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August 2000 Reviews by

RATING SYSTEM | Analogue | Beef | Dan Byrk | Diffuser | Dillinger Four | Einsturzende Neubauten | Everything Is Happy Funtime In Our Little Isolated Paradise | Frisbie | Mike G | Grand Theft Audio | Huffamoose | Jesus Is Very Happy About AIDS in Africa | Kina | The Jimmy Nations Combo | Chris Lee | The Legendary Invisible Men | Lil' Kim | Mad Trucker Gone Mad | Hannah Marcus | The Marshmallow Coast | Punkass Betty and the Pharmaceutical Buttercups | Senor Coconut Y Su Conjunto | Schleigho | Sool | The Vandals | The Weakerthans


Analogue - Rock Proper (CD, Rubric, Progressive rock/instrumental)
Although we've only heard a small sampling of artists on the newly formed Rubric Records can color us impressed. The label is offering a variety of artists with one thing in common...they are all creative and unique. Analogue were previously on the notorious Sonic Bubblegum label...but now they've switched to Rubric. This all-instrumental band isn't quite like any other. You won't hear overworked guitar riffs, nor anything that sounds remotely like surf music (death to surf bands!)...nor generic and predictable dribble. And while the band likes to drone on's an interesting drone (yes, there IS a difference...). The tunes on Rock Proper are lengthy...but they are far from sounding proper. Perhaps Rock Improper would have been a more appropriate title for this disc. Somewhat dreamy, slightly psychedelic...and very appealing, this band creates its own cool niche by not following paths that have been traveled before. Subtle and most satisfying... See the label's web site at (Rating: 5)

Beef - Stink, Stank, Stunk (CD, Rock, Hoex)
With so much samey sounding dribble invading our mailbox on a daily basis, it is indeed refreshing to hear the genuinely good homegrown rock music of Beef. So...what's the gimmick, you ask? Actually, there is no gimmick. This band plays it simple and direct. (Fortunately, when you write good songs you don't have to try and make up for it with clever studio tweaking and complex arrangements.) We had to listen to this CD several times before it...sink, sank, This band's tunes get better the more you hear them. The music is basic guitar rock but, again, it is the tunes themselves that really stand out (plus we really dig the vocals). Our top faves here are "Sanford and Son," "Spavid Story," and "Get Drunk and Drive Around" (great song title). See the band's web site at (Rating: 4)

Dan Bryk - Lovers Leap (CD, Scratchie, Pop)
We were pleased to receive this disc in the mail for two reasons. First, because it confirmed that the wonderfully innovative Scratchie Record label is still in existence (we hadn't heard anything from Scratchie in so long we figured they had folded...that is fortunately NOT the case!). Secondly, we were pleased to be introduced to the wonderful music of Mr. Dan Bryk. Mr. Bryk's music is happy pop with a difference. What we find most intriguing are his lyrics. While the music sounds like standard upbeat pop, this fellow's lyrics are introspective, intelligent, and at times strangely bitter and alienated. Dan's songs are cool and free flowing...and his vocals are rather spectacular in a very genuine sort of way. Tunes like "I Love You Goodbye" and "...And Now Our Love Is Dead" make one wonder if Mr. Bryk has had romantic difficulties in the past...? Whatever the case, in the world of music this man is a success story. And if he keeps making discs like this one, the girls...and/or guys...and/or animals...and/or kitchen appliances...will be all over him. Check out the web site... (Rating: 5)

Diffuser - Injury Loves Melody (CD, Hollywood, Rock/pop)
While retaining a definite hard edge in their music, Diffuser have a keen sense of melody and song structure...thus differentiating themselves from the contorted mass of generic 2000 thrasher bands. These fellows' urgent vocals are accentuated by the presence of really big guitars and a really meaty drummer and bass player. That the band is able to keep the intensity level up despite their shifts in tempo and volume is intriguing. Diffuser's music is a nice blend of eighties progressive rock with a more modern and intensive approach. Check out their web site at (Rating: 4)

Dillinger Four - Versus God (CD, Hopeless, Rock/pop)
This band has an incredible underground buzz going on. We had seen and heard so much about these guys' crazy live shows that we just assumed they would be a thrash/noise band. NOT SO! What a grand surprise to find that Dillinger Four is actually a pop band at heart...but the guys just happen to play really LOUD and FAST. The hyperactive super melodic pop brings to mind Austin's Pocket Fishrmen (one of our favorite overlooked acts of the past few years). But back to the band at hand...Dillinger Four sure know how to crank out some tasty tunes. The band is tight, tight, TIGHT...and man...that vocalist is THE GODDAMN BEST...! Instead of bad screaming (which is standard fare with most really loud fast rock bands), these fellows leave their super vocals solid out in front and they SING instead of SCREAM...all RIGHT!!! But perhaps what is most amazing about Dillinger Four is that the melodies are truly outstanding. Yup...these tunes will equally thrill fans of punk as well as bubblegum fanatics. The band's songs are completely irresistable. As an added note, this disc contains some of the funniest song titles we have EVER heard..."Get Your Study Hall Outta My Recess"..."Define Learning Disorder"...and our favorite..."Shiny Things Is Good." Funny and completely hyperactive...Dillinger Four is a band that will BLOW YOUR GODDAMN MIND...! Honest...! BELIEVE the hype...! This stuff is absolutely GREAT. See the label's web site at (Rating: 5)

Eisturzende Neubauten - Silence is Sexy (CD, Mute, Industrial/pop)
After 20 years things change. Films change...the weather changes...ideas changes...and music changes as well. Eisturzende Neubauten, credited as the original pioneers of industrial music, are back again with a big whopping and powerful double CD. Silence is Sexy is a bit of a departure musically for the band, as they explore more poppy terrain. Never fear, however, the music is still strangely distant and somewhat unsettling. Fans of the band's very early material may condemn them for this release...but we, on the other hand, prefer the band's current sound. This double disc set is chock full of samples and electronics and dark vocals...some sung in english, others sung in the band's native language (German, natch). Industrial music is certainly an esoteric medium. Either you dig it or you don't. As usual, we base our standards solely on whether or not we like the sound of the music. This band still creates music that is DAMN satisfying and unique, as is evidenced by tracks such as "Silence is Sexy" (really cool), "Zampano," "Musentango," and "Total Eclipse of the Sun." The nice thing about E.N. is that they don't overproduce their music. The electronics are somewhat stark and naked. Very cool stuff, only to be truly enjoyed by a select few... See the label's web site at (Rating: 4)

Everything Is Happy Funtime In Our Own Little Isolated Paradise (Reality sort of thing)
People all over the earth...swarming this way and that...flying to and fro on sorry jets...fighting over what is right and what is wrong...rushing to get here and then rushing to get there...fighting for attention and for their own identity...and striving so desperately hard for the things that they want. Here in the unusually semi-plush offices of our own little isolated cabin deep in the heart of the woods...we are as content as canned peaches with rarely a care in the world. We do not now...nor have we ever...felt the need or desire to compete with other people. We have major big fun just basking in the paradise of our natural surroundings...listening to all the free music we can absorb...writing and recording our own simple tunes...and drawing and writing up a storm. We don't need the help or assistance of any company or corporation in order to function. Call us control freaks, if you like...or call us sensation junkies. We do not want or need any one person or place in order to feel satisfied. It's a great feeling not needing or depending on anyone else...although it took us many years to realize this. Fortunately...after churning away for over two DECADES...we have finally reached the highest level of self-actualization. We are finally truly happy and we are having the time of our lives...doing virtually nothing but the things that we love and want to do. Ahhhhh.....2000 is the GREATEST... (Not Rated)

Frisbie - The Subversive Sounds of Love (CD, Hear Diagonally, Pop)
Frisbie is a really good band...playing upbeat cerebral pop in the purest sense of the word. This Chicago-based band writes tunes that'll simply make you feel good...their arrangements are smart and appropriate...and, perhaps the most important variable in great pop, the band's vocals sound great. There's a whole heaping ton of hummable tunes on The Subversive Sounds of Love...all guitar based ditties that are reminiscent of tasty eighties pop. Harmony vocals abound throughout the disc, and are perhaps the group's most identifiable trademark. Our favorite tunes are "Let's Get Started," "To See and Be Seen" (really cool), and "Momentito." The folks promoting this band are really giving them a big push (which could either help or hinder the band...?). You can check out the band's web site at Neat. (Rating: 4)

Mike G - Sugar Daddy (CD, SeeThru Broadcasting, Pop)
The SeeThru Broadcasting label is so cool... You never quite know what to expect...but you can always bet it'll at LEAST be interesting... The music of Mike G contains a whirlwind of influences...and the tunes possess that strangely peculiar trait of an artist working in his own studio...creating music out of the pure love of making it...and enjoying the HELL out of himself. Listening to these tunes, it is easy to tell what a great time Mike had recording this disc. The title tune is a wonderfully heady 2000 trip forward, taking the basic sound of Harpers Bizarre and updating it. We particularly like the fact that tape hiss is obvious on many tracks. After all...which is more important...super clean and professional recordings...or recordings that contain heart and unique energy? We think that the latter is more important, and this disc is a good example of that. Not only does Mike G manage to come up with some totally cool tunes ("Anything You Want," "Uh-Huh," "Nothing in the Sky," "When We Speak")...but his lyrics...and particularly his delivery...make the songs somehow seem even bigger and more important. The end result? This is a wonderfully sparkling disc chock full of exciting energy and fresh ideas... Totally great stuff. Love it. See the label's web site at (Rating: 5)

Grand Theft Audio - Blame Everyone (CD, Sire/London, Rock)
The promo pack had us thinking we weren't gonna dig the music of Grand Theft Audio. The band name didn't grab us...the publicity photo made the fellows look like Sex Pistols rejects...gee, we just weren't too turned on by what we saw and read. But then publicist extraordinaire Dana Gordon suggested that we give this disc a listen because it actually had some good stuff on it. Ms. Gordon usually knows her stuff, so we gave it a spin. Hmmmm...Grand Theft Audio aren't another generic nothing. Their intense blend of electronics and hard rock/pop is melodic and yet very harsh and biting. Sort of like a 2000 version of Ultravox, except much more accessible. This music is actually pop at heart, with lots of studio bite to cover up the fact. But the band manages to come up with some really good songs that had us tapping our toasters on the very first listen. Songs like "We Luv U" (a mutated version of the Rolling Stones "We Love You"...great!), "Wake Up In Your Own Mind," and "Drugs and Girls" ought to please a wide range of music fans... Check out the band's web site at (Rating: 4)

Huffamoose - I Wanna Be Your Pants (CD, Shanachie Entertainment Corp., Rock/pop)
Hmmmm...there's some real confusing stuff going on here. First of all, don't let yourself be deceived by the cover of this CD. The cover art would have you believe this CD is a thrown together piece of crap. And the name of the band...Huffamoose sounds more like a name for a generic 2000 heavy metal band than for a group of intelligent popsters. And the name of the disc...I Wanna Be Your Pants...would tend to make one believe that this is a joke band. We were actually about to throw this one aside, but the fact that the disc was being handled by Ida S. Langsam caught our attention (Ms. Langsam's firm usually publicizes great stuff). We are proud to report that none of our initial impressions were true. Huffamoose are, in fact, a totally valid and compelling rock/pop band with true talent and style. The band resides in Philadelphia and their sound is... Well, the sound is something like a wonderful cross between The Kinks, early Joe Jackson, Neil Young, Roy Harper, Sparklehorse...and even David Bowie at times. But perhaps the most interesting facet of this band's music is that--while they sound similar to many other familiar greats--in the end, they actually have their own unique sound that is hard to pinpoint or describe. The tunes are instantly catchy...amazingly distinctive...and each song is unique in and of itself. There are all kinds of potential hits here (and in this case that does NOT mean "bad"!). Give a listen to "New Hit Song," "Isn't It Remarkable?," or the plaintive and super cool "Half Empty"...and you most will likely be hooked. The tune "Sunshine" is nothing short of beautiful. Truly neat stuff from a totally cool new band...aiming for the sky...and they just might get there with material like this. Check out the band's web site at We love this's really GREAT!!! (Rating: 5)

Jesus Is Very Happy About AIDS in Africa (Obvious kind of relelation sort of thing)
We spoke to Jesus personally recently and were not too surprised to find out that he is very happy about AIDS in Africa. Yup, not only is he glad about all those scrawny little black parking bags dying...he actually requested that his Father make it happen. But don't fear, hesitant touchy readers...Jesus isn't picking on negroes in particular... You see, he actually hates all groups of people...people of every race...every sexual persuasion...and every religion...and he hates each and every one of them THE SAME. But Jesus absolutely RELISHES it when large numbers of people all die horrible deaths at the same time. You oughta see the savior's DVD collection. The son of God has literally thousands upon thousands of DVDs of all kinds of natural disasters from the past several hundred years. He has an intense fascination with anything that kills people. So you see, Jesus' latest "fetish" is really nothing more than a continuation of his prior passionate interests. He currently has dozens of digital camera man covering the current AIDS epidemic in Africa. Jesus spends most of his weekend nights watching his library of digital footage...drinking beer and HOWLING in hysterics. We've visited on occasion, and had a rocking good time. In actuality, the currently "African AIDS" crisis is pretty much a joke. After's not like human life is PRECIOUS or RARE (ha!) who cares if a few thousand...or million...people perish? Actually Jesus does care...and we care as well... The more that die...the BETTER. Good riddance to all the pointless perishing flesh. Now if only the same thing could happen in every OTHER country all over the world... That would be...goddamn GOOD. (Rating: 3)

Kina - Kina (CD, Dreamworks, Pop)
Extremely accessible and commercial music...and yet there are still elements of a real human spirit lurking underneath. Kina is a rather spectacular looking lady with an even more spectacular voice. She can belt out a tune with guts and intensity...but she can also sound as simple and sweet as your favorite fluffy kitty cat. Sure this is a big studio production...but the big production works damn within the context of these interpretations. "I Love You" almost sounds like Linda Lewis (a great unrecognized talent from the 1970s). "Give and Take" is probably the best representation of what this lady is capable of...with its gentle flowing melody and stunning vocal lines. Other more seductive tunes like "U Don't Know" also come across sounding surprisingly sincere and genuine. Still think all commercial music has to sound like rotten crap? If so, then you may be missing the boat on some great new artists. Kina is KEEN in this little neighborhood. What a voice (!). See her web site at or the label's site at (Rating: 4)

The Jimmy Nations Combo - Tarheel Boogie (CD, Rubric, Country/pop)
Really neat stuff. What we like best about The Jimmy Nations Combo is that...while they're playing a style of music that was popular many years ago...they are not attempting to be a "retro" band per se... Actually, the music sounds very current, as these tunes were professionally recorded using modern equipment. And yet, the spirit of great old toe-tapping country pop comes shining through. The tunes are basic and simple...and Mr. Nations has a really cool voice that is most appealing. It seems as if there's "indy country" seeping out of every crack these days...but most of it just don't cut it. The Jimmy Nations Combo is the real thing, serving it up just the way it ought to be served. Of particular interest are "Tarheel Boogie," "Gonna Let You Down," and "Wishful Thinking." Super nice packaging with this CD... Visit the label's web site at (Rating: 4)

Chris Lee - Chris Lee (CD, Misra, Pop)
How many great pop acts can one publicist handle at any one given time? For the answer, you may wish to contact the unstoppable Josh Bloom of the infamous Fanatic Promotion office. Mr. Bloom displays amazing taste when it comes to deciding which artists to promote...and which ones to pass on. This month's Fanatic package contained a new CD by an artist named Chris Lee. Mr. Lee is quite the songwriter...writing soft pop tunes that have just a hint of a soulful side...and the disc is chock full of killer guitar work. The tunes are brisk and upbeat and surprisingly accessible. Lee's tunes remind us of Paul Weller in an odd American sort of way...but the vocals are much more restrained (thank God!). For a virtually unknown new artist, this guy really does have an amazing voice. This is quite a meaty little treat that ought to please underground pop fans as well as folks who are mainly into FM radio pop. And there ain't a bad tune in the bunch. Nice. Very, very nice... Check out Chris Lee's web site at or the label's site at (Rating: 4)

The Legendary Invisible Men - Who's Sorry Now? (CD, Blood Red Vinyl & Discs, Rock)
A good image is happening here As you might guess, The Legendary Invisible Men are somewhat of a mystery. Their faces are shrouded in hospital bandages on this CD...but they wear cool shades to add a sense of style. The music is simple, hard garage rock/pop played without frills or gimmicks (other than the "invisible" schtick). The band consists of former members of the Bomboras, the Finks, and the Ghastly Ones. The guitars are loud and fuzzy and the vocals have just the right sort of raspiness to make these tunes really ripe. A nice batch of upbeat garage rock here from five guys who know how to have a good time... And surprise! There are NO WEB SITES listed either for the BAND...OR the RECORD LABEL... Now that THAT'S truly UNIQUE! Hats off to Blood Red for NOT doing what everyone else is doing (!). Screw every rotten goddamn web site on the goddamn rotten PLANET! (Rating: 4)

Lil' Kim - The Notorious Kim (CD, Queen Bee/Atlantic, Phony pussy rap crap)
Breasts...and vagina. Breasts...and vagina. Big breasts...and enticing vagina. Lots of make up...and lots of bleach...and lots of fingernail polish. Breasts, vagina, make up, bleach, fingernail polish... Oh...and also MUSIC. Well, you won't find much "music" here that means anything. This is generic crap churned out to make money off all the stupid retards who will gladly shell out bucks to see the pretty pussy strut. Those who purchase this CD are the ideal fools, because they are the ones who will make Lil' Kim and her crappy supporting cast as rich as noodles. Pussy strutting can be a good thing (see Nashville Pussy for reference)...but you have to have SOMETHING to back it up. L'il Kim just DON'T. This is vapid, horrible, and a big bad pile of CRAP. And L'il Kim isn't the least bit offensive, which is what she is striving so desperately to be... (Rating: 1)

Mad Trucker Gone Mad - Mad Trucker Gone Mad (CD, Crustacean, Psychobilly punk)
Frantic punk with hillbilly tendencies. Mad Trucker Gone Mad are loud and harsh...but the driving beats are more in line with country music or even cowpunk...with just a hint of surf thrown in for good measure. It's a weird hodge podge of styles...but the band blends everything together seamlessly...creating a whirlwind of bizarre adrenaline. And the vocalist sounds like he means it. This is the kind of band that you either love or you hate. For our own course of reason, we know talent when we hear it...and these three guys definitely deliver the goods. Big rockin' fun. Check out their web site at (Rating: 4)

Hannah Marcus - Black Hole Heaven (CD, Bar/None, Esoteric pop)
Here in the land of the baby, we are on a neverending search for something...anything...that sounds different or unique in some way. Because our senses are inundated with hundreds of new releases each month, everything often tends to sound the same. Hannah Marcus caught our attention instantly...because she doesn't sound like any other artist in particular. Unlike most female singer/songerwriters, Hannah does not go for easy slick pop music. Nor does she do what so many "alternative" ladies do...which is to ape their idol, Kath Bush. Instead, Ms. Marcus simply breathes wonderful new life into the medium in which she functions. Her tunes are stream-of-consciousness pieces that float by like the clouds above...and her emotions run all over the place. Instead of conventional arrangements, all kinds of odd, unexpected sounds and instruments enter the musical landscape...all at precisely the right moment and at exactly the right volume. This is a very tightly produced disc that sounds neither slick nor corporate. We really dig this one...can you tell? The pieces are lengthy, obtuse...and just slightly lush. Great tunes like "Jay" (WOW!), "Los Alamos," "Stars From the Side," and "Tired Swan" make this one an absolutely wonderful listen. You ain't heard NUTHIN' until you hear Ms. Marcus coo lines like "...motherf*cker, whatever..." in her soothing and gentle vocal style. Very highly recommended...! You can check out Hannah's web site at NEAT NEAT NEAT! (Rating: 5)

The Marshmallow Coast - Marshmallow Coasting (CD, Kindercore, Pop)
Those Athens popsters...such an incestuous bunch,they are... This band is tight with Of Montreal, who lend support on this CD (and also play in live shows by The Marshmallow Coast). As we have reported in previous reviews, the pop scene in Athens, Georgia has expanded and prospered in recent years...producing an amazing array of genuinely cool new artists. Andrew Gonzales, the main ingredient in The Marshmalow Coast, is most certainly one of the cooler singer/songwriters from the area. Marshmallow Coasting is a nice clean fresh ride. The tunes are insightful and the arrangements fit the tunes perfectly. Mr. Gonzales has a nice free flowing vocal style that is reminiscent of vocalists from the 1950s and 1960s. Emphasis is on words and melody, and the vocals have a cool "who cares" sort of attitude. (Rather unlike the current mainstay of vocalists in 2000, most of who try so hard to impart tons of emotion that they end up sounding like obsessed speed sniffing piglets.) The Marshmallow Coast's party is one that is recommended for those into credible and catchy indy pop. Very cool stuff, delivered with substance and style... (Rating: 5)

Punkass Betty and the Pharmaceutical Buttercups - Our Pussies Are Unwelcome at the Local Fish Market (CD, Iscariottle, Throngwear)
Originally a small group of cat lovers (rather than a band), Punkass Betty and the Pharmaceutical Buttercups picked up instruments and started playing music as a reaction to unfair treatment they received at a local fish market. As the story goes, Betty and her ten identical friends would often go for evening strolls with their cats on leashes. Many times their walks would take them through Burt's Fish Market a few blocks from where they lived. Upon entering the fish market, the cats would literally go wild...often jumping up onto counters...scarfing down fish and frightening the customers. One day Burt confronted the women and told them they could no longer walk their cats through his market because of the chaos it caused. That was the day that the band was born. Punkass Betty and her friends are now on a personal crusade to make it so that people everwhere have the right to walk their cats through open fish matter if the cats steal and eat the food...and no matter if the disruption causes the business to close down. Punkass Betty and her friends think only of themselves and their selfish feline sentiments. But the way the world operates, they will probably get what they want...which is to enact legislation that will make it so that people can bring any kind of pet into any business at any hour of the day anytime...anywhere. Isn't it GRAND and WONDERFUL when a small group of people share a common goal and fight for it until the very end...? Of course it is. Why yes, of course it is... It's so cool that we just want to VOMIT. (Rating: 1)

Senor Coconut Y Su Conjunto - El Baile Aleman (CD, Emperor Norton, Latin pop)
We HAD to review this one...because the idea is so damn weird. Latin cover versions of...Kraftwerk?!?!? As strange and ridiculous as it sounds, you will probably be surprised (as we were) that this obtuse take on the music of the infamous German electronic pioneers actually WORKS. The concept was organized and orchestrated by Uwe Schmidt, who is now known as Senor Coconut. When we first listened to the disc...we were laughing. But after a couple of spins we realized that this damn thing actually has staying power...which is to say, it actually sounds better the more you hear it. Even Kraftwerk themselves expressed their approval of this project. Check out the label's web site at Strange and slightly psycho. (Rating: 4)

Schleigho - Continent (CD, Flying Frog, Progressive jazz rock)
Talk about creating a groove and staying in it...! To say that the four fellows in Schleigho are proficient on their instruments is a vast understatement. Playing heady progressive jazz rock as if it is blood flowing through their veins, these fellows breath new life into progressive music. The tunes on Continent are reminiscent of music from the seventies...when bands were competing to see who could play the most difficult material. Time signatures change as fast as rabbits in the supermarket. Actually the music of Schleigho is more jazz than rock, as many of the tunes are centered around bass and keyboard riffs.This disc will please fans of the already infamous Bela and the Fleckstones... See the label's web site at (Rating: 4)

Sool - Sool (CD, Stereorrific, Lo-fi pop)
Odd stuff...very simple, yet well defined at times. Sool (good band name, eh?) consists of Kevin Quinn, Neal Spaulding (both formerly of The Dead Monkeys) and Pete Weiss. These three fellows write simple (sometimes slightly crazy) pop tunes that are centered around hummable melodies and simple guitar riffs. The vocals are rather exceptional on several tunes, and the lyrics are on the silly side. At times these guys can sound absolutely beautiful ("Laughing Under a Tree") other times they come off pensive and introspective ("Lamentia")...and yet they still manage to rock out when they choose to ("Noodle Man"). The tunes are split up by little audio snippets (from old television programs perhaps or old albums?)... This is an interesting little platter that doesn't sound like all the rest... Check out the label's web site at (Rating: 4)

The Vandals - Look What I Almost Stepped In... (CD, Nitro, Rock)
YEAH! We were impressed as purty pussies with the last release by The Vandals...and this disc's just as good it not BETTER. "Behind the Music," the opening track, contains lyrics that are reminiscent of The Kinks from their Lola vs. Powerman and the Money Go Round period. The punchy guitars and frantic harsh as they are at times...never drown out this band's wonderfully hyperactive pop vocals. Why, one can actually UNDERSTAND the lyrics (now ain't that a nice change?). There are lots of bands these days who play at five hundred miles per hour...but most of them simply have no style or pizzazz. These fellows possess the unique ability to deliver their material with just the right attitude... A sense of humor reigns supreme...yet these guys never flounder into the "joke band" category. This is smart punk/pop for young folks with the ability to think while they're doing the pogo. Other cool tunes include "Go," "Flowers Are Pretty," and "I'm the Boss of Me." But our personal favorite is "The New You"...great fun stuff... See the label's web site at (Rating: 5)

The Weakerthans - Left and Leaving (CD, Sub City/Hopeless, Pop/rock)
Canada's The Weakerthans are a GREAT band....!!! Having blown us away with their last full-length, we weren't sure if they could top it...but MAN OH MAN. If their last CD was great...then we have to describe this one as...INCREDIBLE. Combining wildly intelligent lyrics with unforgettable melodies and surprising song structures, these guys really hit major home runs. Starting off with the soft and subtle "Everything Must Go!", you immediately realize this band is not just another flash of generic light. The lead singer has one of the most unique voices we've heard in a long while. This band is just as effective belting out rockers as they are holding back and letting their soft souls shine...and MAN do we dig their softer stuff (!). One listen to "Pampheteer" will have you ready to curl up and grab a needle. The cool and pleading "Elegy for Elsabet" is quite unforgettable. The Weakerthans show more restraint on this CD than on their last...and in doing so, they demonstrate just how original and unique they are. It's too bad that there are so many talented bands out there so strung out on playing so loud and so fast that they forget that the main idea is to impart emotion, feelings, and ideas. The tunes on this disc are relevant, intriguing, unusual, and catchy as holy hell. YOU MUST OWN THIS CD. Seriously, dear ladies and gentlemen and others...we mean it. Check out both label web sites: and Dan Bryk (reviewed elsewhere in this month's reviews and who is also a Weakerthans fan) was kind enough to send us this Canadian link: (Rating: 5)

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