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Dec. '02/Jan. '03 Articles:
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CD reviews

1905 Voice Exotic Fever Records • I cannot think of a better name for this disc. The vocals are roughly split male/female and vary from lulling harmonies to the most horrid shrieks of agony. The music also varies wildly, though is fairly destructive, in the whole. This disc took me a while to appreciate, but about half way through, I really started to enjoy it in all its varied forms. This is good. (MK)

2.2 Kid Life The Escape Artist Ionik Records • Composed and performed entirely by Frank Longano, this is at times jangly but mostly moody and melodic overall. The freelance guitar work and added effects give this a lo-fi, sonic pop sound with ease. Mesmerizing through tracks like "The Pros And Cons Of Avoiding Adulthood" and "Able to Do Complex Math" make way for the refreshing tracks like "It Is November, But The Suntan Has Not Faded" and "The Day I Lost Sugarbear-One." With sincerity and despair, this disc reaches a conclusion heavy on emotions. (JC)

3rd Degree Radio 7 Trashbox Records • What do you get when you have too many promo glamour shots of each band member combined with a techno looking cover? 3rd Degree. I thought from the harmonic poppy beginning, this was another boy band. But no, these boys play their own instruments. At moments, I could hear a tinge of Our Lady Peace in the vocals, but I wouldn't compare them musically or lyrically. I'm not sure where they got the title from, but it fits oh so well. I could imagine hearing some of these power pop tracks on the radio, or even their "pretty boy trying to be tough" image on MTV. I can also add that I would change the station. (MP)

5¢ Deposit We Have Your Daughter! Radical Records • If you like NOFX, old Green Day or Screeching Weasel, you will probably like 5¢ Deposit. Their music is fast and melodic, with plenty of harmonies and thick guitars. The songs are about, what else, drinking, drug use, and overall rebellion, sure to please teenagers all over. (AL)

A Planet For Texas Sprechen Sie Rock? Diaphragm Records • This is what you'd expect from this label and the sophomore release from these Ohio rockers. Heavy punk rock full of that driving sound that comes from speedy guitar riffs and rambling fuzzy vocals. Everything you would want from chaos is here, attitude and aggression in a Lemmy kind of way. (JC)

A Trillion Barnacle Lapse The Elemental Gearbot Level Plane Records • A Trillion Barnacle Lapse's debut album is chock-full of time changes and indie rock guitar riffs. However, it also has plenty of keyboards to keep things fresh. Plenty of bands try out this formula, but many fail. ATBL is not one of those bands. The keyboards don't get in the way of the guitars, and vice versa. This is a rock band, no doubt. (AL)

Abilene Two Guns, Twin Arrows 54°40' or Fight! • Unlike their debut, Two Guns, Twin Arrows ups the intensity while maintaining some of the atmospheric sound. The lonesome trumpet inspires nothing but sorrow, while the singing is much more emotional. Sometimes they get stuck in a loop, only to jar you out of it. (AL)

Against Tomorrow's Sky Jump The Hedges First Universal Warning Records • It could be that this band is an indie band with hardcore traits, or a poppy hardcore band, I can't tell which way it comes from but they toe each line with beauty. I think the one thing I hear more in the music than anything else is a kind of hopeful sound. There is nothing sad or melancholy about this band, even in the "emo" parts. This is also a very mature sounding disc for a debut release, which is pretty impressive in itself. There are some really good tracks on this one. (KM)

Aina Bipartite Superbad Records • Cool cover. The music is not so bad either. There is definitely a rock radio feel throughout the disc, but I am also getting some cool AC/DC vibes from it. It is closer to pop-rock than hard rock, but the very fact that it is hard to define is a point in its favor. This is a good disc and is certainly worth checking out.  (MK)

Alexander Cockburn Beating the Devil AK Press • Journalist Cockburn brings to the political spoken word genre something not always seen, entertainment. With a deep knowledge and understanding combined with a sharp wit, Cockburn talks about popular political flashpoints presidents new and old, the protests in Seattle, the events of September 11th, and the drug war. More than any other speaker in the AK press library, I find Cockburn one of the easiest and most interesting to listen to. (KM)

Ancient Greeks The Song is You Flameshovel Records • The best description for Ancient Greeks' sound is Math-pop. The complicated and repetitive structure of Math rock is blended with whimsical and catchy vocals, a bit of jazziness and a touch of congas here and there. This band is the American alternative to Mexico's Café Tacuba, another excellent and quirky band. (AL)

Articles of Faith Complete Vol. 1 & 2 Alternative Tentacles Records • These two separately available discs contain every song Articles of Faith ever put down on vinyl, plus some unreleased tracks. They helped pioneer the hardcore sound, with screaming vocals and walls of guitar noise filling the air. On the other hand, they also incorporated acoustic folk music and elements of jazz and reggae. (AL)

Avail Front Porch Stories Fat Wreck Cords • Do I even have to write a review for a new Avail record? I mean you know it's not gonna suck. The ever-constant Avail has thrown some impressive songs together. While they really don't push the envelope for anything drastically different, they do add another recording to their growing library of straight-up great songs. All the raw emotion, power, and dirt that makes Avail who they are is still here, as it should be. (KM)

Balls Falls The Crossing Guard Coqi Records • Crazy tempos, time changes all over the place, elements of rock, pop and even hints of bluegrass are what this four piece from Canada have taken and developed into their own style. There are some very unique parts to this album musically and the band is extremely talented with a knack for technical song structures without loosing catchiness. A few tracks, like "dumb, dumb, dumb," reminded me of Pavement through the vocals and melodies. This track title also felt like a perfect way to capture their naming ability. They have some not so captivating titles for the songs as well as the band name in general. With some work in this area, they could have it all. Maybe it's a Canadian thing. (MP)

Band of Felons Drown My Sorrows, Drink My Dreams Go For Broke Records  • Remember the band Sloppy Seconds? They were great. These guys must have thought so too. It's almost like listening to a cover band of them. This is fast, drinking rock. It's pretty good, as far as it goes. There are only 5 songs and it clocks in at just less than 12 minutes, so you do the math. (MK)

Beyond 7 Here and Now Cement Records • A mixture of Train and Eve 6, this is a radio ready pop album. A few harmonies add variety but I was still singing the melody of one song on another later one to follow. The guitars attempt to add some rock to this Matchbox Twenty pop, but there's no way around this inevitable label with conventional structures and catchy choruses that are repeated until you know every word. (MP)

Bitchin The Night-Life, The Tight Style No Idea Records • With this album, the name explains it all. Not only is this album "bitchin" but that word in general brings back an "old school" vibe that this band brings to the table. Imagine your favorite punk rock couple Tim and Brody Armstrong bringing their bands Rancid and The Distillers together. On top of that, add thrashing female vocals, crushing guitars, smooth solos, and the worst issues of politicians, self-conflict, and life in general thrown at you and you make this "bitchin" band named Bitchin. This band is overlooked and should gain some attention in the future. Fans of any band should check this out, since this CD contains everything to please the needs of anyone's music style. (CMax)

Blessing the Hogs The Poisoning Goodfellow Recordings • Blessing the Hogs straddles the line between hardcore and metal. Heavy riffs and unexpected time changes are a constant presence, as are throaty, hardcore vocals. You will not be the same after listening to The Poisoning's punishing eleven tracks. (AL)

Blow Up Hollywood self-titled self-released • The music is very atmospheric with piano and string melodies topped with what sometimes sounds like Elton John and Neil Diamond vocals. It leans towards experimental music with long intros and what seems like an emphasis on Zen Buddhism. Its dark undertones, flowing strings and soft percussion make you wonder if this is a new age soundtrack to a David Lynch movie. (MP)

Bluebird Hot Blood Dim Mak Records • With soft vocals at times and intense force behind them at others, emotional tension floats through this album. This is rock n' roll. Forget The Strokes, The White Stripes and whatever new band is the next big so-called rock n' roll thing. They take some of these elements and make the rest theirs to own. This L.A. band is known for improvisation and conveys this feeling throughout the album. I can only imagine their live show backs this up with power and presence. At the same time, it drags at moments and makes me wonder if it would be better live. Either way, there are some incredible arrangements and impressive musicianship. (MP)

Bon Voyage The Right Amount Tooth & Nail Records • What started out as a side project for Starflyer 69 member Jason Martin turned into a full-fledged band. Jason's wife Julie sings beautifully, with a soothing voice that complements the music. The Right Amount contains the right amount of hummable choruses and sugary sweet melodies, with a touch of New Order guitars and groovy keyboards. (AL)

Bosco & Jorge All in the Sky Sixgunlover Records • This mostly instrumental album incorporates elements from country, jazz, and post rock. There are barely any beats, concentrating mostly on string instruments such as the banjo, lap steel and pedal steel guitars, bass and cello. Hard to categorize, their sound will mesmerize you. (AL)

Boston Corporate America Artemis • Has anyone heard the song "Corporate America" by Downers Revenge? I hadn't. Nor had I heard the hype about this unknown band. Well, the cat's out of the bag (and maybe everyone "in the loop" knows this), but the tune that reached #1 on called "Corporate America" is by none other than Boston. Yes, that Boston. They're still together and rockin' out. Their music has progressed and the band wanted to reach alternative radio with their new stuff and realized that being Boston prevented them from getting indie radio play (What college kid wants to hear about bunch of ageing classic rockers?). So, they created the name Downers Revenge and released "Corporate America" online. It blew up, and for good reason. It's a pretty rockin' ridicule of corporate America and, as frontman Tom Scholz puts it, "I had to express my feeling about what mega-corporations are doing to our world." The album is pretty diverse, mixing that classic Boston sound with some more alternative rock elements, as well as the addition of a female vocalist on a few tracks. I was surprised by this album, not because it's completely new or different from previous Boston material, but because it has matured and shifted with the times. Plus, it appears Boston is pretty proactive and progressive, giving a list of web resources on the CD liner notes that includes PETA, Vegsource, Sierra Club and Earth Save. That, alone, is worth commending. (CM)

Botch An Anthology of Dead Ends Hydra Head Industries • For nearly a decade, Botch terrorized audiences with their fierce noisecore. Creating a style that would be emulated by bands like Converge and Coalesce, Botch exhibited a technical proficiency rivaled only by their intensity. An Anthology of Dead Ends is Botch's final recording, leaving behind a shattered hardcore scene. (AL)

Boy Sets Fire Live For Today EP Wind-Up • The hard-rocking Delaware quintet is back with their first new material in two years. This EP features three new studio tracks (two of which will be on their new album due out in April 2003), one new song from a live show and two live tracks from their last album, After the Eulogy (the title track and "Rookie"). The new songs are pretty strong, extremely aggressive, hardcore rock and roll tunes. There are more metal influences than I've noticed in the past, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Boy Sets Fire still delivers strong, progressive lyrics with pounding, infectious music to back them up. While this is a good sampling to hold me over for a few months, I look forward to their new album, where we can really see what direction Boy Sets Fire is headed. (CM)

Brando Instantly Spaceships Smokeylung • Brando is a sound that lazily strolls, almost half-heard, while simultaneously struggling to get into your ears. The centerpiece vocals are high and haunting; they're recorded in double. Two identical voice tracks sing the same notes almost congruously, occasionally deviating. They are layered over slow, soft guitar in eerie chord progressions. The disc is a double EP featuring old and new recordings. (DP)

Broken Spindles self-titled Tiger Style Records • Even though Broken Spindles is The Faint's Joel Petersen, there really is not much of a comparison between the two acts. While The Faint looks back at 80's synth pop and electro for musical inspiration, Broken Spindles looks at the present's more cutting edge electronica (see Warp and Rephlex labels). Petersen's motivation was to create music that was "ethereal with an edge," and that's what he accomplished. Beat heavy tracks flow into atmospheric passages and vice versa with no trouble. (AL)

Canyon Empty Rooms Gern Blandsten • Music can create landscapes and that's just what Canyon does. Their Americana-style pop rock tunes dance along, rising and falling with heartfelt emotion. At times this album feels dreary, yet, at other times, a bit more uptempo. Fans of bands like Palace would probably be into this. (CM)

Capital City Am I Invisible Near by Music • It takes some alt-country with pop elements on the first track, "This Town Won't Be the Same." Bobbing your head bass lines with acoustic and clean guitars make up the rest. There seem to be Œ70s influences in the bass lines and this sound crosses over into "The Weak Are Getting Strong" with an organ used in the chorus. Julie Otis lends some female background vocals throughout and even takes the lead on "Receiving/daydreaming." Keyboards, a violin, viola and staccato beats make this complete. (MP)

Chris Butler The Museum of Me Vol.1 Future Fossil Music • It's not very often a release like this comes out. Having spent a great deal of time and imagination on this release, Chris Butler's talent really shines. The recording techniques alone are amazing. Using mostly vintage recording equipment, he has managed to make a groundbreaking album. Often times sounding truly antique, with modern song writing twists, Chris keeps it very interesting. (RP)

