June-July 1998 Articles:
22 Jacks Overserved Side 1 A pleasant melodic punk treat from the lead singer of defunct-for-a-few-yearsWax. I like this album much more than the last 22 Jacks record. Tight production and even tighter playing. Seems like they are having more fun playing. Unfortunately, there are a couple cover songs (I prefer original music) but there is a track with lead vocals by Joey Ramone.
2Pac R U Still Down? (Remember Me) Jive Records The master of flow is back from the dead with this double CD. It's full of phat beats and the baddest rhyme delivery of all time. It can't get much more ghetto flava than this. There are a total of 26 tracks spread out over the two discs. Need more be said?
30footFALL Divided We Stand Fearless Records I love this band. Songs like I hate punk rock and boogers for brains have kept me up dancing for days on end. This is punk the way punk should be. The best part of the whole thing is a last track where they cover all sorts of other songs (Slayer, White Zombie, etc.). Very entertaining.
98 Mute Class of 98 Theologian Records This is good Cali-style beach punk. I really like it. Rhythmic and melodic, it is bitchin' music for a day at the beach or a monster bar-b-que. Get it. Love it.
Aftershock Letters Life Sentence Records This is some of the better hardcore that I've heard in a long while. Songs like "My Laceration" and "God Complex" snarl with ferocious grinding guitars from beginning to end. This disc never lets up and doesn't let you down.
ALL Mass Nerder Epitaph Records The Descendents may have reunited, but that hasn't stopped ALL from playing out. My problem with this is that the only difference between the two bands is the lead singer. And, frankly, Descendents' vocalist, Milo, is far better than the eight-millionth lead singer ALL has had, Chad Price. The music is fast, poppy, fun and ALL-around-good. Of the more recent ALL records, this is definitely one of the best.
Alternative TV Punk Life Overground Records This is a band which consists of just one guy, a lot of samples and, apparently, a few friends. The music goes everywhere from techno to trip-hop to old school style punk rock. Even the punk songs have a distinctly sampled, techno feel to them. They seem to be missing that little spark of life.
Avail Over the James Lookout Records This is probably my favorite Avail album. The music still carries that "marching band² drive, but the breakdowns and pace of the music is cooler. It's not quite as poppy as some of their past albums have been there is more of an edge. The vocals are well-delivered and the choruses make you want to sing along while your body pounces to the music.
Bad Manners Heavy Petting Moon Ska The music all around is excellent on this release by England's Bad Manners. From start to finish you'll find great sounds from this long running ska outfit. The title track is super fun and danceable, as is "Feel Like Jumping." Music can do a lot of things, and Bad Manners make music to smile, laugh, and dance to. Do something good for yourself- get this cd and go see them live when they tour the USA this summer!
Beyond No Longer At Ease Some Records 1989 hardcore that the kids of today want so badly. Like so much hardcore from '89, well, damn it, face it- everyone was heavily influenced by Minor Threat still. This cd has their No Longer At Ease LP and Dew It! demo from 1988. Oddly, the songs on the demo sound better. The other stuff is too clean with nothing to justify it (Judge has a great clean sound and did more sonically with samples and effects.) The demo is rough sounding, the vocals are clearer and it captures them before moving towards the Minor Threat influence. If you like Bold this might mean more to you.
Bickley Pogo Au Go-Go Fearless Records The music is very punk rock -- fast, three-chord music with angry, screamed vocals --sometimes sounding like a faster Screeching Weasel or sometimes even The Vindictives. The record isn't too impressive as we have all heard this done before. They do it well, but don't really add anything new to it.
Blank Anywhere But Here Reptilian Records I am so impressed by this emo band. Take Jimmy Eat World and Braid and you can sorta imagine the sound. It is incredibly creative and heartfelt music from a band that has been playing out since 1992. Melodic, sometimes poppy, always intense.
Blue Beat Players Torrid Rock Stubborn Records Traditional ska from the land of the rising sun with a modern edge to it. Only two of the twelve tracks have vocals, and the rest just make you feel relaxed with their medium tempo lounge sound. The Blue Beat Players reminded me of the Skatalites for some reason that I cannot pinpoint.
Bob Xark's Gargoyle Wings self-titled Bomb Sniffing Dog Records A one man show. This is weird shit. Politically and socially inspired songs are really pretty entertaining. Lots of cool samples and a heavy techno feel make this a fast-paced 70-plus minutes of musical mayhem.
