May 1998 Wurfliss Reviews From the Original

RATING SYSTEM | ALL | The Black Heart Procession | Brandston | Buzzoven | Peter Case | Caustic Resin | Kenny Chambers | Chatty Cathy | Cock Sparrer | Marc Cohn | Computers | Darlington | The Drag | The Elevator Drops | Gardy-Loo | The Gourds | Green Pajamas | Guster | Ill-Ease | Insanity Wave | The Jesus Lizard | The Lears | Long Fin Killie | The Loud Family | Love In Reverse | Lunatic Calm | Marvel Kind | Million Six | Modest Mouse | Martin Mull | Pissing Razors | Polara | JonBenet Ramsey | Reverberation | Reverend Horton Heat | Lee Rocker | Rule of Thumb | Savage Aural Hotbed | Season To Risk | Frank Sinatra | Spoon | Sprung Monkey | Strung Out | Stuck Mojo | Teletubbies | Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra | Tones On Tail | The Ton-Ups | Trees | Tura Satana | Vitreous Humor | Wives | Zoomer

*Additional Items Received*


ALL - Mass Nerder (CD, Epitaph, Rock)
Excellent hard pop/rock. ALL's latest release sounds something like a cross between Dusker Hu and The Jam with tons of other influences mixed into the bag. The band plays fast, but they never forsake their love of melody and song structure in their mission to play at a blistering speed. I particuarly like the direct nature of the lyrics in tunes like "I'll Get There," "Until I Say So," and "Good As My Word." This is power pop with an extra injection of rocket fuel added. This is the band's first release for Epitaph, and it's a strong dose. Lotsa hairy ballpower here, to be sure... (Rating: 5)

THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION - The Black Heart Procession (CD, Cargo, Soft pop)
This is an extremely wonderful collection of tunes that sounds very out of step with almost everything else out there. The Black Heart Procession is a fluctuating group of musicians from the bands Three Mile Pilot, The Young Destroyers, A Day Called Zero, and Clikatat Ikatowi. This CD consists of eleven beautiful, flowing, introspective tunes played with traditional instruments (piano, guitar, organ, synthesizers). It's not slow core, it's not lounge, it's not folk...this is one of those rare cases where someone is simply pouring out their feelings and emotions into their tunes and it works like a CHARM. Because of the sedate, calm, unobtrusive nature of these songs I would doubt that this band will go very far commercially. But it's obvious that's not their main intention anyway. If you like very subtle, piano based slow ballads you will definitely want to check this one out... (Rating: 6)

BRANDSTON - Letterbox (CD, Deep Elm, Rock/pop)
Simple, thick, buzzsaw guitar pop with way above average vocals and melodies. Cleveland's Brandston don't muddy their pounding pop with lead guitars and grandiose arrangements. Instead, they base their catchy melodies on basic, driving rock music that is at times not unlike Bracket (one of our top favorites around this forested little office). These guys are not wimps. They play with balls and conviction, but at the core of it all this is pop music first and foremost. Those well-matched harmony vocals are what push these songs over the edge...that along with that macho, pumping rhythm section. Ten cool tunes including "Round 13," "Blindspot," "Strand," and "January." Deep Elm puts out a lot of good stuff. This is one of the best band's I've yet to hear on the label. I sure hope they tour to support this disc. I'll be up front panting. (Rating: 5)

BUZZOVEN - ...At A Loss (CD, Off The Records, Hard rock)
Distant voices, feedback, cranked up guitars, sounds of death and despair, mutated vocals, sludge, drudge, crudge, and satanic fudge. The snarling angry Buzzoven is back. After a crippling breakup due to drug use, the band has reformed and is still sounding mighty powerful. Many of the tracks on the new album are more of a slow grunge variety than the previous line-up's harsh hammer over the head sound. Still, the band maintains a credible sense of alienation, hate, and general unhappiness. Even includes a cover of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" which, of course, is hardly recognizable... (Rating: 3)

PETER CASE - Full Service No Waiting (CD, Vanguard, Pop)
This talented guy has been making music for quite some time, always somehow evading big commercial success (probably his own choice). This is his third solo release for the Vanguard label, and it is solid. More a crafter of tunes that a surfer of fads, Peter Case is a man whose intent is to write and record quality music. He's good at it, as is evidenced by a great many songs on Full Service No Waiting . This time around the tunes are based around acoustic guitar, with Peter's husky vocals sounding excellent indeed. The man's lyrics are honest and real, his melodies definite and clear. "On The Way Downtown" is an absolutely KILLER tune. What? A Peter Case review that doesn't mention the name of his FORMER BAND? It's a sin, I tell you. A goddamn sin... (Rating: 5)

CAUSTIC RESIN - The Medicine Is All Gone (CD, Alias, Rock/pop)
Cool band. Very cool. And they don't even look like rock musicians (which means extra feathers in their caps). Boise's Caustic Resin sound something like a cross between Built To Spill and Modest Mouse. The band's dense guitar based pop contains equal amounts of seventies progressive riffs and very nineties sounding guitar weavings. What makes the band's songs click are the vocal melodies...well above your average fare, sure 'nuff indeedy do. They even include a decent cover of Argent's "Hold Your Head Up." Intelligent, spontaneous stuff. Neato. (Rating: 4)

