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June/July '04 Articles:
America's Political Pulse
Editorial: Organic Inconsistencies
Notes from the Cultural Wasteland
The Muddlemarch: 1
The Muddlemarch: 2
Activism Unleashed
Debbie Doesn't Do Dallas
The White Escalator
(music reviews)

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CD Reviews | Label Addresses

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

Blue Epic Local World News TVT Records • This is quickly growing on me. I'll admit, when this came on I was fearing more generic, indie rock crap. But Blue Epic made a believer out of me in about two minutes (their first song is not their best). Blue Epic has some genuine power in their songs. They're a melodic rock band with great, nay, tremendous hooks. If they have any sort of luck whatsoever, "Masquerade" will be burning up the charts within months. It's a great song and is perfect for rock radio. "Afterglow," a beautifully-crafted, lilting song, something you'd hear on a Better Than Ezra disc, will be a great follow-up to "Masquerade." "Remember to Forget" is a catchy riff-driven song. Blue Epic reminds me a lot of Vertical Horizon, Guster or Wayne. They sound a bit like Sunny Day Real Estate, too, but far less "woe is me." This is a great indie rock disc that will surprise you. Buy this now so you can say you knew them when. With a label like TVT behind them (Lil Jon, Sevendust, Ying Yang Twins), Blue Epic will likely be the next big thing. I predict this will stay in your CD player for a long time. (SH)

Bobby Bare JR's Young Criminals' Starvation League From The End Of Your Leash Bloodshot Records • Successfully playing with many musical genres at one time is not always an experiment worth hearing, but Bobby Bare and his band has managed to blend many faucets to make an incredible album. With the Johnny Cash kind of murder ballad/love song delivered in a crispy pop way, the SoCal country rock grooves and southern R&B swagger all live together in harmony. Add in some indie-inspired horns, prog-rooted drones, criminal-style lyrics and you got yourself a fun record that never eases up. (JC)

cLOUDDEAD Ten Mush Records • Doseone, Why? and Odd Nosdam are back. With an underground following of their dreary distorted soundscapes, these guys have been blending the indie rock attitude with hip hop styling to create a subtle collection of songs for some time now. And once again, eerie tones and trippy samples add a vintage feel to this recording of mostly lo-fi sounding electro beats. Not everyone can appreciate the inner workings of an album like this, a lot to take in, but worth your while to hear something new. Standout tracks include "Son Of A Gun" and "Dead Dogs Two." (JC)

Colder Again Output Recordings • Euphoric in a way, dark and mysterious in another, Marc Nguyen takes you into a world where progressive urban beats and synth-sounds make up hypnotic trance waves that pull you in with every twist and turn. Like background music for an exotic movie or a soundtrack to the trials and tribulations of growing up, get a copy of this release and get lost inside the smooth simplicity of what is offered within. (JC)

Friends of Dean Martinez Random Harvest Narnack Records • Certain bands just have a cinematic quality to their sound, and the Friends of Dean Martinez easily fall into that category with Random Harvest. Their Southwestern-flavored indie rock is at times starkly beautiful and at others grandiose and majestic. Atmospheric keyboards and slide guitars work together seamlessly on these instrumental tracks, like Pink Floyd wandering the deserts of Arizona on peyote. It's high lonesome music for the new millennium. (CL)

Halloween, Alaska self-titled Princess Records • This earnest Minneapolis quartet featuring members of The Bad Plus, 12Rods, Happy Apple, and Love-cars indulge themselves head-first into 80's nostalgia. Fans of The Postal Service will feel right at home with songs off this eight-song album, which even includes a polyrhythmic cover of Bruce Springteen's "State Trooper." The opening track "You're It" instantly grabs hold with catchy lyrics, "You're it, and this is the shit that I've been talking about". A long dreamy ride home from breaking up with a loved one or vice versa will do this record the justice it deserves. (SP)

Hangar 18 The Multi-Platinum Debut Album Definitive Jux • I don't know if the album title is meant as a joke or is them throwing attitude; maybe it's both. Regardless, this is an incredible debut. They have the skills to back up any attitude they wanna throw around. This album is a mix of bangin' hip-hop, party-starting cuts and tweaked-out, time-travelin', outerspace shit. The rhymes are spit out quickly, fluidly, head-bobbin' along without missing a beat. To accompany the exceptional flow is a varied bill of musical styles. There's plenty of funk, smooth keys pumping out hypnotizing basslines, more hard-hitting melodies than a rock record and big beats to bounce to. There's also a psychedelic vibe on some of the tracks, a futuristic sound that is hard to explain. Remember the great roller-skating tracks of the late '70s, early '80s? Imagine that, but a hardcore hip-hop version. Probably not helping you much with that one. Fuck descriptions, this is a must get. Listen to track 5 and thank me later. (CM)

LMNO Economic Food Chain Music Up Above Records • This Visionaries member is seeing ahead of the pack with an impressive release focusing on politics, punch line rhymes and versatile stories over massive thumping beats. With a direct flow that commands attention, Leave My Name Out explains the story behind his name in the song "LMNO," but don't miss out on tracks "Hit" and "[more] Pawns [than] Dons," both featuring DJ Romes with production by OHNO for a sample of what's within. (JC)

Otis Taylor Double V Telarc • Wow! Otis Taylor's take on Blues is simultaneously authentic to tradition and innovative. His voice is thick and deep, expressive, beautiful and sometimes scary – listen to the end of "Mama's Selling Heroin" to the devilish laughter. His injection of banjo and mandolin into often minimalist arrangements are a new synthesis, a saving extension of a powerful tradition. Even if you think you aren't interested in the Blues, you still need to listen to this artist. You may find yourself in the middle of a change of mind. (SJM)

Raising The Fawn The North Sea Sonic Unyon Recording Company • The first track, "The News," almost sounds like the theme to a Western with some modern indie rock on top of it. After the showdown, the mood takes on Radioheadish sounds and Yo La Tengo also took the comparison. The melodies are melancholy and dreamy, and maybe even a little psychedelic. This album is good all the way through with great musicianship and lyrical content to follow. (MP)

Straight Outta Junior High Kiss of Deaf Mindset • Hilarious and fresh, Omaha-based SOJH is tight, super-fun melodic punk rock. Their debut resonates with vibrant, joyous immaturity in the vein of the Vandals, a quality we definitely need in our punk from time to time. They made me laugh out loud and they had me rockin' out to their catchy-ass hooks and power chords. If you are thoroughly miserable, pop this CD in for a little bit of rock therapy. It's worth it just for their cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart." (DP)

The Advantage self-titled 5 Rue Christine • Try to imagine covering every Nintendo song ever madeŠand without one single keyboard. These members of Hella and Generic want to do just that, with guitars, bass and drums. Now they are 26 songs closer to their goal. We're talking old school Nintendo: Super Mario Brothers, Bubble Bobble, Wizards and Warriors, Ghosts 'n' Goblins, Contra. The list goes on and on. I agree with their press when they say they are "without a doubt the most fucking shitting shit on God's fuckin earf." (AL)

The Album Leaf In A Safe Place Sub Pop Records • It takes a special kind of musical talent to play with noise makers The Locust, then go off and write piano and guitar based pseudo ambient songs that would lull a baby to sleep. Jimmy LaValle does it as well as plays with Tristeza, GoGoGo Airheart and the Black Heart Procession. On this album, he collaborated heavily with Sigur Ros, who provided some vocals (the first ever on an Album Leaf record) and strings, as well as their studio in Iceland. With each recording, LaValle improves on his sound and makes it more enjoyable to listen to. (AL)

The Means The Divine Right of Means Doubleplusgood Records • When I saw "The Means" I thought, "So is this like the Śmeans' to an end or is this like the opposite of nice?" Clearly it's the latter. "Dear Hendrie," the first cut on this 14-song disc is like the 2004 version of "Mother" by the Police. It's slow, heavy, loud and it smacks you in the face. Then when you need to catch your breath, "Australians!" kicks in and you know you're in for a first-class shit-kicking. This is heavy without being stupid. Some bands are heavy just to be heavy but The Means don't play that way. They're heavy but the songs are tight and an absolute blast. Even a slower song like "Fitzpatrick" is heavy but mellow. Make sense? It won't until you hear it. "Alright That Down" is just an effing great song. I could go on and on but I'd rather listen to this without the annoying sound of my keyboard. Buy this. It's 14 songs! You can't beat it! (SH)

Various Artists A Warm Breath...And A Scream Innocent World Records • There is a nice selection of diverse, mellowed-out and adrenaline-filled indie rock on this compilation from Innocent Words Records, a label that doubles as a magazine. With a mixture of sounds that gets drama-fueled with Sublime style deliveries alongside droning rock repetitions, a lot is wrapped into this release. Standout tracks come from the likes of Lorenzo Goetz with Czar Absolute, Veruca Salt, Triple Whip, Rachael Sage and Luck Mulholland. (JC)

Various Artists Wide Hive Sampler Vol. 3 Wide Hive Records • For true hip-hop heads and the types of people that enjoy more than just music with their music comes another sampler from Wide Hive. Featuring selected tracks from various recent label releases, expect to be drawn in by Azeem with Variable Unit and Tony Moses, Dissent featuring Nathalie Sanchez, Plate Fork Knife & Spoon and DJ Zeph. A fresh vibe is presented within these songs that are full of substance and take form through a mostly chilled-out, instrumental and insightful rhyme display that is playful, but manages to come correct at the same time. This sampler turns out to be one worth keeping in your catalog until you can cop the whole collection. (JC)

Wagon Christ I'm Sorry I Make You Lush Ninja Tune Records • Luke Vibert is back with another scrumptious collection of pop/hip-hop/electronica tunes using his Wagon Christ moniker. Playful keyboards and snappy beats feature prominently, as well as interesting samples (Madonna laughing, light sabers swinging, little kids saying "Wagon Christ," just to name a few). One can never predict where Vibert will go from one record to the next, and that is part of the fun. (AL)

CD Reviews

100 Demons self-titled Deathwish • Sometimes I think to myself, hey, self, why does every hardcore band sound the same? The only thing I could come up with is these guys are really tough and hate everything. Yes, I said everything, including kittens and long walks on the beach. Thinking this really saddened me and hurt my feelings so much, I was close to tears. (RP)

46 Short Just A Liability Go-Kart Records • This reminds me a lot of No use for a Name when they were good. It's great skate music. You bring this to a skate park, people will skate better. It's unique because they fuse old school with new school, and they make it work. I can't say that about a whole lot of bands. The singer cannot sing, however he uses it to his advantage, getting that nice old-school pissed off sound. It's refreshing to see there are still bands out there that didn't really give in to the whiny-to-screamy sound that's flooding the airwaves 23/6. My only complaint, as with most other punk, is that all the songs sound a little too similar, same drum beat, same basic chord progressions. Still, it's catchy. (CMax)

63 Crayons Good People Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records • With lines like "you are the rocket fuel in my rocket ship, you blast me into space," this may make you feel like you're watching the movie Rushmore, because this pop album is so playful and naďve that you can feel the playful sense of youth within. The music is 60's kind of psychedelic, and the stories are as imaginary as say, 63 crayons bled into one. Overall, a steady dose of what hippie music becomes once you have kids. (JC)

Actionslacks Full Upright Position The Self ­Starter Foundation • Big hooks and bigger melodies, that's Actionslacks. These songs are well written and radio-ready for the indie rock scene. They remind me a little of Paul Westerberg or an upbeat Son Volt. "My Favorite Man" is a fantastic song. (SH)

Adolescents Live At The House Of Blues (CD/DVD) Kung Fu Records • Tony the Tiger said it best with, "They'rrreee Great!" Forgive that please. These folks must being wearing brown shorts, because they deliver the goods. Ok, I'll stop. This is a great live album though, everything sounds really clear, and I couldn't hear any audible mistakes. It makes me want to get my cons on and start skanking around my house. The Adolescents prove they can still rock your socks off with this, pick up a copy. Why you ask? Well, I already explained it in part, with the whole "rocking" visual, but you also get a lovely DVD to watch with friends, family, or life partners. Keep on keepin' on. (CMax)

Alkaline Trio / One Man Army BYO Split Series - Volume V BYO Records • If you're as big a fan of Alkaline Trio as I am, you don't need to read a review to know you want this. But, for the rest of you, this is a mixed bag. Chicago's Alkaline Trio opens with the first six tracks and every single one is great (even their cover of The Damned's "Wait For The Blackout"). Their distinct punchy, emotional punk rock is so well perfected that I can't imagine them recording a bad song; it's heartfelt without being sappy, thick with melody and tight as can be. The next six songs feature One Man Army, a San Fran-based trio with a more than seven-year history. They play rock and roll with a melodic, pop punk punch. At times, it almost has a '60s rock bounce to it. Their style is way catchy and makes me a think of The Clash, maybe even the Ramones. While they don't grab me the way Alkaline Trio does, they're no slouch. (CM)

An Albatross We Are The Lazer Viking Ace Fu Records • Usually, Enhanced CDs include a full album's worth of music, then a video or two as extras. Not An Albatross. They include about 8 minutes worth of music (11 tracks worth) and about 40 minutes of videos, plus a photo album. Not since The Locust has a band created such intense, totally whacked out music. (AL)

Andre Ethier Andre Ethier with Christopher Sandes featuring Pickles and Price Sonic Unyon • Here's some guitar folk rock for the country soul. Andre Ethier was the guitarist for The Deadly Snakes, a Toronto garage rock band. Now, he's taken the solo route to expose his soulful side. Ethier's vocals are reminiscent of Bob Dylan, while the music also follows Dylan's acoustical path. Piano driven songs bring out Randy Newman comparisons, while some of the more soulful rock moments bring out The Rolling Stones similarities. (MP)

Animal Collective Sung Tongs FatCat Records Ltd. • This Brooklyn group will surely entrance you with their take on folk music, which leans more on experimentation than traditional song structures. To call these compositions "songs" is not quite accurate, since they mostly involve somewhat harmonized vocals over strumming acoustic guitars in no discernible pattern. (AL)

Appleseed Cause & Effect Laughing Outlaw Records • I wonder if this Australian four-piece out of Sydney has ever heard of The Appleseed Cast here in the US? Either way, they're in for a shocker when they realize they have some major competition as far as name recognition goes. However, where the music is concerned, they are decent at what they do. The sixth track "Slipstream" is one of the main standout tracks on their second EP with its dream-like delayed guitars floating gently in the background behind a very catchy chorus. Following in the tradition of bands like U2 and Coldplay, Appleseed fill their record with earnest emotion throughout. (SP)

Arms of Kismet Eponymous Wampus Multimedia • Bob Dylan meets Beck, meets a couple other guys. This disc is smooth and mellow and enjoyable to listen to. In spots, techno beats contrast starkly with the stripped down sound of the music. The whole thing has a wonderful feel that carries flawlessly through the entire disc, weaving all the songs together. (MK)

Askeleton Angry Albums or Psychic Songs Goodnight • Knol Tate is Askeleton. He began right after his previous band, The Hidden Chord, broke up. He used lyrics from Hidden Chord, samples, keyboards and some help on drums from brother Erin Tate, former drummer of Minus the Bear. Eventually he incorporated more live instruments than his usual samples. Askeleton falls into a category all of its own, so to label them would be tough. (NP)

Avoid One Thing Chopstick Bridge Side One Dummy Records • This sophomore release from Boston's Avoid One Thing on Sideonedummy Records is everything one can expect from this trio, and then some. Marked by 4 chorded pop culture anthems, infectious harmonies, and melodies, Chopstick Bridge is ready for you to bust out the dancing' shoes! A new and more diversified album then the first, Chopstick bridge produces a culmination rockabilly, rock, and punk to produce any style astray from the common punk label. You can even hear some of your favorite covers "reformed!" Fans of Alkaline Trio, Hot Water Music, Anberlin, take note, This is one band you do not want to avoid! (CMax)

Backstabbers Incorporated Kamikaze Missions Sound & Culture • Backstabbers Incorporated features members from Unearth, The Red Chord, and December Wolves, so you can imagine the sound you will get on this release. Backstabbers produce noiserock, metal, punk rock, and straight hardcore. The great thing about this release is that it covers a lot of the musical bases, so you should be pleased no matter who you are. (NP)

Big B High Class White Trash Suburban Noize Records • Suburban hooliganism and white rappers are at an all time high, and Big B has come to join the cookout. Hailing from Cali with southern-fried beats and west coast thumps, B hosts guest rhyme throwers from his crew OPM and Kottonmouth Kingz. The editor for a certain magazine you might have seen before compares this guy to Bubba Sparxxx, but he just isn't that sincere, more like a novelty of what rap used to be like for casual old school fans instead of what rap can become in the future. (JC)

Black Eyes Cough Dischord Records • Disjointed, chaotic, and experimental, Black Eyes confronts us with a sound that is both unlikeable and satisfying. The now apparently defunct band most likely exploded apart, to judge from the happy noise they made. (SJM)

Black Ox Ver Tanzt? Constellation Records • Jewish folk music sung in Yiddish. Still there? Ok, it's actually quite good. The musicianship is excellent, and you don't have to know Yiddish to feel the melancholic feeling that permeates the recording. Featuring members of label mates Silver Mt. Zion and Sackville, Black Ox displays the qualities that make Constellation Records the label to follow for unusual, thought provoking music. (AL)

Blood For Oil Songs of the Fugs Mutant Press Records • I really love what these guys have to say, but oh man, really cheesy Casio type keyboards in several of the songs just make my flesh crawl. And is that a drum machine? For shame...This seems like a good band to see when you've downed about 6 quarts of beer. It is funny and since they don't take themselves too seriously, It is a disc you can enjoy more, the more you listen to it. (MK)

Blue Moon Harem Roadside Music self-released • I have no idea how to describe this disc, and for that I love it. A polished rock and roll triumph. This disc is full of the kind of music that you'd hear on the radio if radio didn't suck so much. A sound that defies comparisons and catchy riffs make this a really good disc. (MK)

Blue Sky Mile Sands Once Seas Initial Records • Using math rock structures blended with punchy, aggressive rock rhythms, this Seattle-based quintet hooked me in right away. The melodies are infectious and are mixed with just enough intensity to prevent it from becoming disappointing emo rock. This album will appeal to a mix of music listeners. But, I think it would appeal to fans of bands such as Boy Sets Fire (their less hardcore material) and Coheed and Cambria. This nine-track release is an awesome rock record, filled with enough diversity to keep it fresh and enough hooks to make it stick. (CM)

Brando 943 Recluse Recordhead/Whiggs • Strong songwriting, interesting flights into fuzzy psychedelia, and open vocals distinguish Brando. This is a stripped-down sound, a contrast from their previous more layered and orchestrated album, Single Crown Postcard. More than just moody self-reflection, there are some genuine gems here. (SJM)

Broken Hands for Brilliant Minds Respect the Past Remember the Future • Odd Halo Recordings • If you are suffering from insomnia, this CD might cure it. It consists of pretty much a continuous space atmosphere, with some keyboards and repeating loops. It sounds like it belongs as a soundtrack, and I highly advise against listening to it while driving or operating heavy machinery. (AL)

Broken Spindles Fulfilled/Complete Saddle Creek • 2002 saw the release of Broken Spindles's first album, composed and recorded by The Faint's bass player, Joel Petersen. It was a completely electronic album, and Fulfilled/Complete sees an evolution on that sound. In it, Petersen adds strings and vocals, and some songs are pure rock and roll. Still, electronic elements play a prominent role. (AL)

Buckfast self-titled self-released • Hey, A&R guys, this band is for you! Buckfast has tapped into the feel of rock radio. That may not have been their intent, but they've nailed it dead-on. Musically, they remind me of a heavier Live. They show some diversity and mix it up on this six-song EP, but mainly stay rooted in the heavier stuff. (SH)

Ceiling Fan Hot Streets Imperial Fuzz • Three guys that manage to sound like a few more guys. This is a good rock and roll effort. The songs are tight and catchy, walking the line between pop and rock. Definitely not the same old crap that you always hear on the radio, this is a refreshing change. (MK)

Charcoal flowers in the cement self-released • If you told me this was a full band who has been touring for years, I would be slightly disappointed, but the fact that this is 100% solo is pretty cool. Definitely influenced by bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and Joy Division, Charcoal creates haunting guitar lines that create the flow for Fabio Brienza's staccato voice. If you miss the 80's then this is a solid release from a new face in the crowd. (MC)

China White Live Cheap CD Malt Soda Recordings • Hey, punk fans! No, not you silly New Found Glory and Good Charlotte kiddies, I mean REAL punk fans. Listening? China White does old school punk. They did it back in 1981, where most of these tracks are taken from, and they did it again two years ago during a reunion thing. This is raw, in-your-face punk that wasn't meant to be played on the radio. It's better on your hi-fi turned to 11. (SH)

Chomsky Let's Get to Second Aezra Records • You might think a band named for Noam Chomsky would be from somewhere on the East Coast, but these guys are actually from Dallas, Texas. You might also expect fiery, politically charged punk rock a la Propagandhi, but Chomsky's sound is more reminiscent of bands like Weezer and No Knife. On Let's Get to Second, the band worked with Gary Katz, best known for his work with Steely Dan, and former Talking Head Jerry Harrison to rerecord some older material along with some new songs. The results are quite good, as Let's Get to Second is one damn good indie rock album. (CL)

Chris Katris Songs From The Basement Vol. 3 self-released • Highly competent, radio-friendly, hooky rock. The recording has a little too much of what I think is commonly termed "sparkle". Not my cup of tea, but good nonetheless, and the author seems like a decent guy. (SJM)

Christopher Douglas Neumann American Songs of Hope and Distress Fistolo • Chris Neumann, former front man of 2.5 Children Inc., changes his tune from punk rock to folk rock and releases 15 powerful salvoes against the takeover of the world by the Bush Administration. The album is a political cry from the heart, reaching back into the very roots of American music to find a furious, yet focused method of galvanizing our collective American soul for the coming days of reckoning, in which justice will be tested. (DP)

Chrome Pistola Belly of the Beast EP Mindless Records • Two tracks make up this EP with a little slice of styles you may have heard before. "Belly of the Beast" is the better of the two, with a tight beat and a guitar sample behind lyrics about getting caught up in the drug world. "Pretty Houses" carries a sound reminiscent of 60's psychedelic rock with a consistent background beat and a story about the ladies. Not missing much if you can't find this in your local record store. (JC)

Chumbawamba UN Koch • This Chumbawamba CD is an exercise in political hipness. These veteran Brits, now releasing their thirteenth album, draw upon just about every style of world music imaginable, and set it to an infectious beat. It serves as a platform for powerful, satire-heavy anthems, attacking the new world order with ferocity and clever humor. Rarely do I hear such well-constructed pop-style music that can be appreciated for both its anti-establishment lyrical bravery and its ability to satisfy the innate human craving for head-bobbin' fun. (DP)

Circlesquare Pre-Earthquake Anthem Output Recordings • A dark bass-line backdrop forms the center of this release and eerie electronic grooves make up these spacey beats on Circlesquare's second offering. Simplistic in its nature and as deep as a Pink Floyd album might get if it went pop in the 80's, the mellow atmosphere and sounds here is chased with suspense and comforting reassurance in knowing this is only music and the trip won't last forever. (JC)

Coastal Drag caught on the wrist Doubling Cubes Records • I have to admit, if this CD was six-tracks of the first song, I would tear into these guys and be mean, but fortunately it is not. This band writes good pop rock songs, some of the time. Then at other times they write kind of long winded, slow, dragging songs. Tracks like Paper Snakes and Southern Lights for Northern Eyes are garage tinged rock songs that keep moving to a guitar saturated end. While In Love with Palm Trees is a somewhat lagging six minute song that makes me find the next button on my CD player that much quicker. Not to say that they don't rock, even the slow songs tend to have loud heavy guitar parts to them. Basically this band is hinging on something good, a little time and I could see a good if not great album coming out of this band. (MC)

Cougars Manhandler Thick Records • This Chicago eight-piece rock group is nothing short of a sonic assault filled with synth and horn additions that helps to mold the chaotic mayhem within. Self described as "chardcore" (another way of saying "hardcore well done"), think along the lines of the Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Barkmarket or Rocket From The Crypt for a comparison, or check out tracks like "Vegas Makes Her Fuck" and "Dick Dater" for further reference. Only trouble here is that the vocals are to drowned out by the music to make an impact. (JC)

Daniel G. Harmann The Lake Effect Post 436 Records • Yes, Daniel G. Harmann's work can be considered emo. But while many similar artists fall into the trap of wallowing in their despair, Harmann manages to hold onto hope through it all. His frail vocals convey the image of one who is down, but not out. The simple acoustic arrangements are augmented by the effective use of keyboards and strings to create beautiful, atmospheric indie rock. And just when you need a change of tempo, Harmann carefully mixes in a few upbeat numbers to pick up the pace. (CL)

Dante Starbelly self-released • New York's Dante play some rather smooth jazz and blues-tinged pop music. While the performance is solid and the vocals are strong, the songs themselves do not do much for me; there's nothing that draws me in and encourages repeated listens. As noted international super spy Austin Powers once said about the Swedish penis pump: "It's not my bag, baby." (CL)

David Aaron Scenery self-released • Is anyone else sick of singer/songwriters? Okay, so maybe this guy has some talent, but why can't anyone do something different. The track "You and Me" is called "radio friendly" in his press release, but I think this is one of the last things the radio needs. Some country elements come into the melodic pop, with a tinge of emo. The album drones on and on at times, but avid singer/songwriter fans may like this. For me, I just ask when does this end? (MP)

Day at the Fair The Prelude Springman Records • If you ever wondered what it would sound like if you mixed The Alkaline Trio with No Motiv, the end result would be Day at the Fair. The first track "Eastern Homes and Western Hearts" sounds almost exactly like the combination of the two bands. Fronted by Chris Barker, the former lead singer of New Jersey's Lanemeyer, Day at the Fair is his return to music since his departure in the early '90s. What we have here is lack of originality. Every song is reminiscent of either a No Motiv or Alkaline Trio tune. If you can get past the instant and obvious influences, you might be able to get into some of this five-song EP. (SP)

Days Like These Charity.Burns.Green Lobster Records • This is the debut album from the six-piece Days Like These out of Vineland, New Jersey. Produced by Darian Rundall (Pennywise, Yellowcard), CharityŠis filled with radio-friendly sounds that would fit comfortably on the Fuse network, which along with mainstream radio exploits "bands like these" daily. Although the vast majority of the band isn't even old enough to drink, they still know how to hold their own as far as their instruments are concerned. The key track to check out here is "The Dawning," which opens the record. With its Recover-like opening guitar riff, it grabs attention immediately through intense rhythm. Unfortunately the rest of the album lacks this drive. (SP)

Descendents Cool To Be You Fat Wreck Chords • In the more than 20 years the Descendents have existed (minus Milo's college years), they have never disappointed me. This latest release, their first full-length since 1996, continues the trend. Milo, Bill, Karl and Stephen are back with 14 tracks of their unmistakable brand of pop punk, offering up a mix of sappy tunes with a few more aggressive tracks thrown in. The subject matter is diverse, as usual, with songs that cover such topics as being a nerd, being an American and being in love. While some may argue that they have never really changed or improved on their sound, I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. (CM)

Desoto Reds Hanglide Thru Yer Window Floating Man Records • Humorous lyrics, bouncy and fun sounds coincide in a kooky album that sounds sometimes like a happy and playful Belle and Sebastian. The lyrics play poetic in a surreal way that pleases me. (SJM)

Despistado The Emergency Response Mordam • Despistado hails from one of the world's coldest recorded places in the world, Regina, Saskatchewan. The first thing you'll notice about Despistado is the incredible resemblance to old At the Drive-In, especially Dargan Harding's vocals. Not to say that it is a total rip off or anything. Look out for this band on tour and their full-length release. (NP)

Dirty Dozen Brass Band Funeral For A Friend Ropeadope Records • Shortly after recording this album, which chronicles a New Orleans-style Jazz funeral, founding member Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen died for a heart attack. Ironically, the just-completed record became a living tribute to Tuba Fats's 27-year career in the band. The gospel and blues songs follow this unique tradition, with mournful dirges followed by celebratory up-tempo numbers. (AL)

Distorted Penguins self-titled Distorted Penguins • The Penguins are a fantastic punk/ska band with great hooks, tight harmonies, and a glowing energy that is truly difficult to find. Their sound is polished and powerful, reaching into the ska pleasure center of the brain, which is nestled next to the cerebral cortex. They're getting down to business on a new album, which I am sure will rock your pants off. If you refuse to accept my word for it, you can download the very same 3-song demo we reviewed on DP's website! See the contact info. (DP)

DJ Zeph Sunset Scavenger Wide Hive Records • Full of echoing soundscapes, a solid drum beat and touches of musical direction, the production on this release is wound tight with a mixture of instrumental beats and guest emcee's. Much more than a mix-tape, touches of jazz, roots, funk and tribal flavored sounds are all over this disc, featuring the ideas of DJ Zeph along with Lyrics Born, Azeem, Vursatyl and Boots on the mic, who are welcomed additions that only add to the smoothness of this scavenger's style. (JC)

Driveway self-titled self-released • Fans of Better Than Ezra and Pete Yorn should go get this right now. You're going to cream your jeans when you hear Driveway. They have that twangy-funky, relaxed sound that all the girls love. Yes, guys can like them, too, but not in THAT wayŠ Cool stuff. (SH)

Earl "Chinna" Smith Dub It! Nature Sounds • A seasoned vet in the reggae world, Chinna has become one of the longest standing session musicians and has toured with the largest reggae icons over the decades. This release finds him in good tone, the mostly instrumental smoke, I mean jam sessions, provide funky soundscapes to get funky with on a bright sunny day or a hazy darkened night. (JC)

Echobrain Glean Surfdog Records • Riding the fine line of edgy rock with emo elements, Echobrain is melodic and energetic at the same time. The emotion within this release is heavily layered with elaborate sounds that create an atmosphere of moodiness and fever. Sounds like a Chris Cornell and Jeff Buckley collaborative project, with steady guitar work and angled ideas through the dreamy-pop style vocals of Dylan Donkin. This proves to be a solid album that comes off complete and should find these guys in position to make a wave throughout the scene. (JC)

Electric Frankenstein We Will Bury You TKO Records • Those who have witnessed Electric Frankenstein's live act know of their affinity for cover songs. Now 31 such covers have been collected and released on this double CD album. From the old school punk of Circle Jerks, Fun Things and the Misfits, the arena rock/metal of Aerosmith, Iron Maiden and AC/DC, to the unexpected sounds of Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and the Tubes, this collection covers finally brings together songs that have played a part in their live show, many of them for the first time on CD. (AL)

Evergreen Terrace Writers Block Eulogy • I was looking forward to this album of covers from the last 20 years, curious as to how they would interpret U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Mad World" by Tears for Fears and Michael Sembello's "Maniac." I was not particularly impressed with hardcore covers of songs that are originally so melodical, but overall the album was worth a listen. (AL)

eX-Girl Endangered Species Alternative Tentacles Records • Like other Japanese avant-noise bands like the Boredoms and Ruins, eX-Girl push the envelope when it comes to music. However, they make their music more accessible by adding elements of pop to the music and multiple harmonies to the vocals. (AL)

External Menace The Process Of Elimination self-released • Here's a band that uses a lot of different influences. Yes, there is one that is prominent, which is punk, but if you listen closely, you can hear some ska and reggae in there as well. From the songs I've heard on the CD, they sound very politically motivated, as do most punk/underground bands do nowadays. The good thing about External Menace, is they remind me a little bit of Rancid and Fugazi, If you consider that a good thing. (CMax)

Faction of the Fox Faction of the Fox EP Quincy Shanks • Pulling from their punk roots and the furious anti-pop hip-hop music of their youth, the Faction of the Fox delivers a hostile tone on this EP. Vocals are laid down furiously and sound similar to the rantings of the Insane Clown Posse mixed with Pantera with ruffled mumblings and circus-like sounds. The opening track "DeNardo" is the standout, but the project as a whole is quite the trip. (JC)

Fead Nameless Pacific West Entertainment • This is hardcore with a groove, like Korn and Sevendust, or a really, REALLY heavy King's X. For a trio, Fead puts out some hellacious sound. I dig "The Grip" and the title track. A very solid EP from this Michigan trio. (SH)

Feeling Left Out Once Upon a Time LLR Recordings • Think acoustic Dashboard Confessional or Chevelle. That's Feeling Left Out. Very acoustic, very emo, very heart-wrenching. This is not a happy CD but, honestly, isn't radio a little TOO happy these days? (SH)

Fire Devine It's All A Blur Deep Elm • Deep Elm has done it again, another tear-laden, heartbreaking, lovey-dovey, grab your sweater, good-time album. Fire Devine play emo music strongly influenced by Time Spent Driving, with a hint of Thursday. Don't get me wrong, this album sounds great, but I've heard it all before. (RP)

Folly Insanity Later Triple Crown Records • Sounding like Pantera one moment then going ska in the very same song sums up what you get on this release from Folly. Solid and creative hardcore metal on this album that goes punk and ska, all while producing serious ear damage and adrenalized emotion. Join in on tracks like "Please Don't Shoot The Piano Player, He's Doing The Best He Can" and "The Weak And The Wounded" to get a taste of the sore throat that these vocals must of came from. (JC)

For Stars ...It Falls Apart Future Farmer Recordings • For Stars have returned with their first album since 2001's We Are All Beautiful People. Originally intended as a poppy record, It Falls Apart took on a life of its own and became a much darker affair. Despite the heavier undertones, the album is still dreamy, indie rock, with slow building waves of gorgeous sounds. Slocore fans will especially enjoy this release. (CL)

Forest Giants In Sequence Invisible Hands Music • UK's Forest Giants debut album is fairly lo-fi and definitely this side of sounding sloppy. Not necessarily a bad thing, as it turns out. Some interesting ideas are being put forth here; I particularly appreciate the more experimental sounding interludes - the rest is very subdued, somewhat moping, but appealing somehow. (SJM)

Frankenpony Mazel-Tov Rock Tales self-released • With the opening track, "Old -n- Ugly," these guys set the pace for a wonderfully amusing rock and roll disc. This is a lot of fun to listen to. It seems something like a hepped up Bareneked Ladies in some parts. Other parts, not so much... Smooth harmonies and catchy riffs make this a disc you should listen to. (MK)

Freak Parade Future Shock Slow Motion Riot Records • This four-piece rock outfit from Prague sounds like what would have happened had Blondie gone rock instead of punk. They do have some punk flavorings but it's more of a heavy, brooding rock sound. The songs dart around a bit, from the Jane's-esque "First Wave" to full-throttle rockers like "Born" and "Never Love Myself." They've got potential. I'd like to hear them latch on to one sound and perfect it. (SH)

Freezepop Fancy Ultra-Fresh Archenemy • Electropop lives on with Freezepop. Using only a battery-operated sequencer to program their songs they create oh-so-retro tunes full of synths, vocoders and catchy beats. They continue to develop in a genre that has gained momentum thanks to bands like The Faint and Ladytron. (AL)

Gauge Means Nothing The Absent Trail of an Echo and My Future Plagued Surrender I've Come For Your Children • I'm going to start this review by saying the title of this album is almost longer the album itself. Now that I have that out of the way, GMN are a hardcore band from Japan who plays epic hardcore music. Imagine God Speed You Black Emperor meets Marakate at a Therion band practice. (RP)

Go Betty Go Worst Enemy SideOneDummy Records • Go Betty Go is tight, accomplished pop-punk. The four-girl band from Glendale, CA creates the right blend of snarling fun and positive, uplifting sentiment to win me over. (SJM)

Graig Markel Tall Tales On Tape Sonic Boom Recordings • Steely Dan meets Matchbox 20. This is definitely radio ready rock from another singer/songwriter. This album, however, combines Markel's solo work with his live band, Venus on Venus. Guitar solos reminiscent of 70's bands and layers of piano, horns and vocal effects make up the ten tracks. Sometimes his vocals reminded me of Don Henley. Lo-fi rock n' soul. Not bad, but I think my mom would listen to. (MP)

Grasshopper Takeover Elephant Dreams Echo Park Music • Reminiscent of the 1980's pop rock and synth sound, superb storytelling is captured on this album of flashy guitar riffs and muscled music full of emotion and vulnerability. With a feeling of independence and good times, complete with free-will frills, tight production really captures the total essence of what this band is all about. Which seems to be jamming out alongside detailed storytelling and harmonizing vocals to come off just a bit too outdated. (JC)

Gravenhurst Flashlight Seasons Warp Records • What on earth is this folk artist doing on Warp Records? This label is home to experimental electronica titans Aphex Twin and Autechre. Flashlight Seasons is an acoustic guitar driven folk album! Granted, the music is beautifully written and performed, but it is simply not what I expected from Warp. I kept expecting electronic effects to suddenly appear and take over, but they never came. Could this mark the beginning of a musical shift for the label? I sure hope not. (AL)

Happy Sincerely Without Wax Double Plus Good Records • Interesting work, especially for only being one guitarist. A few standout tracks are the Good Book, In Art, and the Jaw Box influenced Easier. These guys are mathy at times but tend to lean a little bit more towards the radio friendly side. I am not saying this as a bad thing; they manage to create some interesting guitar work without losing the sense of melody and rhythm. (MC)

Harkonen Dancing Initial Records • No longer on Hydra Head, Harkonen have slightly toned down the sludge side of their music in this 17-minute EP. The vocals are screamed, but in an intelligible manner that sound more like screams of pain and frustration than screams of anger. (AL)

Hayes Eleven self-released • I like this quartet from Los Angeles but I'm afraid they may have missed the call. With all the hippy, happy bands like the Strokes and Jet out there, this emo-rock outfit may have missed their shot. Course, I still see Dashboard Confessional out there on tour so why not? Hayes is a very solid emo-rock band. If you're sick of all this twangy, fun-for-all rock out there, check out Hayes for a bit of rock sedation. (SH)

Here Kitty, Kitty This Is Broken Lorelei Records • Ooohhh, it's ferocious. This is stripped down rock that sounds great. Female vocals play a great counter to the heavy distorted music. From the punk ferocity of "Birthday" to the anthemic Joan Jett inspired "Do You Wanna Touch" there is just nothing bad to be said about this disc except that it is only 25 minutes long. (MK)

Hillbilly Devilspeak Lies As Told By The White Man self-released • This is an interesting disc. They have lots to say and they say it well. Punk without any of the standard punk trappings. Intricate non-standard song structures make this disc easy to listen to. Definitely a hard-driving power-packed disc. (MK)

Jackpot F plus Surfdog • Jackpot is straight from Sacramento with three other releases under their belt. Their latest is F plus, and old fans of Jackpot will not be disappointed. The last thing you will find on this album is consistency. Their sound ranges from Tom Petty to Buffalo Springfield to Lou Reed. With catchy lyrics like "the jokes they keep on coming, like a cross-eyed sniper," you wont get bored. (NP)

Jawbreaker Dear You (re-issue) Blackball Records • If this wasn't a reissue, it would be a Top Pick. Jawbreaker's final album, released in 1995, remains a brilliant rock record. It's a shame it was their last. Geffen, the label that owned the rights to it, had let the album go out of print; getting a copy required a friend to burn you one or your willingness to drop big bucks on eBay. Adam Pfahler, the band's drummer, had to actually buy their own record back from the label and the result is this reissue on Pfahler's label. As a bonus, five tracks have been added to the end of the record ("Shirt," "Into You Like A Train," "Sister," "Friendly Fire" and a slightly different version of "Boxcar"); of those five, two I had never heard before ("Shirt" and "Friendly Fire"). Of course, the 13 incredible original songs are there. Blake's passionate vocals bleed over the feedback-heavy rock. Some tracks are more punchy/punky than others, but every song leaves its mark. Lyrically, it's a poetic masterpiece, with Blake crafting emotional songs, allowing the music's energy to feed off the intensity of the lyrics. I doubt it would happen, but I'd love a reunion tour! (CM)

Jeff Gutman Cold Cold Town Mr. Knees Records • Nothing stands out and grabs your attention on this simplistic singer/songwriter release. Everything here is heavy on uppity pop tones that carry a jangly sound of dramatic indie rock with vocals that come off smooth and wispy, in an eighteen-year old kind of way. Little is done to distinguish Gutman from the masses. (JC)

Jen Gloeckner Miles Away self-released • Stevie Nicks-like vocals over slow, folk music and acoustic guitar. Cello and harmonies add layers to what could be your typical singer/songwriter in another coffee house. Gloeckner's voice is a tad different from the many fem folk artists out there. While some tracks take on a pop folk sound, almost like Tracy Chapman, some of the songs are slow and droning, a little too much for my taste. She repeats "I sit here like a loaded gun," in the track, "only 1," and I started to wish I had a loaded gun. (MP)

Johnny Action Figure Johnny Action Figure 19 North Records • These Pennsylvania kids have done quite well for themselves.  Formed in 1999 by 14-year-old best friends, the band eschewed the cover band route and began writing original material from the outset.  Five years later, they've opened for Wilco, the Get Up Kids, and Something Corporate, among others, appeared on a series of compilations, and recorded a very energetic debut album.  They've got the early Jimmy Eat World-Get Up Kids indie/emo thing going on, and they do a damn good job of it. (CL)

Kill Me Tomorrow The Garbageman and The Prostitute Gold Standards Labs • Chaotic and cinematic imagery is thrown together in an industrial, gothic and punkish way to confuse the brain on this release. From the same family as that of bands like Sonic Youth, Joy Davidson and The Fall; an off-kilter approach is taken here with a blend of raw and distorted "art-damaged electro-punk" that sounds futuristic and disturbing. Songs are full of stories about sex addiction, politicians and the government's eye, with a DVD included, featuring four videos from the album. (JC)

Kilowatthours / The Rum Diary split CD Springman Records/Substandard Records • This split CD features four songs by each band, as well as collaborative effort between the two. The Rum Diary plays melodic, bass-driven indie rock that is reminiscent of Pinback, while the Kilowatthours have a more guitar-based, shoegazing quality to their music. Both are worthy of a listen, but this is America, and somebody has to win. The Rum Diary gets the nod here, if for nothing else than being named for a Hunter S. Thompson novel. (CL)

Lab Ratz self-titled self-released • They say that they don't want to be a "sounds like" band. They have succeeded beautifully. Melodic and smooth, and fun and funky all in 19 minutes, the styles of the songs are different, but the disc does not lack cohesion. This disc is evidence of talent. Strong songwriting skills make the five songs on this EP enjoyable to listen to. (MK)

Lauren Gifford Sitting Pretty El8ed • This is the debut EP from a talented young Texan songwriter, pianist, and vocalist, who brings us an exciting collection of sultry, smooth lounge music. I hope I'm not limiting her by assigning it to "lounge," it just has those liquid instrumental movements that suggest dark, smoke-filled rooms with dim lights shining down on the piano. Lauren's luscious vocals are hypnotic, an absolutely perfect fit for the corner of the music world she has chosen. (DP)

Le Concorde self-titled Le Concorde • Le Concorde is a flowering garden of fresh, alternative pop music. Featuring two of the Psychedelic Furs, this 6-song record reaches far beyond anything known in the history of pop to find a rare abundance of sweetness that touches just the right chord. It doesn't lay it on too thick, it has a well-developed, highly textured foundation of melodic rock, moving at a brisk pace to drive the emotional meaning home. Excellent songwriting for the discriminating palette. (DP)

Leslie Clemmons Stop the World Verdict Records • After a successful career in musical theater, Leslie Clemmons shifts gears and enters the world of pop music. Not surprisingly, Stop the World features strong vocal performances from Clemmons. Her acoustic and R&B-flavored pop is a little too smooth and bland, like Paula Cole watered down with a little Celine Dion. (CL)

Less Cover, Protective, Individual Firecodecore • These are bleak times, my friends, and Less has served up the perfect soundtrack. Sure, you could do the big, heavy, over-the-top guitars to usher in the end of the whole freakin' world, but on Cover, Protective, Individual, Less opts for the more haunting acoustic guitar and sparse percussion route. The songs churn uneasily with Layne Staley-like vocals lurking in the mix. It's dark, it's depressing, and still you can't turn away. (CL)

Li'l Cap'n Travis In All Their Splendor Glurp Records • I'm not sure about this name because I just kept thinking Cap n' Jazz in my head and I couldn't get it out. This jangly indie pop is nothing like them, though. It starts off very country, and doesn't veer too much, but adds a little more of a blues and rock feel. There are some very good harmonies and even steel guitar. The vocals range from a Built to Spill moment to a good ol' country singer that I wouldn't know how to reference. Not bad for those rodeo nights. (MP)

Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life Busk Kitchen Whore Records • Think Mazzy Star meets Everything But the Girl. Some of the darkness and drones of Mazzy Star, but with the pop melodies of EBTG. Dewey's vocals are beautifully layered with atmospheric melodies, and the passion behind them remains consistent through the album. At times, she even touches upon a PJ Harvey feel. (MP)

Lock and Key no fate Deep Elm Records • Something about Deep Elm Records has always irked me somewhat. I could never really pin point it, but it usually instantly cast a shadow on a band for me if I found out they were on Deep Elm Records. With a few exceptions of course, i.e. Brandtson, Planes Mistaken for Stars, The Appleseed Cast, and now one more band can be added to that list, Lock and Key. The album is surprisingly rocking, interesting dual guitars layer thick over fast pace drumming, I could compare these guys to bands like Hot Water Music. Nothing absolutely mind blowing here, but a solid debut E.P. for this band. (MC)

Loretta The Translation Benchmark Records • Don't let the first track fool you – these fellas can rock. While they start off with an acoustic number, they quickly crank up the guitars and rhythm section and get to the indie rock thing they do. Fans of Splendor, the Honeyrods and Tonic will love this to pieces. It's very slick and radio-ready, full of melodies and tight harmonies. (SH)

Lovers The Gutters and the Garden Orange Twin Records • Lovers is a showcase for the talents of vocalist/songwriter Carolyn Berk. Berk's melancholy narratives are supported by a variety of instruments, from violins to banjos, in addition to the standard guitar-bass-drums format.  The songs have an alt-country and folk feel to them, with a more ethereal twist; like Mazzy Star doing a spacey interpretation of folk music. (CL)

Man's Best Friend The New Human Is Illegal Morr Music • Otherwise known as Sole, Man's Best Friend has compacted distorted noises with fuzzy, sonic components that make up a messy collage of synth style beats and elements. This poetry style rap reaches in many directions about issues such as the state of our world, and the anger we possess while living amongst it. Sole's diary entry rhymes feature a harsh look on reality and contains much to decipher once you get through the chaos of sounds. (JC)

Matt Diff self-titled RedStar Records • Matt is an extremely talented young singer/songwriter from NYC. He reminds me of Angie Aparo, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, the latter two mainly because of his harmonica skills. He plays acoustic with piano, and crafts some very well-written tracks. He doesn't have the brightest outlook on the world today but this is still a tremendous debut from a guy with a big upside. (SH)

Matt Marque nothing personal Truck Stop Records • This is the kind of CD you put on for long car rides in the country at night. It is absolutely beautiful, it boasts having Wilco's Glenn Kotche and Him's Griffin Rodriguez on the record, but it doesn't need to. This record easily stands on its own two feet. Matt's vocals are reminiscent of Nick Drake's with interesting guitar hooks that seem to drift off into a sunset somewhere. If you are lucky enough to have a hammock, a cold drink and a portable CD player then do yourself a favor and float off into space for a half hour or so with this record. (MC)

Mental Pain Punk Equals Pride self-released • Despite a terrible recording, I love this CD. It's by far my favorite out of the group I reviewed. Who would have thought that a three-piece out of Marietta, Georgia (of all places) would take something that has been done thousands of times, and make it sound original? A few songs sound like it might almost be old-school hard-core, add a few breakdowns in there, and Bane has some competition. The other songs sound so angry and "punk rock" it's almost like a different band all together. My only suggestion would be to find a different cover for the demo, three punks pissing on a cop car is so cliché. (CMax)

Mick Karn More Better Different Invisible Hands Music • Japan bassist Mick Karn delivers the goods on More Better Different. The tracks have a jazzy, funky edge, with an obvious emphasis on the underlying groove. His work is similar to that of Dr Didj and Critters Buggin' but a bit more mellow. (AL)

Mike Hicks Shine Minor Miracle • Another singer/songwriter emotes, another emo kid cries. He's just like Chris Carrabba, but not. Very dramatic emo songs start the album off, but then it takes a sharp turn for the worst. A pop, sort of rock song, "The Guys You Like," brings the tempo of the album up for some foot-stomping fun for the whole family, but then he brings it right back down for the ladies. He sounds similar to The New Amsterdams at times, and the last track, "You're Still Lost" is the best, yet still unoriginal, with girl harmonies and piano. (MP)

Milosh You Make Me Feel Plug Research • On his debut album, Mike Milosh softly sings over electronically crafted beats, sometimes subjecting his own voice to the glitchy, cut up techniques he uses for the beats and some of the melodies. The album is soothing and welcoming, like a warm embrace. I have to admit that I got a bit bored toward the end, because there is not much variety in his sound. (AL)

Molly Hatchet 25th Anniversary Best of Re-recorded SPV Recordings • Molly Hatchet is going on strong after 25 years of writing and performing southern rock, a sound they helped pioneer. To celebrate, they are releasing this collection of some of their best material to date, re-recorded with the band's current lineup. (AL)

Monday's Hero Love Carries An Axe Lucid Records • With angular guitar parts, a load of emotion and constantly changing tempos, Monday's Hero certainly caught my attention. Part math rock, part art rock, part indie rock – that adds up to a lot of rock! I like music that is constantly changing, shifting tempos, bending melodies – Monday's Hero does it precisely, passionately. The vocals are heartfelt, well sung (with an occasional scream) and sincere; you can almost picture the lead singer's movements as he belts out each song. These guys are, no doubt, a great live band. (CM)

Nap Attack Choose Your Own Adventure EP Monosyllabic Records • Good mathy instrumental rock. Lots of tempo changes in five songs. Some of the melodies, especially the bass, were similar to Minus The Bear. The trio creates hypnotic melodies that leave you wanting more. The composition of their music is like a labyrinth and once your inside, it's hard to find your way out. (MP)

No Choice Dry River Fishing No Idea Records • Here's some punk rock in the key of Social D. The vocals are somewhere between Social Distortion and Hot Water Music, and on the track, "Sonny," they even take a British tone. It has that punk feel but tries to do something different on tracks like, "Dry River Fishing," where the drums are anything but punk, but that distortion pulls them right back. Punk on the rocks with a twist of lime. (MP)

North of Reason Sampler self-released • Dammit, I really hope NOR gets signed to a label. From the cover picture of them jamming in the garage (complete with water heater) to the shameless announcement of having 20 people at their last gig, these guys deserve a shot. And, hell, their songs are pretty freaking catchy for a band that's been together for four months! This is radio-friendly punk/rock, sort of a Chevelle thing going on. (SH)

Number One Fan Compromises Pat's Record Company • Tight emo rock in the realm of Brandtson. Think Mae meets Jimmy Eat World, but not quite at either level. This is the debut album for this four piece from Appleton, Wisconsin. So for a debut, I can say that I see big things in store for this band. They have the right sound, the lyrics to get the emo girls to shed a tear, and they also have the "look" every band in the indie world needs nowadays. If you haven't heard about this band, I predict they will be known in the very near future. (MP)

Ojee Walk Upright Unkee Doon Sounds • This Bay Area duo employs acoustic guitar in tandem with a melodica, a kind of breath-powered keyboard, to generate innovative, avant-garde folksy songs. They are lazy and laid-back, carelessly throwing their sounds into the wind for those who wish to listen. Reggae rhythms form the backbone of the experience, with lyrics that focus on "existence, self-reflection, and human nature." It is a cute collection that made me want to sip lemonade on a porch swing. (DP)

Onelinedrawing The Volunteers Jade Tree Records • This CD has a gigantic problem; it is the solo project from former front man to Far and New End Original. Those are two great bands, so why is that a problem you may ask. Well I loved the New End Original CD and I absolutely adore Far. Jonah Matranga's voice is one of the best in modern day rock, I could go on and on about that without even referring to this CD, but that would be a shame. The Volunteers is a brilliant expressive album with subdued guitar and chilling piano. While the heavy guitars of Far have been replaced by acoustic work and drum machines, I can handle it due to the beauty and sensitivity this album exudes. While being a heart-broken singer in a modern punk band of some sort of another is all the rage, no one and I mean no one does it with sincerity that Jonah does, don't believe me? Listen to tracks like "Believer" and "A Ghost" and then try to argue. (MC)

Output We're All Wired Cube Records • Bands like The Faint and Ladytron have been at the forefront of retrolicious synth driven electroclash for a few years now. The latest contributor to the genre is Output, brainchild of electronica producer Junior Sanchez. The beats are catchy and the keyboards ultra cool, but the vocals were not well developed. (AL)

Outputmessage Oneiros Echelon Productions • This album feels like either a compilation of different bands, or a greatest hits album, but it is neither. It is, in fact, Outputmessage's first release for Echelon, and its versatile use of many types of electronica sets them apart from others. IDM-laced tracks lead to Brian Eno-esque atmospheres and house-inspired tracks. There is also an emphasis on melody not always found in laptop music. (AL)

Paint the Town Red / Rise and Fall Split CD JTTP Records • First things first, I can't tell who's who on this split because both bands sound pretty much the same. Both of these bands play typical jockmoshcore in the same vein as Earth Crisis and Hatebreed. So if you're into that type of bullshit, buy this album and a jersey and bandanna and represent. (RP)

Piebald All Ears, All Eyes, All the Time SideOneDummy Records • This is the fourth full length album for Andover, Massachusetts' own Piebald and the first official release for their third and latest record label, SideOneDummy Records. For die-hard fans of Piebald, this album is guaranteed to rock you as much as their previous effort We Are the Only Friends We Have, but for the average radio listener I find it hard to believe that this will be an album for you and your clique to get into with its lack of pop appeal. The sixth track "Haven't Tried It" attempts to break into Beatle ground, but the problem here is within the vocals, which swing and miss while trying to replicate the authenticity of Lennon and McCartney's hooks. In fact, it's the vocals that will keep this band off the radio and clearly away from mainstream altogether. (SP)

Pinkeye D'Gekko Dry Clothes For The Drowning Force MP • This is a good disc. It really starts out with a bang. Horn infused, Molly Hatchet type rockers. It sort of drifts through pop rock and country from there on out. It seems a bit disjointed at times. The songs are all pretty good, some much better than others, but all in all, a very decent disc. (MK)

Poor Luther's Bones Inside The Outsider Heavy G Records • Superficially, the majority of the songs within Insider The Outsider are fairly traditional folk influenced pop, but there's something else here. One can recognize a kindred spirit to Olivia Tremor Control in some of the more psychedelic moments, often there is a strong British Invasion influence, but the most common element is a refreshing openness of thought. The willingness to stretch genres and lay out an honest emotion sets this group apart. (SJM)

Quickening Are You Listening self-released • Alt rock with elements of emo and pop punk. The vocals were reminiscent of Far at times and Sponge at others. The music was somewhere between early 90's rock and the catchiness of a Sum 41 song. This album probably has a few radio ready songs, and I think this band would fit perfectly with all the Eve 6's out there. (MP)

Rag Men self-titled Eulogy • A dynamic band that consists of members from Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, Madball, Merauder, and Skarhead. This band has a wide array of genres going on here, punk rock, metal and, of course, hardcore. This is Rag Men's first release. If you're a fan of any of the bands mentioned above, especially Hatebreed and Merauder, you'll love this album.(NP)

Razor Crusade Infiniti Water Reflections Records • Complete aggression with hysterical outbursts accompany hardcore riffs that blend tight metal styles into many directions on this album out of Belgium. Scream core vocals become indie rock tones while the music follows, keeping just enough of a ravage image to lose your mind to, then going soft to give you a chance to catch back up. Not bad, but nothing that sounds very new. (JC)

Read Yellow Radios Burn Faster Fenway Recordings • This reminds me, at times, of The Shins or Badly Drawn Boy. There is a certain reckless abandon here, as it can sound like each band member is playing a different song and the singer is just off in the corner spouting lyrics, yet they always manage to come back together and build to big, full crescendos. It's indie pop, it's indie rock, it's Read Yellow! (SH)

Redline Portrait of a Mirror Image GSR Music • The accompanying press calls this a full-length album, but at 26 minutes, it feels like an EP. This New Jersey metalcore act is as aggressive as they get, with the vocals dipping into death metal territory occasionally. The best of metal and hardcore is fused into an explosive sound. (AL)

Remake Model 12345 Accelerate Pop Boomerang Records • This Australian female quartet delivers a straight-ahead pop-punk style that is insistent and definitely more appealing than most of their contemporaries. I'm not sure the remixes were necessary, but the first three tracks are evocative of an earlier style of punk, without having shed the insistence that is so sorely lacking from most everything else out there. Plus, they're cute! (SJM)

Ri'shar Ri'shar Self-Released • Coming soon to that a dentist's office waiting room near you: the smooth R&B sounds of Ri'shar. This album has a sound that would fit snuggly on one of those radio stations that plays nothing but smooth "lite" rock ballads, things like Phil Collins, Christopher Cross, and Luther Vandross. It's got bland written all over it, but "suckling nipples" is mentioned in not one, but two tracks. Ri'shar, you wild man! (CL)

R'n'R The Infamous And Notorious Manic Ride • R'n'R are from Massachusetts and feature members of Mental and Think I Care. I was surprised upon first listen by the way these guys manage to blend rock and roll with today's hardcore and how well they do it. I strongly recommend this album to fans of Nerve Agents and Youth of Today. (RP)

Robust Potholes In Our Molecules Galapagos4 • With a one-dimensional rhyme style containing a montage of wordplay bound to go over your head and little to say, it's a good thing the beats are as tight as they are. Consistent banging production by the likes of Prolyphic, Meaty Ogre and Dreas, holds this release together with a firm deliverance. The downfall about what's included here is the thought of just how better this could have been. (JC)

Rodan Theophany: The Book of Elevations Day By Day Entertainment • Rodan of Monsta Island Czars plays a game of "who can spit rhymes the fastest" on this release full of street gunplay, prison violence and constellation predictions by which he foresees the future through religious opinions based on society's ills. This emcee spits furious verses with a speedy deliverance over tempered production mostly coming from X Ray. Much of this carries a repetitious tone and sampled sounds from the likes of Gang Starr, Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang alongside Rodan's direct flow that is full of detailed messages. Overall this release is a disappointment, but check out tracks "No Snakes Alive Pt. II" and "G.O.D. (O'mighty)." (JC)

Rogue Forty Underdogs self-released • This otherwise appealing band suffers from a more than passing resemblance to the sound of Ben Folds Five. I'm sure they've heard it before and hate it, but it's true. (SJM)

S Prcss Taste Like Daughter My Pal God Records • Minimal instrumentalization and palpable tension pervade this recording. Sometimes difficult to face directly, the emotional undertones fuel an amazing, if overly short, compilation of innovative songwriting. This one's a keeper. (SJM)

S'aint Willy Meat KAOM • Now here is a man who loves eating meat – specifically pork, it would seem. I couldn't help laughing at the silliness, though I don't expect it would hold up to repeat listens. "Jupiter's Tits," although sounding suspiciously like Jimmy Buffet, has the best lyric: ćAntares is the coolest star, burgundy like my guitar. If it would sit where the sun exists its edges would tickle Jupiter's tits." Obviously, I don't recommend this fare for vegans. (SJM)

Sex Positions self-titled Deathwish • Sex Positions play the thinking man's hardcore, blending drum machine, distorted vocals, weird sounds and frantic drumming. These guys are very hard to put in a category, so I will try to describe them to the best of my ability. Imagine if The Blood Brothers had a bastard child with the Refused and let The Locust baby-sit too much. The outcome of this strange combination is actually quite attractive, believe it or not. (RP)

Shark and Bear by Sea, by air, by land Losing Blueprint Records • Twisting guitar movements change time and tempo with the winds on the three-song E.P. from this northeastern band. The first song "Sunday Crossword" is an interesting happy romp with a noise-filled ending. At first glance, you could very easily write this band off as a Braid rip-off, but with further listening, Shark and Bear shows off a real pension for interesting almost jazz-influenced drum work that is not afraid to slow it down, as on the second song "Flammable, Ignored." I hope a full length will be following this three-song teaser soon. (MC)

Sharks and Minnows The Cost of Living Two Sheds Music • According to Pop Culture Press, this album is "like a bittersweet day on a Pacific Ocean boardwalk. It's muscular and sad, yet infinitely layered with spun-sugar guitar dirges." Hmm....I'm not sure how to follow that review. I will say that this is pop rock at its, well, pop-rockiest. They are reminiscent of bands like The Plim Souls and the Lemonheads. Not bad musicianship, with not so bad vocals. "Cleopatra Song" shows their potential for good songwriting. (MP)

Single Frame Wetheads Come Running Volcom Entertainment • Bass guitar is so overrated and Single Frame proves it. The Austin, TX three-piece features drums, guitar and keyboards, plus vocals, melded together to create a wholly unique indie rock sound that mixes math rock, new wave, electronica, garage and more. The music, at times, is spastic, but always clings to an underlying melody that is sometimes thicker than others. Imagine The Faint meets Braid meets Fugazi meets... well, I could go on. The band has a way of combining many varied sounds, orchestrated creatively, resulting in a wide range of songs styles and tempos. (CM)

Sinombre Curves Of Sirens Firecode Core • Emotionally earnest vocals and intelligent, alternately languid and explosive music set Sinombre apart as an appealing entity. They put me in mind of an ethereal combination of Rachel's and Mogwai. Very enjoyable. (SJM)

Sixtoo Chewing on Glass & Other Miracle Cures Ninja Tune Records • For this album, Sixtoo wasn't happy just cutting up existing records. Instead, he got some musicians to record live, then used the recordings as his source material. He is not your typical hip-hop producer, using artists like Can's Damo Suzuki, Norsola and Thierry from Godspeed You Black Emperor and Matt Kelly and Eric Craven from The Hanged Up. Their input gives this record somewhat of a jazz/rock edge. (AL)

Skalpel self-titled Ninja Tune Records • Unless you are a fan of Polish jazz, you won't recognize any of the samples by Polish duo Skalpel. They accumulated tracks from the 1960's and 70's to put together their ultra cool, smooth tunes. This unlikely musical source gives their self-titled debut on Ninja Tune a fresh sound. (AL)

sKemper Fever Pitch sKamper Music • The brainchild of Lawrence Lewis and Devon Paulson turns out to be better left in the brain. An 80ish new wave sound with technotic, edgy noise is full of synth and vocals that try hard to come off sincere. Nothing exciting about this five-song doodle of an experiment that lacks any true emotion or heart. (JC)

Sloan Action Pact Koch Records • Toronto's Sloan has been cranking out albums of guitar-driven pop rock for over a decade, not that the old United States of America has really noticed.  They got the obligatory major-label deal in the post-Nirvana feeding frenzy, which didn't really pan out for Śem or 4,000 other bands.  But these guys just keep plugging away, writing hook-filled tunes that should be filling arenas from Florida to British Columbia. (CL)

Snakes and Music Truisms Universal Warning Records • Andrew Low (vocals/guitar) and Dan O'Neill (bass) from the Jazz June have collaborated on this new project. It's a mixture of tight, melodic indie rock with punk elements. There are more pop melodies than their previous band, but it has enough elements to recruit their old fans and enough changes to win over new ones. (MP)

Sofa Surfers See The Light ESL Music • Sofa Surfers is really an appropriate name for this band, since this is music best enjoyed while relaxing, and what better place to relax than a sofa? Collecting the best tracks from their first three albums, plus some remixes, See The Light gives you a good exposure to their amalgam of hip-hop, downbeat, and dub. (AL)

Sounds Like Violence The Pistol Deep Elm • Angsty music with a sense of emotional urgency. With compelling melodies you'll be hooked off the first spin. Sometimes emoish, sometimes noise rock, you will not be disappointed with this shit. Look for tours these guys probably have tons of energy. (NP)

SplitHabit Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Double Zero Records • If you were to get a very generic pop punk band, take their instruments away, put them in a room and then make them listen to hours upon hours of Weezer and The Ataris. Then give them back their instruments and tell them to make an album. This would be the end result. It has catchy moments and I can see lots of girls with studded belts singing along, but their not as good as your little brother's band. (MP)

Starving Artists Crew Up Pops The SAC Fat Beats • They're three MCs and one DJ, but they're not the Beastie Boys. These cats hail from Detroit. But they're not an Eminem rip-off. The SAC comes with funky, jazzy keys, party-startin' beats and three rhyme-throwin' MCs that deliver fresh flows. The basslines are instant head-nodders; melting into the rest of the music. This is a hip-hop album without the gansta attitude or radio-friendly weak beats. It's a hell of a fun release that reminds me of such artists as Yaggfu Front, A Tribe Called Quest and the Lone Catalysts. (CM)

Stereosoul self-titled self-released • If the Barenaked Ladies wrote songs for Weezer, you'd get something very similar to Stereosoul. These cats write quirky lyrics and fun songs, played over some gritty power pop. Weezer's fun but Stereosoul is funner. (SH)

Stereotyperider Under The Influence Suburban Home • This is the first in a series of Under The Influence releases coming from Suburban Home, featuring bands covering songs of artists they find influential. Stereotyperider opens the series with an amazing collection of seven songs, covering, in order, The Cure, Archers of Loaf, Fugazi, The Pixies, Seaweed, Descendents and Quicksand. I'm not usually a fan of covers, but Stereotyperider does an absolutely bang-up job. While I'm impressed with how well they cover the songs, they've managed to put their own spin on each track – not mutilating the already genius songs, but altering them just enough that you're not hearing a carbon copy. Not only is the skill with which they perform the songs exceptional, but the diversity of bands they selected makes this a very cool release. (CM)

Stu Walker Theft, Arson, Vice, Murder and Death Odd Halo Recordings • This debut by Boston heavy rock scene veteran Nick Ziampello has a sound that is far removed from that which he has been around for years. Using Big Band samples and female vocals that belong in the 1920's, he creates a unique style all his own. (AL)

Superstar Jet Jaguar Digital Tears Day By Day Entertainment • GM Grimm has taken on the title as Superstar Jet Jaguar for this release, which features production from J-Zone, Looie II, Zero Point and others laying out jazzy, sonic beats. Unfortunately for Grimm's alter ego, Jet Jaguar is not even the one that stands out here. Other than strong showings on tracks like "Dr. Death" and "The Way," Jet's basic flow and simple monotone delivery produces a sub par album. Jihad and Su-Ann Ortiz appear, but check for the spoken word pieces delivered by Def Poetry Jam artist Monte Smith. (JC)

Systems Officer self-titled Ace Fu Records • Remember Three Mile Pilot? How about Pinback? You do? Me too, they were great huh? Who's this I'm listening to now you ask? Well it's the guy with the long name that started both of those bands. Is it good? No. It is great. Crisp and fresh pop songs with hints of electronic bleeps and bloops here and there; this record is a definite continuation from Pinback. System's Officer is Armistead Burwell Smith IV's (a.k.a. Zach, no I don't know how it works to Zach either) first entirely solo project. Simple rhythms and parts are layered, added and tweaked until a chorus of sounds is created to make up a beautiful debut album. If you liked Pinback then you will like this. (MC)

Takaru There can be only none Alone Records • Takaru are from Northern California and feature members of Funeral Diner and Ruhaeda. They play ultimategnarcore with a hint of angular resonance. The vocals and guitar are very much like that of Botch and that's not a bad thing. Tracks three and seven really stood out to me; so go buy this album. It rules. (RP)

Taxi Chain Smarten Up! NorthernBlues Music • A dominant blues-rock presence is overshadowed by the Celtic, jazz and country tones on this Taxi Chain release, possessing the sounds of a bagpipe, horn and stand-up bass. With traditional and original instrumental songs along with tales about Memphis and busted relations, a solid soundscape provides a little something for everyone to enjoy. (JC)

Team Shadetek Burnerism Warp Records • Team Shadetek are a bit schizophrenic when it comes to their sound. They combine the experimental structures of Autechre and Aphex Twin with the slice Śem dice Śem approach to hip hop favored by Prefuse 73. This is the musical equivalent of graffiti. (AL)

The Academy The Academy LLR Recordings • Fans of Hoobastank will totally dig The Academy. Personally, I dig them more than Hoobastank because they mix it up more. They're not using the scripted rock radio recipe like that other band I mentioned. The Academy throws in some punk hooks, some hints of hardcore, too. They freshen things up. This is a six-song EP that could lead to big things from this band. "In Our Defense" is a standout track. (SH)

The Blam Caveat Emptor Mootron Records • This NYC quartet has some Strokes vibe going on but they more closely resemble a Pink Floyd/Radiohead thing to me. Track four, "How Did the Flies Get In?" is beautiful and ethereal sounding. It has lush layers and just begs you to turn out the lights and stare into the darkness. The next song, "It's Not Personal," picks things up a bit and then they get back into that Velvet Underground vibe on "Writing on the Wall." This is slowly growing on me. (SH)

The Blinding Light The Ascension Attempt Deathwish Records • Let me start the review this way: Slayer, Anthrax (new), Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage. Still with me? Very well then, let me tell you about The Blinding Light, the latest bland to attempt to forcefully puncture your ear drums via CD. This is heavy, fast and loud and is not for sissies or people with weak tickers. It's ferocious but the songs have some great bridges and hooks. "Ammunition" and "Light" will wear you out. (SH)

The Boxing Lesson Radiation Send Me Your Head Records • Slow and moody, this disc is a dreamy walk through surreal worlds. Not gloomy or dark, it weaves its way from beginning to end like an old Pink Floyd disc might. Some really beautiful melodies and soaring sounds combine to create a good disc. Seven songs and 34 minutes make this disc a little short, but it is an enjoyable 34 minutes. (MK)

The Capsules Someone For Everyone Urinine Records • Remember Juliana Hatfield? This sounds like someone who may have listened to a lot of her vocals. Mellow pop indie rock layered with female vocals. Distorted guitar and Pohgohish vocals. Overall the music is not bad, along the lines of JeJune varying with faster and slower melodies, harder and softer moments. At times the vocals can be a tad on the annoying side, but they have an appeal at moments when they seem to fit perfectly. (MP)

The CatDesigners Strange Little Creatures Googlie Mooglie • Imagine Morrissey as the front man for The Dead one minute and David Bowie with Trent Reznor the next and you might get the idea what CatDesigner may sound like. At times trippy and psychedelic, at times rocking out or mellowing out, this release is creative to the point that not only is the music capturing, but the stories through these songs add pure substance as well. Expect a better album than their debut Chemical Jazz and more than enough experimentation. (JC)

The Cheaters Club A Week In The Life Of The Cheaters Club self-released • This is a two-piece project of electronic music. Keyboards, samples and drum machines still can't make this good. This is the three song hold-over for the full length release the band is currently working on. It just kind of drones on and on, with not a whole lot of variation. I wish I could compare this to something, but it's in a category of suck all on its own. (MP)

The Citizens Are We There Yet? Yellow Ball Records • I won't lie; I took this CD because I thought it would be laughable. The cover is a picture of the four N.Y. band members wearing trench coats, black derbies, and top hats, one is even holding an umbrella, and it's not raining. Trust me you have no idea how much it pains me to say this, but this is actually a decent record. The singer has heard one too many Jeff Buckley records, but that aside I hear some serious Beatles influence. I'm not an idiot, I understand that if you play either guitar, drums or bass then you are most likely in some form or fashion influenced by the Beatles, but these guys pull it off fairly well. If you never told me who they were but just played me the record, I'd believe they might have been a British invasion band. A word of advice, they need to lose the trench coats and questionable head-ware, but otherwise, this is a good CD. (MC)

The Deep Pocket Three self-titled self-released • I really like this disc. These three guys can write and play. They have a funky feel to all their songs that reminds me vaguely of a Blind Melon, Spin Doctor sort of thing. This is the kind of music that seems destined to get big radio play someday. The songs range from fairly light to strong funk rockers. A really good disc from start to finish. (MK)

The Dying Californian We Are The Birds That Stay Turn Records • The vocals are so annoying at times, it was hard to get past to even enjoy any of the music. While Neutral Milk Hotel is mentioned in their press release, I could maybe see fans of NMH liking this band. There is country influenced indie rock in their music, but I'm not sure what to label the influence of the vocals, and I'm not sure I want to put that label on anyone. (MP)

The Envy Corps Soviet Reunion Bi-Fi Records • Very layered and cohesive, this album is a dreary sonic indie rock journey with melodic vocals and a pop approach. With slight instances of experimentation with various instruments and samples, this comes off as an emotional wreck while draining your energy through sorrow-sung songs like "Walls" and "Martyrs (Blood Blood)." (JC)

The Epileptics / Flux of Pink Indians Split CD - Fits and Starts Doctor Strange Records • You know how music changes over the years? Used to be that Journey and Styx were "rock." Now Metallica and Avril Lavine are "rock." It's the same with punk. Now bands like Good Charlotte and Sum 41 claim to be punk. Let me tell you about two bands called The Epileptics and Flux of Pink Indians. THIS is punk. Good Charlotte is laughable. Sum 41 wasn't even born when these two bands were doing their thing, and their thing is punk. REAL punk. Punk played with all disregard for safety and law. It's loud, it's raw and someone probably died while they recorded this. If you want to hear real punk, check this out. (SH)

The Firebird Suite/The Firebird Project Archives Lucid Records • This album is 18 tracks from the days of The Firebird Project and The Firebird Suite. It's what you could call their greatest hits. The Firebird Suite features Christopher Broach (Braid, The Firebird Band) and his brother, Riley Broach. Not surprisingly, this album has many Braid elements vocally and musically. At moments it gets a little poppier than Braid may have ventured toward, but all in all it's good. Some of the songs were recorded with Hum's Matt Talbott in 1997, in the height of Braid's touring. Only a few sold at Braid shows, and none were released, so this is your chance to own a piece of indie rock history. (MP)

The Gamites Antidote Suburban Home Records • The opening track "Dotted Lines" is a solid power-pop rock song that flows like the hair on your head out the window of a moving car. Consistent guitar riffs and a driving energy are fronted by a strong vocal presence and thumping percussion on this release of catchy sounds and melodies. Somehow this disc goes from steady jams to typical radio-ready anthems in no time, with a sound a little to formulated. (JC)

The Hangmen Loteria Acetate Records • Image your favorite "rock and roll superstars" Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne, and Jim Morrison coming together for a finale of "monstrous proportions." The opener's of course being newcomers Jet, The Hives, Hot Water Music, The Darkness, and so forth. If your brain is able to accommodate such an event and the amount of diversity produced within each style, The Hangmen are what you're able to fathom. Combining '80s rock 'n' roll with modern-day garage rock, The Hangmen are the dreams of any 30-year-old trying to modernly grace the presence of their abandoned youth. Simple chorded song structures, reverb guitar effects, and consistently occurring backing vocals bring back the "old" in what is known as old school, and I must salute them. For they rock! (CMax)

The Horror First Blood Parts I & II Chainsaw Safety Records • With 28 tracks in 25 minutes, First Blood Parts I & II captures all of the Horror's recorded work, originally released as two 10" albums. Their old-school inspired hardcore brings to mind D.R.I. before their Crossover album. (AL)

The Hunns Long Legs Disaster Records • The Hunns focus on the up and coming, frantic, flamboyant styles of The Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Sex Pistols, Ramones, etc. Backed by powerful female vocals similar to Brody Armstrong of The Distillers and Pennywise sounding male vocals The Hunns bring you the style of every oi!/punk band within the scene today. However, for their style and it's notorious reputation for being "overdone." The Hunns persist in doing a very fine job and grasping hold of the genre and obtaining it stable and steadily under their belts. Energy, words of anti-establishment, peace, rampant guitar solos, and fulfilling bass lines makes The Hunns a need for any fan of The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, etc. (CMax)

The Hurt Process Drive by Monologue Victory • The Hurt Process formed about two years and released an album shortly after that. They quickly began receiving great reviews and with good reason. Blending hardcore, emo and pop, they are quickly being referred to as one of the UK's greatest new bands. Look for The Hurt Process on the Warped Tour; they will actually be the first U.K. band to be on the list. (NP)

The Judas Cradle Too Bad They're All Dead Eulogy Recordings • The Judas Cradle's debut for Eulogy is as intense as they come. Screamed vocals that don't vary in pitch, arrhythmia-inducing double kick drums and chugging guitar and bass lines. Their brand of metalcore fits well alongside that of As I Lay Dying and Remembering Never. (AL)

The Kicks Hello Hong Kong TVT Records • This is a four-piece pure rock band from Little Rock, Arkansas. The Foo Fighters influence rings throughout the vocal melodies. This is the kind of band I can only imagine has an even more rocking live show to back up this recording. On top of everything, they have the look with cool hair, tight jeans, tattoos and belt buckles. What more could any modern music lover want in a band? There are enough pop elements to make this album catchy, but without sounding like a radio rock band. Although overall I think this is a good mixture of pop rock slower songs and good rock n' roll, there is nothing innovative about this band. But sometimes you just need some good guitar and good hair to match. (MP)

The Martinis Smitten Distracted Records • It's really nice to hear something new from Joey Santiago of The Pixies, especially something this good. Linda Mallari, his wife, and an accomplished musician, have been collaborating on their own since meeting fifteen years ago, but haven't released anything until this point. Linda's vocals are strong and earnest, Joey's guitar is more accomplished, but retains it's same appeal. Power pop at it's finest. (SJM)

The Mattoid Hello Morphius Records • The Mattoid, originally from Finland, is an imposing physical presence, to gauge from the photos on this CD. He is certainly a likewise musical presence. I can best describe his music as bizarre, but that doesn't do it justice. It is evocative of Velvet Underground as interpreted by a large, bald and bearded, odd Scandinavian. There is a strong undercurrent of humor that elevates the proceedings. (SJM)

The Nanobot Auxiliary Ballet self-titled Ta Da Records • This album claims not to be meant for recalling some "idyllic electropop sound." Unfortunately, that's exactly what it does, with its video game sounding keyboards, kooky beats and cold, detached vocals. Personally, I think it would have been better as an instrumental album. (AL)

The Negatones Snacktronica Melody Lanes Records • There are moments on this five song EP where one could swear they were listening to some Mr. Bungle b sides. The fourth track "Conflict Error" sends off this reminiscent vibe in particular. Less than eleven minutes of chaos fill this cd, but nonetheless the instrumental skill involved is remarkable. This NYC four-piece waste little time filling the void with the almost confusing opener "And So My Troubles Began." Here we have musical anarchy at its best. The Negatones' knack for such chaos could even turn the head of modern vocal legend Mike Patton, who really is the only thing missing from a crazy record such as this one. These boys stirred up some press by debuting at #2 for most added rotation in the US and Canada and remained in the CMJ top 100 for five weeks reaching #45 in 2003. Keep an eye out for these guys. (SP)

The One AM Radio A Name Writ in Water Level Plane • This second full-length of a project by Hrishikesh Hirway, who writes and sings over sullen works of slow, dreamy electronica. He employs very lush samples, including guitar lines and violins, to generate a bubble of somber emotion around the listener. It slowly rocked me into a mellow trance in which I left the world behind for a few minutes, and when that happens, I know I've found a great electronica record. (DP)

The Orphins Drowning Cupid Goodnight Records • Unique, different, mind numbing, these are all things that came to mind when listening to this CD. The music is definitely unique and intriguing. It is a mixture of noisy guitar, danceable rhythms and hooky bass lines. The singing is not a direct rip off of anything, at least that I know of. If I had to compare them to other bands I'd probably sprinkle references to the Pixies, Talking Heads, and even some Oingo Boingo. Now for the mind numbing part, I understand that there is definitely a movement against the whole angst ridden emotional singer/songwriter thing, but "I like to sit and watch my devilduckŠas long as he sits and as long as he stares, I stare back at him." I'm assuming they are trying to take the emphasis off of the lyrics and shift it more to the music, but to me it ends up detracting from what otherwise is some brilliant musical work. (MC)

The Psychedelic Avengers and the curse of the universe Fonfundvierzig • This album starts out with the beats and chugging guitars that define the sludge rock sound, but things quickly change pace. Canned beats speed things up, then disappear completely, replaced by spacey, atmospheric sounds with no structure whatsoever. Other sounds are explored, and the diversity of sound can be attributed to the presence of multiple artists, often on the same track. Treat this album as a soundtrack to a sexed up science fiction movie, and you'll like it just fine. (AL)

The Revolutionary Hydra The PEEFs Skrocki Records • Sometimes the honest, sincere feeling you get from a band is enough to absorb you in their sound. That's the case with The Revolutionary Hydra's latest release, a 10-track indie rock album that is chock full of creativity. At times, the sound is a bit quirky, pouring out poppy melodies with simple, somewhat shy vocals. But the Hydra is not afraid to turn up the feedback and kick up the tempo here and there. The result is a catchy, indie rock gem of an album with a heartfelt, almost laid-back, feel, but packing enough punch to prevent it from becoming boring. (CM)

The Spectacular Fantastic Vortex of Vacancy Ionik Recordings • Poppy and strangely wonderful. This disc combines wildly varied influences into a totally new sound. Pop synth sounds weave in and out of this musical mix. Erasing the line between pop and folk and rock, this disc is a great listening experience. (MK)

The Squatting Toad Band Internalized Dialog self-released • Here is a band that you will never hear on the radio, and that is a damn shame. This is good music. In the singer/songwriter style, but hepped up a bit. Delicate and floating guitar work contrasts starkly with the gravelly voice of Daryl McGawan. The music is a strange mix of styles that combine to make something new and utterly enjoyable. (MK)

The Strap Ons Punk On Punk Crime Valiant Death Records • I guess simplistic punk is in these days. Poppy four-chord punk songs are always fun, they make me happy at least. There's one thing I don't understand, and maybe it's just me, but if you are going to be a singer, of any band, you might want to be able to sing. I have nothing against bad vocals, just as long as it has some essence of style to it. The singer for The Strap-Ons just sounds drunk and incoherent, much like our head of state. Over all, it sounds wholesome. I like the instrumentations, but the vocals need to change. (CMax)

The Ukrainians Istoriya – The Best of The Ukrainians Ominum • Istoriya (history in Ukrainian) is a greatest hits collection, which includes 20 of their best tracks. Their multi-instrument sound includes accordion, violin, and mandolin in a highly frenzied sound that is impossible to sit still through. Don't be fooled by the traditional sound, since they cover songs by the Smiths, the Velvet Underground, and the Sex Pistols, albeit with the lyrics sung in Ukrainian. (AL)

The W.P.P. Baam! Jaam! Substandard • Like The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The W.P.P. exudes political angst in noisy, angry rock. The music is not perfect, and that is the idea. This EP packs five songs in ten minutes, and at no time do they slow down. (AL)

Thee Silver Mountain Reveries Pretty Little Lightning Paw E.P. Constellation Records • First as A Silver Mt. Zion, then as The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, and now as Thee Silver Mountain Reveries, this group of musicians shows their tendency to evolve musically, from a fully instrumental collection of hypnotic loops, to a more vocal driven group. They still rely on tape loops and other effects to create a hypnotic atmosphere, so old fans should will grow along with them. (AL)

This is a Process of a Still Life self-titled Firefly Sessions Recordings • This debut album by This is a Process of a Still Life is comparable to the work of the Mercury Program (without the xylophones), Tortoise or Dianogah. Its beautiful instrumental compositions feature intricate guitar work smoothed out by bells and keyboards. (AL)

Three Happenin Guys When Are They Going To Start Acting Crazy? Happenin Records • A pretty solid rock sound comes from this band that carries heavy acoustic guitars and feverish energy to plow through an album of pure emotions. With sonic effects and a grind it out attitude, this release starts subtle and gains momentum through a more progressive stage before changing moods and managing to not come off repetitious. Along the lines of most of the new bands updating the '70s classic rock sounds, different musical realms are explored while staying true to what they do, giving this release a few legs to stand on and making it worth checking out. (JC)

To Rococo Rot Hotel Morgen Domino Recording Co. • For Hotel Morgen, To Rococo Rot wanted to make a less electronic album and incorporate more instruments to their sound, using Wurlitzers, grand piano, vibraphone and bass as well as an array of keyboards. However, they soon reverted to what makes them great and thus the album is quite electronic. Lazy beats short clicks and pretty melodies reminded me or Two Lone Swordsmen and Manitoba for some reason. (AL)

Too Hip For The Room What Am I Doing On The Moon? Too Hip For The Room • Clever lyrics and unquestionably good musicianship cannot save this album from it's own precociousness. There are some interestingly odd covers of famous tunes, and overall the sentiment is appreciated. (SJM)

Towers of Hanoi self-titled Barracuda Sound • Featuring former members of the Appalachian Drinking League, Towers of Hanoi play a powerful brand of rock that is equally rooted in classic rock as it is in punk. The four songs on their debut EP are solid melodic rock, but the dramatic, operatic vocals don't quite seem to fit with the music. Perhaps it's just that I'm not used to hearing this type of vocal delivery atop a strong rock foundation. It will be interesting to see how Towers of Hanoi develop, as they seem to possess a great deal of talent; it's now a matter of finding the right combination of these elements. (CL)

Tracy + The Plastics Culture For Pigeons Troubleman Unlimited • Selling herself as a lesbian-feminist video artist, Wynne Greenwood sings sultry songs over keyboard created drum and bass loops to create this collection of "electronic art/new media punk" music. Sounding similar in nature to combining the deliveries of Poe and Mazzy Starr with the influence of Devo, the overall atmosphere gets compelling in a conceptual kind of way. A bonus DVD comes with this disc that includes two videos that accentuate the type of artist Greenwood is. (JC)

Two Lone Swordsmen From the Double Gone Chapel Warp Records • For this album, Andrew Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood wanted to get away from electronica. Therefore, Tenniswood picked up a guitar, Weatherall a mic, they got some friends to fill in with drums, and started a rock band. The result is a perfectly listenable, but not outstanding rock album with slight touches of electronica and some references to rockabilly. (AL)

Various Artists A Warm BreathŠAnd A Scream Innocent World Records • There is a nice selection of diverse, mellowed-out and adrenaline-filled indie rock on this compilation from Innocent Words Records, a label that doubles as a magazine. With a mixture of sounds that gets drama-fueled with Sublime style deliveries alongside droning rock repetitions, a lot is wrapped into this release. Standout tracks come from the likes of Lorenzo Goetz with Czar Absolute, Veruca Salt, Triple Whip, Rachael Sage and Luck Mulholland. (JC)

Various Artists Bring You To Your Knees ­ A Tribute To Guns And Roses Law Of Inertia • Pulling off a tribute album is difficult. The songs can't be rehashes of the originals because then you may as well listen to the originals instead. This compilation avoids that fate, with tracks by Death By Stereo, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Beautiful Mistake, Most Precious Blood and Vaux giving a hardcore/metal/punk flavor to GNR's best songs. (AL)

Various Artists If It Plays ... in Peoria, It Will Play Anywhere Thinker Thought Records • Thinker Thought Records serves up an eclectic mix of sounds and styles on this 19-song compilation. There's a little something here for everyone: the sparse country of William Elliott Whitmore, the full-on sonic bludgeoning from Minsk, the Great Redneck Hope, and Paint Out the Light, the unadulterated indie pop of the Lesser Birds of Paradise, and a cool cover of the Magnetic Fields' "No One Will Ever Love You" by the Velvet Teen. Try it, you'll like it. (CL)

Various Artists Quincy Shanks Sampler #5 Quincy Shanks • Another sampler of Quincy Shanks offerings has arrived with a few unreleased songs that may have be better unreleased. Tracks from Black Print, Faction of the Fox, The 4-Squares, Tricky Dick, and Biscayne are all here, but if you haven't already heard any of what's on this disc, don't be in a rush to track it down. (JC)

Various Artists Record Of Shadows Infinite Chainsaw Safety Records • This collection of post-modern, post-rock, post-whatever drone tracks feels like a soundtrack to scenes from mystery movies. No real songs exist among the ten tracks, just soundscapes and atmospheric recordings from Torum, Unearthly Trance, Amon, Francisco Lopez and others. (AL)

Various Artists Rock Against Bush Fat Wreck Chords • This is brilliant on concept alone. Forget that it has 26 tracks of incredible punk rock and a separate DVD loaded with political films, shorts and music videos (from Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, Strike Anywhere and NOFX). As compilations go, this is about as good as they get. Artists featured include Sum 41, Alkaline Trio, The Get Up Kids, Ministry, Descendents, Jello Biafra with DOA, Strike Anywhere, Pennywise, NOFX, Social Distortion, and Less Than Jake featuring Billy Bragg. And that's just a short list of who's included. Of the 26 tracks, 18 are rare or unreleased. (CM)

Various Artists Shite 'n' Onions Volume 1 Ominum • Man, I wish I had a pint of Guinness right about now. Listening to these 15 bands play their Celtic/punk tunes makes me long for the frothy dark beverage. Bands include The Tossers, The Mahones, Nogoodnix, Croppies, Bates Motel and the Spunk Lads. (AL)

Various Artists The Emo Diaries Chapter 10 - The Hope I Hide Inside Deep Elm • This is the 10th chapter in the Emo Diaries series. These albums are all really great and showcase many up and coming emo/indie rock bands. There are a few standout tracks on this album and the rest are all right, too. The tracks I really liked were track four and track 11. If you're a big fan of emo definitely check out this affordable comp; you won't be disappointed. (RP)

Various Artists This is How I Kill My Tears Deep Elm Records • Featuring all the bands that went on tour for Deep Elm in 2004, this comp features 20 excellent tracks to represent the label. Desert City Soundtrack, Slowride, Benton Falls, Sounds Like Violence, Fire Divine and others donate two tracks each. The best part is that this comp is FREE at (AL)

Various Artists This is Your Establishment Lorelei Records • This will be my easiest review. You're a fool if you don't buy this (unless you hate punk). There are 25 – count them – 25 songs on here. From the kick-ass opener by Dynamite Boy to songs from Yellowcard, Good Riddance, Glasseater, Eleventeen and Slick Shoes, this is a CD you must own if you want new, fresh punk tunes. (SH)

Various Artists Tracks And Fields Kill Rock Stars • This is the second in Kill Rock Stars's trilogy of compilations, which started with 2002's Fields and Streams. It features 43 previously unreleased tracks by their artists, including Antietam, His Name is Alive, Xiu Xiu, Jucifer, The King Cobra, Semiautomatic, C Average and a bunch more. (AL)

Various Artists TRR50 Thank You Temporary Residence Ltd. • To celebrate their 50th release in 8 years as a label, Temporary Residence Ltd. Put together one of the better compilations I have heard in a while. Consisting mostly of instrumental songs, the eleven tracks feature artists, most of whom I had never heard from before (although I was familiar with Rumah Sakit's work). The songs lean toward indie/math/post-rock, mostly hypnotic medium to fast tempo pieces that had me entranced from beginning to end. (AL)

Via Cora Amelia Cyclorama Records • Trent Antony and Wayne McGraw formed Via Cora, even though they live 1900 miles apart. They sent the tracks back and forth until they were finished, but you'd never know that, because the instrumental smooth jazz tracks sound as tight as they can be. This is Sunday afternoon relaxing music. (AL)

Victims Of Modern Age Channels Like Capillaries Universal Warning Records • Badass guitar riffs! Maybe that's not the right way to put it, making it sound like some 80's thrasher band. This four piece from Lafayette, Louisiana plays tight, very creative indie/mathy rock. With unexpected changes and frequent stops, the energy carries through every instrument to the vocals. Their music is somewhere between No Knife and Fugazi, and then add a little Braid for that extra touch. (MP)

Washington Social Club Catching Looks Badman Recording Co. • Power pop from D.C. It's catchiness gives way to some Weezerish songs, but the harmonies reminded me of Mates of State. They also go Britpop in songs like, "Breaking the Dawn," and '80s pop on tracks like "Dancing Song." Very catchy pop rock that you can shake your hips to. (MP)

Wax Mannequin The Price Coqi Records • Taking rock back to the rock-opus days of Freddie Mercury, Meatloaf and Tom Waites comes Wax Mannequin. Songs about heroes, villains, love and disease reside within an album of scruffy vocals delivered with a vengeance, in an 80's arena-rock tribute kind of way. Outdated and outdone, Wax is a bit sarcastic and weird, for fans of Ween, Andrew WK and Syd Barrett. (JC)

West We Feel Better Now Two Dupes Records • Claremont Taylor left his New York City home and traveled west to Portland to learn the ways of the grunge.  He took this knowledge back to his homeland and formed West with his brother Wellington and some guy who isn't in the band anymore.  Peter Rosch joined up on the traps, and West as we now know it was born.  While West has a bit of that Pixies-Nirvana proto-grunge thing happening, they at times sound like a more threatening '80s modern/college rock band, like a more menacing version of Echo & the Bunnymen or the Church. (CL) 

Whirlaway Pompano Whirlaway • I was wondering if the album title Pompano referred to this humble reviewer's old stomping grounds, and yes, sure enough, they hail from South Florida! This is the quartet's first LP, and they ask for their CD to be filed under "dreampop," which appropriately describes their lush, psychedelic tones. Guitars bending to and fro give the music a somewhat intangible quality, with fuzzy, half-heard lyrics sung softly on it, though there is definitely a calculated structure. It's a great low-key mix of glowing warmth. (DP)

Wicked Gift Stained Glass Scars self-released • I'm seriously considering a road trip to SC just to see this band. I'm absolutely confounded by what this quartet must be like live. For starters, the name "Wicked Gift" is not fitting of their style. I was thinking metal, hardcore, something heavy and garage-esque. Nay. This is likeŠumŠhellŠI don't know. I suggest they change their name to "The Quirks." They've very quirky. You've got a guy that sort of sounds like the lead singer of the B-52s, not so much his voice, but the way he talks rather than sings. There's a hot chick playing violin, and a very steady, heavy rhythm section. They have some Coors influence maybe? The Proclaimers? Just go listen. (SH)

Wicked Immigrant Reunion of Cynics Friendly Psychics Music • John Wenzel and Chris Jones mailed zip discs to each other over the last half of 2003 from Dayton, Ohio to Denver, Colorado to create this folkish-emo sounding record. Only problem is that each track contains the exact same acoustic guitar tone as the previous one. The vocals from time to time have a watered-down 60's psychedelic feel to them, almost in the vain of an early Appleseed Cast record. "Yours Underwater" is a direct representation of this sound. The occasional accompaniment of cello and piano on the record help out tremendously to escape the trapped sound of the acoustic. (SP)

Will Halliday Dusk Laughing Outlaw Records • Will Halliday was a senior consultant for elite corporate giant Andersen and left it all to pursue his dreams in writing music. With a sound that ranges from Tears for Fears to the modern music of Canadian Corey Hart, Halliday's music is hypnotic in its delivery with electronic dreamy beats fronted by watered-down vocals with U2ish sounding delayed guitars. This album is perfect to pop in and unwind to on a quiet Sunday afternoon. "Room with No View" shows off his U2 influence in particular. (SP)

Wither Breakthrough Dark Reflections Music • My initial reaction to Wither's Breakthrough album was "These guys want to be the next Tool." While their sound can be compared to Tool, it goes further than mere imitation. The vocals are at times deeper and more diverse, switching from melodic to near death metal growls. Also, their use of keyboards fills out their hard rock metal sound. (AL)

XFilesX Excruciation Trash Art! • This album packs 22 tracks into 15 minutes of pure old school hardcore influenced destruction. With caustic lyrics and pounding beats, they take no prisoners and leave no one behind alive. This is not for the faint of heart. (AL)

In alphabetical order. Please write them.

19 North Records,
5 Rue Christine,
Ace Fu Records,
Acetate Records,
Aezra Records,
Alone Records,
Alternative Tentacles Records,
Archenemy Record Company,
Badman Recording Co.,
Barracuda Sounds,
Bay By Day Entertainment,
Benchmark Records,
Bi-fi Records,
Blackball Records,
Bloodshot Records,
Blue Moon Harem,
BYO Records,
Chainsaw Safety Records,
China White,
Chris Katris,
Constellation Records,
Crucial Blast Records,
Cube Records, no contact info available
Cyclorama Records,
Dark Reflections Music, no contact info available
David Aaron,
Deathwish Records,
Deep Elm Records,
Definitive Jux,
Disaster Records,
Distorted Penguins,
Distracted Records,
Domino Recording Co.,
Double Plus Good Records,
Double Zero Records,
Dr. Strange Records,
Echelon Productions,
Echo Park Music,
ESL Music,
Eulogy Recordings,
Fat Beats Records,
Fat Wreck,
FatCat Records Ltd.,
Fenway Recordings,
Firefly Sessions Recordings,
Fistolo Records,
Force MP,
Freak Parade,
Friendly Psychics,
Future Farmer Recordings,
Glurp Records,
Go-Kart Records,
Gold Standard Labs,
Goodnight Records,
Googlie Mooglie,
GSR Music,
Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records,
Heavy G Records,
Hillbilly Devilspeak,
Imperial Fuzz,
Initial Records,
Innocent Words Records,
Invisible Hands,
Ionik Recordings,
Jade Tree Records,
Jen Gloeckner,
Join The Team Player,
Kill Rock Stars,
Kitchen Whore Records,
Koch Entertainment,
Kung Fu Records,
Lab Ratz,
Laughing Outlaw,
Lauren Gifford (El8ed),
Law Of Inertia,
Le Concorde,
Level Plane,
LLR Records,
Lobster Records,
Lorelei Records,
Losing Blueprint Records,
Lucid Records,
Luna Music,
Manic Ride,
Melody Lanes,
Mindless Records,
Mindset Records,
Minor Miracle Records,
Monosyllabic Records,
Morr Music,
Mr. Knees Records, no address
Mush Records,
Mutant Press Records,
My Pal God Records,
Narnack Records,
Nature Sounds,
Ninja Tune Records,
No Idea Records,
North of Reason,
NorthernBlues Music,
Number One Fan,
Odd Halo Recordings,
Orange Twin Records,
Output Recordings,
Plug Research,
Post 436 Records,
Princess Records,
Quincy Shanks,
Redstar Records, 244 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2716, New York, NY 10001
Reflection Records,
Rogue Forty,
Ropeadope Records,
Saddle Creek,
Send Me Your Head Records
Side One Dummy,
sKamper Music,
Skrocki Records,
Sonic Boom Recordings,
Sonic Unyon Recording Company,
Sound and Culture,
Springman Records,
SPV Recordings,
Sub Pop Records,
Substandard Records,
Suburban Home,
Suburban Noize,
Surfdog Records,
Ta Da Records, no contact info available
Temporary Residence Ltd.,
The Blam,
The Citizens,
The Deep Pocket Three,
The Means,
The Self-Starter Foundation,
The Squatting Toad Band, no contact info available
Thick Records,
Thinker Thought Records,
TKO Records,
Too Hip For The Room,
Trash Art!,
Triple Crown Records,
Troubleman Unlimited Records,
Turn Records,
TVT Records,
Two Dupes Records,
Two Sheds Music,
Universal Warning Records,
Unkee Doon Sounds,
Up Above Records,
URININE Records,
Valiant Death Records,
Verdict Records,
Victory Records,
Volcom Entertainment,
Wampus Multimedia,
Warp Records,
Wicked Gift,
Wide Hive,

Music reviews from past issues: