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Eamonn Vitt – “Deserted Music” CD 9/30:22
Vitt left the Boston band Karate to go to Columbia Medical School in NYC, did a stint working on the Zuni reservation in New Mexico, and recorded this is Brooklyn. Well traveled, both physically and musically. I’m willing to be honest widcha, I never heard Karate (during or after Vitt was there) so I can’t really make a comparison, but this is some decent rock pop in a singer/songwriter vein. His voice reflected the acoustic guitar pretty well. I would have liked to hear more of just Vitt’s voice; there is a bit too much self/looped harmonies, but the songs are driving and well played. RBF
@ www.selfstarterfoundation.com MP3 Download

Earaches – “Fist Fight, Hot Love” CD 15/32:05
An often appealing amalgam of punk and '60s garage music, which shouldn’t really surprise anyone given that Do the Pop’s Alan Wright – he of the consummate taste in music – is the drummer as well as one of the vocalists and songwriters. This CD has a nice dirty guitar sound, a primitive feel, a heavy beat, alternately snooty and bluesier treated vocals, and some blistering lead frills. In short, it’s exactly the sort of garage punk attack that certain lesser “revival” bands are nowadays being praised for by scads of Johnny-come-lately music scribes who are always years behind the curve. The Earaches certainly aren’t too late for this or any other “trend`” being rock’n’roll purists, but because they’re “too noisy” and not living in LA or sporting those cool early-Stones haircuts, they’ll probably be consigned permanently to the underground. That’s fine with all of us underground denizens, but why couldn’t Iggy have teamed up with them instead of Sum 41? Jeff
@ www.steelcagerecords.com

East Arcadia - "We Only See From Where We Stand" CD 10/26:47
Five guys from California play generic new skool punk in the Epitaph records mould. There are some smart observations in the lyrics, but the execution is flat. Dire vocals and ringing guitars combine to paint a Bad Religion picture. The playing is far above par, but the music is way too familiar. Mark
@ Geykido Comet, PO Box 3743, Laguna Hills, CA 92654

Echo Is Your Love – “8 Hours” CD 9/53:08
Shoegazing at its finest. Really. These cats from Finland do us proper with whispy ditties that both invigorate and amphetamine. It sounds like it was recorded in the steam room at the local gym and chock full of black lights. Sometimes it can get on the Noise tip, which is cool, but the other tunes are so good and full-bodied that I just wanted that realm to persist. In all honesty this album was great and I wish I had tea-shades to help me with the emo-psychedelics. Nice. Whittaker
@ www.stickfigurerecords.com

Echoboy – “Giraffe” CD 10/50:48
After a few previous flirtations this album finds Echoboy doing a full-on dive into the wonderful world of electro-pop, managing not to totally jettison his more experimental leanings nor sell his soul to the Electroclash/retro devil in the process. Still, while the goods on display are of at least solid quality (or more than same on such tunes as “Automatic Eyes”), there aren’t enough of the true pop smarts (whether well-concealed or unashamed) needed to make this as undeniably catchy as it could have been. David
@ www.mute.com

Ecstasy of Saint Theresa – “Thirteen Years in Noises” CD 15/64:26
Talk about your great releases; this compiles some of this Czech group’s output over thirteen years of recording. Ranging from shoegazer My Bloody Valentine trance to heavy ambient and electronic works that incorporate classical instruments like flutes and cellos, this band has had only three other proper releases and they are all difficult to find. It changes style and tempo quickly at times, and always leaves you wondering “Where did that come from?” It can be rather jolting to hear a song that goes from heavy electronic noise to quiet melancholy in the snap of a finger, but behind the noisescape are melodic elements that are familiar. I think of the Jesus and Mary Chain on their earlier numbers, as well as Ride and Slowdive. As the band grew over time, the guitar elements started to take a backseat to more electronic soundscapes that give the songs a techno beat on occasion, but they rarely leave the melody in the lurch, even when they produce off-kilter Bjork like sounds. Very unique in sound and tone, this band hopefully will be releasing more material that is easily accessible to the rest of the world. Steve
@ www.revola.co.uk

Ed James - "Rocketship" CD 12/38:02
Borderline fatal Powerpop-damaged one man band makes record that would have given the Knack a run for their money back in the day. Neither individual enough nor sufficiently willing to fuck with the formula to make the contents worthy of more than a few listens. It's all very loud, shiny, and happy - but ultimately as formal as a rented junior prom suit, and just as easily disposed of. MLH
@ www.jamrecordings.com

Eddie Haskells - "It's Going Down" CD 5/23:37
Snot factor = high!, punk factor = high!, Johnny Thunders and Stiv Bators squealing vocals = yes!, solid playing with the proper amount of grit and attitude = Bingo! What's not to like on a CD that is simple anthemic punk rock straight out of the first wave and includes a hidden track cover of the fabulous Undertones "Teenage Kicks", right? Out of Oakland, CA, this band does old school punk the right way, with energy, spunk, and the right amount of sloppiness to keep it loose and fast. Aces. Steve
@ www.eddiehaskells.org

Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater - "Rock 'N' Roll City" CD 13/41:43
The headdress-wearing blues man brings Chicago to LA, Tennessee and the Big Easy. Backed by Los Straitjackets, he moves his rocking R&B all over the place with a take on "Lonesome Town", the pure rock-a-billy of "Midnight Groove", straight blues of "Before the Song is Over", a cover of Fats Domino 's "Let the Four Winds Blow" and the six minute organ breakdown of "Good Times are Coming." It's got an authentic nostalgia, but the song selection is weak, too much of a garden variety sampler or something. I'm sure he has hundreds of songs in his head. If you're ever in Chicago check him out live at Eddy Clearwater's Reservation Blues Restaurant and Club. Anthony
@ www.bullseye.com

Edward Rogers – “Sunday Fables” CD 13/42:07
Rogers leans on some timeless pop hooks on these songs, co-written with pop master George Usher. This mixes in some classic folk pop melodies and touches of chamber pop with some classic French pop leanings of Serge Gainsbourg, the British pop of the Zombies, and U.S. indie pop influences like the Velvet Crush. Rogers shows off a range of both songwriting abilities and the talent to pull off a musically varied release. He gets a lot of help on this from Usher, who also contributed guitar, organ and backing vocals. These songs have a quality that never goes out of style because is mixes a number of genres effortlessly, and the lyrics are spot on and adult, waxing nostalgic on lost love and better times. This is a fun listen, with a nice mix of Rickenbacher laden jangle and chamber pop with varied moods and sounds. Steve
@ www.notlame.com

EE - "For 100 We Try Harder" CD 10/64:18
The relaxed California quartet treads the shallow waters of gleaming power-pop and manages to keep their ankles dry. Tasty guitar stunts and smooth, pretty vocals are bolstered by robotically precise but visceral drums and bass. The tried and true indie melodies sound much more fresh when they're laid over excellent, grainy guitar textures. The meditative nature (and length) of these songs might not be fully justified, but the overall sound is so unassuming, and the vocalist so at ease, that you can't help but be that way too. Robust atmospheric music for sensitive types. John
@ www.eetheband.com

Eels - "Shootenanny!" CD 13/41:24
I'm not intimate with Eels' discography, but I get the impression "Shootenanny!" is a bit less depressing than most of their work. E, (aka Mark Oliver Everett), suffuses his songs with the spirit of traditional balladry ("The Good Old Days") as much as he does post-modern playfulness ("Saturday Morning"). Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen form visible reference points for E's grizzled voice. His timbre is wistful and wind-blown like those artists, though his lyrics are more like ruminations on the absurdity of subjectivity. There's also that vaguely cheesy sense of humor, a bit too clever and conversational for its own good. It come off as alternately edgy and adult contemporary (Aimee Mann-style), which is to say, sometimes revelatory but more frequently generic. The melodies and textures are quite palatable, however. If you're a fan, you'll probably like this. If not, borrow it from someone who is. John
@ www.eelstheband.com

Effection - "Soundtrack to a Moment" CD 12/50:11
Relying on traditional late 70's new wave power pop beats that cross the Romantics and Elvis Costello with the mod sounds of the Jam, this band features former members of the punk outfit Limp, ska punks the Dance Hall Crashers (yes the occasional ska beat pops up on a song or two) and Waterdog. Great harmonies, songs that alternate between full on rockers and breezy melodic pop, and a nice full guitar sound fill up this release that fits in with some of the better power pop out there these days. Fans of Ted Leo will dig this, it has many of the same influences and vocal stylings as Leo, even if it lacks some of the inventiveness that Leo possesses. A top notch debut that holds a ton of promise for future efforts. Steve
@ www.adelinerecords.net

Einstürzende Neubauten – “Perpetuum Mobile” CD 12/66:53
The idea of a “mature”, “subdued” EN was most likely unthinkable back during the days when sparks would literally start flying during their performances, sending audiences running for the exit. Still, that doesn’t mean that they’ve fallen prey to conventionality. The clanking still shows up, but now it’s incorporated as an element of a well-constructed piece rather than for the all-out assaults of yore. Some of the less successful tracks show the languid influence of Blixa’s former employer Nick Cave, but tracks like “Ich gehe jetzt”, “Ein Seltener Vogel”, and the title track demonstrate that they can grow old rather gracefully. Still, if they’re not carefully the circle of Heck known as “post-industrial MOR” awaits them. David
@ www.mute.com

El Centro – “Prohibido!” CD 13/33:46
Who says power pop rock has to have no balls? Coming from a metal background, lead singer “Crabby” Cabler (who survived the terrorist attack in Bali…the band’s manager didn’t) drives the harmonies and hooks with a powerful punch. He retains the power, and yet is still melodious and his songs are hook-laden. And, for this niche, the band manages to make the songs not all sound alike. That alone is a miracle. A definite rising of the quality level of this genre. Hope they play my way, ‘cause I wanna catch ‘em. RBF
@ www.fingerrecords.au

Electras - s/t CD 13/32:30
This '60s high school garage band featured Presidential candidate John Kerry. It's mostly Ventures/Duane Eddy styled instrumentals. "Electra" is a rockin' original, and the vocal cover of Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya" is another highlight. For fans of the never ending stream of '60s garage obscurities this is essential. Mel
@ www.theelectrasrockandrollband.com

Electrelane – “Power Out” CD 11/43:23
I know some folks have been raving about this album, but all it does around this household is make me scratch my head and wonder what the hell happened here. They’ve shifted their sound considerably, landing right at the point where UK post-punk was beginning to lose its way: failed experiments, half-baked missteps, and promising ideas gone bad in execution. I appreciate their desire to musically stretch out and there are some decent tracks here, but all in all the sophomore slump is in full effect here. A pity. David
@ www.beggars.com

Electric Eye – “Electric Wisdom” CD 13/32:20
Pretty good ragged energetic punk rock, with vocals ranging from Rob Younger’s snottier younger cousin to “Muppet-from-hell”, as well as various points in-between. Sounds best when they utilize the latter (which seems to be their secret weapon) but overall this is still a pretty good platter indeed. David
@ www.dirtnaprecs.com

Electric Frankenstein – “Listen Up, Baby!” CD 13/36:16
Aah, the sweet, sugary strains of those orchestrators of old meets new in the punk arena. Steve Miller’s vocals go from Stiv Bators to the guy frop the Hives in a heartbeat as this monster rips through thick and creamy punk gems like “Hammered”, “You’re So Fake” and the title track. They are not mired in just the garage as they pull off a sturdy cover if “Rock and Roll is Dead” by the amazing Rubinoos. Another fine Timebomb Tom-type tome of tuneage. Anthony
@ wwwtkorecords.com

Electric Frankenstein/El Nada – “Electric Frankenstein Meets El Nada” CD 8/19:34
I lost track of Electric Frankenstein’s activities years ago, shortly after they released their 135th (or whatever) single. But the good ol’ monster is still going strong and it doesn’t seem like I’ve missed much except for a bassist or three. This split release showcases more of their rockin’ punk stylings - three originals plus a treatment of El Nada’s “502 Blues.” El Nada presents three original NY-style hardcore numbers as well as their rendition of EF’s “N.Y. Knights.” The stuff here is nothing new (to quote EF’s “Leave It at That”), but it gets the blood pumping and the artwork is outstanding, as always. Lily
@ www.fingerrecords.com

Electric Shocks - s/t CD 3/6:23
A nifty little EP that's 2 parts garage punk and a little blues with someone who sings like Feargal Sharkey in his best "Teenage Kicks" Undertones days. The first song "Baby What's Your Plan?" is a top notch punk raver with melody, great ringing lead guitar work, and an infectious chorus. The middle track, "My My" relies of some more tried and true garage sounds, as does the last track "Life is Sweet". Blues riffs run through the last song, giving it a Billy Childish feel, and the song is accentuated by a harmonica. This is a fun EP that sounds more true to the raw original form than some of the bands making a name for themselves these days like the Vines. Plenty of fun. Steve
@ www.vinyljapan.com

Electro Group – "Ummo" CD 7/29:11
Well, now we know what kind of kid you get when you mate My Bloody Valentine and old-style Stereolab. This is highly enjoyable, noisy pop music at its finest coming straight out of Sacramento, California. God knows if these kids will ever get the fanfare and praise they deserve for crafting quality tunes; my guess is the press will keep heaping the praise on the crap irony rock and cheeseball electroclash. Too bad for the band, but at least us fans get to keep them all to ourselves. Jake
@ www.omnibusrecords.com

Electromagnetic – s/t CD 5/16:24
Pretty nice garage pop with attractive male and female vox. Only five songs, but the ol’ make-up-for-quality-what-they-lack-in-quantity applies here. The half-spoken/half-sung bits of “Love You to Pieces” actually don’t sound too dissimilar to garage fave “Hey Little Girl”. Bring on the full-length! David
@ www.theelectromagnetic.com

Elefant – “Gallery Girl” CD 3/11:28
This band’s publicity states this will “secure [their] role in the new music game.” Yeah, if you consider David Bowie circa “Let’s Dance” as new music. Detroit born singer Diego Garcia tries so hard to be Bowie, he even sings in a British accent. Homage? Rip-off? It’s one thing to have a band or singer influence, it’s another to just try to sound like them. Either way, it’s played out and just dull. RBF
@ www.elfantweb.com

Elekibass/Quinka with a Yawn – split CD 9/30:38
Elektibass gives up some whimsical psychish post-Smile sunshine pop/rock. Quinka with a Yawn (like Elektibass, also from Japan) get more indie (though not without some post-psych touches of their own) with female vox and less whimsy, that’s at its most winning on their first song, “Napoli”. Worth getting for Elektibass and the aforementioned “Napoli”. David
@ www.hhbtm.com/joystick MP3 Download

Elf Power - “Walking with the Beggar Boys” CD 11/32:00
In what seems to be their seventh proper album (along with god knows how many EPs, compilations, whatever), Elf Power bring you “Walking with the Beggar Boys”, an album that manages to sound instantly recognizable as their work and yet have a number of odd influences and quirks that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear out of these erstwhile Elephant 6’ers. Most notably, this record is much more of a straight-forward rock record than the silly songs that populate the band’s past; at times it sounds like it could be a Snow Patrol record as much as an Elf Power one. Still, it’s a good listen, with a great 1-2 punch out of the songs “Walking with the Beggar Boys” and “Drawing Flies”. This album may be a disappointment to some die hard fans, but I think most folks will easily realize it’s still a great record, even if there’s no mention of serpents or leopards or birds with candy bar heads. Jake
@ www.orangetwin.com

Elgin James - “For Carol " CD11/38:39
Is this guy supposed to be the underground Lenny Kravitz? I don't mean to insult him, he's better than that, it's just that he looks the part in the overly posed photos in the booklet. His music is emotive quasi-soulful singer/songwriter with broken heart on sleeve type. "Screaming Silence" is actually quite catchy. But when he gets the idea he can go countryish on "Oncoming Lane" and "Your Deepest Scar" he loses me. He even tries to "rock", which as we all know, is easier said than done. The best track is "Ohio", which feels less forced and more honest than most of the rest. Anthony
@ www.lonesomerecordings.com

Elliott - "Song In The Air" CD 10/49:21
I really like this band. A lot! The major bummer part is that they have officially broken up and are touring right now knowing that this will be their last tour. And this will be their last album. I hate it when things like this happen. As a usual metal head, bands like Elliott come along for me only in a rare speck of happenstance. The four Midwest boys can take a tune, wrangle it up with soft touches and traditions then spray it full of heavy knocks and pings to shake the room and expectancies. "Song In The Air" is brooding, sure, but never whiny, which usually happens with other bands that take the emotive (!!!) road while trying to maintain ground with vocals bent on poetic neverlands over wispy guitars and chunky beats. Elliott makes it sound as if they invented the sound and control it with a loose yet firm grip that vasts over the usual display of "indie" or "emo" bands. I guess you could stow them in that dull category, but I just wouldn't. Their sound is just too big and too refined to hole up with sad clowns in tight vintage tee shirts and denim jeans. In fact that's why I got so into these guys: You can read their lineage of influences like a repair manual and I know, you know, that hard rock and metal is in their somewhere. Along with punk, classical and good ol' 70s stadium rock because this band and album could fill one with no degree of difficulty. But it's all over now. So just take what you can get Whittaker
@ www.revelationrecords.com

Eluvium - “Lambent Material” CD 5/35:53
One-man project from Portland’s Matthew Cooper, who apparently specializes in conjuring up waves of warm guitar noise that come across as ethereal instead of earsplitting, you probably know the type by now. Can’t say this is the most substantive offering of the issue, but it’s good for those 3-in-da-morning bliss-out/comedown listening experiences without coming off as slight-hipper new age mush. David
@ www.temporaryresidence.com

Emerald Down - "Aquarium" CD 5/26:43
This new album released on Honest In Secret is perfect for all shoegaze and 4AD fans. "Aquarium" seems like the lost Souvlaki b-sides (nothing quite so brilliant as Alison, but dreamy nonetheless).  Vocalist Rebecca Basye completes the band's perfectly dreary soundscape with a voice worthy of any This Mortal Coil release. Though I don't think this release in any way surpasses the talent and originality of Emerald Down's predecessors and influences, but makes for a good listen for those of us who wish the Cocteau Twins would put out another record. Mona
@ http://honestinsecret.com

Emperor X - “Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform” CD 11/38:09
Emperor X is Chad Matheny, a one man group that specializes in not specializing in anything. This release is all over the map like a blind man throwing darts. Sounding like Syd Barrett, one moment, Sebadoh the next, and Postal Service after that, it’s pretty obvious that not only does the emperor have clothes, but he has a ton of different outfits and likes to play dress-up quite often. And while not an amazing release by any means, it’s eclecticism holds one’s interest decently over the first few listens; for how long it continues to sound good to you after that depends wholly on how much you enjoy one man’s solo version of an eclectic mix tape. I mean, the man name-checks Friendster for chrissakes. Jake
@ www.snowgloberecords.com

Enablers - "Sweet Fuck All" CD 6/19:57
This is closer to melodic mid-tempo rock than anything else, slower than punk but still as heartfelt; the kind you'd expect to hear Vic Bondi doing vocals for in one of his post-Articles of Faith outfits (Alloy, Jones Very). And like those bands, they release an album with perhaps one superb song (in this case "Tomorrow") and a buncha other tracks that, while listenable, never quite manage to tempt one into pressing the"repeat" button on the player. One of those records that you play once, nod at the track you like, and file away until it's time to weed out the collection for rent money. David
@ www.thenewestindustry.com

End On End – “Why Evolve When We Can Go Sideways?” CD 12/41:07
Unrelenting, urgent, pissed-off, political thrash. Tracks such as “To Sow Hatred As Self-Defense” and “The More That You Consume” make the point pretty clearly. The opener, “If You Only Knew How Wrong We’ve Been” is my favorite: “Capitalism and consumerism are squeezing the life out of humanity/ Rich getting richer/ Middle getting poorer/ And the poor – the poor just die…” If you only knew… is right. This is one of those bands who will be criticized for letting the politics guide the music but, as Aristotle said, we are all political animals whether we know or care. Fuck Bush, fuck his sleazy war and fuck the ignorant masses who eat up that shit. Anthony
@ www.substandard.com

Ends - "Sorry XoXoXo" CD 13/37:31
Debut album from these Austin folks, cranking out melodic punk that's closer to what was being produced Back In The Day (i.e. late 70s/early 80s) than any of the stale bubblegum that too often gets passed off as same. Not bad at all, and it sounds pretty good coming out of the car speakers, but it falls a tad short of having that special spark that puts a record over the top; it tempts one more into head-nodding than spazzing-around-the-room, Still, it's pretty solid at the very least, and the Costello cover ("Radio, Radio") is a winner indeed. David
@ www.peladorecords.com MP3 Download

Ennio Morricone – “Psichedelico Jazzistico” CD 15/55:13
Yet another Morricone collection, this time sampling seven movies from 69-’71 and one ’77 flick. The title is admittedly a tad misleading; while there are moments where the man in question does indulge in some serious mind-bending (just check out “Non Rimane Pia Nessano”), most of this doesn’t quite get as “out” as promised by the title. Still, if this doesn’t fulfill the said promise, this definitely ain’t the hackwork-for-hire that seems to haunt the soundtrack field no matter what the era. As an introduction to Morricone or even the field of soundtracks in general you can definitely do worse than this. David
@ www.cherryred.co.uk

Enon – “Hocus Pocus” CD 13/38:26
One thing Enon doesn’t particularly need is more outstanding press. A fellow journalist actually called frontman John Schmersal a “guitar god” recently. But, in all honesty, there is nothing else besides accolades that can be given to this trio. On Enon’s third full-length the band has truly shed its past and become a band of the present. An impressive feat it has accomplished is to develop a recognizable style without creating the trap of a trademark sound. You know it’s Enon at work but couldn’t truly begin to explain what the band sounds like without detailing at least half of the songs on the disc. Loosely speaking, you can break it down into 3 categories: bassist Toko Yasuda serenading over futuristic discohip-rock, Schmersal’s brand of reliable guitar-led oddball smooth-ish crunch, and the numerous moments where they come together and put a collective “wow” in the mouth of everyone in the room. Xtian
@ www.enon.tv

Envy Corps – “Soviet Reunion” CD 11/41:06
Great title, great cover and, quite honestly, a great record. Sure, you hear that a lot, but in the case of this Iowa band it’s dead on. And, bravely, they exhibit a true socialist spirit in this age of neo-fascism (there’s a quote from Lenin, about art being for the people, within the booklet). Ethereal (I love that word) but also dense, with thick and creamy guitars. Singer Luke Pettipoole even shares vocal territory with the inimitable Jeff Buckley, whom they mention in the liner notes, and though he never reaches Buckley’s falsetto heights he harbors the same plaintive tone. “Prisoners of Love” moves from seductive to raucous, awash in gauzy feedback, and defines the overall texture of this splendid set of songs, which remain largely indescribable in this world of over-categorization. There’s something deliciously delirious about this album. Highly recommended. Anthony
@ www.bifirecords.com

Epicycle - "Swirl" CD 12/65:12
Chicago siblings Ellis and Tom Clark create a fanciful and brightely hued sonic universe on this, their second album. Heavily laying on the Anglophile and psych moves - even throwing in a nifty cover of early Bowie chestnuit "Rubber Band" - Epicycle comes off in a manner similar to Jellyfish, had they never been allowed near those nasty old Queen records. Quite the adventurous pop listener's delight. MLH
@ www.epicycle.co.uk

Epoxy – “Nothing Else” CD 15/49:39
I said I wanted to review the Epoxies dammit, the EPOXIES! This is by-the-numbers faceless post-alternative rock, no better or worse than all the other similarly faceless outfits cranking out uninspired tunes hoping to be discovered by that ever-mythical A&R man, while they bid their time playing the college bar and self-releasing CDs that seem tailor-made for the dollar bin. Not that it’s putrid but it there’s really nothing here that rewards multiple (or even single) listenings. David
@ www.epoxyband.com

Erasure – “Other People’s Songs” CD 12/41:15
Long before anyone started adding N to X or hustled down to Brooklyn to stand around icily at “Electroclash Nights”, there was Erasure. The duo pioneered the art of laying sweet, fey melodies atop burbling electronics. Andy Bell’s yearning voice imagined Morrissey with a belief in love, and dance-floor anthems like “A Little Respect” were permanent fixtures on every shy boy’s radio in the mid-80s. So why the duo would choose to forsake their own saccharine songwriting for an album of cover songs (always an indication of creative nadir) is anybody’s guess. Other People’s Songs is dreadful, twelve miserable lifeless remakes that offer no fresh insights or interpretations on the tired material the duo has selected. They provide the ten thousandth cover of moldering chestnuts like “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” and ruin once-rollicking pop songs like Buddy Holly’s “Everyday”. The record is a spectacular misstep, one that offers not a track worth salvaging. J Edward
@ www.mute.com

Ergs! – “Dork Rock Cork Rod” CD 16/35:30
There are certain labels that you trust to always put out quality music, and I’m quickly adding Whoa Oh to the list, because I’ve reviewed two exceptional discs on the label for this issue (see the Unlovables review for the other). The Ergs! combine some of the best of bands like the Replacements, Husker Du, and occasionally the Minutemen and 60’s pop beats of the Zombies (there’s even a song titled “Rod Argent”) to create a disc that has all of the requisite pop punk hooks, energy, and emotion that you want out of great music. These songs are heart on the sleeve exposed raw lyrically (most of the songs are about love) and musically, much in the same way the best Replacements material put right at the bar, drinking away the night. Singer Mikey Erg (yeah, they’re all “named” Erg) seems to channel a young Westerberg vocally, which doesn’t hurt either. Another top 10 contender that will make it difficult to get my other discs reviewed before deadline…I just want to put it on “repeat” and listen again! Steve
@ www.whoaohrecords.com MP3 Download

Erik Lindgren - "Sound On Sound - 1973/74" CD 22/79:02
Present-day ruler of the Arf!Arf! empire of psych and garage-pop salvage airs out his aural scrapbook of purposeful, youthful folly for all to appreciate. Pretty much what one might imagine an early 70’s teenager with a four-track, smitten with certain piano-dominated pop troubadours of the time, would come up with. Some bits hang together better than others, like the minor-key Macca/Reg Dwight-in-a-sulk dirge “One Right Way To Win Me”. Reference points elsewhere include Procol Harum, pre-Move J. Lynne, even then-newcomers Bjorn and Benny. Lindgren’s objective liner notes are right about one thing - his drumming throughout is truly, lethally bad. Once past that, however, there’s much to enjoy. MLH
@ www.arfarfrecords.com

Escaped - "Escaped Generation" CD 8/16:57
Good playing goes to waste once again. Growled vocals and buzzing guitars, songs with titles like "Violence" and "Blood, Sweat and Beers"--it's all so pat and pathetic. Somehow it took six (count 'em, six) guys to record this basic, boring disc. Check 'em out on the back cover. Surprise, surprise, they're spiked and/or shaved, decked out in leather and sporting "too tough for you" looks. No more. Please, no more. Mark
@ www.rodentpopsicle.com

Eskimos – “Something Must be Transmitted Somehow” CD 17/56:33
The Eskimos take a college rock approach to delivering rustic rock n’ roll via Athens, Georgia. “Something Must Be Transmitted Somehow” carries a post-hippy Americana vibe, but is really very basic in just about every respective department and is always led by electric, folky guitarwork. This is what “Classic Rock” sounds like today, and while it has its moments it’s nothing to get too excited about. Xtian
@ Tell Me Later, PO Box 574, Athens, GA 30603

ESL - "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades" CD 21/37:46
Fast, mad punk rock about society's ills and personal problems. The sample from "Willy Wonka" is both appropriate and touching. These songs are very emotional, but the term emo does not apply. Most emo seems forced, full of hand wringing and crocodile tears. The regret, rage, desperation and desire on these tracks is 100% sincere, and therefore incredibly powerful. Damn good stuff. Mark
@ Geykido Comet, PO Box 3743, Laguna Hills, CA 92654

Essential Logic – “Fanfare in the Garden” 2-CD 35/139:51
All good children probably know the story by now: Lora Logic, sax blower for X-Ray Spex, jumps ship after the seminal “Oh Bondage Up Yours” single, forms a group of her own, and cranked out some considerable tuneage that would make the playlists and mix-tape of many a jagged post-punk fan alongside the likes of Delta 5, Kleenex, and various other folks who wandered around the Rough Trades offices (and elsewhere) at the time. While her (immediate) post-EL solo works might have seen the edge softened somewhat, she still managed to be as distinctive as ever. Unfortunately with several songs MIA this can’t be considered a complete retrospective (the tracks cut for Virgin I can see there being licensing issues with, but the same can’t be said for every other missing cut); and it’s hard to justify omitting said tunes to make way for the newer tracks (which range from being fairly decent to outright dour, with only a couple worthy of repeated listenings). It might have been better if KRS provided the ten or so missing tracks and filled up the remainder of the disc with live/demo tracks; heck, there has been at least one Peel Session out there waiting to be unearthed. Still, assuming that this is the best we’re going to get at this late date, it’s still worth grabbing for such vintage tracks as “Aerosol Burns” and “Collecting Dust” and utilizing your preferred downloading source for the missing tunes. Gripes aside, props to KRS for this collection. David
@ www.killrockstars.com MP3 Download

Euphoria (Wesley Watt and Bill Lincoln) - "A Gift From Euphoria" CD 15/43:05
Step back with me to the late 60's, a time when record companies were more than willing to lay out money for even the most outlandish projects. Case in point, this clearly hyper-ambitious duo's sole recorded document. Not that it's totally unappetising, but stylistically these guys were all over the place. Recorded in studios in Nashville, London and L.A., it's as if they wanted to trap the individual vibe of each city and apply it to their songs. Hence proceedings swing messily from one song to the next: grandiose orchestral balladry colliding with full-on bluegrass, then blindsided by clumsy attempts at Beatles-inspired sound FX laden pop. Then there's the matter of Bill Lincoln's Gene Clark-like voice - timid, yet almost passive-aggressive in its irritatingly ingratiating manner. Like he knows this might be his big (or last) chance at a hit record, but not wanting to force the issue. One great song where they get the balance right: "Sunshine Woman". Otherwise, a record very much and simulatenously out of its time. MLH
@ www.revola.co.uk

Evan Dando – “Baby I’m Bored” CD 12/37:52
The first studio album by the ex-Lemonade frontman is graced by other power-pop luminaries like Jon Brion, Ben Lee, Howe Gelb, and Royston Langdon. It’s an excellently muted effort, with 12 lazy Americana-tinged songs that reflect the collaborators Dando worked with as much as Dando himself. The Lee-penned songs are beautiful, romantic snapshots while Brion’s production on several tracks reflects the desire for a rustic, acoustic rock affair. “Baby I’m Bored” will be a pleasant surprise for anyone who listened to indie rock seven years ago and will be a gem for Lemonhead fans eagerly awaiting some new material. Scott
@ www.bar-none.com

Evaporators – “Ripple Rock” CD 23/42:01
Narduwar the Human Serviette is nuts. There’s no other way around it, and he proves it once again on this release, their first full length since 2001. With occasional snippets from some of his great radio interviews, including one with Snoop Dog, some tracks from Thee Dublins, and video clips of Narduwar asking quick questions of Dan Quayle, Gorbachev, and Jello Biafra. The music is raucous melodic garage punk, with Narduwar’s high pitched vocals, and some of the goofiest lyrics you’ll ever hear. Songs titles include “Addicted to Cheese”, “Barney Rubble is My Double”, and “(I’ve Got) Icicles on My Testicles”. There seems to be something about the cold that brings out the wackiness in people; with Rev. Norb and Narduwar being two comparable artists, and all around goofy guys. Definitely fun, and a very welcome release. Steve
@ www.alternativetentacles.com

Even In Blackouts - "Myths and Imaginary Magicians" CD 13/34:34
The new band featuring John Pierson from Screeching Weasel. This is an interesting effort, and one that grows on you the more you listen to it. The whole thing is done acoustically with a full drum kit; and you're almost tempted to call it folk punk, but that brings up all kinds of wussy images and this packs plenty of punch. The songs are full of imagery that lead singer Liz Eldredge's crackling (and often cracking) voice handles in an interesting way; on some songs you just want to scream in agony and for others, it's perfect. This is best approached as a Weasel sounding acoustic gig, because the songs have the same feel as, say, the ones on "Anthems for a New Tomorrow", and if you dug that era of the band, you'll likely dig this, too. Some interesting covers; including "Hey Suburbia", Yaz's "Only You" and Op Ivy's "Knowledge". Steve
@ www.panicbuttonrecords.com

Evening Lights - Landscape CD 5/17:55
From the reliable Shelflife Records comes another wispy West Coast pop band. Evening Lights aren’t as accomplished as some of their labelmates. Their gauzy guitars and lazy melodies are engaging, but the girlish vocals have the kind of labored earnestness that is native to college coffeeshops. It undercuts some of the songs simple beauty - the twinkling “Lanscape”, for example, ends up sounding mannered and self-conscious. Much of this could be remedied with production, but as is Evening Lights are too flowery and too Lisa Loebish to stand up to repeated listens. J Edward
@ www.shelflife.com

Evergreen - s/t CD 13/46:52
This is a reissue of a 1995 album from this Louisville band that boasts Britt Walford (The Breeders, Slint) on drums. Largely ignored during their time, I think the label wants to capitalize on the garage rock revival of late. And this album is certainly better than a majority of what's out there in that genre. It's got soul. It's rock n' roll. Sharon
@ temporaryresidence.com/

Ex-Models – “Zoo Psychology” CD 15/20
The Ex-Models edge ever closer to no-wave, getting more and more jagged, intense, and outright tweaked to the point that you wonder if they’ll end up evolving into this country’s version of Melt Banana (a few tracks sound like said band’s been invited over for breakfast a few times). Doesn’t quite beat MB or fellow modern-no-wavers Seconds (with whom they previously shared a 5-minute CD), much less MB, at their own games, but still quite listenable. David
@ www.frenchkissrecords.com

Exfork – “A Cure For the Disease Called Man…” 8 song 10 inch
Heavy plummeting ‘core with a darker edge. If not quite stretching any boundaries it’s still serviceable to your needs. The left turns made on such tunes as “Broken Glass” promises good things ahead as well. Only 400 made. David
@ www.gcrecords.com

Exit – “New Beat” CD 11/36:31
For a trio, the Exit has quite a full post-punk sound. Good production values and talent make them possible contenders in the market. The songs are well written, and they play together like a motor. While their sound is a bit too mainstream and produced for my tastes, I can’t imagine the majority of radio listeners not wanting to get a hold of this. “Still Waiting” could be a breakthrough tune for them. I do get the feeling that these guys may be dynamite live. RBF
@ www.some.com

Exploding Fuck Dolls – “Crack the Safe” CD 19/58:59
A punk band from southern California, one that began in the early 90s and continued on in various incarnations into the 21st century. During that period they had associations with big name figures like Deniz Tek and Duane Peters, a former band member. In fact, musically they sound quite a bit like Duane’s more recent bands, the US Bombs and the Hunns, in that we’re basically talking snotty vocals and tough-sounding but melodic punk. Although perhaps best known for their anti-Seattle alterna-rock rant, “American Bomb,” I personally think “Company Town” may be the Fuck Dolls’ very best song. Plus, you gotta love their choice of a band name. Jeff
@ www.disasterecords.com

Exploited - "Fuck the System" CD 13/34:19
Another Exploited record, just like the other Exploited records. The title says it all. This is a straight ahead blast of hardcore punk, bordering on speed metal. The songs are very simple and blunt. No complex messages, just anger diluted into a few snarling words. The fact that there is a track called "Holiday in the Sun" (nothing to do with the Pistols song) and a track called "Noise Annoys" (no relation to the Buzzcocks song) is kind of amusing. I mean, it's not a scream or anything. But it brings a little smile. Folks who love the Exploited will be pleased to find the band holding true to their roots. Others might be looking for a bit more. Mark
@ www.spitfirerecords.com

Explosion - “Sick of Modern Art” CD 5/11:43
No, punk rock isn’t dead. Apparently it lives in Massachusetts. The Explosion is enthusiastic about what they do and it shows. Exciting, hard driving, and fun, their fourth CD is a perfect combination of old school 70’s punk rock and the new school poppier punk you might be more likely to find on college campuses across the country today. I challenge you to pop this CD in your player and not jump around. Sharon
@ www.theexplosion.net

Explosions in the Sky - “The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place” CD 5/47:37
Words cannot describe my feelings about this band and this album. In the World Cup of amazing Post Rock bands, They are the US entry to compete against other greats such as Mogwai from Scotland, Mono from Japan, and G!YBE from Canada. And although I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite from that stellar crew, Explosions in the Sky might possibly get the nod as the one I think is the best. Their previous album is one of my favorite records of the last few years, and for them to be able to release something else that even comes close to its greatness is a feat unto itself. Not unlike Mogwai, as the years have progressed we’ve found EITS mellow somewhat on the dynamics in their songs, but at the same time the musicianship and beauty of the songs have increased tremendously. With every passing listen of this record, it occurs to me more and more what a crutch vocals can sometimes be in holding up mediocre music – if you can create instrumental music this moving, why clutter it up? This will without a doubt be resting very high in my top 10 list at the end of the year, and for good reason: EITS are simply one of the best bands out there, period. Jake
@ www.temporaryresidence.com

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