KENNY CHAMBERS - Sin Cigarros (CD, TAANG!, Guitar instrumentals)
WHAT?!? A guitar instrumental CD that isn't SURF music? Hurrah! Surf music isn't a BAD thing...there are just too many generic bands out there playing it in such a tired old fashion that it has unfortunately become mind numbing and tedious. I suppose that's why Kenny Chambers' music is so refreshing. Instead of jumping on any particular bandwagon, this guy just plays guitars like nobody's business...coming up with an extremely challenging and completely listenable CD of instrumentals. The guy goes all over the place with his chord changes, rhythms, etc. creating a mind reeling array of cool tracks that'll have you feeling good all underneath where it's happening. This neat disc contains fourteen tracks including "Dead Motor," "How Long," and "Dreamlessly." A really good listen, indeedy. Can I have some pussy now? (Rating: 4)

CHATTY CATHY (Little plaything, dolly topper and frocky)
All hail Chatty Cathy, the one...the wonder. Her dove beat trickles lightly through the dreamy beer cuffs, shouting loudly at "little porridge David". David's blurry paws get very hot...too hot for the plastic needles in Cathy's oversized chest. The chest slowly expands and breaks, creating several narrow passages through which the records in the chest rumble and spin. Tax advantages and insurance policies slowly measure pieces which correspond to the doll's uninterrupted black splinter. She says, "I'd like to be your friend." She says, "Let's play house today." Then she says, "Would you scratch your initials into my plastic ass with a pocket knife?" She'll frown all the way to mouse town if you give her the rope, so mash those jaws with the slaw-packed jungle. All the way down, Cathy. Let's go all the way down... (Rating: 1)

COCK SPARRER - Two Monkeys (CD, Rotz Recordings, Pop/rock)
This extremely British band has been around since the mid-seventies, and is apparently calling it quits with the release of this CD. Surprisingly, this is the first time I've heard their music (and I thought I was so "cool" and "with it" all this time...). Obviously I can't compare the old material with the new, but I can honestly say I like this band's simple approach to pop/rock music. The tunes do have a very seventies sound, but in this case that's a good thing. The rhythms are direct, the guitars distorted, and the overall effect is not unlike glam rock...sometimes bringing to mind bands like Mott The Hoople (particularly some of the guitar work). Some excellent tunes smattered throughout. Our favorites are "Before The Flame Dies," "Anthem," and "I Feel A Death Coming On." Refreshing. (Rating: 4)

MARC COHN - Burning the Daze (CD, Atlantic, Pop)
I scratch my ass as I listen to Marc Cohn's music. Why don't I hate this? It has all the elements I hate in music. Michael Bolton-like schmaltzy pop tunes, big glitzy production, completely safe arrangements... Mr. Cohn is a hit factory for why don't I hate him? Why try to figure it out, huh? Yes, I admit that I like this guy's music. It's simple and easy stuff that doesn't require a lot of thinking (that's an understatement)...but there is a time and place for music that doesn't tax the nerves (and fry the brain). These easy listening pop tunes are just that and nothing more. Eleven well crafted tunes including "Already Home," "Lost You In The Canyon," and "Turn On Your Radio." The guy's got an excellent vocal style. Nice. (Rating: 4)

COMPUTERS (Technological things)
Everyone marvels at technology. Just notice how computers have changed our lives. Then notice how they have ruined our lives. Notice how everyone thinks they're getting so much accomplished...when they're really doing nothing more than watching television and typing. We used to do everything without them, now we can't do anything unless we have the goddamn things. Are they really important? Nah. We just think that they are. We've all been brainwashed...AGAIN. (Rating: 1)

DARLINGTON - Girltroversy (CD, Last Beat, Pop)
Bubblegummy to the max, Darlington's Girltroversy is an appropriately named CD. The band's pays tribute to ultra girlies like "Jodie Foster" and "Judy Jetson" (extra fun tune). This trio's basic, punky pop music is simple and catchy...and their main thing seems to be catchy one liners repeated enough so that they actually do stick in the brain. If you're looking for lead guitars and rock star attitude, you won't find it here. This band has the right attitude. They honestly just seem to want to have fun. I particularly like the lyrics to many of these tunes. Neat. (Not Rated)

THE DRAG - The Classic Curve (CD, Football Stars Record Club, Pop)
I'm not sure whether The Drag dropped their major label or whether the label dropped them. Doesn't really matter though, cuz whatever the reason the change is a big plus in the band's favor. This release is much stronger than their previous full-length, which may be due at least in part to working with producer Mitch Easter. Easter's clean, heady mix fits The Drag well...making their pure pop sound much stronger and forceful. I have a feeling these guys are going to "make it" with or without the help of a big record company, because hard work and perserverance eventually do pay off (at least when what you have to offer has substance, that is...). Extremely radio friendly music from a fresh and energetic band that is going to be around for the long haul. I think these guys' best work is still yet to come. The band's new record label can be reached c/o Forrest Wimberly, Football Stars Record Club, P.O. Box 10005, Augusta, GA 30913. (Rating: 4)

THE ELEVATOR DROPS - People Mover (CD, Time Bomb Recordings, Pop/rock)
A very talented band that is deserving of a much larger audience. The Elevator Drops' offbeat brand of fuzzy pop is not unlike the Flaming Lips' stuff from the early nineties. The band's zany affinity for studio tricks is tempered by a real flair for writing melodies and hooks. This is particularly apparent on the opening track ("Sentimental Love" OUGHT to be a hit on college radio but probably won't be). Throughout the fifteen tracks on this CD, the band shows time and time again that they have much more to offer than your average alternative radio fart rockers. Other top picks include "Right Back Home," "The March of the Kraftwerk Replicants," and "Proto Eleven." These guys are really punching us where we like to be parked. That's how the pussy crumbles, at least for today... (Rating: 5)

GARDY-LOO - Perverts On Parade (CD, Off The Records, Rock)
I'm not completely certain whether this is supposed to be funny or not...but whatever the case, this band has a definite ridiculousness about it. Actually, the silly aspect has to do with the lyrics. The words in tunes like "Squeal Like A Pig," "Senior Citizen Sodomizer," and "First Shit of the Morning" are goofy indeed. I'll have to see Gardy-Loo live before making any further judgement... (Not Rated)

THE GOURDS -Stadium Blazer (CD, Watermelon, Appalachian/bluegrass)
Perhaps the world of underground music is taking a turn for the better, maybe not. But in the past few years it seems as if more and more people are open to forms of music other than pop, rock, techno, and metal. A good example would be the recent swing and lounge music revivals, which prove that many folks...if given the choice...really do like an occasional change. The Gourds will hopefully reap the benefits of this new open-mindedness among listeners. The band's Appalachian/bluegrass music sure doesn't fit in with current college radio playlists, but the band is being promoted through those very same channels. If talent has anything to do with it, they'll be stars overnight. This is very real, very earnest music played with heart and soul...and a hell of a lot of acoustic energy. Here in the land of the baby...where one too many industrial, techno, and modern pop/rock bands turn us cyncical at times...the Gourds are a refreshing change of pace. (Rating: 5)

GREEN PAJAMAS - Indian Winter (CD, Get Hip, Pop)
This is a "best of" collection of singles and unreleased songs by The Green Pajamas from 1985 through 1996. The only tune I was familiar with here is "Kim the Waitress," a tune made popular by Material Issue a few years ago. Not only is the original version of the tune better than the cover, but the band's other material is even stronger. This sixties influenced pop music is happy, upbeat, catchy, melodic...and a definite feelgood experience. This is the kind of music that reminds me of riding in the car with my parents on a hot summer day. This band's vocal melodies are way, WAY above average...but the arrangements are even better. Semi-psychedelic twists add to the intrigue of tunes like "Peppermint Stick," "Streets of London," and "Emma Is Crying." This is an exceptional pop group who apparently have not received the recognition they deserve. This ought to appeal to fans of bands like The Hang Ups. Really strong pure pop stuff! (Rating: 5)

GUSTER - Goldfly (CD, Sire/Hybrid, Pop)
Melodic, highly produced pop music that brings to mind eighties bands like 10CC and Squeeze. Far from retrospective, however, the Guster guys present emotional heartfelt pop music that is well written and sincere. This is one of those bands that seemingly appeared out of nowhere (a post office box is nowhere, isn't it?) with several tunes that could easily be hits...even on commercial FM radio. That's not a bad thing, however, as bands like Semisonic and Fountains of Wayne have proven of late. Yes friends, it is sometimes possible to write and record good music and STILL sell records. The two don't have to stand on opposite sides of the goddamn pond, though they usually do because of some very narrow-minded A&R folks at certain big companies. Ugh...this is getting preachy, ain't it? Forget all my bullshitty crapass words and keep your ears peeled for Guster. They record quality, good stuff...and they're not a flash in the pan bland flan band. It's a fairly safe bet that you'll be hearing a lot about these guys in the future... (Rating: 4)

ILL-EASE - Live At The Gate (CD, Smilex/Lever, Obtuse pop)
WOW. This girl's music doesn't just sound unlike all the other GIRLS out also sounds unlike all the other BOYS as well. Placing yourself in her own unique musical territory isn''t an easy thing these days, but Elizabeth Sharp (who is the one man band Ill-Ease) sure makes it sound easy. Ms. Sharp was once the drummer for the band New Radiant Storm Kings. Lucky for us all, she's now out on her own making music. I can't quite determine who this music sounds like. Elizabeth uses some peculiar instruments and even stranger arrangements to get her ideas across. The overall sound is something like a hazy, somewhat distorted brand of pop where there's just enough to grasp onto while still retaining an odd haze of spontaneity. If it weren't for the uneven sound quality, this might've gotten the coveted rating of "6." Easily one of the most original sounding artists of the year thus far... (Rating: 4)

INSANITY WAVE - Do The Worm (CD, spinART, Pop/rock)
Really good, upbeat poppy stuff that's catchy, bright, energetic, and full of sparkling melodies. Hard to believe this band is Spanish, cuz their sound is a combination of British and American influences. I hear very few bands of late who are able to effectively combine bubblegum with nineties rock. Insanity Wave succeeds. Sort of like a nineties steroid version of Let's Active. The band's sharp wit and their talent for turning a tune is a complete delight...making Do The Worm one of the best hard pop CDs I've heard in recent months... (Rating: 5)

THE JESUS LIZARD - Blue (Advance CD, Capitol, Rock)
Though the band's original fans seem to have deserved them long time, there are obviously a great many people out there like me who are late converts to The Jesus Lizard. Yup, as unhip as it is to admit, I never even HEARD the early goddamn material. Perhaps that's why I like the new stuff so much. The band continues delivering their slightly sinister, peculiar brand of rock music and, as usual, David Yow's vocals are the driving center of the music. The rhythm section is extremely hard and tight...and cool guitar licks abound throughout. I finally caught the band's live show last year and, as friends had been telling me for years, they're a real TREAT to experience in concert. Good listening. (Rating: 4)

THE LEARS - The Story So Far... (CD, Get Hip, Pop)
This is a FLORIDA band? I though all Florida bands played Satanic death metal (!?!). Nah...all kidding aside...this is a fun restrospective kinda pop band playing a style of music that was very popular in the sixties. The Lears's jangley pop music sounds very'll swear that this stuff was actually written and recorded decades ago. In this band's case, this is a good thing. More than any other band, The Lears' sound is quite like the Byrds. Fourteen tunes including "I Won't Remind You," "I Saw You," "Poor Mr. Greedy," and "Electric Mushroom Voyage." (Rating: 4)

LONG FIN KILLIE - Amelia (CD, Beggars Banquet, Pop)
Scottish band with a definite eighties sound. Breathy vocals...heady arrangements...very progressive music. This band doesn't really grab me for some reason. I'm not sure why. (Rating: 3)

THE LOUD FAMILY - Days For Days (CD, Alias, Pop)
A longtime favorite of pop fans around the world, Scott Miller has been churning out pop tunes now for a very long time. While I was very familiar with the material he recorded with his earlier band Game Theory, this is the first time I've heard an entire disc by The Loud Family. The CD contains nine new pop tracks interspersed with instrumentals. Gil Ray is back playing solid drums throughout, providing a solid foundation for the musical meanderings... (Not Rated)

LOVE IN REVERSE - Words Become Worms (CD, Reprise, Pop)
Wow. This band is taking some chances with their music, and their ultra adventurous style suits them well. Using technology as a tool to display their melodic pop in some very unconventional ways, this band is interesting as hell. I've liked their previous material, but they've really outdone themselves with this one. I'm always complaining about bands who are predictable. That's certainly one thing you CANNOT say about Love In Reverse. The band's swirling, unconventional pop tunes twist and glide all over the place...and you never know in what direction they will head or where they will end up. This is so intelligent that it will most likely lose most folks. But I get the impression that these fellows are more interested in artistic (rather than commercial) success anyway. Fifteen kickass numbers including "Fate" (WEIRD stuff!), "Night the Witch Came Home," "Mommy Daddy Baby," and "Wasting." Off the beaten path...and EXTREMELY heady. (Rating: 5)

LUNATIC CALM - Metropol (CD, City of Angels, Techno/industrial)
After breaking ties with MCA, Lunatic Calm have joined forces with City of Angels to release Metropol...a thick, heady, technological mix of nineties dance music. The band is actually the British duo consisting of Shack and Howie (remember that techno artists do not have last names). The duo has already done a great deal of remixing for artists such as Bush, Black Grape, Curve, and more. Metropol has a lot more variety than your average techno CD. Shack and Howie vary speeds, manipulate sounds, and use their studio savvy to come up with some heady and inventive music that ranges from dance to industrial to trance. They've already achieved serious notoriety in England. Now how will all the assholes in America react? (Not Rated)

MARVEL KIND - MK Mini (CD EP, Throwrug, Pop/rock)
Interesting, crazy pop music that reminds me in many ways of Savannah's GAM. The main difference between the two bands is that GAM is more of a hellraiser band, while Marvel Kind is more centered around obtuse pop. This band's peculiar music has a very nice spontaneous feel to it, which may be attributable to the bizarre arrangements. But instead of just churning out crazy noise (as many bands do), these folks display a keen sense of melody (check out "Nobody Ever Gets Away"). This is an impressive EP from a band with a great deal of potential. Can't WAIT to hear a full-length from 'em... (Rating: 4)

MILLION SIX - Clean-Head (CD, Satellite, Pop/rock)
Nice spontaneous hard pop. This trio plays fast and hard, while keeping their strong melodies and simple arrangements in the forefront. There's a lot to digest here. The band tosses off 21 short tunes, and there's really not a bad one in the bunch. The raspy vocals are a good fit for the basic buzzsaw sound, owing a bit to punk bands of the seventies while retaining the intensity of nineties rock. Our favorites are "Skinflakes," "Don't Start," "Bleeding the Ego," and "Wouldn't You Say?" Smart and direct, Million Six are playing a style of music made popular by bands like Dusker Hu a few years back. This stuff ROCKS in a rather nifty kinda way... (Rating: 4)

MODEST MOUSE (Live Performance, May 13, 1997)
I sure was surprised at how popular Modest Mouse have become. How could I know? I don't keep up with radio charts and who's on the front of what magazine. All I knew was that prior to the show my friends shrugged when I mentioned the band. But yet they had this club jam packed with people. After about twenty-five of them stopped to show me their wrist stamps because I was standing near the door, the answer suddenly hit. All my friends are over sixty. And almost all of these people were under twenty-three. It seems that my musical taste is now more aligned with people one third my age. Modest Mouse is certainly one of the most interesting bands of this decade. Not only do they sound like an awkward mix of early stuff from bands like Gang Of Four, Talking Heads, and Creedence Clearwater Revival...but they do so with spastic ease, sounding very much like the nineties band that a growing number of people know and love. Even though the music is incredible and the players mesmerizing, the band's least up until too peculiar to capture a larger audience. The guys in Modest Mouse certainly have the potential, if they choose, to become very BIG. Will they go for it? Or will they choose to retain their artistic integrity instead? It'll be interesting to see which path they take. Hopefully this painfully different little band will continue in the obscure niche they've created (and along the way incorporate a lighting man into the show. This band needs lighting to accentuate their soft and intence moments.) An unforgettable show. See this band when they play. They are a mindblower. (Rating: 5)

MARTIN MULL - Martin Mull and His Fabulous Furniture in Your Living Room (CD, Capricorn, Comedy/pop)
Long before his appearances on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Fernwood Tonight, Rosanne, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Martin Mull's main claim to fame was recording and performing some hilarious goddamn music. Thank God the revived Capricorn label has chosen to include Mr. Mull's early albums in their roster of recent re-releases. This was Martin's second album recorded live before an audience literally falling off their chairs with laughter. Hearing this over twenty years after it was recorded, it still sounds fresh and it's still as funny as ever. Tunes like "Dueling Tubas," "Licks Off Of Records," "My Wife," and "The Nothing" will never be recreated. Not only were Mr. Mull's songs damn near incredible, but his in-between song patter is a SCREAM. In actuality, the final track "In The Eyes Of My Dog" (recorded live on an airplane) is my favorite...with the unforgettable lyric "In the eyes of my dog I'm a man." I hope to God the fine folks at Capricorn choose to release Martin's first album next...because it's one of my top favorite albums of all time. (Rating: 5)

PISSING RAZORS - Pissing Razors (CD, F.A.D., Hard rock)
What pretty EYES you have, Grandma! And what pretty TEETH you have, Grandma! And what PRETTY music you make, Grandma! Full of anger, volume, violence, alienation, despair, loathing, horror, screaming, pounding, kill, hate, piss, kill, crash, bang... Hey Mommy! Mommy! Please make it STOP! All those horrible, evil, big hairy men out there playing all that BAD, AWFUL music! It's BAD! Very, very BAD! But there's one PROBLEM Mommy and Grandma! I actually LIKE the bad, mean sound! It makes me feel GOOD inside! Very, very good deep down inside where it counts. So I guess that makes me a BAD girl, doesn't it? A very, VERY bad girl! Because I like songs like "Dodging Bullets," "Life Of A Lunatic," and "Season To Die." Oh well. What the fuck do I know? I'm just a horny little bitch with razors stuck in my breasts. (Rating: 4)

POLARA - Formless/Functional (CD, Interscope, Electronic pop)
I've really enjoyed Polara's previous releases...but this one blows me away. Mixing a hodge podge of elements reminiscent of artists like Let's Active and Chris Stamey, Ed Ackerson and pals have come up with a completely cool nineties pop CD. The band plays around with all kinds of styles while remaining centered on introspective, highly melodic pop music with a heavy emphasis on technology. Instead of using studio tricks to make up for lack of substance, these folks write excellent material and then push it over the edge by using just the right instruments and arrangements. Many of the passages remind me of late Beatles stuff in a way, although this music sounds anything but retrospective. My favorites are the pleading "A Brighter Day" and "Semi-Detached." There are some absolutely beautiful tracks here worthy of many repeated listenings. If you've never heard this band before, this disc will serve as an excellent introduction. Totally...KILLER. (Rating: 6)

JONBENET RAMSEY (Little girl kind of thing)
I'm plenty big enough to go out with boys. Don't I look mature enough? Or is it just that you and Daddy are jealous because you think someone else might get to see me without my clothes on? Well if you don't let me go out with boys, then NO MORE PHOTOS! That's right...either it's MY way or the HIGHWAY. Ooops...goddamn it to HELL! I smeared my goddamn eyeliner for Christ's sake. This kind of crap always happens when I try to talk to you stuffy old retards. What's that? Speak up, I can't hear you. You'll what? What did you say you're going to do? Oh my. I am SO terribly frightened. You know what? You two don't scare me one damn bit. You'll do exactly what you've always done...which is nothing. What rotten parents. I'm the star in this family. You're just a couple of nobodies. I'm going to my room now. I'd appreciate it if you'd just leave me alone. (Rating: 2)

REVERBERATION - Blue Stereo Music (CD, TAANG!, Psychedelic/moody pop)
Guitar heavy psychedelic progressive rock music in the vein of Spiritualized. The band covers a lot of territory during the course of these sixteen tracks, incorporating a wide variety of instruments and arrangements. The vocals are heavily damped in reverb...there are lots of trippy guitars and synth sounds...and the overall mood is somewhat dreamy and hazy. Nice, relaxing...and at times intense stuff. Includes a cover of Eno's "The Big Ship." (Not Rated)

REVEREND HORTON HEAT - Space Heater (CD, Interscope, Rockabilly)
I've never understood what is so exciting about this band to so many folks. Personally, I'm getting sick to death of rockabilly. Too many bands playing it...and almost all of 'em sound like generic copies of one anther. Yeah I know, I know. These folks have been around a while and were doing it before lots of other bands. Who cares? It's still retro-rock, as far as I can see. This isn't bad's just so average in the big scheme of things... (Rating: 3)

LEE ROCKER - No Cats (CD, Upright, Rockabilly)
Another Stray Cat goes astray. Lee Rocker, ex-bass player for the aforementioned band, has come up with a mighty enjoyable CD playing a style of music that can often be tired and tedious because of the overabundance of nutheads playing rockabilly these days. Actually, I like Lee's music much better than the Cats. For some reason it sounds like it's coming more from the heart, with less of an emphasis on selling "product" (ooooooo how I HATE that word). These tunes are simple and clean...and polished with just the right amount of polish... No Cats is an easy listen, and amazingly unpretentious to boot. Very fun. (Not Rated)

RULE OF THUMB - Wow and Flutter (CD, Litmus, Pop)
Progressive pop with occasional jazzy tidbits thrown in for good measure. Rule of Thumb's clean pop music goes down easy, featuring good arrangements and a keen ability for writing a good melody. For a pop band, these guys throw a lot more of their brains into their instruments than your average three chord schmuck offs. Papa particularly likes "Fish Wrap" and "Clyde Wood." Good stuff, with just the right amount of studio gloss... (Not Rated)

SAVAGE AURAL HOTBED - Gomi Daiko (CD, TRG, Improvisation)
Another obscure gem from Savage Aural Hotbed. You'd think with the wealth of CDs being released that it'd be easy to find unique and original artists... WRONG. In actuality, there are way too many carbon copies floating around...and with so much stuff being released, it all becomes very mundane and samey because there are so few folks with real imagination. This is NOT the case with Savage Aural Hotbed. This band's music is based on rhythm and percussion...almost tribal in a way. These folks are more concerned with creating a mood with their music than churning out sing-songy choruses and melodies. The best part works beautifully. This CD is a collection of early, previously unreleased compositions. This stuff is absolutely GREAT. It may take a bit of looking, but this is a disc worth seeking out... (Rating: 6)

SEASON TO RISK - Men Are Monkeys*Robots Win (CD, Thick, Hard rock)
YEAH! Season To Risk are BACK with an intense KICK!!! This band has been consistently putting out exceptional music for quite some time now, yet they seem to be continually overlooked by most people. I saw the band play live in a very small club a couple of years ago for a very small audience, and they BLEW ME AWAY. Yup, these guys play with conviction and intensity like you won't often experience from a rock band. This CD may just be the band's best yet. It's a bit more accessible (just a bit, mind you) than previous releases, but the band still retains their harsh, spastic sound. The music is thick and heady with propulsive, driving rhythms and bizarre vocals. It sounds something like having a bad times a very, VERY bad dream. I've always enjoyed a good nightmare from time to time, so this is a very GOOD thing. This is a great disc from a truly great band. Highly recommended. (Rating: 5)

FRANK SINATRA - Ol' Blue Balls Is Black (CD, Marquis, Male vocalist)
Can Frank crank his yank for the final spank? Or will the plastic bandages make the burly village warrior branch down in shame, barking for an hour until the ship comes in? Ol' Blue Balls Is Black is Sinatra's final comeback CD because, as the liner notes state, "the old thing got worked so much way back when that these are all that can squirt out of the big black forest trunk." There are tunes on the CD, and some of the titles of those tunes are "I Did It, I Did It," "Bucky's Back Seat Mascot," "Philly In The Baggie," and "Sandy Nuts Don't Make It All Right." Frank this all you are? If so, then the lining of your package is rarely passing bingo. (Rating: 1)

SPOON - Spoon (CD, Elektra, Pop/rock)
Impressive major label debut from Spoon, an Austin trio who had already put out two indie releases. The music? Guitar based pop music that teters on that fine line between alternative rock and accessible FM radio rock. The guys in Spoon are all strong players. The rhythms are heated and defined, the guitars just skewed enough to have a strange urgency, and the vocals are solid. The band intelligently throws studio tricks into the mix to keeps things from getting boring. True, there ARE a lot of bands playing this style of music...but Spoon have enough unique attributes to make them stand out from the crowd. But as we all know, of course, success depends more on marketing than music... (Rating: 4)

SPRUNG MONKEY - Mr. Funny Face (CD, Hollywood, Rock/pop)
Hard rock band with pockets chock full of changing rhythms and styles. San Diego's Sprung Monkey present an impressively diverse range of songwriting styles on their fourth full-length release. The band's overall sound is not unlike labelmates The Suicide Machines, except Sprung Monkey aren't as aggressive, loud, and spastic. Though the music rocks, the songs are actually pop music in nature...which is not a bad thing, unless you don't like pop music. If you like pop music, then it is probably a good thing. Bad thing. Good thing. Whatever thing. I suppose we can forgive 'em for contributing songs to those ridiculous MOM: Music For Our Mother Ocean benefit CDs (bleah...give us a BREAK...). This music is basically good, upbeat fun... (Rating: 3)

STRUNG OUT - Twisted By Design (CD, Fat Wreck Chords, Rock)
Hyperactive bubblegum-like pop/rock played as fast as a jackrabbit on crystal speed with Queen-like lead guitars. The insert features some absolutely scarey and fabulous photos by Jodi Wille. These five guys sound like they're having a fantastic time playing their music...and that mood comes through loud and clear on the fourteen tunes on Twisted By Design. There are tons of bands playing ultra-fast pop these days, but few who have tunes as good as Strung Out. Our favorite is "Mind Of My Own," with its chunky guitars and introspective lyrics. These guys are smart, inventive, and masculine. Totally cool and way, WAY fun stuff! (Rating: 5)

STUCK MOJO - Rising (CD, Century Media, Rock)
Concert favoarites Stuck Mojo are back with more of their hard hitting, macho hip-hop metal cock rock. This band is a real monster...driven by a drummer who can really pound the sound out of his ground round. Add to that some extremely thick guitar licks, driving hard bass lines, and a vocalist who can sing, scream, shriek, and still manage to jump off P.A. cabinets onto the crowd at least a dozen times during a show...and you've got a true crowd pleaser. This disc contains thirteen tunes including "Crooked Figurehead," "Assassination of a Popstar," and "Throw the Switch." Hard and funky. (Not Rated)

TELETUBBIES (Television program)
This is the first time we've reviewed a television program, and the reason we're reviewing this particular one is because IT'S THE BEST THING THAT'S EVER BEEN ON TELEVISION. Honest. Yup, you heard it right. British children's program Teletubbies is about as strange as television gets...and it is indeed a RIOT. With all the boring "adult" programming on topics ranging from police chases to murder to inane talk shows to whatever...the Teletubbies are the most refreshing blast of air we've ever seen on the tube. Of course, lots of retards (mostly retarded parents, which includes all of them) are complaining that the show doesn't have any educational content. The correct response here is...WHO CARES? Can't we as a society (including kids) enjoy something that's just simply stupid for the sake of entertainment? This is a HELL of a lot more entertaining than any other show that's ever been on television. It makes us laugh...REALLY HARD. Check it out. It's a HIT!!! (Rating: 6)

PETER THOMAS SOUND ORCHESTRA - Futuremuzik (CD, Scamp, Instrumental)
Germany's answer to John Barry. This is the first time that a collection of the best of Peter Thomas' work has been released in the United States. What a TREAT! Mr. Thomas combines elements from a wide range of sources to create music that sounds (most of the time) like soundtrack music from early seventies films. The music is thick with instruments, sounds, noises, and voices. At times it almost sounds as if you're listening to three televisions at once. This offbeat collection of compositions is intense, sometimes goofy, often off-the-wall, and a complete sensory overload. Sixteen tunes, including "Space Patrol," "Monster," and "Gods From Strange Planets." As usual, ANYTHING bearing the Scamp label deserves a high rating in this goddamn office... (Rating: 5)

TONES ON TAIL - Everything! (Double CD, Beggars Banquet, Electronic pop)}
Before digital recording took over, the phrase "tones on tail" referred to electronic tones that were recorded at the end of an analog master tape to be used in calibrating the heads of a tape recorder before playback. Before many of the modern techno/electronic bands came the band of the same name...Tones On Tail. The band consisted of Daniel Ash, Glenn Campling, and Kevin Haskins. In all honesty, while I remembered the name of this band I never really heard that much of their material. Apparently this was mainly a studio collaboration, although the band did do some live shows. This impressive two CD set contains EVERYTHING the band ever recorded (!). Compared to much of the current techno/industrial pop music, this sounds extremely tame...but that's exactly what I like about it. An interesting piece of history that sheds light on artists in their formative stage... (Rating: 4)

THE TON-UPS - The Ton-Ups (CD EP, Mother West, Rock)
This EP precedes the band's upcoming full-length release on Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin Record label. The Ton-Ups play basic, hard rock music that is pointed and direct. Instead of going for gimmicks and/or stupid clothes and haircuts, these guys just play their music for the sake of playing. Put quite simply, this is pure feelgood music. You play it, you feel good. And hey...those melodies ain't nuthin' to laugh at neither. Seven upbeat tunes including "Rock & Roll Stooge," "The Hotel Life," and "Country Girl." Can't wait to hear that full-length... (Rating: 4)

TREES (Natural things)
My dream has come true. I'm living in the middle of a forest. There are trees everywhere. It's wonderful. No people around. No whining, trashy shitheads. No rip off bastards. No smelly bitches. No asswipe little children. No minorities. No businessmen. No street people. Just loads and loads of beautiful, swaying trees everywhere. Give me privacy or give me death. Unfortuantely, I can't rate trees because there is no rating high enough. Thank God I have a place to escape from all the ugly retards of the world... (Not Rated)

TURA SATANA - Relief Through Release (CD, Noise, Rock)
Can women growl as well as men? The answer may be found on Tura Satana's CD. Formerly known as Manhole, the band is led by a very charismatic lady named Tarrie B. Tarrie's got the looks and the voice, and both she and the band seem to be very comfortable playing their spicy brand of sex-tinged hard rock. The band's name comes from a character in the Russ Meyer film Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. Though the band is neither gothic nor satanic, they have a fat, nasty sound that ought to go over well with that fringe that dresses in black. The three guys playing the instruments have their nuts in the right place as well...thrashing and crashing about in a most convincing fashion... (Not Rated)

VITREOUS HUMOR - Posthumous (CD, Crank!, Pop/rock)
I'm glad these guys are at it again, despite three prior band breakups. In the past they've put out some really captivating pop music featuring killer guitars and excellent tunes...and this disc may be their best yet. The band effectively combines aggressive rhythms with punchy instrumentation to create a most satisfying blend of pop and rock. The vocals switch from harsh to plaintive, depending on the mood of the tune. In addition to the ten Vitreous Humor tunes, the CD concludes with a track by The Regrets (a former band featuring three of the band members) called "Good Things Come To Those In Small Packages." Despite all the personnel problems, this band remains fresh, vital, and compelling. (Rating: 5)

WIVES - Ripped (CD, CBGBs, Rock)
Tough New York female rock trio. These three ladies sound like they're having a hell of a lot of fun playing their frantic rock music...and they're a lot more focused now that they were on their debut CD. The band is propelled by a very ballsy drummer (Tracy) who really knows how to pound the pelts. The disc opens up with the band's anthem ("Wives") and then slides easily through twelve more hyper tunes. Our favorite is "Bulldozer." Not unlike The Red Aunts at times, the Wives are puncy and fun. (Not Rateda0

ZOOMER - Maximum Plastic (CD, Pinch Hit, Pop/rock)
Zoomer has obviously spent a great deal of time listening to T. Rex's Slider. His music reflects the style of glam rock that was so prevalent in the seventies. Good rhythms, fuzzy guitars, and some very Bolanesque arrangements are the running threads in tunes like "Tickets To Mexico," "I Come From Heaven," and "Dreaming Your Life Away." (Not Rated)


Aftertax - Return of the Wizard (CD, Second Azoo, Rock/pop)
A Million Miles Away
- The Emo Diaries Chapter Two (CD, Deep Elm, Various artists compilation)
- Fade To Light (CD, Big Blue Music)
Basslines - Basslinees (CD, Moonshine, Various artists compilation)
Butthole Surfers
- After the Astronaut (Advance cassette, Capitol, Rock)
The Business - The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth (CD, TAANG!, Rock)
Criminally Unsigned - Criminally Unsigned (CD,
Demonspeed - Swing Is Hell (CD, Black Pumpkin)
The Eight Bucks Experiment - Cockstalking (CD, Blue Moon Recordings, Rock)
Eye For An Eye - 100% Unnatural (CD, TAANG!, Rock)
FLICK - The Perfect Kellulight (Advance cassette, Columbia)
Bill Fox - Transit Byzantium (CD, spinART, Folk/pop)
Fracas - "Slaughterhouse," "Snakeskin Rot" b/w "Scary Voodoo Thing," "Fire Song" (7" vinyl single, Dead Sea Captain)
Free Verse - Access Denied (CD, Brain Floss)
GangGreen - Another Case of Brewtality (CD, TAANG!, Rock)
Gravity - Juggling Glaciers (Cassette, Gravity1)
Head and the Hares - Head and the Hares (CD, Get Hip, Pop)
Hot Rods To Hell - Volume II (CD, Blood Red, Various artists compilation)
The Hunger - Cinematic Superthug (CD, Universal, Rock)
I-Spy - Perversity Is Spreading (CD, Welcoming Committee)
Jeremy - Allegro Festival (Video, Jam Records)
Jeremy - Seven (Video, Jam Records)
Jeremy - Solid Rock Live (Video, Jam Records)
Junkie XL - Saturday Teenage Kick (CD, Roadrunner, Techno/pop)
Keyboard (Magazine, June 1998)
Keyboard (Magazine, May 1998)
Gig (Magazine, May 1998)
Legacy - A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (CD, Atlantic, Various artists compilation)
Lies (Magazine, #16)
Live At Raji's - Beer, Wine, & Good Food Vol. 1 (CD, T.O.N., Live various artists compilation)
Jono Manson - Little Big Man (CD, Paradigm, Pop)
The Moon - The Moon (CD, Surgeland, Pop/rock)
Jim Morgan - Ordinary Time (CD, Ichiban/Gracenote, Pop)
More of Our Stupid Noise '98 (CD, Nettwerk, Various artists compilation)
Mother God Moviestar - Mother God Moviestar (CD, Zoid Recordings/Interscope)
Muckafurgason - Tossing A Friend (CD, Deep Elm, Pop)
Music From the X-Games - Volume 3 (CD, Mammoth, Various artists compilation)
Niagara Niagara - Music From the Shooting Gallery Motion Picture (CD, V2, Various artists)
Nubalance - Domesticated Drum & Bass (CD, City of Angels, Various artists compilation)
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant - Walking Into Clarksdale (CD, Atlantic)
Parlour James - Old Dreams (Advance CD, Sire)
Rialto - Rialto (Advance CD, Sire, Pop)
Ricanstruction - Liberation Day (CD, CBGB, Rock)
Omar Santana - Hardhop Tricked Out (CD, Moonshine)
Shooting Fish - Music From the Motion Picture (CD, Capitol, Various artists compilation)
Slapshot - Old Tyme Hardcore (CD, TAANG!)
Soulfly - Soulfly (CD, Roadrunner, Hard rock)
Stabbing Westward - Darkest Days (CD, Columbia, Pop)
Stiff Little Fingers - Tinderbox (CD, TAANG!, Pop)
Unsound - Volume 1: Pop! (CD, M'Lou Music, Various artists compilation)
The Weatherans - Fallow (CD, Welcoming Committee)
Scott Weiland - 12 Bar Blues (CD, Atlantic)
Who Hit John - Hey Buffy (CD, Not So Permanent, Pop)
Wicked City - Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD, Gypsy/Velvel, Various artists)
Witchdoctor - ...A S.W.A.T. Healin' Ritual (CD, Interscope)

©1998 LMNOP

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