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Wafflehouse - "Olympia" CD 10/48:42
Cacophonous is the first word which comes to mind. Crashing, crying, crazy experimental songs fill this disc, shifting between moments of percussive insanity and passages of jazzy strangeness. The guitars are used traditionally for a few seconds, then leap to noise, then back, then out, then it gets all mellow and lush. There is a hell of a lot of playing talent here, as evidenced in the rapid fire changes. Wafflehouse is a tight unit, displaying technical skill while keeping the arrangements chaotic and bizarre. Pretty darned cool. Mark.
@ Forge Again, PO Box 146837, Chicago, IL 60614

Waiting for Autumn – “Now I Know Forever” CD 10/50:06
Oh, fuck this self-righteous, Christian punk. That’s right, Christian punk. Hey, stay away from me, from my ears, and my brain: the opening lines of Patti Smith’s first album sez it best for me. I hear lyrics like “God don’t leave me`” and “the voice in my head saying aloud, ‘Believe ‘cause I am`’” and I just want to vomit. Like I don’t have enough assholes stopping me on the street saying “Have you found Jesus?” (“Didn’t know he was lost”). It’s a shame, too, ‘cause the music ain’t too bad in an emo kinda way, but this one will literally end up in the trash. As my people say, never again. RBF
@ www.americanjealousy.com

Wake Ups? - "Wanna Meet......" CD 12/46:03
This is actually a re-release of a disc that came out a couple of years ago, when the band was called the Scruffs. I don't know if they had to change their name because of the US power pop band called the Scruffs in the late 70's, but they've taken a few hints from them along the way, and added plenty of their own flourishes. Alternating between full out rock n roll extravaganzas complete with organ and a few Booker T soul beats and Big Star poppers (and their darker Chris Bell or Chilton "Sisters/Lovers" side on an acoustic song like "It's Not Me"), this has just about anything a fan of good pop would want. There are some great harmonies on a few tracks, such as "Keep It to Yourself", and a few C&W twangs here and there, all of which give it a fresh outlook with repeated listenings. It's one of those discs that you'll find yourself liking a different tune each time you put it in the player because something different will hook you in, and for that reason alone (and the high quality of all of the songs) you'll keep wanting to explore this disc. Steve
@ www.laughingoutlaw.com.au

Wakusei – “Noise” CD 10/34:03
Considering Japanese’s long history with musical undergrounds the title in question might bring up associations with folks like Merzbow, but the noise in question lays closer to garagey rocknroll than sheer sonic onslaughts. This is a pretty rockin’ ride for the most part, with the weakest two tracks (the overlong mopey “Pool Side” and an unessential swipe at the Doors’ “Love Me Two Times) thoughtfully placed at the very end. Apparently cherry-picking two earlier releases, this rekkid does a good job of introducing Wakusei to non-Japanese audiences. David
@ www.cherryred.co.uk

Walking Distance – s/t CD-R 4/10:12
Man, twenty discs to review, with a one week deadline. OK, so it’s short, so I can do this one in quick and dirty style: vocals – C, they have no range whatsoever and go off key every so often.; I also think that some of the problem might be because English does not sound like their first language..still something endearing about ‘em. Tuneage: C+ - pop punk, not a note that’s new or creative, but it will make your toes tap, and the lo-fi production fits the songs OK. Info: Inc – I have no clue where they’re from, and although I’m listing the website below in the contact information, when I tried to go to it, I get sent to another page altogether. Still, I’d give these guys another shot; there is something fun about this disc that elevates it above the typical slop that passes for pop punk these days. Steve
@ www.moon.gaiar.com/home/radiostar

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Walnut Dash – “Tidbits” CD 8/17:13
Singles and stuff from this British band that channels the Jam, the Buzzcocks, and Squeeze, along with Brit Invasion sounds of the Hollies. There are dashes of the Wedding Present on the guitars, and the songs have all the hooks of great power pop tunes without sounding too retro. When you hear a song like “Your Mum”, which is such great rocking power pop gem, all you are going to want is more, more MORE! Where’s the proper full length?!? It’s needed desperately to these ears, because this trio is one of the best bands around these days. Steve
@ http://thewalnutdash.co.uk/listen/index.html
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Warsaw Poland Bros. vs. Stucky – “Dub Confrontation” CD 18/68:58
18 tracks of dirty-ass dub ska split between 2 bands and 2 engineers who remixed the tracks over and over in an attempt to outdo one another with the best tune. Most of this was recorded live in analog, but mixed and fine-tuned on a hard drive. This enables it to get both the filth and feel of tape and the benefits of having dozens of shots at getting things just right with convenience behind a laptop. And it is just about right: rolling through an hour of chilly dub without breaks. A fine summer soundtrack. Xtian
@ www.invisiblmass.com MP3 Download

Warsaw Poland Brothers – “Pimpin’ On Crutches” CD 14/58:28
Not sure where this where this ever-touring outfit wants to go with this, and I don’t think they are either. It’s not really ska, but it is in the overall scheme. They pull off a deceptive hook worthy of a comp tape on “Hoover Maneuver”, and “Tucson” is a lights out, super smooth ballad about dying. But, “Stop Wasting Time” is a clumsy mating of spy rock and NYC rapping. Huh? Exactly. A complete waste of time. Anthony
@ www.azstarnet.com

Warsawpack – “Gross Domestic Product” CD 13/54:42
A seven-piece band that brings together rock, hip-hop, funk, reggae and jazz, and they do so without sucking. This complex record is clearly their musical/political manifesto. The punky reggae-flavored “Year of the Car Crash” muses on oil politics and the automobile: “They’re chopping down trees in the park/ For the parkway for the cars”. “Lotus Potion” crosses paths with Gil Scott-Heron and evokes that cool ‘70s jazz feel. “Mauser” touches on RATM. And the sing-speak vocals of Lee Rarback hold it all together. Impressive. Anthony
@ www.g7welcomingcommitte.com

Washdown - s/t CD 6/13:10
Garagey punk from this debut release from this Flordia based 5 piece, with plenty off kilter melodies and energetic guitars. There are lots of short bursts of guitar that lead each song through an array of vocal histrionics that remind me of the Peechees vintage Chris Applegren singing over songs that sound slightly like early Wire. This has some snarling punk beats, all the songs are fast paced and played like the last song in a long live set; you can see the sweat dripping as you listen to this. It's not the most melodic thing in the world, but will hit fans of the Peechees in the right spot, as well as some fans of an occasional hardcore sound. Steve
@ www.lookoutrecords.com

Washdown - "Yes To Everything" CD 11/34:11
If you're looking for a good summer fun time record, this new release on Lookout is for you. This hook laden garage rock on the verge of dance punk is sure to please fans of Mando Diao, Hoggboy, and Hot Hot Heat. Not only do these Florida rockers deliver smart lyrics, their muisc is catchy as fuck. Music nerds take note: this album was produced by Alex newport, best known for his work with At The Drive-In, The Locust, and Mars Volta. Mona
@ www.thewashdown.com

Washington Social Club – “Catching Looks” – CD 11/36:35
This pop band’s press declares that they have “the wildest elements of late ‘70s British Punk.” Whoever wrote that must be either ig’rant, or insane. If I were to compare WSC to anyone, it would be groups from the early-to-mid-1980s, like the Producers (“What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got”) or Tommy Tutone (“867-5309/Jenny”). The closest this band comes to any kind of punk is their borrowing of the rounding rift from the Standells' “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” in their song “New Jersey Malls.” The band and the music are pretty good, if a bit formulaic, in a retro kind of way. It’s easily danceable, and could do quite well for those who miss the early MTV sound. RBF
@ www.badmanrecordingco.com

Wasps – “Punkryonics” CD 15/45:46
Overground has once again scored big in the hearts of old punks, though perhaps not at the cash register, by reissuing a retrospective comp of the Wasps, one of the better of the lesser-known ’77-era British punk bands. This CD features all of their faves, including “Teenage Treats”, “Rubber Cars”, and “Can’t Wait till ‘78”, as well as a bunch of excellent unreleased tracks. The Wasps mixed Sparks-like lead vocals with clever lyrics, punchy songs, and a nice raw guitar sound. The liner notes for this CD are also an informative hoot – who knew, e.g., that the band once refused to let Iggy join them on stage during a gig because they felt that doing so would be an example of rock star bullshit? Oops! How about a Vice Creems retrospective next, Overground? Jeff
@ www.overgroundrecords.co.uk

Waterdown - “The Files You Have On Me” CD 13/46:24
Not the average Victory band on “Xerox” and “Going Back”, with the chiming guitars and vox in a vacuum. “Fortress” is heavy without being pedantic. The production is not as crystalline as a lot of the uber-metal records this band will be lumped in with and that’s fine by me. Anthony
@ www.victoryrecords.com

Watzloves – “Rockin Country Gumbo” CD 14/41:38
Silky Thoss is the singer in this band, and here is what we know of her: she lives in Germany; she is the self-described “Jimi Hendrix of the accordion”; she is also a painter; and finally, her blend of cool and charisma make her band’s brand of twangy “country gumbo” a must-listen. Her voice is strong and sweet, whether she’s singing about having her heart “broke…in threes” or wondering why her (fictional?) kids are all so damned homely. Oh yeah, and there’s a guy in the band called Jack O Bus. He plays the trombone and the slide guitar. That alone is reason enough to pay attention to this record. Kevin
@ www.voodoorhythm.com

We Ragazzi – “The Ache” CD 9/35:08
Billy Corgan? Is that you, Billy? No it’s simply the latest effort from Tony Orlando and his quirky three-piece, We Ragazzi. All jokes aside, give We Ragazzi credit for consistently pushing the envelope – the opener, “I Want you 2 Love me So Much I Can’t Stand Up,” is a textbook example. You know the song has the basic structure in place to be catchy, and they certainly could have produced it as such, but instead it comes across like a drunken mix of Morrissey and Mindless Self Indulgence. It works far better than any such unholy union should. However, the formula, while refreshing upon first listen, grows thin over a full album, and by the time you stumble upon the gritty closer, “I was so Goddamned,” you’ll have had more than enough. This is the type of album where you respect them for making it, but you never play it. Ryan
@ no address

We Talked About Murder - “Expecting the Explosion” CD 11/46:59
If you’re gonna name the first song on your album “Steppin’ Out” and it’s not a Joe Jackson cover, then it better be fucking good. Unfortunately, We Talked About Murder’s lackluster post-punk noodlings aren’t nearly as accomplished as their song titles and cover art would suggest. Sloppy, poorly-recorded drumming and off-key vocals insult mildly interesting guitars throughout these 11 superfluous tracks. Clichéd, smugly self-satisfied, and painfully unaware of its limitations, this high school-quality recording is not quite unlistenable, but pretty damn close. John
@ www.wetalkedaboutmurder.com

Weakerthans - "Safety in Numbers" CD 11/40:47
I get the feeling that at least one of these guys has a master's degree. I say this because a song titled "Our Retired Explorer (dines with Michel Foucault in Paris, 1961)" is unforgivably pretentious. But I can look past it. I'm willing to do it in the case of The Weakerthans because I liked the loud guitars, crisp vocals and good hooks. The lyrics are clever, "Plea from a Cat Named Virtue" is about a cat trying to cheer up his owner, and that overly thought-out title mentioned earlier is actually a pretty catchy song. Oh yeah, I enjoyed the appearance of a glockenspiel. Pam
@ www.epitaph.com

Weather Prophets - “Blue Skies and Free Rides: Best Of 1986-1989” CD 20/68:43
A long overdue overview of one of the best bands to emerge from the mid-80’s Creation Records stable, albeit one that perhaps in retrospect had their moody thunder stolen by the more flamboyant Primal Scream and Mary Chain. Pete Astor, previous of an earlier Creation combo, The Loft, was leader of the Prophets, whose stock in trade was post-Dylan/Young/Velvets rock, back when that concept was still a novel one. Songs like “Almost Prayed” and “Hollow Heart” show they were on even terms with hushed, dreamy melodicism, and punchy, narcotized swagger and strum. Now how’s about a Spirea X retrospective? MLH
@ www.cherryred.co.uk

Wednesdays - "You Will Gasp and They Will Breathe" CD 10/22:51
Intentionally schizophrenic punk blasts, they bounce around a little too much for me. Punk'd up, dim-bulb-proletarian-country-garage-blues, make up your mind because there isn't a lot of fresh material left in the hopper. I dubbed one sloppy song called "Revolator" onto a comp. tape. A diamond among the refuse of mediocre Replacements-first-album-three times-removed. Anthony
@ www.rezrecs.com

Weed Patch – “Maybe the Brakes Will Fail” CD 12/40:47
This record, in my book, is a serious contender for Best Album Title of the first half of 2003. What’s better is this: the songs are country/pop/rock gems of longing, despair and hope delivered in a winning urban drawl by frontman Neal Weiss. The song called “Dreaming My Days Away” sounds like early Wilco, and “Sandy Koufax” is pure hickster punk. Kevin
@ www.weedpatchmusic.com

Weegs – s/t CD-R 4/12:35
A newer Bay Area outfit that sounds like they’ve learned the lessons taken from various obscure 80s post-punk/no-wave outfits quite well without sounding like they’re trying to jump a particular train. “Wouldn’t Last a Weeg” is a particular favorite around this household. Be interesting to see what they can do on a full-lengther. David
@ theweegs@yahoo.com

Weekend - "Archive" CD 16/67:09
After the breakup of classic pop minimalist trio Young Marble Giants (oh, to have seen them play San Fran at the Western Front punkfest back in'79!), breathy lead singer Alison Statton hooked up with an impressive array of journeymen London jazzers to form Weekend. Gone was the bedroom claustrophobia of YMG's sound, replaced by smooth, summery cool jazz and samba stylings, with Statton's vibratoless, unaffected croon gliding overtop Weekend's sound was best typified by their debut single, the Astrud Gilberto bossa nova of "The View From Her Room". Fittignly, it's the first cut on this most welcome compilation - reissued in tandem with that of their sole lp, "La Variete" - of singles cuts and radio sessions, as well as a live set from legendary London jazz joint Ronnie Scotts'. A perfect soundtrack for sidewalk cafe and picnic trysts alike. MLH
@ www.vinyljapan.com

Weezer – "Blue Album - Deluxe Edition" 2XCD 24/92:31
I suppose a review of this is sorta silly, really; I figure pretty much everyone has heard this record at this point, and you’ve already made up your mind about whether you like Weezer or not. This deluxe edition release is a two disc affair, the first being a re-mastered version of the Blue Album, their debut. It sounds great, but if this is all there was to it, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the purchase. The hook is in the second disc, which compiles hard to find early tracks, demos, and live material; if nothing else, having easy access to “Suzanne” and “Mykel and Carli” make this purchase a must for any Weezer fan. Jake
@ www.weezer.com

Weirdos – “We Got the Neutron Bomb: Weird World Volume Two” CD 16/44:03
Twelve years after Volume One appeared (and after all hope of ever seeing a Volume Two had diminished) the Vault de Weirdos is opened once again. The track listing is in chronological order, proceeding from latest to earliest (Weirdos never did like to do things like “normal” people), which means you’re confronted with three trax from the sessions for the less-than-stellar bargain-bin staple “Condor” right off the bat (at least “Cyclops Helicopter” is pretty decent). Yep that ol’ vintage Dangerhouse-era punk can be found here but you’ll also discover them touching on darker punk (post-punk rock?), rockabilly, and even industrial/experimental (with some ringers taken from not-always-correctly-identified solo projects). Probably best if you don’t approach this expecting 16 “Solitary Confinements” (much less a release consistently of that caliber) but pretty worthwhile overall. David
@ www.frontierrecords.com

Well Wishers – “Twenty-Four Seven” CD 13/43:48
Jeff Shelton has been doing his thing in the SF Bay Area with the Spinning Jennies for a long time now, and this side project doesn’t stray too far from the Jennies in many respects. If anything the Spinning Jennies are more reliant on charging guitars, and this disc has some decidedly quiet moments. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some decidedly powerpop tunes on here, like the opening track “See For the First Time” and “Bustin’ Up”, which rely on the guitars to carry the melody and feel of the songs. But there are also quieter strumming guitar tunes that slow down the pace and sound much more like the Posies than Buzzcocks. There are some fun changes that hit some of the songs in midstream, with interesting breaks that take the songs in a different direction. An added piano, or a time change here and there, whatever it takes, Shelton is willing to experiment. This is a fun disc and it should make for a lot of top ten lists among pop fans. Steve
@ www.notlame.com

Western Keys – “Damage” CD 7/16:23
Hailing from the musically rich land of Austin, Texas is Western Keys, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ben Dickey. Buzzing bass guitars compliment brushed drums and a plethora of spiky guitar tones, while shaky vocals (that draw much inspiration from Modest Mouse and Hayden) alternately whisper and scream. Amazing keyboard work allows “Please Rock” to open itself wide like a parachute, while “Seattle, WA” sports a charming, slightly cracked-ass drunken wistfulness. “Laughter” steps on a few too many sour vocal notes, but quickly recovers with sly pedal steel and excellent female harmonies. This short EP is a tantalizing mix of influences and downcast hipster twang. I’ll be interested to hear Western Keys’ full-length. John
@ www.selfstarterfoundation.com

What The Kids Want – “Loud, Quiet, Loud” CD 12/30:54
Does anyone out there remember a band called the Grumpies? They were from Mississippi, and played a sloppy brand of pop punk, full of harmonies and had a vocalist that was a guy but sounded like a girl. This band is basically the same in style, only they’ve got a girl actually doing the vocals, with some help from one of the guys in the band. From Bloomington, IN, this is melodic pop punk that is endearing, charming, and full of energy. With songs about typical punk issues, like high school, roadtrips, and being able to do what you want and be happy, but it’s all over a background of lo-fi pop punk greatness. I can’t get enough of this disc, because it’s what makes listening to music so much fun; a pure unabashed love of creating something with absolutely no pretense whatsoever. It’s what it is, and it doesn’t get much better than this. Steve
@ www.geocities.com/sdm_records

Whatever It Takes - "A Fistfull of Revolution/Stars and Skulls" CD 19/58:51
Now, here's a bargain and a half. Whatever It Takes has crammed a full-length LP and a nifty little EP onto a single disc, offering up nearly an hour of music in one convenient package. There is an apology for the recording quality in the booklet, but it actually sounds quite good. The production is nice, everything is pretty darned sharp and clear. The style falls somewhere between melodic punk and new skool hardcore, with declamatory vocals and ringing guitar work. While this is certainly not everyone's cup of meat, it's damn fine for the genre. Mark
@ www.a-frecords.com MP3 Download

Whiles – “Colors Of The Year” CD 13/41:40
This would fit in nicely on adult alternative radio, for better or worse. It’s distinctively polished, but it loses steam frequently and roams around searching for melodies. The schizophrenic “Lonesome Reply” is so light and airy it almost becomes insignificant right before your ears, and then 3 1³2 minutes in they find the volume knob and turn up four-fold for a minute. Some of this is just too gentle though, like “Lonely River.” As a whole it’s decent, respectable and safe listening for 50-year old heart patients everywhere. Anthony
@ www.anywayrecords.com

Whirlaway – “Pompano” CD 10/45:08
Solid-and-then-some shoegaze-touched tuneage, not quite going whole hog into the outer limits of MBVland but definitely incorporating said sounds into their work. This works best when it gets its swirl on and lets loose, spitting out dem ol’ waves of guitar fuzz. Not a life-changing experience but I daresay it’s worth a gander. David
@ www.whirlawaymusic.com

White Liars – “Pharmacia” CD 13/39:21
Sound like the kind of post-grunge rock that was fashionable some time ago, right when Sub Pop was still kinda hip and right before alternative rock morphed into Nu Metal. Whether they’re too late for the trend or too early for the revival is something I’ll let history decide. Okay for what it is, so you’re (still) a huge fan of What It Is…. Pat
@ www.whiteliars.com

White Mud Free Way – “Last Year’s Junk” CD 10/36:00
While willing to admit that this style is not my customary cup of tea, as it were, I would also like to add that I’m pretty impressed. WMFW have taken so many and divergent elements of which I’m not fond, and turned it into something very listenable. Combining standard modern popish material (at ballad pace), with some arty and offbeat cadences and melodies, and then very lightly mixing in some subtle electronica – and still managing to keep a lo-fi, indie feel – they come up with something that is textured and quirkily interesting. With the addition of Mari Solivan’s smooth vocals that are reminiscent of Dido’s, the smooth yet still rough edges sounds planned, without being contrived. RBF
@ www.whitemudfreeway.com

White Stripes - “Elephant” CD 14/49:54
Like no other current band, the White Stripes’ latest effort is carrying the burden for the new rock movement. Media darlings Jack and Meg White, no matter their relation, have captured the fancy of just about every music magazine and discerning listener, and thankfully “Elephant” handles the burden with the Stripes’ trademark ability to make it all look so easy. The album kicks off with the romping “Seven Nation Army” and “Black Math`” both of which will put to rest any hardcore Stripes fans’ fears about too radical a departure. However, “Black Math” jumps directly into the gospel wails of “There’s no Home for You Here`” which announces the radical departure. While the Burt Bacharach cover “I Just don’t Know What to do with Myself`” has gotten all the press, the real revolution lies in the raw emotion of the Meg-sung “In the Cold, Cold Night” and Jack’s “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket.” In these tracks lies the true power of the White Stripes, their ability to grab any genre and make it distinctly their own. The real rock revolution lies in these two idealistic kids from Detroit. Ryan
@ www.whitestripes.com

Wide Right – s/t CD 13/39:47
Female-fronted loud alternative rock tunes, more hard rock than punk. I could see this band exploding out of the Los Angeles scene that used to revolve around Flipside- melodic, hard-hitting, catchy. Still, there’s something a little soulless and calculating about this record; I could see one of these tunes landing on your local major alternative rock station’s “Local Talent” shows as a perennial favorite, but never really going any further. The band would still play to 100, 150 people tops on weekend nights down at the local rocker bar, and maybe do a couple of failed U.S. tours that one member would later write a somewhat successful memoir about. Perhaps the New York Times Book Review would call the memoir “a fascinating and gritty look at the life of a touring rock band in the early 00’s`” while the actual music - i.e. this CD - remained obscure and unheard. Honestly, that’s probably for the best. Jesse
@ Pop Top, 172 5th Ave., PMB 24, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Williamson – “A Few Things to Hear Before We All Blow Up” CD 12/60:02
Pleasant electro-ambient instrumentals from San Francisco with elements of glitch, but generous melodies and honest emotion. This is the perfect disc to slip in while taking a nap, road-tripping, or simply tripping. The edges are soft, the sounds layered, and the structures satisfyingly airtight. Tracks like “Rubber” – which weaves together lovely bass samples and an armload of floating-in-space bleeps – seem particularly suited for filmic purposes, possibly for that scene of our heroes hurtling down the highway at the end of the movie. Frequently mild but never boring, “A Few Things to Hear Before We All Blow Up” is the upbeat answer to Aphex Twin’s dark soundscapes. Bonus points for the “People Who Can Go Fuck Themselves” list in the liners. John
@ www.williamsonsound.com MP3 Download

Willowz – s/t CD 9/20:33
Lotsa folks been making a lot about the band members’ ages (apparently on the wrong side of 20), forgetting that their heroes weren’t too much older (and in some cases a bit younger) when they first spit out their own waxings. Whether these folks be 20 or 40 it doesn’t matter: aside from one acoustic half-misstep, this is quality garage tuneage, with vox absorbed from the Killed By Death compilations and probably even a Nuggets disc or two. The backing vocals of Jessica Reynoza are utilized as their very own Secret Weapon. Hopefully they won’t fall prey to ego trips or The Bizness like so many before them and keep on rockin’ our collective arses. David
@ www.dionysusrecords.com

Windbreakers - "Time Machine (1982 - 2002)" CD 20/69:56
The Windbreakers were as much a part of the southern college rock explosion of the early 80's that produced bands like the dB's, REM, and super producer Mitch Easter's Let's Active as any, but never got the recognition from the record buying public that they deserved. It's really too bad, because they were the equals of any of them and the names "Sutliff and Lee" should be right up there as a pairing with "Stamey and Hosapple" and "Stipe and Buck". These songs cover most of the highlights of their three full lengths, plus a couple of more recent songs that maintain the trademark jangle of the genre. Mostly a two man band with a mix of side players (including Easter on drums on a number of these tracks), the songs are deceptive in that the melody hums along at gorgeous toe tapping jangle pace, yet the lyrics are often of unrequited love or some other romantic disappointment. The songs have some great lead guitar work, by both Lee and Sutliff, and you can hear the growth of the band over the years as they upped the ante with later work that kept the jangle intact but added more minor chord progressions and heart to the songs. I'd put this on over an REM collection almost any day of the week, and songs like "New Red Shoes", "I'll Be There", and the heartbreaking ""On The Wire" are perfect examples of jangle pop at its best. Steve
@ www.paisleypop.com

Windmills – “Walking Around the World” CD 3/10:47
Three self-effacing, guitar-driven tunes from a group of sadsack Brits, Walking…is a pretty little record, but sort of hard to get too worked up about. The first track, “What Was It For?” is a bouncy number about a perpetual screw-up; the second, “Amelia” is a lovesick ballad. The only song that seems to have real ambition is the title track, which highlights Rob Clarke’s proficient drumming and Roy Thirlwall’s slacker singing style. A solid but unspectacular record. Kevin
@ www.indiepages.com/matinee

Wire – “Send” CD 11/40:29
For their latest go-around, Wire mix the art-post-punk with one era and the more rhythmic elements of the other, going for a fuller, thicker sound and providing throbbing rock for the post-electronica era. Not as immediate as the works from their first incarnation or even “Ahead” and not quite the Second (though in this case I’d guess it’d be Third) Coming some have touted this as being, but it grows on you. Give it a chance and let it sink in; it might just surprise you. David
@ www.pinkflag.com

Wiseguy - "Burning the Tracks" CD 11/35:57
This is the first Stardumb release that I've heard that I wouldn't automatically classify as pop punk; this band from the Netherlands takes its cues from the sleazier Nordic punk rock of bands like Gluecifer, with plenty of metal-lite influenced material; the wailing vocals are as much AC/DC as anything else. The glue that holds it all together are some solid melodic rock and roll tunes, complete with some decent guitar work. The only thing I'd like to see more of out of this band is even more sleaze; it seems like they should take everything a step further than they do, and they never reach for the throat to strangle you. Decent, but there are better bands doing the same thing. Steve
@ www.stardumbrecords.com

Woggles – “Ragged But Right” CD 14/37:16
Veteran Georgia garagemeisters the Woggles are back with their fifth (?) LP, and it features more of their usual energetic mixture of raunchy R&B, stripped-down rock’n’roll, and ‘60’s-style punkitude. But they add in some new ingredients, such as a folky beat number (“Collector of Broken Hearts”), and in general their material is more original-sounding, diverse, and – dare I say it? – sophisticated without losing its primitive feel. In other words, the Woggles seem to have evolved musically but not sacrificed their sense of fun, exuberance, and crude power in the process, no mean feat. Lesser bands of this type often run out of steam or new ideas after a while, but I get the feeling that these guys will still be dishing out the rock for many years to come. Jeff
@ www.telstarrecordsusa.com

Workhouse – “The End of the Pier” CD 14/73:54
Long and repetitive, but not bad. A shoegazing throwback to the early 90s when My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive were the most beautiful things. Lyricless, this album sorta becomes background noise, but at the same time the music carries itself. It rocks at times, most notably at points during a long second track titled “Peacon”. There’s definitely some passion that comes out in their songs as they get louder, more full and more intense and then suddenly drop off. But this same trick is repeated throughout the album, so it starts to feel a little forced. Some sort of cross between post rock superstars like Mogwai and early Verve. Yeah, I think that’s it. Sharon
@ www.bearos.co.uk

Woven Hand – “Woven Hand” CD 10/40:43
Woven Hand is David Eugene Edwards – a member of 16 Horsepower, but apparently the rest of the band wanted to take a break and Edwards had some ideas that couldn’t wait. These ideas are played out with a dark, dreamy folk sound, and equally dark religious themes. Mind you, Edwards is down with Jesus, not the Devil. He’s just looking at things a little bit differently than most of his contemporary Jesus rockers who are trying too hard to be hip. One often gets the feeling that his soul has been fought for by more than Christ. It shows in the music: thick, mysterious instrumentation descended from the hills, and in his strong, tell-all voice (like that of a creepy wandering poet/prophet). You won’t need to accept as true the Bible to believe what Edwards is feeling. Xtian
@ www.soundsfamilyre.com

Wrens - "The Meadowlands" CD 13/56:08
This is a fantastic record, there are no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ about it. Through all the label turmoil and bullshit, the Wrens finally emerged from the mess with this gem of a release; sounding like a blend of all sorts of bands and styles, from Sparklehorse to Coldplay to orchestral pop to alt-country to ambient soundscapes, the Wrens have come back from their seven year hiatus firing on all cylinders. Nearly gone is the Pixies-ish intensity heard on their previous record ‘Secaucus’, but there are still elements of it here and there – not that you would really miss it, the beauty crafted in place of this missing aggression more than makes up the difference. This record has already been named on the top ten lists of numerous music mags and reviewers, and there is a good chance it will end up on mine as well. You can check out some tracks at the bands website, but have your wallet handy because these songs will lure you into parting with your cash before you even know it. Jake
@ www.absolutelykosher.com

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