"Dan's Reviews"

by Dan MacIntosh
Sponsored In Part By
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Marz • From the debut album Lung Fu Mo She

"Hooray For The Bad Guy" sounds like the perfect theme song for Marz, since this profanity-laced slice of metallic hip-hop gives most of its props to the seedy side of life. Pornography is a creation that completely lacks any redeeming social value. Those aren't my words; I'm just paraphrasing the United States Supreme Court. People who buy this full album are probably the same ones who wait in line for the director's cut of skin flicks.

Epiphany Project

Epiphany Records
It's hard to describe Epiphany Project. It sounds like traditional English folk music one minute, but then it also reminds one of Sarah McLachlan's modern approach to folk-rock the next. The creative components here are John Hodian's keyboard contributions matched to Bet Williams' angelically otherworldly vocals. Although it's hard to pick out many of their lyrics, songs like "Goth" and "Black" reveal a group that prefers to walk on the un-sunny side of the street.

John Polito • Crossing The Line

Green Note Music
The music of John Polito can best be described as lite-jazz, but his keyboard proficiency raises this recording a few rungs higher than a lot of the meatless music too often found under this stylistic heading. "Time and Space," with its string section, sounds semi-classical and "Aurora Alegre" has a Latin flair which is helped out by a healthy, full-bodied horn section.

Pi • Irrational

Fusi Pumper Records
Ironically, Pi states in this album's opener ("Therapy") that "this is no therapy," then spends the rest of these 12 songs spilling her guts out as if it were, well, a therapy session. Her voice is one-third jazz, one-third R&B and the remaining third rock, and the musical bedding can also be described in about these same mathematical terms. She's a trippy chick with something worth saying, but I still wouldn't let her babysit my kids anytime soon.

Jason Darling • Underground

Surprise Truck
Jason Darling is a true find, as he combines a weary voice similar to that of Perry Farrell, with a keen eye for social commentary. The song "Hip Hop Hooray" manages to name drop Neil Young as a way of commenting on the sad state of rock & roll, before "One By One" follows it up with a vocal performance seemingly straight out of Harvest-era Neil Young book. But even though Darling has obviously listened to his share of old Neil, he still retains his own unique voice.

Amy Ray • Stag

Daemon Records
Stag rocks a little more than most Indigo Girl albums, such as with songs like "Mtns Of Glory," which -- though it doesn't quite get up to 11 -- still rumbles and rolls like a good aftershock. Ray's voice is treated to sound like a '70s glam rocker, which is nice change of pace for this usual folkie. It's followed by "Lazyboy," which is exactly as relaxing as its title implies. Stag actually makes for a not half bad date, after all.

Eddie Dattel • Sketches & Revelations

Inside Memphis
This off-center delight features Eddie Dattel's silly thoughts about teeth brushing in "Toothbrush," his religious fervor for environmentalism on "Thou Shalt Leave Thy Trees Alone" and his quite serious take on love and romance in "That's What Love Can Do." He's no great shakes in the singing department, but his musical ideas are so oddly compelling, you just can't keep your ears off them. No real revelations here, but these are, nonetheless, great little sketches.

The Tender Idols • Distressor

The Tender Idols make fragile, melodic and beautiful power-pop. Lead singer Ian Webber has an expressive voice, which can sound like Suede, only not as overly dramatic as Brett Anderson sometimes has the bad habit of becoming. This group is so in love with classic pop music, they've even divided this disc into side one and side two. Additionally, they've reached back for the part 1 and part 2 device for the song "The Two Of Us," which "ends" each side.

Wolfpac • Evil Is.

Megaforce Records
Songs with titles like "Something Wicked This Way Comes," "Gravedigga," and "Death Becomes Her" are not tongue-in-cheek: Wolfpac calls its hardcore rap album Evil Is. because they relish singing about violent crime. This is not to say they're not good, because they are. But even an Academy Award winning cinematographer couldn't save the worst slasher movie, and Wolfpac's natural talent cannot make their material listenable for the non-Ted Bundys in the audience. I'll wait for the movie on video, maybe.

>From Zero • One Nation Under

Arista Records
>From Zero sound angry, disgusted, appalled, and about to explode. They're also loud and raw. Much of the music on this debut album sounds a lot like old school speed metal, with just a touch of the pre-rapcore hip-hop Faith No More brought into the culture. Except for "Horrors," which breaks up a relentless metal assault with a bit of a shuffle beat and sounds more like the word "whore," most everything here sounds about the same.

