in a good way. Forget about the songs that talk of dating the boss's daughter, being a Martian and listening to Guns-n-Roses, the words are all just too hidden behind the layers of music. "Where Am I Going?" will have you asking that very question about a minute into the everlasting screeching in your ears. You'll be wondering how you managed to make it through the whole record without ramming your skull into the pavement if you make it. (JC)

Rats Into Robots A Column of Smoke by Day, A Pillar of Fire by Night Slave Union • Rats Into Robots is a three-piece Ohio band that pumps out some massively hardcore riffs with the lyrics to back them up. Their intelligent ideas are mixed with a pounding punk-metal delivery that changes tempos and is heightened by tracks like "The Fuse," which moves into a darker mood with eerie sounds that are as haunting as a scary movie. Overall, this is an album of screamo-aggression about the corporate hands the pull the strings of the paycheck-to-paycheck civilian. (JC)

Razor Crusade Infinite War Deathwish • Emo meets hardcore on this 12-track released. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing soft or wimpy about what Razor Crusade offers up. But there is a passionate, heavy level of emotion poured into the music. That emotion is delivered with intensity, a mix of heartfelt singing and in-your-face screaming backed by raging guitars, a vicious pounding of drums and thick rhythms that create powerful, aggressive melodies. Not that everything on here is full throttle; Razor Crusade offers up some more tempered, yet equally passionate, tunes as well. This Netherlands-based five-piece doesn't fuck around and this release, their debut album, makes extra sure that all listeners get the message. (CM)

Reatards Bedroom Disasters Empty Records US • Each of the twenty-three songs on this CD were handpicked from unreleased Reatards material to go on this album. These angst filled songs were recorded in the bedrooms of the band members in between 1996 and 1999. They are fast, loud, and obnoxious. One of my favorite tracks is "I'll Be Smart", for its backing vocals and fun guitar hooks. (KB)

Retching Red Get Your Red Wings! Bleeding Bitch Records • With Cinder Block (ex-Tilt) involved, how can you go wrong? But this isn't Cinder belting out pop-punk tunes; this is some serious thrash punk, full of attitude and aggression. The songs are rapid fire, over before you know it, and loaded with badass guitar work. Meanwhile, Cinder absolutely assaults your ears with a barrage of intensely-delivered vocals. Formed in July 2004, six months later they've already got an 11-track album. Fans of old and new school punk will find plenty within the songs of Get Your Red Wings! to rejoice about. (CM)

Rick Stone Turn Me On, Turn Me Out Stereotype Records • Rick has very passionate, solid vocals that rightly dominate the music. He's a heck of a singer. Backing him up is a melodic blend of mid-tempo rock, power pop and some electro bits. The music is emotionally charged and has a mainstream feel that could easily land radio play. Nothing against the quality of this 10-track release, but my feeling is that artists like Rick are a dime a dozen and it's all about luck. Good luck, Rick. (CM)

Ringleader self-titled EP self-released • Solid female vocals pour out over mainstream power pop. This four-song EP displays Ringleader's ability to write catchy tunes, and Lena's vocals are cute enough to work well with the poppy music, yet still have an emotional, even seductive, passion to them. (CM)

Rocket Science Eternal Holiday Modular Recordings • This quartet from Australia plays fast-paced, loose rawk. I wouldn't quite call it garage rock, but it's close. I'll go with this: fuzzy retro rock. Fuzzy as in distortion, not cuddly. Think Elvis Costello on speed. (SH)

Roger Miret and the Disasters 1984 Hellcat Records • This is the band's second full-length album (the first came out in 2002) and it's one hell of a rock and roll experience. Miret is well known for fronting the influential '80s hardcore band Agnostic Front. Now, with his new band, Miret delivers streetpunk the way it was done back in the day, with influences ranging from The Clash to The Business to Rancid. Miret's vocals are emphatic and delivered with a heartfelt intensity. Meanwhile, the music is a load of melodic punk rock fun, catchy as hell and full of energy, 13 anthems ready for the singing. (CM)

Roy Ashen Sugar and Gasoline self-released • Sugar and gasoline, two great tastes that go great together! Roy Ashen sings of this and other truths on his latest release. Ashen's well-crafted and melodic tunes are reminiscent of artists like the Goo Goo Dolls. Sugar and Gasoline is ready for an adult alternative station near you. (CL)

Saltwater Vampires We are Masterpieces Created By God self-released • This punk three piece is a cross between old school Face to Face and everything else that could have come out of that movement in the early nineties punk scene. The problem here is lack of originality. These guys have not yet found their sound and if this is what they claim to be their own, then good luck with that. Sticking to that old and reliable punk format, the first track "Subconscious Wish" has a running time of 1:46 with impossible-to-understand vocals unless you have the liner notes handy each listen. And fo course with old school punk, you can count on the recordings being every bit as crappy as the songs. Stick to the greats when it comes to a sound like this. (SP)

