by Al Slavicsky
Sponsored In Part By
Jimmibeetles Rock Theatre-THE STORY OF JIMMIBEETLES
Out of Brooklyn comes one of the most influenced releases of the 1990s, capturing a mixture of late 1960s acid tripping guitar solos fusing with some deep blues riffs and distorting the whole mixdown into an electric meltdown of neo-nuclear reactions. This band continues the philosophies of the New York rocker Jimmibeetles and preserves his legendary style into the 1990s. This is the first part of a trilogy and is destined to become an inspiration for future generations.
NOTE: Due to space constraints, the following reviews were not included in the print edition of the RENEGADE. They are only available here in the online edition.
Adrian Legg-WAITING FOR A DANCER
Red House Records
Guitar wizard Adrian Legg uses his unique finger picking style to create a blissful release combining mid-eastern chords with blues chords with neoclassical chords to stir up the soundwaves. Passionate, his soul enchants the 11 tunes flowing like an enchanted light, especially on the rocker "Son of Kiss Curl" and the title track. An instrumental fury.
Lateef and Lyrics Born-LATYRX
Fat beyond fat. Dope beyond dope. Lateef and Lyrics Born freshly combines the undercurrent of a slow groove with a cross section of metallic translucent beat and lyrical juxtapose to capture a hardcore hip-hop mayhem. The emcees don't fool around in the serious mix, but they have some serious fun, especially on "Funky Granules," a recording of one the member's grandmother's phone call and on the title tune, produced by DJ Shadow, which rocks in the dub. Hot like tabasco sauce.
Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco-THE PAST DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE
Righteous Babe Records
A kind of release which enlightens the lost sould of today's mixed up culture. Combining some of folkmaster Utah Phillips' previously unreleased songs and social commentary and adding the eclectic, progressive industrial neo-folk sounds of Ani Difranco creates a sound not heard since the Suzanne Vega/D.N.A. sessions. Beautifully arranged, especially with Rev. Jesse Jackson's backing vocals on "Anarchy" and Gen. Douglas MacArthur's introduction to "Korea." Must be heard to completely understand.
Ani Difranco-MORE JOY, LESS SHAME
Righteous Babe Records
Previously unreleased remixes and live versions of songs from her albums Dilate and Ani Difranco. Contains inspiring, chilling, haunted remixes of "Joyful Girl," which transcends the original versions in many ways, a pseudo-industrialized folk-punk mix of "Shameless," which brightens up the mood of the CD, a classic arrangement of "Joyful Girl" with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and a live version of "Both Hands." Overall, a great sampling of an intelligent musician/remixer.
Ambient music with a spiritual vibe with Hindu, American Indian, Japanese, and Middle Eastern chants and instrumentation. Esocentric electronic sounds flow into a cross section of directions which will relax you. Delerium is the type of music which relaxes your nerves and makes you wonder if we are segments of time or time of segments. Philosophical emotional music for pleasure. Unsurpassed master of modern electronic music.
The old folks are at it again, delivering some pop melodic punk with humor. The Geezers deliver a strong release with a little bit of ska, hardcore, and (get this) even country music on one of the 13 tracks. The cowpoke number, "The Ballad of Charles Whitman," stands out due to its odd placement on the CD. Also, "Yuppie in a Cherokee" has an odd sounding jew's harp on it, which gives it a crazy vibe. Wake up and smell the coffee, and party with these old geezers.
Way Cool Music/MCA Records
San Diego's fluf plays 13 sweet sounding tunes on their fourth album. Yeah, right. They actually play 13 heavy metallic sing-along punk anthems which are very rocking in a less than sobering way. Transforming and combining electric and acoustic instruments and hybriding them into a supersonic sequence, fluf distorts the walls of sound and makes you wanna jump around and party. "Chocolate," "Pipe Bomb," and "Skip Beat" sincerely prove that fluf will be the next big thing in the mainstream punk culture.
When I first heard this release, I actually got a kick out of it, for it was the kind of music which I really enjoyed. Sounds like a combination of Marilyn Manson, Drill, NIN, and Ministry rolled into one. Excellent use of deranged horror samples and sound bite butchery devised into a massive mix of industrial chainsaw style power. Vital, sick, morbid, dreamscape music, especially "4 a.m." and "Muse." Terroriffic.
DJ Kool-LET ME CLEAR MY THROAT
In the days where gangsta rap is the mainstream, along comes DJ Kool, who goes back to the mid-1980s old school rap around and makes a party call record which was recorded live. No guns, no name calling, no drugs, and no violence; just plain old fashioned fun. Combining go-go beats with heavy, trancelike hip-hop takes control. Contains two versions of "Let Me Clear My Throat," including a hot remix with legendary rappers Doug E. Fresh and Biz Markie, complete with freeform raps.
Sublime-40 OZ. TO FREEDOM
MCA Records/Gasoline Alley
A re-release of Sublime's classic 1992 independent release which must be heard to believe that this band is actually the same band who did "What I Got." More reggae-dublike fillers and old school style punk is heard on this release than one can completely handle. Included are covers of Peter Tosh's "Smoke Two Joints" and the Grateful Dead's "Scarlett Begonias." They omitted "Get Off" and "Rawhide" from the original pressing due to legal reasons, but all the other tracks such as "Don't Push" and "Date Rape" are included.
Slo Burn-AMUSING THE AMAZING
Slo Burn is John Gracia's (formerly of Kyuss) new band, and they have a strong metallic sound melting with the groovelike sounds of the Black Crowes, but only much heavier. The liner notes say it was recorded on September 5th through September 9th, 1908(?). Back to the music -- the four tunes are well written and arranged and flow as if there were one song. Overall, a splendid, hard rocking disc.
Coitus Carnivorous/Lumpy Hashish-JUSTIFY YOUR JURISPRUDENCE
Neo-Barbaric Recordings, P.O. Box 144, Ashville, PA 16613
Interesting split of lo-fi electronic noise hybriding with static and feedback. Coitus Carnivorous sludgelike fuses noises into a vomit-spawned torture chamber and makes one want to hit themselves with an ice pick on the forehead. Harsh. Lumpy Hashish is more industrial Skinny Puppy/NIN-based on a sample-infested power overload. Sounds like being run over via a cement mixer. Thought provoking noises by both bands.
A compilation of long lost or rare tracks from this legendary industrial band. Consists of two multimedia compact discs, with the first disc devoted to the band's early demos from 1983-85 and the second disc being live material from 1990-92. Demonstrates how the band transformed its sound throughout the years to create and mold its eerie psychoatic torture infested music. The band may be gone, but this is a great introduction for those who are unaware of what Skinny Puppy was all about.
Peggy Scott-Adams-HELP YOURSELF
Miss Butch Records
Soulish R&B performer who has been in the music industry since the late 1960s. Remains one of a cross between Stephanie Mills, Tina Turner, and Whitney Houston in her style of singing, and the music remains one of the ballads in which The Time and Prince did in the mid-1980s. "Bill," the album's first single, is a timeless, heartwarming song which flows like an eagle sailing the skies in the mid-summer. Overall, will appeal to people who enjoy soft, mid-tempo soul with a heavy dose of light funk.
The Hotheads-WORLD WIDE VIBE
Fusing elements of rock, reggae, rap, and funk, The Hotheads move World Beat into a new, refreshing direction. Flows into a multiple vibe that sails from the beginning to the end of this release. Each track varies from dublike "In the Mind" to the soft Sly & the Family Stone-influenced "Everybody" and the groovish beats of "Express," "World Wide Vibe," and "Push, Pump the Groove." Tends to slowly move in a rhythm of relaxation grooves, which dims the robust style of the beats.
Every so often, a country musician crosses over to the pop charts, but rarely does one cross into the alternative/college market, and that's what the man in black does on UNCHAINED. With top of the crop musicians such as the legendary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, country icon Marty Stuart, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac backing him, Johnny Cash transcends all music genres. His reworking of Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage" brings a new vibe to the song, while "Spiritual" would fit on any country radio station. 14 instant classics -- a must.
I will take my Cake and eat it, too. Fuses sounds of the suburban underground -- funk, metal , country , trip-hop, and ska-core -- and puts it into a heavy batter, nesting it into a big audio melting pot on their second release. This works on originals such as the transpsychedicia "The Distance" and the ballad "Darla" and reworked covers of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and Willie Nelson's "Sad Song and Waltzes." No sophomore jinx here; just cool music.
Alvin Youngblood Hart-BIG MAMA'S DOOR
Okeh/Sony 550 Music
Bringing the pre-World War II country blues sound of such legendary blues pioneers as Bukka White, Charley Patton and Blind Willie McTell back to life, 33 year old Alvin Youngblood Hart continues the tradition. Designed to be listened to by the blues elitists due to its raw instrumentation, yet appeals to the Pearl Jam/Nirvana fans due to its emotional lyrics. Highlighted by three tracks with Taj Mahal and a "Gallows Pole" cover, which smokes.
Capt. 3 Leg-FIFTEEN MEN ON THE DEAD MAN'S CHEST... LIVE TAPE
Vomit Halo Tapes, 65 Seminole Ave., Weymouth, MA 02188-3318
Capt. 3 Leg plays lo-fi grind/punk with a humorous flare. Reminds on of 1980s old school punk such as early Butthole Surfers, Social Distortion, or The Germs. Based on of Ottumwa, Iowa, the band decided to release this tape on a hometaper's label from Massachusetts due to cashflow reasons. Recorded at a January 5, 1996 all ages show, the tape has a raw and rough mix, making it more garage like, and the vocals are too drowned under the drum and guitars.
Sir Mix-A-Lot-RETURN OF THE BUMPASAURUS
Multi-media entertainer Sir Mix-A-Lot creates a more old school booty style rap release similar to his old Nastymixx late '80s years. Mix-A-Lot continues the story from "My Posse on Broadway" 10 years later on "Men U Luv Ta Hate," pays homage to the Sugar Hill Gang on "Jump On It," spoofs David Letterman on "Top Ten List," and gives a booty call on "Bumpasaurus." Da funk y da domb of the dancefloor.
Iron Maiden-BEST OF THE BEAST
An essential overview of one of the pioneer heavy metal groups of the eighties. This recently released, remastered compilation highlights 16 of the group's best tunes, inlcuding "Run to the Hills," "The Trooper," and "Can I Play With Madness." For those who never heard this band, this is an excellent place to start, for it includes an excellent booklet with lyrics, rare photos, an audio/video discography of the band, and a wild cover showing the various forms of Eddie, their mascot over the years.
Originally released in 1982, Dojo Records digitally remastered this release, added 5 rare bonus tracks, and packaged it with expanded original artwork (including lyrics and new liner notes). Never sounding more flamboyant, IRON FIST demonstrates how the band was able to unleash its raw hard rock sound to new levels. Check out "Speedfreak" or the bonus track "(Don't Let 'Em) Grind Ya Down" (alternate version) to see the power. Dojo also recently released five other Motorhead classics (OVERKILL, BOMBER, ACE OF SPADES, NO SLEEP 'TIL HAMMERSMITH, and ANOTHER PERFECT DAY) with the same packaging plus 3 to 5 bonus tracks.
GG Allin-INSULT & INJURY -- THE BLOODY YEARS
Black & Blue Records
A collection of obscure live recordings and phone conversations of one of the most shocking and controversial performers of all time, who tragically died on June 28th, 1993. The sound of the material is raw and rough, just like GG's on stage performances, and this captures some of them. Unadulterated, uncensored, beyond hardcore puke punk. Only for sickos and true GG collectors.
Underworld-SECOND TOUGHEST IN THE INFANTS
Wax Trax/TVT Records
Intense, high-energy, electronic, ambient, industrial techno music. Picks up with a combination of three songs -- "Juanita," "Kiteness," and "To Dream of Love" -- and does not stop until the final track, "Stagger." Lasts almost 78 minutes and makes you want to rave out of bounds. Underworld is definitely a band to watch for in the future of electro.
The Dreamside-NUDA VERITAS
Deathwish Office/Nuclear Blast America
Designed for Gothic/darkwave dance oriented clubs, this three track compact disc is very impressive. The Dreamside sound is very dark and eerie while having an advanced electronic cypertonic vibe. Hauntingly beautiful Kemi Vita's passionate vocals performed in English and German woo the listeners into utopia over her atmospheric keyboards and Fried Bruggnik's enchanted e-bow guitar. The spirit of Bauhaus lives on with The Dreamside.
The Hi-Fives-AND A WHOLE LOTTA YOU
Refreshingly different. Sort of a mid-1960s garage punk combined with a heavy dose of angst punk from the 1990s. The Hi-Fives dive head first into deep water and walk across it into an unknown land, cheering the listeners with modern day anthems such as "It's Up to You" and "You Can" and surprising them with cover of Yazoo's "Bad Connection" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" done in the Hi-Five style. Roll back time and give a big hi-five to The Hi-Fives.
Bong Water Taffy-BONG WATER TAFFY
Geo Synchronous Records, Box 540962, Merritt Island, FL 32954-0962
A type of release which will be "Subliminal Sirens" to your brain if you listen to Bong Water Taffy's unique blend of '70s funkapunkarapadelic music. Funkier than the Ohio Players, Beasties, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers while maintaining a mellowness of the Grateful Dead. Out of the ten songs on this compact disc, there is not a dud. "BlackJack" and "Junk Food" stand out like a broken fingernail due to their incredible bass riffs. Dope.
Mike Pachelli-TEST DRIVEN
Geo Synchronous Records
Gifted guitar player Mike Pachelli proves that he has mastered the six-string guitar and has molded a musical masterpiece on this release. Transforming playing styles similar to Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and Yngwie Malmsteen, Mike Pachelli plays his guitar as if there was no future. His duet with Phil Keaggy on "A Winter's Visit," which is pure inspiration, and his acoustic ballad dedicated to Paul McCartney, "Paul," stand out as the disc's highlights.
Simon Chardiet-BUG BITE DADDY
Simon Chardiet's first solo since the breakup of Simon and the Bar Sinisters. Musically, the material is a twangy, bluesy cow punk with surf a la Venures overtones. Simon outdoes himself on the first 18 tracks with tunes such as "Panic Button," "No Soul," and "Truth Hurts," but the disc's additional 6 tracks from the Shrimpjob Sessions are worth the price of the disc with covers of "Dr. No," "Goldfinger," and "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly." Brilliant.