Chris Murray Raw Asian Man Records • It's an appropriate album title for such a lo-fi album (recorded on a handheld Walkman, giving a genuinely live feel). And it's fitting. This album transports you to a Bahamas beachside lounge/bar where Murray is rockin' the mic with his acoustic island/reggae/ska tunes. It's just him, his guitar, the beach, fantastic margaritas, a dance floor, and you're set. So, get your fancy shoes on and skank the night away. (CM)

Corwin Fox Compassionate Relay Coqi Records • You've heard not many albums like this one here. Fox meshes a clean folk sound with touches of hip-hop and bass and pulls it off in a refreshing way. Songs of protest, rage and revolution are sung with a fragile voice and a comfortable presence. What he does with this disc is bridge musical elements to fit neatly inside his own all around idea. This fusion of sounds deserves to have their day to shine. There are elements of Elliot Smith and a little Bob Dylan, but this release is all Corwin Fox and best heard from front to back to get the overall vibe of what this guy is about. (JC)

Crimson Sweet Livin' In Strut On/On Switch  •  I am not a religious person, but my music reviewer prayer goes like this, "Please don't sound like the last 15 discs I've had to suffer through..." This disc sounds like itself. This is fast rock and roll. Bar music. The kind of music you want playing in the background when you are driving too fast. It's okay.   (MK)

Crows Durty Bunny self-released • Distortion, punchy bass, straight forward punk beats and even a harmonica on "Everyday Revisited." This four piece from Gainesville, Florida consists of Hot Water Music and Rumbleseat members. Chris Wollard's gruff vocals, and additional vocals from Chuck of HWM, stay strong through every song with unconventional lyrics. The album is consistent with its hard-hitting punk driven rhythms. "Wrong Again" starts off with the "in the tunnel" vocal effect that is followed by powerful guitars and sounds somewhat different from the rest of the album. The rest will suffice any punk rock need you may have. (MP)

D.F.I. self-titled Honey Bear Records • Even though this is D.F.I.'s fourth album, it mostly consists of material from his first two, now out of print albums. His guitar playing is amazing, if a bit melodramatic - he covers "Flight of the Bumble Bee" for Pete's sake. The canned beats that accompany him sound a bit cheesy at times, but they are tolerable. (AL)

Damnation The Unholy Sounds OfŠ R.A.F.R Records • Damnation sound like classic SoCal speeding and spitting punk rock, because that's what they are. Sort of like the Misfits on speed, Damnation have themselves firmly planted in the punk music scene and this release should solidify them even more in that distinction. They remind me a lot of the old skate-core bands of the Œ80s, but they don't really sound retro, thank god. (Should I be thanking god for this?) (KM)

Darryl Cherney and the Chernobles Bush It! Alternative Tentacles Records • In Bush It! Darryl Cherney proves himself to be an ultra left-wing version of musical satirist Mark Russell. The title track takes jabs not only at Bush's handling of 9-11 and Enron, but also at his family, including his daughter's and niece's alcohol and drug problems. The other song on this CD, "Send George Bush a Pretzel," really needs no explanation. (AL)

David Singer & the Sweet Science Civil Wars Deep Elm Records • There's something about a piano playing in a rock band that transforms the sound into something melancholic. David Singer's songs have that quality, as well as a passing resemblance to Elvis Costello in his vocal style. Civil Wars is a beautiful, well-crafted pop gem. (AL)

Delphine Were Sleeping Better Now Wishing Tree Records • Starting out in a kind of epic modern Gregorian style, mellow and subtle, lulling you into a sense of calm. That calm is a misleading sort of reaction; I would almost call these songs angry melancholy songs for rainy days. There is a good mix of passion and restraint. I could see this disk appealing to emo and indie sorts of people just the same. "Heart of Gold" has all the qualities of a classic song. (KM)

Denise Hradecky To Jimmy With Love Intelligent • 24-year-old self-taught musician Hradecky has excellent acoustic guitar prowess and a "cute girl pop" ethic, offering soft, breathy vocals that speak of personal, intimate things. The works on this 6-song EP are swaying, gently strumming works of gentle beauty that entrance the listener with quiet joy. (DP)

Desert City Soundtrack Contents Of Distraction Deep Elm Records • An intense release that sounds like one long track, song after song. The distorted Œpost-hardcore' sound is full of layered guitar and effects that drown out the vocals at times. This is thunderous and chaotic, the energy propels the mood and the grunginess keeps it together. (JC)

Digger Keystone Hopeless • Pop punk from radio land. This is okay, but I've said it before and I'll say it again. If it's already been done, there is no reason to do it again. At the same time, these guys have been doing it for a while. The songs are fine, but there is nothing to make you say "WOW". Standard-issue song structures, melodies and hooks.  (MK)

DJ Vadim USSR - The Art Of Listening Ninja Tune • This DJ is no stranger worldwide. As a member of The Russian Percussion he has literally Œbeen around the world' more times than Puffy could ever sing about. On this disc, Vadim brings together emcees from all walks of life to rhyme over his thick drum-kick beats that bounce from smooth to choppy under cleverly placed samples. The list of International artists includes Phi Life Cypher, Yarah Bravo, Slug, TTC, Kela and Ulzula Dudziak. Things start out slow but eventually pick up after "The Harp Song Part 2" and refuse to turn back. (JC)

East Coast Disaster Complex These Children Have Nothing But Hope Coqi Records • Put down your copy of Kid A and pick up this CD. It's full of ambient landscapes and retro electro tinged beats. Cheap keyboard sounds create a nostalgic feeling for the era when Atari was king, and Casio keyboards were the rage. (AL)

Edward the Bear Simple Songs Sloth Bear Records • Simple Songs collects songs from Edward the Bear's Modern Day Don Quixote and Everyone Gets the Last Laugh (Except You) EPs, plus a demo and an internet only release. Their music is full of jangly guitars, feel good beats and keyboards that bring to mind 60's pop. (AL)

EE For 100 We Try Harder Asian Man Records • EE is not the typical band that populates the Asian Man roster. As opposed to ska and punk, EE play methodical, improvisational space-y rock with plenty of instrumentals and atmospheric effects. There are vocals, and they tend to be subdued. (AL)

Ether Great Ocean Road Ether • Ether has a flowing rock sound, a sound that invokes thoughts of the ocean, which was the intended effect. At times, the music busts into a kind of salsa or island guitar, further invoking dreams of faraway places, as the rhythm softly medicates your mind against stress and anxiety. It is sometimes wistful and melancholy, but strikes the right chord. (DP)

Even In Blackouts Myths & Imaginary Magicians Hope and Nothings • Unplugged punk? Sure, why not? EIB is the new acoustic band from former Screeching Weasel guitarist Jughead. This is pretty interesting stuff, really finding the roots of the punk and folk traditions and creating a great sound all its own. The vocals are pretty flawless and, in an acoustic setting, that's a blessing for sure. Some interesting covers including a Screeching Weasel and Operation Ivy song round out a pretty interesting effort. (KM)

Extended Famm Happy Fuck You Songs QN5 Music • This disc had all the potential to be great until I put it in and noticed the record company sent an edited version of it, even though it is so proud of all the vulgar language contained within. I can't tell what is supposed to be a scratch and what words are scratched out, or get past the annoying promo voice warning against bootleggers. Anyway, the production is mostly from Tonedeff, with Elite and Deacon The Villain contributing as well. The rest of the Famm is PackFM, Substantial and Session. (JC)

Eyes of Autumn Hello 54°40' or Fight! • The opening riffs of CD opener "Fire Creates Like Machine", made me think of Don Caballero, and the singing and overall melancholic mood that followed made me think of Death Cab for Cutie. There's plenty of guitar picking and complex drumming patterns on Hello, so pay attention and you may catch all the subtleties. (AL)

Fairweather Alaska Equal Vision Records • Sadly, Fairweather is one of those bands I always find myself wanting to like more than I ever do. This is by far better than anything I've heard from them in the past, but I still only like moments and parts of what's going on here. With all that I do like, I'm almost more disappointed when some of the weaker hooks or vocal moments come along. Still this is some relatively good stuff, and you have to applaud the lads for trying something different. (KM)

Fifth Hour Hero / Gunmoll Split CD No Idea Records • I picked up this CD cause I love Gunmoll. I threw it in the CD player and quickly started to skip past the Fifth Hour Hero stuff. Wait, this sounds pretty good, I thought and I gave it a listen. I was reminded a little of Samuel (If anybody remembers them). Straight up rock with some good screaming mixed in. Masculine and feminine vocals mixing and splicing and complimenting each other, and great song writing. All that and I hadn't even gotten to the Gunmoll stuff. Gunmoll's songs were, of course, great. They have that sort of Gainesville sound, if I can dare say there is such a thing. This is some of their best stuff to date and a definite progression for them musically. (KM)

Fire Season Return Reaction Records • Fire Season is a quartet from New Jersey that has been around since 1997. They play post-punk that is full of fierce energy and is loaded with creative orchestration. It was engineered by the legendary Don Zientara and that's a fitting relationship. Fire Season is reminiscent of other bands Don has worked with, such as Rites of Spring and Fugazi. At times it also reminds me of Fuel (the early Œ90s Cali band, not the crap band on the radio), with their use of repeated rhythms and harmonies. This is a very engaging album, full of intensity and feedback -- a perfect combination. (CM)

Flunk For Sleepyheads Only Guidance Recordings • Crossing folk music and electronica could have disastrous consequences if not done properly. Fortunately, Flunk got it right. Vocalist Anja Oyen Vister sound very much like Björk, complete with an accent (She's Norwegian). They also incorporate some dub into their sound, creating a chilled out sound. Their cover of New Order's "Blue Monday" is beautiful, but a few years too late. (AL)

Gaggle of Cocks American Trash self-released • This New York trio cranks out some serious, ass-kicking rock. When first hearing this CD, I wanted to rip the sleeves of my t-shirt, get hammered and hop in my Œ78 Camaro. The band's major influences are porn, beer, raping, pillaging, growing righteous mullets and Creed. If you are a fan of straight up rock, check out these cocks. (RP)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O. Constellation Records • No, I didn't put the "!" in the wrong place. That's how they spell it now. That's about all that's changed though. Their music still features plenty of drones and repetitive songs that blend into each other. Yanqui U.X.O. starts out slow, then builds tension until a point of release, then takes you down, only to repeat the cycle. Thankfully, they don't rely on a singer to express emotionsŠthey do it all through tier instruments. I know exactly how they feel. (AL)

Good Riddance Cover Ups Lorelei Records • I love cover songs. Especially when they are of 80's songs. For this reason, I loved this CD. It features Good Riddance adding a punk touch to such classics as Modern English's "I Melt with You," The Kinks "Come Dancing," and The Shangri-La's "Leader of the Pack." Also covered are Kiss, Insted, Chron Gen, Government Issue and Black Flag. (AL)

Har Mar Superstar You Can Feel Me Record Collection • Sean Tillman's alter ego Har Mar Superstar is a combination of Atom and his Package and Chilly Gonzalez. The beats are bedroom quality, and the vocals are of the "All the ladies want me cause I'm the bestŠ" variety. Is this an ironic take on R&B and hip-hop, or is he serious? Either way, it's pretty funny, and surprisingly enjoyable. (AL)

Henry Fiat's Open Sore Adulterer Oriented Rock Coldfront Records • This collection of 47 tracks gives you every EP ever put out by Henry Fiat's Open Sore, plus some other hard to find tracks. They were all released between 1997 and 2001, and are balls out rockers, every single one of them. All band members wear suits and black wrestling masks (why not?), and their gritty, sloppy punk rock complements their fashion sense. (AL)

Here Kitty Kitty Daddy's Girl Lorelei Records • This isn't my kind of music, but I thought I'd give it a listen, since I'll always give girls with guitars the chance to rock. Besides some pretty sounding vocals, the two-minute power chord dominated songs are predictable. This is one for the pop punk enthusiast that likes catchy simplistic songs, but just isn't ready to jump head first into hard-hitting punk so they settle for in between. (MP)

Honky Mofo self-titled Sick Pup Records  • Thirty-seven minutes and 48 seconds of stupid-ass white cracker trash rap music. I love it. This is what plastic should be used for. Honkies rapping and throwin' out rhymes so fly and sick that you'll feel like shaking your groove thang. If you can resist movin' to track 9, "Franks & Beans", you must be in a coma or just really, really white. This rocks. (MK)

Hopesfall The Satellite Years Trustkill • This falls someplace between hardcore and post hardcore, and that's a great place to be. It's more creative than most hardcore, but none of the sass and shine of post-hardcore. Hopesfall brings it pounding, like a refreshing tidal wave. They have the epicness of some of the other hardcore bands of late, but have found a style that suits them and doesn't come off as contrived, as others who have bent the genre, and that's applaudable in itself. (KM)