Scientific American Strong For The Future Mush Records • Scientific American uses his computer to create all his music – a mixture of IDM with elements of hip hop that sometimes goes into the eclectic. I found myself thinking of Prefuse 73's vocal cutups, Funkstörung's glitchy beats and Manitoba's hypnotic loops. (AL)

Secret Agent Bill self-titled 24 Hour Records • Heavy funk-rock here, bordering on hardcore. Hardcore sans the screaming is another way to say it. It's a nice break from all the shit you hear on the radio these days. Fans of Pennywise will dig this. Kick out the mosh with "Sixpack!" (SH)

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Naturally Daptone Records • Commanding one of the most soulful voices out there, Sharon Jones returns with the Dap-Kings in Naturally. As you listen, you get transported to the 1970's in this funk and soul excursion. Even though the band is more than adequate, it is Jones's voice that will have you digging through your old record collection looking for those Aretha Franklin albums. (AL)

Silo 10 self-titled Dog Fingers/Uncle Buzz Records • Silo 10 probably got its name from the fact that they recorded this album inside a grain silo in San Antonio in order to capture its natural reverb capabilities. This duo plays instrumental ambient music with guitars, synths and other effects that lend itself well to the use of reverb. Just don't drive your car while listening to this, or you are liable to fall asleep and kill someone. Otherwise, let yourself be carried into a different mental state by Silo 10. (AL)

Sleepy Kid Monday Morning Smile Get Hip • After the Revelers split ways in 1999, Andrej Cuturic headed back to the suburbs to begin a new life as a family man. At the same time he continued recording, and his new persona Sleepy Kid was born. The name seems fitting, because much of what you hear on this release gets a bit boring and repetitive. Jangly and poppy tunes throughout, this is a basic hum and strum release that stays caught in a mood made for those that may have let their opportunities pass by. (JC)

So L'iL Revolution Thumpin' Goodbye Better • Electronic beats and loops are bounced around tranced-out tempos with dramatic vibes on this release from So L'Il. Trippy noises ride alongside popish low-fi drum beats, keyboards and male and female vocals that sing a collage of delicate and fragile rhymes. The downfall starts right around "Agitated," a song that takes it back to the electro-pop days of the '80s, with little adventure. Then "Bye By Zooey" is sung either backwards or in another language, you decide. Overall, the futuristic approach is at times enchanting and other times just plain out-there for no reason. (JC)

Sole Live From Rome Anticon • This cat has been working since 1992 to spread his musical love, but the hip-hop game ain't an easy one to play, let alone win. But Sole is no quitter and persevere he did. At home on Anticon, this is his third full-length with them. It's a fitting home, as Sole's creative, genre-bending style of hip-hop is just what I've come to expect from Anticon. The music is, at times, haunting and, at times, invigorating. There are psychedelic elements and wild loops, with production on this album coming from a mix of people, including fellow Anticonians Odd Nosdam, Alias and Telephone Jim Jesus. But all this dope music wouldn't be shit without Sole's pointed, rapid flow and hyper-poignant, clever lyrics. Take, for instance, "If I'm manic, I don't want to know, how much money Glaxo Smith Kline would make, if I were diagnosed. Depression is the system of a society that has failed. My children will not grow up in a prison." Don't expect any bling or bitches, boomin' bass or bourgeois boasting. Sole bears his soul. (CM)

Stars Look Down self-titled Blackfly Records • These guys remind me of Switchfoot and Alterbridge and bands like that. Difference is, this is a trio and they bring as much power and talent to the table as those other bands. In fact, they sound tighter. Not only that, but they have an emo edge to them but they're not as whiney and droning as Dashboard or those clones. Hey A&R guy ­ looking for the next big rock band? Come get some. (SH)

Straylight Run self-titled Victory Records • This album goes from piano driven emo songs to pop rock songs that repeat the chorus over and over until they remain in your head whether or not you want them there. Male and female vocals over dramatic lyrics and emotive melodies create a symphony on songs like "Another Word For Desperate." This band consists of members of Taking Back Sunday and Breaking Pangaea, with a member's sister completing the lineup. This is emo pop rock that is radio ready. (MP)

Strychnine Born in a Bar TKO Records • Straight out of Oakland, California, this aggressive punk band has old school roots and lots to say. Just look at their discography. The band has toured for over nine years off of all their material. The guitars are the driving force of most of the songs. The band has formed a sound that incorporates some hardcore and rock elements as well as the punk sound that they were so heavily influenced by. (KB)

