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CD reviews
1-Speed Bike Droopy Butt Begone! Constellation Records • Aidan Girt knows about steady, droning background music as the drummer for Godspeed You Black Emperor. He used that knowledge to put together Droopy Butt Begone!, his debut album that has a more electronic feel. Plenty of loops and samples are mixed together over live drum phrases to give it a fresh but canned effect. As you may imagine, you won't be doing much dancing to this one -- instead, you can probably use it as background for whatever you are doing.

6Gig Tincan Experiment Ultimatum Music • Maine's 6Gig are the new contenders for the heavy rock radio crown. Similar to bands like the Disturbed and Filter, they combine melodic vocals and heavy, hooky guitars to great effect. They belong next to any band you might hear on a local hard rock station or in any summer tour like the Vans Warped Tour or the Ozzfest. As you might expect from this type of album, the production is impeccable, allowing the vocals to fly on top of the heavy riffs without getting lost. I highly recommend Tincan Experiment to any fans of heavy music.

6X Thunder Bomb Daemon Records • Featuring ex-members from 17 Years, Dead Elvis and the Coolies, 6X plays punk rock with a slightly dulled down sound. In fact, it is more pop than punk. Lara Kiang's singing needs a bit of work, but overall, Thunder Bomb is a pretty decent recording.

American Nightmare American Nightmare Bridge Nine Records • This is pissed-off suicidal hardcore that would pass as posi-core if the lyrics weren't printed. The vocal delivery and music doesn't over-dramatize the words of desperation, as perhaps a goth band might. "Fuck What Fireworks Stand For" attains its strength from expressing these emotions, winding with a chorus as if to say "you're not alone in your loneliness." Recommended listening for anyone with angst or going through a rough time in life. There's plenty of scream-along parts for you to release pent up emotions.

At the Drive-In & Sunshine split CD Big Wheel Recreation • At the Drive-In has been talked about a lot recently, and with good reason. You owe it to yourself to check them out. A nice companion to their music is Sunshine, with whom ATDI share this split CD. Sunshine kicks it off with "Streamlined," a consistent, driving track with an engaging beat and whiny vocals. Then there are two remixes for the same song: the Dead Elektro Mix, with a slightly different, yet equally repetitive beat, and the Line Mix, with an electro boogie sound. Think Afrika Bambaataa's Planet Rock. The last two tracks are by ATDI, "Extracurricular" and "Autorelocator." "Extracurricular" is the closest to what ATDI usually sound like, all crunchy guitars and yelled out vocals. "Autorelocator" has an electronic beat with a groovy bassline and cool keyboards.

Backside 10 Million Strong and Growing El Pocho Loco Records • This is punk the way it should be. It's a delicate mix of new and old-school, though there is very little about it that is actually delicate. This is fast, but still melodic, angry, but not furious. I'm sure that they sound like another band, but I just can't think of whom they compare to. It is good, quite good.

Bad Influence Last Cries Rock 'n' Roll Radio • Hailing all the way from Belgium, Bad Influence spews out some pretty tight hardcore with punk and metal influences. There is a likeness to early Corrosion of Conformity at times. The songs are well structured and the lyrics are pretty intense.

Blue Holly's Song Sanity Check Musec • This is the story of an artist who befalls a terrible tragedy. Then through visions in his dreams, he begins to put his life back together. The music is at times haunting, at other times beautiful and always emotional. Blue's singing sounds a bit melodramatic, but it's not too bad.

Blue States Nothing Changes Under the Sun Eighteenth Street Lounge Music • If you enjoy the Beastie Boys' jamming sessions on Check Your Head and Ill Communication, or any of Money Mark's albums, then you will like Nothing Changes Under the Sun. There are plenty of head nodding tunes with swirling keyboards and lazy beats. Samples range from strings that sound like they were lifted from a 1970's Bond flick, to a little girl's voice taken from a 60's Greek record.

Blue Tip Polymer Dischord • These guys play guitar, bass and drums and there is some guy singing or something. I mean, really, the average band is the music critic's nightmare. Nothing to praise and nothing to vilify leaves very little to say. Except maybe, these guys play guitar, bass and drums. Oh, and I guess they rock.

Burn Witch Burn self-titled Razler Records • No, this isn't death metal. It is, however, the latest project by the Dead Milkmen's Rodney Anonymous. They play traditional music from Pennsylvania. What?!? That's right. Mandolin, Hurdy-Gurdy, even a freakin' Tin Whistle, for Pete's sake! What's scary is that they are GOOD. Save for the disturbing vocals, this band could play in any Renaissance fair. They wanted to go retro, but this is ridiculous. Check them out for a different musical experience. Expand your horizons, you goddamn punks!

Catch 22 Alone In A Crowd Victory Records • Think Reel Big Fish. Catch 22 hail from Chicago with a huge horn sound carrying fun melodies. They sometimes wander into the realm of swing but with a trombone, sax and trumpet, who can blame them. Their vocals and lyrics won't change the world but who really cares.

Cell Block 5 Push It Industrial Strength Records • No, this isn't a tribute to Salt N' Pepa as the album title may lead you to believe. This is drunken, aggressive, punk rock with extra snot thrown in for good measure. It's standard format, three-chord, fast-paced rock and roll that is done well. Don't expect any wild creativity or brilliant lyrics (do expect some great guitar solos) -- just expect some good old-school style punk rock for the beer-infused masses -- kinda like Dead Kennedys meets The Ramones.

ChikMountain Porn On The Cob Tachist Records • This is ChikMountain's first full-length CD. The band lives in Washington DC. ChikMountain calls their music "hardcore ambient sound collage". I call it crap.

Chris Dodge / Dave Witte East West Blast Test Slap A Ham Records • This is an odd one. Chris Dodge is a bassist and Dave Witte is a drummer. They live on opposite coasts, but they did not let this minor inconvenience stop them from recording together. Witte recorded the drum sections, then sent them to Dodge, who recorded everything else. The result is amazingly cohesive hardcore music. Slightly unusual is that most of the songs are instrumental. They are also very short. 27 tracks in 18 minutes come to just under a minute per track. It gives the feeling that this is more of a rough draft than a finished album. Just hit the repeat button on your CD player and listen to it a couple of times.

Crux How Does This Go? Boot To Head Records • Check this out, I just have to read this to you: "Crux mixed the elements of fast powerful hardcore punk with the melody of their classically jazz trained vocalist..." Huh?! There it is, right in their press material. I'm not making that up. Anyway, what they came up with is their brand of melodic hardcore. It's not different than things you've heard before, but it's probably new to you so you should give it a try.

Death Cab for Cutie Forbidden Love EP Barsuk Records • Fans of Death Cab for Cutie have this EP to keep them occupied for a while, until the band releases another full length. That will not happen any time soon, since they are constantly touring in support of We Have the Facts, and We're Voting Yes. The Forbidden Love EP contains three new songs, plus alternate versions of "405" and "Company Calls Epilogue," both from We Have the Facts. These are beautiful songs with emo leanings and string arrangements in the background.

DefCon5 Civil War EP self-released • This four-piece from Orlando, Florida is a great band musically. With styles akin to Propagandi (tracks 2 and 4) and Digger (tracks 1 and 3), the music is fast-paced, tempo changing and aggressive. However, the vocals, which are shared among band members, are inconsistent -- some very good, some very bad. Lyrically, the songs are also not as solid and two tracks focus on Christian themes -- something I'm not very fond of. If DefCon5 were an instrumental band, they would rule. Or, if the vocal duties were limited to the best of the singers and the lyrics were stronger and less religiously-focused, they would rule even more.

Delarosa & Asora Agony / Backsome EP Schematic Music Company / Warp Records • You could probably describe Delarosa & Asora's sound as muzak for Autechre fans. There is certainly an experimental feel to these two releases. The tempo is kept slow, like any Trip Hop tune, sometimes drifting into an ambient sound, devoid of beats. However, the sounds sampled here go beyond regular instruments. Voices are manipulated, not allowed to speak complete words. Even the sound of a skipping CD provides an interesting feel to "Swipe Width." Delarosa & Asora is actually Scott Herren, who writes music under different names, with Prefuse 73 and Savath + Savalas among them.

Detroit Grand Pu Bahs Sandwiches Zomba Recording Company • This CD contains nine different versions of the Detroit Grand Pu Bahs's "Sandwiches." Not only do you get the original version, but you also get mixes that fit into any DJ's set, from house to techno to hip-hop. I wouldn't recommend listening to this CD all the way through, because the chipmunk-sounding vocals repeating the same two lines for 48 minutes will drive you insane. Pick your favorite and forget the others.

Deviate State Of Grace Too Damn Hype Records • This new Pantera disc rocks! Oh, wait, this is who now? Deviate? OK, we'll call them Deviate then. Well it could be Pantera then, how's that? Regardless of who they sound like, they kick ass. That's a sure thing. In fact, I think they kick more ass than Pantera. Deviate is like a really pissed-off Pantera. They have a bigger sound and are more aggressive. In fact, I think I'm replacing what's-their-name's new CD with this one. "Empty World" is my new favorite song.

Dirty Walt and the Columbus Sanitation To Put it Bluntly Triple-X • A solo project by Fishbone founder "Dirty" Walt Kibby, this heavy-on-the-funk/hip-hop collection is an activist shout-out, an unquestioningly straightforward plea for people to get their heads outta their asses on the drug issue and legalize it. It's smooth, and true, and real, old school dirty weekend party funk. Grab a blunt, and groove to this highly entertaining party album with substance.

Disarray A Lesson In Respect Eclipse Records • Holy Shit! I mean... Holy Shit! This is one of the best discs I've heard in a long time. Fierce and angry, but not so much that the music is lost. It's like Biohazard without the rap overtones. This is a disc that starts heavy and does not relent until you are a quivering little puddle of piss on the floor.

Discipline Nice Guys Finish Last Too Damn Hype • Discipline play punk rock with gritty vocals that border on hardcore. The energy is aggressive throughout the album, though sporadic piano harmonies add a nice touch. Oi fans will like their cover of Slapshot's "Hang Up Your Boots."

