The Kings of Nuthin’

The Kings of Nuthin' – Over The Counter Culture (c) 2006 Sailor's Grave RecordsThe King's of Nuthin' except bad ass rock and fucking roll. "Over the Counter Culture" is the long awaited follow up to "Fight Songs…" and I for one am impressed. The Kings of Nuthin' embody the passion of The Wanderers with the ethos of all that is punk rock. I have little but praise for the 50's inspired sound that these fellas rekindle. The Kings of Nuthin' are redefining an entire genre of music. Much like their hometown brethren, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Kings of Nuthin' have done for Rock and Roll what the aforementioned did for ska. I can't recommend this CD enough. Be amazed with their originals and provoked with the, dare I say "classic punk" covers. Who needs a president when you already have multiple kings!

U.S. Bombs – We Are The Problem

(c) 2006 Sailor's Grave Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

The U.S. Bombs are back with a new CD — fronted per usual by the venerable Duane Peters. Peter's is arguably one of the hardest working guys in punk rock with The skating, the shoe and clothing lines and of course the myriad of musical projects: U.S. Bombs, Die' Huns and The Duane Peters Gunfight.

"We Are The Problem" brings 15 new surprisingly diverse tracks of punk, from sing-a-long anthems like the opening title track, flanged out 50's style punk like "Just Like You" and near folksy ballads like "Guns of the West"

"We Are The Problem" shows that old punks need not fade away, but why? because they're a shit ton better than the bullshit radio baby pablum that the hot topic punks can muster today.

–Jerry Actually

Stereotactic

Stereotactic – The Dawning  © 2005 Avebury Records Stereotactic, hailing from the dusty desert plains of Bakersfield, CA –home to the likes of Buck Owens, Korn and Philo Beddoe–is a 4 piece emo/metal band with a remarkable facsimile like quality. The Dawning is the bands first full length after their regionally successful self-released EP. Sadly it boils down to the pop-emo-metal that I just can't stand. I forced myself to listen to about half of the CD before I wanted to rip it out of the player and smash the crap out of it. Though the band has reasonable musicianship, the talent falls upon deaf ears. The basic principle being, "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should." The songs are all fully geared for the sterile sanitized realm of commercial rock radio and are comprised of pretty much all the things you've heard before–The crap I don't want to hear again.

The Secret Machines

The Secret Machines – Ten Silver Drops© 2006 Reprise RecordsThe Secret Machines upcoming release "Ten Silver Drops" out now in digital format and in hard copy on 04/25/06 on Reprise Records. This CD is a bit outside my normal scope, reminiscent of the rentals meets blondie minus femal vox. Ten Silver Drops pack 8 bronze tracks that ramble on to a length of about 3x my attention span. The disc seems decent, I suppose, for mellow music on a Monday morning, though I can see it putting me back to sleep instead of easing me to the waking world.

Shanty Town

Shanty Town – One More Last Chance© 2006 Mad Butcher RecordsSoulfull ska and reggae from Barcelona Spain, sporting a female fronted ensemble with sounds reminiscent of bands such as Isaac Green and the Skalars, and the legendary Skatalites, and a latin feel ala Jump with Joey. Very smooth mello and relaxing stuff. Shanty Town offers up 11 well done tracks especially catering to the jazz-ska style, though the CD never really gets into a real fast pace, the music has a nice flow and the tracks smoothly coalesce into each other. This is great Monday morning music that gently lifts you up and eases you into your day.{mos_sb_discuss:3}

Bullets and Octane

In the Mouth of the Young© 2006 RCA RecordsHoly crap, it's Rock and Roll. They don't seem to make it much like this any more. The forthcoming release "In the Mouth of the Young" by Bullets and Octane is some serious straight forward rock. Kind of in the vein of Motorhead meets Lynyrd Skynrd, the disc cranks out 12 tracks of fist banging and living room destroying rock and fucking roll. The new release is produced by Page Hamilton and the percussive and precise Helmet edge shows. As I like to do comparisons to more adequately describe the sound to folks who may be looking to buy this stuff, aside from the prior likeness, Bullets and Octane could be a crazy offspring of Iron Maiden and Clutch. Don't let me mislead you by my labels though, this is good stuff on its own, regardless of influence on their part or mine. My personal favorite is track 9 "Caving In". It has an evil sing-along quality to it. Take it or leave it, it has serious rock power, if not Pure Rock Fury.{mos_sb_discuss:5}

The Baboonz

Too Much is not Enough© 2005 Madbutcher Records Once again I get to reap some of the benefits of the German Ska scene and more specifically Bavaria, which appears to be a veritable hotbed of ska. I originally heard of The Baboonz through the 4 band split CD "Four of a Kind" which I reviewed previously. This time around it is a full length 13 track disc of their own. Though formed in 1998 things didn't get going until 2001. Since then they have played over 150 live shows through out Europe with a lot of heavy weight acts. I find that they hold their own with their catchy upbeat songs of anti-racism and anti-intolerance, good melody and great horns and just a touch of the blues. There are some punkish bits and some more traditional reggae sounds. Imagine Skankin' Pickle meets Bunny White meets The Invaders. Just to prove that their good, The Baboonz even Have Dr. Ring Ding on track 10 "A Change For The Better" – now that's a seal of approval, plus I hear they know how to throw a good party.{mos_sb_discuss:3}

Plowking

Plowking – Plant The Foot©2005 Mad Butcher Records South Germany brings us more smooth ska in the band Plowking. I don't know if they got their name from Homer "Mr. Plow" Simpson's rival, but I suspect they did. Aside from that, "Plant The Foot" is 9 full ska tracks and a happy melodic intro. I can't really surmise if Europe is behind the times in the ska scene, or there is just a way larger appreciation over there. None the less, I love the fact that there is still an outlet for quality diverse ska across the world, even though it is a bit of a popularity nadir here in the states. I couldn't glean a whole lot of info from the bands website and I just threw away the one sheet, so I'll just have to express that Plowking is a sweet 8 piece ska band. They embody a commonality and purpose that makes the world less huge, from despising the highschool hero to appreciating a sunny day when the cops aren't around. Good times, good music. Let's all have some beers and enjoy Plowking.{mos_sb_discuss:3} www.plowking.de www.madbutcher.de  

Nathan Asher & The Infantry

Nathan Asher & The Infantry – Sex Without Love©2005 Infantry Publishing Hailing from Raleigh, NC Nathan Asher & The Infantry and equal parts Springsteen and Whiskeytown. They present a striking dichotomy to other artists in their respective age bracket. "Sex Without Love" comes across as several decades more mature than the collective ages of the members. (who all appear to have been born around the early eighties) A classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts and sporting a 6 member line up this is no easy task. The musicianship is solid and the songs subtly crafted. Though this isn’t exactly the normal fare here at upstarter, if you have any sort of anthemic alt-county/rock bent, check out Nathan Asher and the Infantry.

Evans Blue

Evans Blue – The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume©2006 Hollywood Records Perhaps I’m hard to impress. Perhaps I don’t like the mainstream. Likely it is both. Evans Blue’s new CD "The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume" out now on Hollywood Records is what I would lump into the "ok" pile. Reminiscent of Tool and Perfect Circle the band ebbs and flows through 11 tracks of radio length rock. I can totally see people not head banging to this as some nameless video is played on Headbanger’s Ball.