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T Rex & Marc Bolan - “20th Century Boy” CD 23/74:49
How many T Rex albums are there? I’m guessing a bazillion. Well, now it’s a bazillion and one. T Rex started as a Tolkienesque hippie folk act that switched to rock n roll, creating a huge Glam fad in the UK in 1971 and ‘72. This greatest hits collection could hardly have been put together better. It starts with a couple acoustic singles from ‘68, followed by the great, but little known flop, “King Of the Rumbling Spires”, Bolan’s first attempt at rock. Then wisely a pair of tracks from the super under-rated “A Beard Of Stars” album follow, including the five and a half minute guitar-rock masterpiece “Elemental Child”. This mix of album and singles tracks provides an outstanding overview of one of rock’s most important bands, or at least one that seemed important at the time. Mel
@ www.hip-o.com

T.S.O.L. – “Divided We Stand” CD 13/33:41
Second “reunion” disc, featuring melodic punk that’s not too far removed from where they started off ages ago. Doesn’t quite capture the magic of yore (the presence of a few undeniable clunkers doesn’t help) but not bad; this is pretty much above average as “reunion” discs go. Comes with an “enhanced disc” interview with Jack that helpfully shows why he wasn’t exactly one of the frontrunners when he ran in the last California Gubenatorial recall election (true story!). David
@ www.nitrorecords.com

T*Shirt – “The Convincer” CD 12/37:41
“The Convincer” is a collection of the label owner tracking down material from a dissolved band that has moved on. As a result, “The Convincer” sounds very much like what it is - 90s alt-rock. Leslies Sink’s vocals are affected to sound bland with no range and a slightly gravely sound. The songs that she drops this somewhat, as in “Just a Warning”, tend to be the most interesting. Though the songs are good, mid-tempo compositions with loud guitars some organ, I’m interested in the post-ironic age. I want to take away that disaffected sound that was so popular in the last decade and not be afraid to genuinely rock again. Pam
@ www.silvergirl.com

Tahiti 80 – “A Piece of Sunshine” CD + DVD
The French have always had a particularly deft touch when it comes to lilting, transcendental melodies. Tahiti 80 – the product of two college chums and their latecomer instrumental recruits – is another argument for French melodic ingenuity. On this short but wholly satisfying mini-album, Tahiti 80 follows the well-worn path of concise, punchy pop trail-blazed by weird geniuses like Serge Gainesborg. But instead of focusing on sex and smoke, Tahiti 80 chooses to emphasize the happy-go-lucky arrangements of ‘60s psychedelia and ‘70s easy listening. The positively addictive “Silently Walking” would fit right in with your Elephant 6 mix tape, if the E6’ers were competent performers that actually practiced their songs. The production and arrangements are shiny and clean, but instead of emasculating the songs (as that approach so often does) it highlights the inherent quality of the breathy, charmingly affected vocals and deliciously textured organs. Diversity is the word – indie guitar solos, complex yet pointed horn breaks and spooky, upbeat flutes all reside in the corners of the mix. Bonus points for the six well-crafted DVD extras. Highly recommended. John
@ www.mintyfresh.com

Take – “Propeller” CD 12/45:38
This South Wales band is best described as inoffensive in a post-punk fashion. They start off slowly but are up and running by the third track, “Native”. “Shy Away” grinds the guitars a little, but overall it’s just harmless generic product. Anthony
@ www.householdrecords.co.uk

Tales From the Birdbath - "The Eggs CD" CD 10/17:02
Yes, "CD" is actually in the title, it's not a typo, so don't send any e-mails, please. Tales is Ean formerly of Sicko and his wife Rebecca, and in some ways, this sounds like an acoustic, slower Sicko record. Some of that might be because of Ean's distinctive vocal style, but even taking that out of the equation, these are still very good pop songs with a punky bent, which is what Sicko was so good at. Well, Sicko was much louder and faster, but you get the idea. This thing has been a long time coming; their first record came out about 4 years ago, but it's worth the wait for people who like good pop songs with plenty of guitar and and energy. There's a good cover of the Eagles' "Take It Easy", and you really can't beat this for solid indie rock. Steve
@ www.neatshows.com/birdbath/eggs

Tammy Wynette – “The Essential Tammy Wynette” CD 14/39:26
“The First Lady of Country Music” is what they called her, and this compendium of her career is here to prove they were right. And although there are many female country singers I enjoy a bit more, it’s hard to argue with her ability to wrangle some of the best country anthems of all time – “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”, “Stand by Your Man”, “I Don’t Wanna Play House”, all classics. This is a great starter disc for anyone wanting to be introduced to Wynette’s music, or as a great mix for the already informed. Jake
@ www.tammywynette.com

Tangiers – “Hot New Spirits” CD 13/32:01
Garage Rock, with a definite punk influence ala The Clash, Buzzcocks or New York Dolls. Catchy enough, in that Rolling Stones way, albeit sadly predictable to my jaded ears. Some of the keyboard contributions do a good job of distinguishing the band from the rest of the masses. It’s definitely not bad, just not very unique. Conan
@ www.sonicunyon.com

Tarwater – “Dwellers on the Threshold” CD 12/46:08
Track #1, “70 Rupies to Paradise Road”, begins with it’s pulsing rhythms and I’m thinking, ‘I’ve got to sit through eleven more of these?’. The very next song, “Metal Flakes”, smashes my cynicism, riding in on an ethereal melody complete with strings and bells. They pull off a near-perfect paraphrase of mid-period Wire and transport electronica to a new realm. “1985” takes things in an NZ direction and adds acoustic guitar and a plaintive vocal. “Now” dredges up a few Euro-cliches, but the Swans cover, “Miracle of Love” is tough and so is “Perfect Shadow”. Intriguing and beguiling. Anthony
@ www.kitty-yo.com

Tears in X-Ray Eyes – “Wonderfully Made” CD 8/31:10
Philadelphia’s Chocolate Hearts label is off to a great start with their second release, an eight-song mini album from England’s Tears in X-Ray Eyes. “Wonderfully Made’s” songs swirl the foggy acoustic melodies of Belle and Sebastian into a martini glass of glam-infused pomp, a la Suede and Verve. Opener “Sleep Like a Dream” floats on a trebly wave of bright drums, synths and guitars while singer/songwriter Tim Closs’ innately Stuart Murdoch-ish vocals wax poetic. Downcast, percussion-free songs dot the majority of the album, occasionally drawing in gospel and piano-pop while retaining a singular sound. Echoes of David Fridmann’s production on The Flaming Lips’ last two influential albums reverberate in the distorted drums and deliberate pace of “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Slow but filled with melodic payoffs, “Wonderfully Made” is a beautiful release that lives up to its name. John
@ www.chocohearts.com

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - "Hearts of Oak" CD 13/54:43
Sometimes a record simply blows you away. I've been sitting here trying to come up with the words to describe Leo's follow up to the critically acclaimed "Tyranny of Distance", and I'm having a tough time. I could easily reference the influences, guitars of Thin Lizzy, a little Celtic folk music, the percussive ska and soul beats, the new wave era punk voices of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, but none of that would do this baby justice. Leo's quivering voice, alternating between angry snarl and beautiful yet throaty falsetto brings life to every song; it's the strength that every song pins it's hopes to as you wait for it to give up and crack; yet he reaches for a new height with every note. Song subjects range from an ode to ska and the Specials on "Where Have all the Rude Boys Gone?" to more political issues such as war and his personal observations on the world at large. Sometimes the lyrics and imagery become a little too obscure for what is ostensibly a pop record, but Leo seems to have a lot to say. It's comparable to way the first two Springsteen albums sometimes get overrun by massive lyrical content; you strain to understand it all, but in the end, you get it - and Leo's massive volume of smarts and pop chops fulfill all of the promise once again. Another great record by a gifted songwriter. Steve
@ www.lookoutrecords.com

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - "Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead (Plus Solo)" CD 10/30:33
The title track is from the brilliant "Hearts of Oak" release of earlier this year, and you should race out and get the full length if you haven't. The other tracks here are primarily Ted and a guitar, with three covers included, as well as three new tracks. Leo had a number of problems with his voice this spring while on tour, so it's reassuring to hear these stripped down songs with his vocals sounding as strong as ever. The covers are Ewan Macoll's "Dirty Old Town", the Jam's "Ghosts" and the Split Enz tune "Six Months in a Leaky Boat". The acoustic style fits the new material well, with the more than occasional political lyric; there is nothing quite like a great songwriter and lyricist singing the line "No more shall I be loyal to my sorrowful country" over and over in the last proper (there are a couple of tracks of noise on this for some reason, including one at the end that has about two minutes of silence...they really detract from the CD) track of this. Leo's vocal acrobatics are in fine form, and are the real centerpiece of this release, and as always, Ted Leo's songwriting shines. Steve
@ www.lookoutrecords.com

Teen Sensation Glasses – s/t CD 26/32:33
Haw haw haw! These guys are hysterical: sort of a punk/surf hybrid, with a bright sense of humor. And very, very hetro. Lots of songs deal with dating, or not (“My girl’s got a boyfriend/And I think he wants me too”). While the humor is definitely high school level, it works with the delivery and sound. While “1.21 Jigawatts” is about, of all things, “Back to the Future, most of it is a bit more current. And the catchiest riff is easily ”Erin, Erin’s/on Crack and heroin.” After 12 cuts, there’s a few empty 4-second slices until cut 25, where there’s an unlisted rap song in true TSG fashion (“She’s a Thug”). Cut 26, also unlisted, is some Brit-techo thingie (“I’m an Android”). RBF
@ www.whoaohrecords.com

Telescopes – “As Approved by the Committee” CD
This is a late ‘80s-early ‘90s group much loved by the indie rock crowd. The Telescopes sounded like a cross between a “noise” band, a sub-Velvets outfit, and a swirly psych band. At their best they have a vague resemblance to the Jesus and Mary Chain’s inspired drone (as in “Please Before You Go”, “Verso”, and “The Sleepwalk”), but more often than not they sound like a pretentious art band with loud guitars but virtually no decent tuneage. This record, which is a retrospective collection compiled by devoted fans, generally fails to rock, much less roll – “Silent Water” excepted – which those same smug hipsters will probably take as some sort of compliment. It wasn’t meant that way. Maybe if I was on drugs, I’d feel differently. Jeff
@ www.bomp.com

Television - “Adventure” CD 12/60:16
Song for song I think this is the better of the band’s two 70s albums, although it may be less “adventurous” than their debut, “Marquee Moon”. Just like the band photos on the front covers of the albums might hint, “Adventure” is a more polished effort. In ‘77 we had the color xerox machine, today we’ve got Photoshop™. “Adventure” took 9 weeks to record, compared to 1 week for “Marquee Moon”. One killer bonus track here is the single version of “Ain’t That Nothin”. It’s speeded up and compressed, with a radically remixed instrumental break that sounds like it came out of the San Francisco psychedelic era, and re-recorded vocals. Check it out. Mel
@ www.rhino.com

Television - “Live At the Old Waldorf” CD 9/62:19
This 1978 San Francisco performance is from a radio broadcast. That means it was a two track mix with no post-production. It’s the best live recording of the band from the 70s, and an excellent performance by a legendary band. The vocals are a bit high in the mix, but you get plenty of Lloyd/Verlaine guitar pyrotechnics, with a 12 minute “Little Johnny Jewel” and a 14 minute “Marquee Moon”. This limited edition release is essential for Television fans. Mel
@ www.rhinohandmade.com

Television - “Marquee Moon” CD 13/77:23
Tevevision’s debut breakthrough album would have to wait a couple decades to get the audience it deserved. This seminal NYC outfit combined poetic sometimes surreal lyrics with spacey leads on Fender guitars. Unlike their punk brethren they were in no hurry to get the songs over with. The title track here is over 10 minutes and most of the songs are over 5 minutes. I originally bought this on LP, then on CD, and now it’s reissued in a remixed version. Some of the songs sound slightly different. Although I prefer the mix on the original CD, it’s a close call and this one does have some great bonus tracks, most notably the band’s first single, “Little Johnny Jewel” from 1975. Mel
@ www.rhino.com

Ten Grand – “This is the Way to Rule” CD 10/32:14
Formerly known as the Vidablue, Ten Grand are one of those label-resistant bands that are tough to try to pin down, located somewhere in that nebulous zone where punk and indie don’t quite overlap but aren’t quite separate either, but they manage to combine the better parts of both “genres” (namely intensity and creativity). Definitely worth checking out. Besides, how can you resist a band that manages to come up with song titles such as “Hands Off the Merch” and “I Will Seriously Pay You to Shut Up”. David
@ www.southern.com

Testors – “Complete Recordings, 1977-1979” 2XCD
Now here’s a must-have reissue. The Testors were a mid-‘70’s NYC punk band that somehow managed to be ignored by everyone other than a handful of beautiful losers with good taste in music. Although they were unmentioned in virtually every documentary film and book dealing with the early NY scene, as well as untouched (and therefore unsullied) by “respectable” record companies, at long last the Swami label has had the good sense to chronicle them in all of their tawdry, drug-addled glory. Only 9 of the 37 tracks on these discs are live – everything else is virtually pristine p-rock of the raw and dirty but often memorable sort. The uptempo, Pagans-style “Hey You” and “I See” and the hookier “MK Ultra” and “Let’s Get Zooed Out” are emblematic of their best material, and trooper Sonny Vincent is still rockin’ out, bless his heart. Jeff
@ www.swamirecords.com

Texas Thieves – “Forced Vacation” CD 10/22:23
The Texas Thieves deliver classic‘80s SoCal punk as if they fired up the scene with DI, Agent Orange, MIA, Bad Religion, and Social D way back when - pretty amazing considering they’re a current band based in the Bay Area (I think their name simply refers to the evil Bush empire, but I could be overthinking it). If you’re one of those people who owns every Posh Boy and Frontier release but refuses to buy a record pressed post-1986, this may change your mind. Lily
@ www.supersm.com

Thanes – “Evolver” CD 27/77:41
A collection of material from Scotland’s finest extant ‘60’s-influenced band. After trying their hand at “flower power” psych in the early ‘80’s, the lads fortunately “regressed” to the earlier garage era and thereby became standard-bearers of the neo-‘60’s revival. Up until now most of their organ-laced songs have appeared on more or less rare 7”ers, but Rev Ola has done everyone but collectors a favor by reissuing many of them on a single disc. Not content to slavishly ape their ‘60’s forebears, the band instead borrowed lots of cool r’n’r influences and combined them into something fresher and more original. The Thanes are therefore justly respected by music aficionados, and although their music isn’t all top drawer their best songs (such as “That’s the Story of Your Life,” “Wonder If…,” “Baby Come Back,” and “World of Stone”) are really outstanding. Jeff
@ www.revola.ca.uk

The Album Leaf/On!Air!Library! - "A Lifetime or More" CD 8/42:15
This two-band split is a good introduction to the patient minimalism of The Album Leaf (Jimmy LaValle of Tristeza) and the glitchy anti-rock of On!Air!Library! The Album Leaf's songs push off with a mellow synth line, slowly adding electronic elements, "found" sounds, subtle guitars and crisp drumming to the quiet drone. Think of Wendy Carlos and Kraftwerk updating their equipment, paring the excessive instrumentation and relaxing their furrowed brows. It's spare (and sometimes cheesy) background music, but it works. On!Air!Library! (trendiest band name ever?) litter their mangled beats and self-conscious guitars with confusing, foggy vocals and left-field sound effects. The male singer is the more generic counterpart to the double-tracked female vocals, which still sound a bit like Chan Marshall. Overall, this oddly balanced disc stays afloat because The Album Leaf's tracks plug the holes drilled by On!Air!Library!'s sharp but tuneful nails. Recommended for hipsters sick of their Momus, Shipping News and Cat Power albums. John
@ www.arenarockrecordingco.com

The Benjamin Gate – “Contact” CD 13/47:33
The Benjamin Gate’s latest CD starts off with the blistering “Lift Me Up,” and doesn’t let up for a second. Sure, they’re a Christian band, but don’t expect a load of Creed-level overwrought epics – vocalist Adrienne Liesching has a knack for conveying emotion without needing an arena-sized crowd to make it work. Even when the lyrics switch to the traditional love song, as in “The Calling,” her voice overwhelms with raw passion instead of needless schmaltz. Even if you don’t find yourself rolling out of bed early every Sunday, don’t write off The Benjamin Gate as an act that’s not for you – this album sizzles with a rage and immediacy that even Beezlebub himself would have to step aside for. File this one under “2003: Most likely to succeed.” Ryan
@ www.thebenjamingate.com

The Church - “Parallel Universe” 2XCD 17/133:31
The latest offering from The Church offers plenty to placate diehard fans - a disc of remixes of old favorites, and a disc of outtakes and rare tracks. While the remixes please without really breaking any new ground, the second disc is the real find. While the opener, “1st Woman on the Moon`” drags on for far too long at 11-plus minutes, the lilting “Espionage” is one the best tracks the band has released in some time, and “Reward” offers an infectious beat that perfectly complements the abstract lyrics. While “Parallel Universe” probably won’t be the album that propels The Church into mainstream status, fans who’ve been around for the 20 years of The Church will see this little gem as a gift. Ryan
@ www.thechurchband.com

The Close - "It's A Secret To Everybody" CD 9/37:07
Dark and brooding pop songs here; they manage to mix some strong melodies in with some math rock chord progressions to pull off some decent songs. Thing is, you'd thing a band like this wouldn't fall into the trap of sounding samey through the whole thing, but most of their songs do just that, along with wearing their most angular Death Cab For Cutie hearts on their sleeves just a tad too much. It's decent, it's innocuous enough, but it's missing the fire and spirit that a really a really good record should have. It's one of those things that you want to like, and you keep waiting for it to crawl under your skin, but it never does, and you eventually just end up rolling up a newspaper to slap the irritation away. Steve
@ www.moodswingrecords.com

The Coral – s/t CD 11/42:47
There a couple of footnotes that can be hit upon when discussing The Coral: the fact that these six lads are scarcely post-pubescent, the eldest being 22 and youngest a mere 19, and that this record has been the rage in England but has yet to hit here in the States. It won’t be a bad thing if it does – this band is one of the few “The” bands from the recent garage rock explosion that has the slightest inkling to do something fresh. The Coral really has no place among the garage rock category, because even though it occasionally fills that oh-so current niche, this record has got more soul and instrumental/songwriting dynamics than the rest of its guitar heavy contemporaries. “Skeleton Key” congeals like modern rock Beefheart, the hit U.K. single “Dreaming of You” sounds like Teardrop Explodes, and the best sing-along “Simon Diamond” is as catchy as a damn nursery rhyme. Showing range but maintaining focus is not an easy thing to do. Xtian
@ www.thecoralusa.com

The Elected – “Me First” CD 12/46:34
One of the first things you always see and hear when the Elected are mentioned is the phrase “featuring Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley”. Well, I’m here to say that I won’t be surprised if that changes soon – Sennett and company have created a wonderfully entertaining record, much more so than anything I’ve ever heard from Rilo Kiley. The music falls somewhere between the Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers/Beachwood Sparks-style California-fied country rock and spacy electro-pop like you might hear on a Postal Service record; and more than anything, the production on this album blends together all of these sounds in such a beautiful way that I think it would be difficult for most anyone to dislike this album. Jake
@ www.subpop.com/bands/elected/me_first/home.html

The Fad - s/t CD 6/14:29
Punchy, snappy set of half-dozen Union Jack-bedecked workouts from this New York trio. Though nothing terribly groundbreaking in that regard, tunes like "Anyhow" and especially the storming closer "Waiting For You" do compare favorably to all the usual Mod clods, as well as more obscure outfits like Dirty Looks, even the Bay Area's late lamented Wig Torture. (Aaron Nudelman, Ben Geddes, wherefore art thou?) Suffice to say, then, that if you dig straight-up, energetic powerpop carefully taught in the art of manhandling a Rickenbacker, this is your cuppa. MLH
@ www.thefadnyc.com

The Fall - "2G + 2" CD 11/42:37
When last we checked in with the so-called Grumpiest Man In British Rock, Mark E. Smith, he had managed a miraculous personal and creative rebound. A troubled 1998 American tour that would have had Motley Crue advising Smith to mellow out resulted in our hero limping back to Manchester, in search of new recruits. This umpteenth version of "Thee Mighty" Fall then proceeded to vent upon the unsuspecting world 1999’s Marshall Suite and 2000’s Unutterable. If Smith was on his last legs, the recorded evidence didn’t show it; both came correct with the sort of mind-bending verbal spew and pummeling experimental rock that’s rightfully earned the Fall a worldwide following. It couldn’t last, of course: soon Smith was rounding up yet another bunch of dolts to mold in his twisted image, resulting in the uber-garage delirium of 2001’s Are You Are Missing Winner, and the subsequent Stateside jaunt from which this disc mainly derives. The current lineup is workmanlike and aggressive where needed - the way they tear into recent perennials like "The Joke" and "Mr. Pharmacist", for ex., is righteously hair-raising. There’s also four new studio tunes, including "New Formation Sermon", a chugging bit of Country and Northern reminiscent of 1980’s "Container Drivers". The set’s climax is a hypnotic, live-in-L.A. gallop through further 80’s Fall standard "Damo Suzuki". All told, a keeper for those wondering what the leader of the most lysergically evolved garage band on the planet will do next. MLH
@ www.action.co.uk

The Fast - "Best Of The Fast 1976-84" CD 22/71:30
New York City's The Fast may be remembered for their lack of success as much as anything else. The three Zone brothers patterned their power-pop after The Sweet, complete with outrageousnes and sexual androngeony that attracted a following that included many gays who weren't into disco. Their singles rivaled the best of the new wave era, "Boys Will Be Boys", "Kids Just Wanna Dance" and "It's Like Love" are all gems. After a career of records that were under-appreciated, they changed their name and finally has some success as a disco band. Miki and Armand Zone both later died of aids. Mel
@ www.bullseyecanada.com

The Fever – “Pink on Pink” CD 5/15:45
More of that there dancey punk/garagey/funk stuff that all the kids are so into these days. Definite New Wave feel to this, but it’s a little more angular then most of the bands in the ilk, some slight Beefheart-ian touches here and there make them stand out from the crowd. It’s pretty immediate and played with a degree of passion usually not found in your average hipster band. Dancey and chancey without being too abrasive. The last song is a Sheila E song, which is definitely done in their own style. Conan
@ www.thefeveronline.com/

The Few - s/t CD 10/38:19
There’s about ten seconds at the beginning of The Few’s self-titled debut that it seems like they’re going to become the new Orange Juice. The guitars may be high octane, but the first clumsy notes out of Jack Burnside’s mouth are warbly enough to hold promise. By the chorus, these hopes are shot to shit, because The Few are by that point rocking out emo style, with Burnside doing that goddamned Conor Oberst stuffed-nose wail and the band throttling through by-the-numbers pop punk. It’s a bleak turnaround, and it doesn’t get better any time soon. All The Few have to offer are standard issue ringing guitars and Burnside’s pained singing, all of them familiar to anyone who’s been within 30 feet of rock radio recently. Straightforward emo-edged rock. Consider that faint praise a damnation. J Edward
@ www.psbrecords.com

The Fight - "Home Is Where the Hate Is" CD 7/20:16
The oldest member of this band is 18 years old, the rest of the members are 16 and 17. From Dudly in England, they've got the working class Brit punk sound down pretty well, with hints of an overproduced Avengers running through their tunes, mostly due to lead singer Kate's vocals. There are a couple of good songs on here, you can't help but want to sing along to "(I'm Running Around In) Circles, and they hit on some ska beats ofr "Stage Skool Kidz". This isn't new or innovative, but it has more than it's fair share of moments of fun and at 7 songs, it's not so long as to not hold your interest. Youth will be served! Steve
@ www.fatwreck.com

The Fire Next Time - "Sound of a Threat" CD 8/29:09
Indie rock with new skool hardcore overtones. There is a good deal of screaming and smashing of drums, but nothing that would actually offend any of the major college markets. There is probably a deeper meaning to these tracks, but the style is so generic that it discourages closer examination. Another band, another buzzy mix, another crowd of kids with matching backpacks. Mark
@ Code of Ethics, 10101 N. Orange Ranch Rd., Tucson, AZ 85742

The Jack McCoys – “All the Weeping Cameras” CD 7/35:11
The problem with doing something completely new in music today is that while you may blow a few minds at first, on repeated listenings the pressure will be that much greater to stand the test of time (when’s the last time you listened to that Andrew WK CD?). The Jack McCoys certainly pass the test of wowing on the first spin, but afterwards you find yourself bypassing it on the CD rack more and more often until one day you wonder what it’s still doing there and trade it in. Singer Daniel Madri certainly has a voice that leaves little to the imagination, and the guitars pop and crackle with a nice urgency, but the whole package falls short in the end. There’s potential here, but there’s no telling if it’ll ever equate to anything. Ryan
@ www.thejackmccoys.com

The Last – “L.A. Explostion” CD 21/56:59
Yep it’s the Last’s first album, complete with six bonus tracks tacked on for good measure. These folks came out of the early LA underground and as such there was far more of an edge to their material than the power-poppers they were sometimes unfortunately lumped in with. One of those records that makes you wish there were 25 hours in a hour so you’d have more time to list to it. As you can probably guess, one of my Top Ten for the issue. David
@ www.bomprecords.com

The Love of Everything – “Friends” CD 9/14:56
Bobby Burg does all the work on this record, creating short and simple thoughts in a boyish-toyish fashion. That quiet type of kiddish emo that lacks the power to piss people off and isn’t whiny enough to be annoying. His voice and sound definitely conjures up memories of Half-Japanese/Jad Fair. For fans of the Microphones, Portastatic, and other wusses. Xtian
@ www.loveofeverything.com

The Name - "What's In A Name" CD 20/58:58
The fantastic mod sounds of bands like The Jam, Purple Hearts, the Chords and others sound just as good today as they did 20 plus years ago, and although there were a few bands that managed to emerge from the scene and make a name for themselves, there were just as many that got left behind for one reason or another. Listening to this, I'm guessing that The Name were just too "pop" for the era, with more that their fair share of retro Beatles-y songs, and maybe just not enough speed and anger for the kids to embrace. But songs like "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" and "Fuck Art, Let's Dance" have more than enough hooks and also show off their obvious love of 60's soul. There are several live tracks on this, and some of the sound quality is lacking, but you can tell they were a great live band, with some fine covers, including a stirring version of the Temptations' "My Girl". Another band that deserved better. Steve
@ www.detour-records.co.uk

The Network - "Money Money 2020" CD 12/27:25
Electronic New Wave Post Punk performed by mysterious aliased individuals. This is catchy, quirky, irreverent, tense and anxious debut. The songs are intelligent, and pretty funny, occasionally in a "laugh out loud" style way. "Right Hand-a-rama" and "Transistors Gone Wild" are just a few of the gems on this little album. There are a lot of rumors going around about who this band really is, but I'm not going to say anything about that here, it's good if you like Servotron, Devo and other good smartass New Wavey sexxed up Geek Rock kind of stuff. Conan
@ www.adelinerecords.com

The Raik’s Progress – “Sewer Rat Love Chant” CD 12/39:20
Sundazed has done it again – discovered some great unreleased material from a mid-60’s garage band that was as cool as they were obscure. This Fresno teen punk group containing two wild Armenians specialized in generating terrifically moody garage psych (like the title track and “Don’t Need You”), snooty punk blasts (“‘F’ in ‘A’” and “Prisoner of Chillon”), and various trashy covers, all of which sound great to these ears. Three live cuts have included along with all nine of their studio recordings. An unanticipated diamond in the rough. Jeff
@ www.sundazed.com

The Remedy Session - s/t CD 10/38:48
I swear, one of these days I’m just going to take a cue from “This is Spinal Tap`” and start writing the same two-word review for these sound-alike, whiny, boring as all hell emo bands: shit sandwich. In The Remedy Sessions case, they’ve chosen to model their sound after Superchunk, which would make more sense if Superchunk hadn’t been such a thoroughly average band to begin with. Ironically enough, the album opens with “The Final Failure” (if only), which features all the requisite crashing guitars and male/female vocals and cry-your-eyes-out lines like “Sending out the words you’ve just seen just to let go/Sending out the reasons you might never know.” See? I knew goth chicks in high school who were obsessed with the Cure who wrote more empathetic schmaltz. Lame, on so many levels. Ryan
@ www.theremedysesson.com

The Robot Ate Me - “They Ate Themselves” CD 17/54:53
The Robot Ate Me brought me painfully back to junior high bio lab. This music reminded me of looking under the microscope and growing frustrated at not being able to find anything. There is very little to enjoy on this album. There are a lot of gibberish blips that may evoke Radiohead before they knew how to play their instruments. I just wish I could find my old lab partner so I could yell at something other than the CD player. Matthew
@ www.swimslowly.com

The Sheila Divine - "Secret Society" CD 6/24:29
Weirdly familiar vocals wrapped around boring rhythms and jangly, aloof guitars. It sounds like The Sheila Divine are trying to appeal to that audience of 80s revivalists that favor heavy eye makeup, Spin, and Pitchfork. It's well-done and immaculately produced but not especially memorable. The lead singer reminds me of someone famous, but I can't put my finger on it. Kurt Cobain being fucked by Bono? Catherine Wheel? Placebo? It's just too derivative. Brit-pop with much pose and no delivery. John
@ www.arenarockrecordingco.com (MP3 available)

The Short Happy Life – “The Album Is Also Called ‘The Short Happy Life’” CD 14/30:00
Jerry Fels, a wiseass home recorder and debatably talented performer, presents his latest batch of “Acoustic-Electro-Not-So-Lo-Fi-Indie-Pop,” (whatever that means) in the form of this 14-song disc. Like Portastatic and early Sebadoh, The Short Happy Life crafts brief, melodic pop nuggets out of various home-recorded instruments and lots of personal pain. Because Fels plays everything himself, it’s pretty darn tight. But his warbly, conversational lyrics and trainwreck singing style are cloyingly personal. The songs are okay, but often languish in thin arrangements and slacker delivery. Amusing at times, but mostly forgettable, “The Album Is Also Called…” is a thick mess of confessional indie pop that gets lost in its own blurry repetitiveness. John
@ www.nobodysfavoriterecords.com

The Skulls – The Golden Age of Piracy” CD 14/37:25
OK, I thought, the reformed Skulls managed to defy expectations once by putting out a really fine new album. But what were the chances that members of this late 70’s LA punk group could do it again? Not good, I would have wagered. Yet somehow they’ve managed to put together another ass-kickin’ slew of old school punk with attitude, hooks, and good choruses. Fuckin’ A. Jeff
@ www.drstrange.com

The Sonics – “Introducing…” CD 15/35:58
Despite the title, this LP is not the first Sonics album, but their third (and first on a new label, Jerden). Although some people think the Sonics were the quintessential 60’s punk band, I don’t really agree. After all, they began as a typical Northwest frat rock band with a sax, and even their punky hits (like “Psycho” and “The Witch”) had an overly bluesy quality thanks largely to the vocals. However that may be, this is arguably their best and punkiest disc. Not only did the label add those hit songs, but the band cranked out some of their best Yardbirds-style rave-ups (e.g., “You Got Your Head on Backwards” and a cover of “I’m a Man”) and other primitive, tough-sounding rockers (like “High Time” and “I’m Going Home”). Very cool. Jeff
@ www.sundazed.com

The Strike – “The Oi Collection” CD 14/34:10
An Oi band from the Highlands of Scotland, the Strike never managed to put out their own records and only played one gig in London during their entire ‘79-83 lifespan. They did, however, have several tracks on various Oi compilations. This CD reissue combines all of those songs, including classics like “Gang Warfare” and “Victims,” with others, including some demos. Not earth-shattering, but the group nonetheless deserved a better shake, and it’s great that their recordings have at last been comped. Jeff
@ www.captainoi.com

The The –“Infected” CD 8/41:08
Second album by Matt Johnson under the The The moniker. Judging by some of the sonic soundscapes contained within you gotta wonder if he was hanging out with Foetus around this time (Or maybe it was just the drugs; an article on the making of the “Infected” long-form video confirmed he wasn’t quite clean and sober at the time). Not to say this release doesn’t have its share of dated tracks (there’s a good reason why you won’t hear “Twilight of a Champion” at your local club’s “80s night” too often) but overall it’s still an effectively darker (or at least drug-deranged) work. Once again no bonus tracks and inferior artwork is substituted for the original, but the remastering does help bring out the record’s better qualities this time around. David
@ www.legacyrecordings.com

The The – “Mind Bomb” CD 8/46:08
I know these guys were around a few years ago, but I had hoped they’d have passed like the White Castle I ate last night, in a cloud of noxious gas. I think if you looked up the word pretentious, you might find this band there. Artsy fartsy or, more accurately, is boring as fuck. It’s stuff like this that makes me go for the minimalist punk bands that say so much more with so much less. Reminds me of the kind of crap Rick Wakeman was doing in the ‘70s, with lots of electronica and sound effects/distortion/bullshit. This is the kind of stuff that killed rock and roll. Do I need to be more direct? Time to put them to an end end. RBF
@ www.legacyrecordings.com

The The – “Soul Mining” CD 7/41:46
The first full-length release by The The (though an earlier Matt Johnson solo album was later reissued under the The The moniker), featuring “danceable” but intelligent pop with a bit of an experimental edge (perhaps not as much as “Burning Blue Soul” but more than you’d find from similar pop of the era). Some of Matt’s best works can be found here (“This is the Day”), but other tracks have the taint of filler to them. Pretty much half-and-half, though I’d be lying if I said the better parts of this disc weren’t enough to keep it around. In 24-bit remastered sound, though they missed a golden opportunity to tack on demo/live/outtakes/whatever as bonus tracks. David
@ www.legacyrecordings.com

The Three 4 Tens – “Taking Northern Liberties” CD 12/48:28
Somehow, this Philadelphia-based trio has remained under the radar of the mainstream listening public for several years. These guys have been making some of the best pill-poppin’ psychedelia on the East Coast, and continue to do so on this release. It’s a tad more retro than some of the other bands doing this style today, and also cleaner sounding, which is more becoming of this particular band’s sound. Xtian
@ www.rainbowquartz.com

The Trouble With Sweeney – “Fishtown Briefcase” CD 6/24:02
I know this band has garnered some decent reviews but this is pretty basic, bland semi-art rock. Singer/guitarist Joey Sweeney has a warm tone on “I Hope Your Sleep Is Dreamless”, and generally he’s not a bad singer, but nothing about the songwriting stands out at all. They do a straight-ahead cover of Wings’ “Listen To What The Man Said”, and when that’s the high point, well, enough said. Anthony
@ www.burnttoastrecords.com

The Who – “My Generation” Deluxe Edition 2XCD
What really needs to be said? After an inordinate period of wrangling between the Who and producer Shel Talmy, a remastered and expanded version of the band’s first album, booklet included, has finally been reissued. There are some pedestrian soul and blues covers herein, both on the original LP and among the many bonus tracks, but Pete Townshend’s own songs have never sounded better. I’m talking about “The Good’s Gone” (perhaps my secret fave), “La-La-La Lies`” “Much Too Much`” “The Kids are Alright`” “It’s Not True`” “Circles” (which was later covered well by the Fleur de Lys), “I Can’t Explain`” “Anyhow, Anywhere, Anyway`” and the astounding “My Generation`” almost all of which feature Townshend’s slashing guitar, Keith Moon’s flailing drums, and multi-part vocal harmonies. No real r’n’r fan can possibly do without this. Jeff
@ www.universalchronicles.com

The Who - “Who’s Next - Deluxe Edition” 2XCD
The synthesizer that kicks off this album was revolutionary in ‘71, and the opening track “Baba O’Riley” remains one of rock music’s classic anthems. “Who’s Next” is one of rock’s legendary bands at their peak. The deluxe edition expands the album, with disc two offering more than an hour from a 1971 concert in London. The first disc here tacks on 6 bonus tracks, including an alternate version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Baby Don’t You Do It”, an eight minute Marvin Gaye cover. Mel
@ www.universal chronicles.com

Thee Butcher's Orchestra - "Drag Me Twice" CD 29/70:53
A compiling of the first two full-lengthers (previously unavailable outside their homeland) from this Brazilian garage-rock outfit. They storm out of the starting gate, cranking out some righteous garage-rock that promises very good things indeed. Unfortunately they make the fatal mistake of letting up on the gas pedal and start to plod around track ten or so. They pick up a bit later on - if nothing else most of the tunes stay on the right side of "solid"-but they never quite manage to regain their momentum. Still, it's a fairly solid release , and if the first ten tracks are from their most recent release then this could be a band worth keeping an eye on. David
@ www.nofunrecords.com

Thee Fine Lines – s/t CD 14/28:15
More worshippers at thee alter of Childish, offering up Medway-garagey lo-fi sounds complete with a female vocalist that sounds like a Headcoatee in training (trust me, there are far worst vocations to strive for). Be interesting see what happens once they come into a sound more their own, but overall a fine platter indeed. David
@ www.licoricetree.com

Them – “Now and Them” CD 12/40:22
Following the departure of Van Morrison, Them split into two separate groups. Two of the members formed a new combo called Them Belfast Gypsies (under the direction of Kim Fowley), whereas the others teamed up with bluesy vocalist Kenny McDowell, moved to the US, and put out two albums in the late ‘60s. This is a reissue of the first and less consistent of the two LPs, which contains an eclectic mixture of the good – punky R&B (a killer version of John Mayall’s “I’m Your Witch Doctor”), impressive heavy-guitar psych (“Square Room” and “Walking in the Queen’s Garden”), and catchy pop (“Dirty Old Man”); the truly bad – some lame soul and horn pop-rock; and the so-so (“I Happen to Love You`” an otherwise cool Electric Prunes’ cover that is practically ruined by horns). The good material is really good, and alone may make this worth buying. Jeff
@ www.cherryred.co.uk

Theory of Abstract Light – s/t CD 9/51:47
This is actually a solo project of Ben Carr from 5ive. Combines the atmospheric strummings of Cul de Sac with the post-(space)rock of folks like F/i, featuring waves of processed guitars that break through the floodgates at a moment’s notice. Alternatively evocative and (deliciously) noisy. It’s a bit on the lo-fi side but it kinda adds to the charm, like listening to a vintage live performance or a long-lost demo (and we’re not talking bootleg-quality here either). This could have used some editing here and there (“Self Loathing” would have be more satisfying if a quarter or half of its 18 minutes had been edited out, and a certain track or two could have been omitted without being missed), but otherwise a good record to satisfy your spacier yearnings. David
@ www.tortugarecordings.com

Theredscare – “Eight Pieces of Summer” CD 8/31:27
Chug-a-chug whiny emo-like rock and roll fails to leave much of an impression. The guitars are thinner than Lara Flynn Boyle and the vocalist wails at everything and nothing all at once. It’s been years since anyone attempted this kind of drivin’ and cryin’ indie rock, and “Eight Pieces of Summer” make it easy to see why. Most of the songs are barely there, lacking either the melodies to make them memorable or the volume to make them convincing. Instead it’s as tepid and stale as a pond in mid August. (“You’ve Been Sold” and “You’re The Only Place I Call Home” have identical vocal melodies. Identical.) J Edward
@ www.theredscareband.com

Thermals – “More Parts Per Million” CD 13/27:46
It seemed like it had been a while since I’d been impressed by anything that Sub Pop put out, yet I have to say that I’ll give a second glance to any CD that shows their black and white logo. While at one time, that little name may have really signified a specific sound, (Mudhoney, Sebadoh), now the catalogue is more diverse (The Postal Service). The Thermals have a sound that makes me think of Sub Pop. The CD is so low-fi, it sounds like it was recorded with someone’s tape player in their parent’s basement. It’s fast, loud and fuzzy, yet the vocals are clear and earnest, not screaming, reminding me if The Mountain Goats could do if Jon Darnielle ever really rocked out. It’s refreshing, the only drawback being that the ultra-low production sound unnecessarily renders the songs too much alike. Pam
@ www.thethermals.com

They Fought Back – “Resist” CD 8/27:34
The lead singer’s name is Tree and it is a girl…, which is both awesome and surprising. All the better for a semi-bland band that does heavy hitting tunes on the head bobbing tip and done with some skill. Otherwise their use of the D chord and love of Helmet records doesn’t really do it for me. Perhaps this is a good debut record for some kids trying to find their chops but it is pretty typical and made me wish it was recorded a bit louder so at least you had that element of crankin’ the tunes to 11. Oh well… Whittaker
@ www.theyfoughtback.com

They Might Be Giants - "The Spine" CD 16/36:03
I have never liked this band. Their vocals make me want to drive off a cliff, and I think their lyrics are more down with the syndrome than Corky from Life Goes On. I don't like joke music, and even if I did, I don't think these guys are the least bit clever. If you're a TMBG fan you'll probably love this album, and if you've always hated them, you'll continue to do so, and never the twain shall meet. Mona
@ www.tmbg.com

They Walk Among Us – “Mathematics, Art in Progress” CD 11/42:43
Just because I’m from Brooklyn, doesn’t mean there aren’t things that scare me. I looked at the line-up for this band and saw the likes of soundscapes, Hammond, and samples, and my blood just ran cold. But I’m happy to say TWAU is mostly a strong pop band that uses these scary “instruments” sparingly. This comes as is a relief, because they do have some catchy tunes, starting off with “Telescopes.” Mostly, though, they do have a sound that is heavily produced and processed, along the line of British bands of the early 1980s. They would fit well in a collection of groups like Tears for Fears and Toto. Now, I prefer stuff with a bit more edge to it, but as this genre goes, they use it to their best advantage – in other words, I wouldn’t run across a room to turn it off. I realize this comes out as sort of a left-handed complement, or as passive-aggressive, but I’m doing my best to say something as nice as I can, since they are decent in their style. Their last cut, “Getting Us Nowhere,” is one of their best cuts, reminiscent of Oasis (another band I never got into, but wouldn’t walk across a room to take off). RBF
@ www.aeronautrecords.com

Thingz – s/t CD 14/30:19
This rocknroll trio from Southern California brings the fuzz and the reverb back to punk rock, or maybe it’s bringing the garage back into punk? Either way, this is too rockin’ for the vintage set and nigh near perfect fuzz-drenched punk for the rest of us. The addition of some female vocals and a nearly complete set of lyrics make this a kick ass keeper of a record. They sound like they’re a blast live also! Jesse
@ Pelado, 521 W. Wilson #C103, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Think Tank – “Here is the Moment” CD 10/34:24
These four boys from outer Australia play some tight and mean positive energy rock. Most of their subject matter deals with the daily grinds we all have to accept but in factual meaning don’t. Really, not a tune goes by that makes you want to cringe…that is if you are indeed into this type of stuff. Luckily for us we get the full spectrum of slow and quick, which makes Think Tank that much more acceptable and accessible. Nothing groundbreaking here but why would you need that? The sound is like a good blanket on a chilly day. Necessary and needed when all things go ker-plunk and your dopey roommate drank all of your apple juice. It’s the thoughtfulness of some of the tunes and the ‘hold your chin up’ pacing that does it for me. You should see for yourself. Whittaker
@ www.householdnamerecords.co.uk

Third Dimension – “Protect Us From What We Want” CD 11/38:55
What were you doing in 1998? Whatever it was, it more than likely did not involve listening to this disc by Third Dimension, because “Protect Us From What We Want” never made it out of Sweden. This re-release is all about monumental rock balladeering, complete with strings and organs and generally overdoing it anytime the respective song progresses past your basic straight-ahead rock tune. Yes, those less complicated rockers are here as well, though not the focus. Each of the overdone ballads has one beating inside, you can hear it in the hooks… Right behind the string section. Xtian
@ Parasol, 303 W. Griggs Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Thirteens - “Swallow” CD 11/26:14
Some might claim that this is super fast punk, which it sometimes is, but I’d call it closer to hardcore. Which is too bad, since it means that I won’t be keeping it for long. To be fair, though, if you haven’t yet OD’ed on intense, snotty HC with some singalong 7 Seconds-style choruses, you’ll probably love the Thirteens. And let me add that “Lost Tribe” is pretty damn rockin’. Jeff
@ King Bee, PO Box 1164, Denver, CO 80201

This Moment in Black History – “Midwesterncuttalistick” CD 17/32:44
While news of the Chargers Street Gang’s demise caused much mourning around this particular household, this new outfit from Chris Kulcsar has helped to ease the pain somewhat (worth noting that there’s a Bassholes/Neon King Kong connection here as well). Pointed both musically and lyrically (don’t expect More Songs About Girls And Beer here), they inject more than a dollop of agitation in the mix, giving them far more intensity than your average modern-day Gang of Four (or at this point, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) jaggedbeatgaragepunk wannabes who memorized the beats but not the lyric sheets. David
@ www.versioncityrecords.com

Thistle - "Tired Anchor" CD 10/35:26
Independence, Kentucky's Tiberius Records continues their excellent string of releases with Thistle's "Tired Anchor," an album brimming with concise, insanely catchy guitar-driven songs, great lyrics and energy to spare. A lot of the tracks (especially the propulsive opener "New Christ Killer") channel "Here's Where the Strings Come In"-era Superchunk, while the scratchy-throated "Water and Rations" sounds more like British punk on holiday in guitarland. Melodic and underpinned by subtle but sterling production, "Tired Anchor" is a document of a veteran band at the top of their game. Fans of Modest Mouse, Sebadoh and Zykos should check this one out. Raise your skinny fists and crack open a can of Bud: Midwest indie lives! John
@ www.tiberiusrecords.com

Thomas & Sampson – “When the Lower Resembles the Higher There Will Be Harmony Upon Reflection” CD 12/36:45
I don’t know where to start on just how wrong this all is. Thomas & Sampson sing at the same time in a slow and sing-song way, but make no attempt to harmonize. In more than one song, but especially “Smiling and Bleeding,” they emphasize the squeaking sound the guitar strings make. The songs all sound like they are on the level of a calliope. While listening, I closed my eyes and had the image of sitting in a chair waiting for dentist to start drilling, and this was the Muzak©-lite that was playing over the PA. RBF
@ www.westernvinyl.com MP3 Download

Thought Riot – “Sketches of Undying Will” CD 12/37:56
These pretentious Modesto, CA. jerk-offs sport pseudonyms like Bryan Fantastic, Kelley Dangerously and Marc Riot. There’s nothing the least bit fantastic, dangerous or riotous about them. They’re planted squarely in the assembly line cookie cutter pseudo-HC camp where the vocals sound the same on virtually every song, and the guitars are often just a dull itch. The only track that’s remotely interesting is “Cycle of the Streets”, but when the echo-laden gang vox kick in it reduces it to just another bad song on just another bad record by just another bad band. You’d think at some point someone would listen to playback in the studio and say, “you know, we’re just not very good.” Anthony
@ www.a-frecords.com MP3 Download

Threats – “Twelve Punk Moves” CD 12/37:38
The old punks just keep coming out of the woodwork, don’t they? Who would have predicted that, like the forebears they once derided as “boring old farts,” they too would keep on keepin’ on reforming, especially after the Pistols showed how it should be done by breaking up before embarrassing themselves? Threats were an 80’s Britpunk group that had a handful of really outstanding songs in their heyday. Now they’re back with a new LP. I expected the worst, perhaps unfairly, but it’s actually pretty damn good. In the final analysis it’s hard to argue with killer tracks like “No Rules” and “Circles,” though these do really stand out from the pack. Jeff
@ www.drstrange.com

Thrills – “N.A.F.L.T.C.” CD 15/66:39
Coming out of the Boston scene circa 1977-1981, this female-voxed outfit weren’t so much a punk outfit as what could probably be more accurately described as new-wave-rock; this platter features their sole 7 inch as well as various live/radio session trax and a radio interview. I know certain folks swear by this band, but based upon this evidence, there’s really nothing here to distinguish them from all the other similar new wave rock bands that existed at the time, bands that were intrigued by and/or saw a new bandwagon to jump upon in the new sounds but never quite made the commitment to get as REALLY gone like the Avengers, Dils, or a hundred Killed By Death-worthy now-obscurities did. Probably worth picking up if you were there at the time, otherwise…. David
@ www.dionysusrecords.com

Thrills - "So Much For The City" CD 11/46:34
I never would have guessed these guys were from anywhere but Southern California by listening to this; but they're actually from Dublin, Ireland. This is a decent piece of pop, alternating between the soft pop sounds of songs that could be Burt Bacharach compositions channeled through David Gates and Bread ("Deckchairs and Cigarettes") to some more full on rockers that are still deeply rooted in the 60's. Plenty of Byrdsian jangle and Beach Boys harmonies occasionally give the more bouncy songs a bit of a country mixed with driving with the top down flair. It's a fun record that mixes plenty of styles and has a perkiness missing in a lot of good pop today. They're not going to rock your house down, but if you dig a tad of country, a little bit of rock n roll and plenty of solid melodies, handclaps and tamborines, then this is one to pick up. Steve
@ www.virginrecords.com

Throwrag – “Desert Shores” CD 12/40:54
Shockingly catchy punk rock from a bunch of outland Californians who are clearly willing to roll through all the broken glass and filth to achieve rock and roll stardom, Iggy-style. With a dash of Rocket From The Crypt, spiced with some Negative Trend, this band kicks rock and roll ass. See them at the sleazy punk bar you call home soon, buy a shirt and this record, and re-live the magic again and again in the privacy of your own shithole. Yeah! Jesse
@ BYO, PO Box 67609, Los Angeles, CA 90067

Thunderbirds Are Now! – “Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief” CD 12/23:25
Imagine if a younger Ritalin-deprived more-tweaked, less concept-driven early Devo grew up on too many vintage Gravity-label records and puppet-animation TV shows and you might come up with something like this. Fairly frenzied and fun for the entire family…depending on the family, of course. David
@ www.actiondriver.com

Tiger Army - “Early Years” CD 6/12:11
This little rockabilly EP is fast, fun, and utterly enjoyable. These guys have been around California making music since 1996. This disc includes the music from their first vinyl release as well as some other previously unreleased early recordings. A must have for any fan and a good starting point for those unfamiliar with the band. Sharon
@ www.hell-cat.com

Tijuana Hercules – “When The Moon Comes Up Wild” CD 7/17:28
Imagine a hobo gone mental then he steps foot in a saloon and declares his need for mass tequila. If this was to happen in Tijuana that would make it all the better. And if his name were Hercules, then we’d be set here. It’s kind of a rough and tumble version of honky tonk rock with a definite blues influence and a penchant for collecting Tom Waits records. Or maybe even Captain Beefheart. Or both. At any rate, the band Tijuana Hercules make music we can all shake and shimmy to then take us al down the road a piece in a beat up Peterbilt to the great chophouse on the horizon, with a flagon of whiskey and plenty of tall tales to tell. And the drummer says his name is Chad Smith. Is this the same Chad from the Red Hot Chili Peppers or just a coincidence? Either way I say he sticks to Tijuana Hercules. The last few Chili Peppers albums have sucked hard. Whittaker
@ www.tijuanahercules.com

Time U.K. - "One More Time" CD 13/44:24
So then, how did Rick Buckler wind up spending his time once compadre Weller decided to make Starbucks soul music with the Style Council? By hooking up with one Jimmy Edwards to enjoy further neo-Mod musical pursuits as Time U.K. This is altogether a fine, first-time CD collection of their not unenjoyable wired R&B racket, with some very Welleresque vocals and keen slice-of-urban-life lyrics from Edwards. Hardline Jam fans and the parka crowd on both sides of the Pond alike will find precious little to dislike. Also includes a cache of tunes by Buckler and Edwards' follow-up band Sharp, which got fellow Jam man Bruce Foxton in for more of the same. MLH
@ Detour, PO Box 18, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9YU, England

Tip Toppers - "Packed to the Rafters" LP 11/31:45
Apparently considered a Norwegian supergroup to some (due to various Yum Yums, Glucifer, and Kwyet Kings connections) these folks crank out melodic punk that takes its cues from the Ramones and the power-pop bands of yore (usually leaning more towards one or the other), rather than your usual Vans tour suspects. The heavy accents can be hard to plough through sometimes (lads, it’s okay to sing in your native tongue, believe me) but overall this is pretty good. David
@ www.soundsofsubterrania.com

Toasters – “In Retrospect” CD 21/70:40
23 years of the Toasters? You bet, and this 25 tune look at their checkered (ba-dump-bump!) career rocks! Er, it skanks! After the recent demise of their old home Moon Records, it’s great that they’re back in print and Honestly, this is a no-brainer, it’s quality Two-Tone style ska, except via NYC and non-stop recording and shows. Pick it up, Pick it up! Jesse
@ Stomp, 78 Rachel E. Montreal, Que, H2W 1C6, Canada

Tobin Sprout – “Lost Planets & Phantom Voices” CD 13/40:06
Yep, it’s more of Sprout’s patented pop, the first full-length under his own name in a while, and he doesn’t sound he’s lost his touch with (It helps that these are actually songs and not just fragments masquerading as same). Not quite up to GBV’s prime stuff, but one of the better related recordings I’ve heard in a while. David
@ www.lunamusic.net

Tobin Sprout – “Sentimental Stations” CD 7/21:46
Tobin Sprout, the reclusive guitarist/singer formerly of Guided by Voices, starts off his latest EP with what could easily pass for a GBV song, the ambling, lo-fi “Secret Service.” And is that Bob Pollard with the heavily affected background mumbling? No matter, it’s a great song, regardless of references to earlier work. “Branding Dennis” is a quirky instrumental snake of a song that leaves you wondering why Sprout doesn’t score indie films. Like all his great instrumentals (i.e. “The Bone Yard”) it’s too short, hinting at the considerable presence behind the mild-mannered chords and mid-fi production. “I Think You Would” is a tender ballad, even though gritted teeth and thin, acoustic chords. The bittersweet “Inside the Blockhouse” makes you nostalgic for the days when Sprout engineered entire GBV albums, lending them a gentle charm that much of Pollard’s recent work lacks. “Doctor #8” is the real stunner, welding Sprout’s plaintive, aching vocals to a gorgeous piano line and oddly appropriate harmonica solo. The title track ends the disc with a polished, hi-fi bang, pooling the talents of former GBV, Mink and Mulchmen/Cage members for one final, sugar-pop-rock send-off. “Sentimental Stations” is another excellent EP that demonstrates Sprout’s ability to create great music by continually challenging himself and those around him. Highly recommended. John
@ www.lunamusic.net

Tokens - “Intercourse” CD 17/26:21
The late 60’s: a time when it was not unusual for rock and pop musicians, faced with the double shot of the Beatles and Beach Boys’ recent masterworks, to feel compelled to make their own Great Art Statements. 1969’s Intercourse was the attempt of this New York pop-vocal foursome, to say the least the last thing expected of a group whose previous troubling of the pop charts was “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Their record company apparently felt the same way, pressing only 200 copies - after an initial rejection by Warner Brothers - and effectively burying Intercourse’s chances. More’s the pity, for this collection of harmony-driven fragments and the intermittent, fully actualized pop tune actually hangs together damned well in retrospect. Ambitious, yeah; occasionally coy (as in the marihoochie-boosting “Commercial”), even cloying as pop vocal groups of the era could be (anyone remember Harper’s Bizarre, the Sandpipers or Arbors?), you bet. But then they surprise you with a song as yearning and hopeful as the Leary-on-Flatbush-Avenue, baroque-psych jewel “Waiting For Something”, and you forgive Mitch Margo and co. any callow overreaching now and forever. Wonderful stuff. MLH
@ www.revola.co.uk

Tokyo Sex Destruction – “Le Red Soul Comunnitte (10 Points Program)” CD 10/26:19
TSD knows the recipe for proper 60s soul/garage: Hammond organ, handclaps, background “crowd” noise, ties with black shirts and pants, occasional preaching. However, they lack the spark to incite a revolution (which I assume is on their agenda, what with the Black Panther images, their “10 Points Program`” and an incoherent written piece titled “Revolutionary Violence”). It’s also a shame this Spanish four-piece chose to sing in English instead of its native tongue. Regardless, it’s a solid effort to shimmy and shake to. Includes a video for “Break-out town.” Lily
@ www.dimmak.com

Tom Hedrick - "As If" CD 14/36:58
Tom Hedrick is fucking weird, but I like him. He's got a classic sense of pop craftsmanship, a multi-instrumentalist's palate, and a whimsically twisted vocabulary. Call if geek rock if you want, although it sounds nothing like the cartoonish lesser songs of Zappa and They Might Be Giants. Boundaries exist in his music, along with more opportunities to deflect the onset of absurdity. An overeducated, Southern California pop influence pervades too much of the vibe, like the Beach Boys and a horny robot collaborating on a television soundtrack, and the theatrics overtake the melody from time to time. But this stuff is still pretty listenable, if not relentlessly quirky. John
@ thomas.hedrick@attbi.com

Tommy and the Terrors – “13 the Hard Way” CD 13/27:54
Tough guy punk outta Boston, more punk then their fellow Bostonians Blood for Blood or Slapshot, think the loud and fast Dropkick Murphys with a dash of Screeching Weasel melody thrown in. Tunes about death, drunkenness, dead end lives, and other cheery subjects. Tommy and the Terrors are fun, pissed-off singalong punk, with heavy skinhead overtones in the lyrics and the fashion. Jessejesse
@ Rodent Popsicle, PO Box 1143, Allston, MA 02134

Tone – “Ambient Metals” CD 7/49:06
A fine collection of multi-guitar-driven post-post-punk instrumentals, alternatively haunting and intense, with the guitars working together to form a post-Branca layered sound instead of simply indulging in a wankfest. A good continuation of the paths that folks such as Savage Republic used to explore before their travels were sadly cut short (reunions and boxed set reissues notwithstanding). Perhaps not the kind of musick you’d expect Dischord to associate itself with, but there you go. David
@ www.dischord.com

Toothpaste 2000 - "Catch-22" CD 22/56:56
Good lyrics aren't everything, and some of the best song lyrics are a bit nonsensical, but it seems that there is a small window of what constitutes good lyrics, they shouldn't be too witty or learned, but some you have to come up with something better than "you're totally hot, I need what you've got, you've got quite a lot." This comes from track three, "Count Choc lot" on Toothpaste 2000's CD. I realize that this is the token joke song on the album, but a little more selective editing would have been nice. The songs sung by Donna Esposito tend to be more charming. Luckily, most songs fare better lyrics. It's too bad that I was so distracted by the words much of the time, because the melodies are great, with catchy hooks, and influences from all over the place -- Byrds, Pretenders, and Kinks all wildly shining through. Pam
@ www.parasol.com

Toots and the Maytals – “Sweet and Dandy” CD 24/79:11
Combining a mellow reggae beat with a vocal toughness others in the genre lacked, Toots & The Maytals are responsible for some of the most seminal singles in the genre. Though this compilation lacks their legendary “Dog War”, it is still a hefty and worthwhile compilation for anyone investigating the group’s music for the first time. The Maytals harmonize like few other vocal groups. Their voices are easy and relaxed, but the sound they make when they merge is spine-tingling. Toots Hibbert is a vocalist on par with Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, and he imbues even the most freewheeling track with emotional depth and conviction. Songs like “Funky Kingston” settle into a groove not unlike the Motown sound, which separates Toots & The Maytals from the homogeny that sometimes plagues reggae artists. Their music is more of a combination of styles – a bit of funk, a bit of soul, a bit of rocksteady – all of it working together to create something wondrous. The signature track “Do The Reggay” – the first song ever to use the word “Reggae” in any form – tops a traditional rocksteady beat with curlicue guitar licks reminiscent of American Rock & Rollers like Bill Haley & The Comets. “Sweet & Dandy” is a fine starting point for this pioneering group. J Edward
@ Trojan Records

Torch Marauder – “Boxers, Painters, and Snappers” CD 12/48:02
Chapel Hill-based musician David Bjorkback drums for Razzle. He sings here, and really, that’s the main setback to this effort as a whole. When he gets overly excited his voice sounds like a cartoon character fronting a rock band. To make matters worse, he does a lot of vocal belting. This should be reserved for soul singers and hack attempts at the national anthem. Maybe it’s supposed to be like the vocals on Ween and old Frank Zappa records, and you just have to be ready to frame it differently or it will drive you crazy. At the very least, the songs are cool. Very weird, insightful (?) lyrics, confounding songwriting and structures. Let’s not be too hard on the guy – one gets the feeling this would be far more entertaining live. The sheer oddness and the fake British accent on “Supernatural Mole” are alone probably enough to shake up the local scenester “cool”, and, at least for me, that’s enough to hand out a passing grade here. Xtian
@ www.torchmarauder.com

Tossers – “Purgatory” CD 15/68:55
A superficial glance at the cover might make one expect yet another Death Metal release, but these folks actually specialize in the sounds of Irish-folk-with-a-punk-flavor. The “Celtic-punk” tag is tossed (er….) around but this is more punk in attitude than sound, coming closer to the Pogues and Flogging Molly than the Dropkick Murphys, though the punk flag is unfurled in spots (e.g. during the second half of “Chicago”). While there are enough missteps for this to definitely have warranted some editing (this could have been a stellar 45-min CD instead of a pretty good 68-minute one) I dare say this is a keeper. David
@ www.thickrecords.com

Toxic Narcotic – “Shoot People Not Dope” CD 5/13:11
Toxic Narcotic are back with yet another short but sweet onslaught of ye olde hardcore. They aren’t too successful when they in dabble in reggae in “Cockroach”, but otherwise this would be a good soundtrack for your next bout of disorderly conduct. David
@ www.rodentpopsicle.com

Toy Dolls – “Absurd-Ditties” CD 14/36:54
These three blokes have making dopey heavy new wavish, Oi! kind of music for a while now. And I’m not too sure if this is a compendium of their previously released stuff or it’s a full-blown new album. Either way, it’s like some dudes that dig the “Young Ones” way too much and think that wearing skinny ties and square sunglasses during a gig is clever making pogo dancing rock for a real long time now. It’s kind of cartoonish and fun but annoying too. Like your younger brother pulling on your coat asking for another sugar packet to eat. Plus they have songs that are almost making fun of British crap, like “I’m A Telly Addict” and “Sod The Neighbors” which made me think at first they were trying really hard to be all UK punk while hailing from New Jersey or something. Maybe this would be good if you were all coked up and playing the Commodore 64 all night long. Then you’d need this type of nerdy booger core. Whittaker
@ www.captainoi.com

Toy Dolls - "Anniversary Anthems" CD 15/36:59
Their last (to date, at least) studio album, originally released in 2000, and reissued by Captain Oi!. I think I've said this before, I'm totally up for reissues, but they do have their limits, and this one exceeds those boundaries. This certainly has all of the regular Toy Dolls elements; goofy lyrics, a nifty and nutty cover ("Livin' La Vida Loca"), and most of the trademark snotty punk vocals and music they're known for. It's just that the damn thing is only three years old and it's already getting the re-issue treatment. Like fans of the band wouldn't have been able to find the original issue if they really wanted. Still, they're a band that's always been a full listen and in that regard, this doesn't disappoint. Steve
@ www.captainoi.com

Toy Dolls – “Fat Bobs Feet” CD 16/37:44
The Toy Dolls are one of my favorite UK punk bands ever- their amphetamine-paced funny-punk tunes crossed with Olga’s unique vocals puts them head and shoulders above most of their peers. After breathlessly devouring their classic 80s full-lengths and EPS, I automatically bought every new Toy Dolls record I saw in local record bins. In 1991 I snatched this record up as soon as I saw it (it was a lot harder to find these domestically then). All of the following Toy Dolls studio records I ended up selling after a month or so, but I still have this one- and after listening to it I’m not sure why. While there are a ton of decent tunes (especially the title track and “We Quit the Calvary”), as well as some cool Olga-ized covers (“We’re the Kids of Tyne and Wear” rocks!), overall there is just too much tunage and not enough greatness to justify keeping it. The inclusion of the Toy Doll’s 1989 attempt to cash in on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze (the “Turtle Crazy” single) is a neat bit of U.K. pop culture history, like a punk version of 1993’s “Mr. Blobby” sensation. Like most of the later Toy Dolls records, there’s about a 12-inch EP’s worth of great songs on here, with too much filler to justify a full-length. Plus, since Captain Oi released the Toy Dolls “Covered in Toy Dolls” CD last year, all of the great covers are collected for your convenience making these 90s records less necessary. Maybe there could be a Toy Dolls “Best of the 90s” record with 4 non-cover tunes from each of those records? That would be much better than having all of these separate releases. That said, I’m stoked on the lyrics being re-printed and the liner notes, as with all of these Captain Oi re-releases (see my Peter and the Test Tube Babies review elsewhere for more on Captain Oi’s current re-issue frenzy). For fans only, not essential if you’ve got everything through “Wakey Wakey” already. Jesse
@ Captain Oi

Toy Dolls – “One More Mega-Byte” CD 14/38:21
By the time this came out in 1997, I had stopped automatically buying each Toy Dolls record as it came out (see “Fat Bobs Feet” review above), so I never heard this one all the way through. A little more experimentation than most Toy Dolls records, plus a little more meat on Olga’s guitar tone than earlier, but overall just a decent Toy Dolls record. The 2 Olga-ized covers, both of which are stellar (“500 Miles” and “The Devil Went Down to Scunthorpe”) are on the Captain Oi Toy Dolls cover CD. There’s only a couple of typically brilliant and/or typically flashy tunes here (“She’s a Leech” and “Me N John Williams” respectively) to otherwise justify this record- this is definitely the weakest of the 90s Toy Dolls records. The Toy Dolls were still fantastic live (and probably still are); my old band was lucky enough to open for them on this tour in San Francisco and we saw first hand their mastery of the stage. Come back guys, and bring a kick ass studio record with you this time! Jesse
@ Captain Oi

Toy Dolls – “Ten Years of Toys” CD 17/49:30
In 1989 one of my favorite bands ever, the Toy Dolls, put out this record of re-recorded Toy Dolls classics to celebrate being a band for 10 years. Now it’s 2003 and I guess it’s a good thing I’m not reviewing a new re-recording called “24 Years of Toys.” I’m not sure why they re-released this. The versions are fine, if a half-beat slower, but they don’t measure up to the original funny punk classics. I bought the cassette version of this record back then in case I was on a car trip without any other Toy Dolls cassettes; it’s decent but nothing to spend money on, even though it does have full lyrics inside. Get the original records instead, they’ve also been re-released: “Dig That Groove Baby” “Idle Gossip” and “A Far Out Disc.” If I was an obsessive Toy Dolls completist I would get this, but the rest of us don’t need to bother. Jesse
@ Captain Oi. PO Box 501, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP10 8QA UK

Toy Dolls - "Wakey Wakey" CD 14/31:26
No doubt it, the folks at Captain Oi have fine taste. They pick the best stuff to re-issue. The Toy Dolls are an absolute delight, one of the funniest bands of the 1980s. This is punk that owes more to the Goon Show than the Sex Pistols, all about wacky lyrics and even wackier delivery. Olga's Keebler-elf-on-helium vocals are appropriately weird, a perfect match to songs about fiddling the taxman and vacationing in Moscow. Only the Dolls could get away with a refrain like "One night in Moscow, and we'll be Russian home". If you haven't yet discovered the Dolls, what the hell are you waiting for? This is what the Young Ones always wanted to be. It'll make you smile. Get it? Mark
@ www.captainoi.com

Toys That Kill - "Control the Sun" CD 14/43:34
This doozy of a record is the second full-length from Todd and Sean (ex-FYP). TTK is punchier than FYP; it's as if the manic spirit of FYP has been tempered with patience. They don't need to just blaze through 14 two-minute songs, now they take the time to shift down into mid-tempo and get the Rock On. Anthemic, subtle, and all-together an enjoyable romp that only improves with repetition. One of the best punk records of the year, hands down! Jesse
@ www.recessrecords.com

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players - “Vintage Slide Collections from Seattle, vol.1” CD 11/35:20
I won’t say it isn’t conceptually intriguing, what this no doubt loving nuclear brood are doing: frothy, upbeat, vaudevillian pop-rock numbers composed to accompany various orphaned photo-slide collections, illustrating events as mundane as sightseeing trips and corporate seminars. I’ll bet it all fits together quite pleasantly when experienced live, surely fun for all ages. Cut off from the visuals, however, the music falls rather flat, becoming at times almost grating - imagine the worst kind of high-school ‘rock’ musical with its libretto solicited from the audience, a la one of those really dreadful improv-comedy troupes. One good point: the daughter’s not a half-bad drummer. MLH
@ www.bar-none.com

Tracy Shedd - “Red” CD 14/45:07
Ms. Shedd’s voice is so soft and tentative, one would wonder if she’s an adult, and if she weren’t, what a refreshing change that would be from the Britney’s and Cristina’s out there. Tracy Shedd is an adult which makes those vocals a bit eerie in their childish sound, which doesn’t really match the backing music which is full of nice melodic and catchy guitar parts and a solid rhythm section. We almost get the sensation that the band is carrying on without her, that her lyrics and vocals are struggling to keep up with the adult pace. The result is somewhat disjointed, but not unpleasant to listen to. Pam
@ www.teenbeat.net

Transplants – “Police State” CD 27/75:17
No not the Rancid/Blink 182 side-project, but the Boston outfit that could be found lurking in the seedier clubs and garages of said scene circa late 70s, featuring live & studio recordings that were heard by all too few at the time. Judging by their choice of covers it appears that they were inspired by the “punk” of the previous generation (i.e. 60s garage) as well as the sounds coming out of NY and the UK at the time. If not something that would overshadow the other folks on the original KBDs (and the multiple appearance of certain songs might irk those of a sensitive nature), there’s still some cool vintage punk that you won’t have to have been there At The Time to get into. David
@ www.dionysusrecords.com

Trapdoor Fucking Exit - s/t CD 4/14:13
Political post-emo band whose names suggest they may be Scandinavian. They bust out with the frantic "Devil's Egg" where they decry the jaded and morally bankrupt nature of our age. ("Caught at the tourist trap/An attraction that won't pay back/Devil's egg planted"). That theme plays out with hard syncopated rhythms and sandpaper-ish vocals. Not bad, especially considering how trite this sub-genre has become. As Marx pointed out, philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point is to change it. Anthony
@ www.noidearecords.com

Travoltas - "Endless Summer" CD 10/32:24
There's one thing about this band never changes from one record to the next, and it's the beautiful vocals. The leads are great, the harmonies are Beach Boys great, and they're what give this band a trademark sound. Musically, on their sixth full length, the band continues to produce Ramones influenced power pop, with hooks galore and a modicum of surf riffs. Over the years they've added more keyboard work, giving the band a new wave flourish and an added depth to the songs. Mostly singing about girls, Liv Tyler, and girls, these five folks from the Netherlands have learned their pop lessons well. Great pop punk with roots in new wave, surf, and the Ramones can't ever be beat, especially with songs as well constructed as these. Steve

Travoltas – “Party!” CD 14/45:12
Odds are you’re gonna have fun fun fun listening to this homage to the Beach Boy’s Party! album. While this Dutch band doesn’t usually work acoustic, they put their bongos and catguts to fine form, mixing covers with (usually electric) originals. While there’s “Little Honda`” “Barbara Ann” (of course), “Sorrow” and “California Girls`” as well as “That Thing You Do” for some gods-know reason, their own songs still shine through, most notably “One For the Road” and “Endless Summer.” The sound works for them. RBF
@ www.knockknockrecords.com

Tree Fort Angst – “Last Page in the Book of Love” CD 30/78:02
Stunning, sterling compilation from early 90’s pop group Tree Fort Angst combines the shambling charm of Orange Juice with breathless melodies. The group was painfully undersung during their brief existence, overshadowed by bands with half the talent but twice the connections. Though TFA issues only a handful of singles and one full-length (all of which are collected here), the sum total of their output is almost impossibly accomplished. The songs move fast, and always sound on the verge of falling apart. “20 Hours” is positively hyperkinetic, Terry Banks hustling to get the words out over a frantic guitar strum and tourettic percussion. Ballads like “Tilting At Windmills” are earnest without being maudlin or overwrought, while the bustling frenetically uptempo pop of “Trampoline” is immediately engaging. Tree Fort Angst shows the possibilities of music done on the cheap, and the brisk tempos only add to the music’s sense of urgency. Essential. J Edward
@ www.foxyboy.biz

Treephort – “Enchanted Forest” CD 11/29:24
I have been looking forward to reviewing something from Treephort for a while, as I’ve seen them live a number of times. While their shows are gross-out extravaganzas (from piercing themselves with forks and tying off lower-half body parts with sneaker string then setting “it” on fire, to projectile vomiting contests) that got them kicked off the Warpt Tour, their music could actually stand on its own without the freak show. A fine mixture of punk pop with sharp-edged humor, Shreveport’s Treephort have numbers like “Jesus Would Play This Show for Free” (the CD also has a video of this song) and “It Takes Talent to Scream Into a Microphone” (sort of their philosophical equivalent of the Adverts’ “One Chord Wonders”). And there are some biting bits as well on both sides of the seriousness spectrum, like “Take Your Credit Cards and Burn Them” and the Michael Jackson slapping “The Lawsuit About to Happen”. There is also a somewhat straight cover of kd lang’s “Constant Cravings.” Point it, great release. RBF
@ www.springmanrecords.com

Triggers – “Shoot Your Mouth Off” CD 12/25:37
Very cool punk rock, from the time the first number kicks in you’re guaranteed one act of a punk ride. It’s almost become a cliché to say this, but it applies; take the energy and excitement and FUN of the early Californian punk scene, update it ant throw out the retro-uniforms along the way and you’d have the Triggers. Energetic, and Fun! Music to bop around to. Cool female vox as well. (yep throw in the Avengers and VKTMs comparisons) David
@ www.dirtnaprecs.com

Tristeza – “Espuma” CD 7/20:36
Tristeza has a history of awesomeness as far as I’m concerned. The awesomeness definitely continues on “Espuma”. This CD contains previously unreleased material, live material, as well as one new song. Sad to think that this could potentially be the last we hear from this fine band, but rumors abound that this may be the end. Peaceful beautiful post-rock melodic music, it’s a band that others strive to sound like. They just get it right. Sharon
@ www.gravityrec.com

Troggs - "20th Century Millennial Collection" CD 11/29:50
A home without at least one record by the indefagitable Mister Reg Presley and company is...well, I'm sure you're nice folks, but don't invite me to any house parties, OK? As with most of the collections in this series, this is a tidy skimming of the cream of a given performer's work - meaning in this case, the hits as well as a glimpse or three of these garage-rock giants' quieter, yet no less simpleminded side. So no "Feels Like A Woman" or "Cousin Jane", no "Strange Movies", even - but they did thankfully include "Night Of The Long Grass", a truly creepy Troggs classic and that's saying something. Ocarinas ahoy! MLH
@ www.universalchronicles.com

Troubled Hubble – “Penturbia” CD 12/50:24
This is super-catchy pop from a quartet of clean-cut Midwesterners. “Airplanes,” the second track, is at once heavy (lots of crunchy guitars) and uplifting without being sentimental. It’s just one of several irresistible songs. “You Stay Here I’ll Go Get Help,” with its kickass percussion, and “I Love My Canoe,” a rollicking, funny track about, yes, a canoe, are two other highlights on an album full of songs that get stuck in your head after a single listen. Kevin
@ www.troubledhubble.com

True Love - "I Was Accident" CD 12/36:45
"I Was Accident" is an unabashed powerpop record if there ever was one: all melody, shameless lyrics, and glowing harmonies. There's an undying love for Elvis Costello that is, as seen in there remarkable knack for relentless hooks and gritty power chord rock. The frequent harder moments also remind me of Fountains of Wayne and the Posies. There's also an effortless cool in the slick presentation and earnest vocals; a wink and a nudge that they love these songs, but are eminently aware that great music can be kitschy. Scott
@ www.trueloverocks.com

Tsurubami – “Gekkyukekkaichi” CD 2/60:52
It’ll probably come as no surprise to hear there’s an Acid Mother’s Temple connection here (apparently all three are card-carrying AMT members) but these folks were apparently collaborating even before they passed through the Temple doors. Two long pieces (totally about an hour in length), totally improvised, no overdubs but lotsa effects. They can go from bliss-outs to thundering maelstroms that sound like they’re calling up the gods, and back again; the title track is more on the maelstrom side while the second piece “Seiitenrinengi” tends more towards bliss-out, but you’ll find elements of each (as well as all points in between) in either track instead of a single mood trying to be maintained for 30 minutes or so (which probably help those with less than prog-length attention spans get into this). Even with the occasional shifts though the tracks still manage to flow pretty well. Overall worth checking out. David
@ www.strange-attractors.com

Tulsa Drone - “No Wake” CD 9/36:56
This four piece band makes quality instrumental music that builds and falls with a good deal of intensity. There is some weird instrumentation that sort of ruins the mood for me. Strange bell sounds and trumpets that ruin the mood instead of setting up the rest of a great song, for example. The CD runs the gamut from dark to dark and brooding to dark but uplifting. It’s pretty. And the songs are a reasonably short length for this type of music, which is good, cause I bore easily. Sharon
@ www.tulsadrone.com

Tungsten74 – “Aleatory Element” 2XCD 19/104:29
This was apparently taken from a week’s worth of improvising, recording, and mixing, but this isn’t your typical aimless jamming-til-we-find-a-groove that drags down most of these types of projects. For one things, they (usually) have enough sense as to figure out what to keep and what to leave on the cutting room floor (Protools garbage can folder, whatever). They also touch on everything from blissful mantras to noisy freakouts, post-Krautrock grooves to drum-oriented spacerock, so it’s not just a single idea trying to be stretched along the length of two CDs, but also not sounding jarringly-diverse to the point where the “kitchen sink” syndrome takes effect (it’s worth noting that they’re not without a welcome sense of humor either). Expands on and, for the most part, fulfills the promises offered by their last rekkid. David
@ www.technicalecho.com

Turbo A.C.’s – “Automatic” CD 12/32:53
My first (and last) taste of this NY trio was their 1998 “Winner Take All” release on Cacophone; from what I recall, it was a decent, if tame, attempt at Devil Dogs-style punk-and-roll with a tinge of psychobilly. The A.C.’s have apparently received a fuel injection since then, barreling through a dozen charged tracks that wickedly blend punk rock with spaghetti western, psychobilly, and metal. I only wish “Nightmare” didn’t jump from dark to poppy and that the vocals (namely the “whoa-whoah”s) weren’t so Nitro Records. Lily
@ www.gearheadrecords.com

Turbonegro – “Apocalypse Dudes” CD 13/47:29
Reissue of the 1998 juggernaut from these Scandinavian rock monsters. Yep, this be motherfucking powerhouse rock-n-fucking-roll that lays waste to all pretenders, has-beens, and never-weres-and-never-will-bes vying for the throne, and that’s probably understating the case. Comes with videos of “Get It On” and “Are You Ready (For Some Darkness”) in case you need more convincing. David
@ www.epitaph.com

Turbonegro – “Ass Cobra” CD 14/31:48
The second stateside reissue of the ’96 album from these Norwegian rock-monsters, the release that put Turbonegro on the map with their fiery brand of punk-fucking-ROCK. Though this CD lacks two of the songs from the version originally issued stateside by Sympathy for the Record Industry (“Screwed and Tattooed” and “Young Boys Feet”) it does include MPEG videos of “Denim Demon” and a live (circa 2002) “Midnight NAMBLA”. If you missed out the first time, then here’s another chance to join the Turbojugend. David
@ www.epitaph.com

Turn Pale - “Kill the Lights” CD 11/45:47
Turn Pale rock a pretty heavy Birthday Party vibe, as in not the activity with cake and ice cream but the completely amazing somewhat demented band Nick Cave was in before the Bad Seeds. I always loved the Birthday Party because they could be dark, cinematic and somewhat scary without being cheesily theatrical. Turn Pale pick up the torch from where that band left off at say Mutiny and the Bad Seed EP, and take other more contemporary sounds as well into their own thing. This is really good, because despite the resurgence of the nu-post punk nobody is really adequately exploring this ground anymore. This music is moody, and certainly not for everybody, but it definitely will be very important for the right people that find it. Some of the songs stretch out pretty long, but never to the point of absolute excess. Conan
@ www.whatelserecords.com

Turn-ons – “Love Ruined Us” CD 5/25:45
Get ready for some glam. Not “Polish up those pink boots and find your mascara” metal-sympathized sort of glam, but more in the vein 70’s David Bowie or newer bands with a glam edge to them, ala The Strokes. The Turn-Ons kick the album off with a scorching tune that at the beginning has you thinking about T. Rex’s most rock moments, then finishes in an acoustic drift. It gets you primed for something special, but the disc falters after that, with no more real rock moments and nothing that really catches the ear until the last song (some strung out acoustic sentiments, very mellow, more drifting). Good start, good finish, now just some work on everything in between. Xtian
@ Bop Tart, PO Box 6756, Huntington, WV 25773

TVH – “Night Raid on Lisbon Street” CD 11/38:27
Definitely old school punk, as Johnny Strike, the leader of this band, was fronting the first wave group Crime in San Francisco when the scene exploded in the ‘70s. Before the screaming and ranting of hardcore, this is a lot more guitar and rhythm based. And though the modern picture of the band is pretty scary, their music sounds a little like home for me, style wise. I miss those days, when the music was more rock’n’roll, and less histrionics. There’s a strong Iggy influence in both style and Strike’s vocalities. Compared to today’s punk, this is ballad speed, but it’s as intense and the content is as strong as anything happening presently at your local club. In a way it seems, Strike can’t give up the past. There’s a cover of Sonic Youth’s “Pacific Coast Highway” (1987), he re-recorded Crime’s “Hot Wire My Heart,” and the new drummer was also in Crime. But that’s cool. Surf the Crime wave. RBF
@ www.flappingjet.com.au

Twin Atlas - “Inside the Skate Scandal” CD 12/38:50
I can’t say enough about how lovely this CD is. The keyboards maybe barely noticeable, and the guitars gentle, but it’s not for their quietness. The parts are all there, loud and clear, they just blend together oh so smoothly. These songs are hazy but not stoned, dreamy but not dragging, dreamy but not wandering. “Inside the Skate Scandal” includes a B-52s cover, but I challenge you to figure out which one it is, without looking at the cover. Pam
@ www.northofjanuary.com

Twin Engine - S/T CD 11/32:46
Rev-Ola continues its stunning salvage work with this dusky gem of West Coast folk-rock from 1971. This duo were clearly extrapolating on the earthbound, yet ethereal, template set by McGuinn's mob and Buff Springfield, but who cares when it results in songs as luxuriant as "Mistress Of The Morning", or their country-waltz ode to offing oneself, "No Time Is Better Than Now"? And to think, the sole reference copy used for this till recently sat in the basement of one of the duo's ex-wives (you can't make stuff up like this). Aeronautical puns aside, at its best, Twin Engine is buckskin baroque in the classic Left Coast rock tradition. MLH
@ www.revola.co.uk

Twisted Roots - S/T CD 12/31:04
Mostly previously unreleased cuts by the shortlived L.A. punk supergroup comprising Paul (Screamers) Roessler, his sis and future Black Flag bassist and Mrs. Watt Kira, and Germs guitar strangler Pat Smear. The real find among these lashings of punk energy and prog-rocky theatrics, though, is the singer, one Maggie Ehrig. Amusing, dramatic, very Californian. Did she and Penelope Houston ever meet, I wonder? Hopefully, this release ensures that Ehrig will not forever be lost in the mists of trend and time. MLH
@ www.dionysus-records.com

Two Stars Burning Sun/The Nain Rouge/Today I Wait - split CD 10/40:25
Artsy hardcore is the order of the day on this 3-way split. Each band delivers a short set of meaningful, sad, angry songs. Big moments are all over the place. The Nain Rouge sticks closer to the grinding end of things, while Two Stars Burning Sun interrupts the pounding for some tender, woeful bits. Today I Wait leans heavily on dire guitars, starting slow then building to a speed crazy climax. Mark.
@ Friction, PO Box 6605, Grand Rapids, MI 49516

Tyko – “A Long Way From One to Zero” CD 9/36:06
Third album of post-shoegazer layered swirl-pop that ranges from pretty nice to quite stellar indeed, especially when Beverly steps up to the mike. Also features a nice feedback-fuzz-drenched instro piece at the end and a swirly (and quite tasty) cover of “All Tomorrow’s Parties” thrown in for good measure. Yet another back catalog to investigate. David
@ www.blisscentrecords.com

Tyrades – s/t CD 9/22:28
Debut album from this Chicago outfit, featuring more of their post-wave punk fucking rock (vintage style) with a female screamer. Despite their Midwestern residential status, they sound like they could have been banging away on the West Coast sometime during the late 70s. Doesn’t quite fulfill the promise of their 7 inchers but pretty solid nevertheless. A keeper. David
@ www.brokenrekids.com

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