Dr. Madd Vibe The Ying Yang Thang Asian Man Records • Angelo Moore, lead singer of Fishbone, performs spoken word poetry as Dr. Madd Vibe on this full length CD. My favorite track is "Sing Low," which is sung, not read. It's on this track that I realize why I was not fully into this CD: Moore has an amazing voice! Yet on most of the tracks he talks, without the benefit of the visual. (This is also being released on video, so I recommend that.) "Emotional Man" has instrumental accompaniment and echo effects on the voice, giving something more to carry you through. Moore has some important things to say, however, perhaps just saying it removes the power of his voice and song.

Dread Fabrik Soundtrack Of The Revolution self-released • And just when I was about to say, "Hey, where the hell is the punk?!" Enter Dread Fabrik. This is some older-sounding punk though I can assure you this band is fresh. They're a socio-politically conscious band who doesn't mind speaking their mind. Oh, and they're pissed. It didn't move the Earth for me but it's worth a listen.

Dry and Heavy Full Contact BSI Records • I had listened to this album about three times before looking at the liner notes and seeing -- surprise! -- names like Shigemoto Nanao (drums) and Takeshi Akimoto (bass). Damn, they had me fooled! You could have told me that the guys playing these mostly instrumental reggae tracks were straight from Jamaica, and I would have believed you. But no, they are from Japan, and they are very good.

dZihan & Kamien Freaks and Icons Six Degrees Records • You would find it hard to guess where dZihan & Kamien are from. Their blend of western percussion with musical elements from European countries gives no clue that they call Vienna home. Freaks and Icons starts out in a party mode, with a catchy danceable tune featuring a groovy bassline and flowing keys. The pace slows down a bit for "Streets of Istanbul" and "Before," whose beats seem to build up to a climax that never arrives. "Slowhand Hussein" is a nice slow trip hop track while "Spacewater" has elements of drum 'n bass and ethereal keyboard atmospheres. The world of dZihan & Kamien has many musical influences, and they are evident on this CD.

Ensign For What It's Worth Nitro Records • You've got yourself an EP with songs that will be on a full CD to be released in March 2001. Now, on this here EP you've got yourself some hardcore. It's totally no frills and rocks out as much as any hardcore I've heard this month. There are some really heavy, beefy riffs on here and that's just cool with me. I don't know if I'd rush out and pick this up because the full CD will be out in just a few months. However, I would grab that when it hits. Oh, and look for these cats on tour, too. P.S. If you really want to get this EP, by all means, go ahead. I'm not going to be offended.

Faraquet The View From This Tower Dischord Records • The opening track on this CD is so damn good. It's indie rock at its finest -- combining jazz elements with rock while using hyper-creative and constantly moving guitar parts. Much of Faraquet's style is very technical, using varying sounds throughout each song, changing tempo frequently. Their sound has bits of The Dismemberment Plan, Modest Mouse and others -- but remains absolutely original. J. Robbins, as engineer for the album, shines through in the amazing recording quality of the release.

Field Day The Dawn Of A New Day Onefoot Records • This is a rock-n-punk record like so many others -- catchy, aggressive, and fun. It seems that there must be a formula to follow in creating a disc of this ilk, because they are all starting to sound the same. Luckily, Field Day has been doing this for over five years. While there is nothing terribly bad about this disc, I wish that bands would start trying new things at some point.

Forever And A Day The Art Of Creation Eulogy Records • Wow! This is surprisingly good! When I read the press material and saw "emo/rock band from Coral Springs, Florida" I pretty much chalked it up as a loser. However, this is not bad at all. Florida hasn't produced a good band It may have finally happened. I don't know just how much I'd label them an emo band but they are certainly rock. I'd put them in the Bush vein. There are definitely some emo tendencies but it's not emo like Son Volt emo. I don't think the guy's going to kill himself if he doesn't get the girl, you know? This band rocks out as much as any band on the radio right now and they have some great hooks. I bet they're a kick live. Go check them out and let me know. Thanks.

Forever Goldrush Halo in my Backpack Cargo Music • Forever Goldrush falls somewhere between the Hindu Cowboys, Hootie and the Blowfish and Pearl Jam. The lead singer comes really close to sounding exactly like Eddie Vedder. His bandmates back him up with twangy guitars and harmonies that are a bit too country to be called alternative but a bit too alternative to be called country.

Frankie Sparo My Red Scare Constellation Records • Poor Frankie, he's so sad. The songs are pretty slow, keeping you in anticipation of every next note. Even though the songs are all somewhat different, only the mood is the same throughout. From single guitar accompaniment to string orchestration, Sparo manages to create a somber mood filled with reverb'd hopelessness. And that's without paying attention to the lyrics!

Gaskill Granite Iron Oak Haffen Records • The first track and all the remaining songs by Gaskill shows Danzig as a vocal influence on this metal outfit. That's right, Heavy F-ing Metal, the kind with a vocalist who can sing, scream, change his sound, and hold a note. Missed metal due to it's multiple hybridizations and cross-pollinations? Check out Gaskill. It is straight up metal. No hardcore, no death, no speed core, just metal. This gets better each listen!

H.D.H. Diesel Slimstyle Recordings • This high-energy release from H.D.H. (Hipster Daddy-O and the Handgrenades) will keep you moving all night long. They blend swing, jump blues rockabilly and a bit of punk into a powerful dance cocktail. The dash of punk comes from their covers of Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes" and the Misfits' "Astro Zombies," with the lead singer sounding very much like Glenn Danzig.

Idaho Hearts of Palm Idaho Music • Idaho has been together since 1997, and has endured a few lineup changes in that time. Hearts of Palm is their sixth full-length album of "slo-core," as they call it. You can just sense the melancholy in Jeff Martin's voice as he sings "To Be the One," backed by an almost Trip-Hop beat. They've toned down the feedback and the antique amps for a more sober, atmospheric sound.

J Mascis and The Fog More Light Eulogy Records • J Mascis was the man behind Dinosaur Jr, one of the best alt-rock bands of the late '80s, early '90s. He's a brilliant guitar player and a fantastic vocalist with a highly recognizable voice. Joining J as The Fog are bass player Mike Watt (formerly with Firehouse/Minutemen) and George Berz (ex-Dinosaur Jr). The album is a collection of rock songs (11 tracks), some with heavier country influences than others, but undeniably J Mascis. Each tune has a personality, a style of its own, and a hook that absorbs the listener in a cozy yet powerful and emotional way.

Jamie Lidell Muddlin Gear Warp Records • For those familiar with last year's fantastic release by Super_Collider Head On, then you are familiar with Jamie Lidell, the voice behind the project. If you were captivated by his vocal style, you might be sad to know that he sings on very few tracks on Muddlin Gear. The good news is that this CD does not really need his voice to succeed. His sound treads water in the more experimental Aphex Twin, Autechre and Datach'I. His songs are odes to musical patterns, not necessarily with an underlying theme. Sometimes he pulls all the stops, and journeys into the deep end of experimentation, like in "The Cop It Suite," which features a variety of beeps and beats in no particular arrangement. "Ill Shambata" struggles to be a dance floor song, based on the repetition of a thumping beat, but degenerates into a sample-fest. Not all tracks are a difficult listen, though. "Silent Way" delves into Electro and Braindance, while "Droon_99" explores Trip Hop and Ambient. Even the last track, "Daddy No Lie," is a barbershop quartet tune, with barely any electronic effects. This CD is certainly intended for a certain audience, and that audience will love it.

Janis Figure Damage Control Owned & Operated • "Refreshingly original, and satisfyingly dated," the four boys from JF give us a sound that is wholly unclean-sounding, sort of a purposely unpolished collision of 50's guitar, 60's surf, 70's rock, and 80's punk. It's a great homage to all aspects of rock n' roll. For those who give a stern middle finger to the whole polished world and just want your rock to come naturally, this is your album.

Jazzanova The Remixes 1997-2000 Jazzanova Compost Records • Jazzanova is a Berlin based group of musicians that have been sought out by plenty of artists wanting remixes for their songs. For their debut release, instead of putting out original material, they decided to compile some of their best remixes into a two CD set. Bands like Incognito, 4 Hero, Liquid Lounge, Soul Quality Quartet, Azymuth, and others get the Jazzanova treatment. What you get is a combination of many sounds, including Hip-Hop, Drum and Bass, Boogie, Bossa Nova, Latin and Soul, all rolled up into a nice danceable package. Two tracks are standouts: Incognito's "Get Into My Groove," with its Michael Jackson style vocals and catchy beats, and Ursula Rucker's "Circe," which is $2.95/minute away from being musical phone sex.

Jello Biafra Become The Media -- 3 CDs Alternative Tentacles • This is ex-Dead Kennedy frontman Jello Biafra's sixth spoken word album. The focus of the three CDs is politics with a heavy emphasis on election issues. Biafra discusses such topics as the WTO convention in Seattle, the Green Party (Jello was one of their presidential nominees), the media and plenty more. This is more than three hours of brilliant oration from one of the more visible figures of the activist movement. Biafra has always been outspoken and, with time, has become even more influential and insightful.

Keepsake She Hums Like A Radio EP Eulogy Records • This south Florida band offers up five tunes, each catchy, combining a hardcore/emo intensity with an indie rock charm. The vocals are both well-sung and screamed (sparingly, but effectively). The composition of each tune is creative but not groundbreaking. Still, this is a solid release from a band to keep an eye on.

Kid With Man Head Fond Memories of the Halibut Rodeo Forest Records • And now accepting the award for best album name, it's Kid with Man Head with Fond Memories of the Halibut Rodeo. Oh yeah, there's music here, too. There's some punk and some pop tunes mixed into this six-track EP. With better production and a more polished sound, Kid with Man Head will end up mainstream. "She Won't Sleep With Me" is a highlight.

L.E.S. Stitches Lower East Side Artemis Records • Track twelve is called "First Beer of the Day". Is there anything else to tell? Okay. These guys are serious about their music. It is fast and fun with that punk-n-roll feel that makes your nipples erect. Fun beer-fueled music to kick back and get hammered to. This is one that any old-school punker needs.

Left Out 25cent Serenade Plan It X Records • This is one of those rare discs that I just could not feel inspired about in any fashion. It was not too good, but it didn't suck too bad. It was just kind of there. It's pretty standard pop-punk without much to really make you write home about.

