Dennis Bagwell – A Random Litter of Thought (c) 2006 Batteryface RecordsI don't very often have the opportunity to review spoken word CD's, but that is what, in fact, we have here. "A Random Litter of Though" is 29 tracks of the recorded thoughts of OC area "Beat Punk" Dennis Bagwell. Funny thing is, if you do some research on Mr. Bagwell, you turn up a whole lot of info about a Texas former death row inmate of the same name. I'm going to suspect that unless this is a posthumous release, they are not one in the same. This Dennis Bagwell carries on in more of the vein of Ginsberg and Burroughs. The poems speak of death and redemption, love and loss and some liken humanity to feces. Though I respect the work done here, it isn't very easy to rock out to. In fact, it is kind of dragging on and on. I think poems are likely better left to the printed page.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium (c) 2006The much anticipated double CD release of Stadium Arcadium, the new release by the venerable Red Hot Chili Peppers, must have been released for someone other than me. I can't argue their process I guess, it is time tested and public approved. However, it seems as though the peppers have become trite and formulaic. I had hoped for something to live past the legacy of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, instead I got a whole lot of tracks that would have been better released on a B-side compilation. I can't even pick a standout track. The 'hit' single Dani California is probably the best of set, and it is lackluster at best. I say spend your money elsewhere. Go buy a used copy of Mother's Milk.
(c) 2006 Susspool Records
Punk punk punk punk punk it up! Yeah the Acrobrats do that. They also bust out 8 tracks of contagious pop-laced punk rock-n-roll on their sophomore release “…Go Down Swinging” As well as busting out cleverly rockin’ originals, there is also a cover of post new wave darlings The Primitives’ hit single “Crash”. I always thought that’d be a great cover. Incidentally, I was right.
If I had to liken their sound to something, right now, I’m inclined to think it would be as if 7 seconds got fused with pieces of Rancid. Above all, a fun peppy release that doesn’t weigh you down with filler. If you care to check out some tracks visit their site at www.theacrobrats.com
b.t.w. for anyone reading this, bands and labels and p.r. folk that send swag can totally sway my opinion.
Hoobastank – Every Man For Himself (c) 2006 Island RecordsWow, this really sucks! Hoobastank has all the derivative qualities of a korn and limp bizkit wanna be band. They sound like somebody at the label hand picked them to be in a 'band' in order to cash in on a dying genre. Oh well, to each their own I guess. Somebody has to suck. I'm just glad it aint me this time.
The Ducky Boys – The War Back Home (c) 2006 Sailor's Grave Records Ah, when I think of Boston, I think of Blood for Blood or Slap Shot. But that does not mean everyone thinks like jimmy bile. The Ducky Boys…THE WAR BACK HOME…Sailors Grave Records, is reminiscent of the story telling of the ancient days past. I appreciate the no “verse chorus verse” idea and the mad antics of the instrumentals, but they might do better keeping the attention of the audience by speeding up the pace. Don't get me wrong, they rock, and I'll give them most of my thumbs up! thanks for reading, jimmy bile
The Defilers – Metal Mountains (c) 2005 Dry Run RecordsStraight outta motherfucking Louisville! The Defilers pack the power of the Cult, Kiss, Clutch, Black Sabbath and Zeke into one sweet rock and roll cavalcade. "Metal Mountains" presents 9 tracks of progressive metallic indie-like rock without the pretension. Basically what we got here is heavy rock and roll. It seems that if all things must run the viscous circle, a resurrection of early 70's power rock is way low on the list of evils. The one downfall to "Metal Mountains" (at least for me), some of the track are just way too damn long. But you should determine your own attention span. None the less, If you like to rock and you like to crank it really freakin' loud, then by all means head to the Metal Mountains!
thelastplaceyoulook – The Lies We Tell Ourselves (c) 2005 thelastplaceyoulook"The Lies We Tell Ourselves" is the newest EP from Houston's own thelastplaceyoulook. the 5 tracks bristle w/ emotion and rock sweet rock. Most folks would probably consider them to be "Screamo" (for the laymen, screamo is heavy emotional music w/ often gutteral and growling death metal like vocals. I mean they really let you feel the pain man.) despite the moniker, thelastplaceyoulook is much more articulate vocally. Don't get me wrong, there is some angst going on there, but we're not looking at Napalm Death or anything. I'm personally not a major fan of the genre, but the songs here are well executed and produced and the press kit that I was sent was phenomenal. just for the record though, you fellas may want to save a few bucks on the press kit and go w/ a simple black and white 1-sheet. I suspect most people gloss over the material and then send it to file 13. Incidentally, when I saw this picture, I went out and got some Shiner Bock. Tasty Stuff. But enough of the rambling, thelastblaceyoulook kicks down a metallic emo assault to the senses. If that is your cup o' tea, head over to www.interpunk.com to pick up a copy of "The Lies We Tell Ourselves".
Mark Lind – Death or Jail (c) 2006 Sailor's Grave RecordsDeath or Jail is the debut solo release of Ducky Boy's lead singer Mark Lind. Death or Jail is a guts and grit singer/song writer album from and for the working class ala Springsteen or The Hudson Falcons. Lyrically and musically Mark Lind evokes a sense of sadness and loss for times past and times present. These lines from "No Future" (Death or Jail) sum up this tragic loneliness all too well. "I come from no future and reach for the light, These days I'm hanging on without a net" Each of the tracks on Death or Jail comes with some explanation by Lind. They help to provide insight into the specific emotions of each song. Over all Death or Jail is a emotional tail of life and growing up hoping for better days. I can only imagine that the release of this disc was a huge catharsis for Mark Lind. It is also interesting to see a slightly different take on a shared childhood. Mark Lind is the brother of Rob Lind from Blood for Blood. Whereas White Trash Rob seems pissed off and slighted, Mark seems to be more jaded and world weary. Either way, pretty intense stuff.
Scars of Tomorrow – The Beginning of (c) 2006 Thorp RecordsSubmitted for your approval, the brutal hardcore metal sounds of Scars of Tomorrow. “The Beginning of” is an all out aggressive assault of the early years of Scars of Tomorrow. The new release re-surfaces out-of-print material from the band’s pre Victory era. Much of the CD has a tendency to be too melodic and too metal for my tastes. Not to say it is a bad release, cause it ain’t. It’s that I hung up the strictly metal hat many moons ago. Combing Crunching guitars, pounding drums, growling vox, thundering bass and layer on the harmonics and melodic guitar lines and you’ve got yourself the beginning of Scars of Tomorrow.
Flashlight Brown – Blue(c) 2006 Hollywood RecordsFlashlight Brown , refreshingly, defies the pigeon-holeing that I am often reduced to. Are they punk? Are they rock? Are they 4th wave ska? Are they a secret government laboratory band from outer space? Hell if I know. I do know this though, they make me want to pogo like a mofo. The songs are catchy both musically and lyrically. Though there is a bit a static pattern throughout the tracks, ala verse chorus verse, but because the tracks average out to around the 3 minute mark or less, I don't find myself becomeing bored. I guess if I had to try to compare their sound to anything it would be a melange of 7 seconds Goldfinger and perhaps Sum 41. Flashlight Brown will be playing on the warped tour this summer as well as quite a few independent dates prior go check 'em out. What have you got to lose? You're problably going to the Warped Tour anyway. To break it on down. Flashlight Brown is catchy poppy and fun. However, perhaps a bit indulgent if you're too damn hardcore that you can't admit to singing along with Weezer songs.