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December 2002 Reviews by

 A Gift From A Garden To A Flower
Andre Afram Asmar
Atomic 7
C'est Mortel

Cigarbox Planetarium
Comment Piece
The Cynics

Demon Hunter
Dr Pepper Family
The Figgs
Sarah Fimm

The Flaming Lips
Bill Laswell

Alan Lomax
Manda and the Marbles
J Mascis & The Fog*
Jeremy Morris
Moses Guest

Photon Band
Porcupine Tree
Martin Rev


Spiritual Beggars

The Witches*

*Top Picks: The Ones You Should Get First


December 2002 Comment Piece: Folly Lolly Doodle Holiday

Hey little lady and how do you do? The rake's in the oven and snoodle is snoo. The cornbread is ready to snuff up a candle...and Richard and Sandy have more left to handle. They handle their best but can't doodle their dandy. So all they can do is just ramble like Randy. But sing they as they must and sing as they do, Folly Lolly Doodle Holiday.

Their hair is all mushy and squirms like a poodle while Norma and Alvin get squashed in the toodle. Saint Nick is ready with picks and a hoe to spill all the weakness that steadies the show. But each little elf gets his snicker all taxed when he shivers and scratches the tenderest patch. But sing as they must and sing as they do, Folly Lolly Doodle Holiday.

The squishy old rabbit that sits on the barn is happy to think about nothing but yarn. He sniffs at his weezel 'til nothing gets fed and then gets on top of the hat of ol' Fred. As Fred starts to dance up a jiggety jig he looks down and sees that he's lost his brown wig. But sing as he must and sing as he do, Folly Lolly Doodle Holiday.

Oh Folly Lolly. The grand Folly Lolly. The Lolly gets lost and gets founded again. But that's just the Folly...the Folly of Lolly...as it rounds the Doodle again. The Doodle gets stuck in a corned beefy mush...and then Lolly comes 'round to save it. But Lolly gets sassy with Folly so prancy...she Doodles and Doodles all day.

Tick tock, tick tock. The groggy little baby goes, "Bock, bock bock."

A Gift From A Garden To A Flower - A Tribute to Donovan (CD, Darla, Various artists tribute)
Being longtime and devout followers of the music of Donovan, we approached this disc with slight hesitation. Any doubts were quickly squelched by the opening cut...an amazing cover of "Oh Gosh" by PAS/CAL. The vocals are so right-on-target that at first we thought it was it was Donovan himself singing (!). The recording sheds fresh new light on what was already an incredible tune. Photon Band turns in a completely credible cover of "To Sing For You" that effectively recalls the original spirit of the tune. Alsace Lorraine's cover of "Sadness" is particularly fascinating...and the updated sounds work wonderfully within the context of the song. Probably most interesting is Lenola's lengthy psychedelic cover of "Atlantis"...which provides fitting closure for the album. As is the case with virtually all tribute albums, some cuts are better than others. We're just hoping that this album has the effect of turning on a new generation to the fantastic and often times underappreciated songs of Donovan (particularly his later recordings which never seemed to garner much of an audience despite the fact that, in our opinion, they were superior to his earlier material). An interesting look back in time... (Rating: 4++)

Andre Afram Asmar - Race to the Bottom (CD, Mush, Middle Eastern/Jamaican dub)
The constant merging of disparate styles of music is interesting to say the least. A few years ago who would have thought we would be hearing a hybrid of dub and Middle Eastern music...? Andre Afram Asmar has taken it upon himself to make the two styles of music one...and the results are surprisingly accessible and intriguing. The free-flowing tunes on Race to the Bottom are heady and trippy...and slightly psychedelic. Asmar's tunes are thick with all kinds of effects...giving the listener the feeling of being light-headed or completely spaced out. At times the effects take center stage...while the songs seem to bleed along haphazardly in the background (!). While not for everyone, folks into dub music will want to check this out. The music is foreign...and yet strangely inviting to the untrained ear. Not your standard fare by any means... (Rating: 4+++)

Atomic 7 - ...Gowns by Edith Head (CD, Mint, Guitar instrumentals)
Teetering on the totter that balances surf and spaghetti western music, Canada's Atomic 7 serve up nineteen fun and feasty instrumentals on this, their debut album. The band is headed by guitarist Brian Connelly, who is joined by Clinton Ryder on double bass and Mike Andreosso on drums. These guys' sound is full and energetic...particularly when you consider they are a three-piece band. Some of the tracks on ...Gowns by Edith Head remind us of Mark Brodie. Solid guitar playing balanced over a tight and snappy rhythm section. Packaged in a brightly fashioned digipak, this disc is one big ball of party FUN. Rockin' cuts include "Chock Full O' Notes," "Her Sassy Kiss," and "Mimi, Queen of Bathurst." (Rating: 5)

