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Askew Review 15

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THE GO-NUTS- Dunk and Cover (Lookout) These guys take goof rock to soaring new heights. All of the songs are about food, mainly foods that fall into the snacks category. The first cut, “The Fabulous Go Nuts Theme,” perfectly lays out the bands mission with it’s catchy lyrics and, well, theme like sound. You will hum this one over and over to yourself. “Cheese to China” will have you popping a blood vessel or two in your head from laughter. “Hot for Twinkies” is a hilarious spoof on Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher.” The music falls somewhere within rock, pop punk, and beach blanket bingo surf rock. The music is intended to be fun and catchy, and it wonderfully succeeds in it’s quest. All you angry punkers will loathe this disc, but those looking for a little fun will dig it. “S.N.A.C.K.R.O.C.K.” is the perfect anthem for serious snackers world-wide. Whether life’s got you down or you’re just looking for a bit of silliness, The Go-Nuts will feed your appetite. – Denis Sheehan

GOD IS MY CO-PILOT- Children Can Be So Cruel (Miguel, Postfach, CH-8026, Zurich, Switzerland) Yikes. Ever walk into a used record store and hear that weird music you never heard before? Well, this is it. Lots of off key saxophone playing with weird, sometimes screeching vocals. One song sounds like a German tap dance song, while another sounds like an African tribal song. Aside from the vocals (wailing woman) you would never suspect that all the songs are by the same band. I will say this, the guitars are very fun and catchy. Very weird, but oddly enough, pleasing sound. -Denis Sheehan

 GOD TOLD ME TO- Briss (Fan Attic Records, POB 391494, Cambridge, MA 02139-0015) Punk influenced garage rock loaded with aggression.  This is one of those discs that make me want to pick up a guitar and start my own band. All of the songs are very catchy and entertaining songs. Great cover of “Sweet Caroline.”

GODBOY- Soft Jaws, Sweet Teeth (www.godboy.com) Since this is Godboy’s first full cd release, there has never been more craziness jam packed onto one cd. The best way to describe the music is to call it “quirk rock.” And I mean that with the utmost respect. As the music bounces you all over the place, a beautifully strummed acoustic guitar holds it all together while Daniel Madri vulnerably sings his ever so wacky lyrics. Make no mistakes, these guys can write music and they aren’t afraid to experiment. Even better, they aren’t too serious about things either. Looking for a mellow, yet intense, mish-mash of Frank Zappa and The Violent Femmes with a hint of funny bone country? Look no more. Godboy is here to save the day. “Greetings From Sediment” is genius.- Denis Sheehan

 GODBOY- Silent Treatment From A Talking Horse (110 Central St #2, Somerville, MA 02143) Yet another genius release from the wackiest band from Boston. These guys wrap punk, folk, country, rock, and even some hard rock all together, which gives birth to the weirdest music ever. The lyrics are just as funny too. One can’t help but to pay strict attention to the words to hear what comes next. The only problem with this disc is that it is only about sixteen minutes long. "Love Is Vapor" is my favorite of the eight songs. You must experience Godboy.

GOH-Matt (Goh music, POB 38-0253, Cambridge, MA 02238) Upbeat folk/cowboy rock with great lyrics. Their sound just puts you in a good mood. I listened to the disc all the time and couldn't get enough. It could have used more than the 6 titles on the disc. The song "gi joe" reminded me of my childhood, it’s pretty funny. Usually I wouldn't listen to this kind of music but now that I've heard it I might go out and find discs similar to it. The cd just had a great sound to it.-Brian Clark

GOOD RIDDANCE- Operation Phoenix (Fat Wreck Chords, POB 193690, San Francisco, CA 94119-3690) It is a very rare occurrence when I listen to a band I’ve never heard before and I love every song on the disc. Well, this is one of those rare occurrences.  Good Riddance plays power punk that is fast, melodic, intense, and just plain great. The first cut, “Shadows of Defeat,” pulls you into the disc with its fast cutting guitars and motivating chorus. The rest of the disc then proceeds to manhandle you until the last song is over leaving you exhausted. Smart, witty lyrics will keep you even more interested. Great disc. You must own this baby. – Denis Sheehan

GROOVIE GHOULIES- Travels with My Amp (Lookout) These pop-punkers have been around for a while, but this is the first time I've heard their music. The first time I listened to this cd, I didn't like it. But, the second time I kept the cd in the player for a couple times around and now I can't stop singing the songs. These guys sound just like the Queers, and I just read that B-face from the Queers is the bassist. The disc is full of melodic energy. "The Highwayman" is my favorite here, "Ghoulie Family" and "Bye Bye Brain" are just as lively. If you're a fan of independent pop punk this is a must buy. – Brian Clark

HALFWAY TO GONE- High Five (Small Stone) Very cool and heavy hitting guitar stoner rock. I normally do not like this kind of stuff, but this cd friggin rocks (I sound like a party nerd). The music borders on the edges of southern rock and heavy metal, but fails to slip into either territory. “Kind Words For the Southern Gentlemen” starts with a reading of The Gettysburg Address and proceeds on with some mean guitar work. I don’t know what to write other than “good stuff!”- Denis Sheehan

HIP TANAKA- Le Jihad (Band Site) These guys are best described as a schizophrenic punk rock lounge band from hell who has had too much to drink, sniffed a little to much glue, and who likes nothing more than to have a good time. The music is at times fast, at times slow, at times hard, at times easy…you get the picture. However, the music is always entertaining and interesting. My favorite tune here is “Don’t leave the Ground.” Why you ask? I have no idea. – Denis Sheehan

HOODS - Time...The Destroyer (Victory Records) Saying that HOODS are a typical Victory Records metalcore act is meant to imply no disrespect whatsoever. Victory has a long-standing tradition of putting out some of the best metallic hardcore ever, and this debut CD from HOODS is no exception. The music alternates between balls-out hard-core and brutal slow breakdowns, all in the right places. Falling somewhere between Strife and Earth Crisis (both past Victory signings,) HOODS have found a nice niche in which to ply their brutality. The vocals lean more towards the death metal variety, with constant consultation of the enclosed lyrics to find your place in the songs, again not a bag thing. I love this disc and look forward to catching this band live when I get the chance, I can only imagine how brutal their live show is. - Corey Grier

HOMELESS WONDERS (Suburban Home) Stop! Don’t even bother finishing this review. Get yer arse out there and buy this great punk disc right now! Times a’ wasting! The music is a collection of frenzied punk with a catchy beat not normally heard in punk this chaotic. It honestly sounds like the guitars have a life of their own. One second the guitars sound melodic and almost soothing, then they tear into your head with some nasty riffs. The drums are just as insane. Look, I can’t do these guys justice by just typing a silly little review. This baby is a punk rock masterpiece that should be listened to. – Denis Sheehan

 HOME MADE-As We Fall (Theologian, PO Box 1070,Hermosa Beach, CA 90254) Great punk rock with a sort of happy sound. All nine songs are very tight and well played. I liked every song on the disc. Kind of reminded me of All. - Denis Sheehan

 THE HUMPERS- Euphoria, Confusion, Anger and Remorse(Epitaph)Hmm, tough disc to review. Most of the songs are basically faced paced rock. There are a few slower songs. The best part about The Humpers is their guitar work. It is great. The lead singer just didn’t do anything for me. He sounds as if he lacks that leadership quality found in most frontmen. Of the twelve songs “Devil’s Magic Pants” is the best. - Denis Sheehan

 I.C.U. - Mad Truth (Radical Records, 77Bleecher St, NYC, NY 10012) 90’s emo punk with heavy ties to the female punk sound of the 70’s (Blondie, Patty Smith). What I love most about Pee Wee’s (female) vocals is that they are not screaming, whining, or snotty sounding like most other punk rock chicks (sorry, women). Her voice is so damn hypnotic and almost soothing but still emits a sound of angst. A guitar fuels the music, but make no mistake, the vocals are the key to this disc. Pee Wee beautifully duels her mesmerizing lyrics with the strumming guitar. I hate it, in a good way of course, when I fall in love with the sound of a woman’s voice. – Denis Sheehan

 ILL REPUTE- We’ll Get Back At Them (Indecision Records, POB 5781, Huntington Beach, CA 92615) This disc is a twenty-two song re-release of early material from these 15 year hardcore punk veterans. Included are “Land Of No Toilets” (their first EP), “What Happens Next” (1984 debut LP), and tracks form the “Nardcore” compilation. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than early 80’s hardcore punk. Get this disc and you’ll hear why. Great disc. -Denis Sheehan

JJ NOBODY AND THE REGULARS- Rock ‘n’ Roll Doesn’t End At 2:00 (Hopeless) At first listen, I thought this 15 song CD (actually 16 songs if you count the “hidden” track, an oddly compelling ditty that contemplates suicide by pocket knife) was just okay.  But after a few more listens, it really started to grow on me.  These guys have lots of rock ‘n’ roll attitude, singing about, well, rockin’, drinkin’ and fuckin’ among other things.  The song “His Girl,” which seems to be about a despised ex-girlfriend, has a great putdown opening line: “You’ve got a big mouth and a big ass, and I think you know it.”  Throughout “Rock ‘n’ Roll Doesn’t End At 2:00,” JJ Nobody & Co. give us some punked up hillbilly tunes, some straight-ahead garage-y numbers and some smooth acoustic, harmonica-laced cuts.  Some songs are hybrids of all three of these styles.  The eighth track, “Son Of A Bitch,” sounds like a drunken union of the Dead Milkmen on vocals with The Reverend Horton Heat and his band taking care of the music.  For the next few songs, I kept picturing Rodney Anonymous on the microphone, and it was kind of disconcerting.  Overall, this is a pretty solid disc.  It’s going into my “keeper” pile. –Ben Hunter

 JON COUGER CONCENTRATION CAMP-Melon(BYO, POB 67A64, Los Angeles, CA 90067) This thirteen song disc is more than great punk rock, it is punk rock that will even turn a convent full of nuns into mohawk wearing, leather clad maniacs. I was exhausted after listening to this over energized cd! Not a single second is wasted here. These guys even make the theme song for Beverly Hills 90210 sound cool. You must own this disc if you like any kind of punk rock.

KID WITH MAN HEAD- Fond Memories of Halibut Rodeo (Twenty-Four Seven) This cd is made up of four new songs and two re-mastered versions of two older songs from past releases. The music is best described as power pop rock akin to The Foo Fighters, but not as polished or aggressive. Being from Boston, I have no idea how to pronounce the letter R when I speak, and I know it. Therefore, Kid’s lead singer’s vocals really stuck out because he pronounces his R’s like no tomorrow. – Denis Sheehan

THE LILLINGTONS- Death By Television (Panic Button, POB 148010, Chicago, IL 60614-8010) Fourteen truly great three chord pop punk tunes. All the songs are catchy as hell and will have you singing them to yourself all day and night. The lyrics have a sci-fi, comic book, creature feature feel to them. If you like the Ramones, Queers, or Screeching Weasel, you will love The Lillingtons. This is a must have disc for those with ears. Great stuff! -Denis Sheehan

THE LILLINGTONS- The Backchannel Broadcast (Panic Button) The Lillington’s first Panic Button release, Death By Television, is one of my favorite cds and I’ve been anticipating this cd for a while now. Well, this disc is well worth the wait and these guys have once again become a favorite. All the song’s topics have a sci-fi/spy/teenage zombie feel to them, reminiscent of early Misfits (minus the devil stuff), and are played akin to the Ramones three chord power pop punk sound. Punk rock played in a cool and melodic comic book form. Kody’s vocals are a bit quieter than the music making it seem like he is telling you a secret in a paranoid manner. Perhaps the catchiest tune here is “Badman with The Devil’s Hand” with it’s great chord changes and vocal tempo. Screeching Weasel front man Ben Weasel wrote “Wait It Out” for the boys to play, and they do so in a very Weasel way. In a way I really don’t comprehend, “Six Ways to Die” beautifully caps off this sixteen-song twenty-four minute disc and somehow brings closure to this listening pleasure. If Fox Moulder from the X-Files was a punker, this is the band he’d listen to. Great stuff. – Denis Sheehan

LIMP- Limp (Honest Don's)  I looked at the cover of this album and expected to hear some kinda rap metal retread bo’shite.  You’ve got a big hand giving what appears to be the middle finger (on second glance it’s actually a raised ring finger- clever SOBs) and the word LIMP coming at you from out of a black background.  I popped the disc in and was surprised to hear what could best be described as math pop.  The singer sounds like a nerd version of David Lowery (Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven [and that reminds me, CVB’s Telephone Free Landslide Victory was without a doubt one of the best albums released in the ‘80s.  I’m gonna have to dust that mofo off and give it listen when I’m done writing this]).  At first I just couldn’t get past this guy’s voice.  I’m not saying it was as unpleasant as chewing on a pimiento, then realizing it’s a bloody snot, but it wasn’t far off.  Hardass that I am, though, I bravely soldiered on, and after a couple listens, I actually started to like some of it.  There is a genuinely cool acoustic, string-enhanced number on this sucka called “Ails” that I suddenly couldn’t get enough of.  It’s the kind of poignant claptrap you’d hear during an especially arty button-pushing scene of an above-average independent film, and I mean this in the most flattering way.  The other song that stood out was “Therapy,” a catchy little tribute to the nerd’s friends.  And as it turns out, there are enough decent songs on this disc to make it a worthwhile listen in the end.  Who’d a’thunk it? –Ben Hunter 

LINUS - So This is You (Band Site) While there's some guitar noise a la My Bloody Valentine here and there on "So This is You" , by and large this CD is a collection of standard, even formulaic, pop/rock.  Frontman Eric Edmonston's touchy-feely, heartfelt lyrics just ooze world-weariness and "sensitive guy," coffee-house cool.  While such a personal approach to writing and performing music might be expected to yield great emotional power, the overall delivery on the disc comes across as more competent than passionate.  Linus ends up sounding like a band that's aimed towards the "adults" (read: over 20) but who can still "rock" when they feel like it.  I don't know that I buy it; not too much rockin' goin on here, if you ask me.  Not that it matters: This kind of thing consistently finds airplay and fans and, with any luck, Linus will get their shot.  Imagine The Smithereens with Joe Jackson singing lead.  Or the Foo Fighters with less oomph.  - Chris Wissmuller

LONELY KINGS- Crowning Glory (Fearless Records)  Well, if ever there was a case of the name fitting the music, these guys nailed it and nailed it hard.  Definitely the power pop side of punk, but a heavy emphasis on power.  At the high energy levels that Crowning Glory achieves there is a real nice undertone of well, like I wrote, lonely.  It makes you think, the music is a little more cerebral, they don’t rely on overly catchy hooks and simple choruses. Jake Desrochers’ got a voice I like hearing in a punk song.  Sounds like a real guy singing and screamin’ his guts out, not an eleven year old,  and the lyrics meet the same high standard that the music does, heartfelt and in a way poetic.  Well, now for the other stuff; the Lonely Kings have been around since about ’94 with their first full length “What If” in ’99; an ep “Creed” and a couple of spits with Divit and Jetlag.  Crowning Glory sees the band with Luke Pabich of Good Riddance as co-producer and a switch in drummers just prior to recording.  The Lonely Kings just added Jonas from First To Fall as a second guitarist and they already have around thirteen new songs they hope to record soon.  I like it, it rocks, it’s new, go buy. –David Morgan

LUCKIE STRIKE - Future is Turning (Tomato Head Records)(Band Site)  Look, this band pushed all the right buttons with me so be forewarned.  First off, Melanie's voice (dunno her last name - sorry) has a knack for sounding both cute and tough in a very Joan Jett way.  Actually, the first song, "Slightly Stoopid," could've been lifted directly from Ms. Jett's '95 album with the Gits, Evil Stig, and sets the tone for the rest of this little 5-song EP.  Really good, catchy and nasty hard rock/punk rock with song structures firmly rooted in classic rock and roll ­­-- there's not a dud in the bunch.  The disc's under-produced enough to be cool and dirty without sacrificing sound quality.  All four band members do exactly what's appropriate for each song: No gratuitous soloing or anything like that but obvious ability throughout.  They even toss in a cool-ass cover of Elvis Costello's "Radio, Radio."  Go get your copy of Future is Turning today so you can say you were a fan before Luckie Strike hit it big.  A gem.- Chris Wissmuller 

 

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