On The Last Day – Meaning in the Static (c) 2006 Victory RecordsNot my cup of tea, yet again. On The Last Day is a screamo band from Seattle. Whomever is responsible for their one sheet is sadly mistaken when they refer to them as hardcore. They are about as hardcore as Tool. Every song sounds remarkably like the one preceeding it. Musically, On The Last Day, holds some promise. Their musicianship appears to be high quality, however, there is a serious lack in the creativity department. Beyond that I think perhaps if I hear one more band with the forced snarl/growling vocal sound (you know exactly what I'm talking about), I may have to lose my lunch.
Mute Math – S/T (c) 2006 Warner Bros.This new Sting album is ok I guess. Wait, I mean this new U2 album is well, U2. Wait, is this Oasis? I have no freakin idea where Mute Math is coming from, other than New Orleans. I feel bad for the city of New Orleans. I really do. Aside from all of the other current problems, it has apparently been taken over by musical looters too. The brand new self-titled CD from Mute Math offers 13 tracks and 1 intro of insipid blandia. Mute Math is so new rock radio (yet at the same time sublty adult contemporary) friendly it makes me want to pull the ears off my head and stomp on them. Eventually all of this will be new Muzak.-Jerry Actually
The Wobblies – *Red*Dawn*Rising* (c) 2006 The WobbliesPortland's proto-socialist punk rockers The Wobblies (The nickname for the Industrial Workers of the World) bust out 11 tracks of socially aware, fast paced, short attention span friendly, sing-a-long punk. In short, The Wobblies kick ass. This is, in fact, the punk that I want to listen to? My only regret, where the hell were The Wobblies when I lived in Portland? I guess they were still down in Corvallis or something getting their minds polluted with the wicked liberal ideals of college. Tracks 2, "Proud Right Wing" and 3, "Bogata" are personal favorites. I do love a good sing-a-long chorus. Production is raw as are the riffs, but this is punk and it works for its fervor. So thankfully I don't have to rate it on the Malmsteen scale. Overall Grade: A–Jerry Actually
The Black Maria – A Shared History of Tragedy (c) 2006 Victory RecordsThe Black Maria, slang for the police "paddywagon" of yore and the name of Thomas Edison's movie studio, offers up 11 tracks of alterna-emo-rock much in the same vein as other alterna-emo-rock. The musicianship is solid and the production is clean, but "A Shared History of Tragedy" sounds like a soundtrack to me. Be it movie or video game, this isn't something that I would listen to out of personal preference, but it has enough appeal that it could accentuate some tense scenes in a teen-angst drama or an open highway stretch in a race game. Overall grade: B- -Jerry Actually
The Bronx – The Bronx (II) (c)2006 Island Records / White Drugs Records I'll be damned. A major label band that ain't too bad. The Bronx, though not in fact from The Bronx, transmit a gritty and streetable urban appeal. The tracks for the most part are up tempo and clock in under 3 minutes with the exception of the rather haunting "Dirty Leaves" The Bronx appear to be part of the major resurgence of rock and roll in L.A. and in the country in general for that matter. With Zeppelin like vocal wailings and rocking out rhythms like a more articulate Mudhoney, they definitely have the rock thing going on. I'll be honest. It is the first thing in the morning and I've barely sucked down half my coffee, but the report thus far is that I like The Bronx. They have a sound that sounds like something that I remember that I like, but don't remember precisely what that is.
Drive By – I Hate Every Day Without You Kid… (c)2006 Riot Squad RecordsHere is some more music on the Emo tip. Not quite as bad as the crap that I usually hate. Drive By has a bit of an Alkaline Trio feel albeit with less punk rock and more emo-pop driving it. I guess the drive by that they are taking about is the one where you drive by the flower shop and pick up some flowers for a funeral or something. Don't get me wrong though, I listened to the whole CD a couple times and not once did I run away screaming or try to stab myself in the ears with a pen. The debut CD from Drive By is definitely music for the depressed, the ones that are looking for catharsis.
City Sleeps – Hotel (c)2006 Maverick RecordsCity Sleeps – Freaking Ugggh. I am sick to the flippin' gills of whiney 'cry me a river' rock. Remember back in the day when Maverick was courting bands like Rancid? Maybe things would have been different then. Instead Maverick is so blighted that they list the Austin Powers soundtrack as a band in their roster. Hotel is music made by whiners for people who like to whine about how whiney music rocks. Oh, and rip off Brain May just once and people will claim that you're like the next Queen.
Catch 22 – Permanent Revolution (c)2006 Victory RecordsAs I sit and listen to this Catch 22 release, I must say this is one of the best from the ska-punk band from New Jersey. Having all their other releases, I must say I was excited to hear the newest one. Now I must say that the first couple of times through this CD I thought it was kinda slow and different, but the more you listen to it the more I love it. The CD explores the life of Leon Trotsky and it is very interesting how the story is told. Catch 22 has brought us yet another great Disc and their live performance to back it up cements that. I hope that Catch 22 will continue to bring us great music 'cause I know I will be listening. I will give this CD 4.5 checkerboards out of 5, so pick it up and dance your ass off!!!
Slayer – Christ Illusion (c)2006 Warner Bros. RecordsThere are 2 types of people in the world, the people that think Slayer rules, and the people that suck. With over 2 decades of butality under their collective belts, Slayer, unlike so many other bands, has not lost its diabolical touch. Slayer will still frighten the crap out of the feint of heart with all their music and If anything, Christ Illusion is their strongest material in a decade. It is umistakably signature sounding and that is just how it should be. I’m impressed by the bands ability to keep things fresh while at the same time keeping consistent. The one thing I do notice about how Slayer has progressed over time is that they are so much tighter as a unit now. Go out tomorrow and get Christ Illusion and play it loud. Personal favorites include Jihad and the scathingly satirical Supremist.
Angel City Outcasts – Deadrose Junction (c) 2006 Sailor's Grave RecordsThough they may tout the word outcast, these L.A. Boys massively recall the extremely embraced early 80's SoCal rock sound, albeit blended with more punk attitude. The Angel City Outcasts new release "Deadrose Junction" begs to be compared to early Crue and G'N'R. It is definitely straight ahead rock, but thankfully it lacks the posturing and pretense of the 80's hair-metal glam scene. "Deadrose Junction" also raises the rock bar with some of their more aggressive punk riffs. Comparisons and critiques aside, I still can't help but think that I could really get into blasting this on a beat up jam box while riding around drunk in the back of a pickup anywhere in the Midwest. 3 cheers for Rock and Roll!