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Here are the singles reviews which appeared in SP #14

Almost There/Saving Face - split 7 inch
Saving Face are a Madison, Wisconsin punk band with plenty of melody and simple production. One tune here goes into a long rap, not bad, but I'd like the song better without it. Anyway, it sounds like they are having fun. Almost There from SoCal offer a pair of tunes, both fast, but the singer manages to keep up. Both songs have choruses with hooks, but pay attention cause they go by quick. Mel
@ http://www.savingfaceband.com (MP3s available)

Bomb Pops - "Everything (Looks Like Her)"/"Living on a Memory" 7 inch
Two slices of pretty good garage pop; this has a bit of non-toxic late 70s/very early 80s powerpop feel to it. Hard to believe that this is where Joe Vincent and Stevie Baise from the Devil Dogs ended up, but that they did. David
@ www.rapidpulserecords.com

Brassknuckle Boys/Riotgun - "With Friends Like These" split 7 inch
Four songs from these 2 newer U.S. oi bands. The unreleased track from the Brassknuckle Boys is a Pogues cover that1s amped up a la the BB1s other tune, while the Riotgun tunes are both released elsewhere, though the second tune was released back in 1996. Still, with only one unreleased tune (that1s a cover to boot) this record1s more of an intro to these two competent oi/punk bands then an actual stand-alone EP. Jesse
@ Haunted Town, 1658 N. Milwaukee Ave. #169, Chicago, IL, 60647

Casket Lottery/Hot Water Music - split 7 inch
It was inevitable: a (mini-)tribute to Government Issue. I'm surprised this hasn't come sooner, since they did become pretty (and pretty underrated) emo in their later years (as the 2 songs covered here - "Jaded Eyes" and "For Ever" respectively - effectively demonstrate). Unfortunately, HWM manage to muck up "Jaded Eyes" with a horrid break, and CL don't exactly improve on GI's original either. As with most tributes, appreciate the concept and intentions, but stick with the originals. David
@ www.secondnaturerecordings.com

Counterattack - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Moronic oi out of our nation1s capitol that seems to match the intellectual level of our nation1s President. Not only is the by-the-numbers oi music forgettable, the singer sounds like El Duce without a sense of humor or timing. Nothing particularly politically, lyrically, or musically interesting about this, the pro-death penalty/anti-Mumia abu-Jamal tune pretty much says it all: "We cannot allow the law to be shelved/if the courts won1t do it, I1ll kill you myself." I1m not one who goes around chanting "Free Mumia," but I do think it1s clear that an honest re-examination of his case is long overdue due to the irregularities in the case and the venue in which he was convicted- being from Philly, I know that Frank Rizzo1s police force was incredibly fucked up. I admit, I roll my eyes when some long-haired crusty band starts whining "Free Mumia" without any recognition that the guy may have pulled the trigger after all. End of rant. The end of the review is that there1s a ton of much better oi and (not neccessarily the same bands) a ton of much more thought out and nuanced viewpoints out there than this band. Jesse
@ DSS, PO Box 739, 4021 Linz, Austria

Danny and the Nightmares (Daniel Johnston) - 7 inch
This is garage rock in the literal sense of the term: it was recorded live to a boom box and four-track recorder in somebody's house. Of course, you reap what you sow, this sounds about as shitty as anything I've heard in a long time. The vocals are chirpy and nasal, the guitar is all muddy, and the drums sound like buckets and boxes. In that same way, the band is somewhat intriguing. Danny and the Nightmares must be armed with a good sense of humor or they wouldn't be putting choppy garage trash onto vinyl. I'm impressed that it did, I got a smile out of the record, and I'll take that to the door. @ Cool Beans, 3181 Mission #113, San Francisco, CA 94110

Deadline/Filaments - "Punk Unity" split 7 inch
Two British (non-racist) punk/skin/streetpunk outfits sharing a single slab of vinyl. Deadline features some good melodic female vox over their energetic streetpunk, including a very good fun punk swipe at the Specials' ska classic "Do Nothing" (complete with nontoxic horns) that's not coming to a Warped Tour near you. Filaments give up some amazing energetic driving streetpunk of their own (not non-LP I'm afraid); da brass is used here as well, but the music's going way too fast to skank to it! Rousing tuenage indeed. If you'll excuse me, I have two more bands whose back catalogs I have to investigate. David
@ www.dss.at

Diff'rent Stripes - "A Tribute to the White Stripes" 3 song 7 inch
"Tribute" or "Pisstake" to da Stripes? You be the judge: on display are one vaguely New Orleans take, one dub-meets-That-Sci-Fi-Show-theme, and one similarly EZ-meets-spacey post-electronica take. Somewhat less than essential. David
@ www.guidedmissile.co.uk

Diskords - "Heart Full Of Napalm" 4 song 7 inch
Some rock solid punk tuneage from a Portland band who don't ape any single band, more like the whole range of punk, although it's safe to say the title track has some Stooges influence. The rhythm section thunders, and they have a team approach on vox. The songs are well written, and the band seems to roll along comfortably with their own sound instead of aping others. That's impressive since the oldest band member is only 14 or 15. Mel
@ http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/428/the_diskords.html (MP3s available)

Dressy Bessy/Saloon - split 7-inch
Though the inner labels on this record were switched, it didn't take long to figure out which song was by Dressy Bessy. Tammi has a recognizable voice and the band has mastered their brand of jangly indiepop. Saloon sounds exactly like Stereolab. Musically, their contribution sounds like an outtake from Stereolab's debut album, Peng. The only difference is a little bit of horns at the end of the song. Except for a small two color label, the packaging contains no art. Mike
@ www.trackandfield.org.uk

Easys ‚"You're High Maintenance/Come See Me Baby" 7 inch
Two bursts of fuzz-driven garage punkers, a-side's good, but the flip really takes the cake here. As can be expected with any project featuring Russell Quan this is definitely worth checking out. David
@ www.justaddwaterrecords.com

Eddie Haskells/Fracas - 4 song split seven inch
Two pissed off, hard-working, drunken Oakland, California bands share this blazing 7" on a new local label. First up is the Eddie Haskells, who riff of an early 80's Frisco sound a la The Lewd and Sick Pleasure, mixed in with some Negative Trend. Great stuff! Second is Fracas, who are a little Misfits and a whole lotta punk attitude, epitomized by the Antiseen cover they turn in as their second tune. If you like your punk scruffy but not grindy, you gotta check this 7" out! - Jesse
@ www.geocities.com/eddiehaskells2001

Flaming Stars - "A Little Bit Like You" 7 inch
The prolific Stars have released some of the best records of the last seven years, but somehow have remained unknown in the U.S. The best thing about this single is that it means a new album is due any day now. The A side is simple, based on one repetitive riff, with the Stars' usual tasty nuances. The exclusive B side, "The Man Who Would B.B. King", is a monster that kicks off with a trash can drum beat. Max's deadpan vox are right on, and the handclaps and strong melody make this one of the Stars better efforts. Think of them as a more rockin' trashed out Marychain. Mel
@ www.vinyljapan.com

Glass Candy and the Shattered Theatre - "'Metal Gods'/'I Wanna Hurt'" 7 inch
Wow...this is a No Wave kick in the cerebellum and no mistake. Evidently from the Portland area, they describe their front person as part Ziggy S., part Alan Vega; throw in some Lilliputoid ululating, stir in analog synth intereference with stumblebum drum patter and bring to an unsteady boil. They faithfully cover a Screamers tune on the B-side; demented and anti-social, as befitting the late Tomata and co. MLH
@ www.kpunk.com

Gore Gore Girls - "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" 7 inch
Slightly trashy take on the Cookies 1962 hit. Lots of harmonies from this Detroit girl trio who create a full sound that would seem to require a lot more than 3 instruments. The flip, "I'm Gonna Get You Yet", rocks with a '60s big beat and Shangri-las tough girl sound that any '60s girlpop fan will love. Mel
@ www.gethip.com

Headhunters - "Escape The Grave" 3 song 7 inch
From Sweden, Headhunters play melodic guitar punk rooted in early '80s Oi punk. On both of the mid-tempo tunes here the band demonstrates their flair for the anthemic side of punk with some solid tuneage. Mel
@ Haunted Town, 1658 N. Milwaukee #169, Chicago, IL 60647

Hunches - "Got Some Hate"/"Lost Time Frequency" 7 inch
Very short bursts of bulldozing distortion, and attitude. Kinda like the early/mid 80s Aussie groups that effectively combined the fury of punk with the edginess of post-punk (e.g. fEEDTIME, Birthday Party). Worth checking out, especially "LTF". David
@ www.intheredrecords.com

John Wilkes Booze - "Whiskey and Pills" 7 inch
Here's some raunchy rock n roll for ya, out of Southern Indiana, a couple of songs with male and female vocals trading off the leads, with songs about whiskey and pills and sex and feelin' alright. Recorded live to tape, it's like they're playing in your living room when you put this on, and it's got a booze soaked bluesy feel, especially on the b-side "Marc Bolan Makes Me Want to Fuck All Night", where female vocals take you slowly to orgasm. It ain't great, but I bet they're a fun band live, and you should invite then to your local bar to play in front of the lonely drunks...should make them feel right at home. Limited to 800. Steve
@ Family Vineyard, PO Box 2161, Bloomington, IN 47012

Johnny Burnette - "Tear It Up/Oh Baby Babe" 7 inch
Johnny caught live in front of a plainly appreciative audience at the Paramount Theatre Brooklyn, NY 1956 (w/Alan Freed as MC) performed by an equally enthusiastic Burnette and co. Next time I hear another modern band cranking out rote 'billy I'm going to send them a copy of this platter so they know how this style should REALLY be played! Another rockabilly gem uncovered by your friends at Norton. David
@ www.nortonrecords.com

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - "Ghetto Mom" 7 inch
This is the first Juke Box Series single that i wasn't ecstatic about. Both songs sound like outtakes from their current album. The Blues Explosion's current compositions are much more straight forward than their pre-Acme album era. The problem is that songs just don't kick ass. This is most unforunate for the many people like me who were hoping they would be rock 'n' roll's saviors. Mike
@ In The Red, 1118 W. Magnolia Blvd, PMB 208, Burbank, CA 91506

Jr. Merill - "There Must Be Something About Gathering in a Basement When You Could Be Selling Dog Food and Plastic Spoons at the Local Supermarket" 4 song 7 inch
Sounds like Dave Thomas (Pere Ubu) fronting a 60s-luvin' garage outfit. Mid-tempo garage tunes from this French Quartet, led by da organ. Solid enough, but could use a bit more raunch (or at least less thin-sounding production; it doesn't help that they bury the fuzz guitar in the mix). David
@ Quirky Johns, Sugar & Spice, BP 9, 69126 Brindas, France

Minders/Tobin Sprout - split 7 inch
This debut recording from the Sprite Recordings label features two instrumentals from Tobin, one working a nice little hypnotic groove (Tobin goes krautrock?), the other being nice but sounding more like a fragment than an actual song. (Like that should be of any surprise concerning anyone with a background in GBV). The Minders take a brief vacation from Elephant 6 and give up a grooving (in more ways than one) instro of their own. Only 500 made so start searching today. David
@ www.lunamusic.net

Mini Kyute - "Sanctuary" 4 song 7 inch
This sounds a helluva like Kahime Karie when she was collaborating with Cornelius a decade ago. "Rio", who sounds like she is eleven years old, sing all songs in English on this their debut release. Fans of electronic j-pop and Čl Records will need to hear this record. The two songs on Side 2 are truly lovely. Mike
@ Joystick, PO Box 1394 Panama City, FL 32402

Mononchrome - "Angelfire/Analog Und Ehrlich" 7 inch
This band began as a hardcore outfit in Germany. Five years later they have honed their sound into kind of a hardcore inspired pop band. They would be very at home playing with the Refused, Murder City Devils (R.I.P.), or At The Drive In. The lineup is male/female vocals, guitar, bass, drums and some light programming. They are very tight and the songs here illustrate their knack for sharp, energetic songs that don't follow any well-trodden path. They aim to go their own way, and the result is a very interesting glimpse into the heads of a group of musicians that you haven't heard the last of. Laura
@ Dim Mak, PO Box 14041, Santa Barbara, CA 93107

Never-Evers - "Baby Baby" 4 song 7 inch
Frat-garage-with-a-tad-of-surf-influence from Switzerland. They're "okay", but based on this vinyl evidence they don't have that extra "oomph" needed to put them over the edge. Definitely not polite, but the band (and especially the vocalist) needs a bit more fire underneath their collective feet. They're better when they kick out the fuzz on such tunes as "Find It!" and definitely aren't without potential, but for right now it's a classic case of "Almost, but not quite". David
@ www.sheeprecords.com

Penelopes - "It's Not You" 3 song 7 inch
Japanese indie/twee pop with a kinda mid-80s UK feel to it, released by Spain's estimable Elefant label. The music's okay in a lightweight kind of way, but the vocals really end up sinking this. Maybe Watanabe (who's been at this for a while now) should follow Pete Townsend's lead and have someone else vocalize on his songs. David
@ Elefant, PO Box 331, Las Rozas 28230, Madrid, Spain

Penelopes - "It's Not You" 3 song seven inch
Japanese indie/twee pop with a kinda mid-80s UK feel to it, released by Spain's estimable Elefant label. The music's okay in a lightweight kind of way, but the vocals really end up sinking this. Maybe Watanabe (who's been at this for a while now) should follow Pete Townsend's lead and have someone else vocalize on his songs. David
@ Elefant, PO Box 331, Las Rozas 28230, Madrid, Spain

Rum Diary - "Mileage" 3 song 7 inch
Title tune is a pretty intriguing tune in the indie rock mode, but the pair on the flip feature a fairly unmemorable example of same and a brief "humorous" piece. Worth checking out for the A-side. Only 300 made on marble blue vinyl. David
@ www.springmanrecords.com

Sergeants Mess - "When You Were Mine" 4 song 7 inch
The man known as Childish twirls the knobs for this particular release (resulting in the trademark Medway production you can spot from a thousand feet), though I don't think they'd mind being called kindred spirits. Their garage sound's closer to the Buff Medways than the Headcoats, with the record being an overall mixed bag: "When You Were Mine" and "Lotion" end up being solid-to-good, but "Go My Way" ends things on a sour note. And no, smart ass, the title track is NOT a cover of the Prince song. David
@ www.smartguyrecords.com

Spoon - "Someone Something" 7 inch
Spoon have been critics darlings since I can remember hearing that Texas was actually an alright place some years ago, and every subsequent record it puts out is accompanied by statements to the effect of "Look out for this band to break in 20__". However, Spoon has never "Broke" and probably never will. It's just not that kind of music. Not that people are dumb to like them or they're not good enough, it's just the type of intelligent, aurally unrestricted songwriter music that never makes that full crossover. "Someone Something" is a preview of the next full-length, and it is in line with the direction the band has progressed in: piano-led college radio rock with strong vocals. The two tracks on the other side are more ambient tracks with effected keyboards in the front. I'd like to say Spoon is getting better as a band, but it's always been a good, solid listen that stands out as unique. Xtian
@ Merge, PO Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Swamp Rats - "Psycho/Louie Louie" 7 inch
This great '60s tune originally done by the Sonics has been much covered, but there's always room for one more when it's this good. The instruments are noisy and shrill, like they turned the treble to eleven, very rockin'. The flip is another much recorded Northwest classic, and this time I'm not really sure there is room for one more. Mel
@ www.gethip.com

Tender Trap - "Face of 73" 7 inch
The latest Amelia Fletcher project has the ex-Heavenly, Tallulah Gosh, Marine Research singer teaming up with Heavenly guitarist Rob Pursey and Marine Research drummer DJ Downfall, who does keys and sequenced drum bits on this to produce a couple more Heavenly pop tunes. For those that love the guitar based songs of Amelia's former efforts, they should be prepared for a much more keyboard and electronic based style on this. The A-side, "Face of 73", has all of the same pop hooks of a typical Heavenly song, a tad slower in tempo, but a good song nonetheless. The B-side "Fin" is a DJ Downfall mix of a song from the full length. I haven't heard the original version, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but this one is very downbeat; slow, languid, a feeling much like an ending to a relationship, which befits the song title. It's certainly pop, and once I get past the lack of some of the great guitar work that partially made Heavenly one of my favorite bands, I find these two songs making me want the full length. @ www.krecs.com

Tommy and the Terrors - "Outbound" 4 song 7 inch
Solid driving punk from these Quincy, Massholes, with the best song on here being the title track, whose lyrical content deals with the plight of the American office worker (in streetpunk terms of course). David
@ Rodent Popsicle, P.O. 1143, Allston, MA 02134

Toxic Narcotic - "Had it Coming" 7 inch
TN tries to incorporate reggae rhythms alongside their patented brand of frenzied hardcore on "Cockroach" and don't quite succeed. They come up with some solid (if not as frenzied as on the A-side) hardcore on the flip. Okay, if not the best place to start with these guys. On marble grey vinyl. David
@ Rodent Popsicle, P.O. 1143, Allston, MA 02134

Turn Pale - "Chance/Mesmerized" 7 inch
Ex-members of Drekka and Panoply Academy decide to explore the darker side of post-punk, with vocals that remind one of the late lamented Ricky Williams from the Sleepers/Toiling Midgets. They have the style down but still working on the substance, or at least tunes that stick to the ribs. Whether this is a sincere attempt at the sounds of their youth or a jumping onto the "post-punk" bandwagon (one of the "selling points" listed in their promo sheet was that "Post-Punk is the next big thing") will probably be answered on their upcoming album. David
@ www.bluesanct.com

U.K. Subs - "Drunken Sailor" 7 inch
Venerable U.K. punks return with an improved version of the traditional "Drunken Sailor" that veers from faux-Pogues stuff into the U.K. Subs patented punk attack. This is a kick ass 7"- check it out! Jesse
@ Captain Oi, PO Box 501, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP10 8QA, UK

Velvet Teen - "Immortality" 4 song 7 inch
Four songs on a (none-too-attractive) picture disc, which is probably the only way to distinguish this from all the other seven inches in the "Indie Rock" bins. They're still growing, but with vocals that could be better and tunes that show more reach than grasp they still have a ways to go. David
@ www.pandacide.com (MP3 available)

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