Lifetime Seven Inches Temperance Records • Starting in 1990, Lifetime began punching out punk rock with a hardcore and heartfelt intensity never heard before. After their demise in 1997, the band decided to release two old 7"s on CD (along with a couple other tracks). One of the two 7"s is their first, now released after being remixed. The other is "Tinnitus". Altogether, there are twelve tracks (counting the bonus track) and each one showcases Lifetime's brilliant contribution to punk rock. Check out Kid Dynamite and Zero Zero, two bands formed by former Lifetime members.

Lovelight Shine Makes Out Big Wheel Recreation • Joey Guerva, Mark Marino and Chris Vanacore from Jejune enlisted bassist Gary Striegel to form Lovelight Shine, with the intention to revamp rock and roll. Mission accomplished. This 19 minute CD packs more punch than some 74-minute releases I have heard recently. "Freedom Fighter" opens it up, with the same intensity that the Delta 72 open up their latest, 000. "X-Ray Vision" keeps the energy, adding some piano to keep the flow going. Things slow down a bit for the third track, "Earth's Last Lifeline," where they take a more majestic tone, with a few strings and vocal harmonies, only to pick it back up with "Foxxmeat." "The March is On" closes the album out with a certain "Bohemian Rhapsody" meets the ending credits theme for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure quality that I can't quite put my finger on.

Loyal Frisby The Escape Velvet Records • This band has gone through name and line up changes, but Loyal Frisby has emerged as a hard-driving rock band. The vocals are powerful, full of evocative emotion and spirit. I love the surprise of female vocals and organs for the song "Commencing the Story Part One". With their sound you have a hard time classing them, but it is reminiscent of such bands as The Pixies or For Squirrels. Coming from Gainesville, which has almost forever been linked with Sister Hazel, Loyal Frisby emerge giving Gainesville, and its starving air waves, new hope.

Lungfish Necrophones Dischord Records • Lungfish are tripping hard and that's the best possible way to handle this band. If you dig the miscellaneous guitar riffs of Phish with a sort of slow punk tinge you'll do fine here. Number nine in the chain of albums from Lungfish; this is yet another solid chapter full of alt-rock melodies. Each album is a little more polished, even with the grainy voice of Daniel Higgs.

Mad Parade Re-Issues Dr. Strange Records • A compilation of most of the discography of Mad Parade from 1984's self-titled album through to A Thousand Words in 1987. This is a hardcore classic punk sound throughout. This CD is fun as hell without the slightest hint of giving a fuck and hands down the most badass remake of "One Tin Soldier" (yeah, I couldn't imagine it) on tape anywhere. Twenty-three diverse tracks over four years more than justifies picking this up.

Man of the Year The Future Is Not Now Loveless • With The Future Is Not Now Portland's Man of the Year has produced an album of geeky, relentless and shameless pop. POP. Bubbling and swirling with so much effervescence and so, so much synth that it made me quite sick; like one of the state fair rides that are supposed to be fun but only succeed in making you hurl.

Matchless You Shaped Curve self-released • Featuring former members of 66 Saints, this Seattle-based two-guy, two-girl band releases their much anticipated full-length. Matchless has created an amazing following through mp3 promotion, and has sold over a million copies of this album solely through word-of-mouth. It is well deserved, as this is a wonderful offering of genuine, original melodic pop.

Moron Envy A Temporary Escape From Insanity self released • The only thing that sets Moron Envy apart from other punk bands is the saxophone that creeps in and out throughout the songs. Besides that, this is a pretty generic and mediocre punk album. Even they are aware of this, since the back cover has "WE SUCK!" printed on it.

My So-Called Band The Punk Girl Next Door Yesha, Inc. • This is pretty standard issue punk that does not do much for me. There is nothing wrong with it, but there is nothing particularly right with it either. The songs are fast and tight with a definite pop-punk feel, but there is something missing.

Never The Less Through The Night Boot To Head Records • OK, this is a sign. I need to get out more. Here's another Florida band I've never heard of. AND they're from right here in Central Florida! Dammit. Never The Less (NTL) play an aggressive brand of melodic punk. They label themselves as "Good Riddance meets 88 Fingers Louie meets Youth Brigade." I'll have to trust them on that, as I've never heard the latter before. Those bands must be pretty good in their own right because NTL is a damn good band. They have that cool old school sing-along punk vibe going. Which means, yes, you can actually understand this guy's singing. I dig this.

No Forcefield Lee's Oriental Massage 415-626-1837 Stray Records • Brain and Larry Lalonde from Primus and Extrakd from El Stew got together with some friends to create some compelling and unusual music. It's difficult to categorize, since it gravitates from Drum 'n Bass, to Hip-Hop, to Scratch, without warning. It's as if they don't want to be pinned down, their thoughts revealed. Even the song titles are cryptic. "The John Rocker Redemption Clause" is a fast Drum 'n Bass number with many samples from the old arcade game Defender. "Squid in the Shirt" has a blend of disco and a touch of Latin American rhythms. Don't try to understand them, just listen to them.

Notaword Four From Fortieth Double Zero • This four-song EP is a fantastic showcase of the energy, melody, and emotion that embody the Midwest sound of Notaword. There is real power here with lots of exceptional guitar play -- dramatic pop mixed with emotional hardcore. And it all has an extravagantly optimistic, major tone. Color me impressed, and color me eagerly anticipating a full-length.

Oozzies Nation Out of Hand Industrial Strength Records • Using an anthemic, old-school punk approach to song writing, the Oozzies rock out great melodies and hooks with an angst-filled punk attitude. Speedy drums lead the assault with each new track (13 in all), pounding out rapid-fire beats to form the background of this Cali quintet. The Oozzies combine an Oi! style with catchy punk sing-a-long choruses. This is definitely the perfect album for a boot-stompin' good time.

Orbiter Mini LP Loveless Records • For those late nights when you just want to chill out and relax with some good tunes, check out Orbiter. Their sound drifts between trip-hop, pop and alternative rock. Fiia McGann's vocals are like Gwen Stefani's, but with less attitude. Not only does Harris Thurmond share the microphone with McGann, but he also takes care of just about everything else, except bass and drums on some tracks. Like the title suggests, this Mini LP is not very long, but it definitely is sweet.

Ox self-titled Allegory Records • I simply do not know how to categorize this disc, and, in my opinion, that's a good thing. This is a creative album straddling the bounds between jazz, folk, rock and psychedelic. In defying the norms, Ox has created something that is truly enjoyable to listen to. It is slow and mellow for the most part but is far from boring. You won't be disappointed.

Penfold Amateurs and Professionals Milligram Records • Penfold is very much from the new school of weepy power pop: lots of jangly guitars to open the scene, building to an ear-splitting crescendo that lasts half the song if they can help it. The difference between the gold and guano in this genre is emotion, and these guys have it in spades. Give'em a listen before that big date.

Plaid Trainer Warp Records • Ed Handley and Andy Turner have been making music together since 1989. This double-CD compiles some of their earlier material released under the names Plaid, Atypic, Balil, Tura, The Black Dog and Repeat. Many of the songs included are not available anywhere else, so if you are a fan of Plaid's brand of electronic music, you should definitely get this one. Even though some tracks tend to go on a bit longer than I would have liked, they still kept me entranced for about 150 minutes. Since the tracks are ordered chronologically, you can witness as their sound morphed through the years. It's one hell of a ride.

Plastiq Phantom Enjoy the Art of Lying Down Sweet Mother Recordings • Plastiq Phantom is one of those artists that would fit in nicely in the Rephlex and Warp rosters. His songs feature the chaos of Braindance, with an obvious likeness to artists like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. Like Aphex Twin, he experiments with classical music but more in-depth. He blends his tracks with confidence, going from the soothing, classically influenced, "Select Imputor?," to the spurting beat-fest of "Kicking Mister Bubbles." His songs tend to build to a climax that never arrives, leaving you waiting for more.

Prescott C. Everything, Upside Down and Backwards self-released • Quite excellent for just two people! These Long Islanders produce an offering of combination melodic pop and fuckin' screaming death devil rock! A very unique Jekyll-and-Hyde approach to rock n' roll, and leaves me wondering just where these two would like to be musically. They can be in both places for all I care, because they've got a pretty decent grasp on all of it.

Project Grudge Between You & Reality Medea Records • By layering electric guitars over synthesizers and distorted vocals, Project Grudge (AKA Mattias Johansson) creates a sound somewhere between Nine Inch Nails, recent Rob Zombie and Chainsaws & Children. There is a definite base of electronica, much like other industrial-techno acts like My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Between You & Reality won't be winning any awards for originality, but nonetheless it should appeal to industrial music fans.

Q And Not U No Kill No Beep Beep Dischord Records • This DC quartet has been together for nearly two and a half years. This is their first full-length release. It showcases the band's technical, indie rock approach that has similarities to The Dismemberment Plan, Faraquet and Braid. The music is extremely creative, using various sounds and melodies to keep the music moving while constantly mixing-up tempos. With the help of Ian MacKaye and Don Zientara on the recording, No Kill No Beep Beep is a stellar debut album for Q And Not U.

R.L. Burnside Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down Fat Possum Records • Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks? This 73-year-old musician has no reservations about adding turntable scratches and spare electronic beats to his Blues sound. Don't be misled to think this is some kind of remix album. I said spare electronic beats. This is very much a Country Blues album, with Burnside commanding the microphone. In the opening and closing tracks, he just talks to the listener, recalling tragic times in his past that come to life through his matter of fact delivery. In the humorous "Nothin' Man," he sounds like he's in a daze, repeating phrases like "You can't arrest me!" "You can't arrest me, I pay rent here!" and "I wish my momma would have loved me" for no apparent reason. This album will probably upset purists with its rebellious take on the Blues, which is probably why Epitaph's label Fat Possum is putting it out.

