SPlo.gif (9k)

Use the Google box below to search our 3,000 review database

10CC - “The Complete UK Recordings” 2XCD
Perhaps it could only have been possible in the early 70’s for a band like 10cc to become a commercial success. Certainly this unlikely combo of Brit-Invasion era song pluggers Gouldman and Stewart, and wack-job newbies Godley and Creme, made the most of the dominant post-Beatles, anything-goes atmosphere. Their mission: to deploy exquisite vocal arrangements and state-of-art studio technique, in the service of some of the most hilariously improbable subject matter to be swaddled in the context of a three-minute pop single. Most people on this side of the Pond got their first shot of 10cc with the atmospheric and well-deserved hit “I’m Not In Love”. Naturally, this was after making their mark everywhere else with their first batch of singles and two albums, collected here. It’s clear that 10CC reveled in the playful yet pointed upending of Pop cliches, with songs like “Johnny Don’t Do It” and “Rubber Bullets”. Even so, the vitality and craft by which this was attained made those tunes - in addition to other winners like “Silly Love”, “Wall Street Shuffle”, “The Dean and I”, the list goes on - every bit the jubilant equal of their objects of flattery-by-lampoon. Such a formula was doomed to combust, of course. Godley and Creme’s subsequent records, while making for engaging listening, had a tendency to be too clever by half, as the Brits say. 10CC still created smart, quality pop after G and C’s departure (“Things We Do For Love”), but were never as gleefully impudent. This anthology happily represents much of that brief time they got the mix right. MLH
@ www.varesevintage.com

2 Cents Worth - "United States of Hysteria" CD 21/68:56
OK, this band sounds exactly like early Bad Religion. But unlike many Bad Religion imitators, it seems more of an accident than a conscious effort. Take a lead vocalist who can actually sing, add poetic but harsh lyrics, throw in some great guitar work, a driving bass and hardass drums, and you get a band which reflects all the things that made Bad Religion stand apart. This is excellent punk music, infused with intelligence and power. 2 Cents Worth represents what punk has been lacking of late. The message is well expressed and the songs rock. Mark
@ www.avdrecords.com

2.2 Kid Life - “Villains” CD 10/43:32
2.2 Kid Life seems to primarily be the work of one man by the name of Frank Longano, and unlike the name of this “group”, the music isn’t bad. I’m sure there’s a story behind the name, but I can’t seem to find it in the limited information I have on the group. Anyways, it’s the music that ultimately matters, and like I said, it’s not too bad; it has that feel of a one man project, constructed in a basement or bedroom where the layers could be added carefully over time. It reminds me a bit of Bright Eye’s mellower output, and maybe a little bit of Magnetic Fields synthy goodness, and possibly even a little bit of Jason Molina/Songs:Ohia as well. If you like mellow pop songs, then this little sleeper would certainly be worth checking out. Bad name or not, 2.2 Kid Life is well-crafted and easy on the ears, and I enjoyed it. Jake
@ www.ionikrecords.com/2.2kidlife.htm

25 Suaves – “1938” CD 9/32:04
This time around the Suaves’ brand of noise-rock seems somewhat than I remembered it being (though mind you in this case “structured” is a very relative term). There seems to be more of a New-Wave-Of-British-Heavy-Metal influence, including but not limited to ye olde Motorhead (mebbe they’ve been busy listening to Puffball), “borrowing” Guitar Wolf’s old recording equipment to get the job done right. Takes some getting used to for those more used to the more breakdown sounds of the last one (tho the distorto sound and the snyth wig-out of “DEA305”show haven’t totally outgrown their roots), but still definitely worth checking out. David
@ www.bulbrecords.com

27 - "Animal Life" CD 9/41:11
Can it be possible for an album be stark and lush at the same time, full of layered elements but locked in its folk focus? It must be, because 27's "Animal Life" does it. Taking the indie subtlety of Cat Power and fusing it gracefully with spine-cracking rhythms, 27 nail just about every raw emotion on their excellent debut album. Lead singer Maria Christopher's hypnotic vocals out-soothe Mary Timony at her best, and the diverse arrangements keep the songs from ever losing their considerable momentum. Beautiful, unclassifiable rock that leans towards the indie-pop side of the fence. John
@ www.kimcheerecords.com

30 Day Warranty – “Together We Stand…” CD 14/50:17
Richmond, Virginny punk posited by a power trio with flair. Thing about this CD is, y’see, it just seems to get more enjoyable as you listen to it. And it doesn’t start in a slouch, to begin with. There’s enough bite and a touch of harmony to make the songs strong, yet musical. Lyrically, the tunes are full of both angst and inspiration. In other words, a well-rounded release that fun and user-friendly. RBF
@ www.30daywarranty.com

3001 - "Love In Zero Gravity" CD 6/22:58
This looks like a self released CD; it's reminiscent of early Superchunk in places, with a snappy indie guitar rock sound and soundalike vocals on the first track. After that it continues in the same vein with a different lead singer and a bouncier chorus. After that, it meanders into a dreamier pop sound that doesn't do as much for me. The two different singers (at least I'm assuming that's the case) seem to have demand different tones for their songs; the Superchunk guy would rather go for it in a straight ahead rock way and see where the chips fall, while it seems like the dream pop guy is a little more for an experiment or two with the guitars. Like I said; decent..but like a lot of other bands, they wear their influences on their sleeves and try to mix them all in a mash; works for a bit, but eventually you just want to scream "GET YOUR OWN VOICE DAMMIT!" Steve
@ www.3-0-0-1.com

3d5spd - “Fever in the Ice Age” CD 13/44:34
These Atlanta-based youngsters (three boys, one girl) favor dense walls of sound built on grimy guitar parts, a few samples, keyboards, bass and drums. On the first track, “This Situation,” singer Chris Hoke sounds like a cross between Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips) and Hamilton Leithauser (the Walkmen). This, of course, is a good thing if you’re a budding indie rock star, and I feel like this band should be better known than it is. It plays artful but unpretentious rock songs that beg for a wider audience. By the way, it’s pronounced Three-D-Five-Speed. Remember it. Kevin
@ www.2sheds.com

5 Cent Deposit - "We Have Your Daughter" CD 13/43:48
Please, no more phone messages on punk records. Stop. I mean it. Oh yeah, and while you're at it, stop making this really whiney new skool noise. "What makes a girl want a guy, or a guy want a girl? Don't know why I can't get you outta my mind". Um, ok. When did the Archies start writing punk songs? I'll say it again: please, please, please stop. Pick up some better records, learn some other styles, and mix it up. Become yourself! Mark
@ www.radicalrecords.com

63 Crayons – “Good People” CD 13/31:15
Yet another pop band that’s a throwback to a long lost era; yet another CD that’s neither good nor bad, but just kinda there; yet another release that my brain forgets as soon as the record is over. If you like screwball Elephant 6 pop like Of Montreal, or maybe the Starlight Mints, and a little edginess ala the Pixies, then you might want to check this out. There are a couple of decent tracks, specifically “The Mold” and “Mrs. Brewster”, and nothing really stands out as bad, but most does have a filler quality to it. And having a stupid band name doesn’t help the situation out any either. Jake
@ www.hhbtm.com

63 Crayons - s/t CD 6/15:45
Lighthearted, light-headed psychedelic garage pop on a budget. Contemporary music-heads who dig the Elephant 6 roster will appreciate these guys and gals' overall approach, but so will long-memoried folks who remember the 'good-time music' sub-genre as mined by the Lovin' Spoonful, Charlatans and Sneakers-era Flamin' Groovies - Exhibit A being the giddy, ragtime joanna-jangle of 'Emma Peel'. Nice Sky Saxon sneering on 'Ben S. Pipes', and the oscillators and theremins scattered throughout are an equally delightful decoration. MLH
@ www.hhbtm.com MP3 Download

69 Charger – “Trash Deluxe!” CD 12/24:47
More bad-arse punk rock-n-roll from these Dutch lads, who finally get around to spitting out a full-lengther. They work better when they’re not trying to incorporate soul into their works (appreciate the sentiments, but know your limitations guys) and concentrate on slamming out some blazing punk that would make Nine Pound Hammer retreat to the hills. Pretty satisfying overall. David
@ www.stardumbrecords.com MP3 Download

6fg – “You Thought We Were Ants” CD 12/44:29
Man, is this good fun. Power punk pop played with total heart, soul, and harmonies. Jonathan Plum’s songs are rife with catchy riffs that sustain both a melody and punk push, and his vocals are both rough and suitable. While the occasional added synth sound is distracting, they actually make the intermittent cello sound solid punk on the slower numbers. Still, high energy, and kick-ass tunes equals a fine finish. Fave cut is “Welcome to the Witch Hunt.” RBF
@ www.squishmedown.com

999 – “Outburst!” CD 16/54:12
Yep 999 clean out their vaults and unleash various unreleased and demo versions (a few noticeably different that what eventually appeared) from their primo period, 77-79. Unfortunately you’d be hard-pressed to tell that they were at their peak by listening to this; not to say that (all of) the tunes here are substandard, but they seem to have saved their spark for the “official” recordings. There are a few nuggets here that true believers will cherish, but casual fans and the uninitiated would be better served by the self-titled debut, “Separates”, and the singles collection on Captain Oi, all covering the same period. BTW there doesn’t seem to be any overlap between this and “The Cellblock Tapes” (another similar odds-n-sods 999 collection). David
@ www.overgroundrecords.co.uk

999 – “The Biggest Tour in Sport/The Biggest Prize in Sport” CD 21/63:06
This CD pairs their 1980 studio album with a souvenir of their North American tour released the same year. They were getting closer to rock than punk at this point but the punkish energy hadn’t totally dissipated yet. The studio tracks are a mixed bag; some of this shows 999 able to make the aforementioned transition without too much damage, but more often than not the band is shown at somewhat less than full songwriting strength (i.e. mediocre-to-outright-crap). At least the live stuff, with good sound and good performances, shows 999 to still have some life in them at that point. David
@ www.captainoi.com

Shredding Paper magazine has published more than 10,000 reviews going back to our first issue in January 1999. Three thousand of those reviews are online now and searchable, including all of our reviews from 2003 and 2004. We are adding new reviews monthly.
speakr.gif (13k)

Shredding Radio Home Page