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.
Born To Lose – Sweet Misery (c) 2006 Sailor's Grave Records Born To Lose ' debut Sailor's Grave record "Sweet Misery" is 12 anthemic tracks of pure Texas punk. Based out of Austin, the hotbed of Texas college culture and the home of SXSW, it comes as a small surprise that there is no lap steel guitar or lowsome yodelling on this record. Kidding aside, Born To Lose is a solid punk rock band that has a lot of the qualities of Avail or the more sing along parts of H2O. Bottom line, punk rock presented in the form of punk rock. Good Stuff.
Mad Sin – Dead Moon’s Calling (c) 2006 Sailor’s Grave RecordsI have no idea how Mad Sin has slipped under my radar for so long. It wasn’t until Mrs. !upstarter came home w/ a copy of “Survival of the Sickest” about a year ago that I had even heard of the 4 piece Psychobilly act. In my defense, they are from all the way over in Germany. “Dead Moon’s Calling” is Mad Sin’s newest full length release soon to be out on Sailor’s Grave Records and it is definitely true to their ballsy bluesy dark and furious psychobilly sound. Special guests on the new disc include Lars from Rancid and Patricia from Horropops. Mad Sin also has a new guitar player on the roster. For private reasons Tex had to leave the band–on good terms of course–Tex has been replaced with Mad Pete 1, formerly known as Nekropete of Nekromantix fame. “Dead Moon’s Calling” packs in 21 tracks at just under 50 minutes. They cover the speed spectrum of a fevered frenzy on “Fuel for Brains” and “Brand New Gun” to the lonesome longing sound of “Gone Forever” and the hauntingly sinister sounds of “Houdini’s Pool” Mad Sin is one bad ass car race to the end of a cliff at the wrong end of a broken bottle all covered in hot rod flames and jailhouse tattos. This is Psychobilly at its finest.Mad Sin has also embarked on their long awaited US tour. Check their site for details.
Less Than Jake – In With The Out Crowd (c) 2006 Sire RecordsFor all of you out there anxiously awaiting the new Less Than Jake release, "In With The Out Crowd", save your money. Less Than Jake has finally become the definition of their name. The pre-release CD that I was sent is so fucking encrypted that it wont even play on my PC. If they can't trust the people that are giving their bands press, why do the labels even bother to send anything at all? The CD works fine in the home and car stereo and guess what, it sounds like Less Than Jake, only less than. Ha! get it — less than. Seriously though Johnny Quest should have saved his opinion until more recently. "In With The Out Crowd" contains 12 tracks of radio pop friendly ska tinged songs that are trying to hard to still seem edgy. I hope that this CD was meant to fulfill a poorly considered contract, because if this is serious, I'm done listening.
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!
(c) 2006 Sailor's Grave Records
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.
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 – 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.