C'est Mortel - C'est Mortel (CD, Two Sheds Music, Mostly instrumental/progressive rock/jazz)
C'est Mortel is the side project of Jet By Day members Tom Naumann and Mason Brown and friends. The first thing we noticed about this disc is that only two tracks were listed. But...thank GOD...this is NOT a CD single...nor is it an EP. Instead, the debut album by C'est Mortel contains two extremely lengthy tracks. The music is spontaneous and extraordinary...incorporating elements from jazz, progressive rock from the 1970s, and modern rock. This project is obviously an artistic endeavor...because it is not likely that these two tracks will become popular on either mainstream radio or even the ever-popular-tortured MP3.com web site. The band themselves admit that their music is made first and foremost to be played live. In concert, the members take the same approach as they do on this album (i.e., they play one long extended song that is in and of itself a "set"). The band is rounded out by Devin Brown (guitar, vocals), Brett Griffin (bass), and David Specht (keyboards). While the second track does contain some vocals, this band is mainly instrumental. Heady, progressive, epic music for late night tripping... (Rating: 4+++)

Cigarbox Planetarium - Cigarbox Planetarium (CD, Oh!Tonito, Modern lounge music)
Pleasantly simple. Cigarbox Planetarium is the duo of Andy Charneco and Deanna Pineda. Charneco plays guitar and drumbox, Pineda plays organ and casio. And...that's it. No guest artists. No elaborate overdubs. No thick layering of instruments. No elaborate mixes. This duo shows great restraint in their approach to music...and the concept works marvelously. These simple drum machine driven tunes are subtle and sparse. The keyboards are matter-of-fact...and the guitar playing is strangely fluid and hypnotic. We enjoyed the "lounge movement" that happened a few years back and were disappointed when it seem to drizzle out into nowhere. These two folks don't seem to be trying to reignite or reinvent the movement. Instead, they are just producing puzzling and inventive modern mood music. We are almost always impressed when people don't try too hard. Charneco and Pineda don't have to. Their music speaks for itself. Well done. (Rating: 5++)

The Cynics - Living Is The Best Revenge (CD, Get Hip, Rock)
Whoever mastered this album deserves an award. The sound quality of this disc kicks ASS (!). And this, of course, works perfectly in favor of everlasting garage rockers The Cynics. The Cynics were reviving garage rock way back in the early eighties...before every other band on earth decided to take a similar path. About twenty years into their career...these guys can still kick out the tasty barnholes. Living Is The Best Revenge is chock full of charged up energy and great rock and roll tunes that get better with repeated listenings. The band offers plenty of original tunes on this outing and as well as covers of songs by The Satans and Thirteenth Floor Elevators. After spinning this baby a couple of dozen times our favorites ended up being "Turn Me Loose," "Making Deals," and "Shine." This is a great rock and roll album from one of the all-time great garage bands of our time. Excellent. (Rating: 5+)

Demon Hunter - Demon Hunter (CD, Solid State, Metal and pop rock)
Combining elements of death metal with progressive pop/rock, the guys in Demon Hunter are treading in some strange territories on this, the debut album. In the course of the band's history thus far they have created a remarkable buzz among writers and underground music fans. Prior to this album's release, Demon Hunter were already hugely popular on MP3.com. The band's schizophrenic sound is characterized by the merging of harsh screaming with smooth and melodic vocals. Hearing both simultaneously can be a bit unsettling...and this is probably exactly the reaction that the band is striving for. But despite the band's interest in the dark and evil side of things...their music is surprisingly accessible at times. They're tough enough for the metal heads out there...but melodic enough for folks who just want to hear some good ol' cock rock. Intricate and complex at times, this is ultra hard rock for the thinking listener. (Rating: 4++)

Dr Pepper Family - Taco & Red Beans (CD, Kinky Star, Rock/pop)
Incredibly fun and upbeat fuzz pop. Though Belgium's Dr Pepper Family has been around since 1996, this is their first full-length release. The tunes on Taco & Red Beans are melodic rockers with smart lyrics, loud fuzzy guitars, and slightly ambivalent vocals. While the band's music sounds familiar on many levels...on other levels there is an odd quality to the music that is difficult to describe. Some of the arrangements are fairly standard while at other times the band takes unusual chances. Some tunes are on the poppy side...other others tend to rock out in a thick haze of alternative abandonment. In the end, it is the band's simple and direct approach to making music that makes this album such a great spin. Our favorite tracks are "Wasteland," "Cast In Need," "Autograph," and "These Days." (Rating: 5)

The Figgs - Slow Charm (CD, Earsmile, Pop/rock)
Despite the fact that The Figgs continue to release great albums and tour to promote them...the band remains relatively obscure. We sure as Hell don't understand this...because the band's material is always top notch. The tunes on Slow Charm are super hummable and chock full of nice thick guitars. This time around, the band's material seems to slant more toward pop (thus the title?). Smart arrangements and exceptional vocals abound throughout...making Slow Charm a true charmer indeed. If this band's material could be heard by more folks...we feel certain they would become hugely popular. Our favorites are "Back to Being," "Soon," "The Trench," and "Are You Still Mine?" (Rating: 5)

Sarah Fimm - A Perfect Dream (Independently released CD, Soft pop)
Smooth, dreamy, pensive music. Sarah Fimm has already garnered a great deal of attention on the MP3.com web site. This, her second full-length album, finds her in fine form. Ms. Fimm's music is soft progressive pop with intricate arrangements and exceptional melodies. But what stands out most are her vocals. This enchanting young lady has a voice that is smooth and evokes the exact moods she strives for. The sound quality is outstanding, particularly when you consider that this is a self-released CD. But don't think Ms. Fimm is playing it safe like most generic new artists. We were impressed right off the bat when we heard her sing the words "Don't f*ck your best friend" on the first track. Though many may compare her music to Tori Amos...we feel that Ms. Fimm's music is much more effective and real. Enchanting and magical, this is a highly entertaining album full of superb tunes for the mind and body. (Rating: 5)

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (CD, Warner Bros., Pop)
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is the best Flaming Lips album EVER. That's saying a lot, considering this band's impressive output. Longtime fans may be put off or confused by the new "electronic ambient pop" sound of these tunes...but they'll be completely missing the point. Our favorite moments of Flaming Lips albums have always been those softer more contemplative points on the band's rock albums. On this album those particular points are emphasized throughout...showcasing the band's poignant and thoughtful lyrics and heady, unforgettable melodies. Beginning with the pensive sound of "Fight Test" right on through to "Approaching Pavnois Mons By Balloon - Utopia Planitia"...these guys have really outdone themselves. The title track is easily one of the best songs of the year. We'll be playing this album into the ground, that's for CERTAIN. Strange how some bands burn out after a couple of albums while others seem to get better with age. The Flaming Lips obviously fit in the latter category. This disc is a MUST HAVE. (Rating: 6)

Bill Laswell - Sacred System: Book of Exit (CD, ROIR, Dub/X)
The fourth in Bill Laswell's Sacred System series, Book of Exit is a bit different from the previous three in that the album incorporates a female vocalist into some of the tracks. Ethiopia's Ejigayehu Shibabaw handles the vocals. Because some find her name a bit difficult...she also goes by the nickname GiGi. Ms. Shibabaw's vocals merge perfectly with Mr. Laswell's trippy dub music. Her voice seems to effortlessly float over the compositions like fluffy white clouds. She sings with emotion and conviction without ever sounding forced or contrived. The album is divided into six tracks. The dreamy and subtle "Ethiopia" is haunting and beautiful. "The Lower Ground" is a bit more upbeat...incorporating an odd ambience into the mix. "Shashamani" has an almost funky rhythm and is more typical of what we are used to hearing from Laswell. "Bati" is particularly distinctive, with Ms. Shibabaw's vocals drenched in effects and bleeding in and out of the arrangement. "Land of Look Behind" is strange and haunting and features some mind bending bass work. The album closes with the sparse and dreamy "Jerusalem." In our opinion, Bill Laswell has never released anything than is less than fantastic. This is yet another chapter in a book that never ceases to amaze. Superb stuff. (Rating: 6)

Alan Lomax - The Land Where the Blues Began (CD, Rounder, Various artists/blues)
This CD is designed to the companion audio disc to the book of the same name (published by New Press). The book was first published in 1993 when Alan Lomax was 77 years old. Lomax's extensive studies of blues music have apparently had a great impact on many people. He is credited with helping artists such as Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, and others to become household names. With so many phony modern blues artists out there at present, it is refreshing and energizing to hear this compilation. This whopping collection of 28 tracks features familiar and unfamiliar artists...and includes several tracks that were previously unreleased. We particularly like the rougher sounding tracks like "I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord" by the Congregation of the Church of God in Christ, Clarksdale. While the sound quality may scare off the casual listener, folks with a keen interest in the birth of the blues will find this disc to be a real TREASURE. (Rating: 5)

Manda and the Marbles - More Seduction (CD, Go-Kart, Rock/pop)
Sounding remarkably similar to The Go-Gos, Martha and the Marbles are reinventing great girl pop from the 1980s. Fronted by impressive songstress Manda Marble, this band provides solid feed for those who dig melodic fuzzy guitar girlie pop. The tunes on More Seduction revolve around ultra-catchy melodies with simple and direct lyrics. Ms. Marble is backed by Mark Slak on drums and Joe A. Damage on guitars. These three folks are tight...and they obviously enjoy what they're doing. Hummable buzzsaw cuts like "Dangerous," "Wanna Go Home," and "Sudden Attraction" are pure pop delights played with gusto and just the right attitude. There's a touch of bubblegum in the band's tunes that drives them all the way home...making More Seduction a home run. (Rating: 4+++)

J Mascis & The Fog - Free So Free (CD, Artemis / Ultimatum Music, Pop/rock)
As difficult as it is for us to admit, many years ago hearing J Mascis sing made us cringe. But after a couple of years something strange happened. Instead of being turned off by the man's vocals...we suddenly became very, very turned ON. The reason for the change in our reaction is irrelevant...but from that point forward our interest in this man's amazing music has never waned. Mr. Mascis' output has been amazingly consistent. Whereas most artists have artistic highs and lows in their career..."J" has followed a clean and direct path...putting out one exceptional release after another (either alone or with his previous band Dinosaur Jr). Not surprisingly, Free So Free is right up there with his best efforts. The guitars sound stellar as always...and his instantly identifiable voice sounds remarkable. An interesting side note... Mascis' latest pastime is skydiving....and apparently many of the tunes on this album were written in mid-air (!). Guitar rock rarely gets better than this. Exceptional tracks on this album include "Freedom," "Set Us Free," "Free So Free," "Someone Said," and "Outside." Recommended. (Rating: 5+++)

Midstates - Shadowing Ghosts (CD, Mental Monkey, Soft progressive pop)
Some folks may remember Novasonic Down Hyper Space. The band wrote and recorded some absolutely mind-bending music...but were hampered by their extraordinarily difficult band name. Rather than give up, Novasonic Down Hyper Space opted to rename themselves Midstates...and continue in their mission to provide heady and progressive soft pop to the world. Not only is Midstates a better choice of names...but the material on Shadowing Ghosts is just as good as their earlier stuff (and that's saying a lot!). Many of the compositions on this album incorporate subtle elements from jazz and classical music into well-produced modern-day pop with a difference. These thoughtful tunes are inventive and strangely calming...and those breathy vocals sound GREAT. Top picks: "Lost My Shadow," "Better Go," "Be A Ghost." (Rating: 5)

Jeremy Morris - Kingdom Come (CD, Jam, Instrumental)
One man recording machine Jeremy Morris returns with yet another ultimately satisfying collection of tunes. Mr. Morris usually writes and records pop music, but on occasion he delves into progressive instrumentals. Kingdom Come is a fine example of the latter. These grand, sweeping instrumentals features dramatic keyboards and Jeremy's mind-bending guitar work. (This guy really is one of the great unknown guitar heros out there...). This album is reminiscent of progressive rock from the 1970s...except for the fact that twenty-first century state-of-the-art technology is driving it. A beautiful collection of tunes that is epic in nature. We're wondering how long it will be before Mr. Morris begins scoring motion picture music...? (Rating: 5)

Moses Guest - Moses Guest (Double CD, Aufheben, Country/southern pop)
This is a mighty fine and a thoroughly impressive double CD set. Moses Guest is a band with a genuine and sincere approach to music. These four guys play tunes that are a mix of Americana, country, folk, and pop. On this album, they hit their intended target with dead center accuracy. The cover photo of four down home guys hanging out on an old front porch is a good indication of the music inside. The band is led by an amazingly talented singer/songwriter named Graham Guest. Mr. Guest is likely to be a major force to be reckoned with in the years ahead. His sound and style come straight from the heart...he's got a real knack for combining words with pleasing melodies...and he's a fine lookin' feller to boot. In some subtle ways the overall sound of this album reminds us of The Kinks Muswell Hillbillies...but there are also some major differences. The main difference is that these guys are 100% American...and sound like it. Releasing a double CD is a big bite to chomp off...but Guest and company are up for the challenge. They effortlessly provide sound and entertaining music for the duration of both discs. Cool cuts include "Cellophane Man," "Rag Doll," "Song for Dead," and "Take Me." Highly recommended. (Rating: 5++)

Nirvana - Nirvana (CD, Geffen, Rock)
Funny. When Nirvana were at the height of their popularity, we were bored by them. Now...many years later...we really dig the band's music (and, swear to God, it ain't just because Curt Cobain had the courage to kill himself--although we admit that we respect virtually anyone who commits suicide). But back to the matter at hand... In the past few months we picked up a couple of Nirvana CDs at yard sales and were surprised at how good they sounded. Strange timing, then, that Geffen should choose this holiday season to release a Nirvana retrospective disc. This isn't just a repackaging of tunes you've heard way too many times before. The folks at Geffen had the good sense to choose unreleased cuts and lesser heard tracks rather than the hits. This nicely packaged disc allows the listener to look back and appreciate how influential Mr. Cobain was both as a musician and as an individual. Sheesh...this makes us wish we'd realized how good the band was when they were in their heyday (!). Oh well...better late than NEVER... (Rating: 5++)

Photon Band - It's a Lonely Planet (CD, Darla, Pop)
Photon Band is the (virtual) one man band consisting of Art Difuria. Difuria's music is unpredictable and unique. This man is obviously fond of incorporating trippy and imaginative electronic twists into his tunes. The compositions on It's a Lonely Planet have a smooth and classic sound that bounces sideways in a peculiar manner due to the strange arrangements and obtuse sounds. But as you weave and scrape through the sweepings peculiarities...it becomes obvious that Mr. Difuria is a master craftsman. His pop tunes are smart and feature wonderful melodies that are reminiscent of some of the best British artists of the 1970s. The vocals are exceptional throughout. This is a disc that will hold up to repeated listenings for years to come. Our favorite cuts are "It's a Lonely Planet," "If It's a Beautiful Day," and "Closer." Great stuff...! (Rating: 5+)

Porcupine Tree - In Absentia (CD, Lava, Progressive pop/rock)
In Absentia is a superb progressive pop rock album. We had to spin this one a few times before it sunk in (which is usually a sign of a great recording). This British quartet makes music that incorporates elements from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s into their complex and mesmerizing brand of rock. The band's tunes are range from soft to quite loud...but no matter what volume they're at these guys manage to maintain quality at all times. This is a very well thought out album from start to finish. The songs feature wonderful melodies and spectacular vocals...and the harmonies are unbelievable. This is an "album band" for certain. Instead of coming up with one decent tune and then rounding out their album with "filler" material...these guys have created a masterpiece from start to finish. This was obviously a labor of love...and there was obviously a great deal of labor that went into making this. Excellent lyrics complete the picture...making Porcupine Tree one of the best new progressive bands we have heard in quite some time. Compositions like "Blackest Eyes," "Trains," "The Creator Has A Mastertape," and "Collapse the Light Into Earth" are thoughtful, genuine, and unforgettable. Recommended. (Rating: 5+++)

Martin Rev - Martin Rev (CD, ROIR, Electronic/pop)
Martin Rev's long lost debut solo album has finally been reissued on CD. Originally released in 1979, the album influenced numerous bands and artists over the years. We still have our original vinyl copy of this album but hadn't listened to it in years. Hearing this album again after so long it sounds as fresh and vital as it did when it first came out. Rev was, of course, half of the original punk electronic duo Suicide. Suicide virtually defied commercial acceptance. On Rev's first album, he chose to make more accessible music. The tunes are more than slightly influenced by Kraftwerk. Analog synthesizers bleed in and out of the tunes, electronic percussion drives the music...and the overall sound is subdued, repetitive, and haunting. This reissue contains the original six tracks on the album plus two bonus tracks ("Coal Train," "Marvel") and three additional bonus tracks that were never released before now ("5 To 5," "Wes," "Daydreams"). This is a great piece of history made even better by the additional of extra cuts. Marvelously heady. (Rating: 5)

Sheavy - Synchronized (CD, The Music Cartel, Rock)
The first thing that stands out about this band is vocalist Steve Hennessey. The man has a voice so similar to Ozzy Osbourne that you'd almost swear it was the man himself. Synchronized is the third album from this Canadian band...and it is chock full of hard driving rock tunes that pick up where Black Sabbath's Vol. 4 left off. Dan Moore's big, thick, meaty guitars compete with Hennessey's vocals to grab the spotlight while bassist Keith Foley and drummer Ren Squires keep the ball moving with steady accuracy. While the band's sound is frightening similar to Sabbath, there are enough differences to keep Sheavy from being mere copycat imitators. Kickass rockers like "Firebird 350" and "The Time Machine" are good solid stoner rock that should please just about any ol' Ozzy fan across the land... (Rating: 4+++)

Spiritual Beggars - On Fire (CD, Koch, Hard rock)
Excellent hell raisin' hard rock. Led by Swedish guitarist Michael Armott, Spiritual Beggars is a band that has recently become red hot due to the addition of vocalist JB. JB, formerly of the band The Grand Magus, is most certainly one of the best damn hard rock masculine rawhide screamers out there. Combine Armott's mind-bending guitar work with JB's vocals...and you get a hard rock band that swims circles around the rest. This band's music is a well-articulated assault on the senses. Rather than present a samey wall of blaring noise, the band's tunes are intensely inventive and intricate. There's a touch of stoner rock in the band's tunes that we find most appealing. For hard rock, you won't do better than Spiritual Beggars. These guys are the real thing. They're tough. They're loud. They're tight. And their songs absolutely KICK ASS. We are blown away by cuts like "Street Fighting Savior," "Black Feathers," and "Look Back." This album is chock full of KILLER material. (Rating: 5+++)

Theselah - Nice International (CD, K.O.A., Pop/rock)
This band's last album (No Sleep More Fun), released in 2001, was an interesting experiment in home recorded lo-fi pop. We were intrigued...although the band seemed to be slightly lacking in direction and the material varied wildly from cut to cut. Since that time this obscure New York-based outfit has made great strides in their songwriting and, particularly, in the quality of their recordings. Great sound quality does not necessarily mean better music...but in the case of Nice International...it most certainly does. This is a marvelous collection of tunes that range from soft and plaintive to fuzzy underground pop. The tunes are focused and memorable and the vocals sound wonderful. But the melodies on this album are what impress us the most. The tunes are unusual and yet sound strangely familiar. This album is consistently entertaining throughout, presenting one smart and inventive track after another. Ten killer cuts including "Middle of Summer," "Trunk," and our favorite, "Piece of Mind." (Rating: 5)

U2 - The Best of 1990-2000 (CD, Interscope, Pop)
We have always been amazed at how popular U2 has become. When the band's first album came out we were slightly amused for about a week...and then lost any and all interest in the band. Since that time, the band's music has become more and more mundane and average...and with each and every release they seem to become more and more popular and sell more and more CDs. This says something about consumers. They don't want the best. They want things that are easily digestible and average. And that is exactly why U2 is so popular. Even though this is a "best of" collection...we had never heard any of these tunes before now (due in large part to the fact that we have tuned out completely on music videos, commercial radio, and music publications). Listening to the band's "hits" of the past decade, they don't really sound all that bad. In fact, there are a couple of cuts that sound pretty darn good (Electrical Storm" in particular). Our only gripe is that...with so many other exceptional artists and bands out there...why on EARTH would everyone gravitate to this one? No, this ain't all that bad...but there's a whole helluva lot BETTER to be had. (Rating: 3)

The Witches - On Parade (CD, Fall of Rome, Rock/pop)
We are quickly becoming intent fans of Troy Gregory. We were impressed as hell by his album Sybil, a wild rockin' album that was highly entertaining and chock full of crazy rock energy. Gregory's image and voice reminds us in many ways of long lost "shoulda-been-a-rock-star" Bruce Joyner. The Witches are a great garage rock band. The band's guitar driven tunes rock...but they don't speed by like greased lightning. When these folks start a song they create a groove and stay in it...and the melodies unforgettable. This material might now blow you away the first time you hear it. But take our word for it, repeated listenings will make you want to hear this baby over and over and OVER again. Excellent heady rockers include "(What Is Yer Preferred Device) IT," "I Luv'd Wrong," "Everything Been Cool." (Sheesh...even the SONG TITLES are killer!) Highly recommended stuff. (Rating: 5+++)

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