Hypnos 69 Timeline Traveller R3 Records • Five tracks in 40 minutes. Averaging 8 minutes a track, Hypnos 69 would have to be pretty good to keep your attention. Fortunately, they are. Tipping their hat to 70's rockers Led Zeppelin and The Who, they rely on marksman-like guitar playing with touches of synths for effect. The vocals are minimal, letting you lose yourself in the music. (AL)

I Am Spoonbender Shown Actual Size Gold Standard Laboratories • Shown Actual Size is but a small helping (three tracks) of I Am Spoonbender's retro-futuristic new wave sound. These three tracks display the coldness of digital equipment blended with the organic sound of analog instruments. If you like The Faint or Ladytron, you'll like I Am Spoonbender. (AL)

ISIS Oceanic Ipecac Recordings • Oceanic is ISIS's second full length recording, and the title seems appropriate, since waves of metal riffs wash upon you like heavy sledgehammers, one after the other. Combining atmospheric tendencies with sporadic vocals that remind of Neurosis, ISIS is too heavy to be hypnotic, yet too repetitive not to be. (AL)

J Church Palestine Honey Bear Records • All fans of J Church must go buy this record. It's a benefit for Lance (the lead guy) after a fire at his apartment complex destroyed pretty much everything he owned, including a 5,000-piece record collection, a ton of guitar equipment, studio equipment and tons more ­ over $40,000 in damages. So, to show your appreciation for over 10 years of punky rock and roll, buy this record. This album includes a bunch of lo-fi tunes that never made it to the 24-track studio phase. Many of the recordings were done four or five years ago with some of the vocal tracks done more recently. It's a raw side of J Church that you probably haven't heard before. It's gritty, gripping, catchy and sincere ­ what more could you ask for? (CM)

J Mascis + The Fog Free So Free Ultimatum Music • Mascis is back with his third release since Dinosaur Jr. and it's another "classic rock for the 21st century" kind of release. Mascis is a guitar wizard, bound to amaze you with each strum while his distinct vocals deliver honest, often personal, lyrics. His songs find a way to be catchy and cozy while not short-changing you on a powerful, rock and roll energy. This is the perfect blend of rock and Americana to make it the essential camping companion. Mascis' tunes are best enjoyed with a campfire ablaze, veggie hotdogs on the grill and beer in hand. (CM)

J.M.C. Official Intelligent Records • Josh Metcalf is ŒJust Another M.C.' on this release full of metaphors and freestyle type rhymes about basketball, battling and emotions. The beats carry this disc well with an up tempo treble-thick vibe and the lyrics are delivered with creative wordplay, yet they come off a little simple. The disc is a bit short on tracks but "Playground" is amazing as he rhymes "the concrete, the asphalt, the basketball court, where once upon a time, this rap was a sport." Other notables are the title track and "Da Bizness" but this is best heard straight through. (JC)

Jackpot Shiny Things Surfdog • The New York Times says that Jackpot are "one of California's greatest unknown bands." Now, I'll agree that they are unknown. But "greatest"? That might be a stretch. Jackpot is good, just not great. They play music that is easily accessible and radio-ready with vocals up front, overlaying mid-tempo pop rock. It doesn't break any new ground or delve into anything uniquely creative. But, there's a ton of melody and enough hooks to suck in the masses. (CM)

John B John B Presents Brainstorm Subtype Music • What starts out as a throwback to the 80's electro sound slowly evolves into a drum & bass fest in this 70 minute mix. With mostly original tracks, John B manages to not only reference electro, but also synthpop, trance, and breakbeat. (AL)

Julius Bragg Transceiver Maniac Records  • Here is your new pop-rock sensation. This sounds good if you like your local rock radio station. This is definitely music made for commercial success. The songs are structured and produced to sound familiar and comfortable. There is potential in the musicianship ­ they have talent, but they need to find their own sound. Not everybody needs to sound the same. (MK)

Keith Moore The Fluorescent Shaded Teddy Bear Murders self-released • The music on the CD is the score to the screenplay with the same title. Musically, Moore is quite talented. His score combined rock and orchestral music with plenty of moods and atmospheres. The screenplay, on the other hand, was a bit loopy. Here's the plot: An island of billionaire supermodels must confront its vanity when giant, killer teddy bears disrupt their quirky lifestyle. Sounds like somebody has issues with women. Listen and enjoy, but read at your own risk. (AL)

Kicked in the Head Salita EP Resurrection A.D. Records • Kicked in the Head play tight melodic punkcore stuff with the intensity of a hardcore band, but have enough melodies to not scare away people. The five songs that make up this EP go by way too fast, so you'll have to listen to it a couple of times to fully appreciate it. The enhanced portion of the CD includes two videos. (AL)

Kill Radio Empty-V Generation self-released • "Watch Me!" was a familiar saying heard on airwaves everywhere in the 60's and with this band I'm surprised it hasn't come back yet. Once I popped this CD in, I fell in love with it. Kill Radio from California is a cross between good ole soul James Brown and thrash punk Rancid. As bad as that may sound, this band is practically capable of everything as they add their love for different genres of music and their knowledge of politics and the world that we live in together to produce a classic demo that I'm surprised hasn't caught the attention of everyone into the underground punk scene, even the old James Brown fans! (CMax)

Kimone Meres of Twilight Silverthree • Kimone is a five piece from Boston that creates extremely elegant soundscapes; a richly detailed collection of musical fullness, both vocal and instrumental. Their uniquely complete sound is due to band members trained in sound engineering and computer science, as they apply their skills diligently to the creation of an ethereally fascinating and satisfying record that will long linger in the memory of the listener. (DP)

Krescent 4 self-titled EP self-released • This band has been around for over 14 years. You've got to be kidding me! Okay, that's not fair of me, but this is really pretentious, gothy alt-rock. And I have no patience for it. Their press material says they "evoke the artistry of Soundgarden, The Cult, Nickelback, Helmet, Tool and Mudhoney." I wouldn't argue with the fact that they are in the same genre as those bands, but they certainly don't play as well, nor do they do anything original enough to set them apart. I'm sure their dreams of being on the radio could come true, but has anyone heard how shitty rock music on the radio is? (CM)

La Guardia self-titled Minimalist Recordings Company • These guys play an airy blend of indie/folkish rock. Borrowing styles from many different areas, La Guardia has put together a great CD, reminding me of a less annoying Pavement or even a more up beat Built to Spill. After listening to this CD, I was left with an overwhelming feeling of joy. (RP)

Ladytron Light & Magic Emperor Norton Records • The 80's are alive and well thanks to Ladytron, whose debut album 604 caused a sensation among the retro-chic crowd. They keep the same spirit alive by combining elements of electro with vintage dance music and vocals that are almost devoid of emotion. (AL)

LandSpeedRecord! Good Housekeeping amBiguous City! Records • As the title suggests, this CD is a way for the band to clean house, and release tracks that were meant to be released earlier but never made it anywhere, or are now out of print. The first six songs were supposed to go on 1999's The Corporate Secret. Two others were meant for a compilation, and the last eleven were released on their first three albums, which are now out of print. (AL)

Lost Sounds Rat's Brains & Microchips Empty Records • A long menacing cello begins the first track, "Rat's Brains & Microchips," but is quickly joined with a dramatic concoction of synths and drums. This music is hard to hit right on the button as far as genres go. The synths have very catchy lines that could constitute a little pop, but this band is no pop band. I heard some rock n' roll influences here and there with the guitars and vocals, maybe even a little Mick Jagger. There are pure punk rock beats throughout this futuristic rock. Just to say how many synths are used, they list them on the insert. They use them all well though, never sounding the same from song to song. On a few tracks, there's even the raspy, sometimes-screamy girl vocals. Think MileMarker meets Melvins. Worth giving a listen to. (MP)

Luna Close Cover Before Striking Jetset Records • This mini album consists of 7 tracks in classic Luna style. Slow pop tunes that flow like a beautiful river, they feature plenty of jangly guitars and a vocalist that sounds a little like Lou Reed. As a bonus, the disc includes videos for "Lovedust" and "1995." (AL)

Lying In States The Bewildered Herd Hopeless Records • The herd is bewildered because it is wondering why it plunked down hard-earned cash for this disc. This is a short disc, just six songs, but that is enough. The songs are somewhat slow and they just don't seem to go anywhere. They start off well enough, but they stay where they started. (MK)

Mark Mallman The Red Bedroom Guilt Ridden Pop • Bringing his most personal collection to us all, Mallman delves inside the solemn sounds of the 60's and 70's in a post-Beatles, Billy Joel kind of way. A lot of piano pop with desperation that gets spacey like Moby and repetitious like Willie Nelson. Tracks are well written and are full of substance, most of which is about whiskey, prostitutes, love and loneliness. On "Traveling High" he best describes his journey with lines like "livin' on debts and Jimmy Buffet on cassettes, I try to make friends with the waitressŠI try to romance her but I don't get an answer." These tracks sound like unfinished demos, but complete in their own environment, "dreamy and bizarre" as Mark once put it. (JC)

Matt Marka Repeat Pete Repeat P.A.W. Records • Marka has been recording music for over 10 years, starting with his band Naked Bob, then Dog Day, then Brittle and now with his third solo album. Matt offers up ten tracks of mostly-acoustic pop rock that is heartfelt and sincere. The tracks vary in tempo, from low to high and melodies are woven throughout. Fans of Elliot Smith and Dashboard Confessional will likely find enjoyment in this release. (CM)

matt pond PA The Nature Of Maps Polyvinyl Record Co. • With a driving pop sound fueled by two cellos and a nice string arrangement this disc is a dreamy atmospheric ride. Alongside the heavy cello sound are acoustic and electric guitars, drums, and bass guitar, which provide an effortlessly mesmerizing soundscape for these soft-sung melodic vocals. The fourth album for Matt Pond's band out of PA relies on a basic formula but works quite well. Tracks like "Summer Is Coming" and "A Million Middle Fingers" top off this comforting collective. (JC)

MC Paul Barman Paullelujah! Coup d'État • A combination of the silliness of The Bloodhound Gang, the musical talent of the Beastie Boys and the lyrical skills of Eminem culminates in Barman's first full-length album. Sure, he's a Jew from the Jersey suburbs, but who cares?! His rhymes are some of the cleverest you'll ever hear and the orchestration of the album is incredibly varied, from slowed-down jams to uptempo party tunes to jazzy lyrical throwdowns. And if you can't keep up with his rhymes, just read "The Jew Dork Rimes", the newspaper-style lyric sheet that comes with the CD. If features all the lyrics, as well as Barman's own illustrations. This album will make you laugh, make you think and make you scream, "Paullelujah!" And if you get a chance to see him live, he'll make you dance! (CM)

MF Doom Special Herbs Vol. 1 & 2 High Times Records • MF Doom, formerly known as Zev Love X, collected 17 tracks for smoking up a storm (it is released on High Times Records, for Pete's sake). The tracks are culled from his previous work with KMD and Monster Island Czars, as well as some of his Operation Doomsday songs. Also included are never before heard tracks, as well as some borrowed tracks from DJ Spinna, DJ Subroc, Jon Doe, and others. This is instrumental hip-hop at its best. (AL)

Million Dollar Marxist self-titled EP self-released • This six-song EP is at times a bit boring. Having used the same old recipe as numerous bands before M.D.M. does nothing to inspire or motivate this listener. I was extremely disappointed in this release. I would recommend this CD to anyone who is into the same old punk rock that has been recycled and handed down through disappointed hands. (RP)

Modern Machines/The Fragments s/t New Disorder • This is a split CD featuring a couple of straight up power-pop punk bands from Wisconsin. Despite the choppy, amateurish recording, the music considerably rocks. It possesses that passionate, youthful zeal that is somewhat lost on the more squeakily polished punk we've come to know in recent years. It's got melodic guitar, harmonizing vocals, just six guys feeding your punk rock soul what it needs. (DP)

Mr. Scruff Trouser Jazz Ninja Tune Records • I don't know about the trouser part, but the jazz is certainly present on Trouser Jazz. Somewhat like old Groove Collective, Mr. Scruff (AKA Andy Carthy) blends the style with hip hop, dance music, live instrumentation, and 70's sensibility. The single "Shrimp" is a quirky trip down funk lane, while "Vibrate" features guest rapper Braintax laying down vocals over a Tribe Called Quest like beat. (AL)

Mustard Plug Yellow #5 Hopeless Records • Mustard Plug are back with another dose of feel good ska. They blend traditional ska with occasional punk and pop. The songs have a very catchy and upbeat feel to them. These guys have been around for a while and they haven't slowed down a bit. (AL)

My Dad Is Dead The Engine Of Commerce Vital Cog • I don't think I'm saying too much by saying that if Joy Division had survived into this century they might be making some music a little bit like this. MDID is the project of Mark Edwards, who plays everything on this record. This doesn't sound like much of anything out there these days, and that's attributable to Edward's intelligence and vision. (KM)

