SPlo.gif (9k)

Here are all the singles reviews from SP #17 - February 2004

1090 Club/The Front - split 7 inch
The great upper Rockies states of Montana and Wyoming are represented here, with the Front being a female fronted punk band that on this release takes one of their songs and turns it into an acoustic number, complete with some husky Joan Jett-ish vocals. This seems to be an aberration from their normal style, so I can't really judge just how this band sounds. 1090 Club from Billings seems more into the indie pop thing, with a slight shoegazer feel to the vocals. Their song is actually quite lovely, with an uplifting melody, keyboards, and a violin carries the lead on occasion. On clear vinyl, limited to 500. Steve
@ www.bingoladyrecords.com

A-Sides - "Going Gone" 7 inch
More folks cranking out melodic 60s-beat-influenced tuneage straight from the garage. Pleasant enough but not earth-shattering, much less something that would fill the dancefloor at your local Purple Onion. David
@ www.prisonjazz.com

Ad Astra Per Aspera - "An Introduction To" 3 song 7 inch
From the start, AAPA mixes a wide diversity of sounds, including punk, metal, jazz, industrial, and rock, in a body politic of political and poetic savvy. And yet, the first cut, appropriately titled "Opening Announcements," still manages to sound incredibly mainstream, in a college radio format. Luckily, the two songs on the B-side are a bit more palatable and accessible, both musically and lyrically, even though there's no sign of compromise. RBF
@ adastra_theband@yahoo.com

Aggronauts - "Reggaexploitation!!" 4 song 7 inch
My dear god, this is terrible. White boy reggae from Spain, just what the world needs. At least I assume they're Spanish, as the only info I can find is in Spanish and I haven't been to high school Spanish class since 1994. The best thing this release has going for it is the hot chick on the sleeve of the record. Jake
@ www.liquidatormusic.com

Air Formation/Tempertwig - split 7 inch
Air Formation plays droney My Bloody Valentine-style indie rock, with fuzzy shoegazer guitars and vocals that drift along with the music. Their song is decent, but tends to move along at too static a pace, there isn't any movement in melody from beginning to end, so you end up wanting a change, any small kind of change, to get you to the end of the song. Tempertwig's track is closer to the Pixies or Dinosaur Jr. in style, it has some off kilter melody changes, yet also throws in the fuzzy shoegazer guitar. I actually like both songs, but the Tempertwig song is definitely the better of the two tracks. Steve
@ solutionbrecords@yahoo.co.uk

Alleged Gunmen - "Audio Invasion" 7 inch
Listening to this I can't help thinking of a more-indie-tinged mid-period Clash in their less intense moments. The vox that aren't too dissimilar to Joe Strummer's younger cousin, while the instro on the flip sounds like a trademark spaghetti-western-n-dub tune updated for post-stereo-pop era. Intriguing enough to make one want to see what else this outfit can come up with. David
@ www.kapowrecords.com

Amazing Larry - "My Baby's A Mannequin" 7 inch
A couple of clunky punk numbers that are completely forgettable. I can't tell if they'd rather do the slightly new wave thing like on the A-side, which is a simple three chord sloppy punk number, or a Minutemen noise thing like on the b-side. Either way, they don't do either particularly well, so what's the difference, right? Steve
@ King Bee Records

Bad Apples

Bad Apples - "The Revenge of..." 3 song 7 inch
More all-femme garagey tuneage, on the rawer side and based out of TX (even though the record's been released on a label from the Netherlands. Isn't Multiculturism wonderful?) "I Want You to Know" is the best cut, sounding what Raaoul might have been capable of once they "grew up" (a compliment), David
@ www.thebadapples.com (MP3 available)

Banzai Rebels

Banzai Rebels - "Surf Panic/Curse of the Red Baron" 7 inch
Aggressive '60s surf guitar with plenty of melody. Canadian surf guitarist Mark Brodie is the leader of the pack here under his umpteenth band name. If you like that old surf sound nobody does it better. Mel
@ RIP Records, no address

Bearsuit - "Itsuko Got Married" 7 inch
These John Peel faves play fuzz pop somewhat along the line of Milky Wimpshake in texture and speed, but with a lot more sonic noise and swirly keyboards (and lots of other stuff...I hear a flute, a few string instruments as well) behind the speed. Fun male/female vocal interplay on the two songs here, and although it won't be everyone's cup of tea because the melody is so schizophrenic, it should suit most fans of indie pop who like the Galactic Heroes and others who like to throw the kitchen sink into the mix. Both tracks here will be on Bearsuit's upcoming album. Steve
@ www.bearsuit.co.uk (MP3 available)

Black Rebels/Nearly Deads - split 7 inch
Black Rebels think they're the Oblivians on insipid songs like "AIDS" ("I have AIDS"), but trust me, they're not even close. The duo Nearly Deads do manage to smash together several lo-fi sub-genres, but one listen is about all they're good for. Anthony
@ Jonny Cat, PO Box 61, Estacada, OR 97023

Briefs/Distraction - split 7 inch
What can I say? More fab singalongs in the wave-punk styles you've come to know and love from these bands; now you know the REAL reason that everyone seems to be moving to the Northwest! One of the better rekkids that made its way to my turntable this issue. David
@ Radio Blast, Hildegardstr. 13, 44809 Bochum, Germany

Bristols - "I've Got A Thing About You" 7 inch
Two more great songs by this Brit garage band best known now for Liam Watson's involvement with the production of the White Stripes' "Elephant". More charming vocals by Fabienne Delsol and raw, energetic 60's Joe Meek style garage pop that would make Phil Spector swoon if he weren't in jail. The A side is new, the B side is a reworked version of "I'll Be Gone Again" from their "Tune in With...." release. This is the first thing they've put out in a couple of years; look for a full length in 2004. Steve
@ www.damagedgoods.co.uk

Calibretto - "Don't Go in the Woods" 7 inch
Loose rock that supports a minor melody on a so-so tune. B-side is a live cover of the Proclaimers' much maligned semi-smash "500 Miles". Since they plug their merchandise four times they could at least go to the trouble of creating a sleeve. Anthony
@ www.standardrecording.com

Carbonas - "I'm Astray" 3 song 7 inch
Garagy punk is becoming all the rage again; and these are trying to work it pretty hard, with some lo-fi production, fast songs and gruff punk vocals. The guitars are pretty buzzy, and the songs could use a little more melody, but overall they're a good comp with the Fleshies. If you like your punk raw and sloppy, with a good dose of spit, this will do. Steve
@ Die Slaughterhaus, PO Box 160168, Atlanta, GA 30316

Cleopatras - "Let's Run With..." 4 song 7 inch
What hath the Pandoras wrought: solid all-femme garage from Italy, with one pretty cool (if too short) instro thrown in for good measure. On clear pink vinyl. David
@ thecleopatras@hotmail.com

Clorox Girls

Clorox Girls - s/t 4 song 7 inch
No, they're not all girls. The Clorox Girls play a brand of punk that falls somewhere along the spectrum between street/gutter/party punk and something you might have heard come out on KRS or K back in the late eighties or early nineties. Nothing amazing, but catchy enough to keep your attention for the short length of this record. The lyrics are also pretty typical, someone does drugs, party party party, and one political song called 'Getaway' about leaving the US because it's so fucked up right now. The record makes me think they are probably a decent live act to check out. Jake
@ Jonny Cat Records, PO Box 82428, Portland, OR 97282

Complete Strategist - "Willow" 7 inch
A breezy indie pop song with trumpet on the A-side, the B-side, entitles "Jazcko" continues on in the same vein, only without the trumpet from this one man band. Both songs are OK, with dashes of Belle and Sebastian and other Brit indie bands and some decent deadpan vocals. The trumpet on the A-side adds a dash of spice to the songs, but I can't get past the word "decent" when wanting to describe this. If you like indie pop stuff, it'll sound familiar and friendly, but won't overwhelm you with its goodness. Steve
@ Square-of-Opposition@hotmail.com

Condemned 84 - "No Way In" 7 inch
A couple of remastered tracks from the British street Oi! band that were originally recorded in 1986. This is pretty standard fare; with gruff vocals, speedy guitars, and politically charged lyrics about the battle for the streets. Not much better or different than what the kids are doing today, but at least it's authentic. Done on various colors of vinyl, for the collector nerd in all of us. Steve
@ www.hauntedtownrecords.com

Crackheads - "Drunk" 7 inch
Recorded in someone's basement, this has all the earmarks of lo-fi. But with the sound they're going for, that's not a problem. Very early (pre-Brit) punk sounds that relies more on rock and pop than dissonance and noise. The Crackheads sound like, under better recording situations, they can be even more fun; and live, a blast. Yes, even with the tinny and flat sound, they come across as a band that is enjoyable, especially the B side (which is either called "Temp on Twelve" or "Tampon Twelve," depending on if you read the record or the sleeve, respectively). RBF
@ Dylaramma, 3218 Fullerton Ave. #25, Chicago, IL 60647

Czolgosz - "Saipan" 6 song 7 inch
Excellent hardcore and punk with a strong political lien, which is hardly surprising, as they named themselves after a famous anarchist/communist. They wear not only their politics, but also their music influences, in broad daylight. One can pick out the likes of the Pistols (especially in pronunciation of specific words, like "fak-tow-raay"), Dead Kennedys politically ("Holiday in Cambodia") Black Flag musically ( "Rise Above"), Crass, the Nerve!, and even some of the Stooges (similar riff to "I Wanna Be Your Dog" on "Vanish"). While they're somewhat of pipe dreamers ("I want to smash the state, promote true liberty, classless, stateless society"), they're strong and usually savvy (""We can do as we please, your [sic] at our mercy/We got a great excuse remember September"). My one real complaint is lack of song lyrics for their last song, recorded live, "Pro-Life is Terrorism." Amen, brother. RBF
@ rodentpopsicle.com

Electro Group/St. Avalanche - split 7 inch
This is the best split seven inch I've heard in a long time - Sacramento comes strong with excellent outings from two of their finest, St Avalanche and Electro Group. Having previously heard Electro Group before, I knew what to expect: quirky shoegaze prettiness mixed with some Stereolab-ish drone and a great overall electro-pop feel to it. I wasn't disappointed by their songs here, and in fact they just reminded me of why I need to get off my ass and get Electro Group's full length. St. Avalanche was previously unknown to me, but I'll certainly be on the lookout for them in the future. They play an interesting mix of 60's garage pop and shoegaze, sorta like what you get with the likes of Henry's Dress , but with a slight British quirky pop feel not unlike Elastica. On top of all this, it comes on clear vinyl and some great packaging, all clear and actually an x-ray of something or another when you hold it up to the light. Well worth searching out. Jake
@ www.clairecords.com

Elf Power - "The Naughty Villain" 3 song 7 inch
Covering Bolan's "Dandy in the Underworld" seems very appropriate. Very soft, sometimes with children's music-like structures, Elf Power uses studio techniques (e.g., vocal overdubs, echo) to give this softer side of glam pop sound it's rounded edges. Very pleasant, very gentle, very mellow. On green vinyl. RBF
@ Shifty Disco, U.K.

Evil Thingies - "Chante" 7 inch
A Belgian band and their ode to one-dimensional revisionist 60s rock history. The b-side is a straight cover of "I Can Only Give You Everything", which leader King Koen considers the greatest song ever written. He should leave the house more often. Anthony
@ www.kinkystar.com

Fantastic Five/Malcontents - split 7 inch
The Malcontents do a nice cover of "The 15th" from the classic Wire "154" LP, and their other song is a decent original guitar rock song filtered through a hazy Replacements mud machine; you can hear a better sounding record looking for a way out of the clouds. The Fantastic 5 songs are faster paced, but have a similar feel; again, the production could use some work, but the song "American Wasteland" shows their potential for both rocking out and coming up with a chorus that will get the kids dancing. Steve
@ www.peppydoe.com

First Time - "You Can't Hurt Me" 4 song 7 inch
Moderately appealing lo-gear garage rock that could be worse. In fact, it's the second best single in this "for review" pile. But that's damning with faint praise. Anthony
@ Jonny Cat, PO Box 61, Estacada, OR 97023

Flash Express - "Who Stole the Soul?" 7 inch
Hey, what d'ya know, a noise rock band that knows more than two chords and can locate a melody. Reminds me a little of the Countdowns or the Quadrajets with the grouchy vox and bloozy guitars. It's a keeper. Anthony
@ Revenge, 5835 Harold Way, # 203, Hollywood, CA, 90028

Fleshies/Toys That Kill - split 7 inch
Two of my favorite bands; Oakland's Fleshies and Toys That Kill combine for a couple of massively great punk rock tunes on this limited picture disc split. Both bands take the standard pop punk thing and speed up the melody to the point of no return; the Fleshies brand of lo-fi punk on this rages with so much energy that you'll shake your booty all over the living room, while Toys That Kill stick to a slightly more standard yet rocking formula that Todd has been mining since his FYP days. This is a limited edition picture disc release, so get it now or regret it later. Steve
@ www.gcrecords.com

Flip Tops/Triggers - split 4 song 7 inch
Triggers do their usual stellar fem-voxed punk; Flip Tops aren't quite to that level but their brand of Dirtnap-style snotty punk still quite listenable. Worth hunting down. David
@ crapexplosion@yahoo.com

FM Knives - "Keith Levine" 7 inch
Two new ones by these lads from Sacramento. The A-side sounds like a classic Undertones tune; a little more to the pop side than their full length. But it still has plenty of punky underpinnings, with a perfect for the song fuzzy guitar production. The B-side, entitled "Valentine", sounds like a classic Buzzcocks song, complete with Pete Shelley style vocals. They certainly wear their influences on their sleeves, but they do it better than just about any band around today. Steve
@ www.dirtnaprecs.com

Foo Fighters - "All My Life" 7 inch
One song from their "One By One" release that came out in 2002, and a cover of the Ramones' "Danny Says". I guess issuing the occasional 7 inch on Sessions Records is RCA's attempt to stay "alternative" and the Ramones cover (pretty well done and true to the original) was only released overseas as part of a bonus disc, so it's sort of worthwhile. The original track is fairly grungy in a Nirvana sort of way, with some industrial beat to it. Not my favorite track by them by any stretch, but I can never somplain about a decent Ramones cover. Steve
@ www.sessionsrecords.com

frenchmen.gif (7k)

Frenchmen - s/t 4 song 7 inch
This Sacramento band features male vox on two tunes and girl vox on two others. The girl tunes may remind you of Tiger Trap or the Rosehips. "Hey Amelia" does have a strong Tiger Trap influence, weren't they from Sacto too. "The other girl-pop tune "Unlucky Day" may be the best track here. The two songs with guy vox sound like they could have been on the Subway label 15 years ago. Maybe as good as any single in the past year. Mel
@ www.shelflife.com (MP3s available)

Fuse - "Breaker! Breaker!" 7 inch
Folks have been saying they're better live; if so I know where I'll be next time they come around. Not that this reinvents the wheel or set my speakers on fire, but this is pretty fun art-damaged garage punk nevertheless. So, when are they playing again? David
@ www.intheredrecords.com

Fuses - "Sex Crimes" 7 inch
Baltimore's Fuses have been doing proto-new wave stuff for a few years now, and they make it sound as fresh and lively as any band that's around today, or for that matter any band that was around back in 1979. The A-side, "Sex Crimes" actually strays from what they normally do; this is a pretty straight up punk song, with plenty of vigor and strong hooks, basically it's like a great long lost Stiff Little Fingers song. The B-Side is a fine guitar laced angular cover of Tubeway Army's "Me, I Disconnect From You". One of the better 7 inches I've heard this year. Steve
@ www.shitsandwichrecords.com

Gatsby - "The Amy Single" 7 inch
A couple of decent, if unmemorable guitar rock tracks from this Boston area band. Both songs rely on the vocals pretty heavily; the guitars are on the fuzzy side, especially the leads, and there are some non- conformist rock beats, but in the end, both songs are missing either the melody to turn them into better pure pop songs or the hard driving rock out style that would push the songs a little further into your brain. Steve
@ www.gatsbymusic.com

Heros Severum - "Rock n Roll Nigger" 7 inch
Two covers from this Athens band, the A-side is the Patti Smith classic, the B-side is Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On". The two songs couldn't be more different in style, but they manage to pull them both off; singer Mandy Branch's vocals minic Smith's pretty well and although the energy isn't quite the same, it's a challenging song and works pretty well. Now the Missy song is another story; they've taken a pretty good dance song and turned it into a Devo-style robotic new waver, with a male vocalist and heavy bass riffs. Just sucks the soul right out of it. Steve
@ www.twoshedsmusic.com

Hitch - "A Couple of Options" 7 inch
Pedestrian post-punk dud-rock on red vinyl. At least it didn't make me want to vomit like a lot of their contemporaries do. Anthony
@ www.kinkystar.com

Hollywood Hate/Psychopunch - split 7 inch
Two from each band, with Psychopunch from Sweden leading the charge; two magnificent punk songs that take a little Motorhead and add a little melody, with solid vocals and great dueling guitar work. Again, what the hell is it with the music scene in Scandinavian countries that makes it so good? Hollywood Hate falls into more generic hardcore territory and pales by comparison on their first song, but picks up the pace on their second track. Still, they aren't as good. This release sure has gotten me interested in Psychopunch though. Steve
@ www.cbe.com

Homescience - "dumbangel" 3 song 7 inch
I guess there is a place for arty MOR pop rock on some college radio somewhere, but I don't believe it's on my turntable. Yeah, they're competent musician and the songs are melodic, if a tad loungey. The sincerity come though fully, it just did not touch me. Sure, mellow pop songs can be effective, but it still needs more bite than formula. RBF
@ www.damagedgoods.co.uk

Hookers - "God Made Me the Raven" 7 inch
On "God" da Hookers indulge in some rocking that's closer to New Wave of British Heavy Metal territory (albeit somewhat fierier) than the garage rock currently popular with The Kids (or so I've been told); not bad, but like most of their NWOBHM predecessors they don't quite know when to wind things up. The UFO cover on the back ("Rock Bottom" is even longer (or at least seems that way), securing their "okay-but-unessential" status. David
@ www.gethip.com

Hypatia/Robot Attack - split 7 inch
RA start off with what promises to be post-rock, then they shift gears and realize you might have been better off with the post-rock. Decent, but pretty indistinctive. Hypatia go for a throat-rippin' high-velocity hardcore that's not too bad at all. David
@ http://sofo.fakeindependent.com/

Hyperia - "We Move at Light Speed" 5 song 7 inch
Decent intense post (old-school) emo hardcore. Not a life-changing record, but memorable enough (especially on side two) to say that if you're into the genre, you'll definitely give it the thumbs up instead of listlessly nodding along as it's spinning on the turntable. David
@ http://sofo.fakeindependent.com/

Inversions - "Domestic Disturbances" 3 song 7 inch
Classic '77-style punk, as one has come to expect from Rapid Pulse. The title track is an excellent example of the genre, even though it lacks a nice, dirty guitar break. "They're All Dead" is a slower but no less appealing punker that reminds me a little of Eddie and the Subtitles, whereas "She's Blonde" is a faster track with one of those spot on alternating choruses. Good stuff. Jeff
@ www.rapidpulserecords.com


Inversions - "Hung By the Phone" 3 song 7 inch
Rapid Pulse does it again. Fast paced fun vintage-sounding punk from good old Columbus (home of the New Bomb Turks as well, must be something in the water) that you'll definitely want to bounce along to. David
@ www.rapidpulserecords.com

Jackie & the Control Tops/Ursula & the Androids - split 7 inch
The offspring of the Wasp Women and Divine? Ursula & the Androids sound like the Screamers if they had more of a Ramones influence to them; wave-punk that's quite fun. Jackie & the Control Tops go for a more gritty, sinister sound, but isn't quite as successful. Still worth check out for Ursula & the 'droids. David
@ www.dirtnaprecs.com

Jet By Day/Maginot Line - split 7 inch
Woof, I haven't heard Jet By Day before, and I've obviously been missing a great band. Strong guitar rock that borders on powerpop melodically, but has a lot more punch in places. It's that punch that takes this into post hardcore territory, but it rarely gets too harsh for the melody or the vocals, which emphasize the rhythm. Maginot Line takes the post hardcore sound to the next step, with more angular beats and guitars, yet maintaining a sense of melody as well. Two bands that sound great here, and a great fit for a split. Steve
@ www.twoshedsmusic.com

Joan of Arc/Rabbit Rabbit - split 7 inch
Rabbit Rabbit is a project featuring Matt Clark of Joan of Arc and his fiancí, Kim Ambriz, and the one song on here is a slow noise fest that will alternately want to make you scream "DRINK SOME COFFEE AND GET A MOVE ON!" and enchant you into a dreamlike state from Ambriz' Julee Cruise like mumbled vocals. Where is Sherilyn Fenn doing a slow solo dance when you need her? The Joan of Arc track is a pretty brutal piece of soft pop, if such a thing exists. Lots of keys, typically angular melodies; a nice throwaway circus song that is exclusive to this limited to 500 on green vinyl release. Steve
@ Record Label, 2438 N. Maplewood, Chicago, IL 60647

Lipstick Pickups

Lipstick Pickups - "Better than You" 7 inch
Yeah it's supposed to be played at 45. Garagey lo-fi ranging from mid-tempo to fairly rockin' rock-n-roll with female vox. Perhaps not as fab as their split 7 inch with the Bikini Bumps, but still pretty nifty. David
@ www.kapowrecords.com

Low Rollers/Diskords - split 4 song 7 inch
Ye gods, from the looks of the liner notes on the 4 song split, these kids are barely out of junior high. Pretty impressive when you judge it based on that fact, but not terribly impressive otherwise. Diskords are slightly stronger here, most notably for their cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues". Low Rollers tackle a cover of their own, Elvis's "Trouble". Both bands also contribute an original to the mess as well. This is low budget, simple fuzzy-guitar garage rawk like high school kids were playing all across the land in the sixties. Now it almost seems like a novelty for kids this age not to be playing some sort of rap-rock hybrid, so kudos to them for escaping that stupidity at least. At the going rate I'm sure we'll here something great out of these kids in no time, maybe by the time they hit puberty or get old enough to drive. Jake
@ Jonny Cat Records, PO Box 82428, Portland, OR 97282

Machine Gun Pete and the Ammunition - "The Rawness of Truth" 4 song 7 inch
Like some niches of garage sounds, punk can be not only very accepting of maximum lo-fi recordings, in some cases it enhances the production. Stripping it down to its most primal, MGP&A have definitely achieved that in their machine gun, growling noise/sound. Very effective if not overly original, it does sound like they're having fun. What's next, though? RBF
@ no address

Mark McCoy/Mark Telfian - "The Czech is in the Male" 7 inch
Half-bent spoken word waste of time. Side one is in Czech with phat lounge backing. Side two is an English language poem with "It's a grand ol' flag" instro break and a phone call to Mark's mom, followed by a flushing toilet. Confusing at best. Anthony
@ Gloom, PO Box 14253, Albany, NY, 12212

Master Mechanic - "It's More Fun to Compete" 7 inch
I'm confused: The A side has a definite punk feel, but Gob Marsden's vocals, which are mixed too far back, almost sound like she'd performing a different style of song. The flip, "You've Got a Lot," the band appears to be doing some early '60s heavy-laden doo-wop, but Gob's vocals are definitely punk (and mixed better, more up front), off-key ballad with some good vocal screaming thrown in. Whatever, it works, in some twisted Baroque way. On gray marble vinyl. RBF
@ www.mastermechanicusa.org

Masters Of The Obvious - "Spiral Slouch" 4 song 7 inch
Hugely underrated, M.O.T.O. has put out the odd release here and there, and their brand of power pop meets punk has always been an underground favorite. The four songs on here keep the faith, with catchy hooks, buzzy guitars, and great hooks. The title of this is a play on the Buzzcocks "Spiral Scratch" release, and these songs have all the familiar Buzzcocks style lead guitars and pacing, occasionally throwing in a lo-fi fuzzy garage production, like on the great "Birthday Present To Myself" that leads off the b-side. Great fun from a label that is just getting started and has put out two ace singles in this one and The Fuses release. Steve
@ www.shitsandwichrecords.com

Minders - "Tearaway" 7 inch
Swirly Elephant 6 collective style pop songs here; the A-side used keyboards as the main accompaniment white the B-side is a more standard indie guitar tune. There are more psych elements to their music on this effort than I remember them having, so they seem to be branching out from their more simplistic Beatles-pop sound, without getting too far away from their roots. The title track is also on their new full length. Steve
@ www.omnibusrecords.com

Minds - "Rip Out Your Eyes" 3 song 7 inch
Solid boppable 77-tinged tuneage from this Portland wave/punk outfit, apparently with some ex-Flip Tops in their midst. Nice use of keyboards as well (complimenting instead of overwhelming/drowning as well). Based on this I wouldn't mind checking out the new LP. David
@ www.aliensnatch.de

Mystery Girls - "Circles in the Sand/That's What I Said" 7 inch
Oh boy, I can't stand the excitement, it's more garage rock. Nothing special here, decent enough rock tunes that are an obvious throwback to that now popular era of music. I will certainly give the Mystery Girls credit, for their age they certainly show promise (I understand that everyone in the band either just graduated high school or are still in it). By the time they hit drinking age, they might just kick everyone in the nuts with some kick ass rock and roll tunes. Jake
@ www.intheredrecords.com

New Grenada - "The Day After" 7 inch
The Detroit area has spawned so many amazing bands over the years. New Granada, are okay, but have a while to go before reaching that status. They're a bit on the experimental, college punk side, evoking The Mumps and Student Teachers, two New York bands from the late '70s. Musically, "The Day After" is musically sound, especially toward the end. "Airwolf" is not as exciting, but the vocals keep the interest present. Seems as though they need to hunker down a bit more, and kick some ass. On gray and red marble vinyl.. RBF
@ www.waxdetroit.com

Nikki Corvette - "Love Me" 7 inch
Nikki's been around a while, as vocalist of Nikki and the Corvettes in the '80s, and author of the book Rock and Roll Heaven (about deceased musicians) in the late '90s. After all these years, Nikki retains her punk pop girl group sound without losing any of her "alt" cred. Sort of B-Girls meets the Shangri-Las. Great hooks and melodies with her classic-sound voice make an extremely fun listen. RBF
@ no address

Northern Liberties - "Easter Island" 7 inch
Post-punk dark-tinged rock that tries hard to achieve its effect, but doesn't quite make it. "Chromosomatic" is the better of the two tunes. Not bad, just not quite what'd one could consider "essential". Clear yellow vinyl. David
@ www.worldeaterrecords.com

Rocket Science

Rocket Science - "Burn In Hell" 4 song 7 inch
Brain-fried Aussie garage, featuring an organ being utilized for somewhat sinful purposes. The title track is the obvious centerpiece. The other three songs are kinda like the bonus tracks on CD singles (or what used to be called "b-sides"); "Crazy" is okay but doesn't reach the heights of "Burn in Hell", though it's still quite boppable, while the two on the flip are definitive filler material. Still, the title track makes this worth hunting down. David
@ www.voodoorhythm.com

Rolling Blackouts - "Add Vice" 7 inch
With a name like that, you can probably guess which state these folks come from. Tres cool punk rock. "Add Vice" is serviceable, but more of a "B" than an "A-side" if you know what I mean; it's "I Don't Know Much About Anything" on the flip that brings home the goods. David
@ www.kapowrecords.com

Saturday Night Kids - "Birthday Girl" 7 inch
They look like your typical hardcore outfit on the cover, but the Mummies shirt one of them is sporting should tell you something. while "Birthday Girl" is a nice vintage-Queers-like number, poppy-but-raw-and-PUNK just like all good pop-punk records used to be in the pre-Vans era, The flip is a nice garage-punker (a Devil Dogs cover, which might seem hard to fuck up but you'd be surprised) with vox that remind one of Jon Von (from Rip-offs/MTX). Definitely worth picking up. David
@ www.saturdaynightkids.com

Sleazies - "Gonna Operate on Myself" 7 inch
With Rapid Pulse quickly gaining on Dirtnap on best newish record label it's amazing that more people haven't heard of them. Anyway, the winning streak continues with this fun little platter that reminds me of the gritty singalongs that Jon Von could come up with in his various outfits. "Operate" will definitely get ya gleefully pogoing around the room. David
@ www.rapidpulserecords.com

Snowdrops - "Matinee 29" 7 inch
Average English power-pop. Apparently this is their debut record, so I find it a bit odd that they would want to kick it all of with a cover of Tears for Fears "Mad World"; but then I'm not in the band, so it's not for me to decide such things. The band is made up of members from a bunch of other bands that I'm indifferent about and don't even want to get into. Check this out if you're super into the Sundays or Cocteau Twins or ...Tears for Fears I guess. Jake
@ www.indiepages.com/matinee

Solar Flares - "Reflections/Open Your Eyes" 7 inch
The Solar Flares are British, but their sound seems more akin to '68-era American psychedelia. "Reflections" showcases slightly swirly psych with a pronounced organ, pretty vocals, and a heavy wah-wah guitar, and the organ has a bit of an Ultimate Spinach or Fever Tree tenor. "Open Your Eyes" is not a cover of the Nazz song, but a heavier, uptempo, psychedelic rocker that fuses US and British elements. An atypical sound for a neo-'60's group. Jeff
@ twistrecords@aol.com

Straitjacket - "The Loudest Voice" 3 song 7 inch
The A-side of this has me hooked; fun lo-fi '77 style punk in a similar vein to early Clash. The B-side continues in the Clash/Stiff Little Fingers vein, with bouncy punk songs, plenty of hooks, and punchy lyrics. There is not an original note here, but if you dig the bands that originated the sound, then this is something you can definitely sink your teeth into because they replicate the sound as well as anyone. Steve
@ www.straitjacket.net

Stuck-Ups - "Last Chance" 7 inch
A bit on the lo-fi side, which doesn't quite suit their wave-punk tuneage (you'll recognize that all-too-familiar cardboard-box-drum sound). Still, if the production renders the tunes a tad less boppable than the album it's only in comparison. Short but sweet indeed and worth hunting down. David
@ www.thestuckups.com

Team Emu - "Plug In and Play" 5 song 7 inch
On clear blue vinyl, TE shows low-fi, DIY doesn't have to have to have sound crappy. In fact, this stuff is quite good, especially the 3 songs on the A side. Vocals are high-pitched and screechy, but it makes it through the stylizing to be effective. Of note is the opening cut, a philosophical piece on DIY: "Plug in and Play." The melodies and musicianship show some imagination in its simplicity. RBF
@ www.ghostmeat.com

Thank God For Astronauts - "Take It Tough" 7 inch
A couple of near lo-fi indie rock tunes, with plenty of reverby fuzz guitar and bouncy pop. The songs are reminiscent of the Superchunck/Pavement school of distortion to a degree, but the pop hooks are more along the lines of Apples in Stereo. The vocals are decent; maybe a little too deadpan form guys that seem like they can do a little more with their voices (evidenced on some of the backing work), but they are also pretty appropriate for the songs. Pretty cool stuff that's very easy to get hooked into. Steve
@ www.bestfriendsrecords.com

The Electric - "Poor Loretta" 7 inch
Holy shit; why do some bands even bother. Sludge rock on the A-side, with equally abhorrent vocals. Put these guys in the 60's and add a healthy dose of psychotics and maybe the off key screaming will occasionally induce some sort of vivid flashback that makes this interesting as you explore the outer reaches of your brain, but in a sober state, all you'll want to do with this is use it as a frisbee. Oh yeah, the B-side isn't any better. Steve
@ Bert-Dax, PO Box 39012, St Louis, MO 63139

Thee Jenerators - "Mystery Man" 3 song 7 inch
Thick-sounding rockabilly-tinged rock (more so on A-side). A-side seems more like an album track than an A-Side; the B-sides are better, but are still B-sides, know what I mean? They're solid enough, but never really catch on fire. Won't have to break out the fire extinguishers for this one I'm afraid. No relation to the "Jenerators" with the Barnes & Barnes ("Fish Heads") connection by the way. David
@ www.cionlne.com/twist

Toques - "Too Tired to Worry" 7 inch
Out of the UK, the Toques are a glossy and melodic troupe, with lots of hooks and harmony. The A-side has a strong structural resemblance to "Total Eclipse of the Heart." The AA-side, "Journey's End," is a folk rocker reminiscent of the Seekers (with a lot less saccharine). While overproduced, the whole is actually a pleasurable listen. For me, this is especially true for the flip. RBF
@ www.bearos.co.uk

Tough and Lovely - "Tough and Lovely" 7 inch
Female-voxed soulful mid-tempo garagey rock, mixed "with Jim Diamond". Their theme song doesn't quite rock like a theme song is supposed to, though the flip "The Lover's Curse" is a bit more stimulating. Not the most exciting record on the block, but the flip gives one reason no to count them out yet. David
@ www.spoonfulrecords.com

Tsar - "Straight" 7 inch
Anthemic fist-in-the-air Rock. Or at least that's what the band wishes they were. Another group that had the misfortune to sign with Hollywood and ended up lost in the ether. The vocalist sounds like he should be fronting a better, more-garagey band than this botched attempt to rock (or at least get back on a major). Not the worst thing I've heard this issue - if they reined in the guitar a bit this could have been decent - and it does have energy to spare, but pretty forgettable overall. David
@ www.birdmanrecords.com

Upskirts - "Radiation Romeos/Panda Stomp" 7 inch
Decent post-post Ramones/vintage Queers punk rock from these Swedes. Not the most stellar thing I've heard this issue, but solid enough to do more than damn with faint praise. Could have used more female backing vocals though. David
@ Rock'n'Roll Blitzkrieg, P.O. Box 11906, Berkeley, CA 94712

Patty Duke

V/A - "Patty Duke Fanzine #5" 8 song 2X7 inch
Well, I'm reviewing it off a CD-R, since for some reason they send reviewers the double 7 inch on CD-R. As with the previous Patty Duke fanzine releases, you get the 'zine (all Patty, all the time) and the music, which is all songs either sung originally by Duke, or songs she covered at some point. All indie pop all the time on these songs; highlights include Japanese band Mummy the Peepshow doing the Beatles' "World Without Love", the duo the Folkdowns doing a little acoustic electro number on "Everything But Love", the teen angst Lesley Gore style vocals on "Learn to Live With Heartbreaks" by Someone Looks Good To Me, and Windy and Carl's version of "The End of the World". Gotta wonder how long they can keep it up, but the songs on this are pretty fun, and as long as there is a Duke song to cover, then I'll look forward to these releases. Steve
@ www.topqualityrockandroll.com

Vaticans - "Commotion" 7 inch
Soul/R&B-tinged post-garage punk not dissimilar to what folks like the Come Ons are doing, albeit with a less "polished" feel to their sound. "Talking About You" continues in the same vein (not hard to imagine one of these bands at the onset of punk). Can't say I'm compelled to play this day and night, but I'm intrigued enough to check them out next time they play live. Oh yeah, some guy named "Shane White" plays bass for them as well. David
@ thevaticans@sbcglobal.net

Western Addiction - "Remember to Dismember" 4 song 7 inch
Raucous (but not raw-sounding) "vintage-hardcore"-influenced punk. The press kit compares them to Discharge though, while not dissimilar, misses their vintage intensity by just a hair. Still, if I had to choose between putting this and "Grave New World" on my turntable... David
@ www.fatwreck.com

White Outs - "Solid State/Coffin Nails" 7 inch
A-side sounds like a spaghetti-western-influenced garage punk outfit outta Medway, while the flip features okay but workmanlike garagey rock that starts kicking it near the end, fronted with some pretty weak vocals. Not bad, but I can't say I would donate any major organs so this now-defunct outfit could live again. David
@ www.shitsandwichrecords.com

Whitey on the Moon UK - "Noam Chomsky Spring Break" 4 song 7 inch
I always assumed this band was some sort of terrible electronica outfit - boy was I mistaken. Sure, there are some electronica bits in there, along with hip-hop turntablist type of stuff, indie rock, ambient...a whole mixed bag that sounds really great together. And not only is the music terrific, but the record is this lovely white vinyl with great hand pressed (at least it looks to be) packaging, and according to the little number on the back it is a limited edition release. So if you come across one of these little devils, be sure and pick it up - they are one of the few acts out there who can blend together a number of different genres and actually make it sound like something other than trash. Jake
@ www.isotarecords.com

Shredding Radio Home Page