"Slavicsky's Smorgasbord"

by Al Slavicsky
Sponsored In Part By

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Teen Heroes - Audio Satellite

Glue Factory Records
Poppy punk from Surfside, CA, the Teen Heroes melt your soul with passion via todayís punk music. Sort of like a new wave of emocore. This band may be young, but they are destined to be a band to be reckoned with. Canít get enough of listening to this great band.

Outpatients - Outcasts II í85-í95

Free Association Records
A collection of rare tunes from one of the first Western Mass. crossover bands, a band who appeals to hardcore, metal, and punk audiences. The Outpatients were a band who makes you feel that old school charm with such killer tunes as "Rampage," "Backwards Birthday," and "Inside Out." This demonstrates the history of the band and its line-ups from 1985 to 1995 through unreleased and limited edition releases. Makes one wish that The Outpatients were still around today and makes one wish that they achieved greater success when they were still active. The Outpatients deserve to be heard by todayís hardcore and punk historians. Great attention to the first part of the history of The Outpatients is paid via Hardcore Outcasts í82-í84 which, along with this release, is the complete history of The Outpatients.

Tex Svengali - Adonai Elohim El Camimo (Stay in the Boat)

Opulence!, P.O. Box 2071, Wilmington, NC 28402
Imagine what Black Flag would sound like if it fused with Fraction or Badfinger; you would get Tex Svengali. This CD highlights 12 post-punk/pre-revolutionary rockers from this master of the studio. One must admire the backmasking on "v.blaze/noon by one" and the satire on "dick fever & anal tuft" and "the pothole of my heart." Tex Svengali masters the sounds of what punk was and what punk is today. Enjoyable metallic disc to warp your mind.

O.Z. Willis - No More Anything

Riviere International Records
Weíre off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of O.Z. Willis. This is some of the best neo-industrial music recorded lately. Reminds one of NIN, Ministry, and Wire. On No More Anything, O.Z. Willis demonstrates twelve intense tracks with the hardcore emotional feeling in their sounds. Best tunes include "I Love to Hate You," "Saviour," and "Am I." Mind warping and mind forming sound. O.Z. Willis is ready to make its mark on the world.

Cranium - Speed Metal Slaughter

Necropolis Records
If you need a release in the style of old í90s speed metal in the vein of Destruction, Exodus, Grim Reaper, and Venom, Cranium will crack your skull and make it bleed internally. On Speed Metal Slaughter, Cranium attacks the disco music fans, cutting grass, groupies, and necrophilia and destroys them all. "Slaughter on the Dance Floor" stays in your mind forever due to the humorous slant of using a chainsaw on the dance floor, and it is as humorous as Grim Reaperís tribute to Michael Jacksonís "Final Scream." Cranium is real speed metal the way it should be done... fast, raw, and hard.

All Hail Me - Lessons in Monster Making

Overture Records
Alternative poppy music with noisy feedback and reverbs, All Hail Me does 11 strong tracks with a passionate feeling to them. This is the type of music that will invade college rock radio and college parties in the future. Really enjoy the almost Steve Albini style of mix throughout the album. Key tracks include "Bus Ride," "Coffee," and "Flock." All Hail Me is a band for you if you like Hum, Nirvana, or V-3.

The Amazing Royal Crowns - The Amazing Royal Crowns

Velvel Records
This is a remastered version of the bandís original 1996 self-titled release. Resequenced and with the sound slightly remixed, it is still able to keep the raw punk-a-billy sound for which the band is noted. The songs are now classics, including "Do the Devil," which is the bandís first video," the hotrod anthem "1965 G.T.O.," "Rollercoaster," "King of the Joint," and "Swimming in Drinks," to name a few. Also, this remastered edition includes new liner notes, photos, and new packaging. "Do the Devil" and party with the A.R.C.!

Dazz Band - Here We Go Again

Intersound Urban
If you are thinking that you would hear something similar to "Let It Whip" on this release, guess again. This band has been around for about thirty-some years, and this is great funk, with special guest star George Clinton of the p-funk era. Highlights include "I Wanna Be With You" and "Do Poppa Do." If you need something to groove tonight to or simply relax to, get this release, for it is doogie, phat, and def all the way live.

Sturgeon General - Stout

Radical Records
Anyone who names their ska band from a beer brand is cool in my book. Provo, UTís Sturgeon General creates some of the best original ska to hit the market in some time. Reminds one of the modern day version of the first wave of ska, and one must admire the strong vocal talent of Craig Waddel and Ken "Swordfish" Marvel, which both bring out the horns, guitars, and drums. Also enjoy the scratchiness of the record played on "Ska in G" and the humor in "Prozac" (doesnít everyone need some). So get your "Sourass" out and drown your sorrows in a bottle of Sturgeon General and get rid of your "Darkness."

Doctor Hadley - Premium Sound System

Riviere International Records/Buzz Chunk Records
Doctor Hadley, hailing from Mt. Pocono, PA, releases this 13-track release. Doctor Hadleyís sound is a metallic hard rock with elements of industrial overtones hidden in the mix. Doctor Hadley sounds different than the norm and must be heard to completely comprehend. Songs that stand out include "Blue Buried Sky," with its reverb vocals in the mix, and "Strung Out," which deals with the addictions life presents.

NOTE: Due to space constraints, the following reviews were not included in the print edition of Geoff Wilbur's Renegade Newsletter.  These reviews are only available here in the online edition.

Spring Heeled Jack USA - Selections From Suburbia

Ignition Records
Horn-infested skacore which makes you want to get off your fat arse and skank the bloody night away. Vocals are clear and melodic and have a powerful vocal delivery, too. Spring Heeled Jack USA delivers two songs from the forthcoming release Songs From Suburbia that make one want to check out the full release. "Jolene" is your typical punk-like love song while making a statement that the band can play some great horn, while "Pop Song (Green)" is a rocking punk song. A great dish to sample while you wait for the full-length.

Archers of Loaf - White Trash Heroes

Alias Records
Coming a long way from their indie garage roots, Archers of Loaf mature with age and create what may be their best release ever. Still has tons of noisy guitars, which are a trademark of the band, but the lyrical content improves a lot. If this record does not make the mainstream take notice, nothing will. Overall, this combination of noise and lyrics is a great fusion, especially on the psychedelic "One Slight Wrong Move" and on the guitar solos within the albumís 7:45 title track. Recommended for people who want to see musicís new direction.

Pond - Rock Collection

Work Group Records
Pond does an excellent release of post-modern pop rock with a major dose of guitar feedback, amp noises, and snotty lyrics. Definitely one of the great and up-and-coming bands. Pondís release features "Spoke" and "Scoliosis," which are the alternative radio hits and actually the weakest tracks on the release. They should have promoted "Ugly" due to its grunge-like feeling and either "Youíre Not an Astronaut" or "My Dog Is and Astronaut, Though," due to their Ziggy Stardust vibe. Pond redefines rock and roll and could easily become a favorite in the college rock world.

Shirley Brown - The Soul of a Woman

Malaco Records
Continuing the fine tradition of female soul singers which includes Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Cissy Houston, and Jean Knight, Shirley Brown is ready to put her name on that long list. This album sounds more like a softer TLC sound but without the rap. Put this on your stereo and relax with the one you love. All eleven tunes are great, especially "I Caught You With Your Pants Down," which sounds as if it could have been a true story. But the track which deserves to receive the most attention is the Gospel tune "He Looked Beyond My Faults," which the singer dedicates to her late son, and she really belts her soul into it. The Soul of a Woman shows the struggle of a woman and her emotions and makes inspiration for all women of the world.

22 Jacks - Overserved

Side 1 Records, 6201 Sunset Blvd., Suite 211, Hollywood, CA  90028
This is a collection of tracks the band had hiding around in the vault which they put out to fill the need their fans had for some new music. Contains great live tunes such as their cover versions of The Policeís "Message in a Bottle" and The Shodsí "3 A.M." plus a great studio version of the Smokey Robinson classic "Tracks of My Tears."

The Ashley Wilkes Band - Skirts and Art

Girl Records
Neo-acoustic folk with a major angst aggression to it. Sort of like something you would hear in a Greenwich Village coffeeshop. The Ashley Wilkes Band proves to the world that their sound is highly original yet is appealing to the masses of all musical genres, ranging from punk to country to folk to Americana to rock. Especially enjoy the songwriting of "Boundaries," "Crawl," and "Micro-Mini." Move over Liz Phair and The Prissteens, for The Ashley Wilkes Band is destined to follow your footsteps into stardom. The only problem of this release is that it is too short and leaves the listener wanting more of their aggressive songwriting and lyrics.

William Becton & Friends - Heart of a Love Song

CGI Records
Funky CCM music with a soulful R&B vibe to it. William Becton delivers seven tunes which place the message before the funk. Out of the seven tunes, the tunes that have potential include "Workiní Out," "Worthy is the Lamb," and "Bye and Bye (Itís Gonna Be Alright -- Becís Vibe)." William Becton music has powerful soul to take control over your soul. Hot CCM to inspire you on your down days.

Sublime - Stand By Your Van Live

MCA/Gasoline Alley Records
Finally, a legal Sublime live album which captures the bandís true sound. Most of the material presented here has been widely available in the bootleg market for a while. Tracks 1-11 are taken from the 9/9/94 Kommotion, San Francisco show and are on the bootleg It Seems So Silly in the Long Run CD, and the selection is good, but it does not capture the true feeling of the show, for it does not include the legendary "Pawn Shop" dub which was done at the show, but it does have "Date Rape" and "Badfish." Track 12, "Ebin," originally appeared on the Memories double CD bootleg in a longer form. Tracks 13 and 14 are the only tracks not widely available, for "All You Need" and "Waiting For My Ruca" were recorded live on the Warped Tour (8/95). Track 15, "Caress Me Down," appears on the Contact Buzz bootleg CD recorded 10/95 at The Palace, Hollywood, CA. The last track, "KRS-One," was recorded on a mini-disc at one of the sold out House of Blues shows in 1996. If you never heard Sublime live, this is a cheap way to listen to some good music.

Rancid - Life Wonít Wait

Epitaph Records
With 22 songs, Rancid really outdid themselves on this release, which could be the best punk rock/skacore release of the year. Tim Armstrong, Lars Frederiksen, Matt Freeman, and Brett Reed were able to bring out their friends in full force, such as the legendary Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on "Cash, Culture, and Violence." This is the best Rancid material heard since the days when many of the bandís members were in the original punk/skacore band Operation Ivy, and the songs "Leicester Square," "Something in the World Today," and "Bloodclot" have a strong Op Ivy feel to them. Rancid continues to redefine the punk/ska scene and presents one of the best releases of their career.

Vondur - The Galactic Rock Ní Roll Empire

Necropolis Records
This is a black tribute to Vondur in this worm with It and All. It decided to leave Vondur after these recordings. Vondur decided to do cover songs by their idols Judas Priest, Motley Crue, and Elvis, plus put some leftover originals on this release. Vondurís cover of Judas Priestís "Rocka Rolla" is literally mayhem burning with sheer terror... even better than the original. However, what Vondur does on Motley Crueís "Red Hot" unbelievably transforms the classic into a new classic which brings hell and brimstone to the fire. Vondurís final test of evil may be their song "You Donít Move Me (I Donít Give a F**k)," which states exactly what Vondur thinks of the world and its politics. Blackness mourns the ending of It and All and wishes All luck with continuing Vondur in the future.

Monster Voodoo Machine - "Stealth M.F."/"Gimme a Riot" cassette single

Doctor Dream Records
Reminds one of the heavy hardcore coming out in the late 1980s mixed with the digital technology of the 1990s. Monster Voodoo Machine brings the world what it needs -- a big dose of aggression via heavy guitars, drums, and very understandable vocals, while having the impact of a sore tooth. "Stealth M.F." starts out strong and continues to flow into a violent mosh-like direction, while "Gimme a Riot" has an Angry Samoans/D.R.I. sound. Monster Voodoo Machine is destined to make its mark on the metal/hardcore front, so watch out for their full length album Direct Reaction Now!, for if it is like these two tracks, it will be a must.

Monster Voodoo Machine - Direct Reaction Now

Doctor Dream Records
After appearing on this yearís Ozzfestís second stage, Monster Voodoo Machine releases this release of in-your-face metal. On Direct Reaction Now, Monster Voodoo Machine dishes out some strong tunes such as "Stealth M.F.," which is the first single off the album and is a great start-up for the release. Then the release goes through some molar-busting tunes such as "Color My Soul Grey," "007/Shadow and Echo," and "Rate Eye View." But the best track on the compact disc may be the hidden track "Holier" which, in this writerís opinion, should be released as a single, for it is able to capture the true feeling of todayís bleak world and hits it right in your face.

Cirrus - Back on a Mission CD5

Moonshine Music
Four mixes of the Cirrus song "Back on a Mission." Cirrus brings electronica to its forefront by combining hip-hop, hard trance, and dubs to create a highly original combination. The original version is in the vein of Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers. The DJ Dan Remix moves the song into a trance-speed garage style, while AK1200 remix slow the beats into a groove-electronic dub sequence. But the "Back to Rock the Funky Joint" is a hip-hop dubtronic sound which combines old school hip-hop with a hard scratchtronic style. This remix demonstrates that Cirrus is a force to reckon with, and it is the future of electronica.

Cirrus - Back on a Mission

Moonshine Music
One of the best new electronica bands to come from the States in some time. Cirrus from Long Beach, California, combines elements of the Long Beach surf-punk scene and fuses them with electronic beats. One must admire "Abba Zabba," which has an acoustic guitar similar to Sublimeís "Badfish" and transforms it into an intense breakbeat groove. "Rock the Funky Joint" remains one of old school hip-hop similar to Grandmaster Flashís "Scorpio." Overall, Cirrusí Back on a Mission proves that there is a new sound in the electronica movement.

Fiji Mariners featuring Col. Bruce Hampton - Live

Capricorn Records
This Atlanta, GA-based group presents an excellent documentation of their live shows and shows the bandís diversity ranging from jazz to blues to groove rock. Similar to bands such as Govít Mule and Widespread Panic, the Fiji Mariners continue the long list of post-hippie world provocative music. Nine tracks of pure energy with no overdubs and raw editing. The Fiji Mariners show all styles of their performances -- progressive jazz fusion on "Fiji," blues on "Turn On Your Love Light" and "Spoonful," soulful funk on "Mariner," "Earth," and "Spider," psychedelic weirdness on "Whippoorwill," and the epic extended guitar groove jam on "Nowhere is Here Now." if you enjoy the Grateful Dead, The Other Ones, or The Warlocks, then check out the Fiji Mariners, for they would brighten up your world.

Zebrahead - "Check"/"Swing" cassette single

Doctor Dream Records
Zebrahead really impressed me with these two songs from their forthcoming album Zebrahead. Their sound is a cross between hip-hop, hardcore, metal, and hardcore [again]. Reminds one of bands such as Incubus, 311, and Sugar Ray but totally original in nature. Zebrahead continues to groove and presents itself as one of the best new bands to be heard in decades due to the groovy bass line, intense drumming, screeching guitar, and phat vocals. One wonders how long it would be before the mainstream would be in tune with these guys. "Check" really stands out due to its fast moving beat and scratches all over and the Primus-like bass lick. It moves so fast you are shocked that it is over so fast. "Swing" has a different vibe, for it is more metallic and less hip-hop influenced. Great introduction to the band.

Wank - Get a Grip On Yourself sampler

Maverick Records
>From Orange County, California comes Wank. This two-song sampler from their debut album, Get a Grip On Yourself, speaks to the masses via punk, rock, and fun... all rolled into one. Wank delivers a sound similar to Fluf, All Day, and Das Klowns. "Never" is your typical pissed off punk in love song and has everything that would make this a hit -- vulgarity, a catchy riff, and strong lyrics. "Quarterboy" is another classic example that the band can do harmonies and melodies that slowly ease into your brain, for quarterboy is dying. Wank delivers the goods and proves that they are not wankers.

Violent Society - 5 Song 7"

Creep Records, 252 E. Market St., Suite 220, West Chester, PA 19381
Violent Society never sounded better than on this slab of vinyl of new tunes. These are uptempo punk numbers that make you want to get up and pogo or slam. This is some of the most refreshing stuff the band has put out in years. Five songs, of which none is a dud -- "Totally F**ked," "Beyond Doubt," "The Problem," "Indivisible," and "Piss On You." Also, get this release soon, for it is limited to only 1,100 pieces with the first 300 on blue colored vinyl.

Violent Society/The Suspects split 7"

C.I. Records, 739 Manor St., Lancaster, PA 17603
An excellent extended play which is a must for any punk rock music fan. The Violent Society delivers their trademark-fashion hard edge punk with an angst sound to it on their two songs, "Go F**k Yourself" and "Youíre Caught." The Suspects do some good East Coast punk thatís in the vein of 1980s punk. If this does not make you want to slam yourself into a wall violently, then nothing will. The Suspects do two songs, "Box" and "Turbo Punk." A classic.

Ruth Ruth - Are You My Friend?

RCA Records
Maturing with age, Ruth Ruth has come a long way from the band who recorded "Uninvited," but on their new release, Are You My Friend?, Ruth Ruth molds their sound with thirteen brand new tunes that sound very different from their last two releases. Ruth Ruth revamped their line-up with a new drummer -- Christian Nakata -- and an extra guitar player -- Michael Kotch -- to play along with original members Chris Kennedy (vocals, guitars) and Mike Lustig (guitars). Most of the new material has less noise and more guitar solos than previous material, which makes this release more refreshing, especially on "If I Canít Have You" and "Turning to Eva." However, there is a song which remains one of the Ruth Ruth of the past -- "Brainiac." So if you are a long time fan of Ruth Ruth, you may be disappointed, but remember, it takes a while to go from point A to point B, and Ruth Ruth is still traveling the path.

Emmet Swimming - "Sunblock (Radio Edit)"/"Turnstile" cassette single

Epic Records
Fairfaxís Emmet Swimming demonstrates two songs from the new release, Big Night Without You. "Sunblock" has a nice groove to it, and the horn section is really jazzy and funky. The version of "Sunblock" on this release is different than the album version, for the mix of musical instruments is slightly different, and the weird horn solo at the end of the song fades out before it is heard. For some odd reason, this version is better. "Turnstile" is the version which appears on the album. It was a great acoustic vibe and remains a southern rock tune or something you might hear on the H.O.R.D.E. tour. Overall, this single is a must for Emmet Swimming fans everywhere.

Emmet Swimming - Big Night Without You

Epic Records
One of the hardest working bands in the world today, Emmet Swimming continues to broaden its mass appeal to the world with this stunning release. This Fairfax, VA band delivers a strong, powerful selection of tunes which mold one soul into thinking yet enjoying the groove rock. The horns on "Sunblock" provided by the Save Ferris horn section make the sound more enjoyable and more intense and danceable. "Arlington (Reprise)" continues where the original song ends off. "Stealing From the Joneses" is another butt kicking number that is destined to only make the band get more mass appeal. A must for true music fans.

Madam Crain & Wahorn - Punk Baby From Mars

Casual Tonalities
Transcending musical boundaries from electronica to verbal assault esocentric spoken word fusion to ambient, Madam Crain & Wahorn create a mind warping release which is very experimental to the average listener. This work could actually be a turning point in music history ranking up there with the works of Brian Eno, Brian Ferry, and David Byrne. 12 intense tracks that flow with a magnetic force field around them. Really impressive is the 11:46 masterpiece "The Hairy Smelly Pirouette," which seems so simple yet is actually complex in composition, and the spoken word sounds of "The Woo-Pet." A motivating and interesting work of art.

Circle of Dust - Disengage

Flying Tart Records
Hard edge industrialized metal with a spiritual vibe to it. Sort of like Ministry meeting Bride, Circle of Dust delivers a sermon of how life reflects the light of the music and invades your soul and makes you see that life is special. The disc is separated into two parts -- Disengage (tracks 1-10) and Refactorchasm (tracks 1.1 to 1.6), which is remixed or remanufactured. This is the final epitaph to Circle of Dust and is a collection of songs recorded or remixed from 1991 to 1997, for Klay Scott is now devoting his time to doing Angeldust with Criss Angel. Listen to the songs "Chasm" and "Chasm (Version 2.1.0)" or "Refactor" and "Refactor (Version 3.2.1)" to listen to the genius of Klay Scott during his Circle of Dust years. Vital listening.

Cold - Cold

Flip/A&M Records
Cold slowly makes your veins freeze and ready to burst. Intensity glorifies the 11 melancholy tracks and brings us into an adventure of a lifetime. Comparing Cold to other bands does not serve a purpose, for this is highly original stuff; but if you must find some bands to compare to Cold... the instrumentation of a metallic Ministry by the way of a morbid Skinny Puppy, lyrics with vocal characteristics of Tool fusing with a gaspy Trent Reznor at a sedated Wire concert. Cold violently cuts into controversial issues such as taking revenge on a mass murder ("Serial Killer"), the pain of success ("Superstar"), a painful sexual relationship ("The Switch"), facing death via outer space beings ("Everyone Dies"), and how the norm defends beauty on the self-centered piece "Ugly." Also, it is hard to believe that this band was once Grundig who played grindish metal in the early 1990s. Cold soon wonít be cold anymore, for they will be super-hot.

The Psycho Realm - Psycho City Blocks EP

Ruffhouse/Columbia Records
With members of the Cypress Hill family -- B Real, Duke, and Jacken -- The Psycho Realm delivers two phat joints on this EP. "Psycho City Blocks" is presented here in three different versions -- the uncensored album version, an instrumental version, and a radio edit. This is a cross between Latin-influenced hip-hop mixed with street-wise raps. Containing a sample of the King Clover tune "Cara Para Mama," this tune is da bomb and is destined to be heard booming from car stereos everywhere. "Confessions of a Drug Addict," presented here in an album version and an instrumental version, refines hip-hop once again by using a sample of the late 1960s groove rock legends Moby Grapeís "Sitting at the Window" mixed with Clebanoff and Orchestraís "Birth of Passion." This is a hardcore view of the drug culture and reality -- in your face. Overall, The Psycho Realm proves that reality is street and a way of life in the underworld.

Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys

Jive Records
The debut release from the Backstreet Boys contains the hits "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," "As Long As You Love Me," "All I Have to Give," and "Dariní." Very pop danceable and already heard to death on commercial radio. But there is a gem on this release that has been overlooked, "Hey, Mr. DJ (Keep Playiní This Song)," which is destined to be a club hit in the mix. Overall this release is a great release and deserves to be in your music collection.

The Fixtures - Dangerous Music Defect

Know Records
Hardcore fans of The Fixtures may remember the self-released cassette from 1994, Absolutely Nothing New From the Fixtures. This CD is basically a reissue of that but without the tunes "If," "International Know," "Warning," and "Quit Your Job," which are only on the cassette, and this CD includes "High Dive," "Mars Needs Me," "Only Human," "White," "Hardcore Men of War/Die Globally," "Gross National Product," and "Dangerous Music." This is pure punk that might remind some of the Dead Kennedys when they were the "in" thing in the punk world. The Fixtures prove that politics and punk rock are still a lethal mixture.

Das Klown - Live at Zed

Know Records
The infamous Long Beach punk band is captured live at Zed Records on April 1, 1997. On this disc, Das Klown proves that they are true punk with a major p.o. style of punk. Das Klown does 17 tunes of west coast punk which have been on their releases in the past, such as "Dog In Heat" and "Blow Yer Self," but what really makes this disc is that you get to hear A.J. the lead singer shout violently at the crowd. This release is destined to be a classic, so get it now and blow up your speakers.

Lida Husik - Faith in Space

Alias Records
Donít really know much about Lida Husik, but this release is very memorable due to its neo-electric flair combined with the almost trance-like, romantic vocals. Atmospheric in nature yet evolves into a great, passionate-sounding mixture of emotional-driven pop. Canít believe the emotions which this woman delivers, for it is strong and personal in nature. The whole CD is a major standout, with the tracks "Blood and Water," "The Planetís On," and "New Miss NYC." Overall, Lida Husik is a person who is ready to redefine the music industry.

Moby - Animal Rights

Elektra Entertainment Group
Genius Moby demonstrates a high tech masterpiece on this CD, moving beyond the genre of electronica and combining elements of hard rock and industrial in the mix. On these 16 tracks, Moby flows the release with a major dose of instrumentals and strong vocals. Able to get serious on such tracks as "Thatís When I Reach For My Revolver" and "Love Song For My Mom." Moby lets his emotions capture the content of this release. Essential release.

Drain Bramaged - Happy Drunx

Know Records
The mad drunks of Huntington Beach, CA are back to drain their lizards after a long night of drinking cheap beer. Known for their drunk-infested humor, Drain Bramaged delivers some drunkcore-drunk punk on their 15 tracks. Highlights include their version of the Charlie Daniels Band classic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" on which Das Klown plays for a golden keg of beer instead of a golden fiddle. Also, "Nudie Bars" is a gem due to the impact of getting wasted in a nude bar. Drain Bramaged proves that you can be drunk and still have a good time.

All Day - Nobody Likes a Quitter

Know Records
The most complete compilation of All Day recordings on the market today, including material from the bandís 7-inches. If you never heard this Long Beach band before, you are in for a treat, for this is some of the best punk out there. They say their mind and deliver some great rockers such as "Kimís Dead/Michael," "Get Some," and "Hell No." But the best tunes are "Smells Like Long Beach," with its Nirvana-like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" riff, and the vulgarity-inspired "Thank You." All Day is a band for you if you like Pennywise or the Juice Bros.

Substance D. - Black

F.A.D. Records
The band formerly known as Black delivers some of the best metal to be heard in some time, grinding through the evils of the world and attacking the American value system through raw, brutal, violent music that presents itself in a fashionable manner. Substance D. continues to preserve the music which must be heard to be believed. The guitars shred, the drums are impactable like a sore molar, the bass slowly eases into your soul, and the vocals are killer. This dark mixture makes you happily sad yet want to give the world around you a good kick. "Slit the Wrist," "Los Angeles," and "Dark Gift" are great songs, but the bonus track with an answering machine tape played over and over is what is most memorable about this release. Substance D. is going to be the next big band to watch for, and Black proves that.

Quincy Punx - Nutso Smasho

Restless Records
St. Paul, MNís Quincy Punx bring out one of the best punk releases ever. >From the Bob and Doug intro to "Ugly American" to the final notes of "We Are the Drunks," they prove that they are a band who does not give a freak about mainstream society and its values. One must admire their insane use of sound bites ranging from Barney Gumble of the Simpsons on "Beer Run" to Hank Hill on "Beer "Sh*ts" to sound bites from Natural Born Killers. Also, any punk band who does covers of Devoís "Uncontrollable Urge" and the Dayglo Abortionís "I Killed Mommy" get a big plus. Overall, the p.o. youth ideas live long and strong and the Quincy Punx are a band that must be reckoned with.

Scott Weiland - "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down" single

Atlantic Records
This single got lost in the shuffle but deserves to be mentioned. The song is very romantic and orchestral sounding and has a special guest appearance by Sheryl Crow on the accordion. This is very different from the hard rock Scott was known to do with the Stone Temple Pilots. "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down" deserves a second chance, for it can be mixed with the modern swing and big band revival. Give Scott credit that he is an excellent musician.

Speaker - Model Citizen

Capricorn Records
Speaker is a psychedelic modern rock band which presents itself in groove-like feeling. Transcends the music borders in the world because it moves into all mind-altering directions. If you like bands such as the Allman Brothers, Rusted Root, or Emmet Swimming, then you would enjoy Speaker. "Pacoima" is a hard rocking tune, while "Nashville" and "Love Strong" are ballad infested tunes. Overall, Model Citizen just whets your craving for more. Canít wait for a longer release.

Caustic Resin - The Medicine Is All Gone

Alias Records
Mind-altering, space-driven acid rock with a heavy dose of modern day metallic-driven rock. Caustic Resin reminds one of Built to Spill, Sweet, and Mott the Hoople. The tunes on this release are very thought-provoking and intense, especially "Hate in You" and "Enough." Caustic Resin is not something which is at the bottom of a bong but something at the bottom of your musical journey in the 1990s.

R. Kelly - Half on a Baby CD-5

Jive Records
The í90s soul master is back with some soft romantic music for lovers. R. Kelly pleases our ears with harmonies and great melodies on three versions of this great song. The radio version is designed to please the top 40 radio programmers in the world, while the extended video version is designed for club DJs or beat mixers, and the instrumental version is basically the top 40 mix minus words. Overall, a smooth, fresh, smokiní groove for the ladies and gentlemen of the world to cuddle up with.

Bare Jr. - Boo-Tay

Immortal/Epic Records
Combining elements of country twang with hard rock and experimental shifting, Bare Jr. actually creates some of the best rock and roll ever created by mankind. "You Blew Me Off" has a Gary Glitterís "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" type beat to it while directing the emotional outburst of personal lyrics about being ignored by someone who you like. All songs give a personal feeling of oneís life. "Faker" describes someone lying about everything and being caught up in the acting, "I Hate Myself" is about low self-esteem, "Love-less" is about not having a love in your life, and "Why Wonít You Love Me" is self-explanatory. Overall, the 14 songs on the album are the facts of life, but please keep the CD rolling after track 14 for some of the most experimental noise-rock heard since Sonic Youthís Goo album.

Poonanny - Brand New Cadillac

Waldoxy Records/Malaco Records, 3023 W. Northside Drive, Jackson, MS 39213
Explicit blues -- sexuality, drug abuse, and more sex in the forefront of blues. Sort of like the gangster rap of blues, Poonanny flows into more directions than a dirty old man making nasty jokes. "Puddiní NíTang" deals with pure sexlike experiences with a sort of Dr. Dre/Tupacís "California Loviní" beat. His version of Chuck Berryís classic "My Ding a Ling" is much raunchier than the original. The two tracks which have a different vibe are the danceable urban tunes "Shake Your Fanny" and "That Girl is Bad," on which the listener is led to believe that it is about a hooker, but it turns out to be crack cocaine. Poonanny continues to grind away the blues.

Mel Waiters - "Got My Whiskey" CD single

Waldoxy Records
This is three versions of the R&B/urban jazz song "Got My Whiskey," which should be a hit at juke joints and bars everywhere. Even if the music is rather blandish-oriented, it still has a strong vibe to it. Mel Waiters may be a great musician, and the song may be worth playing in blues bars and juke joints, but the mainstream (pop) audience may get lost with this song from his Woman in Need CD.

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