Nad Navillus Iron Night Jagjaguwar • This is what you would expect from this label, eerie and deeply explored ideas and views of insomnia, death, murder, betrayal and the escape from it all. What makes this singer/songwriter set better than the average is the unpredictable dark lyrics that possess enough light to make them blend well with the music. Vocals drag abound while the music simply follows making for an acoustically emotional whirlwind of drama and mild suspense. (JC)

Nagisa Nite On the Love Beach Jagjaguwar • This is the re-released debut from the duo Shinji Shibayamama and Masako Takeda. Think Red House Painters with Japanese vocals. Acoustic guitars set up the same droning melody, yet each song stands alone with harmonicas, whistling, electric guitar, random chords on a piano, slightly catchy harmonies and trumpet. They even give credit to a hand clapper on one song. With too many references to the beach and too many la la's in the choruses, this album starts to drag. Mediocre. (MP)

Nakatomi Plaza Private Property Immigrant Sun • Seven of the ten tracks on here were released in late 2001 under the same title. But with NP's recent signing to Immigrant Sun, they've decided to redo the mixing on the tracks and add three additional tunes. In the Oct/Nov 2001 issue of IMPACT press, I named this a "Top Pick." It's still amazing, and having three more songs is a huge bonus, but I have a policy about not giving an already released album that credit a second time. Nothing against NP, they're incredible. Here's the original review, for the most part: Their brand of melodic hardcore combined with super catchy punk is really freakin' good. The mix of male and female vocals is used perfectly, as well as the balance between well-sung and screamed Iyrics. All of this would mean little if the band didn't have hugely creative orchestration. They are very talented and that is a rarity. The guitar parts tear and twirl all over the place, adding depth to the driving energy. Factor in that the Iyrics have a strong socio-critical bent and this is definitely a brightly shining gem in a very crowded punk rock music scene. (CM)

Neva Dinova Neva Dinova Crank! • With three guitarists and a mellow sound, this release focuses on those internal battles of loneliness and rejection. The spaced-out vibe and melodic vocals carry you into the deep and gloomy stories within these lyrics. Tracks like "Jesus' Choir" and "Lucifer's Lament" kind of paint the picture of this journey, accented by occasional vocal outbursts but staying lost in a dreamy state. "Dances Fantastic" is the standout track and overall this disc, a confession delivered in sound, feels really good. (JC)

New School Year History and Poetry self-released • Here's some beautiful piano with girl and guy vocals for your listening pleasure. The piano stays constant through "I Love the Nightlife" and works beautifully with the vocals that were reminiscent of Pohgoh. They use strings and an acoustic guitar mixed with distorted guitars on "Make Your Own Bed." Four songs of pure, mellow, melodic emo. (MP)

Nighthawks Nighthawks Eastern Conference Records • Cage and Camu Tao take on the characters of dirty cops in New York fighting drug dealers, hookers, the D.A. and anyone in their way. Inspired by the 1981 movie starring Sylvester Stallone, this comes off a lot like Training Day revisited. With stories as graphic as getting head from a hooker in a squad car, no stone is unturned on this reality-like stab at the strong arm of the law. The production comes from Camu and Mighty Mi and stays hype throughout as rhymes slide nice and easy overtop of them. The unusual nature of this concept album is reason enough to check it out. (JC)

Noise626 The Art Of Falling Forward Ol' Scratch Recordings • Lyrically creative and musically haunting, this concept/rock opera disc will take some time to digest but the taste is what it's all about. The vocals are pure David Bowie-like and the sound is a lot like what Bowie and Nine Inch Nails have been doing the last few years - pure spaced-out gothic noise. The spoken word/vocal arrangements spill poetic pain throughout with confusion about faith, loss, obsession, pain and a distorted sense of what is happening around you. It's like a man running from and around responsibilities within his own life. This moody disc moves between progressive bass guitar, eerie-melodic goth with acoustics and enough originality to make it through the night. (JC)

Onalaska To Sing for Nights Dim Mak Records • This little bastard wiggled its way into my CD player and hasn't left in a month. It grows on you and gets sticky so you never get it off. It features members of bands like Minus The Bear, Botch, Kill Sadie, and Sharks Keep Moving, but doesn't really sound like a damn one of them. It's sort of rural country twang with an indie jangly pop feel. The key element of this releases charm is in the almost storytelling quality of Tom Harpel's vocal styles. (KM)

Paul Krassner Irony Lives! Artemis Records • Recorded at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles this spoken word/comedy album is full on satire and counterculture journalism about politics and our society. The content included makes this worth the listen as Krassner talks about terrorists, God, conspiracy and irony among other things. His voice has a slight slur in it and tracks don't run into one another to give it that feeling of a complete show from beginning to end. Other than that this is an entertaining thought on the things going on around us in our lives. (JC)

Philip Kane Songs for Swinging Lovers Corrupt Records • Philip Kane has a really great voice. The thing is, I think my mom might like this one more than me. He croons like a young, witty Tom Jones with soul and passion. Some of the songs have some quite humorous lines and I really cracked a smile. The music, the voice, it just sounds too much like something I would hear in a cruise ship lounge. (KM)

Polara Jetpack Blues Susstones Records • Polara's sound is big, incorporating elements from pop and rock, a little bit of blues, plus some electronica. Tracks like the radio-friendly "Is This It?" are augmented with horns and a catchy beat. For fans of Spiritualized, The Wallflowers and Mercury Rev. (AL)

Projections Between Here and Now Guidance Recordings, Inc. • For their debut album, LA duo Projections touches on a whole bunch of genres, including funk, soul, broken beat, electro, and Latin rhythms. These are songs to groove to, not dance to. Their use of live instrumentation, especially percussion, adds a certain warmth that is usually missing from electronica albums. (AL)

Purpose Songs At Ground Zero Reaction Records • Purpose is no more. This is their last release, seven tracks of aggressive, emotional rock and roll that is big on tempo changes. It's a pretty damn good release, but it's a shame that you can't expect anything more from the band, nor can you see them live (which is a real shame, because they probably has a kick-ass live show based on their style of music). Regardless, this is a rocking collection of songs that are worth checking out. (CM)

Q and Not U Different Damage Dischord Records • Q And Not U are not really a punk band, but they feel like they are. They can be as loud as the (International) Noise Conspiracy, as weird as Blonde Redhead, or as sweet as the High Llamas. (AL)

Qwel The Rubber Ducking Experiment Galapagos4 • Qwel brings a brain-thumbing lyrical assault to the microphone on his second solo album. Representing Chitown and his crew the Typical Cats, Qwel has no problem going at it alone. His rhyme skills are definitely tight and the creative, experimental music production makes for one hell of a journey. As Qwel puts it, "It's not gospel music, it's revelation music." I'm not sure if I had a revelation, but I sure did have a good time listening. (CM)

Racebannon Satan's Kickin' yr Dick In Secretly Canadian • Straddling the line between hardcore and pure noise, Racebannon take no prisoners on Satan's Kickin' yr Dick In. Like The Locust, Racebannon creates walls of fucked up sound with vocals that seem to exist on their own, oblivious of the music. Unlike The Locust, their CDs last more than 10 minutes (35 to be exact). If you're up for some sonic destruction, this CD is for you. (AL)

Recover Ceci n'est pas Recover Fiddler • Austin, Texas rockers Recover push out an explosive sound, with a surrealistic approach on this 5-track E.P. which is titled This is not Recover in French. Starting with the track "Bad Timing (All Right)" the music stays raw on energy with a fluent two-guitar, bass and drum swagger that guides these vocal harmonies through aggression and delicacy. This portrays an idea of a great live show by these guys, but remember "an image, be it painted or photographed is just an image" according to them. (JC)

Red Animal War Black Phantom Crusades Deep Elm • This immediately reminded me of Jawbox, and that's a big compliment. Tearing out from the first track, Red Animal War takes the listener on a 12-track journey of musical landscapes, defined by their building intensity, driving energy, and sprawling emotional force. The hooks are there to grab you, but it's the diversity and skill of this band that really sucked me in. The guitar parts are intricate and ever changing, the vocals are heartfelt and delivered with conviction while the drums and bass lay a pounding rhythm that is absorbing. An album like this makes for a perfect road trip soundtrack. (CM)

Remy de Laroque Carol's On My Mind self-released • The name is a little hard to remember, but his voice isn't. This singer-songwriter originally from Paris isn't doing anything innovative, but it's nice mellow melodic indie pop for the soul. Lyrically he touches on love, friends, his daughter and even witnessing the events of September 11, since he currently resides in New York City. He picks up the tempo on some tracks and shows his vocal range as well. (MP)

Retisonic Lean Beat Silverthree Sound Recordings • If this wasn't produced by J. Robbins of Burning Airlines and Jawbox fame, then he has an evil twin running around stealing bands away from him. The crunchy, raw guitars and ever so subtle hooky guitar riffs keep this two-piece out of D.C. rocking through all six songs. The vocals are the only element of the band that leaves something to be desired. The melodies and harmonies are catchy and on, but lead vocalist and guitarist Jason Farrell often slips into the realm of boring with almost monotone flat singing. This album is definitely worth a listen, but then again what has J. Robbins done that you don't like. (MP)

Rob Swift Sound Event Tableturns • If you're a fan of hip-hop DJs, you know who Rob Swift is. If you haven't really delved into this realm, prepare yourself. One of the members the X-ecutioners, a pioneering force in Djing, Swift brings over 10 years of experience to the turntables. This Brooklyn-born turntabilist has long been recognized as one of the best behind the wheels of steel, winning the 1992 DNC East Coast turntable title and having his hand in over 10 releases (and that's not counting production work). His cuts are precise and rhythmatic, his samples revealing and his choice of guest appearances hard to ignore. Joining him on this album are such artists as Supernatural, DJ Radar, J-Live and Gudtyme. What it results in is a complex, creative and captivating hip-hop album full of bumpin' beats, dope scratches and enough rhyme flows to even keep a finicky listener tuned in. (CM)

Ron House Obsessed Moses Carryout Records • Apparently, Ron House has been doing music for a while, since 1978 in fact. He sang with Great Plains and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments. I know nothing about them. I can tell you that this acoustic solo album doesn't impress me. He's a depressing, "tortured" man who croons along singing like the result of combining Bob Dylan and They Might Be Giants. Maybe the out-of-key singing should be viewed as an enhancement to the depressing songs, but it doesn't work for me. (CM)

Ruck La' Rou Rocker's Revenge self-released • Rockers and ballads. Ruck has it all. Seems like more ballads than rockers, though. Some of the songs are a little on the long side. They sound like they would play well on any commercial rock station. There is nothing so bad here, but nothing really stands out, either.  (MK)

S.H.Ar.Q. Cactus in a Fishbowl Blues S.H.Ar.Q. • The acronym means "Secure Hash Algorithm Quartet," and they are a quirky rock band with stylish lyricism, due no doubt to the credentials of front man and songwriter Daniel Hales, who is a graduate of UMass with a masters degree in poetry. They're difficult to figure out, always keeping you guessing with their strange, new sounds. (DP)

Sara Marlowe A World To Win self-released • There are two things pretty evident to the listener upon a first listen to Sara Marlowe's newest release. She has a wonderful voice, and she has quite a lot on her mind. This is a very political album filled with songs about the evils of the WTO and the IMF, songs about rebellion and resistance. The music is folk, not folk inspired, but pure folk tradition. It's good to see people taking artistic action to bring about voice to such issues, and Marlowe's is quite a strong one. (KM)

Shadowyze World Of Illusions Back Bone Records/Red Earth Records • Like many African-American rappers, this Native American emcee expresses his concerns with the struggles his people are facing and various other world issues. The positive message deserves credit but the synth bassline beats and one-style vocal sound is under produced. The beats are a mix of west coast and down south funk but are B-rated and low budget. I wish some of the money spent on packaging this release would have been used on the product itself. Songs like "Trixter," "Ozone" and the title track deserve a listen, though. (JC)

Shattered Realm Broken Ties...Spoken Lies Eulogy Recordings • Shattered Realm is the latest band to tackle the metalcore genre, and they pull it off with a vengeance. Their riffs could not get any meatier, and their lead singer growls with the intensity of a Death Metal singer. These guys are sure to gain fans with their intense sound. (AL)

Shuggie What it is and How To Get It Good Ink Records • I would like to say that I love this band's name. The first song on the disc saddened me as I thought I was about to get sloshed with radio rock garbage. This is actually a cool disc. Cool rock and roll licks and enough of a retro feel to be fun without seeming like it is trying too hard. A fun going-to-the-beach disc.  (MK)

Signal to Trust Folklore Modern Radio Record Label • Technical and tempo changing, the music varies from song to song with unconventional structures. The rhythm section stands out in most of the songs and the almost talking vocals seemed off but fit the chaos most of the time. The vocals sound like a cross between David Byrne and Fred Schneider from The B-52's. Dissident guitars and melodic bass lines give this its indie rock flair, but a lot of times this full length seems like one long jam. (MP)