Red Shift Mantra self titled Manteis Recordings • I was totally blown away by this CD, especially when I learned that this is an Orlando-based band. There aren't many bands in this town that play atmospheric, spacey music. Four songs comprise this CD, with about 31 minutes of relaxing sounds. The album opens up with the appropriately titled "Adrift," with conga drums pattering a rhythm while waves of keyboards drift in and out. Finally, the female vocals come in, sounding a little bit like Sade, but in a higher key. Next comes "Cloud Noise," which starts out as an ambient piece, slowly bringing in keyboards, then flute and other sounds, with an entrancing effect. "Calm Between" is introduced by a melancholic piano that segues into more atmospheric song that again features vocals rich with echo. Finally, "Obsidian" closes the CD out, with congas, flute and faint chanting that give the track a more tribal feeling. This is a CD you'll want to listen to with headphones, in a dark room. You may never come outside again.

Revolutionary Hydra The Antiphony Elsinor Records • The Revolutionary Hydra is one of those literary bands, educated and well read, with lyrics as entertaining and thought provoking as good poetry. For example from one song: "Ye of little faith, you will become an actor, a parody of grace or a paragon of laughter...or Will Shatner." And the songs themselves are as crafted and diverse in style as Thomas Mann short stories. For those of us who like our indie rock a little difficult, this is good stuff.

Richard Devine Lipswitch Schematic Music Company/Warp Records • There's something about a certain kind of electronic music, call it Braindance, or Intelligent Dance Music, that elicits confused comments from those who have never heard it before. Comments like, "What's wrong with your CD player? Is it broken?" I just smile and shake my head, thankful that I'm one of the few who get it. Truth be told, this music is difficult to like, since there are no vocals, and the rhythms are sometimes a bit harsh and repetitive. Normal instrumentation is replaced by short, sputtering sounds assembled in some kind of pattern, morphing into other sounds and patterns. And you can forget about dancing to it. Nonetheless, there is something refreshing about it. Perhaps it is the feeling of hearing something different for once. Bands like Bogdan Raczynski and Ovuca. And Richard Devine. His CD, Lipswitch, is fascinating. It comes close to Aphex Twin's Richard D. James Album and Windowlicker, while not coming off as plagiarism. Oh, make sure you listen to it with your headphones on.

Rudimentary Peni The Underclass EP Outer Himalayan Records • For nearly 20 years, RP has been rocking out dark, heavy punk tunes. This release is no different. Featuring 12 tracks, most clocking in at just over one minute, The Underclass is a new punk album with an old punk feel. Capitalizing on distortion, surprisingly catchy melodies and gruff, in-your-face-vocals, RP dishes out another deadly release.

Saint Bushmill's Choir Give 'Em Enough Booze Broken Rekids • By the title of this CD, you might assume that this is just another punk band whose sole purpose is to get drunk. In fact, Saint Bushmill's Choir is a band that blends musical elements from their native Ireland with a punk attitude that is both rebellious and entertaining, in the manner of the Tossers.

Schizoid All Things Are Connected D-Trash Records • Digital hardcore in fun effect! Though this is an amazing CD, Schizoid occasionally falls into the same trap as all the digital hardcore bands: political redundancy. The enemies remain the same, the rebellion is still the same, and the slogans are -- you guessed it -- still the same. Political lyrics aside, the sound warping on "New God" is nothing short of great, as is the sound loop on "Grim Prospects." This is a really great CD if you can gloss through the simplified politics and admire the textures of noise that build these songs.

Scientific From the Nest of Idea Burnt Toast Vinyl • Oh, how I hate EP length releases. They are way too short, especially when a band is as good as Scientific. They specialize in edgy pop songs characterized by solid guitars and keyboard backdrops. Their sound is at times very much like Stereolab, with repetitive keyboard notes and droning melodies. Somebody please tell Scientific that they are allowed to fill up all 74 minutes on a CD. STOP TEASING US!

Scum Of The Earth Better Late Than Never Boot To Head Records • Well, this is quite interesting. Scum is an Australian band that is no more. According to the records, they started as an Oi! band and moved into different styles, everything from fuzz grunge to pure punk to ska to straight hardcore. This is different, probably the most original sound I've heard in a while. They really can't be classified under one particular listing. I guess punk is the closest to what they are but this ain't your mama's punk.

Selby Tigers Charm City Hopeless Records • Loaded with handclaps and joyous adolescent attitude, Selby Tigers return to school on Charm City. Old school, that is, where recess rules and power pop meets new wave punk. Judging from the photograph, these Tigers, adorned with receding hairlines and pencil-thin mustaches, have surely seen their 10-year high school reunion. But that doesn't stop them from crafting a catchy and charming album about cutting classes and the validity of geometry.

Seth Yacovone Band Dannemora self-released • I reviewed this band's last disc and I am shocked to see that they have not been picked up by a label yet. This is a great blues band. They have been opening for the likes of B.B. King and Ray Charles and they can hold their own even against those giants. This is 62+ minutes of good blues with some of the sweetest guitar playing you'll ever hear. Sadly, this disc, while excellent, does not do justice to the band who must be seen live to be fully appreciated. Go get this, baby.

Shipping News Very Soon, And In Pleasant Company Quarterstick • Shipping News' new album leaves port in very Steve Albini fashion. Slow and crawling, deep bass lines accompanied by high-pitched guitar licks and the menacing whispers: "Show new skin," pause, choppy guitar lick, "Insect man," all elicit a dreadful feeling, as if you have just boarded a ship that's doomed to some nautical disaster. After the dynamic explosion that ends "March Song" we find our selves in the calm of the storm and able to appreciate the sounds of this creaking old schooner. The rest of Very Soon, And In Pleasant Company is as big and unpredictable as the ocean that seems to inspire them.

Sinclaire Attention Teenage Girls Sonic Unyon • Oh my! The melodies are too good, my toes won't stop tappin' and my mind is soaring in a cloud of guitar pop-rock goodness. From the vocals to the big riffs and fantastic tempo changes, Attention Teenage Girls is 11 tracks of powerful beauty. This quartet is all about rock and they'll rope you in with a catchiness more contagious than the Black Plague. Their style is akin to such bands as Sunday's Best, The Stereo, and Errortype:11 -- but let's stop comparing and get back to rocking.

Slumplordz Present: Tha Yakuza in Don't Worry about the Kaliber (or nothing like that) Stray Records • The songs in this hip hop album will remind you of some kids getting together, their friends jumping around behind them trying to sing about how tough they are. The beats on this album are simple, if anything and the vocals keep missing the beat. It is almost like the vocalists are trying to catch something but haven't yet. They still need practice.

Smut Peddlers Porn Again Rawkus • Joining forces to form the Peddlers are the amazing High & Mighty (Mr. Eon and DJ Mighty Mi) and MC Cage (aka "Alex"). The energy on this album is constant, a nonstop flow of ghetto flavor with constantly bumping beats, funky instrumentation and catchy loops. Mighty Mi's cuts come correct and on time, not overused but an essential part of the musical composition. The vocals are spit with accuracy, delivering sometimes funny, often raunchy tales from the street. Cage received a little attention through his ongoing static with Eminem over suggestions that Em stole Cage's style. Regardless, this funky, hook-filled 14-track release is all Smut and all good.

Souls of Mischief Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution Hiero Imperium Records • The members of this hip-hop band have spent most of their adult lives together and it shows in their lyrical talent. Opio, Tajai, A-Plus and Phesto Dee play tag team on the microphone and flow with the beats that back them up. In a time when the airwaves are filled with the usual gangster rap, it is nice to have some music that can make your head bop and also has something to say. Fans of A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots keep these guys in mind.

Southern Culture on the Skids Liquored Up and Lacquered Down TVT Records • The seventh album from SCOTS is full of Country Western filled twangy guitars and Rhythm and Blues attitude. Throw in a little bit of honky-tonk and Tex-Mex and you have got yourself a good record that knows no genre boundaries. Their lyrics are as funny as ever, apparently fueled from their ever-increasing alcohol consumption. Get this one if you like SCOTS, and you won't be disappointed.

Still Dreadful Lucky Fuckerz El Pocho Loco • Well, I'll be... There is still truth in advertising. This is, in fact, dreadful -- boring and uninspired. All I can say is, don't use obscenities simply because you have nothing else to say.

Suk self-titled Incriminating Records • This California punk band knows their limitations, but they don't let the fact that their music is crap stop them from recording. Hell, they named themselves Suk. Their sloppy punk is a cross between old D.R.I. and old Corrosion of Conformity, but worse. Save your money, kids.

Sunshine Velvet Suicide Big Wheel Recreation • Sunshine definitely has a British punk attitude, with jangly guitars and stressed vocals similar to Johnny Lydon from P.I.L. Their all-out rock songs share Rhythm and Blues influences like the Delta 72, but they also fuse pop music tendencies, adding synthesizers as well as handclaps, and other effects. In its heart though, Velvet Suicide is simply a rock and roll record.

Swingin' Utters self-titled Fat Wreck Chords • It's hard to pin down what the Swingin' Utters do so right. Maybe it's the cool, rivin' through the desert, top-down, haulin-ass Johnny Cash country rock tune ("Watching the Wayfarers") or a sweet driving rock beat, but I like it. The rest of the album is solid pop-punk.

Synthetic 16 Your Water Resurrection A.D. Records • Built from the remains of Tonystark, Synthetic 16 delivers solid, powerful melodies and heartfelt vocals. The songs are emotionally strong and have a sincere, honest feel. However, these five New Yorkers need to pick up a few catchy hooks to go with their alt-rock style melodies. Your Water is well put together technically and musically, it just lacks creativity. The band is touring in New England with a US tour coming up soon, so be on the lookout.

Taken Finding Solace in Dissention Goodfellow Records • I, personally, found more solace in silence after listening to this disc. It really kind of sucked. There were wild and disconnected chord and tempo changes punctuated by screaming and uninspired guitar licks. They are trying something different, and for that, they must be applauded. However, they should try something else.

Telegraph Switched On Jump Up! Records • Three years after their debut album comes Switched On. Toning down the ska-punk that defined their sound, this release features more accessible songs. Even though there is a horn section, it's hard to classify this CD as ska. Even though songs like "Coffee Drinking Song" retain its ska-punk sound, this album feels like a transition for Telegraph, keeping some of their old sound while experimenting with new directions, with songs like "Would You Jump Too" and "(Baby, Let's Stay) Broken Up" featuring more of a pop sound.

Telto Bugged D2 Records • Telto plays alternative rock with a little bit of an attitude. Leslie Dean's vocals sound like a higher-pitched Stevie Nicks. Her dynamic voice can portray anger, then sadness with the emotion of Alanis Morissette. Toward the end tracks, Bugged takes on a more relaxed feel, with the songs sounding a bit more improvisational, like an old Doors tune.

The Assistant The Assistant Milligram Records • The really interesting parts of this record are sometimes marred by hardcore. "I don't believe" has a great two-minute intro, and then the hardcore kicks in. Still, I really like they seem to have a lot of fun with their music. Their vocal delivery shows the influence of Grade. If you love Grade or scream/sing hardcore, check this out. As an added bonus you get a very cool CD booklet that's filled with their thoughts.

The Atari Star Moving In Still Frame Johanns Face • In film they say that comedy is much harder than drama to execute. Anyone can make someone cry, just step on their foot. But laughter, the ability to make someone laugh, is a gift. How often do you see a funny movie that's also meaningful, I'm not talking "Little Nicky" here, I'm not talking senseless slapstick, but comedy as a tool to tell a story. It's a delicate balance that requires the master craftsman to execute. The same can be said for the pop song. In today's corporate world the pop song has become the most effective marketing tool, aimed at the lowest common denominator and with the intention of having of all humming. But the "true pop song", that rare and remarkable gem is a testament to the collective unconscious and summoned by those rare harbingers such as the Beatles and perhaps, perhaps the Atari Star.

The Bananas Forbidden Fruit Plan-It X • This is loads of fun. It's fast, happy, snotty punk with lots of surprises. The songs are short, as they should be, and assault your senses with yell-singing (which ain't bad at all) over super happy chords. It has a basement sound that is perfectly fitting, but the recording never fails to conjure images of them on stage with hundreds of crazed persons running around knocking each other over. It's just that good.

The Dickheads Dick Tease Wet Puss Records • I know they sound like another band, but I just can't think of who it is. This is decent punk. The music is fun and well produced enough to keep you listening. The riffs are catchy and fun but not too sugarcoated. There is some sweet harmonization in the singing and, all in all, this is a pretty good disc.

The Eclectics & Friends The Look Ahead Jump Up! Records • After the relative success of their debut album, Idle Worship, the Eclectics took a break and decided to change their sound a bit. Giving their vocalist a break, they enlisted a few friends to take over the vocal duties on a few tracks, including Dennis Buckley from 88 Fingers Louie, Frankie Delmane from Teenage Frames, Tim Kinsella from Cap'n Jazz / Joan of Arc, and Dustin Harris from Skapone. Some of the songs steer away from the ska-punk of the past, opting for a more mainstream pop sound. However, the vibe that was celebrated in Idle Worship remains intact.

The Ex 1936 -- The Spanish Revolution Alternative Tentacles / AK Press • This is more than two mini-discs of The Ex's music, tunes that are bound to inspire political change and revolution. This release is a re-packaged photo-book (originally released in 1986) about the Spanish Revolution, a battle by anarchists to overcome fascism. The black and white photography is excellent and tells a powerful story (captions in both English and Spanish). The book is 144 pages and comes with four tracks of material from The Ex, composed of two Spanish anarchist songs and two original tunes of pounding punk rock with a revolutionary attitude.

The Explosion Steal This EP Revelation Records • My favorite song here is a modified version of Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night" under the guise of "E.X.P.L.O.S.I.O.N." "Turnaround" has a great build and rhythm. The other tracks here are equally pounding punk rock, though influenced more by 80's groups.

The Family Dog So Cal Hardcore El Pocho Loco Records • This is some raw, fast and furious old school hardcore. By old school I mean that it doesn't sound like the hardcore of today (i.e. the new school). With me so far? This could better be described as ska minus the reggae, plus some not-grungy hardcore. This is a pretty good disc if you're sick of hearing the metal-esque hardcore of today.

The Fire Show self-titled Perishable Records • Give these guys credit: the production alone on this CD shows ambition. The Fire Show is something like what the Mercury Program would be if they just decided to rock out a little (OK, a lot). It's your call whether this is a good or bad thing. Some good lyrics here too, that could use some decent vocals to do them justice. All in all, worth a shot for atmospheric value alone.

The Good Life Novena on a Nocturn Better Looking Records • From the lyrical content of Novena on a Nocturn, this band should be called The Sad, Regrettable Life. This side project by Tim Kasher, singer/guitarist for Cursive, makes sad music centered on Kasher's disappointment in himself, as well as in others. Whether it's wondering about an old flame in "Your Birthday Present," or telling his mother about his failures in "What We Fall For When We're Already Down," Kasher uses mostly acoustic instruments and some keyboards to create a helpless mood. There is definitely a Cure vibe on this album.

The Hope ConspiracyCOLDBLUEEqual Vision • This is extremely melodic for being so heavy. Sonically, the songs constantly evolve as they progress, which is such a rarity within the repetitive structure of hardcore. The production level is high, so this truly is a treat to hear. The lyrics are not as impressive as the music, but the vocal delivery is up to snuff, so just listen and be amazed at this new sonic mastery within hardcore.

The Krays A Battle For the Truth Temperance Records • The Krays proves themselves to be great lyricists and one of the rays of hope for punk rock despair. Unafraid to tweak their vocals in the studio, this CD's production does them justice on the faster and slower numbers. Influenced by late 70's/early 80's punk and rock and roll, The Krays have put out one of the best punk rock records I've heard in a long time. They, like most punk bands, are not getting rich off their efforts, so validate them and give this a listen, dammit.

The Last Kind Revelations Stray Records • Despite rockin' the mic for over 10 years, The Last Kind are just dropping their first national release. It has been worth the wait. This LA crew delivers bumpin' beats with smooth loops and flawless flows. While they don't break any boundaries or create a new sound, this is damn good hip-hop coming through in a world of fake-ass MCs. The rhymes on this release are the kind that make ya think and the beats will have you bouncin' in your vehicle. The diversity of the vocalists, two from LA and two from the northeast, create an eclectic blend of dope shit.

The Limes Turn Your Lights Off Deluxe Records • Despite rockin' the mic for over 10 years, The Last Kind are just I would describe the Limes as rock/pop with a bit of an edge. Witness the opening track, "Wrong Way," with its Lemonheads-meets-Urge Overkill sound, perfect for radio play. Contrast it with "Smile," and its almost punk energy and driving drumbeat. Add to that a cover of the Smith's "London" and you've got yourself a pretty good rock album.

The Marshes Recluse Dr. Strange Records • The three-piece featuring Colin Sears of ex-Dag Nasty fame on drums is back with their fourth album. While nothing has come close to their debut on Grass Records, this is their best album since then. They've added a trumpet on some songs and continue with their aggressive, fast-paced punk rock and roll. The melodies are present on every song, tempo changes around every corner and the vocals are angst-filled and emotionally-charged.

The Milwaukees The Bland Comfort of Life With Lloyd Justin EP Twentyfourseven Records • This may be the best alternative rock band around. I apologize for using the word "alternative" -- but this band definitely fits the radio-ready, hard-rock genre. However, these guys do it better than anyone -- and for that reason alone, you will probably never hear 'em on your local rock station. With an emotionally-charged musical delivery and powerful vocals, The Milwaukees create strikingly good rock songs (six on this EP). With bands like Knapsack and Crumb out of the picture, these guys are ready to fill the void.

The Mr. T Experience The Miracle of Shame Lookout! Records • I think it is safe to say that The Mr. T Experience have drifted away from punk music. They had been leaning that way for a while now, but this EP is nothing but sweet pop music. The only song that could be considered pop-punk is "Mr. Ramones," a short ditty about an obsession with the legendary punk group. Don't worry, the lyrics are still ironic and humorous, so their essence is intact.

The Nation of Ulysses The Embassy Tapes Dischord Records • Both a musical and political force, this "new" release from NOU is their last recorded material. It was recorded and mixed in '92 and has finally been released for the masses to revel in. As much a political assault as an aural attack, NOU's noisy musical approach was groundbreaking, threatening and intense -- a combination of indie rock, artsy noise and avant-garde jazz. This final release is one to be handled carefully, enjoyed immensely, and never fully understood.

The New Morty Show Rigormorty Slimstyle Records • For those of you still interested in Swing music, check out The New Morty Show. Focusing on Golden-Era jump-swing, their songs are full of energy waiting to explode. Male and female vocals tag team the lyrics as this 10-piece rips through 10 tracks, including covers of Poison's "Unskinny Bop," X's "Hungry Wolf" and Cole Porter's Just one of those Things."

The No WTO Combo Live from the Battle in Seattle Alternative Tentacles • As all eyes focused on Seattle this past November, Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) and Gina Wainwal (Sweet 75) decided to get together and play a concert as their way to protest the proceedings. This CD features their performance, which includes two new songs, and two classics by Dead Kennedys and DOA. Also included are two spoken word tracks by Mr. Biafra, as well as his recounting of the events leading up to the concert in the liner notes. Krist Novoselic also penned part of the inside booklet, which lists organizations you can contact to offer your help.

The Port Huron Statement Home Recordings 1997-1999 Bittersweet • This is the ultimate example of truth in advertising. Home Recordings 1997-1999 is just that, a series of songs that Chip Taylor wrote, played and recorded himself during those years. The result certainly has an intimate, personal sound. These songs don't aspire to much, limiting each to only a few instruments, with very few effects, similar to Eric Alexandrakis's I.V. Catatonia.

The Real Diego e.p. 23:16 What Else? Records • From San Pedro, CA comes The Real Diego (I didn't know there was a fake Diego), playing indie/emo style music similar to the Promise Ring or Sunday's Best. By the title of the CD, you can guess it's 23 minutes, 16 seconds long, and The Real Diego sure know how to economize, giving you the best stuff in a small amount of time. The songs are emotional, and waste no time getting down to business, going from slow and melodic (the Weekend) to faster, hookier stuff (Niagara Falls), then back down (New Settlers).

The Showgoats Catfish Sunday self-released • Listening to The Showgoats puts me in a good mood. The mix of vocals and bass come together as an upbeat indie band way. This collection of professional lawyers, account directors, and a veterinarian came together after college for the love of making music and performing. The lively, happy vocals show you the way a band can be when they don't have to worry about school or some minimum wage job. I love how they threw the chimes and harmonicas into the songs. The band, at times, reminds me of REM or old U2.

The Sissies Geography Plan It-X Records • The Sissies are one of those rare bands that manage to create a listenable album despite the lack of any real musical talent. Much like the Dead Milkmen and Half Japanese before them, this Indiana, all-female garage band goes at it with such free spirit and abandon that you can't help but admire their effort. They're sure to be an inspiration for young girls everywhere.

The Trouble with Sweeney self-titled EP Burn Toast Vinyl • The soft melodies of this band and the sweet, pseudo-depressing vocals seem to make you forget that you have anything else you should be doing except sitting back and enjoying the music. The sweet, folksy vocals almost make you forget the simplicity of this three-member band. Fans of The Sundays and Belle and Sebastian should take notice. After listening to this six-song CD, you are left feeling teased. Luckily, they are currently recording a full-length album.

The White Octave Style No. 6312 Deep Elm Records • The White Octave should appeal to fans of indie rock and tempo shifts. Standout songs on this full length include "Etc," a short Sonic Youth inspired dirge, "Devise Executes" which rocks out, and the instrumental "Adult Entertainment." They occasionally stray into the familiar area of indie rock with "Crossing the Rubicon," and even seem to lift from Led Zeppelin on the title track intro. All said, this should find a place in the hearts of indie rockers.

The Winter Blanket Hopeless Lullaby Plowcity • When describing The Winter Blanket it is very difficult not to use the obvious metaphors. Produced by Alan Sparhawk of Low and featuring him on three songs, Hopeless Lullaby will surely be keeping many listeners warm this holiday season with their sparse instrumentation, soothing harmonies and confessional lyrics. Add this to the stockings of those melancholy souls. This is exceptional softcore.

This Bike is a Pipe Bomb Dance Party With... Plan-It X • Happy rock to cleanse the soul. Sure, it's amateurish, but it's a super-fun dirty sound, and we can never have enough of that. They throw in nice surprises like harmonicas, and every member of the band is pretty much a frontman. We hear them singing, sometimes mildly screaming the vocals in unison. A very cute effort, and with many charms.

Tommy Guerrero & Gadget Hoy Yen Ass'n Function 8 Records • Ex-skateboarder turned musician Tommy Guerrero and musical co-conspirator Gadget are lazy. Well, they are not lazy, but their music is. These 15 tracks revolve around slow, groovy beats with plenty of atmospherics and samples. Jazz and hip hop are represented as well in Hoy Yen Ass'n, their latest release for Gadget's own Function 8 label. "1 Ton Souperman" and "Weed on the Tree, Forty on the Floor" have been released as singles, as well as "Mechanisms," which features John Gold gently singing over languid beats and crowd samples. Don't operate any heavy machinery while listening to this CD.

Tor Eye To Eye self-released • Tor is a singer-songwriter who divides his time between NYC and LA. His music is radio-friendly pop rock with an emphasis on catchy hooks and kick-ass vocals. Tor plays all the keys on this album and handles all the vocal duties. The rest is played by other musicians (which includes Counting Crows drummer Steve Bowman). Comparisons could be made to such artists as Billy Joel, Elvis Costello (pre Burt Bacharach material), Too Much Joy and numerous others. But Tor's songs come together in a unique way that sets him apart. The 11-track album features mostly mid-tempo, super melodic songs with a couple slower tunes that will warm your heart. (Visit to buy it)

Two Lone Swordsmen Tiny Reminders Warp Records • Andrew Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood are the Two Lone Swordsmen, creating electronic beats with a darker, more experimental feel. While not as far left-field as labelmate Squarepusher, TLS hold their own when it comes to weird sound samples and catchy beats. Video game sounds and heavy breathing are just some of the aural samples you'll hear on this CD. Their sound can at times be described as minimalist, centering some songs around a few particular beats and samples. At other times it is uptempo and quirky, even danceable.

Uncle Eddie Uncleddium Crustacean Records • Just a little 24-minute EP to keep you entertained while Uncle Eddie work on their next full length release. They mix the guitar sound of Don Caballero with pop tendencies and geeky vocals to create a nice blend. No offense to the lead singer, but the instrumental "Living Room" is the best track on this CD.

Various Artists Believe The Hype Too Damn Hype Records • Did you read the review on Deviate yet? If so, you can get the gist of this compilation. If not, let me help you. This is heavy music. There's everything from hardcore to punk to rapcore to all out thrash on here. It's all pretty good and is a nice mix for the hard music fans out there.

Various Artists Cue's Hip Hop Shop Vol. 2 Stray Records • What is it? I'm not exactly sure. There's no verbal hip-hop, no rhyming finesse, only an abundance of samples and electronic beats performed by various unknowns (incl. Westside Chemical, Eddie Def, DJ Tomkat and more). Perhaps it's for you, the listener, the aspiring hip-hop hero, to practice your chops with. And of special note to all you Star Wars fans, there is a cool ditty that pits samples of the rebel battle theme against the imperial battle theme. That alone may make this worthy of purchase.

Various Artists Disintegrated: A Tribute to the Cure Too Damn Hype Records • You have to be careful with tribute CD's. A lot of the time, let's face it, they suck. Such is not the case here. These loose interpretations of Cure tracks, such as "Fascination Street," "Lullaby" and "Disintegration" are actually pretty good. Who are the bands, you might ask? None other than some of the heaviest musicians around, from Chimaira to Converge, Neck to Voice of Reason. Not being a Cure fan myself, I can objectively say that these songs are good enough to stand on their own. Hardcore Cure fans might disagree, but what can you do?

Various Artists Docking Sequence: BSI Campaign Vol. 1 BSI Records • If you enjoy listening to dub as well as electronica, you owe it to yourself to check out this compilation. The two genres are blended together, along with hip-hop, dancehall and experimental music. Almost all tracks are exclusive to this comp, by artists from all over the globe, including DJ Spooky, Otaku, Bucolic, DJ Collage, and more, for a total of 21 tracks. Some tracks, like Dubcreator's "Deep Dub," are more in the traditional dub sound, while "Perpetual Next," by Sound Secretion, has more of a hip-hop feel. All tracks seem to fit together well, delivering about 70 minutes of head nodding killer music.

Various Artists Free Activation Series Vol. 2 Sweet Mother Recordings • DJ Nasir compiled and mixed these 13 tracks from fast to slow tempo beats. From Plastiq Phantom's classically influenced "Select Imputor?" to Advertising the Invisible's "Night Walker," with its disco era strings, this comp keeps the ball rolling with different styles that blend together. Bahamadia's "Pep Talk" features a somewhat sped up rapping over jungle beats. Snowboy's "Oye Ya Ya" mixes Latin American percussion and horns into a danceable concoction. Buscemi's "Nightlife At 3:33" has a jazzy, Bossa Nova, lounge feel. As you can see, no two tracks are alike, but that won't stop you from enjoying Free Activation Series Vol. 2.

Various Artists H.E.A.R. This Sub City • Music released for a good cause is what Sub City prides itself on. With this 28-track compilation, Sub City looks to raise money for H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers), a non-profit organization raising awareness of the dangers of repeated exposure to excessive noise levels. It's a worthy cause and a CD definitely worth listening to (at a safe volume, of course). Included on the disc are great rockers such as Scared of Chaka, Link 80, Damnation, Shonen Knife, Electric Summer, The McRackins and many more.

Various Artists Hopelessly Devoted To You Vol. 3 Hopeless Records • Hopeless Records gives you a 23-song sampler of bands on their label. This CD includes previously unreleased tracks by Dillinger Four, Samiam, Fifteen, Mustard Plug, Selby Tigers, Against All Authority, and more! In addition to the unreleased stuff, you get songs from their new records! If you like punk, ska, emo, or indie rock, add this to your collection.

Various Artists I Guess This Is Goodbye -- The Emo Diaries - Chapter Five Deep Elm Records • This is the fifth installment in Deep Elm's series that, according to their press material, attempts to document "an extraordinary and powerful style of music that possesses the ability to stir strong emotions like no other." Consider it a success because, for the fifth time in a row, Deep Elm has released an excellent compilation of bands. But these aren't just "emo" bands. There's indie rock and punk and hardcore and experimental all thrown in, all emotionally charged. Of the 12 bands featured, my favorites are The White Octave (Chapel Hill), Slowride (Dallas) and Cast Aside (Rochester).

Various Artists Listen Picks: Hip-Hop • The folks at, a pretty cool music downloading website, put together a compilation of their favorite Hip-Hop tracks. It features mostly laid-back beats and no gangsta rap. Some of the artists include Del The Funky Homosapien, Meta 4, Creeper, The Coup, Non Phixion and EnterpriZe, to name a few, 15 tracks in all. My personal favorites were instrumental tunes, "Rock 'n Roll (Could Never Hip-Hop Like This)" by Handsome Boy Modeling School, with its interesting and humorous fashion inspired samples, and Creeper's "Sub Pop Bionic," a futuristic electro track with vocoder-processed lyrics and a Funkadelic vibe.

Various Artists Lost, Lonely And Vicious Boot To Head Records • You've got yourself a punk compilation here, gang. The songs on here are either exclusive to this disc, a different recording than has been available and/or very hard to find tunes. Some of the groups on here are Left Out, The Blamed, Youth Misled, Crux, Scum of the Earth and Shorthanded. There are 31 tunes on here so you will need a lot of time to listen to this one. Bang for you buck is what we're all about.

Various Artists Lyricist Lounge 2 Rawkus • Indie hip-hop is finally getting respect and labels like Rawkus are part of the reason. This compilation features some amazing cuts, diverse styles and some of the best known and least known in the hip-hop world. There are 18 tracks in all. My favorites are the smoothed-out "Oh No" (Mos Def and Pharoahe Monch feat. Nate Dogg), the rapid-fire "Let's Grow" (Royce The 5'9"), and the bumpin' "Sharp Shooters" (Talib Kweli and Dead Prez). Also featured on this release are Kool G Rap, Q-Tip, Dilated Peoples, Cocoa Brovas and more.

Various Artists Ripper Side Skates Compilation El Pocho Loco • As with any compilation disc, there are good songs here and there are bad songs. I am delighted to inform you that the balance leans heavily toward the good on this disc. There are some really great songs from The Jiggz, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Total Chaos and Pitboss as well as many others. There are a few clunkers, but hell, that's what the skip button on your CD player is for.

Various Artists SoleSides Greatest Bumps -- 2 CDs Quannum • As with any compilation disc, there are good songs here and ther This double CD collection features incredibly rare and hard-to-find hip-hop from some of the best in the Cali scene. Produced by DJ Shadow, Chief Xcel and Lyrics Born, this is some of the dopest shit ever recorded. The 22 tracks document the wildly jazzy and soulful hip-hop sounds of the SoleSides crew. That group of artists includes Blackalicious, Latyrx, Gift of Gab and many more. The material spans several years (from 1992-'97). From freestyles to dope beats to DJ feats of fantastic proportions, this release is a hip-hop dream-come-true.

Various Artists Stray From The Pack Stray Recordings • This compilation unites many of Stray's artists, such as Sly Doc, Azeem, Antares, DJ Cue, No Forcefield and the Coup. Some tracks are instrumental, like Westside Chemical's drum and bass influenced "5 Finger Johnny" and No Forcefield's "The Hard R," but most of the 21 tracks feature rapping over smooth hip-hop beats.

Vietnom Strictly the Real EP Uprising • This six-song CD EP has two really strong hip-hop tracks Ð "Vietnom Intro" and "Death is the Outro." "Strictly the Real" is a rap/live hardcore instrumentation fusion that is true to 80's street rap. If you like NYC Hardcore, you'll probably dig the other tracks. Still, it's Vietnom's hip-hop that makes this stand out from other hardcore and hip-hop releases.

Voodoo Glow Skulls The Potty Training Years El Pocho Loco • The Potty Training Years is actually a ten year old recording from the Voodoo Glow Skulls's formative years. In fact, this CD is the result of their first-ever recording session, back in 1991. Unhappy with the result, they shelved it, only to release some songs on vinyl, and others that became part of 1996's Firme. If you can call them anything, call them consistent, since their sound hasn't changed that much in all this time. There are 18 tracks in total, featuring covers of the Beatles's "Here Comes the Sun," the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and an old Descendents song whose name I forget.

Wobbleshop Bittergreen Big Record Company • Southern California's Wobbleshop write pop music centered around the vocal harmonies provided by Brian Holmes and Levi Nuņez, who are the only two members, playing all the instruments except drums. The music sounds like a cross between R.E.M. and They Might be Giants, but without the humor.

Zero Boys Vicious Circle Panic Button Records • Remember when punk was about drugs and more drugs? These guys were kickin' ass in '82 and here is a re-release with some bonus tracks included for your aural amazement. This is like a cross between the Dead Kennedys and The Angry Samoans. Fast, angry and fun.


Foreign LegionKidnapper Van 2xLP Insiduous Urban Records • This double LP (aka Beats To Rock While Bike-Stealin') is a collection of 15 tracks of intelligent flows and jazzy, bumpin' beats -- traditional indie hip-hop in effect. The rhyme delivery is skillful. But the repetitive loops get on my nerves after while. They are good loops, but they need to mix it up a bit. I do love the injection of horn samples on several of the cuts. However, FL will need to diversify and, although they definitely will have appeal (fans of Dilated Peoples and Aceyalone take a listen), their next album will need to take a step forward.

Foreign Legion Nowhere to Hide 12"Insiduous Urban Records • The hip-hop trio consisting of Prozack, Marc Stretch (AKA Peter Parker) and DJ Design drop this single with a remix of the title track, as well as two instrumental versions. Also featured is the track "Meanwhile," also with an instrumental version. The lyrics for "Nowhere to Hide" are right out of a conspiracy theorist's handbook, rapping about government plots to destroy the black man, skin imbedded microchips, men in black suits and black helicopters, etc. They're joking, right?

George Maritime Jumpy's Blues 7" Slutfish • Maritime is a folk musician. He also happens to be a communist. His music is good -- communism is not good. So, let's put aside his party affiliation and show some love. This is a live recording (of two songs) from 1989 and apparently Maritime had drank a little and gave a better than average show. Regardless, it's folk music like Bob Dylan did -- Maritime strummin' and Maritime singing.

Harsh self-titled 7" Rat-Town Records • This is harsh hardcore from north Florida. However, this nine-song 7" (yes, a lot of songs -- they're short) was released in 1999. I'm not even sure why I'm reviewing something this old. Anyway, if you're into screaming vocals, very fast music and some heavy guitars, you'll probably like this.

Headnodic Headnodic Beats, Vol. 1 LP Insiduous Urban Records • I don't know if Headnodic refers to head-nodding, or the hypnotic sounds he makes, but either definition would apply here. On Headnodic Beats, Vol. 1, he assembled 14 tracks of mostly trip-hop/hip-hop beats. Most tracks feature a steady beat, with one or two instruments taking on the melodies, be it strings or keys. There's even a track called "Cuts 1," with just about every sample you've heard on hip-hop records before, all back to back and with no background music, so you can sample them yourself. Get ready to fall into a hypnotic state from all the head-nodding produced by this album.

Kubiq Neva U 12" Heratik Productions • Rugged and in your face, Kubiq is a lyricist to be reckoned with. His flows are nearly flawless, spit skillfully over funky-ass beats delivered by Fanatik. Kubiq has a somewhat aggressive lyrical delivery but a jazzy, funky musical attitude, creating indie hip-hop that will definitely get the party started. Both tracks on this 12" are above average -- give your needle a chance to ride the grooves of this vinyl delight.

Narcoleptic Youth/The Voids split 7" Straight Jacket Records • NY has been around since 192. The offer up three tracks of fast tempo punk rock with a definite old school attitude -- and they do it very well. The Voids offer up five tunes of their own -- also with an old school flair. The tempo is fast, the music is furious and the vocals are female -- what a great combination! They remind me of Blatz (old Lookout! Band), which is a very good thing. This is a must have 7" for fans of fast-paced, old-style punk rock.

Phantom Patient The Fear 12" Entartete Kunst • This 12" single release has three versions of "The Fear," from Phantom Patient's album Songs from Downstairs. The songs feature slowed down, trip hop beats and scattered samples. "If" has a guy in a heavy Scottish accent speaking/rapping through a vocoder, while bagpipes break in and out of the background. This song, as well as "No Surrender," also appears on the album.

Sub Contents Death Becomes H.E.R. 12" Heratik Productions • Backed by Fanatik's deep beats and some fresh samples, Sub Contents comes correct with quick flows and rhymes galore. The three tracks on here (including instrumentals of each) are solid, slightly repetitive, but are an overall success. It's obvious that Fanatik has much skills and he definitely helps Sub Contents set it off. It's a bumpin' set of singles, three tracks to put excitement into your speakers.

The Blank Fight House Band Feud 7" BBT • With Aaron Cometbus on drums, The Blank Fight will probably get more attention than deserved. That's not to say the band isn't good. They are a good punk rock band with a rough sound and a quick pace to their songs (all six of 'em on here). This is East Bay style punk rock that wouldn't have been out of place on Lookout! Records ten years ago or today.

These reviews represent the "best of" music that was reviewed for this issue by IMPACT Press music reviewers.

Brujeria Brujerizmo Roadrunner Records • There's nothing like a good rumor to fuel a career. Part of Brujeria's appeal is that its members remain completely anonymous, although it is rumored that they include members of Fear Factory, Faith No More, Napalm Death, Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. You can just imagine what they sound like. On their third full length, they haven't mellowed one bit. Sung in Spanish, the lyrics are brutal, almost to the point of being humorous. The quality on the recording is impeccable, allowing you to understand the lyrics about raping hookers, Satanism, drug use and AIDS. Even though the music is extremely hard, it leans toward a more hardcore/metal sound, rather than the death metal onslaught of "Matando Güeros"and "Raza Odiada."

Junction 18 This Vicious Cycle Fearless Records • Using hooks and melodies too damn hard to resist, Junction 18 reeled me in with the first track. Then came the second song, "Sweet Steps"; one of the best tunes I've heard all year. From there the melodic, upbeat, tempo-changing punk rock continues. Junction 18 is an equal blend of power, pop and emotion. At times they are reminiscent of Weezer, other times Digger, and still other times Saves The Day. This is, undoubtedly, one of the best punk albums of 2000.

Sick of It All Yours Truly Fat Wreck Chords • This is the hardcore release to end all hardcore releases! Though I've been disappointed by their prior records, as they haven't compared to what they do live, Yours Truly explodes with passion and energy. The antithesis of thug-core, SOIA mixes up their sound and messages on songs like "Hello Pricks" and "America." With lyrics like "Don't make a name for yourself/by stressing out everyone else/ and don't bring your personal wars/ through these doors" SOIA furthers their stance against show violence and gives us an awesome sing-a-long! If you are unfamiliar or have lost interest in hardcore, this record is for you. Though hardcore can be monotonous and repetitive, Sick Of It All gives us such diverse catchy sounds, I've been listening to this CD non-stop.

The Firebird Band The Setting Sun and Its Satellites Cargo Music • When Braid broke up and three of the four members formed Hey Mercedes I thought, "What happened to the fourth guy, Chris Broach?" Now you and I both know. The Firebird Band is fronted by Broach (vocals, guitar, Roland XP-50 workstation, drum machine). Joined by three others (guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, drum machine), this new band is not Braid. The Firebird Band is part Pixies, part Dismemberment Plan, part new wave and all rock. The creative aspects of this album have astounded me, Broach's vocals have impressed me and each tune (12 total) has made me smile with admiration.

Unsung Heroes Unleashed 75 Ark • Let's take a trip through the streets of London, the boroughs of NYC. Absorb the flavor, the soul, the essence of the world around you. Now put that down in musical form. The result: Unleashed, a 22-track album from Shivver and Insite (the Unsung Heroes); a work of hip-hop greatness featuring the talents of some of the best and least known artists including J-Live, Mr. Complex, Prime Cuts and L-Fudge. The energy on this album is potent, punching with each track while the lyrics leap to and fro in fluid bursts of enlightenment and education. The beats are bountiful and beautiful, basslines forming the basis for the eclectic and diverse nature of each new tune. From funky to soulful to jazzy and always intelligent (you'll find no gangsta posturing or lyrics on here), this is about as perfect as hip-hop can be.

Various Artists The "Gone With The Wind" Of Punk Rock Samplers Kung Fu Records • KICK ASS!!! Pardon my French but this is a fantastic compilation disc. This is probably the best one I've heard in years, no kidding. You have the Ataris, The Vandals, Josh Freese, MxPx and others. This is way awesome. I'm not even going to bother reviewing it, just know that it's a must-buy. Stop reading right now and go buy this.

Various Artists The Drastic Jungle Insomniac Music • In today's Puff Daddy, Big Pimpin' style hip-hop scene, money and bikini clad women rule. Like a breath of fresh air comes this compilation to remind us that there are still some out there that care about this art form. Perhaps to distance himself from the R.A.P. Inc money machine, or perhaps to wake some people up, Israel Vasquetelle (AKA Iz-Real) enlisted the help of some credible hip-hop artists and drum 'n bass DJ's to give an updated sound to the genre. The jagged drum 'n bass (jungle) beats, supplied by Ming + FS, DJ Jeffee and Hive, among others, contrast with the smooth lyrics by Kool Keith, Jeru the Damaja and Bahamadia. In fact, Jeru's "Microphone Memoirs" takes a scathing attack on the corrupt music business, while Princess Superstar makes fun of it on "I Hope I Sell a Lot of Records at Christmastime." Hopefully, music of this caliber will continue to emerge, enough to shake the foundations of today's rap scene.

Various Artists Xen Cuts -- 3 CDs Ninja Tune Records • It's been 10 years since Ninja Tune formed to take over the world. During that time, a lot of good music was made, so they thought it was about time to put out a set celebrating the label's accomplishments. They found so many that they filled three CD's worth, with about 77 minutes each! Disc one features more hip-hop driven tracks, with Big Dada Sound, Amon Tobin, Kid Koala and Coldcut providing some of the beats for the lyrical assaults by the likes of Mass Influence, Resonance and Frank Chickens. Disc two concentrates more on the jazzy, drum 'n bass, trip hop combination of beats that Ninja Tune artists like Animals on Wheels and DJ Food are known for. Finally, Disc three includes hard to find tracks, b-sides, live cuts and remixes. Let's hope Ninja Tune is around for at least 10 more years so they can release another wonderful set.

In alphabetical order. Please write them.

75 Ark, 77 Chambers Street, 4th Floor, NY, NY 10007
Allegory Records, PMB 228, 11024 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111
Alternative Tentacles, PO Box 419092, San Francisco, CA 94141-9092
Artemis Records, 130 5th Ave., NY, NY 10011
Asian Man Records, PO Box 35585, Monte Sereno, CA 95030
Barsuk Records, PO Box 22546, Seattle, WA 98122
BBT, 243 14th Street, San Fran, CA 94103
Better Looking Records, 11041 Santa Monica Blvd. PMB 302, Los Angeles, CA 90025-3523
Big Record Company, 1460 7th Street, Suite 201, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Big Wheel Recreation, 325 Huntington Ave. #24, Boston, MA 02115
Bittersweet, 1912 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28203
Boot To Head Records, PO Box 9005, Portland, OR 97207
Bridge Nine Records, Box 990052, Boston, MA 02499-0052
Broken Rekids, PO Box 460402, San Francisco, CA 94146-0402
BSI Records, 4005 SE 28th Ave., Portland, OR 97202
Burnt Toast Vinyl, PO Box 42188, Philadelphia, PA 19101
Cargo Music, 4901-906 Morena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92117-3432
Compost Records, Haager Str. 10, D-81671 München
Constellation Records, PO Box 42002, Montreal, Canada H2W 2T3
Crustacean Records, PO Box 370156, Milwaukee, WI 53237
D2 Records, PO Box 225313, San Francisco, CA 94122-5313
Daemon Records, PO Box 1207, Decatur, GA 30031
Deep Elm Records, PO Box 36939, Charlotte NC 28236
DefCon 5,
Deluxe Records, PO Box 600245, Dallas, TX 75360
Dischord Records, 3819 Beecher St. NW, Washington DC 20007
Double Zero Records, PO Box 7122, Algonquin, IL 60122
Dread Fabrik, 50 Powers Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Dr. Strange Records, PO Box 7000-117, Alta Loma, CA 91701
D-Trash Records, 34 Ontario St. N. #1, Kitchener, ON Canada N2H 4Y4
Eclipse Records, 23 Ward Ave., Butler, NJ 07405
Eighteenth Street Lounge Music, 1210 18th Street NW, Suite 200 B, Washington, DC 20036
El Pocho Loco, 3838 Jackson St. Suite D, Riverside, CA 92503
Elsinor Records, PO Box 5463, Bellingham, WA 98227
Entartete Kunst, PO Box 411194, San Francisco, CA 94141-1194
Equal Vision, PO Box 14, Hudson, NY 12534
Eulogy Records, PO Box 8692, Coral Springs, FL 33075
Fat Possum Records, PO Box 1923, Oxford, MS 38655-1923
Fat Wreck Chords, PO Box 193690, San Francisco, CA 94119-3690
Forest Records, PO Box 20, Matawan, NJ 07747
Function 8 Records, PO Box 411195, San Francisco, CA 94141-1195
Goodfellow Records, 762 Upper James St., Suite 275, Hamilton, ON L9C 3A2
Haffen Records, 204 Earle Street, New Bedford MA 02746
Heratik Productions, PMB 373, 360 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94601
Hiero Imperium Records, P.O. Box 10871, Oakland, CA 94610
Hopeless Records PO Box 7495, Van Nuys CA 91409-7495
Idaho Music, PO Box 2509, Los Angeles, CA 90078
Incriminating Records, 1021 E. Broadway #125, Long Beach, CA 90802
Industrial Strength Records, 2824 Regatta Blvd., Richmond, CA 94804
Insiduous Urban Records, 3288 21st St., PMB #39, San Francisco, CA 94110
Insomniac Music, PO Box 592722, Orlando, FL 32859
Johanns Face, PO Box 479164, Chicago, IL 60647
Jump Up! Records, PO Box 13189, Chicago, IL 60613
Kung Fu Records, PO Box 3061, Seal Beach, CA 90740, 280 Utah Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Lookout! Records, PO Box 11374, Berkley, CA 94712-2374
Loveless Records, 1122 E. Pike St. #1361, Seattle, WA 98122-3934
Manteis Recordings,
Matchless, 1122 E. Pike St #685, Seattle, WA 98122-3934
Medea Records, PO Box 99055, Troy, MI 48099-9055
Milligram Records, PO Box 174, Wickatunk, NJ 07765
Moron Envy, 413 Berkshire Dr., Ventnor, NJ 08406
Ninja Tune Records, 1751 Richardson, Suite 4501, Montreal, Quebec, H3K 1G6
Nitro Records, 7071 Warner Avenue, F PMB 736, Huntington Beach, CA 92647-5495
Onefoot Records, c/o Devil Doll, PO Box 30727, Long Beach, CA 90853
Outer Himalayan Records, PO Box 59, London, N22 1AR UK
Owned & Operated Recordings, PO Box 36, Fort Collins, CO 80522
Perishable Records, PO Box 57-8804, Chicago, IL 60657-8804
Plan-It X Records, 5810 W. Willis Rd, Georgetown, IN 47122
Plow City, P.O. Box 1604, Moline IL 61266-1604
Prescott C., 112 Geery Ave, Holbrook, NY 11741
Quannum, 436 14th Street, Ste. 212, Oakland, CA 94612
Quarterstick Records, PO Box 25342, Chicago, IL 60625
Rat-Town Records, PO Box 50803, Jax Beach, FL 32240
Rawkus, 676 Broadway, 4th Floor, NY, NY 10012
Razler Records, 2300 Walnut Street No. 612, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Resurrection AD Records, PO Box 763, Red Bank, NJ 07701
Revelation Records, PO Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232
Roadrunner Records, 902 Broadway, New York, NY 10010
Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Diesterestraat 6, 3290 Molenstede-Diest, Belgium
Sanity Check Musec, PO Box 179, Boyce, VA 22620
Seth Yacovone Band, Box 112, Winooski, VT 05404
Six Degrees Records, PO Box 411347, San Francisco, CA 94141-1347
Slap A Ham Records, PO Box 420843, San Francisco, CA 94142-0843
Slimstyle Recordings, 3400 E. Speedway Suite 118-272, Tucson, AZ 85716
Slutfish, 327 Bedford Ave. #A2, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Sonic Unyon, PO Box 57347 Jackson Station, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8P 4X2
Straight Jacket Records, PO Box 136, Fullerton, CA 92836-0136
Stray Records, 4430 Telegraph Ave., PMB 72, Oakland, CA 94609
Sweet Mother Recordings, 6201 15th Ave., NW #575 Seattle, WA 98107-2382
Tachist Records, 1643 13th St. NW #1, Washington, DC 2009
Temperance Records, PO Box 556, Somers Point, NJ 08244
The Showgoats, PO Box 4036, Matthews, NC 28106
Too Damn Hype, PO Box 15793, Philadelphia, PA, 19103
Tor, 143 S. Sycamore Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Triple-X Records, PO Box 862529, Los Angeles, CA 90086-2529
TVT Records, 23 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003
Twentyfourseven Records, PO Box 35004, Edmonton, Alberta, T5K 2M3 Canada
Ultimatum Music, 8723 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Uprising PO Box 1096, New York, NY 10003
Velvet Records, P.O. Box 902, Gainesville, FL 32602
Victory Records, PO Box 146546, Chicago, IL 60614
Warp Records, PO Box 25378, London, NW5 1GL
Wet Puss Records (609) 625-2063
What Else? Records, PO Box 1211, Columbus, IN 47202
Yesha, Inc., Box 31725, Charlotte, NC 28231
Zomba Recording Corporation, 137-139 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10001

Music reviews from past issues: