Album Reviews by Shane Copher
Sponsored In Part By
Stuck Mojo • Hvy 1
Century Media Records
Crash, bang, wallop! Stuck Mojo let it rip on this live recording. Harnessing
all their on stage power and transferring it to your living room, this’ll
have you pinned against the couch in no time. Great renditions of "Back
In The Saddle," "Twisted," "Southern Pride," and a dozen other pounding
cuts. The disc includes two new studio tracks, the highly unorthodox "Reborn"
(is that a subtle melody I hear?), and the album closing "My Will." A great
concert package from one of today's most powerful live bands. A moshin’
Sunset Heights • Sunset Heights
This album made my top five for ’99, with its searing guitar attack and
southern blues attitude. Sunset Heights bring Kenny Wayne Shepherd and
the Black Crowes to mind, with their catchy rhythms and fiery fretwork.
"Southern Star," "Medicine Hat" and "Memory Lane" boast licks that the
aforementioned Shepherd would be jealous of, while maintaining smooth melodies,
and featuring strong vocals, delivered from the gut. 13 killer blues tracks
with no fluff. Watch out for these guys, they are gonna be HUGE!
Overkill • Coverkill
CMC International Records
This disc serves as filler for Overkill fans while awaiting a new studio
album. Containing nothing but cover tunes, recorded at various times throughout
the band's career, most would look at this as a cheesy way to make a few
bucks, without having to go back in the studio. I tend to think that way,
too, but the album is actually pretty tasty, kickin’ it off with Motorhead’s
"Overkill," then racing through cuts from The Ramones, Manowar, Priest,
Kiss, Sabbath, the Pistols, and others. Their handling of Tull’s "Hymn
43" is the highlight cut. While the strength of this release didn’t overwhelm
me, it did make me pull some old vinyl off the shelves and give ‘em a new
spin, and for that, this album has some commercial value.
The Derailers • Full Western Dress
Produced by Dave Alvin, Full Western Dress is an alternative country
hoot! Boasting great vocals, that rival The Mavericks, with plenty of twang,
and a boot tappin’ rhythm that’ll make this a hit in the clubs. "The Lost
and Found," "Someone Else’s Problem," and "Then She Kissed Me" are all
worthy of garnering some chart impact, while the disc’s nine remaining
cuts are sturdy if not outstanding. Grab a little piece of honky tonk heaven
and snatch this puppy up... it’s solid.
Ingrowing • Cyberspace
Shindy Productions/Tentamen Records
Extreme industrial/deathcore, with sci-fi themes and razor gargling vocals.
The music is fast and furious, but at times lacks the structure to keep
it cohesive. Fans of power and volume will find plenty to like about this
release, as Ingrowing boasts a sound that’s similar at times to Kreator,
and Voi Vod, but those who want their music, well... musical, may want
to opt for more rhythmic pastures. The vocals may be too heavy for their
own good, and that would be a shame, as they show some promising power.
Rogue • Separation 180
Another of '99's top releases on my list! Rogue boasts outstanding vocals,
a hearty musical foundation, along with power when needed, and catchy rhythms
that grab you before you’ve finished hearin’ em the first time. "Inside
of Me (S.P.R.)" starts this off on a somewhat mellow note, but with strong
guitars lending it a heavier edge. "Conscious Man" displays a grittier
side of Rogue, while "Wash Me Clean" would fit perfectly on a Flotsam &
Jetsam release. A tasty cover of Priest’s "Victim Of Changes" closes this
strong outing, while displaying the ample axework the band possesses. A
Disarray • A Lesson in Respect
This hardcore metal outfit continues to kick out quality releases with
ample power, and great structuring. A Lesson In Respect boasts a
crisper production than their earlier outings, and thus a much more enjoyable
product. On "Piss" and "Forever Scorned," the band seems to have found
a way to harness their power, which at times has gotten so frenzied it’s
had an ill effect on some otherwise strong material. No, they’re not wimpin’
out, just capturing a stronger overall sound. "Exist To Suffer" and "Your
Fuct World" prove that Disarray aren’t about to go mellow on us. The album
closes with a cover of Skynyrd’s "Freebird"... now there’s a cut I never
dreamed would get the death treatment, but amazingly enough, it works!
Speak No Evil • Speak No Evil
Strong groove-laden rock with a grunge/metal edge. Curtis Skelton’s vocals
are a cut above what’s currently flooding the market, with a gutty blues
belting quality, they take strong material up another couple notches. The
guitarwork is brilliant, without overpowering the solid rhythm section,
and explosive grooves. Speak No Evil can contend with any of the top dogs
on the hard rock circuit, and this is just their debut release. Universal’s
got a monster on its hands... Outstanding!
Depresy • Sighting
Black metal outfit Depresy waste no time getting this album going, with
the opening title track delivering a sinister combination of furious fretwork
and haunting vocals. Sighting boasts eight tracks with "Tale of Dust" and
"The Antichrist’s Philosophy" among the weightier cuts. The intro to "Lunar
Spell" would make a fine horror film soundtrack with its eerie melody and
haunting feel. This band has done their homework here, with the end result
an album that’ll grab the death metal fans around the throat. As a bonus,
this enhanced CD features band photos, bio, and video for "Antichrist."
Depresy • A Grand Magnificence
This mini CD features the haunting opus "Unpure Romanticism," along with
a re-recording of "Try Not to Breathe," and a cover of Hypochrisy’s "An
Elder Spirits Reincarnation." The band shows why they’re moving to the
forefront of the black metal scene with their fiery axework and hell-spawned
vocals. "And There Came The Tears With Christ" is another mini-operatic
opus that closes this disc in sinister style, showing off their brooding
chord progressions, and venomous frenzy.
Crabby Lady • Raw!
11th Street Records
Bluesy garage rock that's diverse in instrumentation and styling, as well
as its sound. From awesome guitarwork and steady drumming to flutes and
pedal steel, Crabby Lady aren't content to go with the flow. "Allegheny
Stop" boasts a hard driving blues rock feel, while "On My Dacha" is a mellow
slide into a jazz feel. Nice groove-laden tracks with strong vocals from
Sue Lange and outstanding fretwork from Gary Celima. Tailor made for the
clubs, this band has got a definite party groove going, and should make
catching 'em live a great experience.