Slidepiece One Cheap Ass CD Shat House Records • When first popping this CD in, I liked the "Poopy Oi Punk" style of this band and the "anti-seriousness" attitude the members portrayed. It sounds like a cross between Mustard Plug and The Vandals, which of course, if you think about it, can't go bad. The only thing wrong about this CD is the fact that their words are pretty immature if listening for 10 minutes or longer and their "True Confessions" skit at the end where they, in my opinion, persecute and poke fun at homosexuals is something I take seriously and does not enlighten my senses. A decent CD from a stupid band with bad morals is all I have to say. (CMax)

Sloppy Seconds Destroyed Coldfront Records • This pop-punk masterpiece was originally released in 1989, and is still causing people to take notice. Sloppy Seconds still tours and sells records, and now you can get your hands on a remastered version of Destroyed. Just as an added incentive, they threw four bonus tracks. (AL)

Slow Gherkin Run Screaming Asian Man Records • Having formed ten years ago, Slow Gherkin's sound continues to evolve. Their ska sound is mostly gone, replaced by a more rock-oriented sound. There still are elements of ska on Run Screaming, but their sound is not centered around the genre. Unless you are a die-hard ska aficionado who scoffs at other kinds of music, you'll like where these guys are going. (AL)

Smart Brown Handbag Fast Friends Stonegarden Records • This took me back to the Œ80s. Some of the music is modern pop but the vocals are very reminiscent of Morrissey and I even heard a tinge of Elvis Costello here and there. Clean guitars power this album. I think they own distortion pedals, but choose to use them sparingly. Even though they seem to fit better in another decade, they do what they do well. Their sound is impressive for a three piece from L.A., but not impressive enough to have staying power in my CD player. (MP)

Sonny Boy Urban Misfit Artform Entertainment • Soulful vocals meet funky R&B in Sonny Boy's Urban Misfit. Also present are elements of jazz, hip-hop and even reggae. Play this CD during your next date and you'll surely get laid, without obviously stating your intentions like say, a Barry White CD would. Frontman Shel Riser is truly talented, not only as a songwriter but as a singer. (AL)

Sound The Alarm Send And Return Not Without Your Space Helmet Records • So the new thing is this indie emo keyboard stuff right? All the bands are doing it. But they aren't doing it as good as Sound the Alarm. This Florida band has seen quite a number of members come and go and, in this time, they have really discovered their sound and created something original; kind of a Grade meets up with The Anniversary and sees Weezer, who buys them all drinks. Sometimes the vocals aren't as strong as the music, but it's not a glaring weakness. With that in mind, they are a step away from "some next level shit," as they say. (KM)

Speedwell My Life is a Series of Vacations EP Ignition Records • The poppy and very catchy first track "Calling on Columbia Pike" got this four-song EP off to a good start. Pretty girl and guy harmonies fit perfectly and weren't overused, along with enchanting keyboard lines. "Two Conquests" takes an acoustic turn with a pleasantly melodic guitar part followed by those harmonies I've come to love so much. I can't wait to see what this band will put out next; I think it can only get better. For now these four indie pop songs will have to hold me over. (MP)

Spitalfield The Cloak and Dagger Club Sinister Label • This is one of those CDs that grows on you. Admittedly, I really didn't like it that much when I first put it in my player. After a day of driving around I found myself really enjoying it, singing along with choruses and doing fingerpoints that I am sure made the other people on the road wonder what I was doing. Spitalfield has that great "post-hardcore" sound that combines so much of the good sounds of the late '90s and yet aims to conquer new ground at the same time. (KM)

Stereotyp My Sound G-Stone Recordings • Here's yet another artist from Vienna's exploding electronica scene. Stereotyp's influences include nu-jazz, hip-hop, reggae, and dancehall, and all are present in his debut, My Sound. Guest vocalists abound, with Tikiman, Collage, Greenwood, Cesar, MC Trigger, and others lending their talents. (AL)

Stereotyperider Same Chords, Same Songs, Same Six Strings Suburban Home • This Arizona four-piece is back, this time with their debut full-length record. Featuring 12-songs, Stereotyperider brings a melding of sounds together, fusing elements of punk, emo and hardcore to create a melodic and catchy album that packs one hell of a punch. The thing that sets this band apart is that they are far from one-dimensional and they show it for the entire record. They suck you in with a big, poppy hook and then pummel you with wicked guitar work and a rapid-fire beat. In the end, it's hard to resist and you soon find yourself rocking along ­ and there's nothing at all wrong with that result. (CM)

subthunk Just a Few Notes Before You Go Ureneely Recordings • Combining live instruments with the technological magic provided by an iBook, the fellas at subthunk create organic music that blurs the line between jazz and electronica. Touches of drum n bass and funk liven up this mostly instrumental album. (AL)

Suffering & The Hideous Theives / The Hush Hush split 2xCD Lujo Records • Suffering & The Hideous Theives have a much scarier name than their music conveys. They play slow, flowing pop rock that, at times, reminds me of Luna meets Billy Bragg. The Hush Hush play five tracks of ethereal pop fronted by emotional, breathy female vocals. It's definitely sleepy-time music. What I don't get is, why didn't the label do this as one CD? It would be much better to have the ten songs on one disc instead of being wasteful and putting two CDs out. (CM)

Tadd Mullinix Panes Ghostly International • This Mini-LP's title track is a dub-influenced number, with a slurring deep voice singing something unintelligible. It is like something out of a David Lynch movie. The rest of the album flows in a similar yet different way, taking various elements from electronica and mixing them with random noises and keyboards, somewhat like Autechre's more experimental fare. (AL)

Tadd Mullinix Winking Makes a Face Ghostly International • Not only is Tadd Mullinix interested in the more glitchy elements of electronica, but he is also interested in classical music. His love for both is reflected in this, his now re-released debut album. Aphex-Twin like beats are accented with well-composed strings, keyboards and other instruments. (AL)

Templars Return of Jacques De Molay and Phase Two GMM Records • These two albums showcase the Templars' legendary Oi! sound. The albums span 1993-1997, with 12 tracks on ROJDM and 15 tracks on Phase Two. This is working class, beer drinking, sweat-drenched rock and roll loaded with punk angst and attitude. The guys are from NY and have been together since 1991. Put them in a class with Niblick Henbane and Oxblood. (CM)

The Anchorite Four Self-Titled self-released • Maybe I had too many expectations going in; I mean a great name, they are from Florida, and the CD has 21 tracks. Yeah, I guess I was let down and never really recovered. Horribly average is about the best I can say. There is some good stuff on here, but really nothing that shakes the ground or moves me. For the most part their sound is a run of the mill indie emo gambit, with predictable parts of intensity. All the elements are there to make this better, but it just isn't happening. (KM)

The Appleseed Cast Lost Songs Deep Elm Records • The Appleseed Cast is a band of many sounds. They transformed their sound from raw and energetic to a more mellow, atmospheric one. Lost Songs unites them both, with four songs from 1999 with some additional instrumentation, plus five new songs. (AL)

The Braves That's The Hot Part Arms Reach Recordings • Good doesn't always equate to interesting. That's kinda how I might describe the debut by The Braves. It's really great, it has all the elements of a great indie disc, I couldn't fault it if I tried, but I don't really find myself wanting to listen to it much either. There's nothing that draws you in and hooks you, nothing to make your ears take notice. With that in mind, it's not a bad piece of work. (KM)

The DaoSon For self-titled Country Club Records • The Dao Son For mix it up in their self-titled debut. Indie rock meets mathy guitar and drum patterns, plus sporadic playful keyboards. The vocals have a certain bedroom quality, mostly subdued and emotional, except for a few screamed passages. (AL)

The Dirtmitts Get On Sonic Unyon • Get On avoids the curse of the sophomore slump for the Dirtmitts. Their debut was well received, as it should have been, and this one should garner equal attention. They have perfected their catchy sound, centered around solid indie rock tunes with (mostly) female vocals. (AL)

The Disaster Black and White and Red All Over Alone Records • Barely 20 minutes long as a whole, and still 11 tracks. You know from that stat alone, it's gonna be harder and faster than high school love. Classic hardcore hooks with a dark cloud raining all over them are a good image. Another one for you is a guy screaming his life out without whining on for hours. (KM)

The Epidemic Now Museum, Now You Don't Ohev Records • The Epidemic's sound is somewhat of an anomaly. While Radiohead left behind their rock past when they recorded Kid A and Amnesiac, The Epidemic embraces both rock and electronica on their second full-length. Skips and glitches feel right at home with violins, emotional vocals and keyboards. Cross Joan of Arc with Autechre and you got The Epidemic. (AL)

The F*** You Ups Hope You Appreciate It F***** Formula 13 • I usually would be nice and make up some really stupid lie and try to add in some good details to make a band look good and get attention and praise they do not deserve. After looking at the name of the band, the CD, the songs on it, and taking a listen, and knowing what I just said you can quite possibly guess my emotions for this band and this CD. The hardcore punk style is always great, but the "F" word every five seconds isn't really funny. If you need to listen to a CD to persuade you that your favorite band is actually talented and is "not as bad as everyone says" then this CD is the one for you. Pop it in and enjoy the feeling of relief. (CMax)

The Fire Next Time Sound Of A Threat Dim Mak Records • Can I call them a poor mans Refused and not offend? When I say "poor man's", I mean they have a less produced sound, that cultivates a more DIY sounding element, which I think is just beautiful. Political, emotional, powerful, artistic, all the elements are there. At times, it gets a little too artistic, which makes it difficult to make this a disc of sing-along anthems; this one more is a work to behold. (KM)

The Flaming Sideburns Save Rock ŒN' Roll Jetset Records • Sounding a lot like the Stooges mixed with the Rolling Stones, these Scandinavian rockers keep things extreme and at a high energy level. Lyrics are sung in both Spanish and English and roll right along with raunchy aggression. Hoping to take the world by storm, this is the bands second full length and first release to be marketed domestically. It is evident that many 60's and 70's rock influences have been instilled within their sound like the Lou Reed sounding "Flowers" which is the mellowest track on the disc. (JC)

The Forgotten Control Me BYO Records • The Forgotten has a great classic punk sound, something that might remind you of the glory days, but they sure aren't just reflective and historic. They make a noise that is worth a listen and respect all on its own. Some of the best street punk I've heard in a long time. The strong sound is completed with some great lyrics as well. (KM)

The Gravity Index self-titled EP Modern Radio Record Label • Staccato bass and an ominous bari sax start this album off. By the time the screamy vocals came in, I was hooked. The sax was used in a unique way, working harmoniously with the drummer. Metallish guitar parts on "Nervous Empty Screen" worked well with its follow up "Fiction #1" which starts with a punchy bass line and keeps a more punk feel throughout. I have two complaints: 1) they just recently broke up so we won't be hearing anything else from the band but on a positive note, they do have new projects going so hopefully they can live up to The G.I. 2) I know it's an EP, but the album wasn't long enough. I wanted more. (MP)

The Jim Yoshii Pile-up Homemade Drugs Absolutely Kosher Records • Beautiful and dreamy vocals with rhythmically hypnotic melodies. Each song becomes more emotionally involved and intense. I did enjoy the majority of this album, but some of it became whiny. Every time this happened, though, they picked me back up with a driving melody. It's a roller coaster album, up and down and up again. "Double Negative" picks up the pace and shows off their elements of pop with a chorus that will stick for days. It's a nice mixture of mellow mood music with some toe tapping tunes. (MP)

The Jumblies By the Light of a Blue Moon Intelligent • A female-fronted ethereal rock band, The Jumblies immediately reminded me of early Sarah McLachlan stuff with the breathy vocals, but with more wildness and creative instrumentation. There's also a kind of flowing, soft quality to the music reminiscent of The Ocean Blue or The Cure. Their songs build to layered, perfect crescendos that are strikingly tight. It's almost like going to a concert of super-happy, stylish aliens ­ It's just that kind of otherworldly talent. A wonderful record. (DP)

The June Spirit Testing Superstition Negative Progression • New Jersey's June Spirit have just a bit of that, spirit that is. This CD has a collection of some well-developed songs in the cute boy emo tradition that is so popular these days. The only downfall is just that, it sounds a lot like a lot of other things, as good as it is, there really isn't much that jumps out and grabs you. The artwork is great and the lyrics are pretty straightforward. All and all, it's pretty middle of the pack at the end of the day. (KM)

The Lepers The Love From Above Caulfield Records • This CD opens with an eight-minute, dramatic instrumental that's followed with another eight-minute slow and sinister song. When the vocals enter, it sounds more like Modest Mouse on tranquilizers, while the music carries metallish undertones. I can't forget to mention there are only two members, a drummer and guitarist. "Beating the Bushes," one of their only tracks under eight minutes, surprised me with some powerful screams, as well as the music gaining momentum and starting to wake me up. Unique melodies combined with an impaled man on the cover make for a dark and menacing treat. (MP)

The Lot Six Animals Espo Records • Recorded during the same sessions as the Gwylo album, The Lot Six has saved the best for second. At times like Sonic Youth or the Pixies, this album gets grungy and loud with distortion. The vocals of Dave Vicini are aggressive, high pitched, anguished and emotionally confused at times. Lines like, "It's so nice to know we're all falling apart," and, "My mind is cursed," come off like confessions of guilt. "I Get High" and "All So Nice To Know" stand out, as well as "The Tiniest Tin" which is a carry-over of sorts from the last album. This disc is powerful and the music behind the vocals is a major reason why. (JC)

The Maginot Line Paris Burning Ambiguous City Records • Hailing from DC and Baltimore, this band definitely has elements of the DC post-punk sound. They fuse punk and indie-rock to create a tight, energetic brand of rock and roll that drives forward at a rapid pace. Much of what they do is quite intricate, yet also feedback heavy and constantly shifting in style. The result is an original sound that will get your blood rushing. (CM)

The Microphones Mount Eerie K Records • The Microphones are a strange car crash of spooky dub, Tones on Tail, and experimental noise. Once you clear the wreckage, it's actually pretty interesting. Using the word experimental is risky, since it mostly means unlistneable, uninteresting, or inaccessible to even the most open ear. The Mircophones create something interesting and, at times, even powerful. Bring your curious ears closer for a listen. (KM)

The Mighty Rime The Mighty Rime Caulfield Records • When the band Christie Front Drive broke up Kerry McDonald decided to reinvent his musical sound. On this, his reincarnation, McDonald has steered clear of the Œemo' sound and unleashed a solid rock album of tight instrumentation and jam sessions. The disc starts out heavy on acoustics and bleeds into "Loot'n n Shoot'n" where the indie rock sound begins to take shape. High pitched vocals, pounding percussion, chaotic guitar work and a bit of experimenting are all meshed together by good production and backward sampling. Vocals are lost at times but this disc is tough. "Broke Baroque" and "Aviary Aviator" make this worth checking out. (JC)

The Mishaps Get Away Volume 1 Scissor Records • Why listen to all those other crappy pop punk bands on your "Drive Thru Records Compilations" and "Punk Rock TV Shows" when you have the Mishaps right in front of you? Although lacking a little bit of edge and "fancy recording equipment", this is one solid CD from a band who follows in the steps of "pop-core" bands such as The Movielife and Autopilot Off and a little bit of Triple A. Also, having the privilege of touring with bands such as Whatever It Takes, River City Rebels and others means they must have a live show capable of attracting many. All in all, a descent demo from a good band. (CMax)

The Missing 23rd The Powers that Be Sessions • The Missing 23rd is clean, tight, hard punk with lots of yelling in your face and that kind of power-guitar skipping beat that stabs you right in the chest. They throw song after song of heavy rock assault at you until you are a whimpering wreck of a human being with all vestiges of adult contemporary music strains eradicated from your mind. Fans of AFI and Minor Threat will not be disappointed. (DP)

The Modifiers Secret Frequencies Intelligent • The Boston-based indie-rock veterans give us their second full-length CD with their brand of heavy pop rock, laden with intelligent lyrics and great hooks. They are a classic power trio, serving up a fabulous combination of aggressive in-your-face songs and kicking back for some slow introspective tunes with rolling guitars. A great band and a worthy follow-up. (DP)

The Quarterhorse I Was on Fire for You Radio is Down • While guitar fuzz oozes out of your speakers, shrill vocals pierce your ears. The combination is weird, but works in a weird way. Repetition is the key to their sound, making their sound a bit hypnotic and chaotic at the same time. (AL)

The Rubatos Warning Bad Dog self-released • "Uncle" Dale Warner slaps his bass and sings with sarcasm over a stripped down garage type bluesy rock sound. The vocals come off more spoken word and the music more experimental like mixing Frank Zappa and early Genesis. This far out idea dips through tempo changes where "I Can't Swim" and "No Mans Land" stand out on this 6-track disc. (JC)

The Rum Diary A Key to Slow Time EP Springman Records • "The Day Dale Earnhardt Died" opens this EP, and it is an exercise involving math rock guitars and melodic, emotive vocals. Almost all of the remaining tracks feature no vocals, instead opting for repeating layers of reverbed guitars and intricate drumming, somewhat like Physics. (AL)

The Vandals Internet Dating Super Studs Kung Fu Records • Since 1989, the Vandals have been tearing it up with their brand of fast paced punk rock with a touch of humor. This, their first album for Kung Fu records, is no different. The title of the album refers to a contest they had, where you could go to the website and post a profile, an maybe win a date with a member of the band. In the enhanced portion of the disc, you can see who won, and how the dates went. Pretty funny stuff. (AL)

The Vets Self-Titled Modern Radio Record Label • The Vets have this great crunchy garage sound, but they kind of play a creative brand of math rock. What a peculiar and wonderful combination. At any moment in a song they could take it in a different direction entirely making this for a wild ride. One minute frantic pounding, the next silent whispers, all molded with a lo-fi crunch. This one's pretty damn good. (KM)

The Ziggens self-titled Cornerstone RAS • This is the Ziggens's seventh album, and not only do you get their mix of surf and punk music, touching country ballads, and some 60's pop, but you also get Jesus. Six out of the 14 tracks contain references to religion, which ain't very punk if you ask me. But hey, who am I to judge, right? (AL)

Triangle Paradise True False CD and Not Enough For You CD-EP Vintage Marketing • This reminds me of Journey-style power pop rock mixed with a Tom Petty jangle. It has that Œ80s meets classic rock sound that I thought was long gone. But it's not. The True False album has 15 tracks, seven from one songwriter and eight from another guy in the band. There is a difference with the first seven sounding more Journey and the last eight sounding more Petty. The EP has three tracks. Overall, these releases are nothing new and definitely not something I'm into. It's not horrible, but I wish it would do something different or progress with the times. (CM)

Tusk Get Ready HeWhoCorruptsInc • "Craig, this CD looks stupid, why did you put my name on it?" I asked with a confused look on my face. "Shut up and take it, you're gonna love it," he shot back. It's good when your editor knows you so well. It might have the oddest cover artwork, reminding me of something found in a teenage stoners bedroom back in the Œ70s. But, oh my, does this disc bring the rock and then some?! Hard and heavy screaming, a disasterpiece in the making. This one has had almost constant rotation around my place these past few weeks. (KM)

Twelve Hour Turn Perfect Progress Perfect Destruction No Idea Records • I love 12 Hour's sound, its beauty comes from the fact that its not easily classified. Sometimes I think it sounds a little like a hardcore version of an early '90s Athens, GA or Chapel Hill, NC college rock band. This release is a good showcase for this Florida band's creative emo- hardcore sound. It does seem this one is a little more creative than some of the others, and that's a good thing. (KM)

Unearth Endless Eulogy Recordings • Double kick drums and downtuned guitars coexist with hardcore vocals in this EP. With three new tracks, and a demo version of their classic "My Desire," Endless is just an appetizer to keep you satisfied until Unearth record anything else. (AL)

Various Artists Extra Yard - The Bouncement Revolution Big Dada Recordings • Bass heavy beats and rapid Jamaican-like rhymes are the bulk of this compilation. These cats out of the UK have taken another step towards wrecking havoc on every genre of music they come face to face with. The club ready sound is stretched 17 tracks deep and features Roots Manuva, Wildflowers, Ty, New Flesh, Gamma and is mixed by DJ Excalibah. Although the mixing aspect comes up a bit short from track to track, the hip-hop, reggae, bounce and added technotic touches assure that heads will be bouncing by the end of this one. (JC)

Various Artists New Prohibition - A Musical History Of Hemp Viper Records • With a house band of various musicians on every track, many vocalists turned up to pay tribute to the legacy of the hemp plant. This collection is a stoner's trip through the politics behind marijuana delivered through folk and pop rock music utilizing horns, samples and percussion. Tracks like "Reefer Aint Nothing New" and "Music's So Much Better" are only a few smokin' jams that not only educate about the laws but highlight the joys of taking a drag out of life. (JC)

Various Artists Smash Hits and Licks Dim Mak Records • Two tracks from Kill Sadie and others from Pretty Girls Make Graves, Bluebird, Onalaska and Cross My Heart give this compilation a perfect mixture of indie rock and hardcore. The screaming is kept to a minimum but you're given just enough to suffice. The most powerful track contributed is from No Knife. Other artists included are Nine Days Wonder, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Envy and Radar. (MP)

Various Artists Soul Obsession Good Looking Records • This latest release from Good Looking Records' Cookin' Records branch is ripe with funky tunes. Downtempo-meets-organic drum Œn bass-meets techno. Artists include Nookie, Vincent, Bun, Stylin', Sian and Aaron Jerome. Forward thinking music for forward thinking people who like anything on the Compost, JCR, or Ubiquity labels. (AL)

Various Artists Soul Sessions 2 Giant Step Records • Soul music has a new face these days, with downtempo and electronica artists adding their style and creativity to the genre. In this second volume in the Soul Sessions series, Giant Step Records assembled tracks from Jazzanova, Donnie, Zero 7, Carl Hancock Rux, Seek and others who experiment with catchy hooks, beautiful vocals and sweet melodies. (AL)

Various Artists Stayin' at Mike's King Bee Records • The Fairlanes, The Gamits, Contender and The Blamed are some of the bands to make up this comp. Mostly, the songs are punk with some indie, pop and even a little hardcore. Counterfit, The June Spirit and Hope are the only tracks to stand out on this CD. (MP)

Various Artists The High & Mighty Present: Eastern Conference All Stars III Eastern Conference Records • For anyone not familiar with this label, this disc is a perfect introduction. Hyper beats stay bouncing and are laid down by the likes of Mighty Mi, RJD2, Reef, Domingo, Dart La and J Zone. Dropping with Rawkus in 1997 this label has kept it dirty in the underground ever since the High and Mighty helped kick things off. This collection also features Copywrite, Cage, Smut Peddlers, R.A. The Ruggedman, Tame One and a few more surprises, most notably the High and Mighty/Eminem collaboration "Last Hit" which ends the disc. There is enough variety from each artist on this release as well as two posse cuts to get a good idea of what this label has to offer. (JC)

Various Artists The Philadelphia Chunksaah Records • Maybe this explains why all my friends keep moving to Philly. A compilation of four Philly bands, The Curse, Paint it Black, Knives Out, and Go! For the Throat that leaves your head ringing. Trying to even find one band better than the other is nearly impossible because all of them are so damn good. Paint It Black, of course, is ex- Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, and Good Riddance so that gives them the early lead, but the rest of the bands on this comp are just as good. Straight up hardcore that doesn't have an emo whine in sight, and isn't recycling the sounds of the Œ80s and Œ90s over and over again. It's refreshing! (KM)

Various Artists Third Strike Springman Records • First off, I love the cover of this one, the "protest" of corporate punk gets an amen from me. This comp is full of some great stuff from The Gamits, The Fairlanes, As You Wish, Groovie Ghoulies, Short Round, Audio Crush, and a great Desaparecidos song. (KM)

Various Artists Trance Planet Vol. 6 Triloka Records • A collection of truly international artists, Trance Planet Vol. 6 assembles music from Africa, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. While some tracks feature electronica as their backbone, the listener should not assume by the title of this compilation that it is the predominant genre. This is world music, all in its original form, not remixed. (AL)

Various Artists U.S. of Oi! Volume 2 GMM Records • This album was previously out of print but is now back in all its Oi! glory. This is a classic example of the genre, delivering to the listener nineteen tracks from numerous bands, some still around, some long broken up. So grab your pals, lace up your Docs, shave your head clean and get to stompin'. This compilation of working class anthems features such greats as Pist and Broke, Oxblood, The Wretched Ones, and Niblick Henbane. (CM)

Varistor 07.28.02 Hey Frankie Recordings • There is a sort of slow moving indie dirge thing happening here I think. Lots of backbeat and droning and that sort of thing, making it sound like a record on the wrong speed. It's a CD, so my guess is that it's on purpose. Their sound comes off as the slower moments of a Nirvana record, or a less interesting Sunny Day Real Estate. (KM)

Venusian Skyline Twighlight Songs Undecided Records • Musically, I am pretty into this South Florida band's first release. The vocals trouble me, not for their lack of skill but more for their lack of junction with the music. For a moment, one could think they were perhaps recorded for another record and switched in the studio by accident. Off-key with the rest of the music, and almost like a whole different vibe entirely, sadly it muddies what is pretty good musically. This features ex-members of Dragbody and was produced by Mr. J Robbins. (KM)

Victim of Modern Age self-titled EP Universal Warning Records • Dissident guitars and a flowing melodic bass line on the first track, "Instruct to Destruct" reminded me of Cursive. Staccato stops followed to make this an indie treat. The clean guitar consequently followed by the invasion of distortion creates the perfect emo-rock combination. The bass, oh how I loved the bass. I could go on forever about it. It was complex when it needed to be and simple at all the right moments, but the tone had just enough punch to drive the songs. I can't wait to hear more from this four piece out of Louisiana. Four songs definitely weren't enough. (MP)