Boss 302 Rock Songs 360 Twist! Records Hey. They are rock songs. This is cool rock and roll music that you want to listen to in a small, smoky, beer-filled bar with 200 of your closest friends. Good music with a sense of humor.
Both Worlds Memory Rendered Visible Roadrunner Records Metal-inspired fusion of hard rock riffs, Krishna consciousness and a good flow to the vocal delivery marks this album which features ex-Cro Mag John Joseph on vocals. "Cornered" and "Hate Mantra" are awesome songs, yet the other tracks don't quite carry the adrenaline those songs evoke. Again, metal and experimentation are the key words here.
Brandtson Letterbox Deep Elm Records Guitar-driven emo-core here. The songwriting is great and captures a range of emotions. Unfortunately, the vocal delivery is on the "I'm screaming through my whisper" restraint that really limits the emotional power these songs could truly have sonically. Again, the guitar work is very good though at times I was reminded of more complex 80's metal. Very easy to get into, but it didn't rouse much emotion in me.
Buttercup Love Spirit of Orr Records To their credit this has a stronger country flavor and harmonizing in the twangy vocals, plus the slide guitar adds a lot to the mix. If you like country inspired college rock, you'll probably enjoy this. Unfortunately this is too reminscent of early R.E.M. for my tastes.
Cash Money Halos of Smoke and Fire Touch and Go Records Two guys. One guitar. One set of drums. A shitload of talent. Rockin' blues from Chicago (where else?) that make you want to swill cheap beer and jump in a big-ass Cadillac shooting your pistol in the air. This is really cool stuff.
Caustic Resin The Medicine is All Gone Alias Records This is taking me a while to get used to, but Caustic Resin is slowly getting addictive. Described as "psychedelic-dirt-ass rock n' roll,² these boys from Idaho keep the main heavy guitar going while alternating between emo, psychedelic and garage rock. This is pretty cool. It's fresh and fun.
Cheater Home Is Where The Heart Is Theologian Records The boys of Cheater play fast-paced, power-punk that reminds me of Pulley ("spare me the comparison²). The tempo changes are on time and very tight and the vocals work. There are a lot of fun, sing-a-long choruses too.
Cheater Slicks Skidmarks Crypt Records This is noisy garage punk which certainly does not sound overproduced. It actually takes a few times through to really appreciate its sound, but this winds up being a pretty gnarly disc.
Chixdiggit! Born on the First of July Honest Don's Records Perhaps chicks do dig it, but, darn it, so do fellas. This is really cool punk rock. It's not so fast that you're tired after four songs but it keeps you going and going and going And, don't let the 12 track listing fool you, there's a 13th song on there and it's better than the rest. Those sneaky guys.
Compound Red Always a Pleasure DeSoto Records Sounding a bit like Hum and Sunny Day Real Estate, Compound Red has some wicked-good songs. This is kind of emo-rock but it doesn't rely as heavily on the pitiful don't-hate-me-because-I'm-beautiful lyrics. They also dabble in power-pop. Dig it!
Cows Sorry in Pig Minor Amphetamine Reptile Records This is really cool stuff. Scratchy, heavy, smooth and screaming all at the same time. This is a disc which redefines the boundaries of music. Story-type lyrics and lots of musical action make this a great disc.
Dave's True Story Sex Without Bodies Chesky Records For the lounge and soft easy listening jazz set, here's Dave's True Story. This is an excellent recording with sultry female vocals and strong musicianship. The only blemish on this near spotless cd is their cover of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." Aside from that, if you like the lounge scene, get this, you alcoholic!
Dio Inferno: Last In Live Mayhem Records Heavy metal fans know the name: Ronnie James Dio. Dio has been a part of metal just about since metal has been a part of music. He has created some of the most memorable metal anthems, brought forth some of the most talented musicians (namely guitarists) and carved himself a niche in heavy metal history. His latest offering, a double-live CD, captures him doing what he does best.
Dolly Varden The Thrill of Gravity Evil Teen Records Ahhh, a breath of fresh air after all this punk and rock and nonsense. Dolly Varden is mellow, but great acoustic music. They sound like they should go directly to the Lillith Fair. Not to make fun, it's just that they're that good and that's the sound, that's all. Jeesh, don't get so defensive!
Don Caballero What Burns Never Returns Touch and Go Records Feel like there's just no new sound out there? Then step right up and take a listen to this. Problem is, it's so hard to describe. First of all, it's instrumental. Secondly, it has equal parts hardcore and fusion and prog rock and some other stuff that I can't explain. Bottom line: it kicks ass. Led by drummer Damon Che's amazing drumming, Don Caballero has more musical talent in their respective pinkies than Creed or Days of the New have in their whole, pitiful carcasses. Rock on, gents!
Ed Matus' Struggle Planes That Cast A Gloom (10") Boxcar Records EMS play extremely creative music that crosses genres from funk to indie to hardcore to emo. Their songs are long compositions of music. They are definitely a music lover's band and they offer a lot to appreciate. Add in the kick-ass handcrafted art on the front cover and you've got yourself a hell-of-a record.
ErrorType:11 self-titled Some Records Incredible lyrics are only the beginning to this album. Move on to the awesome vocals that carry emotion perfectly. Then take a listen to the tight-as-hell music that sounds like indie rock in one stretch, pop punk at another and then moves on to an '80s hardcore sound -- never once forgetting to pack a melodic punch.
Face Down The Twisted Rule the Wicked Nuclear Blast Records Nuclear Blast has a habit of putting out great metal. This is the best I've heard from them yet. This is angry music with a well produced, but still raw sound. Inspired metal with a dark side that does not mimic the gloomy desolation of those silly goth-metal bands.
Frenzal Rhomb Once a Jolly Swagman, Always a Jolly Swagman Liberation Records "Fuck the System," "Why Aren't You Dead?", "Hate." These are three of these guys 24 tracks of inspired mayhem. This is really cool music. Imagine Frank Zappa crashing head to head with Union 13. This stuff kick ass.
Fugazi End Hits Dischord Records Who hasn't been waiting for this record? Well, the new Fugazi is here and it is Fugazi. Once again, the Ian Mackaye-lead kings of DC-core try out some new sounds, but inevitably end up sounding totally Fugazi whatever that really is. It's difficult to say more about a band that can do so little wrong. The wrong thing to do would be to ignore this album once again setting a path other bands will strive to follow.
Hagfish Hagfish Honest Don's The cover artwork is awesome- a girl wearing a black eye, busted lip and boxing gloves and nothing else taking a swing at the camera. The record features guitar driven rock and roll with nice vocals and harmonizing roughed slightly on the edges. Favorite tracks include "Doo Doo Noggin," "Fruit," and a cover of They Might Be Giant's "Twisting." This is extremely catchy so give it a few listens and see if you're singing-a-long or not.
HED (p.e). Serpentboy Jive Records I shouldn't have to say anything about this band. Just by letting you know this five-song EP is out, you should already be sending your money in. HED, in my opinion, is the most explosive, aggressive, brutal hardcore/metal/hiphop band out there. Rage Against the Machine? Korn? Pussies. THIS is the real bomb. Put this on and begin the first day of the rest of your life.
I-Spy Perversity is Spreading G-7 Welcoming Committee Records Intense, thoughtprovoking punk rock similar to Propagandi, but faster and with more of a hardcore edge. The tempo changes and lyrics are right. Such a pleasant thing when music is more than just sounds.
Janis Figure Tight Pack Flak Records Janis Figure is one of my favorite indie bands of all time. And after three previous reviews, I still can't properly describe their sound. Let me plagiarize for just a second: "Imagine a 1950's era guitar over a 1970's groove70's rock, 80's punk and 60's surf² That's what they say and that's about as good as I could have put it. And let me add that Billy Bisson's voice is not only impossible to describe but it is above description. Transformer is a full-length CD and Tight pack is a three song EP. Transformer is the best bang for your buck.
Jargon self-titled Lobster Records Hailing from San Fran, this four-piece emo band delivers a solid performances on their nine-song debut album. The music moves between melodic, mid-tempo emo to a more intense, harder sound. This is worth hearing.
Jughead's Revenge Just Joined Nitro Records They have a song called "Punk isn't cool anymore." You won't believe it after you hear this 14 song pop-punk jaunt with Jughead. Melodic punk with a drive that carries through the whole disc.
Kevin Pike I Kevin Pike Music This guy did the whole freakin' disc by himself using plastic bags and typewriters in addition to a whole array of more conventional instruments. I was pleasantly surprised by both the music and the production quality of this disc. The songs are pretty decent pop-rock and the guy is evidently quite talented.
Liquid Spider Station Firewhistle Devil Doll Records This is the debut disc from NYC's Liquid Spider Station (LSS). These guys are akin to Husker Du and the Replacements. It's pretty much no-frills alternarock. It's pretty good and the lyrics are actually deep. Imagine that.
Litmus Green It Must Suck To Be You Tacklebox/Cargo Records These guys are pissed at almost everything. They don't like the government, they don't like god, but they sure do like to play kick-ass punk. This is hard, fast stuff that makes you want to punch someone in the face. Go ahead.
Mekons Me Low Noise Music This seems to be done entirely by "Me². This is a strange disc that grows on you. It's kind of catchy. Mellow songs with lots of programmed sounds and tight computer beats. It could be most easily compared to Beck, I suppose, but it definitely has a unique sound.
Melting Pot Polarities of Paradox Stiffdog Records This band's sound can only be described as a melting pot of musical genres. Funk, ska, jazz, punk, fusion, and even rap are all mixed together sometimes in the same song! After four years of being together, this octet has finally released their debut CD, and it has certainly been worth the wait. Fans of Fishbone, Groove Collective, and Weapon of Choice alike will enjoy this one.
Method 51 Method 51 PC Music These guys are solid, tight and heavy. They have a sound quite similar to Stuck Mojo. Lots of bouncy, hip-hop type beats with ferocious guitar/drum work. This is a three-piece that sound like a ten-piece. Kick ass.
Mystikal Unpredictable Jive Records This isn't the best of hip-hop, but it's not bad at all. Big, angry beats and even angrier rhyme delivery make this a great album to release energy or drive to. There are guest appearances by Snoop, E-40 and B-Legit. Sometimes his delivery reminds be of Busta Rhymes.
No Fun At All The Big Knockover Theologian Records This Swedish quartet marries a punk attitude with melodic singing and two-part harmonies to create a tight recording. Some songs, like "Catch me running round," sound almost radio friendly, filled with catchy choruses and hooks, while "Sorry Lad" has a hardcore edge that would make NOFX proud.
Potshot Pots and Shots Asian Man Records The Japanese ska invasion continues! This trio delivers the goods on "Pots and Shots," with their catchy style of melodic ska. Guaranteed to get you moving in no time! Loved the covers of "Since Yesterday" and "Tears of a Clown."
Primal Fear Primal Fear Nuclear Blast Records Those of you still bumming over the departure of Chris DeGarmo from Queensryche's uncertain future, fear no more. Primal Fear brings their own brand of progressive metal to the scene. Very much in the Dream Theatre/Queensryche vein, this German quartet rocks loud and fast. Don't plan on snapping your fingers to this, but snapping your neck is an option.
Prulers Hazelnut KifKif This is crazy, fast, fun punk rock-n-roll. Melodic punk which doesn't give up anything in the fast department. This is one for your collection.
Red Aunts Ghetto Blaster Epitaph Records Polished but pissed is how the ladies describe their own disc. I'd have to say that they've got it. This is angry punk music that gets you by the throat. They certainly aren't polished enough to make you regret listening to it. It swings from pounding ferocity to smooth swinging with a fluidity that makes it very easy to listen to.
Samiam You Are Freaking Me Out Ignition Records Well, it only took two years for the U.S. to receive this album after it was recorded. But, that doesn't matter cause it is great, two years old or not. Ignition was a smart label to pick it up. This five member (four-piece) band has been around since 1990 playing energetic, power-punk in the same vein as Face to Face or Knapsack. The lyrics are always worth reading and the music is damn well worth hearing.
Sic & Mad 23 Blues Stubborn Records Snotty punk rock (plus ska and reggae) for your enjoyment. This is about anger and all the fun you can have expressing it. Most of the songs have the same tempo as Suicidal Tendencies' "I Saw Your Mommy ..." but the lift works here. Put a smile on your face--give this a spin.
Snuff Tweet Tweet My Lovely Fat Wreck Chords According to the members of Snuff, they formed the group "to make a racket and take the piss out of the charts." Well, make a racket is exactly what they do. Hailing from Northwest London, this quintet features a trombone and keyboards to enhance their irresistible blend of potent pop, thrash, and punk.
Sonic Joyride Bazaar Anomoly Records This trio from the Northeast can kick out the funky rock jams. They look to be a young bunch of lads but their blend of alternafunk is very addictive. And they have a little extra something in each song to keep you guessing. Not exactly deep lyrics, but who the hell cares about lyrics?!
Southside Reverb Breakneck Roadrunner/ESP-SUN Records I was expecting harder breakbeat from this Texas outfit. The beats are a bit soft sounding, muffled as though recorded from a kit. There are some good tracks here, but nothing to over amp your adrenaline. You'll find slower mellow grooves, but again, the beat patterns are rather rudimentary.
Strung Out Twisted by Design Fat Wreck Chords Prepare yourself for an all out attack from the Ventura Co. quintet Strung Out, who will knock you out with their powerhouse approach to punk rock. In this, their latest release, they combine melodic vocals with hardcore riffing to produce a heavier style of punk. Watch out for them during this year's Warped Tour.
Symposium On The Outside Red Ant Entertainment Who says England can't rock? Well, normally, I would say that -- but this band has taken full-fledged rock and taken it to a new level. At times, it reminds me of Jimmy Eat World --or at least along those same lines of very power, emotional rock with a bit more of a guitar feel. There is a constant melody and drive that draws you to listen deeper.
Teen Heroes Audio Satellite Glue Factory Records This four-piece, California-based pop outfit delivers tight, uptempo melodic stuff. But this isn't your typical pop-punk music-- it's a lot more creative, thoughtout and emotionally charged. T.H. feature killer tempos, cool riffs and vocals that aren't intruding.
Telegraph The Skolars Collected: 93-96 Jump Up! Records Fans of fast-paced ska should give this a listen. The tracks alternate between ska and punky-ska, but all of them are infected with a tremendous amount of energy and urgency. Granted, some clichés are run through, but we're dealing with material from 93-96. I really dig this record! Get it!
The Adjustments A Little to the Left Stiffdog Records Three songs from the Adjusters' debut release "Everybody must get cloned" (see review below), plus a really good cover of "Boys of Summer."
The Adjusters Everybody Must Get Cloned Stiffdog Records This highly anticipated debut by the Adjusters combines ska, punk, and reggae in a not very original way, but fun nonetheless. Songs like "Spinning My Wheels² start out in the traditional ska style, then revs up into blistering punk, and finally downshifting into power pop.
The Black Heart Procession self-titled Cargo Music This is a very unique recording, one that fits together conceptually and has a deliberate orchestration, similar in vein to Pink Floyd's concept albums. For the most part these are love songs, some with a somber tone, others upbeat, but the core instrumentation of strings and piano and the singer's deep voice give it an overall sad feel. It's really great to hear literate musicians putting their hearts on the line without cowering behind irony. Give it a listen start to finish.
The Chinkees The Chinkees Are Coming! Asian Man Records Michael "Bruce Lee" Park not only runs Asian Man Records, but he also fronts the Chinkees, a pretty decent organ driven ska band. No horns here, just the unmistakably "chinka-chinka" guitar (maybe that's where the name comes from). All the songs sound pretty similar, but what the hell.
The Exploder This Sound Starts Right Now Reptilian Records This is a gem of creative hardcore. The music is chaotic, but can still keep a melody. The vocals are delivered with an intensity you can feel. This is not your typical NY-hardcore -- this is far more creative. Reminds me of Boy Sets Fire.
The Fairlanes Songs for Cruising Suburban Home This is fun punk just the way punk should be. Melodic and bouncy, it's just the thing to pop in the CD player as you head off to the beach. Check track 13, "Vomit." It rocks.
The Hank Marlee Band Anti-Social Behavior Last Resort Records This is a great disc. The music is funny (Mommy's on L.S.D.) and really well done at the same time. The production is just right. It sounds professional, but not too slick. Everything about this disc is really good. Kinda punk--kinda rock--kinda cool.
The Humpers Euphoria, Confusion, Anger, and Remorse Epitaph Records/Mostly Euphoria. This is a cool, hard-driving barrage of pure punk. The Humpers have a great sound - not too old, not too new - it's just right. Check out track four -"Fucking Secretaries." It's a barrel of fun.
The Nobodys Greatasstits Hopeless Records First of all, if you're into punk and you don't know who The Nobodys are, you should probably give up and go country. I admit, I don't know much about punk but I do know the Nobodys. The Misfits, Circle Jerks, Ramonesthis band is right up there. Awesome, awesome punk. And 74 minutes worth, might I add.
The Rust Nails self-titled Coolidge Records We won't hold the fact that they are from New Jersey against them because their band uses a set of bagpipes in a way almost as wonderful as AC-DC back in 1974. This is really good music with a highlandish feel and lots of catchy riffs. Very easy to listen to.
The Vindictives Leave Home Liberation Records It's a tribute to the Ramones. What more do I need to say? It's 15 Ramones songs done in a way that would (should) make The Ramones some very proud Papas. This is rockin' stuff.
The Weakerthans Fallow G-7 Welcoming Committee Records Finally, a record label that genuinely cares about the messages their bands deliver. Political, intelligent punk rock is featured on this twelve-track release from the Winnepeg-based band. They sometimes remind me of Elliot Smith (with the bands more acoustic-styled stuff) and then move on to a sound similar in scope to Propagandhi (a comparison that is bound to come, but doesn't disregard the amazing level of talent and creative that The Weakerthans have). Frankly, I am awed by the complete package this album is -- from music, to recording, to lyrics -- perfect.
The Ziggens Pomona Lisa Skunk Records I'm not a huge fan of the surf rock stuff, but the Ziggens do it pretty darn good. They've got the Dragnet riffs in there and the guitars wail. At times they switch between ska and reggae but always keep that poppy surf rock vibe. I think I'll get used to this.
Tilt Collect 'Em All Fat Wreck Chords Maybe I was the only one who thought Tilt had broken up. Well, push the rumors aside and check out this great new record. Sure, they have now moved on to their third (maybe fourth) bassist, but what Berkeley band doesn't change bassists every month? This is Tilt delivering their awesome power-punk music with amazing, powerful female vocals.
Twig Tolle Absolutes Progressive Music I gotta admit, I wasn't really sure of this at first, but I've come to appreciate it. This is music composed on MIDI sequencers and keyboards, blending just about every sound imaginable into some surrealistic, truly unusual orchestral sounds. This is really cool stuff if you're looking for something totally new and aurally challenging. Whoa, "aurally challenging." Now that's a review.
Union Union Mayhem Records Consisting of John Corabi, interim Motley Crue lead singer during the Vince Neil-less years, and Bruce Kulick, ex-Kiss guitarist, Union is a new band on the hard rock scene. These guys are definitely not amateurs and their songwriting talents shine through. This is a strong first effort by this band and, although the market's probably not ready for them, they deserve a listen.
Uzeda Different Section Wires Touch and Go Records This is some strange stuff. It took me some time to dig it, but it happened. Lots of off times and dischordant sounds add a sense of depth to this disc. This is certainly not your typical 4/4 rock and roll, but it is a nice change.
Various Artists A Million Miles Away, The Emo Diaries Deep Elm Records This is the second collection of emo rock songs put together by Deep Elm. With bands like Pop Unknown, Buford, Plain and Strike Force, this is an absolute can't-miss disc if you love emo rock. These bands do it as well as anyone else and you'd be wise to snatch this one.
Various Artists Insomniac Magazine Presents: Can't Sleep Insomniac Featured on this album are 19 tracks are real, underground hip-hop. But this isn't wack-ass white boys wishin' they could rhyme. This is some hard beats and bad-ass lyrical flows. It is DJ'd by the legendary Tony Touch and local hip-hop DJ Iz-Real (91.5FM Sat. 7-9pm) pulled the whole project together. Featured artists include: Loose Cannons, Tony Arafat, Nig Dee, Drastic Measures, Adept.
Various Artists Mail-Order is Fun Asian Man Records This latest compilation from Asian Man, "Mail-Order is Fun,² gives you a good cross-section of the label's artists. It also contains a few from good friends "Fueled by Ramen Records," home to Less Than Jake, whose song "Liquor Store" is featured here. 29 tracks total! Also present are Link 80, The Broadways, Potshot, Let's Go Bowling, The Bruce Lee Band, MU330, and more. As the name implies, there is a mail order form inside so you can order your favorite Asian Man Merchandise.
Various Artists New York Beat: Breaking & Entering Moon Ska Records After Moon Ska released the first ever ska compilation, "NY Beat: Hit & Run" in 1985, they have spent a good amount of time and energy trying to support the many different ska scenes from all around the world. After 13 years, they decided it was time to return to where they started. This recording features mostly new, unreleased cuts from bands essential to the NYC scene. Bands like Agent 99, Inspecter 7, Mephiskapheles, NY Ska Jazz Ensemble, Pilfers, Slackers, Stubborn All-Stars, Toasters, and more. Ranging from traditional ska to the popular third-wave ska, "NY Beat" has it all. Not only do you get the sequel to "Hit & Run," but you also get the original as well. Moon Ska is re-releasing this long out of print ska compilation. This two-CD set is a must have for anyone interested in the New York scene.
Various Artists Punk vs. Ska Round 2 ... And Then Some Skratch Ray Records This follow up to the highly regarded "Punk vs. Ska Round 1" contains a total of 28 tracks, 19 of them previously unreleased. Among them are interviews with Sublime, The Voodoo Glow Skulls, and Dance Hall Crashers. Whether you're into punk, ska, hardcore of power pop, you'll find something to like in "Round 2." Standing in the punk corner are Final Conflict, Drain Bramaged, Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, and the Co-Dependents. In the ska corner, you have the Toasters, Slow Gherkin, Unsteady, and MU330. If you're into the Orange County, CA scene, you should get this one.
Various Artists Punk It's All About The Orchis Factor Suburban Home Whatever the hell the Orchis Factor is, it makes for a really good punk compilation disc. Pinhead Circus The Fairlanes, The McRackins, Rhythm Collision, Blink-182, do I need to go on? This is a killer comp. Which makes a punk CD collection all by itself.
Various Artists Sociedad=Suciedad BYO Records This is a disc which deserves some attention. It is a celebration of Chicano music in the LA music scene. Five bands collaborated with five very different musical styles and produced a CD, which really works. The music is fun with a good Chicano feel to it each band displaying their talents well.
Various Artists Version City Stubborn Records This is a must own disk for ska, rocksteady, reggae, or blues fans. Perhaps the most vital artists working in the ska genre contribute tracks to this rootsy cd. It's exciting to hear such innovations taking place, particularly when I had assumed ska had peaked out creatively. "Cocaine," "Stages," "Midnight Version" and "Mutiny" are four of 16 excellent tracks that attain distinctive moods through their sonic atmosphere. You really need to own this!
Various Artists Wicked City movie soundtrack Velvel Records Perhaps the best track here is "Outgroup" by 80's hardcore outfit Killing Time. Rough vocals + straightforward riffing + great breakdown=awesome track. The rest of this cd is comprised of other NYC Hardcore bands such as Sweet Diesel, CIV, Samsara, Shades Apart and ska acts Mephiskapheles and Choking Victim. Wish there was more info on the movie in the liner notes, but oh well.
VPN Small Wire Evil Teen Records This is an indie rock delight from VPN, a New York four-piece. Smooth, yet emotionally energetic, male vocals flow through the entire album, delivering intelligent lyrics. The music has a groove and goes from mellow to uptempo.
Whippersnapper America's Favorite Pastime Lobster Records It's not always to compare, but sometimes it applies. This band, in ways, reminds me of Lagwagon and No Use For a Name as well as vocals that are very Alligator Gun-like. To be a bit more specific, the music is very fast paced with great "stops and starts" and breakdowns that are always on time. The vocals are very harmonic and clean. Through and through, this is a damn good punk rock album.
WIZO Kraut & Ruben Fat Wreck Chords This is perfect punk. I like punk of all kinds, but to me the perfect blend is somewhere between The McRackins and Green Day. That's exactly where WIZO hits. This trio of German punksters lays it on heavy, yet keeps it tight and smooth. Some of the songs are in German, so don't worry about lyrical content, just know they'll rock your socks off.
Zeke Kicked in the Teeth Epitaph Records These guys want to kick your ass with their CD. 17 relentless, high-speed chases through the world of punk leave you wanting to take a nap when it's over. Songs like "Fuck All Night" and "Porked" will have you swilling back beers and slamming your fist saying "Fuck Yeah!"
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