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C*nts – “Eat My Nuts” CD 16/46:01
With the garage craze in full swing you would have though that the C*nts would have been caught in said web, since they’ve been releasing garage-rock goodies for a couple of decades now, though admittedly their last few records didn’t quite put the new crop to shame. Their latest however shows what they’re capable of on a good day. There’s a bit more of a psych-surf element than I remember this time around (or maybe someone’s been listening to some classic Bevis Frond waxings). Comes with six bonus tracks from OOP releases, but the main album is where the meat is. David
@ Disturbing Records

C*nts - "La La La" CD 17/60:44
The cover picture, featuring two pretty, pink cartoon poodles fucking, rocks. The music on the disc does too. Fancy that! "Action Girls" is a finger-poppin' ode to the female sex. "Why Don't We Do It" has an organ driven surf sound that is so, so nifty. "Oh Yeah" is the perfect song for a 1960s gogo bar. "Custom Dollrod" is just as cool as the name would imply. Bottom line, the C*nts sound like a Russ Meyer film looks. Figure that one out! Mark
@ Disturbing, 3238 So. Racine, Chicago, IL 60608

Cabaret Voltaire – “The Original Sound of Sheffield ‘78/’82” CD 14/65:04
A retrospective of selected single and album tracks from the Sheffield crew, back when they were still playing with cut-ups and bleak soundscapes (reflecting the bleakness of the industrial society surrounding them) and being mentioned in the same breaths as Throbbing Gristle, and ending only right when they were just starting to incorporate electro-funk into their arsenal (and long before they used it to paint themselves into an artistic corner). There aren’t any unreleased tracks here to draw in the already converted, and I’m not sure I wouldn’t use “Living Legends” (which focuses on the early essential singles with some goodies not found here) as a proper introduction instead, but this CD does feature some primo tunes (especially the classic “Nag Nag Nag”) and covers a wider timespan than “Legends”. So if you want to get a taste of how inventive and crucial this band could be, this is as good a place to go as any. David
@ www.mute.com

Cabaret Voltaire – “The Original Sound of Sheffield ’83 – ‘87” CD 10/74:39
Not to be confused with their similar-titled collection of earlier material, this is a collection of twelve inch versions of. While admittedly there was a potential of the folks behind Nag Nag Nag tackling beats, they all too quickly degenerated into faceless white-boy electro-funk. (though at least we’re spared the grislier post-’87 material) Still, if you’re only of those folks who’s been scouring eBay and record bins across the land for these 12” versions (and I know they exist) then this is the place to go. David
@ www.superfectarecordings.com

Calibretto - "Dead by Dawn" CD 7/23:19
A great little disc that is far from happy, but also far from depressing. No mellow droning guitars here. If you could somehow combine Violent Femmes' "Hallowed Ground" with Cursive's "Ugly Organ" you just might end up with something like this. A little bit rockabilly, a little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll, and a little bit Stephen King novel. Amen. Sharon
@ http://standardrecording.com

California Snow Story – “One Good Summer” CD 5/22:15
Though these days it’s hard to open a glossy rock mag and not find a reference to the New York rock scene, just a fistful of years ago those same pundits were laying similar hyperbolic praise on the Scottish hamlet of Glasgow. It made sense – Belle & Sebastian were at the peak of their powers, and dizzying releases by groups like the Delgados and Life Without Buildings were enough to fuel theories of tainted water or too-sweet air. If California Snow Story’s “One Good Summer” EP had been another release in that great flurry, it might be enough to provoke a mass exodus. Providing five fantastic pop songs, California Snow Story proves that sedate, relaxed music can still be compelling and inspiring. The songs are plaintive and leisurely, all twinkling guitars and peaceful vocals. Anna Barrek and David Skirving possess warm, winsome voices, and when they combine (as they do on the chorus of the magical “Snow in Summer”), the results induce euphoria. Quiet, placid, and relentlessly tuneful, California Snow Story prove that, though the spotlight may be off Glasgow, the magic is far from gone. J Edward
@ www.shelflife.com MP3 Download

California Speedbag - “The Fire of Misery” CD 12/35:33
This is gritty, grubby, grimy country rock/ honky-tonk stomp from, among others, a couple of old Cleveland punk rockers. Accordingly, there are songs here about whiskey, open blouses, God, white trash and broken hearts. These guys are funny when they want to be – one track revolves around the refrain “Am I on your shitlist, Jesus?” – and they can also be oddly poignant: “The Biggest Truckstop in the World” is a superb and heartfelt song. Very cool stuff. Kevin
@ www.smogveil.com

Call and Response – “Winds Take No Shape” CD 10/37:53
Let me get this out of the way up front – both in record and live form, I previously HATED Call and Response. Nothing they had produced interested me in the least, and actually pissed me off sometimes. Now I don’t know if I’ve changed or the band has or both, but this new record is pretty damn good. Gone are the dancey-disco beats of the past, which is probably what bothered me so much previously, and in their place is musical maturity and a great toned down sound. Their songs sound a lot like a female-fronted version of the Czars now, with a little Cardigans pop and Stereolab drone thrown in there as well. I’m really finding that the more I listen to this the better a like it…a real “grower” if you will. My whole world view on C&R has changed now, and for the better – this album is so enjoyable I’m willing to firmly entrench myself in the pro-C&R camp…and just pretend that first album never happened. Jake
@ www.callandresponsemusic.com/

Calvin, Don’t Jump! – “A Way with Birds” CD 16/41:57
J. Kirk Pleasant fronts this group, as well as plays many of the instruments, including guitar, clarinet, trombone, ukulele, dulcimer, and accordion (I once heard a great quote that said a gentleman is someone who knows how to play an accordion, but doesn’t). There’s also a viola, grand piano, and more standard r’n’r instruments (including a standup bass!). This is beyond arty, it is headlong into avante gard. On one side, the songs are nice pop tunes with a high level of dissonance, and others sound like the Portsmith Symphonia, or an orchestra tuning. Either way, they make it sound charming rather than annoying, for which I am grateful, ‘cause in the wrong hands, this could be fatal in both directions (if it didn’t kill me, I’d want to kill it). They also successfully weave real sounds (a baby, people in an echoing public setting) into the mix. With this many cuts and styles (within its framework), it’s easy to find comfort, if you’re inclined to this sound, which makes it hard to pick a “fave.” Considering the smoothness and lack of “rave-up-ness`” I could see putting this on during a dinner, but I’m sure it would raise some eyebrows. Cool. RBF
@ www.hhbtm.com MP3 Download

Campfire Girls – “Delongpre” CD 13/51:42
The CG came this close to signing in the Weezer-period A&R feeding frenzy, and then broke up. In this regrouping, they’ve gained a fourth member, who helps fill out their sound. I can understand why they were considered, ‘cause they have all the elements of mainstream, including being loud and quirky enough, and having a strong lead vocalist. While the production could use some tweaking (such as putting the bottom rhythm just a bit more upfront), they obviously have what it takes and fit the formula. RBF
@ www.hellmoo.com

Can Utility - "Power 0.42" CD 6/17:39
Chunky angular post punk guitar rock with male and female vocals that alternate between lush and layered and screamo stuff. There are plenty of influences, including psych and hardcore edginess, but nothing so over the top that you either want to toss it off like a frisbee, nor does it engage you to want to hear more. They fall so "in the middle" of enough styles that just about everyone can find something to like here, but then that's also part of the problem with a release like this; you find one song to get into, then it disappears into something that doesn't quite catch your fancy in the same way. I like their chances though; they've got some great dynamics going on in places and the vocals pairing, where the male and female vocals play off each other, is top notch. Definitely worth keeping an ear open for future releases. Steve
@ www.popfaction.com

Candies – “Dense Waves Make Your Eyes Wider” CD 8/25:38
This Northern Italian trio has become the talk of the country’s indie rock scene with it’s toothy brand of indie punk that has a fiberglass noise rock sound ala June of 44 or Unwound. The band’s sophomore release is more rock and less ambient than past efforts, with the keyboards worked into the structure as opposed to sitting on top of it. The fusion is successful when attempted, and bodes well for the band if it runs with this idea and doesn’t dwell in the past. After all, the early Unwound indie sound has been done before. The Candies have a chance to give this style new life, perhaps a European touch. Xtian
@ www.candies.it

Candy Coloured Clowns - “Glory” CD 3/10:39
Looking like the wedding band from hell, Candy Coloured Clowns offer their own mix of 60's rock, They Might be Giants-esque rock and ‘50s sentiment on their latest E.P. When they belt out “this place ain’t Hollywood -this town is so damn cold” in the opening title track, they cast themselves well as the over-achieving nerds who bemoan the lack of exposure for their band while doing nothing to change the situation. On “The Kids are Really going to Love You`” they confirm it, railing against the sameness of today’s music while never admitting that they’d take the record company money in a second to get their jangly pop songs on the radio. In between is “Sad Satellite`” the perfect slice of singer-songwriter rock for those who’d love to buy the new David Gray album if David Gray weren’t involved. Overall, a competent debut, but you wonder if they have the chops to expand on this sound. Ryan
@ www.busstoplabel.com

Canterbury Effect – “Every Piece of Me” CD 5/19:35
Hey, this is decent post-punk. Lots of screaming, and the music is straight ahead without giving up any quality. Even when they don’t scream, as in the beginning of “Future Gas Station Attendants” (great name, by the way), Alan’s (?) vocals come through the mix in an effective, raspy way. And at 5 songs, it ends at a perfect time. I’m looking forward to them touring to Brooklyn. Even the booklet is interesting (though following the lyrics is a pain). RBF
@ www.plutorecords.com

Cansecos - s/t CD 12/41:10
Laptop pop from Toronto a la The Notwist and Magnetic Fields, with literate (and frequently over-crowded) vocals. Opener "Are You Lonesome Tonight" morphs from an unassuming Sunday drive to a break-happy mid-section, and back to a sleeper again. Lots of aural surprises and left-field instrumentation, some bordering on glitchy confusion, but always exquisitely structured. Acoustic guitars frequently get molested by bizarre samples, though the overdubbed indie rock vocals keep the delicate structures at the fore. "This Girl and This Boy" rules with a reverb-laden rhythmic fist and '50s-style verses, while "Another Ordinary Day" could be pass for a XTC outtake, if XTC were schizophrenics from San Francisco. If you're into bedroom electronic projects like Blusom and Broken Social Scene, definitely check this one out. It's sunny without being cheeky and packed tight with ambient goodness. John
@ www.upperclass.to (MP3s available)

Captain Everything! – “It’s Not Rocket Science” CD 14/29:29
Mixing in a few ska elements to a big melodic punk sound, this UK band does a decent job of sounding fresh and energetic, even if most of their songs have a fairly generic quality. But having spunk counts for a lot with me, because you can imagine that they work their asses off live. They’ve got some humor to the lyrics, among the song titles are “Drink ‘Til I’m Sick Polka” and “I’d Rather Have A Full Bottle In Front of Me Than a Frontal Lobotomy.” Nothing earth shattering here for sure, but at least they go for the gusto. Steve
@ www.unionlabelgroup.com

Captain Everything - "Learning to Play With..." CD 15/40:11
Originally released in 2000 by another label, this trio out of England does the melodic punk thing, with songs at blazingly fast pace, heavy on the drums, with a few ska beats thrown into the mix. Take Rancid or Green Day, throw them a few cups of coffee to get the caffeine pumping through their veins to speed up the sound a bit, and you'd have the general idea. We're talking decent, but not overwhelmingly original pop punk. The songs are melodic and throw around a few ska riffs, the guitars are loud, the songs are fast, the lyrics are fairly typical for the genre; with song titles like "The Cheesiest Line" and "The One Minute Love Song" you get the idea pretty quickly. It like it fine, I guess, but it's not going to do anything to change the perception that pop punk has pretty much run the table. Still, it's better than much of the stuff coming out of America these days. Steve
@ www.householdnamerecords.co.uk

Caribbean – “History’s First Know-It-All” CD 12/37:42
Melody-fronted semi-experimental pop tunes from a band that lives in separate States. Note the capital “S” in “States”, referring to their physical being, not mental status. The members are all of the same state upstairs, all about melody and (despite what their bio claims about being “deconstructive”), construction of well-arranged pop songs. Which is why you should also take note of the “semi” in front of “experimental”. It’s striving for that status (and falling short). But why bother when it already works as it is? Xtian
@ www.endearing.com

Carl Oglesby – “Carl Oglesby/Going to Damascus” CD 19/77:57
Italian reissue of the two albums released by Carl in 1969 and 1971 respectively on the ol’ Vanguard label. Originally one of Pete Seeger’s Weavermen, he seemed to prefer a fuller sound for his solo works (don’t’ worry, these rekkids predates the singer/songwriter boom of the 70s). Not quite sure if I would term this “psychedelic folk music” like some folks have, but it does manage to sound “contemporary” without necessarily denying (or being stuck in) its past. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the touch of the heroes of yore to make this stand out. Not bad, just not that memorable either. David
@ www.cometrecords.com

Carl Perkins – “Dance Album” CD 18/46:41
Even though it’s been a good ten years since I watched Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train, I still remember the scene where the Japanese couple bound for Graceland argued over who was better: Elvis Presley or Carl Perkins? And I remember thinking how ridiculous and futile an argument that was (and still is): Can one rock ’n’ roll pioneer truly be better than another? From a purely technical standpoint, Perkins wins hands down, considering that Elvis wrote exactly (last time I checked) zero songs. But where would the world be without Elvis’s come-hither hips and insolent sneer? Anyway, this reissue of Perkins’ 1958 Sun release includes five Sun recordings that were never issued, but you’ve probably heard the re-recordings (like “Put Your Cat Clothes On,” for instance) released elsewhere. Indispensable. Lily
@ www.varesesarabande.com

Carlsonics- s/t CD 11/43:12
These guys are from the DC/Maryland area, and while on principle I am inclined to give thumbs up to any band from there with the good fortune to not be on the Dischord label (the exception being the elbows-and-angles arty scrape - imagine Fugazi sans the passive-aggressive proselytizing - of Q And Not U), one has to draw the line on occasion. So it is with this Beltway garden variety rockaboogie. They seem to want to be aspirants to the Stones/Primals throne; one hopes they will let us know when they do their Exile or Vanishing Point, because this sure ain’t it. MLH
@ Arena Rock Records

Carolyn Mark & the New Best Friends – "The Pros and Cons of Collaboration" CD 12/39:50
Most folks probably know Carolyn Marks as Neko Case’s other half in the Corn Sisters (as well as having worked with Neko on her solo stuff). “The Pros and Cons of Collaboration” finds Carolyn stepping off on her on, and doing it well. Musically, this solo effort would fit in nicely in any collection already containing Corn Sisters or Neko Case CDs, as it tows that same familiar line of being modern country music, heavily influenced by the classics; lyrically though, Carolyn has a much better grasp of the language, and her songs have an acerbic wit that is missing from much of the material produced by her contemporaries. Shit, I rarely even notice the lyrics for most bands, but these were so interesting that my ears perked right up. Even though Carolyn may not have the push behind her that a solo Neko has, she’s every bit as talented and entertaining, and hopefully folks will catch onto her music as well. Jake
@ www.mintrecs.com

Carpettes – “The Early Years ’77 – ‘78” CD 19/48:05
They made have ended their creative lifespan as one of punk’s also-rans, but this release (along with their seven inches on Small Wonder) effectively demonstrate they could provide some quality vintage punk in their (early) prime. All these tracks (or at least these particular versions) are previously unreleased, taken from early forays into the studio and a couple of John Peel sessions. It ends on a sour note with a Peel session that even the band admits doesn’t exactly show them at their best (though your average completist would probably bitch if it wasn’t included), but there’s enough boppable vintage punk here to make this worth picking up. David
@ www.overgroundrecords.co.uk

Casper and the Cookies - "OH!" CD 12/38:56
I can see where these guys are trying to go. Elvis Costello and the Attractions are all over this album. But something about it doesn't work for me. It tries really hard, but doesn't really do anything. An Athens bands trying to go back to the REM glory days, but not quite reaching. Sharon
@ www.hhbtm.com MP3 Download

Casual Dots – s/t CD 10/30:21
Fronted by Christina Billotte of Slant 6, and featuring Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill/Frumpies, the Casual Dots, for the most part, lay down simple guitar lines over a rudimentary skiffle beat, and on “Mama’s Gonna Make Us A Cake” and “Hooded”, with its loopy lead, the results are pretty damned okay. They cover Etta James almost-classic, “I’ll Dry My Tears”, and Christina’s semi-icy vocals are well-suited to recast it as a homage, not an imitation. They lost me on the aimless “She’s The Real Thing”, but “ESP” and “Evil Operations classified” speed things up and belches up a taste of Slant 6, if I can remember back that far. They close with a reading of “Bumblebee” by Lavern Baker, that isn’t bad, but which I probably could have done without, although it does seem to fit their modus operandi. Anthony
@ www.killrockstars.com MP3 Download

Casualties – “On the Front Line” CD 14/34:53
See, this is what was so amazing about old school hardcore, both entrenched in punk and Third Wave: machine gun guitars, drums and bass that are pounded to where the sound is like assault and battery. The vocals are growled and spit out. The songs are also classic, with a general political bent, e.g., “Criminal Class” (great drumming on this one), “Scarred for Life,” and “Punk Rock Tragedy.” And there are plenty of Oi-style chants, like “Tomorrow Belongs to Us.” Pick this up, and getcher liberty spikes greased up. RBF
@ SideOneDummy, PO Box 2350, Los Angeles, CA 90078

Cat on Form - "Structure and Fear" CD 12/41:33
Cat on Form come from the school of rock that involves going deep down into the artistic well and dredging up the dark and viscous stuff from below, then taking these things and using the mind as a killing weapon. This is tense, passionate, smart, politicized, noisy rock that brings to mind, Unwound, Gang of Four, Fugazi, Jesus Lizard and a number of other amazing bands. This is a socially conscious and informed band too, something that is lacking these days. One of the singers pretty much hollers the entire time; the other two have more traditional singing voices. The bottom line is that it works and is pretty interesting. I dig it, I recommend it, and if Cat on Form can stick to it, they have a darn good chance of becoming great indeed. Conan
@ www.southern.net

Catalpa Boys – s/t CD 13/34:50
Catalpa Boys is the combined sounds of two brothers from Lebanon, Ohio – JD and JK Housh, and the music decidedly feels like a family affair. Soft vocals and harmonies, with instrumentation to match…it would be tough to dislike or be offended by any of these songs. Yet equally, it’s not the sort of thing that really sticks with you either; there are many better examples of this mellow-country-folk music, particularly the new Iron & Wine disc or most any Palace release. But still, not a bad listen if you come across it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hunt it down. Jake
@ www.catalpaboys.com/ MP3 Download

Catastrophe – “A Model Society” CD 10/29:48
Hardcore music will always be around and that long gone era will live in the hearts of us aging punks for…ever probably. The Catastrophe play mean and quick music and will most likely get the pit going very easily either down at the club or in your bedroom. It’s good stuff here if this is what you are into: Somehow, somewhat politically driven punk played loud and without a hitch. Beyond that there really isn’t a whole lot to say. You’ll get the idea once the needle hits the album or you press PLAY. It comes on, they go off and a half hour later it ends. But it’s worth the trip. Trust me. Whittaker
@ Catastrophic, 2322 Plymouth St., Oshkosh, WI 54901

Catch 22 - "Dinosaur Sounds" CD 13/31:10
NJ ska-punkers that look to be about 18 years old. NOFX, Weezer and Sublime, yes, they sound like a supermarket version of all of the above. "Beguile The Time", herky-jerky pop-punk, "Wine Stained Lips", horny ska, "Motown Cinderella" lazy pop rock. You get the point. Ryan and Kevin have voices that meld well; above average sense of arrangement. The ska-punk sub-genre is battered and bruised; this band is not completely moribund. Anthony
@ www.victoryrecords.com

Catholic Boys – “Psychic Voodoo Mind Control” CD 15/24:08
Yep it’s more rip-roaring punk from Green Bay, with refuges from the Strong Come-Ons and Teenage Rejects laying down more primal tuneage guaranteed to make you go beyond head-boppin’ and straight to outright full-body spazzing. Granted it’d take more than this physical world could offer for me to move back to the Midwest, but if these guys were playing every weekend at the local dive I daresay I could be tempted. David
@ trickknee@hotmail.com

Caustic Resin - "Keep On Truckin" CD 9/53:43
So Caustic Resin has been around forever and this is their sixth Album. Now if this album were just tracks 4 through 8, I would have liked it a lot. "Wizard Of The Upper Snake River", track four, is my favorite song and the one real rocker of the album. It starts nice and slow and builds into a big ass 70's metal fest, sort of like Ozzy fronting Iron Butterfly. Tracks five and seven are “Drive #47” & “Drive #49”, and seem like two parts of a long desert trip while on peyote and whiskey. Track 6, the title track, is a really pretty little number that sounds like something that might have been on Neil Young's "Harvest Moon". And “Viva la Causa!”, track 8, is a sad, slowly lumbering waltz of someone who just wants to die. These five songs work well and would have been a good album on their own, but the inclusion of the first three tracks makes it really hard for me to say I liked this album. The first three songs all show how too many effects (and drugs) can be very very bad, and rather than hide the vocal weaknesses of the singer, they really draw them out. Track nine, the closer, is total piece of shit that the drummer and bass player must have put together while the rest of the band was out taking a piss. Manny
@ www.causticresin.com

Cave 4 – “Sheena Was Right” CD 13/31:24
Mixing in surf chords with the occasional punk riff, these guys take a page out of the Untamed Youth playbook on the instrumental tracks, which cover about half of the disc. Smooth surf guitar and melodies, but with a slight Ramones feel that gives the songs a little more power than your typical surf instrumental. They turn to more of a garage punk band on songs with vocals, still smooth in execution, but with some spit in your face vocals and a harsher attitude. From Germany, they’ve been listening to the right stuff, and although I prefer the instrumentals a little more, they’re certainly enjoyable to listen to throughout. Steve
@ www.swindlebra.de

Cave Catt Sammy – “Whiskey and the Devil” CD 12/32:17
The problem with rockabilly nowadays is that it oftentimes has a whiff of new country due to overproduction. These San Antonio boys left the studio scrubbed clean, and their rockabilly tracks, though musically adept, are quite tame. However, I don’t think a rawer production value would’ve helped singer Beau Sample sound any less restrained/forced. His voice seems better suited for jazz or doo wop, as he proves in the endearing, jazzy ditty, “If I Were King.” Hell, the whole band seems better suited for twinkly Django Reinhardt-type numbers that Woody Allen would have a tizzy over. (At least, these were the songs I liked best.) Too bad there were only three such tracks. How about some more next time, guys? Lily
@ www.rubricrecords.com

CBGAV - “Dismissed” CD 14/30:08
I honestly don’t know what to say about this, other than the cover shot of the bass player looks like my old friend Jay. It’s not that this is necessarily an awful record. It’s fairly endearing and born out of a timeless garage mentality. “Cluttered” is indicative of what they can do with flailing guitars and tight-ass rhythms. The thing is, this is the twenty-fifth record I’ve reviewed for this issue and eventually you want to hear something more, something outside the box, something fuckin’ crazy, but no such luck here. Most art is middle of the road or worse so that when we come upon truly great art we can recognize it. Anthony
@ no address listed

Cells - “We Can Replace You” CD 10/34:39
The Cells try to be clever without appearing to be so. It doesn’t work. Digest this gem from the press kit: “Song after song captures the angry hum of urban life while making you want to throw your fist in the air like a kid at his first rock concert.” Who wrote that tripe, the marketing morons? They proclaim this as “catchy, smart and pop” w/out being one of “the self-conscious crop of pop bands.” What? This is neither catchy nor smart with dullard titles like “Say Hello”, “What You Did” and “Stupid Guy” representing crappy third rate mid-tempo bland-rock. If the good folks at Orange think this is great, I’ve got an Edsel parked in some swampland under the Brooklyn Bridge I’d like to talk to them about. Anthony
@ www.orangerecordings.com.

Central City Transmission – “Incommunicado” CD 5/12:47
“Returning” busts out of the chute with rumbling rhythms and sharp, garrulous guitars, while Lowell Abellon’s vocals mimic Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes almost perfectly. Co-lead singer Jacqueline Santillan is engagingly off-key on “Engage Me” and “Luck.” Springy guitars mingle with the bouncy tempo and for a second or two I hear a faint tinge of Brit punk behind the growly, monotone vocal on “We Kept On Walking.” Nothing spectacular, but a hell of a lot better than a rusty, red hot poker in the eye. Anthony
@ www.kapowrecords.com

Chaino – “New Sounds in Rock ‘n’ Roll” CD 12/28:03
A retrospective of (mostly previously unreleased) ’58-’59 material from the man who gave you “Ubangi Rock”. Chaino’s specialty was mixing (pseudo-)African drums with early rock-n-roll/R&B/Jumping Jive, resulting in the kind of music you’d expect to find on one of the Jungle Exotica compilations. Not quite the frenzy that some sources lead me to believe this would be (for the most part this doesn’t get too much above mid-tempo) and not every track qualifies as a lost treasure, but for the most part this is still pretty tasty. David
@ www.dionsyusrecords.com

Chains - "On Top of Things!" CD 12/33:19
French Canadian retro act The Chains has a decidely American sound. Vocalist Alexandre Boivin has a sweet rock n roll style, laid back and cool. He swings with the beat, so smooth and so hot. Lead guitarist Sebastian Hould puts just the right amount of surf twang into is playing, giving it that 1966 ring. He also plays a mean organ. The rhythm section is equally amazing, with drummer Eric Boulanger, bassist Frederic Charest and rhythm guitarist Jean-Philippe Cournoyer shuffling along as a single entity. The melodies are magnificent, the harmonies are astounding. If you like your pop with handclaps and an infectious mod beat, this record will make your spine tingle. Mark
@ Get Hip, PO Box 666, Canonsburg, PA 15317

Channel 3 - CD 13/34:11
When I first saw this, I must confess that my heart sank. The last thing the world needs is yet another fine old punk band reforming and embarrassing themselves. To my surprise, almost all of the songs here turned out to be crisp, rockin’, and irresistibly catchy mid-tempo punk blasts. “Just On You” is as good as any song Mike Magrann has ever penned, and that’s saying a lot. Not as speedy as the original CH3 model, and all the better for it. Jeff
@ Dr. Strange, PO Box 1058, Alta Loma, CA 90701

Chargers Street Gang - "Through the Windshield" CD 11/37:35
To quote the Kids, "this is rock and roll!" While this may not quite pack the wallop its predecessor did (at least initially), the band pretty much takes the "sophomore jinx" and dropkicks it out the window. Once again expertly produced by Tim Kerr (who definitely brings out the band's better qualities), they kick things into overdrive from moment one and don't let up until the very end, with vox that sounds like McKaye if he had decided to emulate the MC5 while bringing on the "Revolution Summer" (hey, they do cite Fugazi as an influence in the promo notes). It may take a few spins, but give it a chance and all will be revealed. David
@ www.gethip.com

Charityempressa – “The Skin of Whippets” CD 7/38:39
Charityempressa refer to themselves as a “risky bet,” inside their own album sleeve. Their listed web site doesn’t work, and they’re barely listed on their label’s site. They are, in fact, a risky bet at best. Then you put on this album, and the first thing you do is go to sleep. So this is going to be a slam review, right? Nope – because the music contained herein won’t let it be. There is a special place in every record collection that one album that’s guaranteed to put you to sleep when you really need it – for me, it was Underworld’s “Beaucoup Fish” – until now. “The Skin of Whippets,” is the perfect soundtrack to the best afternoon nap you ever took, and the album challenges you just enough that you know your dreams will be wild ones. The title track, in particular, is seemingly nothing more than the sound of rain and static fused into a mess that somehow works perfectly. Charityempressa won’t likely be changing the world anytime soon, but who does these days? Ryan
@ no address

Charlene – s/t CD 10/51:16
Mining whatever is left of the shoegaze movement and diluting it with heavy doses of synth, pop ensemble Charlene turn out equal parts melody and drone in their full-length debut. The songs are solid, if unremarkable – “Cathode” summons a gorgeous, slack-key guitar line and lets it float ghost like over sputtering electronic drums; “Ender” is constructed around a woeful acoustic strum and a single sustained guitar note that hovers like the northern lights. Charlene doesn’t overdo the overdrive, but their eyes are pretty clearly directed at their Converse. The only drawback is that the group’s lazy-pace songs aren’t especially memorable. Most of the group’s debut floats by like a haunting, lucid dream. It’s beautiful while it’s happening, but you’ll be damned if you can remember it the next day. J Edward
@ www.sharkattack.com

Charmparticles - The Scenic CD 4/15:42
Cribbinbg both the spacious guitars of shoegaze and the delirious melodies of Britpop, Portland’s Charmparticles offer up four glittering pop gems that are surprisingly fresh. Rather than burying the vocals in the mix, Charmparticles shove them right out front, anchoring the songs rather than letting them toss about in a sea of distortion. The result hews closer to pop than anything Slowdive was involved in. “The Later Lonely” sounds like The Sundays caught in an echo chamber, guitars bouncing off each other as Pamela Rooney’s laser-beam voice splits the song up the center. “Done After Dark” explodes at the outset, spitting out starlike guitars at the end of each verse. The Scenic is an engaging, and often intoxicating, introduction to a promising young band. J Edward
@ www.charmparticles.com

Cheap Sex - "Launch Off To War" CD 12/27:52
The little brother HC band that nips at the heels of their older brethren. Their antecedents are obvious with their colored mohawks and studded leather. Their politics lean left much like their idols (although there has always been some confusion about the fine line between the fascism and anti-establishment stance of a band like the Exploited). The politics are junior league, the music rudimentary speedcore or hyper- speedcore. There is one good line in "Dick Cheney", "A fat bald slob for good ol' Uncle Sam." Take that Dick. Anthony
@ www.punkcore.com

Cheater Slicks – “Yer Last Record” CD 10/43:35
I find myself wondering as I listen to this, when will Cheater Slicks release its last record? 15 years of some of the damn cruddiest and brooding garage rock and this band still has little to no respect outside of “The know”. These guys have been around long enough to earn the respect of contemporaries who were once in the rock n’ roll vanguard, but don’t even a recognizable band anymore. People who dropped rock years back and now teach 9th grade social studies. I guess the other option would be to stick it out like Cheater Slicks, releasing lots of good records, but never one to put you over with the general populous. And this one won’t either. It’s spooky, fuzzy, and trashy rock straight from the basement. New fans welcome to apply, but they probably won’t. Xtian
@ In the Red, 1118 W. Magnolia Blvd., PO Box 208, Burbank, CA 91506

Cheats – “Cheap Pills” CD 10/20:52
The Cheats are a present-day Pittsburgh punk band whose principal members were previously in the Silver-Tongued Devils and the Ultimatics. They’re a really good old-style p-rock group of the snotty, obnoxious, pogo-till-you-puke type. (For once, the promo sheet accompanying this record has it right.) Most of the songs here are irresistibly catchy, and the production captures a perfect balance between heavy and raw. My fave tracks are the mid-tempo numbers (such as “Just Like You” and “Automatic Reaction”), and I can easily imagine beer glasses flying through the air at their rowdy live gigs in dive bars. Definitely a keeper. Jeff
@ www.da-core.com

Cheeps – s/t CD 17/37:35
The funny thing about this Bellingham, WA, quintet’s commendable debut album is that, primarily because of singer Leatherpants’ occasionally throaty croon, a third of it could easily be released as outtakes from the Strokes’ first record and no one would bat an eye. This is by no means meant to be taken negatively because I liked the Strokes’ early singles a lot. And, in fact, I think that Julian and co. would’ve benefited greatly from writing primo, lo-fi garagey tunes such as these; they would’ve instantly gained the indie credibility they lack. For the most part, the Cheeps crank out hook-laden garage punk with sexy anguished vocals (unless they’re howling), a wall of guitars, and an (appropriately) ominous-sounding organ. They also dish up rollicking stoner rock as well as a couple of tracks that remind me of Sonic Youth - with Kim Gordon singing! (I don’t know if someone else sung on those songs or what, but there you have it.) Don’t miss the hidden track at the end of song 17 – it’s a doozy. Lily
@ www.slovenly.com

Chemical Brothers – “Singles 93-03” CD 13/68:15
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons – better known as the Chemical Brothers – graced us with “Exit Planet Dust,” their excellent debut that practically invented mainstream electronica in the early ‘90s. The club sirens that kick off “Song to the Siren” sound dated now, but only because they’ve been used to death. The Chemical Brothers’ wide influence over House and Big Beat has abated in recent years, but their first two full-lengths are inarguably grand. If you stopped caring about them when they began slathering their songs with trendy vocals, then about 60 percent of this singles compilation will be new to you, with songs like “The Test” (with Richard Ashcroft) and “Let Forever Be” (a horrible Beatles cover) completely negating what was once great about this band. Fans might appreciate this comprehensive survey of the band’s work, but then again, they probably have this stuff already. Not even Wayne Coyne’s amusing turn on “The Golden Path” can save this disc from feeling re-heated. Still, it’s a nice collection, and if you’ve ever done drugs to this music, it’ll make you remember those times fondly. John
@ www.astralwerks.com (MP3s available)

Chesterfield Kings - "The Mindbending Sounds of…" CD 14/49:22
No doubt these 80’s pioneers of 60’s garage-rock revitalism sat out the last decade holed up in their homebase of Rochester, NY, selling vintage Vox Teardrop guitars to the odd grunge-addled tyke and tending to their Chocolate Watchband mono pressings. And now, with the advent of re-interest in the kicking out of fuzztone-drenched jams, comes Greg Prevost and co.’s unexpected return to claim what’s theirs in the postmillennial scheme and shape of things. Pretty high quality all-round, assisted as they are by Springsteen and Little Steven in the producers’ chair - even coaxing Jorma Kaukonen out of his bluegrass-coddled mindset of late to serve up some vintage electric West Coast licks on several tunes. The Kings thankfully remain as ancient-to-the-future as ever. MLH
@ www.sundazed.com

Chevelles - "Girl God" CD 13/44:47
Australia has a long and storied history of producing great power pop in the '90s, mostly via the Dom Mariani family tree of bands like the Summer Suns, DM3, and the Someloves. The Chevelles fall into the same category, with big guitars, fab hooks, lots of lyrics about love and girls, and harmony and melody to spare. A couple of songs are produced by Steve McDonald of Redd Kross, and evoke memories of the Redd's ace release "Neurotica"; adding a little fuzz to the guitars to give them a garage feel. But it's the slightly more clean pop sound of the other tunes that stick in my head. The title cut, "Girl God" is a blast of sunshine pop, with full on harmonies and great lead guitar work, and many other songs melt in your ears as your playing this disc. Yup, power pop is alive and well. Steve
@ www.ziprecords.com

Chin Up Chin Up - s/t CD 6/23:56
Kick-ass instrumental arrangements, not unlike Pinback performing the soundtrack to a Molly Ringwald movie, coated with low-key emo vocals and a truly scary devotion to 80s atmospherics. Shimmering, noise-ridden landscapes are littered with the corpses of Joy Division and Slint and Modest Mouse and countless synthesizers and electric guitar strings. I can't look! I can't look away! What have you done to me, Chin Up Chin Up? I love you! John
@ www.chinupchinup.com

Chiodos Bros. - “The Heartless Control Everything” CD 7/28:14
It’s sad when the press info is more entertaining than the record: “…six individuals brought forth an audible experience that only hearts can hear and expression can describe.” Okay. This teenage post-emo six-piece tries hard on “Compromise of 1984” and “Rainclouds for Eyeballs” and ends up with sharp vocals atop typical rip and tear guitars. “Ravishing Matt Ruth” has a queer syncopation, and the keyboards on “Vacation to Hell” are a welcome anomaly. Otherwise they dissolve into a puddle of sameness that doesn’t live up to their aspirations. Anthony
@ www.searchandrescuerecords.com

Chrash – “The Party” – CD 12/43:17
Get it? Chrash the Party? Anyway… Once upon a time fronting the rocker band Tripmaster Monkey, leader Chris Bernat takes a softer road with Chrash. His vocals and songwriting can certainly make the jump with no problems. And yet I may be one of those he describes as the “dick heads in the music business” but this release is okay, but nothing earth shattering. Getting (way) beyond the electonica that rears its ugly head there and there, Bernat is one of those whose work is totally capable in every aspect, as it is here, but it just doesn’t bring that much that’s exciting to anything. Now, there is the occasional fine showing, like “The Sordid Details.” Again, this guy can sing, sure he can play fine, and his songs are witty, and one day this may grow on me. And? RBF
@ www.futureappletree.com

Chris Danforths - "Outside of Outer Space" CD 10/29:54
With their last couple albums, The Flaming Lips made the world safe for cheap electronic overconfidence and haphazard (but masterfully rendered) odes to nonsense. What the Lips possessed - and what their imitators lack - was the idea to synthesize those elements in the first place, (as well as genuine drug-addled weirdness). The new album by The Chris Danforths, a bedroom-pop project, kicks off with a song that wouldn't have been out of place on the Lips' "The Soft Bulletin." It brings a few interesting twists to the now-familiar formula of experimental synth-pop saturated with random sound clips. It just doesn't ring true. Using "Scottish electronics" and bravely comparing himself to Pet Shop Boys and Brian Eno, Danforth fashions ten songs of blind ambient collages that vary wildly in structure and quality. The field recordings and old movie samples add a lo-fi touch to what could have been a sterile recording. Still, I'm not convinced I could listen to this more than once every six months. "Today I Joined the Army," for example, is an excellent mix tape song, but alongside the other clunkers its flashes of melody don't seem quite as bright as they could have been. John
@ Essay, 1021 S. Walnut St., Bloomington, IN 47401

Chris Murray – “4-Track Adventures of Venice Shoreline Chris” CD 9/37:27
Chris is one the many urchins that haunt the tourist district of the world famous Venice Beach boardwalk, busking for cash and favors, but I’ll bet he’s the only one jammin’ reggae and ska on his acoustic guitar. These songs originated as demos for his band, King Apparatus. After some hand-wringing Moon Ska Records released some of his stuff in ’96 and this has apparently been out of print ever since. His heart’s in the right place with smooth rocksteady tunes like “Rocksteady”, “Sammy Come A Jail” and the earthy, rootsy “Cooper Station Blues”, but sometimes that’s not enough. There isn’t much energy; after one listen you’ve absorbed the extent of what’s there. If you ran into him on the boardwalk he’d bring these songs to life. On record he just putzes along. Anthony
@ www.asianmanrecords.com

Christiana – “Fatigue Kills” CD 13/44:05
This Toronto group’s brand of indie would sound by-the-book if they weren’t so good at what they did. Influences like Sonic Youth and Versus surface randomly, then retreat once songs take a melodic or instrumental left turn (a common, welcome occurrence on this album). Guitars squeal and squawk, drums hit their ass-tight marks, and rubbery bass lines rumble pleasantly. One is reminded of a brand of college pop-punk that was fashionable ten years ago, championed by The Inbreds, Sebadoh, and the entire Matador stable. Christiana are tight and accomplished, but bring nothing new to a table that’s been more or less set since the early 90s. John
@ www.highschoolchampion.com

Chromatics – “Chrome Rats vs. Basement Rutz” CD 16/40:29
The first and final album from this particular lineup, before 3/4 of the band decided to take a powder, leaving mainman Adam Miller to carry on the banner (shades of early Dexy’s Midnight Runners!). Yep, it’s more of those modern day no-wave/post-punk sounds, albeit a tad more jumbled than usual. They sometimes get too willfully obtuse for their own good at times (which can get your ass dismissed with a sneer by some as “hipster rock”) but you’ll be able to find at least a couple of goodies here, if not an embarrassment of riches. David
@ www.goldstandardlabs.com

Chronophonic – “Footwork” CD 11/54:25
“Jazz, hip-hop, funk and world music.” Yep, and don’t forget soulless. First, let me say, the horn section sounds real sweet, and is the saving grace for songs like “Breakfast for Dinner.” Actually, the instrumentals are all top notch, but the vocals and lyrics are the equivalent of Pat Boone to Chuck Berry. Perhaps in Colorado, this is slammin’, but this collection makes Eminem sound as profound as Public Enemy. Perhaps the band should just go instrumental, as they do on “Deep Puddin’ Pt. 1,” and give up the Vanilla Ice-level vocals (though “Dom P” is an exception). RBF
@ www.indiego.com

Cinch – “The Cinch” CD 5/14:19
I wouldn’t have thought that the polite Canadians could produce the attitude of the Cinch. Then again, it gets cold up there, and Vancouver’s The Cinch is cool. The loud guitars and vocals are a bit to smooth and polished to be punk, and the female droned vocals are too blasé to be pure pop. If you aren’t too cool to bob your head to the Cinch’s cover of the Modern Lover’s “She Cracked” then you probably will. For everyone else, this is the perfect EP to listen to while you practice your disaffected/ironic stare in the mirror. Pam
@ www.dirtnaprecs.com MP3 Download

Clair de Lune - "Marionette" CD 10/39:51
It's 1996 again and I'm in college in Washington DC and I'm so happy! I'm living the post-punk. This album is really really reminiscent of Cursive. The guitar sound is almost an identical match and the vocals aren't too far off. I love Cursive. I imagine this Clair de Lune would be really fun and aggro live. They are the lesser of two bands. But still better than a lot of stuff out there. Sharon
@ www.deepelm.com/

Clairmel - “A Letter to Friends” CD 11/37:51
Fairly standard, but appealing loud emo punk with pleasing, melodic, mostly sad Get Up Kids-like vocals. There’s little unique about this album, but it’s impossible to keep my toes from tapping. Each track sounds a lot like the one before it, but I can see myself dancing around at a basement show to these guys and being more than happy. Sharon
@ www.noidearecords.com

Clang Quartet – “Separation of Church and Hate” CD 9/41:14
This is Scott Irving’s one-man project of abstruse noise in the form of sound collages using an electronic cat toy, mattress/box spring beaten with mallets, an electric fan and a TV with the mute on channelled through a guitar amp. He also uses something he invented called the crutch with a sawblade, broken cymbal and a stapler attached. It’s all based on percussive techniques and he weaves in spoken word tape loops mostly centering on what sems to a critique of TV religion and hypocrisy. Very weird and requires a lot of patience. Anthony
@ www.silbermedia.com

Clann Zu - "Rua" CD 10/47:27
A progressive minded Australian band that brings to mind the Dirty Three and the Rachel's with an anthemic crunch. The CD includes an utterly fantastic music video in quicktime format. The songs are very moody, and by moody I don't mean emo. Clann Zu would be a perfect choice for scoring an independent movie actually, something dystopian decrying the truths of our time, there's something that calls to mind striking visuals with this music. It could be the traditional Irish sounding melodies that are melded with more aggressive indie stuff, it's certainly unique and it gets under your skin. Some of Clann Zu's songs remind me a little of Scotland's Aereogramme, especially in the ethereal parts, or perhaps Neurosis minus the metal and growly bits. There is something unique and special here and this is well worth checking out. Conan
@ www.clannzu.com MP3 Download

Clash - "London Calling" 2XCD + DVD
Released in '79, LC was the third Clash album, and my third favorite Clash album. Not bad considering that it was also my third favorite album ever. It was the final installment of the Clash's punk trilogy, as they were about to explore new directions on "Sandinista" and "Combat Rock". In fact, the working title for LC was "The Last Testament". LC was punk in it's most accessable form, strong tunes and lyrics on 19 consistently excellent songs. This new incarnation of LC features a "Making Of..." documentary, and more importantly, "The Vanilla Tapes", a collection of 21 rehearsal space recordings from '79. Demo recordings 25 years ago didn't have the benefit of today's digital technology, and these cassette recordings are rough by any standards. If you're not a fan of bootleg material you won't find much of interest here. If you like to hear raw primitive versions, there is a lot worth checkin' out. I especially like the versions of "I'm Not Down", "Death Or Glory" and the lost Strummer tune "Heart and Mind". Mel
@ www.sonymusic.com

Cleaners From Venus - "The Very Best Of...Living With Victoria Grey" CD 22/78:15
When it comes to quality homemade rock, there's three names you can always rely on: R. Stevie Moore, Billy Childish and the great Martin Newell. This is a marvelously comprehensive collection of the cheery yet knowing, post-Beatles smart-pop that Newell and partner Giles Smith traded in so famously under the radar throughout the 80's. All killer, no filler. Also includes as a bonus some sidesplitting excerpts from 'Lost In Music', Giles' autibiographic chroncilcle of the Cleaners experience. MLH
@ www.cherryred.co.uk

Clear Light – s/t CD 12/32:06
One of my all-time favorite psychedelic albums. Clear Light were an L.A. “hippy” band (featuring future actor Cliff de Young on vocals) with two drummers that evolved out of a garage psych outfit called Brain Train. Their one and only LP includes some amazing psych punk blasts (like “Night Sounds Loud” and “She’s Ready to Be Free`” which they also performed a cool live version of in the film “The President’s Analyst”), super fuzzed-out, paranoia-inducing atmospheric numbers (like “Street Singer” and “Mr. Blue”), pleasant but slightly countrified cuts (like “With All in Mind” and “How Many Days Have Passed”), and several brilliant, dynamic psychedelic rockers (like “Black Roses`” “Sand`” “Think Again`” and “They Who Have Nothing”). Mind-blowing stuff that actually rocks. Jeff
@ www.collectorschoicemusic.com

Clearview 77 – “Absent Company” CD 14/39:25
These hometownies are from Bensonhurst/Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Saw these guitar-based punx play on their home turf at the Punk Temple, and they were a force to be dealt with. This CD is no different. And now that I know what they were singing, thanks to the lyric sheet, I’m even more impressed. Many bands seem to be easing up the structure and dumbing down the lyrics, but not CV 77. While many of the topics are angst-driven, they refuse to talk down to their audience. Along with mostly originals that flair from beginning to end, Clearview 77 also do a kick-ass version of U2’s “With or Without You” (NY band the Planets used to do a slammin’ version of “Boogie Fever”), and “California Sun” is based on the same hymnal that Alan Price used on “Changes “ (from the film/album “O Lucky Man!”). This is a highly recommended release to the rawkers. RBF
@ www.clearview77.com

Client - s/t CD 11/49:39
Client's sexy, seductive beats recall an un-selfconscious age of British dance music where melody reigned supreme and clever electronics were relegated to the background. Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher picked up Client as the first signing to his Toast Hawaii label, and he's to be commended. Client is composed of two mysterious female DJs (producer Client A and singer Client B) and their buttoned-down, spooky love songs sound like sex in a dank factory. "Price of Love" (which takes a page from the book of Daft Punk) and "Pills" are the perfect music to engage in the ole' nasty to, loping along with simple synth beats and fuzzy bass lines, slathered with forceful, accented female vocals. "You're so filthy, aren't you baby? I'm a sex junkie and so are you, baby," Client B sings on "Diary of an 18 Year Old Boy." When they put it that way, it's hard not to sit up and pay attention. Did I say "hard"? John
@ www.mute.com

Cliftons – “Sex Drugs and Alcohol” CD 9/9:57
Blazing punk thrash, a la a thousand generic hardcore bands of the 1980s- see NOTA for a perfect example of the style. The Cliftons kick ass live, but this CD is missing that energy because the music sounds like so many other bands. It’s not the attitude or the lyrics, that’s for sure; the Cliftons have the beer-soaked, fuck society attitude down pat! “Pretty Boys tell me I need to find a job, but if I join your club could I still rock my knob?” The creepy attitude of “Registered Sex Offender” sucks, but other than that this band’s got the lyrics and outlook of G.G. Allin or The Dwarves. So far they don’t (ahem) rise to the level of either of those folks, but they aren’t hapless or uninteresting either. This is a re-press of their self-released CD; maybe the next one will catch fire. Jesse
@ Superspeedway, 304 S. 3rd St., San Jose, CA 95112

Clique – “Vanbrugh Park” CD 11/27:06
When I first saw this record, I thought it might be a CD reissue of the fine British mid-'60s Clique (of “You Ain’t No Good” fame). Alas, it turned out to be the unreleased album of a peculiar neo-Mod outfit from the latter ‘80s, but one which sounded a lot like a mid-'60s British R&B band! That’s all by way of clarification. The liner notes compare them to Ron Wood’s Birds, and at their best – e.g., on “You’d Better Stop” and originals like “Gonna Get Me Somebody” and “I’m No Good Without You” (not the Birds’ song with a similar name) – that may be a good ballpark comparison. But in general their songs are far less hard-hitting, in terms of both song selection and guitar firepower, and their covers tend toward the pedestrian. It’s a shame that band member Newman didn’t pen more original tunes, since his two songs are the highlights here. Jeff
@ www.detour-records.co.uk

Clone Defects - "Shapes of Venus" CD 14/45:01
High Octane sleazy punk rock and roll that recalls James Williamson-era Stooges, Dead Boys, and a touch of Rocket From the Tombs These guys are from Detroit and that makes sense, as they are obviously fairly well versed in the history of that great city of rock and roll. With an Otis Redding cover on here and an obscure "Killed by Death" band that's pretty easy to tell. So is it any good? Yeah, pretty good. The place to hear these guys is most certainly live though, with cheap beer being sloshed around and cigarette smoke filling the air. Conan
@ www.intheredrecords.com

Clorox Girls – s/t CD 12/17:21
Apparently named after an early Red Cross tune (pre-K and extra D), these lads (yes lads) pursue similarly superior snotty punk with a hidden pop undercurrent. Hopefully they won’t develop a 70s (though I guess 90s would be their equivalent) fixation that eventually consumed the souls of their idols. Until then, live in the present and enjoy the platter they’ve thoughtfully provided for us. David
@ www.smartguyrecords.com MP3 Download

Clown Down – “Living Alone” CD 11/38:33
I put off reviewing this CD for a long time because I thought the cover art was pretty contrived and the band name; oh man… the band name just made me cringe, a lot. See I’m a band name snob to be certain, and it’s such a fine line between good and bad band names, I’m afraid the men of Clown Down may be limiting their success levels with such a bad moniker. Then again the Archers of Loaf did ok, so who knows... Ok the music, this is very capital I, Indie rock, but not bad, parts remind me of later Hum or perhaps the less soundscapey shoe gaze stuff, with maybe a Built to Spill sort of vibe as well; everything is very well put together and a few of the songs do stand out in a positive manner such as ‘living alone’. There’s some of that Radiohead-esque stuff that all the kids go for these days. I’d say, with the right amount of push to the right people and enough tenacity to keep finely honing what makes the band great they could easily go on to better and brighter things. But please, please, please you men of ‘Clown Down’, for the love of crap, change the band name! Conan
@ www.clowndown.com/

Club 8 – “Strangely Beautiful” CD 11’32:13
The Swedish male/female duo is back with more post-lounge pop confections, with a few cuts remind me of vintage Cherry Red/Pillows and Prayers. It’s still dream pop, but it’s the dreams of the broken-hearted that inhabit this record. Very lovely indeed. David
@ www.parasol.com

Clusterfux - "Thrash Mongrel" CD 12/32:15
Bands that don't take themselves too seriously are a joy. Clusterfux is funny, punked up metal with a devil sign thrust into the air and a serious pain in the neck from thrashing. Vocals are hoarse and beer soaked, guitars have that speedmetal Motorhead sound, drums kick out some amazing rockin' breakdowns. "Making Fuck" is one of the best song titles I have seen in a long time. The goofy title actually masks a more serious intent, to criticize religion, television and U.S. warmongering. "Pictures When You Pee" is another wacky title for a serious song, addressing child molestation and the often futile attempts to seek justice. Riding a thin line between theatrical metal madness and topical significance, Clustefux is sheer genius. Mark
@ www.rodentpopsicle.com

Coachwhips – “Bangers vs. Fuckers” CD 7/19:45
Raw-and-raucous distorted garage noise from this SF outfit, very short but very sweet (at least it doesn’t come close to outstaying its welcome) and their best yet. You also get 18 minutes of live footage of the Coachwhips (or, more accurately, the tops of 2 of them) which, while no substitute for the footage contained on the “Burn My Eye” DVD, does give a taste of what the ‘whips can/could do live (think of it more as a bonus Live Album instead of live footage and you’ll appreciate it more). Unfortunately Mr. Dwyer jettisoned the other 2/3 of the band after this release, so while their future’s currently unclear at least we have this to remember their glory days by. David
@ www.narnackrecords.com

Coachwhips – “Get Yer Body Next to Mine” CD 14/27:58
Raucous all-levels-in-the-red garage punk from San Francisco, fairly frenzied and spirited enough to wipe the floor with many a pretender. Supposedly best experienced live (just imagine the chaos of a Guitar Wolf/Coachwhips double bill), but if you couldn’t get the bail together until after they’d already played your town this record will do just as well. David
@ www.narnackrecords.com

Coastal – “Halfway To You” CD 9/42:28
Slow, languid pop tunes here, played with acoustic guitar, keyboards, light drums, and a bass that glides under everything, accented by male and female vocals working in tandem. It feels like you are listening to a Brian Eno “Music For…” LP when you put this on, only with vocals accompanying the music. The vocals are far off sounding, especially with Luisa Gough’s ethereal Julee Cruise-like dreamy singing style, and are reminiscent of Slowdive or Low. This is definitely music for a slow steady rainy day, with music that you’ll never tap your toe to, yet you still find yourself wanting to listen to it over and over again. Maybe being from Utah makes you just take things nice and easy. Steve
@ www.words-on-music.com MP3 Download

Cobra High – “Sunset in the Eye of the Hurricane” CD 8/34:56
Another offering for the burgeoning Cold Crush music empire, Cobra High sounds like they could easily have shared a bill with early Cure, English Beat, PiL, etc. They are very keyboard heavy, and even though some of the ideas have a very contemporary feel, the overriding aesthetic seems to be in the ‘picking up where that style of 80s music’ left off kind of thing. I could definitely imagine them touring with Interpol and striking a chord with fans in the same way that band has. The songs are fairly catchy and even though there are some fairly complex almost prog like explorations (think more Trans Am and less Gentle Giant) and song structure at times, there’s always something for the listener to grapple on to and, presumably, dance around to. If this band isn’t super popular within a year, I’ll be very surprised. Conan
@ www.coldcrushrecords.com MP3 Download

Cock Sparrer – “Back Home” CD 23/79:44
The week I was assigned this CD, I had been riding a wave of obsession with Cock Sparrer’s classic record “Shock Troops.” Cock Sparrer were different from most UK punk and Oi bands because they started out before punk as a pub rock band and knew how to play their instruments. Colin’s able to hit a lot of notes and the band knew enough to vary the tempo and style, even on “Shock Troops.” Their conservative/skeptical stance is clear from songs like “Watch Your Back”; “Everybody’s talking about Revolution/Everybody’s talking about smash the state/Sounds to me like the final solution/Left Wing, Right Wing, full of hate”, and the patriotic “England Belongs To Me”; “Heads held high, fighting all the way/For the red, white, and blue.” Their musicianship and songwriting lifted them above the pack, and their 2000 San Francisco show was incredible. This CD is the entire 23-song set from the 2003 Holidays In The Sun festival in Britain. All the hits (“England Belongs To Me”, the classic anti-record exec tune “Take em All”, “Argy Bargy” Riot Squad” and on and on. In terms of songs, my only critique is the superfluous cover of “White Riot”- do we really need another cover of this floatin around? Yes, Joe Strummer is dead, how about covering a different song? The sound quality is not perfect, but it’s nowhere near bootleg quality. Colin’s voice comes through great, and the 4,000 strong crowd comes through great on the sing-a-long parts. Captain Oi does another good job with the liner notes, it includes interviews, flyers, and anecdotes from the band members. All that said, does this add anything to their already impressive catalog? Not really, this is the second live record they’ve released in as many years. For super fans only, everyone else should at least have “Shock Troops” in their record collection. Jesse
@ www.captainoi.com

Cockeyed Ghost - "Live In The Southwest" CD 15/68:39
Adam Marsland is one of the hardest working indie musicians around, having produced three studio albums with Cockeyed Ghost, touring for 252 days in 2002 in support of a solo record, and he's been a strong voice for the independent, DIY pop scene for years after getting screwed when the Big Deal label went belly up. This CD is a Japan only release, and it primarily contains live tracks from a couple of different shows, along with a couple of studio outtakes. The live recordings are raw and unedited, on one set, you'll hear plenty of crowd noise and vocals that are a little rough and cracking from having done six shows in the space of about a week. Another set is a primarily acoustic show at an outdoor venue, with Marsland's vocals being the main focus. But the power of the songs comes through on all of the tracks, Marsland puts out the energy of a punk show, but musically wears many pop influences (with occasionally dark lyrics) on his sleeve, ranging from the Beatles and Beach Boys (the harmonies on the unreleased song "Portland" are to die for!) to Elvis Costello to Todd Rundgren. It's probably a release that only fans of Marsland's work will enjoy, but keep an eye open for his four other releases with Cockeyed Ghost and a blazing live CD chronicling a solo tour he did last year; they're all well worth picking up. Steve
@ www.wizzard-in-vinyl.com

Cockney Rejects – “Greatest Hits Vol. 2” CD 23/64:02
Reissue of the second album (originally released in 1980 on bloody EMI) from this crew. Where so many Oi/streetpunk outfits (Then and Now) plod along like their boots were made out of cement, the Rejects demonstrated the (im)proper way to play this music: rousing, energetic, infectiously sing-along, and at an invigoratingly brisk pace. You’ll also get a period Peel session and single sides as bonus tracks as well. If you have any love at all for Oi you definitely need to pick this up. David
@ www.captainoi.com

Cockney Rejects - "Out Of The Gutter" CD 13/43:08
Never much went in for the hardcore, hooligan British punkers whose particular stream of punk came to be known as Oi, but this reissue of an early 80's disc by these mainstays of the scene isn't half bad. I've been informed by those in the know that this was considered their 'commercial sellout' LP, but given my relative ignorance in the form I can't tell the diff. Blaring, shouty, uncouth and snide (even have a song here by that very name), as only working-class Britain can dish out, with only the occasional intrusion of melody on the whole bangers-and-lager-soaked affair. Still, I can now understand why the diametrically opposed likes of Morrissey and the Big Boys both highly rate the man they call Stinky. MLH
@ www.captainoi.co.uk

Codec & Flexor – “Tubed” CD 12/61.27
German Techno Duo Codec & Flexor, make dance music that is probably popular in clubs by people whacked out on various narcotic substances. It’s too bad that the thing that I looked most about this CD was laughing at the ridiculous angel wing clad pictures inside, yes angel wings. What the hell were these tools thinking?! A few interesting sounds and ideas, but in the end Boring, boring, boring! This is way too Pet Shop Boys and not nearly enough Kraftwerk for my tastes. Pat
@ www.forterecords.com

Coffin Daggers – s/t CD 15/49:52
Debut from this NYC “horror surf” crew. This is very good dynamic surf with a darker feel to it, from folks who remembered to put a little drive into their playing (and that you can do so without necessarily having to break the speed limit) and more than a little effort into developing their material (something that not every surf band remembers to do). The eerier aspects of the final track promise good things for the future as well. Needless to say, recommended. David
@ www.coffindaggers.com MP3 Download

Cokes – “First Album” CD 10/30:49
New wave era punk rock n’ roll via a quartet of seemingly clean cut Japanese boys falling from grace – or maybe not. Their English isn’t good enough to let the listener know if the rock lifestyle has corrupted them to the level of Motley Crue, or if they’re still hanging back in the vicinity of Jay and the Americans. At this point it all appears to be in good clean fun, translating directly into the anthemic Buzzcocks-fashioned riffage that paces the disc. An overwhelming display of originality it is not, but a solid, enjoyable record regardless. Xtian
@ www.wizard-in-vinyl.com

Coldbluesky - "Echo of the Assassin" CD 6/24:01
Way too many bands are playing follow the leader these days. Emo-core tedium like this no more revolutionary than Britney Spears. Every note has been carefully crafted to echo other acts in the same sub-genre. Ho and I do mean hum. Mark
@ www.coldbluesky.com

Colin Clary and the Magogs - "Her Life of Crime" CD 24/55:32
Yes, the comparison to the Beach Boys makes sense. The melodies are similar, although in this case we have the girl/boy combination vocals going on. But stick Pet Sounds in 2004 and add a chick, and you wouldn't be far off. Happy songs with lyrics that are much more decidedly sad than they sound, this sunshiny beachy pop is not all fun and games. It's definitely twee. And pretty good, at that. Sharon
@ www.northofjanuary.com

Collisions - “Talk is the New Action” CD 11/40:47
It seems that the American Dream is not quite what it’s cracked up to be, according to the lead track from the latest effort from the Collisions. An interesting sentiment, if the year were 1970 and 400 bands hadn’t already ridden that sentiment into the ground. Fortunately, the rest of the album is far more exciting, particularly the driving “Live by Fire, Die by Fire,” but the band simply can’t resist the lure of cheesy lyrics, to the point that you’ll have a hard time enjoying this one beyond the way you’d enjoy a great Spinal Tap parody. Ryan
@ www.thecollisions.com

Colossal - s/t CD 6/24:51
A beautiful album from a quality Chicago band, comparable to the Red House Painters if Mark Kozelek’s voice wasn’t always dripping with quite so much sadness. A quiet CD of woven non-distorted guitar and prominent clear vocals. I have a feeling this band would completely blow you away live, while recorded you’ll want to listen at night with the lights off and your eyes closed. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful and smart this album is. I want these guys to teach me things. Sharon
@ www.asianmanrecords.com

Columbian Neckties – “Why Change Your Moves?” CD 12/39:59
Okay, who’s playing the New York Dolls records at 78 again? Yep the Neckties are back, claiming the “high-octane rock’n’roll” appellation for the issue. Not too much variety in terms of tempo, but this works (and rocks) well enough not to be an issue. So, when are they going to get their Denmarkian arses over here to tour? David
@ www.soundofsubterrania.com

Come N’Go – “Rhythm n’ Blood” CD 12/31:20
I swoon over raunchy, primitive rock ‘n’ roll on a daily basis but never really got into the kind of garage that’s so sloppily executed you think pieces of instruments are gonna start taking out vital body parts. The Come N’Go from Switzerland are not a garage band, judging by the snatches of thunderin’ rhythm, squawkin’ guitars, and Hasil Adkins-style hootin’ and hollerin’ I can make out, but man, listening to this is like standing outside a warehouse party, debating whether or not to crash it – the recording is that lo-fi. Although I think the sound quality detracts mightily from what is probably an ace collection of tunes, I know there’s a legion of you out there (fans of the Mummies, say) who revel in frenzied distortion and would prefer hanging outside anyway. Lily
@ www.voodoorhythm.com MP3 Download

Common Cold - "Bleep Bleep Bloop" CD 6/34:18
A cache of long, amorphous guitar-based instrumentals from this trio, that might compare favorably with the likes of Gastr del Sol. OK if you like that sort of mathematic musical/discord discourse (and the final cut is particularly and agreeably heavy on the discord); otherwise nothing terribly special. MLH
@ www.actiondriver.com

Communique - "A Crescent Honeymoon" CD 6/23:55
Melodic pop seems to be making a comeback these days in the form of bands that take some of the best of the 60's harmonies and adding new wave sensibilities in the way of keyboards and melody. That seems to be what this Oakland, CA band that features fromer members of American Steel is trying to do; and on a many of songs, they're successful. The second song, "Ugly Moon" is a good nearly acoustic number that has all the best qualities of these styles; great vocals that soar over a melodic song that rings of a mix of '80's bands like the Fixx. While a songs like that works, the next one, "Love Unconditional", falls into the trap of overused angsty overwrought vocals and melodies of bands like Saves the Day and other faux-emo bands. Fortunately, there isn't much of that here, the melody cuts through the limited times this gets too over-emotional, and it makes for a nice listen, and a natural progression from these musicians' work in other bands. Steve
@ www.lookoutrecords.com

Con Dolore - “Sailor’s Warning” CD 9/38:07
A light, dreapmpoppy treat, this disc is filled with samples and synthesizers, percussion and some guitars. The songs are atmospheric, with Kristy Moss’s sweet vocals bordering on something that I would get sick of, but never quite get enough of. Though the vocals may sound heavy (I’m sure these guys never crack a smile while singing) the melodies and lyrics come over as surprisingly uplifting, especially on tracks like “Quietly and Still.” Pam
@ www.clairecords.com

Concubine Forming – “The Guilt Will Kill” CD 10/38:55
Buffalo, NY trio that rips and tears and splays raw notes all over the room. With Eric Witz’s disembodied vocal dirt on “Utter Nonsense” and no-waveish Elvisitic moaning on “Die Fucker Die” things get off to a rousing start. The sonics are fairly compressed but the overall sound is adequately ferocious. No drummer is credited and I’m not sure if they’re playing a drum machine. On the title track the results are somewhat Big Black-ish. “Crispin Hellion Glover” celebrates the actor/weirdo with a grinding, vibrating noise anthem. “Everything’s Alright” is rough and tumble psycho-billy. I could definitely irritate the shit out of my co-workers in our office if I cranked this baby up on these cheesy little computer speakers I’m listening to this on. Hidden bonus track: Billy Squier’s “The Stroke.” Anthony
@ www.bigneckrecords.com MP3 Download

Consofos - “Such is the Way of Things” CD 5/33:35
Perhaps it’s old-fashioned of me, but I believe that if one person is going to be doing all of the singing for the band, then that person should be able to sing. I’m unclear as to why the rest of the band allows Stefanie Drootin to front it. While there are some nice melodies here, and a lovely harmonica part in “It’s War (Mama)” there isn’t one song that is sung in key, which unfortunately taints the rest of the bands sound, going from slow and moody to limp and wan. Pam
@ www.graydayproductions.com

Constatines – “Shine a Light” CD 12/46:26
These lads have been getting quite a bit of hype lately, so I wanted to review this CD just to see what all the fuss is about. Well, as silly as it sounds, the hype is warranted and the fuss is for good reason – the Constatines are a great rock band. It took me a couple of listens to warm up to their sound, but once it clicked I could see why they are so well liked. All of the other reviews I’ve read seem to make ‘Fugazi being fronted by Bruce Springsteen’ references, and that’s a tough one to argue with; the Springsteen is obvious, as singer Bryan Webb recalls not only the Boss but perhaps U.S. Maple’s Al Johnson as well. The music has a nice strong 90’s feel, coming across as equal parts Jesus Lizard and Fugazi, a band whose sound would be at home on either the Amphetamine Reptile or Dischord labels. ‘Shine a Light’ is full of catchy, unpretentious rock songs, something the world could use a little more of. Jake
@ www.subpop.com MP3 Download

Consumed - "Pistols at Dawn" CD 13/48:42
13 tracks of the same damn beat, the same damn chunking guitar line, the same slightly hoarse but sweet vocal delivery, the same lame ass break in the middle. The producer has politely buffed off any edges that might have existed, leaving a rock n roll record that neither rocks nor rolls. Possibly this would make good meditation music. That stuff is supposed to be repetitive, right? Mark
@ BYO, PO Box 67609, Los Angeles, CA 90067

Consumers All - s/t CD 14/62:55
Avante-garde psych-pop that stretches the limits of coherence but never breaks them. Barak Moffitt, the twisted mind behind Consumers All, sings like a cross between Syd Barrett and Sting. Abstract melodies float on the periphery, peaking in occasionally to jazz up the doings. It's Brit-pop in a funhouse mirror, tangled in wires, and foaming at the lip-stick stained mouth, not unlike a poppier, more rhythm-savvy Legendary Pink Dots. Randomly challenging and sporadically brilliant songs like "I Dream of Lizard People" and "Waking Up to Yourself in America" are more palatable than they sound, full of left-field instrumentation and nimble mood changes. Excellent for mix tapes and drug parties. John
@ www.imr1001.com

Contours - “The Best of the Contours” CD 11/30:16
Yes, 1962’s “Do You Love Me” is one of the greatest soul-rock records ever made, and there’s more where that came from. The Contours were the most rockin’ of all the Motown acts, which is saying something. When the Temptations showed up late for a session, Berry Gordy gave the Contours a shot at recording DYLM, and the rest as they say is history. But don’t think these guys were one hit wonders. This disc is filled with some of the greatest tracks ever recorded for Motown, including “It’s So Hard Being a Loser”, “Can You Do It” and “Just a Little Misunderstanding”. Very under-rated and absolutely essential! Mel
@ www.universalchronicles.com

Copeland – “Beneath Medicine Tree” CD 11/44:18
It’s refreshing to know that after all this time, there’s still room in my life for a four piece rock band that writes heavy love songs, has a whiny singer, and takes itself way too seriously. And damn it, Copeland do it so well. “Beneath Medicine Tree`” you see, is a tight, emo-light collection of crashing, grand, and dare-I-say, “power ballady” songs that manage to be thick with drama without being sappy. The guitars on tracks like “California” build beautifully and my only critique is that they don’t do that quite enough. That said, I’ve seen this on sale pretty cheap, so if you’re not a total fucking cynic and you’re into spirited rock somewhere between early Radiohead and your favorite emo group, check out Copeland. Scott
@ www.themilitiagroup.com

Cosmonauti - "Bikini Angel" CD 17/43:42
This Italian surf outfit reverberates with sun-dappled waters, gentle ocean breezes, swaying palm trees, soft warm sand, and hanging ten on 15-foot waves off the coast of some tropical island paradise - as they should. Their sound is vibrant, even on the five live tracks recorded when they played in San Jose, CA. Bravo! Lily
@ www.omomworld.com

Cougars – “Nice, Nice” CD 10/34:58
Yeah there are horns involved here, but they’re more in the Rocket From The Crypt vein than anything having to do with the sub-ska antics of Reel Big Fish. Matter of fact it’s pretty obvious that these folks have their RFTC waxings down pat; driving rock with not unfamilar horn-flourishes that compliment instead of detract from the music on hand. Even they don’t quite beat RFTC at their prime this still makes for a solid-enough listen; based on this evidence it’s not hard to believe that in time they could come up with their very own “Circa Now”. David
@ www.gokartrecords.com MP3 Download

Count the Stars – “Never Be Taken Alive” CD13/37:52
Emo hasn’t exactly enjoyed a string of successes lately, but fortunately bands like Count the Stars are filling the gaps. Instead of making the mistake of over-thinking things, these four fresh-faced lads are happy to give straight ahead rock that gives plenty of chances for foot stomping and head nodding and less time to wallow. Like that great band in high school, Count the Stars are all rock, all fun, and never too serious. “Better off Alone” and “Brand New Skin” particularly sparkle – just try getting them out of head after one morning listen. We dare you. Ryan
@ no address

Counterfit – “Super Amusement Machine for your Exciting Heart” CD 10/35:19
Boy, if a case could be made suing bands for false advertising, Counterfit would be spending all it’s time in court instead of on tour. “Super Amusement Machine for your Exciting Heart” is most likely the most boring slab of recycled emo/sensitive-guy-punk you’ll hear this year. Each of the 10 tracks here has it’s own little sped-up moments, it’s own meandering beat, and wailed lyrics – so not surprisingly, each song sounds exactly the same. If you’ve listened to Jimmy Eat World or Breaking Pangaea in the past few years, you’ve already heard this, and you’ve heard it done far, far better. Ryan
@ www.counterfit.net

Country Teasers - "Secret Weapon Revealed At Last"/"Full Moon Empty Sportsbag" CD13/54:23
I try to read every review in this mag., but I get distracted. I plough in but I don't ever seem to finish because life takes over. The new Country Teasers record is akin to being distracted. Maybe that's why they play music. To distract them from something else. They're self-aware that they play music. As I try to pin down their deep-fried songs and write something I get distracted and can't type. The second song, "Hairy Wine 2" is extraordinary. But I can't say why. "Life is A Rehearsal" is very different but I can't qualify how. It's halfway over and I don't remember what I heard. Just random noise, fractious chaos coming at me from these Technics speakers. There are no musical notes here. I can't decipher them as having meaning. "Wizmo 1" clatters like beats in a can, and then grumbles along. I' m hungry, but I'm not. "Please Stop Fucking Each Other" isn't actually playing, it's only a simulation. "Man v. Cock" is the opposite of itself. Ironic. Can't think. In the end what have I learned? Always looking backwards, dreaming of tomorrow. Oh forget it, I quit. Anthony
@ www.intheredrecords.com

Crack – “Live in Atlanta USA 2001” CD 13/49:16
Yep, it’s the venerable buncha street-punks, caught live in Yank territory circa 2001. Unlike too many similar outfits that either reform or never go away, the lads manage not to embarrass themselves, carrying on with enough energy to reassure the fans. Sound quality could be a tad better though. As per usual with these live things, those already into the band will be into this, those who aren’t probably won’t be converted. David
@ www.dss.at

Cramps – “Fiends of Dope Island” CD 13/46:45
The Cramps once again crawl out of their crypt to unleash their patented brand of ghoulabilly upon the land. While the tracks don’t quite shine like drops of Technicolor blood that they used to, they’re still evidently capable of creating music that puts many a wannabe to shame. There’s even an inspired swipe at Les Baxter’s “Taboo” thrown in for good measure (though they might not seem the type, anyone who’s read Re/Search’s Incredibly Strange Music knows these folks don’t shy away from their exotica). Worth picking up indeed. David
@ www.vengeancerecords.com

Crashcart - “Sleepers Awake” CD 11/36:11
Featuring bassist Rich Labatte of Knapsack, this shiny emo-core band is pleasant enough, and that’s the rub. They find melody in everything, but that doesn’t always translate into a fully-realized song. “All Is Quiet Now” shows promise and the somber “Halfway Home” is well done, but more than a few of these songs get lost in one another. None make a lasting impression. Why did Knapsack break up, anyway? Anthony
@ www.slowgunrecords.com

Creep Division/I Want Out – split CD 11/16:55
You gotta love split EPs and LPs because, man, you get a taste of two bands that otherwise you may not get a chance to hear at once or even at all. But if you’re into chunky punk and crusty rock then maybe you know about these guys. I don’t know. Well anyway, Creep Division have 6 songs to offer up and their take on music is a cross between old school hardcore and new school retro love. It’s a lot like Straight Ahead with the shouts and anthems so I enjoyed these guys okay. Good clean solid maniacal fun. I Want Out are a little more forward with their tunes. What I mean is that Creep Division will blast their way all over the place while these cats play it to the point with a single rhythm and intention and that’s that! Plus they got only 5 songs so…that’s one less than the Creep Division boys. The songs are a bit longer which makes up for a lot. I guess. There’s this song “Pull Up A Chair” which could be a big hit on the punk circuit. Maybe it is. I’m out of the loop man. Send help! Whittaker
@ www.loreleirecords.com

Creeper Lagoon - “Remember the Future” CD 5/19:00
Now down from two main vocalists to one, Creeper Lagoon, the little indie band that couldn’t, soldiers on with yet another E.P. of lovely but ultimately empty dream-pop. I’ve always been naturally suspicious of bands that seem to get a lot of underground hype but never make the full breakout, and Creeper Lagoon substantiates all these fears. While some songs here draw you in momentarily, and “The Way it Goes,” is among the best they’ve done, Creeper Lagoon remains very much a band of all hype and very little substance. This is without question a record by a band that isn’t sure what to do next. Ryan
@ www.arenarockrecordingco.com

Crème Blush – “Basket of Bets” CD 5/20:45
Look back to the days of what some would disparagingly call new wave disco, the female duo (Half Japanese, half American) cooks up (non-techno) beats-driven pieces with an icy sheen. Vox range from aloof ice queen to post-indie to “Sex Dwarf”/Soft-Cellish squealing (the latter especially on the Yazoo-ish “Paul 7E”). The best track is the blatant Georgio Mordier (Kraftwerk?)-meets-modern-rock instrumental “Tokyo Express” but the other tracks aren’t anything to sneeze at either. Don’t know if this is supposed to be lumped in with the ‘electroclash’ folk but either way this is worth checking out. David
@ www.iluvcremeblush.com

Crime - "San Francisco's Still Doomed" CD 22/53:01
Don't let the new artwork fool ya, this is a reissue of the "San Francisco' Doomed" LP from 1990, with alternate takes of the two tunes from their debut single. In fact, Crime's "Hot Wire My Heart/Baby, You're So Repulsive" was the first American punk single back in '76, though it may be best know for Sonic Youth's A-side cover version. These recordings, date from 1976-79. I like the sound of this better than the long out of print LP version, this shrill mix is just plain nasty. A unique band I used to see a lot here in SF, and always thought they were truly great. Here's the proof. Mel
@ www.swamirecords.com

Crime and Judy - "Vendetta Chants" CD 5/20:12
Featuring Keith Brammer (ex-Die Kruetzen) on bass, and two female vocalists who often sound like they are being prodded with hot pokers (not necessarily a bad thing) and some danceable rhythm. I'm not sure why, but Siousie and the Banshees comes to mind when I listen to this; and certainly other early 80's groups such as the Raincoats or Au Pairs are apt comparisons. There are some really melodic dream pop moments mixed in with some pounding drum and bass, and the vocals are used to carry the melody as much as they're used to convey a lyrical message. This one takes awhile and isn't for someone who doesn't mind a little caterwauling in their vocals, but I actually dig it. Steve
@ www.latestflame.com MP3 Download

Crime in Choir – “The Hoop” CD 10/32:00
Prog’s not dead mate! Second release from this instrumental Hella spin-off sails straight past the Krautrock of the debut and lands firmly in “p-word” territory, electric keyboards and all. Still, those (justifiably) skittish when it comes to said genre shouldn’t fret; these folks are creative hobbits indeed and have definitely learned from the mistakes from their predecessors; this is “prog” with all the excess and bombast exercised (it helps that only 3 of the tracks break the 4 minute barrier, with none of them making it to 5), staying focused instead of drowning in a swamp of self-indulgence. One of the very few cases where “prog” really is short for progressive instead of simply rhyming with “frog”. David
@ Frentic Records

Crimson Sweet – “Livin’ in Strut” CD 11/34:59
With a singer that sounds like the bastard lesbian love-child of Joan Jett and Cinder Block/Tilt, Crimson Sweet rock hard enough to rise above their truly awful band name. Catchy and varied, this like one of Joan Jett’s recent revved-up rock record like “Pure and Simple” crossed with some mid-tempo punk. Outta New York City! Jesse
@ www.ononswitch.com

Cropknox - "You Say it Like it's a Bad Thing ..." CD 12/27:56
There's no hope, no future, the government is telling us lies and no one likes the punks. That pretty much covers this and the majority of releases on PunkCore. The playing is reasonably good, the vocals are strong, but GBH did it all a million years ago. Mark.
@ www.punkcore.com

Crumbs – “Last Exit” CD 14/39:47
A little moodier than earlier Crumbs records, this combines their now-patented tuneful, earnest yowling over solid distorto-punk with pint-swinging weepers . I swear I can hear lonesome train whistles echoing over the plains in the background, maybe it’s the slide guitar that’s added with good effect to some tracks? Rising above their original party till you puke beginnings, the Crumbs are facing the ups and (mostly) downs of life head on, and giving us some great songs in the process. Jesse
@ www.tkorecords.com

Crush – “Here is Where I Cross My Fingers” CD 12/40:04
Really good punk pop alt rock, and I recommend getting this CD. I’m not going to go into detail because it’s a case of formulaic A + B, without bringing anything really new to the mosh pit, as it were. Perhaps I’m jaded from hearing a lot of music, both live and recorded, and this is well-dressed same-new-same-new. Exceedingly well done, if indistinguishable. Anyway, I really did enjoy this, and would be pleased to see them, especially if they brought the woman on the cover along with ‘em. RBF
@ Adeline, 5345 College Ave #318, Oakland, CA 94618
@ no address

Cul de Sac – “Death of the Sun” 6/42:28
After too many years out of the studio, CdS have returned with a superbly crafted and satisfyingly challenging record. Yep it’s another game of take-and-manipulate-some-samples-and-incorporate-them-into-music bit, which thanks to lesser hands sounds like a scary concept indeed. However, each member of CdS (including new sample-meiser Jake Trussell, who definitely doesn’t settle for the tried and true) expertly uses his own skills to effectively build around the sample (instead of trying to fit a square sample into a round hole), resulting in varied pieces of exquisite beauty. Highly recommended and one of my top ten for the issue. David
@ www.strange-attractors.com

Culper Ring - "355" CD 8/43:27
Culper Ring is a side project made up of members of Amber Asylum, Subarachnoid Space, and Neurosis/Tribes of Neurot. If you have heard any of the Steve Von Till solo stuff, I think you'll have an idea of what to expect from this disk. It feels like a sound track to a movie about opium traders traveling through Morocco to make a deal. Along the way, during the night, some bad shit goes down, and the "trip" these guys are on, gets real dark. But finally, in the end, the sun comes up again, and like all good movie soundtracks, the opening theme is reprised, and you know that even though you just went though a surreal journey, you made it through okay. Maybe with a couple of new scars, but a little wiser. If you are a fan of Tribes of Neurot, you'll like this album, if you are a fan of Neurosis, you'll probably be disappointed by how "soft" this album is. Manny
@ www.neurotrecordings.com MP3 Download

Culture - “World Peace” CD 13/50:52
Reggae; the very term inspires a collective “I could take it or leave it” from music fans. In the case of the latest venture from scene veterans Joseph Hill and Culture, I’ll take it. This upholds the number one rule of both reggae and jazz - be smooth, have a cool beat, and don’t get too crazy with it. His goal is to make swinging party background music, and “World Peace” will do fine. “Time is Getting`” offers a particularly head-nodding jam, and the rest flows by without incident. Good enough! Ryan
@ www.rounder.com/heartbeat

Curl Up And Die - "But The Past Ain't Through With Us" CD 4/23:43
Good lord, I'm not the best person to be reviewing this. Here's Mr. Pop Melody listening to a grindcore CD and trying to figure out what exactly to say...well, let's start with the music. It alternates between speed metal, hardcore punk, staccato bursts of guitar energy with stops and starts, all interspersed with the screams of vocalist Mike Minnick. And when I say screams, I mean SCREAMS; not a soft voice anywhere on this baby. Well, until you get to the last track, which sounds like an industrial soundscape, literally right out of the Industrial Revolution of the 1800's, with a steady beat and moderation on the vocals, until it gets to about the 7:30 mark of the song (it clocks in at a tad over 14 minutes!), where the screaming and pulsating beat starts again. They've got an interesting production on the final song, which is entitled "God Is In His Heaven, All Is right With the World"; where Minnick's voice is buried at the back for the most part (except for the momentary and seemingly obligatory screamo section), sounding gruff and distant. If you are into something a little different, a whole lot angry, and don't mind not being able to decipher a single word of the lyrics, even with a lyric sheet in front of you, then give this a shot. It will definitely cure your need for coffee to wake you up. Steve
@ www.revelationrecords.com

Curtains - "Fly Bys" CD 22/30:25
If robots could really make music I think it would sound like this. Lots of little blips and beeps, it's not too different from the little recordings I would make on my Casio SK-1 keyboard when I was 8 years old. Then the guitar kicks in and suddenly you're listening to a post punk guitarist playing with a band of robots. Lose the robots all together and I'll be a lot happier. Maybe they aren't robots afterall. Maybe they're green space creatures going to the circus while playing Game Boys. Sharon
@ www.thinwrist.com MP3 Download

Cuts – “2 Over Ten” CD 11/40:17
Imagine an alternative universe where Big Star came not out of Memphis, but from CBGB’s era NY and you’ll start to get an idea of this Oakland-based outfit’s coming from. Not to imply that this sounds like they’re following the Strokes in jumping on the current retro bandwagon, but a bit of that era does bleed in, especially in terms of vox, guitar, and possessing more of an garagey edge than you’d find in most powerpop (not to imply that Big Star were without their edges, but you know what I mean). Check them out! David
@ www.birdmanrecords.com

Cuts – s/t CD 11/40:01
Long out of print vinyl debut LP from local Oakland 60s-90s mod rocksters finally on compact disc for those of us who missed ‘em the first time around. Personally, this is a little too loose and jangly for me, I think their second record found them hitting their stride in both their sound and their song-writing. That said, if you’re a rabid Cuts fan or if you want to hear where the increasingly popular Cuts came from, check this out. Jesse
@ Birdman, PO Box 50777, Los Angeles, CA 90050

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