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Here are the singles reviews which appeared in SP #15

Aikagi - "La-La-La" 3 song 7 inch
Clear vinyl white-label release (in mono even) with male/female (or should that be boy/girl) vocals. Pretty nice post-twee pop (especially on the catchy "Baby") from Japan that won't give you a sugar/naivetÈ overdose (it helps that they don't exactly follow the twee formula to the letter). Supposedly only 40 made, but hasn't sold out yet... Be warned: while some stores are selling this at import prices, it's actually a domestic release on Blackbean and Placenta. David
@ http://village.infoweb.ne.jp/~trolley/aikagi.htm

Airport Girl - "Power Yr Trip" 7 inch
The title track is off their LP from 2001, and the other song, "The Kids Just Want Cool Sounds" is to the best of my knowledge unreleased. The A-side hits as the better of the two songs; a bouncy indie pop song that has the fuzz of a Shop Assistants tune with male vocals, while the B-side comes off as a throw away tune mixing Jonathan Richman style vocals and a quirky melody that doesn't engage the listener enough. If you don't have the album and have been curious, the A-side makes this worth pinking up. Steve
@ WIAIWYA, 1 Bankside, 10 Brock Lane, Maidenhead, Berkshire, S16 11P, England

Apathetic Youth/Scaredycat - split 7 inch
Scaredycat start off with thrash-metal on "F(l)ag Football" and move onto all out speedcore. The changes are good but the drums are dead. AY are a speedy noisecore band that doesn't hold up. The quote on the back reads:"This is LA, not the Southbay". Yeah, whatever. Anthony
@ Noise Annoys, no address

Bikini Bumps/Lipstick Pickups - split 7 inch
Split 7 inch (that's a split itself between the G.C. and Erectords labels) featuring talent taken from the Anaheim gene pool. Bikini Bumps give up some solid garage rock, not earthshattering but a decent listen. LP gets the party started though, with 3 cool bursts of fun fem-voxed garage tuneage. David
@ www.gcrecords.com

Bikini Kill - "Peel Sessions" 4 song 7 inch
Bootleg of the 7 inch documenting Bikini Kill's appearance on John Peel's fabled radio show. BK certainly didn't rein themselves in for their appearance, playing as fiery as ever on such tunes as "Star Bellied Boy" and "New Radio". Definitely worth picking up if you can't find the original (hint, the bootleg is a green sleeve with obviously Xerox-copied artwork). David
@ no label, no address, no duh

Bump-N-Uglies - "All American 4 Pack" 4 song 7 inch
As you can probably tell by the 'porn-stars-r-us' cover art and the lyric sheet, these lads aren't exactly on the P.C. tip. Fast, loud, and ugly, but despite said promising description this doesn't have that much in terms of staying power (except for maybe "Don't Talk To Me"). Nice swirled vinyl though. David
@ Low Down, PO Box 4502, Ann Arbor, MI 48106

Burmese - "Treaties of Greed and Filth"/"Live War" 7 inch
"Treaties" is crunching bass-and-drums (as opposed to drums-and-bass) verging on, but never quite falling into, sheer mayhem. The flip is a sound/noise experiment using live shows and (supposedly) covers as source material, complete with locked groove; makes for some therapeutic noise in spots (especially the opening blast), but overall they might have been better releasing either just a live show or noise blasts period instead of trying to combine the two. David
@ www.scenecred.com

Character/Stone Jack Jones - split 7 inch
Split seven inch waxing featuring some home-grown talent from Nashville. Character do a decent, if insubstantial arty moody instrumental, Stone Jack Jones (solo artist) does a decent understated moody song that sounds like an update of what used to be sung around the campfires by the ol' coal mines. David
@ www.fictitiousrecords.com

Coalition/Holding On - split 7 inch
Holding On give us some fairly intense rage-filled (but not self-righteous) hardcore. Coalition give us fairly typical tough-guy chugga-chugga hardcore, the kind where it comes as no surprise to see the band thank four (that's right, four) gyms in their notes. While Coalition works on their squats I think I'll play the Holding On side again. David
@ www.martyrrecords.com

Cynics - "Turn Me Loose" 7 inch
I've never been a fan of the Cynics brand of garage nostalgia. This single illustrates why. Pointless re-hash to the nth degree. tf they truly were cynics they would certainly not succumb to industry s.o.p. and put out records, now would they? Anthony
@ www.gethip.com

Danny McDonald - "Rock and Roll Records" 7 inch
The frontman for Aussie power pop group P76 goes solo, with one tune sounding much like his former band, complete with ringing guitars, "dit dit dit do dit" vocals, and a full band. This could easily have been a song that would have fit on any Stems, DM3 or P76 release, full of uptempo hooks. The flip is McDonald alone with a guitar and his vox, the song sounds a little like a Bob Mould penned tune from one of the Sugar releases musically, McDonald adds a little twang to his voice; overall it sounds a little flat compared to the perkier tune since McDonald doesn't have the greatest range to his voice and there isn't a full band sound to cover up some of it's deficiencies. Still a good effort though. Steve
@ Pop The Balloon, B.P. 7042, 69343 Lyon, Cedex 07 France

Decibators/Reagan National Crash Diet - split 7 inch
Decibators live up to the billing as a blast of r-n-r dynamite. "Burning Under The Sun" is full-on jackhammer rock of rugged high quality. Think Supersuckers times ten. RNCD's is sparse punk rock with a nasty political edge. Anthony
@ RoosterCow, no address

Duchess of Saigon - "Easter Queen" 4 song 7 inch
Despite the crap artwork that looks tailor-made for clearance bins nationwide, this M/F two piece from Sacto (that's Sacramento to you) serves up some delightfully raucous lo-fi DIY garage/pop that could have been cranked out by Jad Fair's old (circa "Half Gentlemen") production studio. Sweet stuff indeed. David
@ www.sl.net/~ttbooks/moolala/cat.htm

Dupont Circles - "53 Bicycles" 4 song 7 inch
Pretty nice psych-tinged indie pop of the post-TV Personalities variety that peaks on the carnival-organ-driven post-surf instro "Sputnik". Recorded back in the late 90s, so you have to wonder what they could come up with nowadays (assuming they still exist). David
@ Cara, 7705 Oldchester Road, Bethesda, MD 20817

Features - "Buffalo Head/Oh My Love" 7 inch
Rock-n-roll (from Sparta, Tennessee) with old-school "New Wave" vocals, recorded in 2002 and 1999 respectively. Taking these in chronological order, "Oh My Love" seems almost more like an update of the "new wave-influenced rock" of yore that's wasn't in high-demand even back then. The 2002 has a more of a garagey feel to it (especially with nice use made of the keyboard), but those vox (reined in a bit more here) are still a problem. Musically solid (especially on "Buffalo Head"), but the vocals pretty much sinks this. Ted
@ www.fictitiousrecords.com

Flatpoint A/V - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Debut release from these folks, featuring energetic if unremarkable melodic-tinged hardcore for life in the post-post-Jawbreaker era. The switch is that the 7 inch comes with a CDR (nice touch!) of earlier (demo?) material that's actually better than what you'll find on the 7 inch (the production seems to bring out more sympathetic performances on the CD as well). Even if your turntable's busted, it might be worth picking this up just for the CD tracks. David
@ no address

Flesh Packs - "Malicious Fast & Furious Bar Chords" 4 song 7 inch
Pressed on clear vinyl, this trio has a Rip Off records garage mixed with Dead Boys vibe; the production on most of the songs buries the vocals so far behind the music that it just doesn't rock like it should. You can tell there is plenty of Stiv style snarl back there, but it just doesn't come through. A couple of good songs ("Nothing to Live For" is a great late 70's style power pop tune), I'd just like to see them clean up the sound a bit. Steve
@ www.blacktieunderground.com

FM Knives - "Promotional Device" 4 song 7 inch
Imagine the High Fives if they REALLY were a garage band and you'll have a good idea of what you'll find here. Catchy rough-edged garage tuneage with a bit of an 60s edge but even more of that ol' punk tinge. Quite fun indeed. David
@ www.smartguyrecords.com

Foundation - "Homecoming" 4 song 7 inch
Rob Huddleston from Ann Berretta in a more (if not exclusively) acoustic-oriented project, with female vocals from Alison Mosshart of Discount fame on one track. Usually when punk folks go "Unplugged" it can make for some admittedly scary (or at least mediocre) music. Fortunately this isn't just blowing in the (new) wind or former militant straight edgers showing their "sensitive" side. This is closer to melodic punk as transferred to the acoustic guitar, with an inevitable loss of ye olde powercrunch perhaps, but neither lacking in intensity (especially on the Mosshart-voxed "No Smoke") nor melodic edge. The aforementioned "No Smoke" and the title track shine the most here, but this is worthwhile listening overall. David
@ www.1234gorecords.com

House on Fire - s/t 5 song 7 inch
Only 500 made on colored vinyl. Solid hardcore from No Idea territory (i.e. Gainesville, FA) featuring former members of Discount, Unitas, and Panthro U.K. Supposedly closer in similarity to the last band, though I'm not familiar enough with their material to comment (though this wouldn't be mistaken for the first two bands in a blind test taste), so if you're still hurting for a Panthro U.K. fix this is probably the place to go. David
@ www.1234gorecords.com

Kill Me Tomorrow - "I Require Chocolate/Rats For Sale" 7 inch
Moodiness, some 'wave touches, an uneasy sensation that something is threatening to explode right undertneath the surface, ominous foreshadowings, and a chiming post-Sonic Youth (lazy writer clichÈ #424) feel. Sounds good to me. David
@ www.goldstandardlabs.com

Lake Holiday/Poison Control Center - split 7 inch
Don't know if it's Elephant 6 or Flaming Lips that's making indie popsters spend more time (and effort) unleashing their imagination in the studio, though I think these folks would consider the former to be kindred spirits more than the latter. Despite their punkish name PCC deal in slightly psychy sunshine pop with the occasional left turn into parts unknown. Lake Holiday is more straightforward but still have some post-psych/E6 touches here and there, as well as one number that's closer to (indie, of course) pop-rock. Not bad, though PCC still takes this one. On red vinyl as well. David
@ www.bifirecords.com

Low/Vibracathedral - split 7 inch
Low's type of slowcore has always left me cold. "David and Jude" is more of a novelty throw-off than real song. A two line vocal over a two note accordion part. Vibracathedral does a jaunty post-rock cacophony. Nothing special. Anthony
@ wwwmisplacedmusic.com

Magnetic IV - "Tarantula!" 4 song 7 inch
Driving surf and surf-influenced garage punk with snotty femme fatale vox. With the Trashwomen no longer with us (and dare I say this group has them beat) this is the place to go for that B-movie-loving musical madness fix. Stellar version of "Strychnine" as well. Fun stuff indeed. David
@ www.tear-it-up-records.nl

Maydays - "The Very Last Time" 7 inch
This band features some mainstays of the SF Bay Area pop scene, including "Nuggets" archivist Alec Palao, formerly of the Sneetches, on bass and production chores, Pat Johnson of Penelope Houston's band on vocals, and Ron Silva "of too many Beatles influenced bands to mention" on drums. The A-side "For The Very Last Time" is a full out rocker in a similar style to the Searchers with Joe Meek like production, complete with great keyboard work, while the B-side is a northern soul torcher that I could easily see the kids slow dancing to in the clubs. A fantastic slab of vinyl...now all they have to do is get a full length out before I wear this baby out. Steve
@ www.flarerecord.com

Meanest Man Contest - "Contaminated Dance Step" 7 inch
Oakland duo that strips down to basic beats, samples and rhymes. Eriksolo crams a lot of syllables into each measure, and his wordplay recalls Third Bass and Disposable Heroes, but his inflection never changes and even the most dense breaks can't save them. Anthony
@ www.weapon-shaped.com

Minders - "Live at KPSU" 7 inch
Kinda twee, kinda pop, weak and lazy. Sorry, that's all I got. Anthony
@ www.dirigeablerecords.com

Mondo Topless - "No More" 7 inch
Silly organ-driven garage spew that is derivative of a lot of things, but isn't awful. Anthony
@ www.gethip.com

Mountain Goats - "See America Right/New Chevrolet in Flames" 7 inch
Considering this is on 4AD you can probably expect the lo-fi/Shrimper sound of old to be replaced by the cleaner trademark 4AD production, though this still stand or falls on the tunes themselves. "See America Right" is a tune that fits in the "stand" category, but is also on their new album "Tallahassee". "New Chevrolet" is a non-LP track. David
@ www.4ad.com

Orchid Pool - "Imaginary Instruments" 3 song 7 inch
"Experimental pop" (that thankfully keeps an eye on the latter as well as the former) from a husband-and-wife-duo that's closer to "whimsical" than "twee" (me thinks they won't mind the "post-Elephant 6" tag too much). Indie pop fiends should be able to get into this without too much trouble. Only 500 made, each one with a different hand-drawn sleeve. David
@ www.hhbtm.com

Parva - "Hessles/Put Me on the Cover of Your Magazine" 7 inch
"Hessles"'s not a bad piece of roaring indie-rock. The wise-ass "Put Me on the Cover of Your Magazine" is a decent number but could have been developed a bit more; comes so close at being quite the infectious number but falls just short. Worth keeping an eye on this outfit to see how they (hopefully develop). David
@ www.mantrarecordings.com

Red Pony Clock - "Pete" 7 inch
I hope this single is supposed to be a joke, because, if not, it's a serious misuse of red vinyl. Sloppy ragtime guitar, a trumpet and jumbled off-key vox combine to barf up a cheap imitation of Poi Dog Pondering. Anthony
@ www.creativecompute.net

Rock Stone ‚"Cherry Vanilla/When U Look Away" 7 inch
One-man-band pop from former Lifestyle guitarist, with vocals that couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle on it (illustrated most graphically on the J&M Chain-like "Cherry Vanilla"). "When U Look Away" resembles a third-rate New Order, and that ends up being the better of the two songs here. David
@ www.rock-stone.com

Saviors - "Ruby Gloom/Recipe for Disaster" 7 inch
Some of you young whippersnappers probably resented my fellow r'n'r burnout Dimitri Monroe's constant complaints about the general lameness of today's underground rock music. But how can anyone really argue with him, 'cause when he puts his mind to recording he always manages to deliver the righteous and rockin' goods. With his new band the Saviors, he's kicked out two original slabs of glam punk that are as fine as any you're ever going to hear: the sad, mid-tempo "Ruby Gloom" and the angrier, blistering "Recipe for Disaster". If any current band can actually save r'n'r, which is doubtful given that it is presently on life support, it could well be the aptly-named Saviors. Jeff
@ www.rapidpulserecords.com

Service Group - "Manufacto" 7 inch
The a-side is a shifty, syncopated power-jangle tune with a breezy 60s feel hand in glve with an 80s new wavey flavey. B-side is even wackier with it's mono-intro and time-bending quality. Right on. Anthony
@ Squidvs.whale, PO Box 11252, Portland, OR 97211

Silver Tongued Devil - "Motorcycle Boy" 7 inch
Sadly, or not, the best thing about this cheeseball Motorhead-lite is the handsome, glossy gatefold sleeve and heavy gray vinyl. The A-side is just plain lame without any punch at all. The "Kick Out The Jams" cover on the B-side is redundant, but at least they found the volume knobs on the guitars. Anthony
@ www.uberalles.com

Smackdown - s/t 7 inch
Ferocious post-thrash on a Dutch label with a total wrestling fixation. The motif is a series of tracks representing eight different wrestling matches. Resembles early Die Kreuzen, right down to Rob Hardy's Dan Kubinski-esque vocals. I'm no fan of Stone Cold but I can sit through this without wretching. Anthony
@ www.coalition-reords.com

Starvations - "Horrified Eyes/Maintaining My Grave" 7 inch
Seen some folks compare these guys to the Gun Club, and they do take the ball that Jeffrey (Pierce) dropped and run with it, but there are also a few parts where it sounds like the spirit of Chris D. deciding to "volunteer" the Black Heart Procession to become his next batch of Flesheaters ("Minute to Pray" era of course), especially when a tad of underlying melancholia starts to creep in. Either way, this should be spending quite some time on my turntable. David
@ www.goldstandardlabs.com

Vince Mole & His Calcium Orchestra - "Nothing" 7 inch
This is Chris Parfitt of Apples In Stereo fronting his own winsome neo-psych-pop combo. "Nothing" winds a twangy guitar line around a scratchy rhythmic core. "It's Raining in my Mouth" loses itself in a muddy bog and "The Room Song" loiters around, doing nothing. Anthony
@ www.normanrecords.com

Walnut Dash - "Your Mum" 7 inch
They've got the mod posing down on the cover of this baby, and the songs seem to have the genre down pat as well. The A-side is the faster and sloppier of the two songs, with plenty of Jam style guitars on both sides. The Odd Numbers have traditionally been seen as the most soundalike band to the Jam for years, but the B-side of this, "Just Feel", is as good as anything mod band has produced in several years, with hooks and handclaps and a pinch of snottiness on the vocals. Top notch stuff, now I've got to find out what else they've been putting out... Steve
@ www.vinyljapan.com

Whore Daddy-O's - "Good Drugs Bad Girls" 6 song 7 inch
Looks like it's gonna be another generic scumrock wannabe, but this has more rockabilly/roots-tinged edge, alternating with some post-(early)Bad Religion style core tunes. A-side's better than the flip (especially the instro "Bankrupcy Beach") but overall not bad. David
@ nigelsux

Willowz - "That Willowz Feelin'/Think Again" 7 inch
Sounds like some cool 60s garagey punk with a bit of a vintage early 80s OC feel to it, which makes it too bad that this sounds like it was produced underwater! Find a better producer/studio and definitely try again! David
@ Posh Boy, PO Box 4474, Palm Desert, CA 92261

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