Stuckey & Murray Destination: Rock Bottom self-released • Two guys and two guitars, and ten funny ass songs that will have anyone wondering what the hell these guys were thinking; they're all included with this destination to rock bottom. The comedy that spews from this release is butt naked in toilet jokes, masturbation, girls with perfect lips and finding a rebound at the county fair. The vulgarity is delivered with a musical backdrop that sounds like it could be in a country stations rotation, the stories being told are done with hilarious seriousness and sincerity, adding to the already funny joke. (JC)

Submission Hold What Holds Back the Elephant self-released • Imagine Tia Carrera fronting a band in the vein of Primus, Tool, and even the more experimental side of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana on Incesticide. The result is Submission Hold. I know you remember Tia singing "Ballroom Blitz" in the first Wayne's World, everyone's guilty pleasure in the spring of '92. The first track "Final Coup of the Last Millennium" attacks with a Les Claypool bass tone that could even flirt with the likes of Geddy Lee of Rush. "Dirt" has a more original feel to it with the female lead vocals gently flowing over this intensified rhythmic delivery Mike Patton style. All in all, this is not a bad CD with a variety of sounds ranging anywhere from spacey-jazz to hard rock. (SP)

Suckerpush Reminiscing Gription Records • Suckerpush is a five piece band from Michigan. Their latest CD, Reminiscing, is a unique blend of rock and pop but not the ordinary result that would come of that combination. There also seems to be a country influence present. It is hard to pin them to an exact genre. The singer's voice has an interesting tone to it which takes a couple songs to get used to. The guitarists are showcased in a lot of the songs which illustrates the good musicianship. The lyrics are well written and even slightly comical at times. If you are in the mood to listen to something different, this is a good CD to try out. (KB)

Tarentel Paper White/Big Black Square Temporary Residence Ltd. • This CD is really two EPs grouped into one album, meant to serve as bookends to last year's We Move Through Weather. As you listen, you can tell how their sound evolves. The first EP, Paper White, is reminiscent of Physics and perhaps Godspeed You Black Emperor, with looping waves of guitar sounds. The second, Big Black Square, is simply a 43 minute exploration of ambient and drone sounds, which can be a challenge to get through. (AL)

The Adored self-titled EP V2 Records • The Adored dish out five fast and twangy songs here. They're not exactly a retro-rock band, rather they keep it interesting by throwing in some 80's alt-pop synth sounds and going light on the distortion. And, hey, no filling-rattling screaming! Sweet! (SH)

The Alternate Routes Over Your Shoulder self-released • There are a lot of bands that have what it takes to get the mainstream exposure they're working for. Add The Alternate Routes to the long list. Whether they get there or not remains to be seen. They play blues-influenced power pop/rock with tight melodies and strong males vocals that are delivered with an emotional intensity. Imagine The Replacements meets Billy Joel. (CM)

The Bamboo Kids self-titled Get Hip Recordings • Another trio??? I guess this is officially a trend now. To their credit, they sound as tight and polished as the other The-rockers out there, and those bands have four extra hands! Screw them! The Bamboo Kids play loud, crash-and-burn garage pop. "Right On" is a great, cut loose rocker. (SH)

The Beach Machine Plastic self-released • The Beach Machine ain't no surf music. The California-based trio, led by guitarist/vocalist Danny Perez, has a rather eclectic sound. From jangly guitars to spacey, atmospheric soundscapes to Elvis Costello-style guitar pop, the Beach Machine touch on a number of different styles. Possibly as a result of this, Plastic doesn't have a very cohesive feel; it seems a collection of songs thrown together more than an album. Some of the songs meander a bit much, as well. There are some enjoyable moments here, but it takes a little while to get to them. (CL)

The BellRays The Red, White & Black Vital Gesture Records • Hey, remember that night you got hammered and you asked yourself, "What the hell would it sound like if Tina Turner sang lead vocals with The Ramones?" Wonder no more. Turn on The BellRays and all will be answered. In short: it's pretty effing good!!! (SH)

The Black Keys Rubber-Factory Fat Possum Records • With just drums and guitars, The Black Keys combine rock and blues that is at times intimate and at other times raucous. The sound is raw and lo-fi, which is how blues should sound. The vocals are gritty and emotional. (AL)

The Color Guard Dark Pop Suziblade Music • Using sharp, electric guitar riffs and pounding percussion, the steady pace on this release is carried by various instruments and melodies. The female vocals are operatic, and are delivered in a high-pitched tone, in an almost sultry way. The music sounds more and more influenced by the early 1990's grunge scene, but overall flows well throughout. The album begins to tire the further it gets because there is only so much you can take of the opera. (JC)

The Cops Why Kids Go Wrong EP Mt. Fuji Records • You got five straight-ahead punk-pop tunes on here. Not that sissy New Found Glory pop shit either. This is pop punk with balls. You'd never hear those weak-ass radio punk bands playing a tune like The Cops' "Protection Act." Hit me up when you put out your first full-length! (SH)

The Curtains Vehicles of Travel Frenetic Records • It is interesting that this album is being described as less experimental and as a pop record. If that is the case, I can't imagine what the previous recordings were like! This is a pretty experimental record, with a lot of fiddling with keyboards and irregular song structures and half-assed singing. If you like Deerhoof, you will probably like this. (AL)

The Devil is Electric I've Never Trusted A Revolutionary That Was Afraid To Dance Plan-It X Records • Fans of East Bay pop punk gather round, plus in your boom box and drop in this 25+ track CD. Sure, they're from Indiana, not California, but so what? The music is super catchy, fast-paced and absolutely infectious. There's a mix of male and female vocals, both fitting the mold–and that's meant in a positive way. Fans of Crimpshrine, Sicko and J Church will find enjoyment, but most of all they remind me of Fifteen, which I'm sure they've gotten a million times. But it's true – there's a sense of social responsibility with the music that Fifteen (Jeff Ott in particular) always emphasized. It's a good comparison in my book. (CM)

The Drip self-titled self-released • Garage rock! This is probably what all those "The" bands sounded like before the record executives got hold of them. This is no frills, balls to the wall garage rock that will keep your head bouncing all night long. (SH)

The Famous Light, Sweet, Crude Leading Brand • Laurence Scott and Victor Barclay are The Famous, a band that combines the trueness of country music with the attitude of southern rock. Elements of blues and Americana are present during this album of solid, up-tempo songs that pick apart a man's past, his relationships, and the paybacks along the way. Backup musicians do their part to add the majority of drums and bass guitar, to help create an album with highlights such as the pulsating "True Believer" and "Lost." (JC)

The Felix Culpa Commitment Common Cloud • Solid post hardcore indie art rock from the Midwest. I'm not sure what the hell that means, but it sounds good. This album is really good with some complex song structures, emotional lyrics and killer melodies. Yes, I just used killer as an adjective. They could be compared to the stylings of Engine Down with a little more emo backbone at times like Sensefield. Clashing drums in "Bad Actors" wakes you up from the emo for a little double bass action. This band does rock, and the CD design is pretty cool, too. You get a little pencil with your purchase. I guess it doesn't take much to impress me. (MP)

The Flaming Stars Named and Shamed Alternative Tentacles Records • Is it rock? Is it not? Is it flamenco? Is it jazz? Who cares? It is cool. This is a good disc by a band that I'm happy to say defies classification. Some slower grooves reminded me of Lou Reed or Nick Cave mixed with Booker T. and The MG's. The faster songs are equally eclectic in their style and influences. This is a really good disc. (MK)

The Freak Accident self-titled Alternative Tentacles • The Freak Accident is the latest project from former Victim's Family member Ralph Spight. Spight's humorous yet dark storytelling is one of the album highlights, with his tales of insomnia and watching movies subtitled in Chinese. The music is catchy and eclectic indie rock. Put it all together, and you've got a cool debut record. (CL)

The Great Unknowns Presenting The Great Unknowns Daemon Records • The opening track "Las Vegas" is nothing too original, and the rest of the album follows as such. The country and electric folk rock found here is fronted by a female voice that does little to impress anywhere throughout this release. Think along the lines of blending a Sheryl Crow and the mainstream country female singers of today for an idea. Not that I'm looking down on those sorts, it's just that nothing on this release feels authentic, and by the time it ends, it feels good knowing you'll never have to here it again. (JC)

The Haywards Scene Missing Ionik Recordings • The Haywards is a project of singer/songwriter David Enright, who apparently isn't too fond of the "Haywards" name anymore but still likes it better than his own. Enright is a DIY kind of guy, writing and recording his own music and playing most of the instruments. While Enright may not be the greatest guitarist or vocalist on the planet, he makes the most of his skills. Scene Missing is some slow, dark lo-fi indie pop; it's not bad at all. (CL)

The High Water Marks Songs About the Ocean Eenie Meenie Records • Featuring members of Apples in Stereo and Palermo, just to name a few, this band has tons of previous experience. Each song on the disc has you tapping your foot along. The indie pop music is catchy and fun to say the least. I especially like the way Hilarie Sidney and Per Ole Bratset switch off on lead vocals. It adds a whole new dimension to the music. What is even more interesting about this album is the way in which it was recorded. The High Water Marks took the recording through mail concept that has worked so well for that other indie favorite named after the method (The Postal Service). The songs on this album all flow together perfectly and you would be surprised to hear that they were not only recorded in different studios, but also in different countries. (KB)