Rick Fowler & Friends • Welcome Companions

In this setting, Rick Fowler is just your basic meat and potatoes blues guy, with a few famous friends. Most famous of all is former REM drummer Bill Barry who plays throughout this disc and contributes one instrumental tune ("Riviera Nap"). Fowler's less famous friends include Bill Mallonee ("Paralyzed") and Jack Logan, who is just a player here. The result is a loose feeling collection of tunes, all to benefit Tourette Syndrome Association of Georgia.

Umbra Et Imago • Mea Culpa

It's almost as if Germans were created to make Gothic music, what with their whole East German communist experiment, as well as their World War Two foibles. So even if you can't understand much of what Umbra Et Imago sings, you still can catch their general depressed gist. Nevertheless, there are a few English words here and there, such as in the self-explanatory "Goth Music." The CD booklet is made up of a few softcore nude pictures, and since sleaze is exactly the same in every language, no translation is necessary.

Mortal Loom • Alchemy Through Dreams

Delvian Records
Mortal Loom has created an album which, for the most part, sounds like a movie soundtrack waiting to happen. In some places, it leans toward jazz, while elsewhere it settles into a soft New Age groove. At its most adventurous, it incorporates elements of trip hop. Oddest of all, though, is the vocal assisted straight pop version of "Dream A Little Dream Of Me," which serves to close this recording. Ultimately, this album is like listening to a lot of different movies crammed onto one soundtrack.

Various Artists • Brazilectro - Latin Flavoured Club Tunes

SPV Recordings
Once the music world comes upon a new toy, musicians just must match their new thing with every other possible previously created style. Remember when Beethoven's 5th was given a disco treatment back in the Saturday Night Fever seventies? This two-disc set puts various Latin flavors into the hands of contemporary techno/electronica guys.

"The Mambo Craze" sounds positively retro in the hands of De-Phazz. "Sun Song '70 [Bossa Version]" by Yoshinori Sunahara, with its electric piano, sounds a lot like the smooth jazz the seventies gave us. "Saudade" supplied by S-Tone Inc. with its up-front rhythm track is the first song here that doesn't sound too dated. Basement Jaxx lends a party atmosphere to "Bingo Bango (single version)." With "Tonight," Justin combines strummed acoustic guitar with heavy bass and drumbeats. "Mes Vacances a Rio" by Rinocerose is enhanced by well-placed fuzz guitar. Jazzanova has a light touch with "Fedime's Flight," which contains sweet natural percussion. The Boys From Brazil may not actually be the Nazi clones their name implies, but "Land Of Make Believe" is given a spunky update here. Modaji creates a nice minor key mood with "La Cosa Mas Chunga." Zuco 103 slows things down with the easygoing "Humana." Sampled flute introduces Spring day-ish "Sunday Folk Tale."

Orlandiva opens disc two with a Blaxploitation-like funky tune called "Onda Anda A Meu Amor." "Same (Ashley Beedle's Afroart vocal mix)" sounds super ethnic with its opening percussion and whistle sounds. Nichola Conte swings nicely on "Bossa Per Due." Mo' Horizons' entry has the curious title of "Prince Charles' Latest Affair." Truby Trio fills "A Go Go (Video Edit) with plenty of swaying piano and blurting horns. "The Glass Bead Game" is a low key and quiet creation from Thievery Corporation. "Sensual Healing" sounds like a Latin relative to one of Marvin Gaye's big hit in the hands of John Beltran. Christoph Isermann presents the stuttering "Natureza (blow up mix)" here. With "Bota Pra Quebar," DJ Rodriguez (featuring Bruna Loppez) lets loose with some high-stepping percussion. "Big Noize" by Pressure Drop sounds like great cop show theme music. Sven Van Hees contributes a nice echoing keyboard and percussion-lite tune called "Matrass Mambo." Dublex closes this release with "Izquitos," which makes apt usage of conga drums and trumpet.

1. The Mambo Craze [Radio Edit] performed by De-Phazz / Appleton, Pat - 3:15 2. Sun Song '70 [Bossa Version] performed by Sunahara, Yoshinori - 4:16 3. Saudade performed by S-Tone, Inc. - 5:06 4. Bingo Bango [Single Version] performed by Basement Jaxx - 3:47 5. Tonight performed by Justin - 5:14 6. Mes Vacances a Rio performed by Rinocerose - 6:31 7. Fedime's Flight performed by Sunahara, Yoshinori - 7:05 8. Land of Making Believe performed by Boys From Brazil - 5:36 9. La Cosa Mas Chunga performed by Modaji - 8:49 10. Humana performed by Zuco 103 - 4:43 11. Sunday Folk Tale performed by United Future Organisation - 6:19 12. Onda Anda Amor performed by Orlandivo - 3:42 13. Same performed by Smith, Rob / Mighty, Ray - 8:57 14. Bossa Per Due performed by Conte, Nicola - 5:53 15. Prince Charles' Latest Affair performed by Mo' Horizons - 5:06 16. A Go Go [Video Edit] performed by Truby Trio - 3:34 17. The Glass Bead Game performed by Thievery Corporation - 6:14 18. Sensual Healing performed by Beltran, John - 4:03 19. Natureza performed by Isermann, Christopher - 5:11 20. Bota Pra Quebar performed by Rodriguez, DJ / Loppez, Bruna - 4:37 21. Pressure Drop performed by Blood Brothers - 5:16 22. Matrass Mambo performed by Sven Van Hees - 5:11 23. Izquitos performed by Dublex - 7:25

Isabelle's Gift • Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Jimmy Franks Recording Company
Isabelle's Gift means what it says with its album title, as song names here include "Stoned With Me," "Tequila Smile" and "Beer And." The music Isabelle's Gift creates is the kind of hyperactive hard rock such substances usage can inspire in youth. This may not be anything we haven't heard before, but every generation explores the lure of alcohol and believes they're the first ones to try it. Let 'em believe it; just don't let 'em drive on the road.

Crawling From The Wreckage: 16 Shards Of Carnage From HowlingBullAmerica

This is loud music by annoyed musicians. Vulgar Pigeons scream through "Pukeweed." Hellchild is a little more mainstream rock sounding on "Self-Scorn," except for their Satan-like bellowing vocals. With "Sky Marshall Silver" by Spaceboy, stop-and-start metallic rhythms dominate. Bongzilla contributes "Salvation," which is metal drone. "Oyashirazu" is a slow, almost techno, experiment by Yellow Machinegun, before it settles for angry metal. Jigoku Guruma revs it up on "Muscle Factory." Force exhales plenty of bad boy breath on "Breath." "Truth Respect & Spirit" sounds kinda like how The Ramones might have sounded like, had they come from the metal era. Abnormals race through "Jerk Man." United scream out "Revenger." Buzz saw guitars underpin "Yaku Ken" by Garlic boys." Panorama Afro aren't as interesting as their name might imply, if "Loser" is any indication of what they can do. Nunchaku throw down a wall of electric guitars on a song named after the band's name. With "Sick Out," Taiho rock with powerful swagger.

Vulgar Pigeons • Genetic Predisposition

Who has any idea what Vulgar Pigeons are screaming here? Is it some sort of punk treatise on genetics? Is it just screaming for screaming sake? Is it just screaming for no particular reason at all? One suspects this is not the music of vulgar pigeons in their native habitat, or even of the non-vulgar bird variety. I think I'd much rather have pigeon shit dropped on my face than be forced to listen to any more of this worthless crap.

(hed)pe • Broke

Jive Records
(hed)pe is one of the few recent examples of a band that can be funky, and also rock out believably. "Waiting To Die" is what Red Hot Chili Peppers might sound like if they went totally metal and cussed a lot more. Its vocals are fast and furious, but harsh like metal instead of trying to be fly. It's not happy music here, but it at least has the ring of authenticity, which deserves much props.

Donald Walters • Secrets Of Love: Melodies To Open Your Heart

Clarity Sound & Light
OK. Forget all you've learned from soap operas, self-help books, Dr. Laura, that "Love Is" comic, Love American Style, your momma, "Penthouse Forum," XXX sites on the internet, your preacher, stuff said in the locker room, stuff written on bathroom walls or even the semi-sound advice derived from Love Line. I gather from this disc of sleepy music that the secret of love can only found in a good nap. Snore power too ya!

Godhead • 2000 Years Of Human Error

Posthuman/Priority Records
As a dimestore psychoanalyst might say, 'I sense a lot of anger here.' Godhead utilizes plenty of crunchy guitar parts overlaid onto spooky synth lines and propulsive dance beats. The group is said to be a Marilyn Manson find, but this group doesn't take all the horrors of modern life as personality as MM does. They even include a cover of "Eleanor Rigby," which comes off sounding like an obvious precursor to Goth sentiments.

Speak No Evil • Welcome To The Downside

Universal Records
"You won’t survive this life/Because it’s too intense," sing Speak No Evil in "Too Intense." Bands like this one have obviously never heard Otis Redding sing "Try A Little Tenderness," since their songs are nothing more than a series of antagonistic arguments, rather than conversational dialogues. They’re either belittling a nameless enemy, or a crying out into the void for responses to questions without any answers. There, I’ve saved you the trouble of having to sit through this noise.

Jump, Little Children • Vertigo

EZ Chief Records
Jump, Little Children make melodic pop rock that borrows a little from Radiohead and Gene vocally, and from Crowded House and Squeeze musically. These songs are literate and arranged well, making Vertigo a dizzyingly impressive release. It’s an album that squeezes a lot of information into a small package, which makes it a little difficult to fully comprehend on the first listen. The spoken word format of "Singer" exemplifies the complexity of this music.

Michael Lee Firkins • Decomposition

Nuerra Records
The idea behind the entertaining Decomposition was for guitarist Michael Lee Firkins to have a go with a few classic rock staples. Except for "The Window," which Firkins wrote, these nine songs are all covers. And if this particular collection is any kind of indication, Jimi Hendrix’s influence looms large over Firkins as he puts his axe to "Manic Depression" and "Little Wing." Some cuts (like "Pink Panther" and "Caravan") aren’t exactly classic rock, but they all rock, nonetheless.

GriefBirds • Paper Radio

Planetary Records
The sweet singing, formal piano trills and lazily strummed guitars on "Young" introduce the music of GriefBirds as being the extremely polite sort. I’ll bet that’s a word you don’t hear much in the description of music these days. From gangsta rap to punky metal, rude rules the day. Makes you wonder where these kids left their manners, or if they ever even had them. But GriefBirds make the kind of music even you grandmother might appreciate.

The Moto-Litas • For The Greater Good

Daemon Records
Women continue to stake out their place in rock, but good old all-girl groups, like the Go-Go’s and The Bangles, are few and far between. Introducing The Moto-Litas, who aren’t afraid at all to be retro, from the black & white photo of forties flight attendants on the CD cover, to the sixties-influenced guitar rock sounds on their disc. It’s been far too long since we’ve heard such glorious sounds of girls and guitars.

Various Artists • The Princess + The Warrior Original Soundtrack

Trauma Records
This soundtrack is broken into two halves: The first half is subtitled "songs" and  features the work of Pale 3 along with various female vocalists, whereas the second part is mostly just Pale 3 performing alone instrumentally. "You Can't Find Peace," sports Skin of Skunk Anansie in a persistent assertion of finding contentment through a personal relationship. "Escape (Afraid Of No One)" is propelled by an undercurrent of drum 'n bass, over which Lamb's Louise Rhodes' low growl is joined to Pale 3. Franka Potene's almost whispered "Fly With Me" collaboration with Pale 3 is nothing close to Frank Sinatra's invitation to swing, but is, instead, is a warning not to soar up high with the song's narrator. Beth Hirsch, who has also worked with Air
in the past, matches her gentle voice to the soothing "The Tunnel." Alison Goldfrapp gives "Bodo" an almost girlish quality. Claudia Sarne, of 12 Rounds, fills "Just Another Day" with a spooky smoky quality. Anita Lane, who has worked extensively with "Morbidity King" Nick Cave, gives "Four Days" a menacing Gothic quality. Except for "Opening (Sissi Search)," which features Michael Brook's guitar work, the second half is all Pale 3 and its moody soundtrack music.

Goin' Down South Blues Sampler

Inside Memphis
Goin' Down South is an overview of Memphis blues. It opens with the instrumental "Memphis Round-Up" (which would also have been an apt title for this release, come to think of it). This is followed by "Poor Boy Long Way From Home," which is the combination of acoustic guitar and harmonica from David Evans & Jobie Kilzer. R.L. Burnside amps it up with the stomping "Going Down South." Daddy Mack Blues Band sounds totally modern, compared with what precedes it, on the slick "RazorBlade." Billy Gibson sounds like Chicago blues with "Darling, Please Come Home." The loose sound of "Last Chance Blues" fits the Last Chance Jug Band's name well. Junkyardmen, featuring Mose Vinson, pumps up the acoustic piano and harmonica on the jazzy "What Is Your Life." Sandy Caroll gives "Just As I Am" (not the Gospel standard) a Gospel feel, nevertheless. With "Get Right Church," Lorette Velvette holds nothing back on Fred McDowell's gospel cry. Stinging electric guitar licks power "I Ain't Found Out Yet" by Junkyardmen. "Midnight Hour" is not that classic wolf howl oldie by Wilson Pickett, but is, instead, a slow and mournful love moan. McCarty-Hite Blues Project really cranks it up with the percussive "Shake 'Em Down." Blind Mississippi Morris closes out this Memphis blues survey with a John Lee Hooker-like lament called "Secondhand Store."

Caprice International Presents: Worldwide Radio Summer Hit Singles

Caprice International Records & Discs
This Caprice overview is divided into four parts: Americana/Country Formats, Adult Contemporary/Pop Formats, Alternative Rock and Pop/Dance/Rap Formats. Joey Welz sings a plea for social justice on "People Are The Same All Over The World." "Someday, Probably Today" hardly hides Big Talk's anger. Paul Nillsson applies a big piano underpinning to "Two For The Road." Michael Storm hopes for better weather on "Turn It Around." With "Mustard On My Blue Suede Shoes," Dead Elvis presents a scenario probably never encountered by the true king. Zupe completes the Americana/Country Formats section with acoustic strummed "Hey Lisa." The Adult Contemporary portion is dedicated to the songs of Ron Annunziatia, and features the work of Flora Wilson, Sara Zahn, Sweet N' Jazzy, Primo, Lori Johnson and Annunziatia himself. Ajalon opens the Alternative Rock Format part with the Dire Straits-like "To Fly With You." Brian Zimmermann & Bitter Love vents their angst on "Bad Lover." With "Rock-A-Drama," Kevin owes a debt to '70s progressive rock. Joey Welz confuses rap with bad '70s disco on "(The Comet M.C.) What's It All About."

Jonn Serrie • Century Seasons: The Space Music of Jonn Serrie

Miramar Recordings
Jonn Serrie draws inspiration from Battlestar Galactica and the skies of his North Georgia Mountain home for this 2-CD collection of trance-like synthesizer music. It's the kind of music that can enhance the experience of watching a sci-fi movie, but it becomes a little trying after two long discs. Song titles, like "The Tachyon Directive," "Tingri Maiden" and "Land Of Lyss" are oftentimes more intriguing than the music itself. But if friends call you a hopeless space cadet, maybe this release is just right for you.

Cairo • Time Of Legends

Magna Carta Records
Although song titles like "Scottish Highland" and "The Prophecy" point back to legends of ancient history, the music on this album reminds one of more recent legends -- like the band Yes from the '70s. Cairo makes music from the elements of layered keyboards, tricky guitar work and soothing vocals. It's all recorded well, and sounds clean here -- albeit, a little dated. Who knows, some kid might pick this up and assume it's new and innovative.

Two Man Advantage • Don't Label Us

Go Kart Records
This group, which takes its name from a hockey term, plays fast punk (sometimes even wearing hockey uniforms) and at times sounds like Soul Asylum at its rawest. It even has songs about hockey, like "Zamboni Driving Maniac," "Pass The Puck" and "H.O.C.K.E.Y." Punk rock and hockey fans make suitable bedfellows since their both violent and hyperactive types. One guesses such a musical sports joint effort was bound to happen, so here it is.

Sick On The Bus • Punk Police/Suck On Sick On The Bus

Go Kart Records
Sick On The Bus aren't a bunch of happy guys, if this two-CD release is any kind of indication. Songs like "Everything's Shit" on "Punk Police," and "Kill Yourself" on the album Suck On Sick On The Bus apply rapid fire punk singing and playing for the purpose of whining and complaining about everyday life. Sick On The Bus are probably not the kind of people you'd plan a cross-country Greyhound bus trip with, unless, of course, you enjoy having misery as company.

Michael Hedges • Torched

Windham Hill Records
This album is the posthumous songs of Michael Hedges, who died in a late-1997 car accident, and features his guitar-led folk/rock tunes. Some of these songs, like "Promised Land" have a spiritual/philosophical feel. Curiously, Beach Boy Brian Wilson inspired one song, called "Dream Beach." Another, "Spring Buds," features the added singing of David Crosby and Graham Nash. Perhaps, this album will bring continued appreciation for Hedges distinctive guitar style and singing.

Leonardo: The Absolute Man Original Cast Recording

Magna Carta
This album is a progressive rock tribute to the artist Leonardo da Vinci and features the music and lyrics of Trent Gardner. I don't know if da Vinci would be making this kind of pretentious rock music were he still alive today, but I doubt he would go so far as to cut his ear off after hearing it. The sound here can be likened to that of the local opera company, getting a little loose at a sock hop.

Robert Berry • A Soundtrack for The Wheel Of Time

Magna Carta
Robert Berry composed these modernistic medieval songs as a soundtrack to Robert Jordon's written series. He sings the most of these songs, but is also assisted by Lief Sorbye on mandolin, Andy Frazier on vocals and guitar, Michael Mullen on violin and Lisa Bouchelle on vocals for "Ladies Of The Tower." This mystical-sounding music is perfectly suited to its subject matter, which will may even make you want to read your Lord Of The Rings again.

Lennon • 5:30 Saturday Morning

Virgin Records
The Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails world just doesn't have enough crazy chicks to go along with its testosterone fueled male musicians. All this could be changed with Lennon (no, not that dead one) as this dark-haired beauty cranks up the Marshall amps and pounds the noise on this debut album. She's also just as naughty as the boys, as the song title "Property Of Goatf**er" proves. Think of her as another tripped out Alanis, only with a guitar.

Moke • Carnival

Ultimatum Music
It's odd how UK acts retain a kind of musical purity, even when they're trying tooth and nail to sound hard. All the while Moke is bastardizing The Who (with "My Degeneration," of all things), they still sound as much pop as they do rock. Maybe it has something to do with their having a closer proximity to The Beatles' origins, I don't know. Anyhow, Carnival is much more civilized sounding than its sideshow name implies, and it rocks ever so politely.

Sapien • Under The Dark End Sky

Kazmodawn Records
Progressive rock left its fingerprints on more than just the stoners back in high school, as the less pot-impaired Sapien appears to have heard its share of Yes and early Genesis. But the group doesn't really sound much like those two icons. For there's even an almost urban feel to not-so-fun songs like "Fun In The Sun." It's really the lyrics, as on "Alien Civilization" and "Warped History" that point back to large dosages of FM radio hey day in their background.

Nineteen Forty-Five • Together We'll Burn Like Autumn Leaves

Daemon Records
Dinosaur Jr. may have had its 15 minutes, but J. Mascis' influence remains strong, especially in the work of groups like Nineteen Forty-Five. Apparently named after the birth date of Blondie's Debbie Harry, Hunter Manasco and his three band mates rip through 10 songs of noisy joy here. The desperation of Nirvana is spread over punk-inspired energy to create an authentically rocking release; something Mr. Mascis might be proud to have inspired. Call it third generation Dinosaur music.

Alphaville • Stark Naked And Absolutely Live

Navigator/SPV Music
Remember when synthesizers ruled the pop charts? Back then, a dance beat and a pretty face could lead to instant stardom. But MTV hardly shows videos anymore, and synth-groups from that era are now the stuff of nostalgia. Nevertheless, the true believers are still dancing like it's 1984, which is for whom these electronically created bells of Alphaville toll. Heck, they're probably not even big in Japan now, which was the name of their one hit, but who cares?

Adema • Adema

Arista Records
"All I know is that life is a struggle," Adema singer Mark Chavez shouts/sings at one point on the group's debut, before proceeding to fight against the elements throughout this angry and depressed release. It may not be cool to be corny in today's youth culture, but one can certainly score points by being Korn-y, and Adema pours on the chunky guitar-riffed self-pity on strong here. Everybody feels angry and abused at one time or other, but just feeling this way doesn't always equal art. Enough said?

Shades Apart • Sonic Boom

Shades Apart find endless pleasure in the unbridled power of the three-piece power trio sound. What makes them more than just a retread of every other group of garage rockers with a couple of guitars, drums and amps is the clarity and precision of the production on Sonic Boom. Producer Phil Nicolo keeps Mark V.'s raspy and sincere vocals conspicuously above the punchy and explosive instrumentation beneath. And having the balls to name a song "Rebel Teenager From Mars" doesn't hurt either.

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