"Slavicsky's Smorgasbord"

by Al Slavicsky
Sponsored In Part By

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Richard Thompson - Action Packed - The Best of the Capitol Years

Capitol Records

Imagine the sounds of Peter Seeger combined with the esoteric elements of John Lennon and Bob Dylan’s songwriting and the haunting storytelling which Bruce Springsteen displayed during his Nebraska-era days; then you have an idea of the what Richard Thompson sounds like. Containing 19 tracks from his Capitol Records session, this CD is a must-have for any folk, acoustic, and neo-punk fan. Includes some of his more famous tunes -- “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” “Waltzing’s For Dreamers,” “Beeswing,” and “Keep Your Distance.” Also, for long time fans of Richard, there are three special tunes for you – “Persuasion” with Teddy Thompson, which is a new track exclusively to his collection and has a Gordon Lightfoot style to it; plus, appearing on CD for the first time are “Mr. Rebound” and “Fully Qualified To Be Your Man.” Richard Thompson may be as underrated as Squeeze was commercially, but this release proves to the world that Richard is one of the best songwriters in music today.

Immortal 2000 sampler

Immortal Records

Recently received this CD sampler in the mail with some poster and may be a bit dated, but the package took over a year for me to get, and I am really glad that this CD came to my attention. Containing tracks that appeared on Immortal Records releases in 2000, but to be honest most of these releases got lost for some reason. The first band on the CD is a great band called US Crush. Don’t know too much about this band, but the two songs from the debut disc are awesome due to their melodic vibe and flow. One must like “Bleed” and “Loser,” and this band deserves a second chance. The second band is the Saint Louis-based band The Urge who is only harder and more aggressive with ska-influenced groove funk metalcore. Taken from the album Too Much Stereo, “4 Letters & 2 Words” and “Too Much Stereo” prove that the band still rocks and rolls; too bad commercial radio passed on the band after the great success of the last album. The third band actually did get some airplay on TRL and the radio; Incubus demonstrates two songs from Make Yourself – “Stellar” and a previously unreleased, acoustic version of “Pardon Me,” which is very different from the bootleg version that was going around. The fourth band is the band which has made Immortal what it is… Korn, with their very popular tune “Make Me Bad” and a song which collector of Korn music would want to have – a previously unreleased song called “Proud” that reminds one of the “A.D.I.A.S.” sound and should have been included on Issues. The last band only has one track, and what a killing track it is due to its experimental groove that is totally indescribable. The band is called 30 Seconds 2 Mars, and if you like Tool, A.P.C., or Sevendust, you would love this band. The tune is called “Buddha For Mary,” and if the rest of the album is anything like this, the band deserves a muchly deserved second chance, for it is that strong of a tune. 30 Seconds 2 Mars will be huge if people give them a chance. This is the most underrated band of 2000, and mark my word, this band is going to be around for some time. It is time to take a look back at some of these bands, for they are great.

Diesel Machine - Torture Test

SPV GmbH, P.O. Box 72 1147, 30531 Hannover, Germany

Los Angeles, CA's own Diesel Machine delivers a very raw, hi-energy metal CD that rocks in the vein of Spineshank and Meshuggah dishing a blood-sweating release of intense tunes that mold the industrialized metal scene. Imagine cranking up this release to hear brutal drums, a deep bass, fused fuel-driven guitars, and hardcore death-like vocals. 11 violent, hard as a diamond tunes that would make you want to get up and slam your face into a cheese cutter. Tunes that stand out include “Bones and Tell,” “Rage,” and “Black Box.” In fact, all the tunes on the release totally rock terror into your soul and make you want to destroy your neighbor with a high energy of Diesel Machine… who cook. Listen to around 5:24 in track 11 for one of the most bizarre bonus tunes that you would ever hear. Only two words represent the CD – Diesel Machine. Enough said.

David Hollister - “Take Care of Home” CD-5

DreamWorks Records

A perfect love song in the vein of R. Kelly, David Hollister’s soul blend of R&B flows on his first single, which contains two versions of this R&B hit. Impressive slow jam that is really destined to cross over to the AC charts due to it strength. Amazing groove and is destined to be played at weddings, for it is the perfect wedding song. David Hollister will soon be a big star, and this song is a classic which one can’t wait to hear a remix of. One of the best singles out in a long time.

Hinge - “Nightmare”/“Assfault” CD-5

Roadrunner Records

Upon listening to this single from Hinge, one can sense they are going to be huge. The first track “Nightmare” has a memorable chorus that rocks “You worthless piece of sh*t” repeated over and over. You must like this metal masterpiece, which is total raw-energy power that rocks. Hinge is one of the best power bands heard in some time, and the second track “Assfault” is even more brutal than “Nightmare” due to hardcore vocals and a sonic mix of death and metal. Overall, two words simply describe Hinge – “Da Bomb!!!!” Unhinge the door for Hinge.

Patrick Green - Girlfriend CD-5

Waldoxy Records

This two-track single for the song “Girlfriend” by Patrick Green, produced by the legendary Mel Waiters, contains some soulfish R&B groove that it transforms into a great blend of R&B dance. One must be impressed by Patrick Green’s lead vocals blending with Mel’s backing vocals combined with great background music. If you really want to hear what is going on in the R&B world, check out this single which has the radio edit and album version, for the grass is greener on the other side, and this release is pure Patrick Green.

Hinge - 5 Song EP

Roadrunner Records

Five tunes to give you a fix of Hinge. If you like your music hard and atmospheric with a bit of hardcore in it, then Hinge delivers the goods for you. Strong stuff that makes you think while grooving. Contains such soon to be classic tunes as “Nightmare,” with its “You worthless piece of sh*t” lyric, the grooving “ Feel The Break” that may even remind of Tool, “Pain” with its similar-to-Slipknot D.J. style that rocks, “Assfault,” which is a cool title of a song that grooves into a steamroller over your speakers, and then the last tune “Nothing” rocks hard and moves and proves that Hinge is a force to reckon with. Overall, Hinge is ready to make you unhinge your door and violently mosh your party down. A new classic for the world.

Vanilla Ice - “Unbreakable” CD-5

Ultravox Records

Vanilla Ice 2001 style. and this is not the old 1991 Vanilla Ice; let’s call him V*ICE, for here he is joined with some special guests called ICP on the tune. Controversial, yes, and a surprising great rap with a Ninja flair and hardcore psycho hip-hop. Glad there is a radio edit here, for you would never hear the explicit language which V*ICE is ditching on his tip. Sort of a Wu-Tang Clan or Ninja-horrorcore blend of rapping. Actually, this is one of the best new hip-hop tunes which the world has heard in quite some time, and if you think you are going to get “Ice Ice Baby” or “Play That Funky Music,” you are not. V*ICE continues to bring his unbreakable comeback, and will be here to stay. V*ICE with ICP is awesome.

The Misfits - Famous Monsters Demos

Roadrunner Records Japan

It is The Misfits’ 25th anniversary, and while searching for information about this band, found this demo version of
the band’s 1999 release Famous Monsters on the Roadrunner Records Japan site. Don’t know if this is a Japanese-only release or a website exclusive put out by the label, but there are definite demo versions of the songs, for there are slight differences between this and the released version. Maybe these recordings are the rough mixes without overdubs, but they still are worthy for any Misfits fan to hear. Contains six songs, including “Scream,” “Witch Hunt,” “Fiend Club,” “Lost In Space,” and “Saturday Night.” The Misfits rocked the world for 25 years and continue to bring Halloween to the masses all year ‘round. Spook yourself and check out some Misfits, for it is a fright night for you all.

Puya - Union 3 Song Sampler

MCA/Universal Records

Latin metal rockers are back with some new tunes, which are going to be on their forthcoming album Union. The three tunes that are this release are mind blowing. “Ride” has that Soulfly vibe in music... a very tribal feeling yet voices are a combination of Incubus and Pantera. “People” has a groove electronic world beat twist combined with metal and a rapid fast rap to it... sort of a Rage Against A Machine; impressive. And the last tune on the release is called “Numbed,” which sounds like a Latin fiesta gone loco. Overall, Puya proves that they continue the Latin explosion beyond the pop revolution by Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Santana. Puya is one of the most impressive new Latin artists in the world today. Se hablamos espanol? Si. Puya esta es numero uno di musica de metal.

Britney Spears - Stronger CD-5

Jive Records

A great dance tune that continues the streak of hit songs by this young icon. “Stronger” is presented here in its album version, which hits the spot when you wanna get up and dance, but for some strange reason there is a version called the “Call Out Research Hook” version which is just a 12-second sample from the center of the song which is probably the biggest waste of CD time that one has every heard. Go out and buy the album, for it is probably a better buy than all the Britney Spears singles out there unless you are just a pure collector of Britney.

Gorguts - From Wisdom To Hate

Olympic/Century Media

The mighty Gorguts deliver an onslaught of grinding metal that slowly seeps into your cranium and eats it away. Heavy like bands such as Decide or Pantera while making clean deep vocals. The sound production of this release is top-notch, and the mix is great, for the guitars, bass, drums, and vocals do not overpower each other. Luc Lemay’s vocals must be heard to believe that he can have such a brutal vox. The morbid funeral-like intro to “From Wisdom to Hate” is very moving, like a piece of classical music by Wagner, only to flow into a hard edge metal cemetery sound. Gorguts prove to the world that metal still can be terroristic and a force in a society which bubble gum music has taken control of and where people like King Diamond have been lost, but the Canadian group is destined to shine. Awesome.

Lunachicks - Babysitters On Acid

Go-Kart Records, P.O. Box 20, Prince St. Station. New York, NY 10012

Girl power all the way... the Lunachicks, the long running all-female punk band, have returned with an impressive release that proves that humor and punk did not die yet. The CD opens with the song “Jan Brady,” which pays homage to the middle Brady girl from the ’70s television show “he Brady Brunch that makes you have a good laugh and pee at Jan’s expense. Another track that stands out is a spaced-out trip that is described on “Babysitters on Acid,” which would be a nightmare to some parents, yet the song sounds like early Go-Go’s meeting Frank Zappa. Highly recommend to fans of demented old style punk music that slowly will become a favorite CD of yours, for it has become one of mine.

Conflict - Only StupidBastardsHelp - A Conflict/Mortarhate Promo Sampler - The Ungovernable Force

Go-Kart Records, P.O. Box 20, Prince St. Station. New York, NY 10012

This is a great sampling of what Conflict is about. Contains a song from the entire released catalogue of Conflict; proves what Conflict was about. If you like anarchistic crust punk, go and buy one of the bands releases, for the band is that good with its high energy, ching-a-ching punk – oi, no wonder this band is still loved by modern punks today. Oi oi oi... Conflict.

The Company of Snakes - Here They Go Again


It is the year 2001, and the ‘80s seems like the long lost past... that is, until I heard this live album by The Company of Snakes. This is basically members from old Whitesnake line-ups minus David Coverdale, and the band proves that they still can rock even though vocalist Stefan Berggren takes some time to get used to on the Whitesnake classics “Here I Go Again,” “Is This Love,” and “Lovehunter,” yet on some the lesser known tunes like “Wine Women An’ Song” he is very impressive. Also Bernie Mardens, Mick Moody, Neil Murray, Don Airey, and John Lingwood only seem to have gotten better in time. It is good to hear the old Whitesnake sound again, and whether you liked it or not in the ‘80s... you have to appreciate the band for creating a sort of “best of” live album. The Company of Snakes is a great addition to all true fans of metal, the ‘80s, and good rock and roll... let’s hope that the band may continue to work together, for one would love to see what this line-up could actually do in the studio.

The Varukers - How Do You Sleep?


Interesting release for Go-Kart... the band looks like a punk band in the packaging, yet upon listening the band reminded me of old Exodus, GBH, and Destruction, and one must even say they sound like the evil Metallica on that band’s Garage Days. The Varukers may sound like those band, but lyrically they sound like some peed off punk band that wants to kick the world’s butt with songs such as “Gun Crazed Kids,” “Modem For Destruction,” “No Restrictions,” and “Piss Off (I’ve Paid)"... you can see that The Varukers are your atypical band that rocks. True snotty nosy punk with metal overtones to pee off your parents and hear what the crust punk scene is all about.

Various Artists - Music 101 3.1

Campus Circle

Highlighting some of the best new alternative music ranging from the salsa-infested sounds of Ian Pooley’s “Caracao Tamber” to the retro sound of Spandau Ballet’s “Gold” to top 40 pop rock of Lifehouse’s “Hanging By A Moment” to groove rockers like the Pat McGee Band’s “Rebecca” to the smooth sound of Poe’s “Hey Pretty” to the death metal of Nevermore “Believe In Nothing” to the hi-energy punk infested rock of Zebrahead’s “Playmate of the Year” to more. 18 total new tracks to expand your minds. A great promo compilation to sink your teeth into and shake your rump to.

Vanishing Point - Tangled In Drama

Limb Music Products, P.O. Box 60 25 20, 22235 Hamburg Germany

Impressive release by this Australian progressive metal band which sounds similar to Dream Theater, Queensryche, and some of the stuff which Maelstrom did in the late 1980s. These comparisons do not truly explain the great production work and the blending of musical instruments and vocals being used almost like an added instrument to highlight the keys. One track which stands out on the release is the hidden cover tune of the David Gilmour and Anthony Moore classic “On The Turning Away.” Best original on the release is “Never Walk Away” due to its intense groove and vibe.

Stereomud - “Pain” + “Old Man” CD-5

Loud/Columbia Records

This is not your typical hard edge metal due to its intergroove-like motion that molds into the heavy edge rock and roll that grooves into an energy that rocks intense. Stereomud has the softness of space-like sound combined with brutal hard drums and wicked riffs. Both tracks on this CD rock in their own ways with “Old Man” actually standing over the first radio single “Pain,” which makes you groove with hard intensity and moves into a cosmic bliss. If the rest of their debut album Perfect Self is like this, Stereomud will be popular as hell.

Jungle Rot - Dead And Buried

Olympic/Century Media

Hard to believe that this band is from Germantown, Wisconsin, United States, for they play some intense, rip-shredding, ball busting, crushing death metal in the vein of Overdose or Obituary. On Dead And Buried, the band proves that they can really make something to reflect the bleakness of the world. Sound production is awesome, and the vocals are not drowned in the mix and are clean to listen to while the guitars grind and bend with the mix of the drums and slaughtering bass. Lyrics are morbid, which makes Jungle Rot sound better... you can see some of the bleakness of the world through some of composition’s songs – “Misplaced Anger,” “Psychotic Cremation,” “Red Skies,” “Strangulation Mutilation,” “Circle of Death/Jungle Rot,” and “Immersed In Pain.” Jungle Rot will rot your cranium.

Mob Rules - Temple of Two Suns

Limb Music Products, P.O. Box 60 25 20, 22235 Hamburg Germany

Simply one of the best progressive metal bands to hail from Germany since the mid-’80s German metal explosion that was led by Accept, The Scorpions, and Helloween. Melodic power metal which is rarely heard these days due to the metal-rap and metalcore sounds in the metal marketplace. Refreshing to hear a band do this style of music, and Mob Rules does it top-notch, especially on their Opus section which hails two parts – “Celebration Day – Sun Serenade Opus I” and “Flag of Life – Sun Serenade Opus II,” which proves that the band has studied the classical musical scale while using intense rock and roll progression overtones. Needless to say, the members of Mob Rules are gifted musicians and prove that progressive metal is stronger today then it was in the mid-’80s. So do yourself a favor, go out and get this release, for you would be impressed by these new breeders of progressive metal. Ich un Mob Rules.

Macabre - Dahmer

Decomposed Record/Olympic Recordings/Century Media

Grindcore with a humorous decomposing satire matter devoted the funny loving brutal serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Demented and very controversial and sure to make a lot of people mad. Macabre slaughters the word with sick tunes like “McDahmers,” “Jeffrey Dahmer Blues,” “Do the Dahmer,” “Dahmer’s Dead,” “Jeffrey Dahmer and The Chocolate Factory’, and “Apartment 213” which is the infamous murder house of Dahmer. 26 tunes of sickness and grindcore with a decomposing punk psychedelic flair.

One Minute Silence - Buy Now... Saved Later

V2 Records

One Minute Silence has a great hard edge sound that is sort of rapcorish while grooving hard. This has its highs -- and lows, too -- but overall has more highs than lows. One Minute Silence warped the sounds to create good music similar to the Far, Urge, Incubus, or 311; however, needs some more polishing to get out the rough edges. The best tracks on the release are “Words,” due to mellow vibe, and “Holy Man.” Heard better releases and heard worse; let’s all give One Minute Silence... one minute of silence and let this release rest in peace.

Various Artists - Ska Chartbusters (with bonus CD Skunk Chartbusters)

Wolverine Records, Bizmarckstr. 65 40210 Dusseldorf Germany/Sound Carrier Postfach 400112 Gelsnkirchen Germany

Ska bands doing covers of classic metal, rock, and pop tunes. Highlights include The Busters doing Queen’s “We Are The Champions,” Furillo doing Europe’s “Final Countdown,” The Suspects doing Napster-friendly Metallica’s “Seek And Destroy,” Dr. Raju doing John Denver’s “Leaving On A Jetplane” which reminds one of old No Doubt, Thumper redefining Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” and Skanatra doing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Those along with others for a total of 17 make up disc one – Ska Chartbusters. Disc two, Skunk Chartbusters, contains eight tunes down in ska-punk matter; includes The Hippos doing The Police’s “So Lonely,” Greenhouse doing Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Skin of Tears doing Marillion’s “Kayleigh,” Blue Meanies doing The Turtles’ “Happy Together,” and Wisecracker’s version of Europe’s “Final Countdown.” If you want to hear some ska and skunk cover tunes, add this to your collection so you can make your friends trapped in a time warp shiver with gleam and become a rudie.

Fiddlin’ Johnny with Peter Ostraoshke - Aural History

Makoche Music/Chairmaker’s Rush

Fiddle music is not really my favorite style of music, but this release is mainly jigs and Americana music by a 13 year old fiddler named Fiddlin’ Johnny. He does play a good fiddle, but the release is very mellow-oriented and similar to most fiddle music in the marketplace today. If you like fiddle music with a Scottish flair, then check out this release.

400 Horses - 400 Horses

A2 Records/Gotham Records

Hard edge record with an ‘80s flair, which may remind you of Danger Danger, Kix, or Pretty Boy Floyd due to the sounds of the release. 400 Horses do some great sounds – “Guilty As Sin,” “Over & Done,” and “Let It Go.” But the tune that stands out is “Wanna Make Love To You,” which sounds like mixture of blues and rock together. 400 Horses may be decades behind in the new music scene but know how to rock.

Shadow Keep - Corruption Within

Limb Music/SPV

Reminds one of vintage Queensryche or Dio metal while Shadow Keep rocks on this release and even surprises the listener with an unlisted cover of Queensryche’s “Queen of the Reich” at the end of the CD which you would swear was actually Queensryche if you did not know it. This Belgian-based progressive metal group proves that the style of ‘80s progressive metal is still alive, and the original music made by Geoff Tate-influenced vocalist Rogue M., lead guitarist Chris Allen, rhythm guitarist Nicki Robson, bassist James Daley, and drumming of Dave Edwards. Suggested highlights are “The Silver Sword,” “Murder,” and “Corruption Within.” Progressive metal lives with Shadow Keep... the best Belgian import band to come on in some time.

Purple Mustard - The New Mary Jane


If you like harmonious rock and roll, then Purple Mustard may be your type of music, but one has to admit that there are a lot of better bands doing the same type of music as Purple Mustard is attempting to do on this release, more notably Black Lab, The Candyskins, and even Oasis. But Purple Mustard has a sound which is more blues-oriented than those bands but still seem to lack the power punch to capture the listener’s attention. The one main gem on the release is the song “Everything That I Want” – one wishes the rest of the release was like this. No need to spread any Purple Mustard on your green bread yet, but if the band flows in the river they may swim the rock and roll circus, but until then, they will drown.

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Cinemage

Sony Classical

This great classical composer produced film scores for The Last Emperor and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. This release highlights some the greatest scores he has ever done, including “The Emperor,” “Little Buddha,” “Wuthering Heights,” and “Replica.” Some of the best neo-classical sounds in the world today, and the beautiful instrumentation of Ryuichi Sakamoto truly represents the world of music. The best classical composer of our time, and this release is a must for any music collection.

California - California

Trauma Records

California has that Black Crowes or Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band vibe on their debut disc. Impressive blend of blues, rock, country, surf, and metal in one huge melting pot. This is the type of release that one can listen to all day and all night and hear something different each time. Production is top notch and the mix is great. California has some instant classics on the release including the power ballad “Drifting” which could be a hit on the country/Americana charts due to its retro-Eagles sound, “Back Then” due to its Bo Diddley-like rock beat meeting Bon Jovi-like vocals, and “Lost Highway” sounds like John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. Overall, a worthy release.

Boiler Room - Can’t Breathe

Tommy Boy, 902 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

Finally a full-length Boiler Room, and Can’t Breathe really rocks with a blend of funk beats fused with aggressive hardcorish metal that grooves hard. Boiler Room has that unique groove flair for a metal band that can be demonstrated by the blending of sounds, especially on “Vindictive” and “Crash,” on which there are even elements of rapcore in the music that is heard. Tracks which are most likely to please your listening enjoyment are “Do It Again,” “Fuse,” “No Reason.” Head to the Boiler Room and let the music blare for with Can’t Breathe... the party begins.

Omar Torrez Band

Omar Torrez Music

Six tracks which Omar describes as Afro-Cuban-Flamenco-Funk, and this release really rocks, and it is hard to believe that this release was recorded and released in 1997, which is two years prior to Carlos Santana’s Grammy award album Supernatural. Could it be that Carlos actually heard the sound of Omar Torrez? Surprising that both releases use the funk groove of Latin salsa music, funk similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and classical flamenco music from Mexico. Simply put, this five-song, 28-minute CD by Omar Torrez highlights the next breed of guitarists. Overall, this rocks and rolls. Highlightly recommend for the listener of great music. A+ plus.

Various Artists - TV Sucks

Wolverine Records, Kaiserswertherstr. 166, 40474 Dusseldorf, Germany

A collection of punk bands covering television theme songs, with most of the bands either being for Germany or Eastern Europe. Some highlights of the release include Big Wig’s version of “Cheers,” No Use For A Name doing the theme for Laverne & Shirley, Two Point Eight doing “Suicide Is Painless,” which is the vocal version of the theme from M*A*S*H, and The Butlers doing “Detektiv Rockford” a.k.a. The Rockford Files. Interesting twist to these television themes... TV may now suck, but hearing this release does not suck, for it gives you 24 channels (tracks) of warped enjoyment for your imported greenback. Awesome collection.

Little Milton - “Loveable Girl” CD-5

Malaco Records, 3023 W. Northside Drive, Jackson, MS 39213

This song has become a highlight of Little Milton’s live show due to its strong love vibe. The legendary R&B performer has made a song that Otis Rush or Otis Redding would of be proud of due to its blues riff and sweetheart-like vocals. Rarely does a release come out that is a classic in the world, and “Loveable Girl” is destined to hold its merit in time. A strong outing of power, and Little Milton is the best of crooners. A moving single from his full-length album Feel It, which deserves to be heard.

Lotus - Quarter Conspiracy

Record Heaven, Box 25, 230.42 Tygelsjo, Sweden/Record Heaven America, 27111 Academy, Roseville, MI

Lotus plays metallic, old-fashioned grudge via the way of Black Sabbath. This 11-track release reminds one of old Soundgarden in parts. Actually, for sounding almost a decade old due to style, Lotus is refreshingly different than most of the music in the world today, for it is old-fashioned metal. The groove-influenced “Genetic Jesus” is pure space rock and flows like a Pink Floyd number, while “Peace of Mind” has a Jimi Hendrix-meets-Frank Zappa vibe. Overall, Lotus needs to be heard, for a lot of people would be surprised by the sound of the band.

Various Artists - Platinum Christmas

Arista/RCA/Jive Records

Ho ho ho... actually it is more like blah humbug, and say wow, another lousy Christmas comp. This disk contains Christmas music by artists that have been overplayed to death on the radio – Britney Spears, NSync, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Monica, TLC, Step, R. Kelly, Joe, Toni Braxton, Dido, and others. 16 Christmas tunes that would make you say “I am glad that Christmas comes just once a year.” Seasons greetings; pass me some more spiked egg nog so this release sounds good.

Love Like Blood - Swordlillies - The Best of Love Like Blood


Never heard of Love Like Blood until this release, but they must have been around for a while. Musically, Love Like Blood is sort of a Gothic Echo and the Bunnymen or Stranglers or Type-O Negative. One must admire the emotional struggle of vocalist (Gunnar) and programmer (Yorek Eysel). This is truly dark wave Gothic music and a good release for anyone who wants to heard one of the primer-oriented bands of that style, Love Like Blood. Swordlillies contains 14 of mostly 4 minutes-plus songs, which helps you get more Gothic for your buck. Suggested tunes to check out are “Walking In Demimondes (Underworld Mix),” “Siberian Pandemonium (Inferno Mix),” and “Stormy Visions (transitional edit).” A classic platter to splatter.

Full Frequency - Momentum

Gonzo! Records, P.O. Box 3688, San Dimas, CA 91773

Industrial music has seemed to be lost compared to the techno music in the music underground during the past couple of years, but the new release of Full Frequency called Momentum brings us back in the industrial forefront with some NIN, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and Gravity Kills-like infested industrial. Full Frequency kicks out the mo’fo jams and makes you get your damn bootie up with a hint of Ministry and Front 242-like tunes. Contains ten neo-industrial tunes that become addicting to the sleep beauties of the down world while making you roam the higher groups of space. Hard to pick one track that truly represents the band’s sound, but you must be partial to “suFFocate” which is du hast lyrics... “Self-Annihilation” is the front of that. Spattling rock with Broken-era NIN vibe. Awesome release for any industrial music fan.

Sloppy MeatEaters - Forbidden Meat

Orange Peal Records, P.O. Box 15207, Fremont, CA 94539

Pork may be the other white meat, but this is the Sloppy MeatEaters’ Forbidden Meat. Poppy punk with pure, pleasant paradoxes and harmonies. If you like Blink 182 and Green Day, the Sloppy MeatEaters are way beyond those bands and more and tackle issues which face the modern punk on songs such as “Up Against Me,” “Give Me Something,” and “Talkin’ Bout Jesus.” Also, the power ballad “So Long” with its acoustic guitar ending is refreshing for a punk band. The Sloppy MeatEaters will be a force to reckon with in the future. Pass me the gravy, and give me a big platter of the Sloppy MeatEaters.

Duran Duran - Rio (Enhanced & Remastered)


Capitol Records have brilliantly mastered Duran Duran's first full-length album Rio. This new version of the Rio is the first time that the original tracks have appeared on CD, for the album was remixed early in the group's career, and that version became standard. The brilliance of Duran Duran's sound is truly captured in pure digital bliss on Rio, which has become a standard after all these years. Ever since 1982, songs like "Rio," "Hungry Like A Wolf," and "Save A Prayer" hit the airwaves; the band erupted in now legendary status and were admired by Lady Di. In 1982, MTV was new, and the band became one of the first MTV icons. Even though the aforementioned songs were the hits, the songs "Hold Back The Rain" and "The Chauffeur" proved that the band were very talented and complex musicians. Also, Capitol decided to issue an enhanced CD portion to the CD which includes videos with commentary for "Rio," "Hungry Like A Wolf," and "Save A Prayer," lyrics to all the songs of the release, complete discography of "Rio," and photos of the band from around the Rio era. To simply put it... good job to Capitol Records for making this version really stand out.

Primitive Radio Gods - White Hot Peach

What Are Records?/Kramden Enterprises/Hi Fi Recordings

Almost ten years after the band recorded their first album, Rocket, which band had an unlikely hit from five years after the band recorded it and spawned the hit “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money In My Hand,” Chris O'Conner, Tim Laurettio, Jeff Sparks, and Luke McAuliffe have done a new album entitled White Hot Peach. Impressive, relaxing groove rock with a space vibe similar to Radiohead, the Primitive Radio Gods have created a masterpiece that moves in many directions musically and lyrically. "Fading Out" has an adult contemporary vibe, but hiding in it are some impressive ching-a-ching guitar chords, sirens, and hte tape slowing down, while "Devil's Triangle" has a Breeders or Guided By Voices sound fused with a sort of Sonic Youth dub. "First Alien Photo" has a neo-folk song with topics of aliens. Primitive Radio Gods on White Hot Peach prove to the world that they are musical geniuses. Over of the most motivative releases of the year and destined to be looked at as one of the psychedelic masterpiece for years to come... a Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band of the 2000s.

The Ocean Blue - Davy Jones' Locker

March Records

Hershey, PA's The Ocean Blue brings a great alternative rock release that grooves like old Live or Gatherfielding. Seems like a release which grows on you after a couple of listens. The Ocean Blue has progressed sharply and on Davy Jones' Locker prove that they are ready to make Hershey, PA known for me than a chocolate factory. Mouth-watering pop.

Five Dollar Milkshake - Apart In the Middle

Five Dollar Milkshake, P.O, Box 426006, Cambridge, MA 02142

A rather groove-oriented, mellow release from this Cambridge, MA-based band, which is sort of alternative sounding similar to Pylon or XTC meeting the Attractions or R.E.M. Five Dollar Milkshake does 12 tunes which use harmonies and space-like effects in parts such as on "Inspiration Fleece," but what the band does on "3:05 On the Hill" is pure genius by sampling the beginning of Cat Stevens' "To Be A Star," which has to be heard for it is the most mind-blowing use of a sample to be heard in some time on a rock and roll record. Overall, if Five Dollar Milkshake captures these tunes live like they have done on this release, the band would go a long way. One of the best unsigned band in the world today and appealing to a wide marketplace.

Reach The Sky - Friends, Lies, and the End of the World

Victory Records

Boston's Reach The Sky (Ian Larrabee - vocals/Bob Mahoney - drums/Brendan Maguire - bass/Chris Chaisee - guitars) presents Friends, Lies, and the End of the World. Emotionally, the band gives us one of the best PxUxNxKx releases that has been heard in some time due to the clear vocals, sonic drums, ching-a-ching guitars, and bombastic bass. Reach the Sky gives us 12 tracks which make you want to get off your freaking lazy sod and mosh. Tracks that rock include the song "Stars Lead the Way," which has a cold acoustic intro before going into some hi-energy punk, and the same goes to the sound of "Wherever You Go," which was similar vibe. Reach The Sky continues to improve with each release and Friends, Lies, and the End of the World rocks.

the research magnificent - Relatively Old Home Recordings

Forty-Seven Records, 222 Nedellec Drive, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663

Experimental mood music with a twist on ambient music in the mix. Three songs that make you relax and mellow out. Sort of like a lo-fi Enigma meeting Pink Floyd or King Crimson doing instrumentals. The spacy tune "Supermarket and Letter Can" is groovy and a sonic bliss of structured sound, while "P.J.H." is keyboard-fusing into a space vibe while settling a neo-depression mood or both to be countered by the ambient "Daisybelle Can't Live Without You," which is a tune combining different instruments to blend a melodic groove. One of the lo-fi space bands currently in the world today.

The Trouble With Larry - A Fine Freak of Nature

Good Kitty Records, 201A N. Davis Ave., Richmond, VA 23220

If you smashed your car into a wall and went into a time warp to the late 1970s punk-a-delic show with a twist of Iggy Pop and the Plimsouls, you will have The Trouble With Larry. Any band that can fuse surfabilly on the :55 track "Feeding Frenzy" only to go into a Gothic-like tune called "Ivory Tower" then go into a psychobilly tune "Utopia" is awesome. Smash the state and genre busting with one of the best unsigned bands in the world today. Fun, fun, fun until your daddy takes your demolished car to the graveyard to party out of bounds where the spirit of Elvis lives via "Blue Moon of Kentucky" down the TWL way and meeting Frank Zappa's ghost on "Comfortably Dumb." Rock and roll for generation 2001... a 10.0 on the Richter scale.

Elizabeth Cranford - "Some for Waffle (the electronic composer)" song

Forty-Seven Records, 222 Nedellic Drive, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663

A 1:04 mini-masterpiece created by Elizabeth Cranford. Very electronic in nature; used to demonstrate Elizabeth Cranford's knowledge of electronic music. Composed of various noise and reverbs to create more mind-bending alternate mood music. A good representation of a composer at work. Just think of Philip Glass done in a short, lo-fi setting, and you’ve got Elizabeth Cranford.

The Embalmed - Act I : Hooked on Demonics

Inverted America Records, http://embalmed.cjb.net

Extreme death metal with morbid lyrics and right-in-your-face, mind-blowing inferno sound. In the vein of old school death, The Embalmed also has a new sound which is unique to this release due to being a three-piece. A death metal power trio with an “I don't give a f**k” style. With titles of songs like “Breeding the Slime,” “With Arms Both Broken,” “Incinerate,” “Hooked on Demonics,” and the always-crowd-favorite "Barbed Wired Morgue," it is no wonder that people like this band. Mourning Preacher's vocals are as violent as Peter Steele's yet retain a pure shear slaughtering delight while combining his hard driven bass and Buddy Waters' lead speed guitars and vocal overlaying with Reverend Fang's drums.

iot - ADDAD

Forty-Seven Records, 222 Nedellec Drive, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663

New Jersey's iot created soundscape music using tape loops, AM radio samplers, reverbs, backwards feeds, mix sound signals, splices, digital edits, samplers, keyboards, recorders, toys, and more on this 8-track release where all the songs are titled with the letters A-D in various forms. Imagine all these sounds in one big mixing pot to light a bomb. iot is a true lo-fi masterpiece that ranks up there with great works of Philip Glass, Tom Sutter, and Brian Eno's work. So if you like works of those composers, check out the next wave of soundscape music with iot.

Dry Kill Logic - "Nightmare"/"Feel The Break" CD-5

Roadrunner Records

Dry Kill Logic play heavy power metal with a strong groove. "Nightmare" is a song about your worst nightmare coming alive, and it rocks with a chorus "me plus you equals nightmare" over and over. Strong song, and the production is awesome. The second song, "Feel The Break," has sort of a haunting vibe that slowly flows into a hardcorish vibe that rules. Overall, DKL proves that metal is here to stay with the metal up your arse philosophy. The new breed of metal is here with DKL.

Slipknot - "Heretic Song (rough mix)" cs

Roadrunner Records

The first song off of the band's new album Iowa, and it rocks, "You may be 555 but I'm 666." A catchy, powerful tune that totally is mixed to rock. Slipknot proves that they can create more music and are not a one-album band. Scratch this sh** up and play loud. Can't wait to hear the new album.

Various Artists - Best of Independent Music Vol. 1

joesgrille.com, 4919 N. Broadway, Warehouse 22, Boulder, CO 80304

A sampler of various artists such as Breck Alan (sounds like David Matthews meeting Wolfman Jack), the legendary Frank Black and the Cadillacs (rock with a punk style), Seventeen (sort of a Bush or Blur sound), Monc (alternative jungle fused with acid jazz), Nullset (rapcore in the vein of Limp Bizkit or Korn or Beastie Boys – 1990s sound), Cabaret Dioza (pure Latin mambo), Dang Head (folky bluewave country groove rock), Maceo Parker (uc-R&B funk in the vein of James Brown), d.biddle (Americana – folk acoustic), TransHypontic (Police or Nirvana flair fused with Pearl Jam), Fade To Black (poppy sound neo-wave), At The Drive-In (punk with a metal edge), Carv (Gothic metal with a doom-like groove), Xiren (pop rock with a melodic groove), Brother (Frankie Goes Hollywood meets Oasis; Brit-pop sounding), Punk City (hard rock with an edge), Basque (soft ambient string music), B i v o u a c (Christian pop ska rock techno emo dance rock, sort like Steve Taylor), and Milady (Latino music similar to Selena's sound). Great sampler to open your mind to new sounds.

Pressure 4-5 - "Beat The World"/"Pieces" CD single

Dream Works Records

Pressure 4-5 debut DreamWorks single "Beat The World"/"Pieces" combines heavy guitar riffs mixed with a solid groove while remaining metal. "Beat The World" is a very strong track that slowly sneaks into your membrane and locks at the base of your skull and slowly leeches your blood flow. Vocals are clear, and musically Pressure 4-5 delivers some solid rock and roll yet is melodic to say. "Pieces" is a sort of power ballad with a mid-tempo groove and has a cross blend of melting metal and rock. If you like bands like The Urge, Incubus, Clutch, and Finger 11, you would like Pressure 4-5. Think new rock for the today's generation.

Dave Navarro - Songs from the forthcoming album Trust No One

Capitol Records

This three-song sampler highlights material from Dave Navarro's new Trust No One. The songs featured here are the releases first single "Hungry," which is a warped psychedelic funk tune like Prince's "Exotic City" meeting Led Zep's "Kashmir"... a great blend. The second song, "Sunny City," is sort of a hybrid acoustic punk funk song at the intro and rolls into a pure funk song. The last song is "Everything," which is a techno punk fusion song with a dose of space in it only to go into some Beatles "I Am A Walrus" type riff mixed with funk beats.

Various - NYC Takeover Vol. 2

Victory Records

Part two of the Victory Records CMJ Showcase which took place on October 22, 2000. This volume really rocks and grooves by starting out with Skarhead doing four hardcore tunes that showcase the diverse style of the band, for the band uses a disc jockey in their song’s introduction before going into violent mosh pitting hardcore. If you can imagine a band going for King Tee and other old school style of rap into something like Murphy's Law... then you know what Skarhead is doing. The four songs included are "Kings At Crime," "Hardcore," "Dogs At War," and "Snickers." Following the Brooklyn based Skarhead, we move north for the legendary Buffalo, NY's Buried Alive, whom put out the front and give us four songs that will crush your speakers and make you want to start a mosh pit in your house. Included are the songs "Another Boy," which is a new song, "Poison," "Untitled," and "Worthless" (from the demo). If you never heard Buried Alive live, well, this release is a treat for you, for it captures the raw energy the band has in their soul... great stuff, and it is good to hear the band bring out a lost song for the event. The last band on the CD is the new band to the Victory label, The Rebel City Rebels, which plays old school punk in the vein of The Clash, and it is very refreshing to hear a horn section in a punk band. Actually, this band is a great contradiction to the first two bands on the CD yet combining all three bands you can see that Victory Records is more than a hardcore label.. The Rebel City Rebels do four tunes – "Hate," "Religion," "Life Rebel," and "Military." A great companion to Vol. 1 and worth getting to see that punk and hardcore is not dead and still lives in the underground.

Various - NYC Takeover Vol. 1

Victory Records

Victory Records invaded CMJ 2000 on Oct. 22, 2000, and this disc is part one of the takeover. Containing four tracks each by some of the best bands currently signed to Victory Records. Vol. 1 includes All Out War, Reach The Sky, and Buried Alive. Binghamton, NY's hardcore force All Out War starts out the CD with four hardcore anthems that will crack your cranium yet leave a message of power in blood. The four tunes present three songs from their release For Those Who Were Crucified – "Soiled In Torment," "Claim Your Innocence," and "Redemption For the Innocent," plus a brand new song "Hypocrite For the Revolution." Following All Out War comes Boston's Reach The Sky, which continues the hardcore with three songs from their release So Far From Home – "In My Defense," "The Chase Is On," and "She Really Loved You," plus a song which was previously released only on a 7-inch, "Let Us Be Damned." Awesome sound from All Out War. The last band to be featured is the poppy punk sound from Grey Area; reminded me of sort of a Green Day meets Blink 182 doing pogo punk. Grey Area's contribution includes two songs from the band's self-titled album – "Take My Changes" and "Before Me" – and two songs from Fanbelt Algebra – "Reminder" and "Silence." Victory Records took over CMJ, and this documentary compilation proved that that takeover was successful and continues to make Victory and driving force in music.

Various Artists - Hot Caribbean Hits

Victory World

This is the first release from Victory's new subsidiary for world music. This compilation is composed of music from Trinidad and Tobago. Contains 12 tunes from that island topical paradise which highlights some of the sounds of the Caribbean that make you want to dance, including the original version of "Who Let The Dogs Out" by Anslem Douglas, which was recorded in 1998 and has a move reggae flair. Also included songs by General Grant ("Sticks and Stones"), Sharlene ("Joe Le TaxI"), Super Blue ("Pump Up"), 3 Canal ("Las Carnival" and "Blue"), Roy Cape All Star ("Goodwood"), Gailann & Rocky ("On D'Road"), Vybe ("Hot Hot Hot"), Black Lyrics ("Jumbie"), Shaft ("Carnival Redemption"), and Kindred ("Ha Da Dey"). If you want to see what is happening in the Caribbean, then go get a copy of this release, for it will help you understand what is happening in the isles. Highly praised for the world beat lover.

Various Artists - Blitzkrieg Over You! - A Tribute to the Ramones

Nasty Vinyl, Obdrstz 6., 30167 Hannover, Germany

The legendary Ramones are payed homage to on this release of 26 cover tunes which prove that the Ramones are still a driving force in today's punk as when they first took over the punk scene in the late '70s. This is a great companion to the Ramones’ official compilation All The Stuff (And More) where all the original songs can be heard. On this tribute CD, all the tracks are great, but the songs that stand out are Die Toten Hosen's version of "Blitzkrieg Bop" featuring Joey Ramone, the beautiful Nina Hagen doing "Lass Mich In Ruhe" with Dee Dee Ramone, the Croatian band Patareni doing a noisecore version of "Endless Vacation" which totally rocks and is radical, the Boogeyman doing a slow surf rockabilly sound to "Surfin' Bird" which the Ramones covered a lot (check out the cool turntables scratching during the middle of the song), and the original song by Dirty Scums called "I Wanna See the Ramones." If you must check out one Ramones tribute, let this release be it.

Various Artists - A Taste of Dracula 2000 The Album

Snippets from the movie soundtrack to the Wes Craven Presents Dracula 2000. Halloween would have been a better time to market this release, but the film company decided to release the movie on Dec 22, 2000, the first day of the winter. Musically, the soundtrack contains some of the best heavy metal/hard rockers in the world today including Powerman 5000, Static-X, Slayer, Disturbed, and System of a Down; all can be heard via snippets heard on this sampler. The track which stands out on this sampler is System of a Down's cover of the Berlin classic "Metro" which truly gives new meaning to the tune. Overall, one must call the soundtrack a must-have for a fan of metal music and, overall, a great release.

Various Artists - Punk Goes Metal

Fearless Records, 13772 Goldenwest St. #545, Westminster, CA 92683

Wow... this is a great comp CD. Most people who grew up in the eighties were into Poison, Warrant, Judas Priest, Guns N' Roses, Ozzy, AC/DC, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Slayer, and Metallica, to name a few, and not The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Circle Jerks, and Dead Kennedys, who were the masters of punk in that era. However, this comp is today's punk bands covering metal classics. 17 tunes which rock, such as Divit doing Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law," Jughead's Revenge doing Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me," AFI doing G N' R's "My Michelle," A New Found Glory doing Warrant's "Heaven" as an uptempo punk tune, which is great yet humorous, and Strung Out's version of Ozzy's "Bark at the Moon" reminds one of a mosh pit gone bad with acid.

Various Artists - In the Memory of James Lynn Strait of Snot 8/7/68 - 12/11/99 cassette sampler

Immortal Records

A special early sampler for the release Strait Up, which was scheduled to be released in November 2000. This sampler contains three tunes which are well worthy of the memory of James Lynn Strait. "I Know Where You're At" features vocals by M.C.U.D. of (hed)PE, "Catch A Spirit" features Max of Soulfly doing some intense singing that James Lynn would be proud of, and Serj of System of a Down’s vocals on "Starlit Eyes" provide that the spirit of James Lynn Strait live. If you had the pressure of seeing Snot live like I did two times, you would really want to get this sampler as soon as possible. Thanks, James, for the memories and getting me into the Pittsburgh (hed)PE, Incubus, Snot, and Soulfly show... you were one of the best.

Various Artists - Rock This

Island/Def Jam

Highlighting four of the new forces of metal – Full Devil Jacket, Primer 55, Relative Ash, and Drain STH. Material by Full Devil Jacket ("Stain" and "Mr. Wiggly") and Drain STH ("Enter My Mind" and "Simon Say") are taken from the bands’ albums which are widely available at any record stores; but what makes this sampler special is the material from Relative Ash and Primer 55. Primer 55's songs are different than the versions that appear on their full length. "Loose," even though it said it is the album version... the mix sounds slightly different, for it has more of a raw sound, and the scratches are louder and "The Big F**k You" is a rare demo version of the song which has all kind of weird noises and drum beats... very different and raw... in fact, sounds better than the released version. Also, Relative Ash has two previous unreleased demos on the tape which are "5:30" and "Good Form"... this band plays sort of a metalcore, and if these songs are anything like the versions that make the album, watch out, for they are going make an impact on the scene. Overall, a great tape.

Various Artists - Divine Recordings The Ozzfest 2000 Sampler

Divine Recordings/Priority Records

A special three-song EP made for Ozzfest 2000 contain three unreleased tunes from Slaves On Dope, Iommi, and Black Sabbath. The Slaves on Dope song is a demo version of "Tremolo," which was available as an MP3 download for a while... and gives the world the high-energy power of the band. Iommi's song is "Time Is Mine," featuring Pantera's Phil Anselmo. And the last tune is from the Ozzfest movie soundtrack – Black Sabbath doing "Children of the Grave" recorded at Ozzfest '99. If you want to hear a sampling of what is going on at Divine Recordings, pick up this sampler even if it is just for the exclusive Slaves On Dope track.

Various Artists - metal-is.com PC-CD-ROM

Magex Limited

A mutlimedia lover’s CD, for it contains an exclusive Iron Maiden video and the first chance to hear Halford's "Resurrection." (Halford is best known as the Judas Priest frontman and from Two.) Also includes 6 songs from bands which are destined to make metal rock... The Almighty with "Broken Machine," Spiritual Beggars with "Sedated," Entombed with "Seeing Red," Blaze with "Silicon Messiah," Kick with "Inhibition," and Dirty Deeds with "Kill The Pain." If you like your metal in extreme doses and are a computer friend, please find a copy of this disc, for it is worth the search. Technology is bringing music back to the masses, and it looks like this new PC-CD-ROM format is going to bring a revolution to the music industry. Along with DVDs, the music has never looked and sounded better.

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