The Marlboro Chorus Youth Medium Futureappletree Records • The band lineup goes unmentioned, so I will just refer to the lead vocalist as the singer, who is a cross between Jason Martin of Starflyer 59 on the second track "Those Shoes" and Frank Black of The Pixies on "Takin' a Ride." The seventh track "Don't Sweat the Fallout" cries out Pixies more than any other track on the album. And while these songs scream nostalgia, I await the true sound of originality amidst this Indie pop record. In the liner notes The Marlboro Chorus asks the listener not to copy this CD, but to rather pass the word around instead. I feel they would be lucky if anyone did either of the following with instructions like this. (SP)

The Missouri Compromise Creation of Maine Roydale Records • An elegant and roller coaster-like ride through vocal wails and distorted guitar is what's found locked inside this release. Jangly pop sounds are caught between tempo changes and vocals that range in emotion as well as energy. The elements of post-punk and indie rock are brought together to form little excitement on Creation of Maine outside of its heightened outbursts and regression. (JC)

The Neighbors Mobile Homes Realm of Records • Pop rock with cheesy lyrics, but I think that is their goal. The music is mediocre most of the time with some good rocking moments. Keys and distorted vocals give a little depth to simplistic pop rock songs. The vocals almost have a British feel at times, but they aren't too bad. "Young and Outta Control" has more of a punk beat, and "In for the Night" sounds like it could be a radio single. It's catchy and I have to give them a few originality points for writing a song about a Jack-o-Lantern with lyrics "oh oh oh oh jack-o." You just don't see that these days. (MP)

The Nein self-titled EP Sonic Unyon • This self-titled six-song EP is the debut effort for North Carolina quartet, the Nein. The first thing that really jumps out at you on this CD is the rhythm section. Low, rumbling bass lines and fierce drumming propel these dark indie rock tunes. There's some good stuff here, and there's a full-length in the works. Kick ass! (CL)

The Newbees Songs From A Dilapidated Apartment Highway Bound Records • Hey! It's pop, but I like it. Catchy, upbeat music that is simple without being simplistic or overly formulaic. I'm particularly fond of Devil Of Us All. I can't get the damn song out of my head. This disc seems like it would be fodder for the soundtrack of a campy fun movie starring over-sexed teens. I really like it. (MK)

The Original Mark Edwards Rewind Tomorrow Princess Records • The Original Mark Edwards is a showcase for, you guessed it, Mark Edwards. The former member of the Domo Sound, Edwards does just about everything on Rewind Tomorrow. He writes, he sings, he plays guitar, he programs the drums! He's one talented kid. The songs are cool, little indie pop tunes, with jangly guitars and electronic touches. So, when you get your Mark Edwards, make sure it's Original Mark Edwards; accept no substitutes. (CL)

The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower Love In The Fascist Brothel Revelation Records • Holy spasticness, Batman! These guys are a bunch of raucous rockers, fusing noisy rock with hardcore intensity. The orchestration on this is incredible, with swirling guitars, loads of feedback and a chaotic, yet danceable vibe. The tempo changes and style changes within individual songs are wild and will totally catch you off guard – and you'll love it. (CM)

The Reverse Engineers MAX Q self-released • The Reverse Engineers sound a lot like Rush. A LOT. While reverse engineering Rush's sound, they inadvertently added a little Peter Murphy to the vocals, and subtracted a great deal of drum complexity. If you like Rush, just listen to Rush. (SJM)

The Sophomore Year You Are Here... She Is There Search and Rescue Records • Straight out of Atlanta, Georgia, this punk rock band is set to get some attention in the next year. The band itself has a passion for touring and a great do it yourself work ethic. This only means more recognition for them. The album was produced by Marc McClusky (Norma Jean, A Small Victory). All the songs on it are powerful and catchy. The vocals and music fit together well and could hook any listener and reel them in. The CD is nothing insanely original but it is fun, infectious, and would probably make for an energetic live show. (KB)

The Spades Learnin' the Hard Way Go-Kart Records • Blasting out of the mean streets of Holland is this six-member outfit with ruthless roots and the balls to tell you how it is. Ruff rock and roll is pushed out with maximum adrenaline and wild vocals about sex, fighting, and violence and yet even more fighting. Mix the hard rock guitars and growls of AC/DC with the thrashing attitude of Body Count and you can imagine what's going on here. (JC)

The Tiny Close Enough Eyeball Records • Tiny is an appropriate name for this band. A three-piece, they use cello, bass, piano and organs as a backdrop to Ellekari Larsson's unusual and beautiful vocals. The album is pretty mellow, forcing you to pay attention to every quivering word that comes out of Larsson's mouth. (AL)

The Vestiges The Promised City EP Particle Accelerator • Catchy pop rock with a message behind their songs, this EP from The Vestiges is a sugar coated, and simple, collection. Primed for radio, but lacking anything that stands out from the pack, most of these five-tracks sound the same. The opener "Transatlantic" begins the tribute to their East Coast roots on this dull album produced by Willie Samuels (Green Day, The Influents). (JC)

The Vote All Things Considered VMS Records • Ever wandered what it would be like to hear Robert Siegel, Michele Norris, and the rest of the crew of the venerable NPS news show "All Things Considered" rock out? Well, this isn't it. However, the Vote deliver their full-length album entitled All Things Considered. Featuring former members of the hardcore punk band Violent Society, the Vote plays some more melodic, driving rock than you might expect. Sorry for any confusion. (CL)

To Make The Wheel Rounder self-titled Factory Chime Records • This is concept album, of sorts, with all the music crafted by one guy. Who is he? I don't know. The CD doesn't say, nor does the web site. Is it John Ashcroft, Notorious B.I.G. back from the grave, an alien life form? We may never know. Whoever this musical wizard is, he does a pretty good job creating layered, folky, jangly, indie pop tunes. The vocals are a bit dramatic for me, but the music is quite crafty, using complex orchestrations thick with textures, despite it being just one guy in a studio. As for the concept of the album, it touches on numerous socio-political topics, including war, existence, love and nature. (CM)

Toxic Narcotic/Misery self-titled Go-Kart Records • Brutal and relentless, this split EP CD is full of enough angry music to keep you thrashing and banging for a long time. Misery is a hard edged punk style band and Toxic Narcotic is a thrash metal band of legendary speed. If you like it loud and fast, you'll love this. (MK)

Univac self-titled self-released • Univac's brand of brooding, floaty indie rock is a welcome variation on the theme. The deep pitch of the vocals is unexpected, as is the passion with which it is used, particularly on "Liar". Nicely performed and recorded, this album portends great things for Univac. (SJM)

Valet Life on the Installment Plan 2024 • With ringing, dreamy guitar lines playing sure but melancholy strains, Belfast native Robin Kyle fronts this seldom-sunny quintet of emotional rock with heartbreaking songwriting. The tunes build into wonderfully layered crescendos, making low-key beginnings take full flight into a journey through a cloudy, cloudy sky. It is as though this band paints the very essence of bitterness, evoking a colorless bird that tries to fly with one broken wing. (DP)

Various Artists Sacramento Scene Report TKO Records • This is a west-coast punk compilation with two songs each from Whiskey Rebels, Pressure Point, Killing the Dream, the Secretions and the Roustabouts. It's punk. It's on TKO. Need I say more? Buy it! (SH)

Various Artists XXX: Music From Thinking XXX Emperor Norton Records • Instead of using cheesy 1970's funk for the soundtrack of HBO's XXX: 30 Porn Star Portraits, director/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders opted instead for electro-pop and 80's inspired synth music. From Tiga's cover of Nelly's "Hot in Herre," to Mylo's "Muscle Car," all the songs sound like they could be belong under hot sex scenes. Princes Superstar teams up with Felix Da Housecat on one track, while porn star Heather Hunter joins forces with DJ Premier for a bit of hip hop with racy lyrics. (AL)

Via Satellite Cities Are Temples Loud And Clear Records • Thick layers of sound create a dramatic, mature energy on this 10-track album. Using keyboards along with drums and guitar, Via Satellite has developed a mellow, indie rock sound that is anything but typical. Aspects of their sound are reminiscent of such groups as Mates of State, Radiohead and The Postal Service; this is a musical tour de force. The passion is impossible to ignore and the mesmerizing melodies envelop you. (CM)

Von Iva self-titled Cochon • These four ladies rock the house with their hard European-style synths and hard-edged vocals. Their nonstop energy is infectious, laying down track after track of confident electronic power songs. They almost have a blues sensibility about the way they sing together, but it's not quite where they're at. The music just has too much life. Hearing this makes me want to boogie down and then touch Dieter's monkey. (DP)

Voodoo Glow Skulls Addicción, Tradición, Revolución Victory Records • For the past 16 years, the Voodoo Glow Skulls have been playing hyperkinetic ska-punk. In Addicción, Tradición, Revolución, their energy is there, but the music leans more toward metal/hardcore than punk, with the ska elements left intact. Their lyrics are sung in English and Spanish, and pack a punch while still being entertaining. You should have paid more attention in Spanish class. (AL)

Walking Concert Run To Be Born Some Records • This is a great album from start to finish, but especially if you are a fan of Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools). This isn't exactly Quicksand, but it's a great variety of music genres from rock to pop to punk to folk. It's closer to Rival Schools, but it really has a sound of it's own. Melancholy moments clash beautifully with harder hitting melodies. Fans of Walter's projects would be missing a piece of his legacy if they passed this up. (MP)

Watchers Dunes Phase Gern Blandsten Records • The Watchers are a Chicago band that creates jangly punk rock in the spirit and echoes of the Talking Heads. Incorporating funk and soul melodies with twanging guitar sounds and a variety of instruments, the opening track "To The Roof Tops" kicks off a groovy set of songs. The music has a live feeling to it, with consistent tones of energy and improvising, although the high-pitch vocals on this release will keep it on the shelf. (JC)

YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO All Roads To Fault Beggars Group • Having already made their mark on the UK, YCNI:M is set to tear up the U.S. with their spastic, layered rock and roll. The vocals scream out, fiercely, passionately, and urgently. It's a perfect match with the music, that is equally insistent, almost commanding you to listen, reaching out and grabbing you with a melody, only to suckerpunch you with an overdose of feedback and raucous, unpredictable tempo changes. It crosses genres, mixing elements of garage, indie, punk and emo rock. This seven-track release (plus two video tracks) is just a taste of what they have to come with a full-length slated for release sometime this year. (CM)

DVD Reviews

Anti-FlagDeath of a NationA-F Records • For their first ever DVD, Anti Flag compiled footage from their "The Terror State" tour throughout North America. Aside from 23 songs performed live, there are previously unreleased videos for "Death of a Nation" and "Post-War Breakout," a video and behind the scenes footage for "Turncoat," a band interview, war protest footage, a couple of montages and some political information, including how to get involved. (AL)

Bert Switzer Second Chance One Way Productions • Bert Switzer used to play with Bostonıs The Destroyed, but left music in 1979. In 2002, he picked up his sticks again to make music one more time. What you see in this DVD is Switzer playing drums by himself, and being interviewed. There are also a few Destroyed performances. By the way, this guy is an awesome drummer. I was mesmerized seeing this 53-year-old bang away at the drums like he was an angry teenager. (AL)

Corruption Hellectrify Yourself Metal Mind Productions • Their sound is straight up metal with a bit of sludge, with plenty of grooves. This concert shows them in action, with 15 tracks recorded in a TV studio in Krakow. Also included are bootlegged live footage, a few audio tracks, a video, an interview (in Polish, I think), and a couple of extra goodies. (AL)

Throw Rag Live at the House of Blues Kung Fu Records • Kung Fu Records chose to have Throw Rag for the fifteenth installment of "The Show Must Go Off!" series. I was not too familiar with this band before watching the DVD. With a sound described by the band as "sailor rock" and some interesting band members, it makes for a very entertaining live show. My favorite has to be the washboard player. He also has a couple of cowbells and plays them all with spoons. Now tell me you are not dying to see this band. The music is awesome but to be honest, I laughed so much watching the concert footage. The DVD is packed with more bonus features than any other in "The Show Must Go Off!" series. I think this whole series is one of the best ideas that a label has come up with in a long time and I thank Kung Fu Records for being the genius behind it. (KB)

Vinyl Reviews

Arabellaself-titled 7" Spacement Records • Etched into the grooves of this very cool looking red vinyl 7" is an odd combination of Fugazi and dark hardcore. When the screaming starts, the sound is like some kind of demon from hell. The instrumentation is very good overall, I just can't get into the really hardcore screaming parts. A couple of nitpicks: the song listings on the insert are totally out of order, and the rpm isn't listed anywhere. At 45 rpm, the band sounds like it is fronted by the actress that played the psychic on Poltergeist. (SJM)

Crimson Sweet self-titled 7" Shake It Records • Hardcore coarseness with the swagger of Mick Jagger and the stagger of Keith Richards. The singer's voice is scarred with nicotene and coated with bourbon. Check out these lyrics: "Making love to your hand / In a Ramada Inn / Clock radio on / Far away and thin / You're gripping the sink / Your eyes hot in the mirror / Yeah, you're a part time renegade / Crying salty white tears." Nice. (SJM)

des_ark / bellafea self-titled 7" Exotic Fever Records • Des_ark is chaotic indie rock; a spare band of guitars, drums and vocals. Several rests mark shifts between Sonic Youth style angularity and straightforward emotional blast. Initially evocative of the more languid moments of Tortoise, Bellafea's "Stranger" throws itself into an emotive mode in the vein of Shannon Wright's more desperate sounding work on Maps of Tacit. Both of these bands deserve further listening. (SJM)

Disconnect self-titled 12" Spacement Records • The musicianship on this album of hardcore from Reno, NV is so good, and the songs so well-intentioned that it is hard for me to confront my feelings about the singing. I know it's pretty much standard operation for this style of music, and I've heard people who can scream musically, but musical, this screaming ain't. (SJM)

The Neighbors Mobile Homes 7" self-released • The Neighbors are confident and hard-charging, channelling 60's rock in a way that a comparison to Guided by Voices is germane. Good harmonies, an excellent lead vocal, and neat-o clear vinyl only add to the goodness. (SJM)

Thousand Arrows When I Go 7" St. Ives • The instrumentation on this heavily country-tinged single is really good, as are the songs themselves. Unfortunately, the singer's voice, while earnest and emotionally honest, needs a lot of work. The composition of the vocal melody itself is totally appropriate, it just needs to be sung in key. (SJM)

Unlucky Atlas / The Antiques self-titled 7" For Documentation Only • Unlucky Atlas' "Pediment" is a pleasant acoustic guitar driven song, the execution of which could benefit from vocal lessons, especially for Terence Hannum. That said, his watercolor work, displayed on the record cover, both inside and out, is excellent. The Antiques' "There's Nothing to Explain" is a plodding, depressing song about nihilism that I hope was cathartic for its writers, but could make an emotionally weak person cut their wrists. (SJM)

Various Artists States of Abuse 12" Entartete Kunst • This is a two-LP set of protest songs primarily in hip-hop mode. The overall intent of the collection is marred by some pretty amateurish performances, although the production is quite nice at times. (SJM)

Record Label Addresses
In alphabetical order. Please write them.
!K7 Records,
12 Records,
2024 Records,
Ace Fu Records,
A-F Records,
AK Press,
Alcyone Records, no address
Alone Records,
Alternative Tent.,
Amberjack Rice,
amBiguous CITY!,
Anodyne Records,
Ari Scott,
Asian Man Records,
Atkins Lane,
Babygrande Records,
Barracuda Sound,
Basement What?,
Beggars Group,
Big Bear Theory,
Blackfly Recs,
Bleeding Bitch Records,
Blue Eyed Crow Music,
Browntown Wrecks,
Buttermilk Records,
Camp Susannah,
Car Park Records,
Chicks On Speed,
Clever Bedsit,
Coalition Records,
Cochon Records,
Colonial Excess,
Common Cloud,
Crazy Manıs,
Crucial Blast Records,
C-Side Records,
Daemon Records,
Dead Canary Recs,
Deathwish, Inc.,
Deep Structure,
Diaphragm Records,
Dim Mak Records,
Dog Fingers Recordings,
Domino Recording,
Eenie Meenie Records,
Eleven Eleven,
Emanon Records,
Emperor Norton Recs,
Empty Records US,
Entartete Kunst,
Epitaph Records,
Equal Vision,
Everfine Records,
Exotic Fever Records,
Eyeball Records,
Factory Chime,
Fake Problems,
Fall Records,
Fat Possum Records,
Fewıll Ignite Sound,
File 13,
Fistolo Records,
For Docu. Only,
Formula 13 Records,
Frenetic Records,
Fueled By Ramen,
Future Appletree,
Gern Blandsten,
Get Hip Recordings,
Glen Closer,
Go-Kart Records,
Goodbye Better,
Gray Music,
Greenlight Promise,
Happy Happy Birthday to Me,
Has Anyone Ever?,
Hawthorne Street,
Heart Full of Dirt,
Hello Sir Records,
Highway Bound Records,
Hill Billy Stew Records,
Hydra Head Records,
Immigrant Sun,
In A Cage, no contact info available
Innocent Words Recs,
Insulate Industries,
Intermediate Swing Records,
Ionik Recordings,
Ipecac Recordings,
Jigsaw Records,
Johann's Face Records,
Kanine Records,
Kung Fu Records,
Laughing Outlaw,
Leading Brand Records,
Lifeboat Records,
Lookout Records,
Loud And Clear,
Lujo Records,
Lycaon Pictus,
Maggie Kim,
Mattress Records,
Merge Records,
Metal Mind Productions,
Milton and the Devils Party,
Modular Recordings,
Mt. Fuji Records,
Mungler Winslowe,
MUSH Records,
My Left Arm,
Myla Records,
New Regard Media,
New West,
One Way Prods,
Particle Accel.,
Phratry Records,
Plan-It X Records,
Planting Seeds,
Pop Faction,
Portia Records,
Princess Records,
Realm of Records,
Reflections Records,
Revelation Records,
Roy Ashen,
Roydale Records,
Saltwater Vampires,
Search & Rescue,
Secret Agent Bill,
Secretly Canadian,
Seventh Rule,
Shake It Records,
Six Shooter Recs,
Slave Union Records,
Some Records,
Sonic Unyon Recording,
Sounds Are Active,
Southern Records,
Spacement Records,
Stereotype Records,
Stones Throw Records,
Stuckey & Murray,
Submission Hold,
Suziblade Music,
Temporary Residence,
The Alternate Routes,
The Beach Machine,
The Glorious Potemkin,
The Reverse Engineers,
Thrown Brick,
Tinder Box Music,
TKO Records,
Toucan Cover Ent.,
Uncle Buzz Recordings,
Union St. Machine,
United Edge,
V2 Records,
Valiant Death Records,
Victory Records,
VMS Records,
Youngblood Recs,

Music reviews from past issues: