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Here are 78 singles reviews taken from SP #13

Aberdeen - "Sink or Float/Drive" 7 inch
A smooth-as-silk piece of female-fronted rock. The A-side starts off pretty jangly and then gets rocking, kind of like The Sundays but with a considerable more oomph, if that's a word, and spellcheck says it is! Nice little piano in there, too, and very pleasant vocals. If radio stations played indie music, you'd be hearing this on your local chick rock station tomorrow. Scott
@ www.thestateofaberdeen.com

Apes - "Luv Is Real" 7 inch
Recorded in Ape Basement, I think this came out about a year and a half ago; not sure why it's showing up now. "Slaves and Ghosts" and "Apes Got" are jerky, semi-scratchy Lizard-esque delights that continue to grow on me the more I hear 'em. All w/o aid of guitar. "The Wonder" is, dare I say, kind of like CopShootCop, with Erick Jackson's lead bass way up front. Nice work recording the vocals too. A+. Anthony
@ www.mp3.com/apes (MP3s available)

Birds Of America - "Yes, I know..." 7 inch
Mildly entertaining semi-acoustic, jangle that lopes along on the A-side. The untitled B-side floats off into the stratosphere and gets caught in the clouds. Without the musicianship of Portastatic, but with a like-minded spirit. Anthony
@ Isota, 1503 Oxford St. #4, Berkeley, CA, 94709

Birds of America - "Yes I Know That I Am Free" 7 inch
Straight out of Indiana by way of Berkeley, the second 7 inch by lead Birdman Nathaniel Russell is an imaginative and wonderful slab of Americana with a subtle nod to the paragons of indie-rock. The title track evokes My Morning Jacket at their quietest, a sprawling melancholy-tinged folk song with layered vocals and the perfect addition of a harmonica. The untitled B-side serves as something resembling a reprise, an open-aired instrumental with several guitars winding their way through the song, creating an excellent bucolic soundscape. The silk-screened artwork pretty much completes this excellent package. Keep an eye on this one... Scott
@ www.isotarecords.com/

Bombsite Boys - "Top Hits" 3 song 7 inch
This is one helluva great 7 inch, and is as true to the format as you can get, three quick, great songs for turning the volume up to 11 and dancing around the room. The A-side has two originals, the B-side is a cover of the Producers' "She-Sheila". The originals are both perky pop punk songs, full of AM radio treble, handclaps, and would have fit in great with anything from bands like the Romantics and the Plimsouls. Yeeowza! Steve
@ Myopic, 8 Ridgewood, Bridgeport, CT 06406

BoySetsFire - "Suckerpunch Training" 7inch
A-side is standard BSF fare, packed with crunchy guitars. The B-side is a straightforward, but wicked, cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man", that should have been the A-side. Thick, guttural vocals stick close to the original melody line, and why fuck with perfection. They up the volume and mass while maintaining the integrity. A word I don't get to use very often. Anthony
@ www.deathwishinc.com

Briefs - "Love and Ulcers/We Americans" 7 inch
Wot da fug? Instead of ultra-catchy punkers of past we get mid-tempo lackluster tunes that sound like throwaways and/or outtakes. The flip's better (or at least more energetic) than the A-side (and has cooler lyrics as well), but this is either some housecleaning of outtakes, satisfaction of contractual obligations, or an indication of what their future major-label product will sound like. Either way this is pretty disappointing, and I say that as a fan. Buyer beware. David
@ Dirtnap, P.O. Box 21249, Seattle, WA 98111

Briefs - "She's Abusive/Like a Heart Attack" 7 inch
By now, you've probably heard of the Briefs. They just might be the next big thing in neo-80's punk. Their songs are really tight and catchy as hell. They are definitely cooler than thou, if you know what I mean. Buy the uniform; go to the show. It'll be worth it. Laura
@ Dirtnap, PO Box 21249, Seattle, WA 98111

Bright Eyes - "Soon You Will Be Leaving Your Man" 7 inch
An extremely frail and frankly, great, release from Conor Oberst (a.k.a. Bright Eyes) on limited colored vinyl. This was meant to be listened to on vinyl, a stark, emotive couple of songs with simple keyboard, guitar, clarinet, and pedal steel arrangements complementing Oberst's aching vocals well. "Motionsickness" is worth the cost of admission by itself. Scott
@ www.blood-of-the-young.com

Centimeters - "Help Is on the Way/African Paper" 7 inch
I saw this band a while back and they were so weird! But they're good in a Swans, Alice in Wonderland sort of way. If you like your music creepy with violins, or if you like bands akin to the Black Heart Procession, you might be into this. But I have to warn you; the cover art is going to give you nightmares. Laura
@ Space Baby, 1939 N. Kenmore Ave. #104, LA, CA 90027

Champs - "Second" 7 inch
"Thor" is lousy, half-hearted "heavy" instrumental wank-off. "Lee Tom" is cheesy faux-metal that steals from, oh, at least a dozen sources. Big disappointment. Anthony
@ Wantage, Box 8681, Missoula, MT, 59807

Come-Ons - "Whatcha Got?/Needle in a Haystack" 7 inch
A-side is female voxed original that's okay, but musically ain't nothing special (or even memorable); while the flip is a fairly generic take on the ol' Stevenson/Whitfield tune (Velvelettes). I know certain parties swear by these folks as soul-garage saviors, but based on this audio evidence they come off more as a bar band with a higher "hip" quotient; the band doesn't seem to be working up a sweat and they're not causing the listener to do the same either. David
@ www.sympathy.com

Crimson Sweet - "So Electric/No Hot on Cold" 7 inch
These two short songs take you on a romp through the dirty alleys of New York City. Like sleeping with one eye open, these girls keep you on your toes with their tough punk style. They seem to be getting better and better. Laura
@ Slow Gold, PO Box 20506, NYC, NY 10009

Cuffs/Vigilantes - split 7 inch
Vigilantes from Massachussetts play melodic garage punk tunes with a Misfits energy minus the horror lyrics. Quite good, and enhanced by the no nonsense production. The Cuffs from New Jersey play punk rock dude with a more generic approach, shouted vox and mucho harmonies. Mel
@ Flat, PO Box 69-7504, Quincy, MA 02269

Darlington - 'Chrysanthemum" 7 inch
A double A-side release with the trademark Darlington pop punk hooks and humorous lyrics. One song is an ode to Olympic skier Picabo Street, the title track is one of their fun love songs done in their traditional Queers style pop punk. I can't recommend this band highly enough; they've kept the spirit of pop punk alive in the last year when others have given up the ghost. Steve
@ X-Records, 2484 Hamner Ave. Norco, CA 92860

Disappointments/Microsurgeon split - "Buffalonia" 7 inch
Flat-out weird single examining the assassination of President McKinley by Polish immigrant and self-proclaimed anarchist Leon Czolgosz, in Buffalo. "Buffalonia"/"We Killed McKinley", recounts the story of this lethal encounter; it's also a tribute to Buffalo, delivered like an operetta with both bands re-interpreting each song. I'm fascinated by the case, what with the anarchists disowning Czolgosz, and his being so quickly executed. The whole thing may be too much for a seven inch mini-opera. The cover art is great, though. Anthony
@ ttscc@tenthcity.com

Elizabeth Mitchell/Fred Thomas - split 7 inch
Liz' side is a nicely sung ballad over piano backing, and then the vox stop, and surprise, they don't return and the piano finishes it out. Fred's side is also a simple ballad. He backs himself with a guitar, but again, halfway through the lead vocal dissapears and the song ends with guitar, violin, and some very distant spacey backing vox and otherworldly sounds. Strange but effective. Mel
@ Ypsilanti Records, PO Box 970021, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Execute/Lipcream - split 7 inch
Live bootleg of these Japanese hardcore legends, featuring bargain basement sound quality and "broken English" liner notes that are probably actually from someone in Brooklyn or California trying to cover their tracks. "Only 200 made" (until the pressing runs out and they crank out 200 more). For completists only. David
@ someone's bedroom

Eyesinweasel/Moviola - split 7 inch
Tobin Sprout's band Eyesinweasel deliver a great version of the hook laden "Sadder Than You" played live on their 2000 tour. Moviola plays a nice quiet country-pop tune with pretty harmonies, and it's good. So you get a quiet side and a noisy side, something for everyone. Mel
@ www.spiritoforr.com

Fabulous Shockwaves/Ian & the Barnetts - split 7 inch
Lo-fi surf instrumentals on red vinyl. The Shockwaves offer some pretty good surf tuneage, while Ian & the Barnetts' side is a little TOO "lo-fi", sounding more muffled than Mummies-ish, which is too bad because they sounded like they might be good underneath the murk. Maybe up the fidelity just a tad (you don't have to make it sound like Los Straitjackets to make it work) next time around and we'll be able to see what both these groups can really do. David
@ Boom-Boom, 20720 S.E. 192nd St., Renton, WA 98058

Fairlanes/Latrines - split 7 inch
I picked the Fairlanes side first, because I'm familiar with them, and they throw down the gauntlet with a couple of fine pop punk tunes. Both have plenty of mid period Queers snot to them vocally, but the melody is also strong. The Latrines have undergone a name change to The Plus Nomination (that's the best they could do?) since this was recorded. They're from Switzerland, and the first song has as many hooks as the Fairlanes, but the vocals are a little more off and up in the mix, and the second track is pure sludge. On heavy duty white vinyl. Steve
@ Floppy Cow, PO Box 79, 3054 Schuepfen, Switzerland

Fakes - "So Fashionable it Hurts" 3 song 7 inch
This particular group includes folks culled from the Stitches and U.S. Bombs., though the tunes on display here don't quite match the level of those cranked out by the aforementioned outfits. Medium-tempo post-Bombs street punk tunes that are solid but kinda generic. Think I'll put on the first Swingin' Utters record instead. David
@ Hostage, PO Box 7736, Huntington Beach, CA 92615

Firefighters for Christ/Peppermints - split 7 inch
Peppermints come up with a decent post-punkish tune in "Hot Guitars" but their other two songs are kinda sluggish and not too happening. The posthumous tunes from FFC work in a skittish fast-tempo punk vein and are okay but if not quite memorable. Liked the school-related spiel in the booklet though. David
@ Petset, PMB #204, 827 W. Washington St., San Diego, CA 92103

Fluke Starbucker - "Elephants From Ants" 7 inch
A preview of their forthcoming full length on the Berkeley-based Isota label, these SF Bay live favorites (for good reason, they're great live) prove that they're ready to make the jump into bigger ponds. Relentless post-rock makes up the two A-sides "New Parade" and "Carwash," with some great hooks, guy/girl vocals, and delicious lo-fi production. The B-side, though, is the standout track. "Cumulous to Nebulous" demonstrates that the band is capable of creating more complex textures with their sound using a softer, almost post-rock progression reminiscent of Mogwai. All in all, a damn nice statement, let's hear more. Scott
@ www.isotarecords.com/

Fluke Starbucker - "Elephants From Ants" 7 inch
"New Parade" is okay as modern day college pop goes. "Cumulous to Nebulous" is slow-core that busts out with load guitar blasts, and they fades to outro. B- for effort. Anthony
@ Isota, 1503 Oxford St. #4, Berkeley, CA, 94709

Frankie Violence & His Deputies - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Yep, more folks going for that old-school KBD punk feel, complete with similarly old-school lyrics ("There's a faggot in the family and I don't know what to do". Try dealing with it) It's solid enough, but after repeated listens I can't say I'd give up my Ripoffs records for it..David
@ www.moisst.com

Giving Jane the Time - "Polished/You Taste Like Coffee" 7 inch
Kind of underwhelming, Giving Jane the Time make stuff that sounds like the bastard child of Modest Mouse and Counting Crows (I think I just flushed any credibility I had down the toilet). They have that off key, scattered guitars-and-drum sound of Modest Mouse but the pop sensibilities and whine of the Crows. It's certainly not offensive (like my above comparison), but not really interesting either. Scott
@ email: givingjane@yahoo.com

Grafton - "Sumbitch" 7 inch
Dirt-rawk trio that has played their Mule records into the ground. "Sumbitch" could be the late dirt-blues stompers themselves, except that Lou Poster isn't half the singer Preston was, but I like it all the same. The b-side continues the theme. Anthony
@ www.DerailleurRecords.com

Great Lakes - "A Little Touched" 7 inch
This sounds a lot like Sammy, that Long Island band that was on DGC for eight seconds. Bookish, arty rock that some lovers of the Elephant Six label might take to. Anthony
@ www.trackandfield.org.uk

Hecklers/Steve and the Jerks - split 7 inch
Splits seem to be the rage these days I guess; 7 inchers are a fading format, and I guess if bands go in on the cost together, it helps a couple get exposure without as much cash outlay, if they have to foot part of the bill. Steve and the Jerks have a garagey punk sound, while the Hecklers run screechy vocal hardcore fuzz over lo-fi production. If you like your punk on the amateurish side with plenty of sloppiness and deep roots in trying to replicate the sounds of '77, then this is for you. David
@ G. Pagani, piazzale Della Macina 3, 43100 Parma, Italy

Heros Severum - "Grounded..." 7 inch
Athens, GA band that bashes together bits Mission Of Burma, Pylon, The Grifters and comes up with something that's more or less their own. A-side even has it's My Dad Is Dead moments in the vocals. Both songs are well done. Anthony
@ www.twoshedsmusic.com

Hissyfits - "Wish You Were Here" 3 song 7 inch
This New York City girlpop band are always good, and sometimes great. "Stardust" is the song here that rates with the band's best, and with the Hissyfits, that's elite company. Its got a wall of pop sound, layered vox on top of a drone of guitars and a big beat. The ending is a surprise as it winds down to a long slow ending capped by a burst of guitar like nothing you've ever heard. If you like girl pop this is a must. (red vinyl splattered with white) Mel
@ www.hissyfits.com

Holly Golightly with the Red Barn Boys - "Pretty Good Love EP" 7 inch
Still underneath the radar even in indieland, Holly Golightly gives us this solid 4 track single with nothing but solid blues. Her gritty vocals are complemented well by simply arranged guitar, banjo, and violin. The title track is the standout, but everything here is well worth the ten minutes or so you'll spend listening to it. Scott
@ www.smartguyrecords.com

Horizontalist - "Twenty Fee Behind/Sudden Death Overtime" 7 inch
This is a pretty pleasant single that resembles a soundtrack piece more than a conventional pop tune. Think Stereolab with no lyrics and a hint of prog-instrumentalists Japancakes thrown in. The slide guitar on the A-side is pretty, but doesn't make the song worth listening to over and over. The B-side is much the same, sunny synth music that bares a strong resemblance to bands like Stereolab. Problem is, the songs really don't go anywhere. Scott
@ no contact information

I am the World Trade Center/Phofo - split 7 inch
IATWTC provide another slice of good fun'n'catchy danceable "electro-pop"; unlike certain other outfits mining the same terrain, their tunes are identifiable as being their very own instead of having the listener play "spot the sample/influence". Phofo utilize samples, scratching, and the theme from some 70s show you can't quite place your finger on (or maybe it's an obscure EZ version of "Light My Fire"; not quite as successful as IatWTC but still a solid enough piece. I'd take these two (especially I am the World Trade Center) songs over the entirety of the last Fantastic Plastic Machine CD anyday. David
@ www.shirleybeans.com (MP3s available)

Jason Morphew/Ho-Hum - split 7 inch
Side A is a strange brew of acoustic guitars, downtrodden vocals, and samples of strings and drumbeats. Not really sure if it's working. Side B is kind of bad, too. The songs aren't mixed well, but I think the band is going for a pop radio, Goo-Goo Dolls kind of sound. Laura
@ www.playadel.com

Jet By Day/The Blindfold Parade - split 7 inch
JBD, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", is a decent slice of emo-lite, staying close to the side of the pool. Blindfold Parade gets more high-strung with "Shadows Taller than the Soul", moving well into noisy post-emo land, and incorporating violin. Despite the pretentious titles, it's a keeper. Anthony
@ www.twoshedsmusic.com

Jewws -"I Need Your Lovin' But I Don't Need You" 3 song 7 inch
Fuzzed out, distorted-voxed hyper-charged garage punk that's very cool indeed. Next time these folks saunter through town I'll know where I'll be. Until then, this won't be too far from the ol' turntable and it shouldn't be far from yours either. David
@ www.aliensnatch.de

John Berenzy Group - "Vice Verses"/"Chain Reaction" 7 inch
Probably recognize "Vice Verses" from its inclusion on Killed By Death #3 (that's right, the original series) though I think this is supposed to have been remixed a bit. Pretty good atmospheric (especially when the guitars start swooping instead of soloing) good punk. "Chain Reaction" (not the original flipside) isn't quite as good (more "accessible" and not as ominous-sounding as "Vice Verses"), though it's solid enough. Definitely worth picking up for "Vice Versa". Only 1000 made. David
@ 007, 534 E. 14th St. #15, NYC, NY 10009

Junior Varsity/Kung Fu Monkeys - "Get Along Famously" split 7 inch
Geez, I didn't think James Cahill could get his voice to go higher, but it seems like he's sucked in even more helium on this slab of vinyl. Anyway, what you've got here are two bands at the top of their game, the KFM's have the jangle of the early Beatles, sometimes playing on speed, and the high pitched bubblegum sweetness of James' voice. JV has a different take on the 60's, with more of an at the beach lo-fi garage vibe happening. They both are perfect for your local punk pop sock hop or prom, and if you write them (plus pay expenses), I bet they'd even do your wedding! Great stuff from both bands, as always. Steve
@ www.shesgonerecords.net

Kiss Me Deadly/Spengler - split 7 inch
Spengler is an art-damaged amalgam of quirky rock. They wander around the song, getting off on tangents. KMD's "Everyday in the Sun" has a spazz-jazz flavor to it's loud/soft dynamic. Not emo, exactly, but what is anymore? Anthony
@ BlueSkiesTurnBlack@hotmail.com

Koopas - "When Opposites Attack" 6 song 7 inch
Out of Texas, these guys have the Queers/Screeching Weasel thing down pretty well, but with less of the punk pretension and more pop hooks than you can shake a stick at. Bands like this seem to have died out in recent years, but with the return of the Mutant Pop label from oblivion and bands like this that put the bubblegum melodies and shy guy lyrics back into pop punk, you've got the beginnings of a renaissance for great heavily melodic pop punk. Totally fun. Steve
@ http://listen.to/topfiverecords (MP3s available)

Leg Hounds - "Prisoner Of Love" 3 song 7 inch
I'm not a huge fan of "dirty" rock and roll, but this Wisconson band has a great sound and maybe the best song I've heard this year. The pair of tunes on the B-side are scorchers with fast efficient guitar breaks, but it's the A-side where these guys set themselves apart. "Prisoner Of Love" (an original) is a mid-tempo stunner with brilliant drum bashing and a loud rythmn guitar that kicks butt. All this with a tremendous vocal, slightly distorted for maximum effect. Classic!! (only 500 made!?) Mel
@ Alien Snatch, Morikeweg 1, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany

Lovejoy! - "Biff Bang Pow!" 7 inch
In which Lovejoy play the songs of Biff Bang Pow in homage to the late, great Creation Records. It's an excellent single; dark, melodic, layered with guitars and keyboards. It's a bit Paul Weller, a bit Teenage Fanclub, and a bit La's. A damn good band covering a damn good band leads to a damn good single. Scott
@ www.indiepages.com/lovejoy

Meanest Man Contest - "Contaminated Dance Step" 7 inch
While initial leanings might throw MMC into the category of DIY underground hip-hop, I'd be more obliged to compare this sample and beat based single to an outfit like Bran Van 3000, where eclectica is the name of the game, not rhymes. While it's a little esoteric, it's a fun and diverse experience that's only really awkward in the vocal delivery. The flow is tight, but the vocals sound plain and static. Scott
@ www.weapon-shaped.com/mmc/

Melodie Group - "Summerness" 7 inch
The A-side from this Melodie Group single has such a great little chord progression and programmed backbeat, it's almost a shame that the Morissey-ish vocals kind of drag the show down. It's not bad at all, they just made a turn away from power-pop perfection to the Cinerama/Divine Comedy land of above-averageness. The two B-sides are quiet, acoustic ditties along similar lines, and not near as fascinating as the lead title track. Still, a good 7 inch at the end of the day. Scott
@ www.melodie.group.btinternet.co.uk/

Menace - "Punk Rocker" 4 song 7 inch
Well, they've got a changed up cover of "It's Not Unusual", changing the lyrics to punk it up (It's not unusual to pray for holidays in the sun..."), and three originals. Pretty typical skin/Oi! punk, these '77 punks are from England, and do a couple of other decent tunes on here, including a nice lyrical rip on kids who want to be "punk rockers" and rockstars. Nothing spectacular, but not too bad, either. Steve
@ www.knock-out.de

MhZ - "Action Figure" 3 song 7 inch
Judging by the cover this looks like it's gonna be one of those early pre-mersh "new wave"/"Electronic music" ultra-obscure seven inches from the late 70s, but when you slap it on you get punk rock with not a keyboard in sight (bait-and-switch!). Fairly good garagey punk, with vocals that kinda remind one of a younger Rick Sims from the Didjits. David
@ Flying Bomb, P.O. Box 971038, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Moment/There Were Wires - split 7 inch
Moment gives us a somewhat-melodic (early-emo?) hardcore punk tune that falls into "okay, nothing special" limbo. There Were Wires gives us some fairly intense emotional hardcore that won't be mistaken for the Get Up Kids anytime soon. There Were Wires end up being the more memorable of the two. On clear green vinyl. David
@ www.amalagate.com

Mr. California & the Bomb Squad of Love/14 Year Old Girls - split 7 inch
Mr. Cali gives us some very tweaked somewhere-past-noisecore, fucked up but somehow actually tasty as well. The Girls are less tweaked in their approach but are still on said end of the spectrum (as fits their participation in the Nintendo Punx movement). Pink vinyl and hand written record labels complete the package. Fun stuff indeed. Play this at the next gathering where folks in "Raybeez Livez" shirts gather and watch heads explode out of pure incomprehension. David
@ redfyog@hotmail.com

Ninetynine/Vivian Girls - split 7 inch
Can't get past the terrible vocals and bad recording on the Ninetynine side. Vivian Girls, "Janitor Or Genius" is minimal, lo-fi rock of the semi-noisy type, combining an aloof male vocal with a harmonious female vocal, and a thrift-shop keyboard sound. Anthony
@ corduroy@onthe.net.au

PCP Roadblock - "Live in Californie" 7 inch
Horribly recorded tribal noise-rock bullshit with rudimentary drumming and ridiculous vocals that thinks it's scary, or something. What a joke. Anthony
@ Wet Tail, Box 4916, Richmond, VA, 23220

Richard Meltzer, Robert Pollard, Smegma, & Antler - "The Tropic of Nipples" 12 song 7 inch
A (anti-)"supergroup" of sorts, though instead of all four parties jamming away at the same time you'll get either Richard Meltzer backed by Smegma or Pollard backed by Antler. Of course Pollard's tracks are more, ahem, left-field than in his work with GBV (especially lately), but certain tracks like "All for Sex and Better Whisky" don't sound that far-removed from GBV's lo-fi days. Meltzer/Smegma for their part do the "avant"/"no wave" rock thang that sound like they could be opening up for the Nihilism Spasm Band (for anyone familiar with Smegma's past work, this will come as no surprise). Pressed on light green vinyl and comes with a lyric sheet. Worth hunting down. David
@ www.offrecords.com

Riff Randels - "How 'Bout Romance" 3 song 7 inch
These three ladies hail from Canada, but their sound is rooted in Detroit. They've also got a soft spot for the late 60's garage punk sound. The lo-fi recording adds the perfect touch, and makes this one of my new favorite 7 inches. Laura
@ Lip Stick, 1154 Powell St., Oakland, CA 94608

Running Ragged - "Held Hostage" 7 inch
Sloppy, amateurish indie rock that has a sort of riot grrrl vibe. It has some appeal, but a slightly better final mix wouldn't hurt. Anthony
@ Heartcore Records

Sex Sex Sex - "Rock the Deceased" 4 song 7 inch
Five plucky Swedes do punk rock Dead Boys style, with songs that are straight up punk rock, not too much melody, but with plenty of energy a ripping guitars. Lyrically, they're fairly typical, with songs about getting drunk and being angry at the world. Nothing special, but worth throwing on the turntable if you either feel like getting fucked up, or fucking things up. Steve
@ Reanimator, PO Box 1582, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Shrinks - "My Mind's Gone" 4 song 7 inch
Damn, it seems like the only place you hear really decent, sloppy, true to '77 roots punk is on 7 inches these days. That's not to say there's anything special about this, the songs are simple fast paced 3 chord numbers with roots in garage, early Brit-punk, with standard choruses and lead guitar work. But it's got life and energy and it's done like they fucking mean what they're singing and playing. You just don't get that feeling from most of the skate punk that seems to be the rage these days, and for that reason alone, you should all run out and grab this. Steve
@ Radio, PO Box 1452, Sonoma, CA 95476

Sights - "If That's What You Want" double 7 inch
Very fine Detroit trio that mixes 60s psych and garage elements with what might be termed power-pop, without being a mere throwback. All four songs have a distinct flavor, and Eddie Baranek's supple vocals work well in each context. There's a lot to like, from the poppiness of "If That's What You Want" to the psych-blues of "Nobody", and the guitar playing! One of the best new bands I've heard in a while. Anthony
@ www.fallofrome.com

Sires - "Beneath Me/Packing My Bags" 7 inch
More garage tuneage from this Londinium (that's in England) -based bunch. Yeah I know that lo-fi is still the garage craze, but the mix on this had me initially checking the speakers to see if something was unplugged. Songs aren't really that hot either; "Beneath Me" is okay but doesn't come close to what these folks are capable of. I loved their last seven inch but there's not really too much happening here. David
@ Corduroy, Factory 4, 20 Advantage Rd., Highett, Vic. 3190, Australia

Skinnies - "Out of Order" 6 song 7 inch
Reissue of the 1978 New Orleans punker (which made it on a few KBD-style compilations) with some bonus tracks tacked on. The other tracks are pretty unessential (a poppier lightweight tune and two - not the listed three - lackluster live tunes of mediocre sound quality) but it's still definitely worth picking up for the very boppable single tracks. David
@ http://web.tiscalinet.it/raveup

Slipslide - "Sleeptalk" 7 inch
Hey, it's Suede! They're back with a new 7 inch!!! It's a bit more jangly than their usual stuff, less glam too. Still, they have that undeniable Englishness that makes that so very cuddly. What? It's not Suede talking about saying things in your sleep? Geez. Well, perhaps it's good they're not Suede, because while cheeky, this is pretty unpretentious pop-rock as English as the monarchy. There's a thousand other bands just like this, but hey, a lot of them are good, so you might want to give it a look-see. Scott
@ www.slipslide-online.com (MP3s available)

Stephen Malkmus - "Jo Jo's Jacket/Open and Shut Cases" 7 inch
I've been waiting years for the opportunity to review this former piece of indie royalty, in hopes that I could demystify him like he so fully deserves. Unfortunately, I will not have the chance to eat my words (I'm still fair) nor will I unleash my fury, as the A-side is a pretty average take from his recent (like, a year old) solo LP. So most people have already heard that already. So the B-side then, is disgustingly decent, a mellow U2 "Zooropa" outtake (that's supposed to be good thing) that actually accomplishes a subtle groove, rather than the forced cleverness that plagues the rest of his stuff. Looks like I'll have to reserve judgement for next album. Scott
@ www.stephenmalkmus.com

Steward - "Austrian Tour EP 2001" 4 song 7 inch
Four songs to celebrate Steward's jaunt down under, though said tunes were recorded either in Olympia or Leeds (what, no live souvenirs?). You get one acoustic tune with Jen Turrell on background vox, one tune featuring electronic beats and noises and a gently strumming guitar, one of his patented lo-fi homemade electronica-poptones, and one where he breaks out the guitar once again (and a vocal-distortion unit) and does a fairly rockin' noisy pop tune. As long as you're a Steward fan who's not also one of the five people left on the planet still expecting Boyracer MK II this should be a solid (if kinda minor) addition to your Steward collection. A split release between Australian label This is Chapter Music and U.S. folks Blackbean and Placenta. David

Sweetness - "Dirty Laundry" 7 inch
One of the most appropriately named bands I could possibly imagine, with terrific indie pop hooks that stick in your head and great female vocals. The songs and feeling are of a less frenetic Tiger Trap, or even more so, one of Rose Melberg's other efforts, Go Sailor. From the San Diego area, this band produces two great songs, and is the first for the fledgling CBK label. If they're as good at finding other bands like this one, then this will be a label to watch. Steve
@ www.cbkrecords.com

Teacher's Pet! - "Jenny Super Teen" 3 song 7 inch
Hey, get the speed right on the label! I started this on 45rpm, just like it said on the label, and thought the Chipmunks had made a musical return. Once I got the thing slowed down, I got to really digging this slab of Sweet inspired bubblegum pop. Full of handclaps, a few glam guitar chops, and adolescent "boy loves girl" lyrics. Yummy teenarama hooks galore; now where's the Archies cover? Steve
@ Flapping Jet, 3639 Midway Dr. #271, San Diego, CA 92110

Teenage Rejects - "Teen Trash Series Vol. 2" 6 song 7 inch
Punk rock straight outta Wisconsin, apparently taken from the same recording session for a Rip Off Records 7 inch, but these definitely aren't just outtakes. Short, simple, but sweet and catchy as all out. Very cool indeed. Fun for the entire family. David
@ www.aliensnatch.de

Tokyo Knives - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Garagey punk from this outfit who actually hail from Stockholm, Sweden ("Their name comes from Tomoko, their bassist (in exile)") and are actually moonlighting from their day jobs in Henry Fiat's Open Sore, the Blacks, and Turpentines. They definitely have energy to burn and good enough record collection to raid for "influences", but the songs aren't quite there yet. Give them time and check back later. David
@ www.wrench.mistral.co.uk/

Triggers - "Medicine" 5 song 7 inch
Whoa! I feel like I'm cramped in a corner at this band's sweaty practice space. Everything is recorded really raw, and not mixed very well. But, it adds to the sound. They play SST style fast punk rock. Nothing fancy - mostly just pissed-off bursts with lots of feedback. Laura
@ Johnny Cat, PO Box 61, Estacada, OR 97023

Unit Breed/Reina Aveja - split 7 inch
Unit Breed is a crust band with a girl singer, kind of like Spitboy, but not as political. Reina Aveja is more like 7 Year Bitch but not as good. Freaky paintings and yellow vinyl make this release unique more than the actual music. Laura
@ Deplorable, PO Box 191, Balmain, NSW 2041, Austrailia

Weirdos - "Ranting in a Rubber Room" double 7 inch
Double seven-inch boot of tunes taken from "Weirdos Rehearsal Recorded Hollywood 1977". Some classic tunes are here (no "We've Got the Neutron Bomb" or "Solitary Confinement" but you do get "Life of Crime" and "Why Do You Exist?" among others) and it's definitely Historically Significant (there are a couple of tunes here that I don't remember making it onto "official" releases), but the fidelity's on the low end and the volume takes a dip in spots during "Message From the Underworld". Still, it's something to tide you over until Weird World Vol. 2 is released (probably sometime after hell freezes over). David
@ not quite

Would-Be-Goods - "Sugar Mummy" 3 song 7 inch
Jessica Griffin, after almost 15 years, is still going strong. Her classic underappreciated debut album on El is still a wonderful indie-pop artifact in the NME C86 vein. The second album on the Trattoria label was quite good also. Mike
@ www.fortunapop.com

Zombie IV - s/t 4 song 7 inch
This sounds promising enough; lo-fi garage (with a surf undercurrent on the instros), utilizing organ as well as guitars, typed liner notes that are supposed to set the mood, and a B&W cover shot in a graveyard. Only the two instrumentals (especially the opening "Zombie") really stand out though; the other two (vocal) tracks seem to indicate that their joints are still a little stiff from all that time spent in the earth. Still, it's a solid first effort (the instros make this worth checking out), and it'd be interesting to see how they do once they've spent some more time above ground. David
@ Boom-Boom, 20720 S.E. 192nd St., Renton, WA 98058

V/A - "Knormalities V.2" 3 song 7 inch
Second release in this series (a co-release between U.S. label Dephine Knormal Musik and French label Amanita) featuring "avant" acts Alboth!, Nels Cline, and Moe!kestra!. Swiss outfit Alboth! contributes a track from a '99 album that goes for an noisy post-industrial symphony feel that's okay but doesn't quite gel; the vox make this seem more overwrought than it really is. Nels does a nice noisy piece utilizing guitar and micro-jammer while Carla Bozulich contributes some vox. For their part the 16(!)-piece Moe!kestra! takes the prize by far with an Ex cover. Nels and Moe!kestra make this worth picking up. Only 600 made (on lovely gray vinyl) so start your hunt now. David
@ Dephine Knormal, 1557 Pete Ct., Manteca, CA 95337

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