Voyager One Monster Zero Loveless Records • Aptly titled Voyager One, this Seattle band takes you on a journey through space rock experimentation. It is essential you listen to this with headphones on, preferably with your eyes closed, laying down in a dark room. Psychedelia and droning layers of guitar are the norm, while vocals make sporadic attempts to humanize the listener's experience. (AL)

Wanted Dead Repercussions Chunksaah Records  • I like hardcore. Don't get me wrong. I really like hardcore. I am not thrilled with this however. There is nothing here that hasn't been done before. Lots of screaming and arrangements reminiscent of Blood for Blood. It isn't bad, it isn't good, it just isn't. (MK)

Written in the Sand 47 Ursae Majoris Johann's Face • It's time to take a journey, led by fast moving keyboards, catchy melodies and aptly-delivered vocals. It's a sometimes uptempo trip, sometimes more meandering and midtempo. Regardless, it's infectious and I'm hooked. This Chicago six-piece uses the standard guitar/drum/bass set up but adds numerous keyboard options to create a space-pop sound that, at times, reminds me of Mates of State and instrumental band Inlantic. The keyboards they utilize include the Casio CZ-101, Roland MC-202, JX-10, and a few others. It all comes together damn effectively on this 10-track debut album that is bound to get you bobbing your head along to the beat and swaying to the keyboard movement. (CM)

Xiu Xiu Chapel of the Chimes Absolutely Kosher Records • The opening track begins with a muted beat that sounds like a heart beating too fast, then Jamie Stewart starts singing with a voice full of sorrow, a bit reminiscent of Julio Iglesias in his younger times. Before you can get settled, what seems like a thousand different instruments start to fill the void. The other three original tracks follow very little structure as well. They close out the CD with an off-kilter version of Joy Division's "Ceremony." (AL)


Aztectwostepself-titled 7"Immigrant Sun • This Swedish four-piece offers up 11 tracks on this slab, so you can imagine they're quick songs. These guys blaze your ears with an aural assault of extremely fast trashcore, including the fastest version I've ever heard of Minor Threat's "Out of Step." The clear red vinyl is an added bonus. (CM)

B-Movie RatsRock'n'Roll Queen 10"R3 Records • From Cali comes the B-Movie Rats, a classic rock influenced rock band that fuses their punk rock roots with the guitar-happy aspects of such classic rockers as the Rolling Stones and Zeppelin. The band decided to record this five-track 10" record on the Belgium-based R3 label to help support their European tour. After more than six years of tearing it up, the B-Movie Rats are still delivering sweat-drenched rock that doesn't disappoint. (CM)

Melt-Banana666 6"Level Plane • It's a 6" record, that's not a typo. Melt-Banana has been around for eight years, tossing out their own hyper brand of thrashy, noisy, indefinable music. Track one is a fast-paced, punk-thrash tune that is over before it starts. On the flip side are two more tracks. The first of the two combines a punchy, punk attitude with an electronic new wave element. That's followed by a pounding, beat-happy tune that is definitely the catchiest of the three (and I use the word "catchy" rather lightly). This is definitely a unique record, both for the extremely original music style and the unusual 6" vinyl. (CM)

Reagan National Crash Diet / DecibatorsWhite Man / Burning Under The Sun 7"RoosterCow / Decirecs • RNCD comes tearing out with one tune favoring heavy bass, plenty of guitar and a straight-ahead drum pattern. It's rock and roll without any fancy additives, just plenty of energy and attitude. On the flip side, the Decibators offer up one track of guitar feedback-heavy rock and roll. It's raw rock that brings to mind elements of Led Zeppelin fused with punk angst. (CM)

The Frenetics / Nakatomi Plazasplit 7"Fans of Bad Productions Records • The Frenetics are a Canadian trio I'd never heard of before. But now I want more. Their track on this split vinyl release is extremely catchy, uptempo pop punk that is downright irresistible. Flip over the clear red vinly and NP is ready to rock your ass off. I love this NY four-piece. Their track combines elements of hardcore and indie rock to create an aggressive, intense, musically-diverse bit of rock and roll. You'll fall in love, I assure you. (CM)

Various ArtistsStrategic Infiltration 12"Insomniac • This opens with a bumpin' track from Jace, the perfect hip-hop tune to set a party off or to get you amped for a night out at a club. It's followed by a very simple but completely funky instrumental track from DJ Inc., perfect for spitting your own rhymes over. Next up on the A-side is "Dissect the Style", a track from Wizone and Kool Keith (with badass drum and bass production by Ming & FS). This is definitely the highlight of the record because the flows are dope, the beats are out of control and the bassline is downright sick. On the flip side are two more solid cuts, one featuring Cold Shoulder and the other featuring Knotz, both strong hip-hop offerings, but nothing compared to "Dissect the Style." For a 12" hip-hop EP, this is off the hook. (CM)

Zoli BandLive at the M.O.D. 12"R3 Records • This live album features 10 tracks, all recorded live during two separate sessions, one in December 2000 and one in May 2001. The band is made up of members of Ignite (plus a couple other guys) and it showcases their abilities outside of that group. The five members create fairly soothing rock that could find its place on the radio. At the same time, it's vastly more creative and diverse than most radio rock, utilizing Zoltan Teglas' amazing vocals and such additions to the standard guitar-bass-drum lineup as violin and cello. The result is a deeper texturing of sounds, using many layers to create an impressive final result. (CM)


The VandalsSweatin' to the OldiesKung Fu Records • Whether you are an old school fan or a recent convert to The Vandals, you'll wanna get this 2-DVD set. The first disc is a 60 minute documentary/live performance originally released in 1993, featuring a commentary track with the whole band. The second disc is full of goodies from the band, including a gig in Holland and an interview with Björk. (AL)

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

Bad AstronautHouston: We Have a Drinking ProblemHonest Don's • Go on with that! Take some remnants of your favorite punk rock bands such as Lagwagon, Nerf Herder, and Swingin' Utters, and throw them into a friggin' huge band (7 people!), give them all drum machines, computers, sequencers, as well as analog synths, piano, electric guitars, and traditional percussion. You've got yourself an incredible "space/rock/pop" band with your favorite punk rock people doing unprecedented studio-heavy work. It's fun and hooky at times, but it's also dark and mature, and right on. (DP)

ContenderAway With WordsNegative Progression • Let me start with the bad: this album is only 29 minutes. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, the good: Contender is an immensely creative and intense band, fusing the best elements of power punk with hardcore aggression. They use a perfect blend of screaming and singing to emphasize the emotional ferocity while capitalizing on ever-changing musical arrangements, utilizing big tempo changes and breakdowns that are captivating. You could file Contender with Lawrence Arms, Grade, Strike Anywhere and Thrice, but in the end, Contender stands out alone, creating a style that is distinguished and powerful. (CM)

CopywriteThe High ExhaultedEastern Conference Records • Copy brings the full arsenal of rhyme delivery with trickiness and twisted wordplay on this release. Everything about this is high energy, ravaging and ruthless. His flows are effortless and speak with authority about pussy, fights and insanity. The battle rhymes on this disc are intense as this Ohio emcee spits with arrogance and easily distinguishes him from any other emcee trying to compete inside the same realm. The whole disc is slammin' and the production helps with a sharp, tight spiral-like sound where turntable techniques and a thumping snare carry the load over various horns. The guest appearances by label mates are overlooked because Copy makes this all his own on tracks like "Nobody," "Bada Bing," "Seven Light Years" and "June" ­ the jabs he takes at every target in minds reach provides plenty of entertainment to anyone looking for something refreshing and hostile. (JC)

CounterfitSuper Amusement Machine for Your Exciting HeartNegative Progression Records • With harmonies, catchy vocal melodies and a perfect mixture of clean and distorted guitar, this indie pop rock band from Cali purely rocked. I loved the entire album. It started with a Hey Mercedes feel on "Souvenir", but at times the vocals had some Further Seems Forever similarities while the harmonies reminded me of Hot Rod Circuit, especially on songs like "This Dance." The instrumental song, "Mile Marker," is technical at all the right moments and doesn't slow down the album a bit, powerfully riding you into the final track, "Better Late than Never." Excellent. (MP)

Funki PorciniFast AsleepNinja Tune Records • The title of this album is highly appropriate, since Fast Asleep feels like a dream. Not sure if he makes ambient or downtempo, Funki Porcini combines both, creating this lush, atmospheric and sometimes eerie recording. Intended to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home, Fast Asleep is packaged with a second disc, which is a DVD with eight short films, including six tracks from the album. The visuals are as captivating and entrancing as the songs. Without any menus or interactivity of any kind, the DVD has to be played in order and straight through, much like a dream. (AL)

Jason WebleyCounterpointSpringman Records • Imagine Shane McGown from the Pouges and Tom Waits with more whiskey in his throat and a little more eerie and haunting. That kinda gives you a minor insight to the music genius of Webley. Another comparison could be a Fiddler On the Roof kind of character that listened to too many punk records. There is a street feeling to this music, something that feels like you should be digging change out of your pocket to throw into a hat as you listen. (KM)

ManitobaStart Breaking My HeartDomino Recording Company, Ltd. • It sometimes is hard to categorize a certain sound. Such is the case with Manitoba, which can at least be called electronica. After that, let's just say it's Aphex-Twin circa Selected Ambient Works 85-92 meets Plaid meets Boards of Canada meets Plone meets two step, jazz, hip-hop, cute vocal samples, and many other noises. (AL)

My SpacecoasterEP2Lujo Records • This five-song EP rocks, in simplest terms. The instrumental "Virgin" is solid with stops and even an organ. The guitars reminded me of Get Up Kid's Four Minute Mile. "Surprise" takes a turn for an acoustic track but "Everything Is As Though It Never Was" brings the emo-rock back around and even give us a hint of pop. I'm glad something other than George W. can come out of Texas. (MP)

Nicola ConteJet Sounds RevisitedEighteenth Street Lounge Music • Nicola Conte's debut album for ESL Music, Bossa Per Due, incorporated 60's jazz, bossa nova and other Brazilian themes. For Jet Sounds Revisited, he enlisted some of the most sought after producers to rework the songs and give them new life. Contributors include Thievery Corporation, Kyoto Jazz Massive, and Koop among others. Also included are three brand new tracks by Conte. (AL)

RuinsTzomborghaIpecac Recordings • Originally I was impressed by the Fantômas meets the Boredoms vibe that Ruins has going for them, but I was doubly impressed when I found out that this frenzied wall of sound was coming from only two people! How one drummer and one bassist can create such complicated music is beyond me. Anyway, this is pretty avant garde stuff, with plenty of time changes, stops and starts, and mockingly lyric-free vocals. The funniest moment comes at the end, with a two-minute medley of Black Sabbath songs. (AL)

Sector 7self-titledSonic Unyon • "What is Punk Rock?" you ask. Well the answer to that question is Sector 7. At first I couldn't think of what they sounded like, but as I pondered the fact in my mind I realized they are a cross between everyone, which makes it better in the first place. Mix the driving guitars of Pennywise and The Deviates mixed with the knowledge and emotions of No Use For A Name (old school) and AFI, top it off with a little bit of hardcore and you make Sector 7's self-titled album. I can tell by the potential and energy of this band that Sector 7 is soon to be a household name to fans of good music in the years to come. (CMax)

Sixteen HorsepowerFolkloreJetset Records • This release is being called their most intense to date, inspired by the Old Testament, these tales of sin and redemption will resonate inside the deepest soul of anyone willing to pay attention. The unique song writing approach begins with haunting vocals that add mystery but overall feel more like a cleansing of sorts. Using instruments such as banjos, stand up bass, bandoneon and accordions; the music is refreshing and comfortable. David Eugene Edwards is the backbone to this project and uses the influences of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and others to deliver this collection of love, death, religion and the climax involved with them all. This is much more than your average bluesy/folk album; it's a feeling of redemption in a time of despair. (JC)

SoleSelling Live WaterAnticon • Wake up hip-hop heads! This is a mind-bending album, with numerous styles all held together by the mesmerizing lyrical flow of Sole (a member of Live Poets, deep puddle dynamics and So Called Artists). There's a taste of drum and bass, straight up thumbing beats, droning noise, eerie/goth style loops and plenty more to keep you guessing. There are no limits to what Sole flows over, dropping insane poetic verses track after track (over 54 minutes worth). It reminds me of Aesop Rock, but less rugged. However, comparisons aside, Sole brings his own style, his own sound and his own rhymes, spittin' his mind through stereo speakers straight to your ears. This is a surefire underground hip-hop hit, so don't sleep on it. (CM)

The Hope ConspiracyEndnoteEqual Vision Records • This hardcore release from Boston's The Hope Conspiracy has generated a healthy level of excitement among many people, and it's on the tongues of most of my friends with acute musical taste. And it's for good reason. This is straight up hardcore that pushes the limits of intensity and remains creative, artistic, and perhaps even daring. It's a fine line to walk when you combine melody with hardcore, but HC do it with grace. This one keeps the faith. (KM)

The OpusFirst ContactOzone Music • Chicago instrumentalists Mr. Echoes and The Isle of Weight push out a thumping, futuristic round of beats on their debut album. A sonic sound is spaced out with an eerie vibe hitting drum kicks, turntable techniques, and lyrical treats by the likes of Aesop Rock, Slug, Murs (Living Legends), I Self Divine (Micranots), Earatik and Thawfor. Although tracks like "Take Me To The Basement" and "River" by Aesop and Slug respectively are a must hear, the two beatmakers who put this together stand tall enough on their own ones and twos. About half the tracks are instrumentals and the intensity level fluctuates. The sound here turns tripnotic at times, which provides this disc with much mood and substance while bleeding from song to song. Take a break from life sometime and check this one out. (JC)

theBIRDcurcuitno swingouts, Rockaway Anabel Records • The vocals struck me right away. Where do I know that voice from? Then it hit me, Muler! They were one hell of an indie rock band from New York. Could it be the same guy? Indeed, it is, David Baumgartner. Man, I love his voice. So, I was sold. But could the music hold up? Absolutely. While it's not as punky as the Muler stuff, it's equally good. There are more slowed down tunes, but there are also a few uptempo, catchy indie pop gems (don't miss "Did Anybody Ask the Kids?" and "Suburban Sun"). David's vocals are so captivating and sincere that I don't even notice that the many of the songs are more stripped down, acoustic style tunes. Fans of bands like Tugboat Annie, Luna and Crumb will find great reward in this 12-track debut. (CM)

In alphabetical order. Please write them.

54° 40' or Fight!, PO Box 1601, Acma, MI 49610-1601
Absolutely Kosher Records, 1412 10th St., Berkeley, CA 94710
AK Press 674-A 23rd St., Oakland, CA 94612
Alone Records, PO Box 3019, Oswego, NY 13126
Alternative Tentacles Records, PO Box 419092, San Francisco, CA 94141
amBiguous City! Records, PO Box 31560, Baltimore, MD 21207
Anabel Records, 28 Rundel Park, Rochester, NY 14607
Anticon, c/o 6months Distribution, 5878.5 Doyle St., Emeryville, CA 94608
Arms Reach Records, 1220 W. Hood Apt. #1, Chicago, IL 60660
Artemis Records, 130 5th Avenue, 7th Floor, NY, NY 10011
Artform Entertainment, 303 E. 60 St. #21E, New York, NY 10022
Asian Man Records, PO Box 35585, Monte Sereno, CA 95030
Back Bone Records, 4761-6 Bayou Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32503
Blow Up Hollywood, c/o Steve, 8 Bryan Meadow Path, Northport, NY 11768
BYO Records, PO Box 67609, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Caulfield Records, PO Box 84323, Lincoln, NE 68501
Cement Records, 121 W. Linden Ave. Suite #D, Long Beach, CA 90802
Chunksaah Records, PO Box 974, New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Coldfront Records, PO Box 8345, Berkley, CA 94707
Constellation, PO Box 42002, Station Jeanne-Mance, Montreal, Quebec, H2W 2T3
Coqi Records, 1034 Falaise St., Ottawa, ON, K1C OM5, Canada
Cornerstone RAS, 2691 Dow Ave. #C-2, Tustin, CA 92780
Corrupt Records, 1 Provincial Terrace, London SE20 7JQ
Country Club Records, 34-31 75th Street, New York, NY 11372
Coup d'État, 532 La Guardia Place #704, NY, NY 10012
Crank!, 1223 Wilshire Blvd. #823, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Crows, 814 NE 7th Pl., Gainesville, FL 32601
Deep Elm Records, PO Box 36939, Charlotte, NC 28236
Diaphragm Records, PO Box 10388, Columbus, OH 43201
Dim Mak Records, PO Box 14041, Santa Barbara, CA 93107
Dischord Records, 3819 Beecher St. NW, Washington, DC 20007
Domino Recording Company, Ltd., PO Box 1207, New York, NY 10276
Eastern Conference Records, no contact info available
Eighteenth Street, 1210 18th St. NW, Ste. 200B, Washington, DC 20036
Emperor Norton Records, 102 Robinson Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Empty Records, PO Box 12034, Seattle, WA 98012
Equal Vision, PO Box 14, Hudson, NY 12534
Espo Records, PO Box 63, Allston, MA 02134
Ether, PO Box 32125, Philadelphia, PA 19128
Eulogy Recordings, Inc., PO Box 8692, Coral Springs, FL 33075
Exotic Fever Records, Box 297, College Park, MD 20741
Fans of Bad Productions Records, 3-225 Bagot St., Kingston, ON K7L 3G3
Fat Wreck Chords, PO Box 193690, San Francisco, CA 94119-3690
Fiddler, PO Box 330667, Miami, FL 33233
Flameshovel Records, 1658 N. Milwaukee No. 276, Chicago, IL 60647
Formula 13, PO Box 7385, Temple AZ 85281
Future Fossil Records, PO Box 6248, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Gaggle of Cocks, 212 St. Nicholas Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11237
Galapagos4, 1457 W. Rascher, Suite 2, Chicago, IL 60640
Gern Blandsten, PO Box 356, River Edge, NJ 07661
Ghostly International, 202 E. Washington #510, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
GMM Records, PO Box 15234, Atlanta, GA 30333
Go For Broke, Box 38, South Amboy, NJ 08879
Gold Standard Laboratories, PO Box 178262, San Diego, CA 92177
Good Ink Records, PO Box 19645, Seattle, WA 98109
Good Looking Organisation, 84 Queens Road, Watford Hetrs, WD17 2LA, UK
Goodfellow, 762 Upper James St., Suite 275, Hamilton, ON, Canada, L9C 3A2
G-Stone, postlagernd beim, Postzentrum Wien-Süd, Wiedner Gürtel 1a-1b, A-1103 Vienna
Guidance Recordings, Inc., 160 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60661
Guilt Ridden Pop, 2217 Nicollet Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Harmless Records, 1218 W. Hood Ave., Apt 2, Chicago, IL 60660
He Who Corrupts Inc, 196 Fairfield, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Hey Frankie, PO Box 090629, Brooklyn NY 11209
High Times Records, 588 Broadway, Suite 204, New York City, NY 10012
Honest Don's, PO Box 192027, San Francisco, CA 94119
Honey Bear Records, 1730 E. Oltorf #135, Austin, TX 78741
Hope and Nothings, PO Box 148010, Chicago IL 60614
Hopeless Records, PO Box 7495, Van Nuys, CA 91409-7495
Huggy Bear Records, 1730 E. Oltorf #135, Austin, TX 78741
Hydra Head Industries, PO Box 990248, Boston, MA 02199
Ignition Records, 1 Chandos Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2NY, UK
Immigrant Sun, PO Box 150711, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Insomniac, PO Box 592722, Orlando, FL 32859
Intelligent Records, 203 Washington St. #102, Salem, MA 01970-6500
Ionik Records, 1634 Lombard St., 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Ipecac Recordings, PO Box 1197, Alemeda, CA 94501
Jagjaguwar, 1021 South Walnut, Bloomington, IN 47401
Jetset Records, 67 Vestry Street, NY, NY 10013
Johann's Face, PO Box 479164, Chicago, IL 60647
K Records, Box 7154, Olympia, WA 98507
Keith Moore, 29 Klamath Way, Novato, CA 94947
Kill Radio, no contact info available
King Bee Records, PO Box 1164, Denver, CO 80201
Krescent 4, c/o Rainmaker, 398 Columbus Ave., PMB 183, Boston, MA 02116
Kung Fu Records, PO Box 38009, Hollywood, CA 90038
Level Plane Records, PO Box 280, New York, NY 10276
Lorelei Records, PO Box 902, Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Loveless Records, 1122 E. Pike, #1361, Seattle, WA 98122
Lujo Records, 3209 Jennie Dr., Morgan City, LA 70380
Maniac Records, 141 Robert E. Lee Blvd., #394, New Orleans, LA 70124
Million Dollar Marxist, PO Box 77062, Ottawa ON, K1S 5N2, Canada
Minimalist Recording Company, 154 Walnut St. #2, Somerville, MA 02145
Modern Radio Record Label, PO Box 8886, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Moses Carryout Records, 174 E. Oakland Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
Near by Music, PO Box 441448, Somerville, MA 02144
Negative Progression Records, PO Box 193158, San Francisco, CA 94119
New Disorder Records, 115 Bartlett St, San Francisco, CA 94110
New School Year, c/o Ian Yount, 236 E. Taylor St., Reno, NV 89502
Ninja Tune Records, 222 Dominion # 20, Montreal, Quebec, H3J 2X1
No Idea Records, PO Box 14636, Gainesville, FL 32604
Not Without Your Space Helmet Records, PO Box 533124, Orlando, FL 32853
Ohev Records, PO Box 772121, Coral Springs, FL 33077
Ol' Scratch Recs, c/o Scot, PO Box 872, Colorado Springs, CO 80901-0872
On/On Swotch, PO Box 641122, San Francisco, CA 94164-1122
Ozone Music, no contact info available
P.A.W. Records, c/o Matt Marka, 1514 East 19th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Polyvinyl Records, PO Box 7140, Champaign, IL 61826-7140
QN5 Music, c/o Score, 808 N. Orangegrove Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
R3 Records, Oosthamsesteenweg 129, B-3581 Beverlo-Beringen, Belgium
Radical Records, 77 Bleecker Street #C2-21, New York, NY 10012
Radio is Down, PMB 1436, 120 State Ave. NE, Olympia, WA 98501
Reaction Records, PO Box 362, Stockton, NJ 08559
Record Collection, 1223 Wilshire Blvd. #811, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Remy De Laroque, 990 6th Ave., 21S, New York, NY 10018
Resurrection A.D. Records, PO Box 763, Red Bank, NJ 07701
RoosterCow, PO Box 578174, Chicago, IL 60657
Ruck La' Rou, no contact info available
S.H.Ar.Q., 2 School St. Base. 2, Northampton, MA 01060
Sara Marlow, 60 Spencer Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6K 2J6
Scissor Records, PO Box 206512, New Haven, CT 06520
Secretly Canadian, 1021 South Walnut, Bloomington, IN 47401
Sessions Records, 15 Janis Way, Scotts Valley, CA 95066
Shat House Records, no contact info available
Sick Pup Records, 7150 Tularosa Ct., Ft. Worth, TX 76137
Silverthree Sound Recordings, PO Box 3621, Fairfax, VA 22038
Sinister Label, PO Box 1178, LaGrange, IL 60526
Sixgunlover Records, 3203 Overcup Oak, Austin, TX 78704
Sloth Bear Records, Inc., 3203 NW 4th Street, Gainesville, FL 32609
Smokeylung Recordings, 943 N. Jackson, Bloomington, IN 47404
Sonic Unyon, PO Box 57347, Jackson Station, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8P 4X2
Springman Records, PO Box 2043, Cupertino, CA 95015-2043
Stonegarden Records, 3101 Exposition Place, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Subtype Music, 89 Bleecker Street #2E, New York, NY 10012
Suburban Home, PO Box 40757, Denver, CO 80204
Superbad Records, Box 21313, Washington, D.C. 20009
Surfdog, 1126 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Susstones Records, 3010 Hennepin Ave. S. #161, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Tableturns, 328 Flatbush Ave., PMB #137, Brooklyn, NY 11238
The Anchorite Four, 4212 SW 5th Pl., Cape Coral, FL 33914
The Rubatos, c/o Dale Warner, 3563 Jasmine Ave., Ste. #1, LA, CA 90034
Tiger Style Records, 149 Wooster St. 4th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Tooth & Nail Records, PO Box 12698, Seattle, WA 98111
Trashbox Records, 1383 Carlyle Park Circle, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
Triloka Records, 23852 Pacific Coast Highway #745, Malibu, CA 90265
Trustkill Records, 23 Farm Edge Ln., Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Ultimatum Music, 8723 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Undecided Records, 10695 Lake Oak Way, Boca Raton, FL 33498
Universal Warning Records, 2800 Irving Street, Denver, CO 80211
Ureneely, c/o Antony, 5041 Auckland Ave., Toluca Woods, CA 91601
Vintage Marketing, 2 Campus View Drive, Loudonville, NY 12211
Viper Records, 230 Mott Street, NY, NY 10012
Vital Cog Records, PO Box 7846, Princeton, NJ 08543
Wind-Up Records, 72 Madison Ave., 8th Floor, NY, NY, 10016
Wishing Tree Records, PO Box 197, Warren, RI 02885-197

Music reviews from past issues: