59 Times The Pain • Twenty Percent of My Hand Revelation Records Gotta love the crazy kids in Sweden. This hardcore is fabulous...yes, fabulous. The vocals are well-screamed, the music is super tight (amazingly so), it's much faster than it is heavy (but is heavy when necessary), there are plenty of scream-a-longs and the lyrics actually have something to say. This is a good combination of styles: old school meets new school.

Banco De Gaia • Big Men Cry Mammoth Records/ Planet Dog This is experimental organic music, using natural sounds such as water drops and birds manipulated and mixed with electronic beats. An attempt is made at some form of spirituality thanks to the middle eastern chanting and instrumentation. Who cares if it is ultimately soul-less? File under "if you're into atmospheric music."

Barely Pink • NumberOneFan Big Deal This is guitar pop with a country twang. Straight out of the rough and tough streets of St. Petersburg, this four-some delivers twelve tracks. Every now and then I hear hints of Material Issue, but not enough for me to fall in love.

Beta Minus Mechanic • Dissassembly Required Crisis Records Beta Minus blends mid-tempo rock and roll with some hard-edged guitars. The lead singer's high pitched voice takes some getting used to, but it works. Even though it is a good quality recording, it has a local garage band feel to it. Not bad!

BIG 5 • In Yer Face Triple X Records Big 5 is a synth heavy band from the late 70's Two-Tone ska scene. The music is catchy, and the lyrics are witty. However, Big 5 offers a totally different take on the ska as processed through the "new wave euro-pop" sound of the early 80's. Damn is it catchy! I didn't want to like it but now I do. Give it a few listens, it'll grow on you like fungus.

Bil McRakin • I Am The Eggman Shredder Records After tons of releases with his band, The McRakins, Bil has broke free and decided to do something all his own. This album is a pop punk gem with thirteen tracks of up-tempo, melodic, fun music. Similar in genre to Screeching Weasel or the Queers, Bil played all the instruments, wrote all the lyrics, produced it AND recorded it. He is a musical genius!

Blackfork • Rock for Loot Lookout! Records Recorded by Billie Joe. Hmmm, this will mislead you Green Day lovers. This ain't no kind of pop punk. This is fast-paced, angry punk rock with a rough edge to it. What really sets this apart are the female vocals; well-delivered and full of anger, they characterize Blackfork. At times they remind me of Blatz, maybe.

Brand New Unit • Looking Back Again BYO Records Damn, did I mess this CD up. Scratched it to all hell. But, not before I had a chance to realize what a great CD I had fucked up. This is punk rock and roll with great melodies, changes, and vocals. This band is SURE to impress a lot of people.

Catchpenny • Little Shut Up Catchpenny (self-released) Alternative rock with music that far surpasses the ability of the lead singer. The vocals sometimes sound like Ozzy Ozbourne attempting to do indie/pop rock. They sound forced (I can almost picture the singer straining to sound that way). The music is creative and melodic with some neat tempo changes and breakdowns.

Dead Boys • Younger, Louder, and Snottier Bomp! Records Let's kick it old school. These guys are old, but they keep that classic, snotty punk a-punkin'. Delta 72The Delta 72 • The Soul of a New Machine Touch and Go Records The Delta 72 has successfully committed itself to bringing the rock and soul of classic rhythm and blues back into modern rock. Fat guitars and drumming that sounds like it's right in front of you, surrounded by the farsifa, horns and clarinets, give The Delta 72 a rather unique sound. Edgy, but with soul, dammit!

Discount • Her Last Day 7" Panic Records (Helter Skelter) Quirky, melodic pop punk with female vocals (it often reminds me of poppier JChurch with fem-vocals). Discount is wonderful, and the 5000 copies of their first CD show that people are paying attention. This is a great 3-song 7" (one song is on the CD, the others, unreleased, I think).

DK3 • Neutrons Quarterstick Records Strange will only begin to describe DK3. It's a four piece playing guitar, bass, drums, aquaharp, and reeds. Yes, strange, I said. Sometimes the music is super loungy, funky and cool. However, other times the music gets stuck in repeatative rhythms and beats for far too long. It's worth a listen because it is very creative.

Down By LawDown By Law Last of the SharpshootersEpitaph Records Veteran punk fiends release a brand new, scathing attack on the world that turned them to punk rock. Well-thought political and social lyrics on top of kickass melodic bliss never fails.

88 Fingers Louie • 88 Fingers Up Your Ass Hopeless Records Their final release! *sob* Here's their impressive breakup album, a huge 27-song CD full of their half-pissed off, half-not-so-pissed off superfast style. Das mah boys.

Elevate • Interior Hep-Cat Records This six song EP sounds like Boys vs. Girls—from the churning guitars to Tim Ward's voice. They aren't completely emo-rock but the tendencies are there. The good tendencies, that is.

GBH • Punk Junkies Triple X Records The best track is "Enzo," a 2 minute rife with anger and hatred towards this guy. When you remember the varied styles of music they covered and the pure adrenalin surge from listening to their 80's songs such as "Alleyways," "Slut," "Limpwristed," "Alcohol," and "Heroes," well, this doesn't hold up in comparison. Then again, maybe nothing can. Listen at your discretion.

Gigolo Aunts • Learn To Play Guitar Wicked Disc These are friendly pop songs in the vein of those innocent times of yesteryore when you hated your exgirlfriend and yearned to sing about it. "Ooohs," handclaps, great singing & more harmony than you could shake at Chisel. Very Much Recommended for guitar pop purists. Its just so good! GET IT!

Groove Ghoulies • Re-Animation Festival Lookout! Records The Queers meet the Misfits. Pop punk with horrorifying lyrics. "The first time she looked at me, she said I looked just like ET." Hey, ET is cool! I like these guys. The music is super melodic pop punk (sometimes with a twang) and is done quite well. The lyrics are silly and sometimes get on my nerves. But the music is so darn good.

Guttermouth • Musical Monkey Nitro Records Here comes Guttermouth with another dose of intelligent, thought provoking music. Not really, but who cares? Sometimes leaning towards Green Day, but mostly not, Guttermouth takes aim at hunters, gays, vegans, rollerbladers, wannabe punks, and twice at the lead singer's mom. JChurch/Discount • split 7" Liquid Meat What a pairing! These two go together perfectly (two tracks per band). JChurch plays their style of guitar driven pop-rock-punk stuff. Easily distinguished vocals, lyrics worth reading and melodies that make you happy. Discount does their thing. Pop-punk with great female vocals. This is a split definitely worth having.

Joan of Arc • busy bus, sunny sun/stemingway and heinbeck 7" Southern Records Two songs of slow moving experimental emo rock. Sometimes it drags on too long, sometimes you question the strangeness of the musical stylings, but it grows on you. The vocals are innocent, shy, out of tune, and sincere. It all fits.

KarateKarate • In Place of Real Insight Southern Records Indie rock can be great. Indie rock can also be way too pretentious and drawn out. "Which is this?" you ask. This is the good stuff. The vocals are innocent and emotional, but they can also cut through with anger. At times the music is a little more chaotic than I'd prefer, but it's growing on me (most of the time it is pretty damn melodic). Overall, this album is a solid emo/indie release.

Less Than Jake • Muppets 7" Liquid Meat These Gainesville kids have another release. This has two main tracks and then two silly tracks on the flip side. Again, LTJ has a great release. Probably not their best material, but still damn fine. No one can play their blend of pop-punk-ska (although this is more pop-punk than ska) nearly as well.

Lipmonger/McRackins • split 7" Negative Progression Records Lipmonger plays melodic punk rock stuff, fairly poppy. The lyrics are silly. The music is catchy. Nothing shockingly new, but the two tracks are a fun listen. McRackins are no longer. But the two tracks on here are fine examples of the pop punk stuff they do (ala Parasites/Screeching Weasel/Ramones).

Lloyd Brevett and the Skatalites • African Roots Moon Ska Records This is a recording of the Skatalites' first reunion that took place in 1975, plus four bonus tracks for a total of fourteen original Skatalites tunes. This is the original ska sound, mostly instrumental, and very cool.

Los Hooligans • Traditions Moon Ska Records If you want a solid, tight, old-school ska cd, buy this. If you want to laugh your ass off while listening to solid, tight, old-school ska, buy this and read the liner notes/yearbook. Just buy it, OK? Jeez.

Mealticket • Lisa Marie CD ep Asian Man Records Ska with more ska and then some power pop twists and "oh those fabulous female vocals". I'm quoting myself. This is only a three track ep which is a lot like getting to ride only half a roller coaster or only being allowed to start peeing. But, it sounds so good, I'll let it slide, for now.

Migraines • Shut Up OneFoot Records With songs like "I'll Be Glad When You're Gone" and "Daddy Wears Mommy's Things," you know right away you're in for something different. And the Migraines don't disappoint. Punk never had it so fun.

Mike LaddMike Ladd Easy Listening for Armaggedon Scratchie Records Mike Ladd's got some important things to say, some things everyone, not just hip-hop heads or poetry junkies, can relate to. On "Easy Listening for Armaggedon" he vocalizes his frustration and anger over smooth jazz beats. However, this is not to be confused with a hip-hop album, this is a poetry album. This is music for deep thinkers on a laid back afternoon.

Mr. T Experience • Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood Lookout! Records Whole schmoly! Thirty-one, count `em, 31 tracks of MTX. Seven brand new ones, plus old stuff (1989-1993). Classics such as Love American Style and More Than Toast grace this CD with the poppy brilliance and lyrical wackiness that has made so many fall in love with MTX. Feast on this one kids.

New York Ska Jazz Ensemble • Low Blow Moon Ska There are 14 tracks on this brilliant CD of mostly jazz influenced ska instrumentals. Fourteen reasons to own this recording. A worthy cover of Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitiful" with Steve Pietaster sounding his best, which is reason enough to own this. If you were to only buy one ska or jazz album this month or in your lifetime, make it this one. This is the epitome of musicianship within the ska genre, and unlike the soft and easy jazz of today, these songs are extremely danceable.

P.W. Long's Reelfoot • We Didn't See You On Sunday Touch and Go Records Former lead singer and guitarist of Mule and Wig, P.W. Long offers his blend of hillbilly, funk, folk and rock on this cd. Mostly acoustic, this packs a good punch—due mainly to Long's raw, raspy voice.

Pansy Division • More Lovin' From Our Oven Lookout! Records Twenty-one classic tracks are featured from this queer-rock band who has made Lookout their home for some time now. However, PD has released tracks all over the place, on 7"s and comps. This is a collection of stuff from all different places, a follow-up to their Pile Up CD of the same idea. Great songs like "Bunnies", "Negative Queen", and "The Story So Far" are all featured on this must have disc for PD fans.

Pervis • Neck or Nothing Idol Records Crazy music that will make you flail uncontrollably and chick vocals that will stir your soul. Dance Hall Crashers and Reverend Horton Heat had kids.

Plastiscene • self titled Plastiscene (self-released) Great rhythmic hippie rock. Amazing percussion and vocals that just bend and weave all over the place. Fire that thing up!

Positive StatePositive State • The Bullshit Initiative Torque Records You'll either love this or hate it. I think I'm in love. Screaming, chaotic, fast hardcore. I'm not sure what it is that makes me really dig this. It's loud, semi-melodic, and way political. And cool politics, too!

Powerhouse • Pandemonium 7" Resurrection A.D. Records West Coast hardcore played super fast by these four tough lookin' fellows. Some breakdowns, but the music is generally pretty quick. The vocals are screamed and decent. I wouldn't say this is anything new, but what it is, is done well.

Prunella Scales • Dressing Up The Idiot Mutiny Records If the attempted comeback of 80's metal bands isn't quite what you thought it'd be, give this a listen. This band, unlike those wannabe comebackers, have taken hard rock and added to it.

Racer Ten • Melodies & Memories OneFoot Records Canada has handed us some cute boys (kinda cute, maybe) playing cute punk rock. This album is fulla harmonies and tempo changing pop punkiness. The CD contains sixteen tracks that can definitely be characterized as lyrically adolescent (and that is a good thing). A solid and long release (over sixty minutes!). RexRex • C Southern Records This is all the rage in the indie music biz. Take the stylings of an indie rock band, mellow it out and add some string arrangments. It's the rage, cause it's cool. Not only does it work, but it expands the listeners experience in terms of musical appreciation. See, a violin isn't only used in boring orchestras; it can rock with your music, too! Don't you feel cultured!??!!

Rhythm Collision • Collision Course Dr. Strange Records You were waiting for this...all the b-sides and extra crap that R.C. didn't put on one of their three previous full length albums. Nineteen tracks of stuff that you might not have heard before. Most of this stuff isn't available anymore, except here. Some are different versions of your favorite songs such as Hippie Now and Too Long. If you're a fan, this is something you'll totally dig.

Skavoovie& The Epitones • Ripe Moon Ska Records This is the best old-school ska I've heard in a long, long time. That's all I can say; I'm going to listen to it again. If you don't buy this, I'm not giving you mine to borrow.

Steadfast • Sixteen Reasons Why OneFoot Records Another jewel from those wizards at Onefoot. They rock my melodic world, and they'll rock yers!

The Broadways • Big City... CD ep Asian Man Records Chicago dishes out another dose of punk rock for all of us to ingest. I hope they don't mind it, but I'm gonna compare them to Fifteen, especially on the vocal tip. The music is similar, but better, more full and loud. This is a four song ep that displays this band's talents very well. Oh, and I totally dig the lyrics - intelligent and heartfelt - what a combo!

The FedsThe Feds • Chicago Bureau Dr. Strange Records With Ken Weevil (The Bollweevils) fronting the band, how can you go wrong? Powerpunk with vocals that are superb. The songs are medium to fast paced with solid tempo changes and a melody that drives through the whole album.

The Revelators • We Told You Not To Cross Us Crypt Records Rock and roll roots-drenched punk that at times sounds like a buzzsaw, at times sounds like punked-out southern hillbilly. You'll want to have this on hand for break-up night. Crank it!

The Sonora Pine • II Quarterstick Records Gentle, soothing beauty. Female vocals grace this soft album of slow relaxation.

The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs • Overdrive Alive Records Punk kicks ass and so do the Cheetahs. Ever feel like locking yourself in a room and playing really loud music? You'll want to have this on hand. It's like the band suggests, "Play it loud, motherf#@*er!"

TiltWheel • Battle Hymns for the Reclusive Youth Liquid Meat Fast, melodic punk rawk! Aw, yeah... scratchy vocals and everything. Das da stuff, baby!

A Tribe Called Quest Bonita Applebum/I Left My Wallet in El Segundo & Check the Rhime/Award Tour Jive Records Jive comes with the ill shit on their Classic 12" Series. "Bonita Applebum" is partnered with "El Segundo" on the first album in the series. Tribe's classic song about love and desire is remixed twice and "El Segundo", their first big hit, has a Vampire Remix. The second 12" in the series features remixes of classics from the "Midnight Marauders" album. Although the remixes are good, they fall short of redefining the songs; still, just having the original versions on vinyl is dope.

Tuesday • Early Summer CD ep Asian Man Records This is a great punk band with throaty, sincere vocals and musicianship akin to Crimpshrine or Everready. Four songs is definitely not enough from this band. So, be patient and savor this until the full length comes out in October.

VaporheadVaporhead • self-titled Paradigm Straight-up power pop stuff here. Nothing more, nothing less. It's solid, vocal and guitar driven stuff. The melodies are strong and keep the flow. It's Deep Blue Something (ya know, that damn Breakfast at Tiffany's band) if they got aggressive. Or something like that...it's good.

Various Artists • Cheapo Crypt Sample #2 Crypt Records Samplers are so neato! This one features thirty-one tracks by twenty-two bands. Garage punk is the best way to characterize what is going on here. Some more rock n' roll, some more punk rock. But most tracks have that rough, garage thing going on. A fine sample of what Crypt has to offer.

Various Artists • Flush Sampler Fearless Records Friggin' huge collection of Fearless bands including 30 Foot Fall and Strung Out. Less than six bucks!

Various Artists • Hot Rock Action Vol. 3 7" Reptilian Records Four bands, four songs. This slab covers garagecore, metal, noise and various other obnoxious sounds. It features: Buzzov•en, The Spitters, Haberdasher, and Behind Closed Doors.

Various Artists • Kathode Ray Interior/Exterior Music Kathode Ray Music FREE!! FREE!! Get a sampler CD of extremely talented independent artists. Just about every kind of music you can think of. Send 4 stamps to: Kathode Ray Music, 1487 West 5th Ave., Suite 205, Columbus, OH 43212

Various Artists • Letters to Aliens Vol. East and Vol. West Undercover, Inc. The packaging on this 2 cd set is amazing! Each volume comes with its own sticker and postcard set, making this a fun and collectible item. The music is eclectic and leaning on the experimental side. The tracks on the East volume are tedious due to the repetitive nature of their instrumentation and sonic structures, and severe lack of cohesion to a intergalactic theme. The West Volume, however, is amazing conceptually and sonically. Slowed down indy-rock with wacky sci-fi sounds tossed in intermittently and space themes for the most part. Eerie and beautiful. Great music for pondering "Is there other life on other planets?" Get the WEST volume. Pass on the East.

Various Artists • Teenage Kicks Liberation Records This is the kind of compilation that requires no explanation (well, other than letting you know this used to be on vinyl and is now on CD with 9 extra tracks) except a list of some of the bands: Propagandhi, Parasites, Sicko, Rhythm Collision, The Bollweevils, Squirtgun, The Vindictives, Supergirls, Bruce Lee Band, Against All Authority, and about 10 others. Need I say more?

Various Artists • The Ska Zone Triple X Records This is a nice compilation of Two-Tone ska with enough good songs to make it worthwhile. Stuff by The Selecter, Big 5, International Beat, & Potato 5. Worth owning to score scene points by saying "Yeah, I know (insert band name here)."

Weston/Digger • Wilkum To Pennsylvania 7" Hopeless Records Weston are so wonderful. They play melodic rock and roll with a punk edge to it. They are so tight. This 7" has two tracks by `em, both great. Digger is a little more silly, poppier and punkier. Their two tracks are uptempo, super melodic and way catchy. This split is one of the better ones I've heard in a while.

ADDRESSES - in alphabetical order TOO!! Please write them.
Alive Records, P.O. Box 7112, Burbank, CA 91510
Asian Man Records, PO Box 35585, Monte Sereno, CA 95030-5585
Big Deal, PO Box 2072, Peter Stuyvesant Station, NY, NY 10009-9998
Bomp! Records, PO Box 7112, Burbank, CA 91510
BYO Records, PO Box 67A64, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Catchpenny, PO Box 171, Irwin, PA 15642
Crisis Records c/o Rev., PO Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232
Crypt Records, 1409 W. Magnolia, Burbank, CA 91506
Dill Records, PO Box 347388, San Francisco, CA 94134-7388
Dr. Strange Records, PO Box 7000-117, Alta Loma, CA 91701
Epitaph Records, 2798 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Fat Wreck Chords, PO Box 193690, San Francisco, CA 94779-3690
Fearless Records, 13772 Goldenwest St. #545, Westminster, CA 92683
Helter Skelter (Panic), Via degli Ausoni, 84-00185 Roma
Hep-Cat Records, P.O. Box 17022, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Hopeless Records, PO Box 7495, Van Nuys, CA 91409-7495
Idol Records, PO Box 720043, Dallas, TX 75372
Jive Records, 137-139 W. 25th St., NY, NY 10001
Kathode Ray Music, PO Box 872, University, MS 38677
Liberation Records, PO Box 17746, Anaheim, CA 92817
Liquid Meat, PO Box 460692, Escondido, CA 92046
Lookout! Records, PO Box 11374, Berkeley, CA 94712-2374
Mammoth Records, 101 B Street, Carrboro, NC 27510
Moon SKA Records, PO Box 1412, NYC, NY 10276
Mutiny Records, P.O. Box B, New York, NY 10159-0006
Negative Progression Records, PO Box 15507, Boston, MA 02215
Nitro Records, 7071 Warner Ave., Ste. F-736, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
OneFoot Records, PO Box 3834, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-0592
Paradigm Records, 67 Irving Pl. S., 3rd Fl., NY, NY 10003
Plastiscene, 1453-A 14th St, Box 168, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Quarterstick Records, PO Box 25392, Chicago, IL 60625
Reptilian Records, 403 S. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231
Ressurection AD, PO Box 763, Red Bank, NJ 07701
Revelation Records, PO Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232
Scratchie Records, 825 Eighth Ave, NY, NY 10019
Shredder Records, 75 Plum Tree Ln. #3, San Rafael, CA 94901
Southern Records, PO Box 25529, Chicago, IL 60625
Torque Records, PO Box 229, Arlington, VA, 22210-0229
Touch and Go Records, P.O. Box 25520, Chicago, IL 60625
Triple X Records, P.O. Box 862529, LA, CA 90086-2529
Undercover, Inc., PO Box 14561, Portland, OR 97293
Wicked Disc, 38 Everette St., Allston, MA 02134

Back To Music Reviews