by Al Slavicsky
Sponsored In Part By
Steven Curtis Chapman - SIGNS OF LIFE
If you enjoy Bob Dylan, The Wallflowers, or Hootie and the Blowfish,
check out this release by Steven Curtis Chapman. Remarkable Chapman captures
some of the best sounding spiritual folk tunes ever recorded since Bob Dylan
was doing "Knocking on Heavenís Door" and other spiritual numbers during the
early í70s. Sweetly, Chapman enhances the light on such numbers as "Celebrate You,"
"The Walls," and "Land of Opportunity." A release for everybody who wants to rejoice
and have a good time and sing along.
Jimís Big Ego - MORE SONGS ABOUT ME
In the vein of what Greenwich Village had in the late 1960s
and early 1970s comes along the punkish American cow soul sound of
Jimís Big Ego. This CD has its high and low points, so I will focus
on its high points only. "Bite Me (Hard)" is your tradition sucks song.
"Butthead" is a great chant about you being a butthead of your own life,
and yes, Beavis is mentioned in the line "I watch too much MTV so I guess
that I am a Butthead." "Vandal" is a song about mischievous youth. No big ego
here -- just good music and fun.
Save Ferris - IT MEANS EVERYTHING
Starpool Records/Epic Records
Impressive release which should make a major impact in the music world. Save Ferris does
a punkish ska similar to No Doubt but much more danceable and groovelike.
Monique Powell's vocals soothe and melt away your heart in the way she
delivers the words over the strong musicianship of the band,
especially Bill Uechi's bass, Brian Mashburn's guitars, Mark Harismendy's
bone breaking drums, and the band's horn section of Eric Zamora (sax), T-Bone Willy
(trombone), and Jose Castellanos (trumpet). Classic cuts include "Under 21," "Lies,"
and their cover of Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen." Skank for fun with Save
Aqua - AQUARIUM
Despite the semi-controversial track "Barbie Girl," due to its
so-called references to the world famous doll of the same name
but, in fact, the song is a social commentary about how the world is
so plastic and materialistic, this album is a great techno-dance
oriented compact disc. Besides "Barbie Girl," other standouts include
"Lollipop (Candyman)" and a song which is destined to be remixed --
"Good Morning Sunshine," with its intense, breaklike beats.
"Harmonica" Frank Floyd - THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST
Adelphi Records/Gene's Blues Vault
Originally recorded in July 1978, this album highlights the unique
country style "blues yodel" of the late "Harmonica" Frank Floyd,
who had recorded on such legendary record labels such as Chess
Records and Sun Records only to get lost in the shuffle with these
labels. Most of the music is raw and unadulterated while maintaining
its unique sound, especially on "Shampoo," which is a dirty little
ditty which even today's newer generation can relate to. Historic recordings for
a blues fan.
NOTE: Due to space constraints, the following reviews were not included in
the print edition of GEOFF WILBUR'S RENEGADE NEWSLETTER. These reviews are
only available here in the online edition.
Amazing Royals Crowns - THE AMAZING ROYAL CROWNS
Amazing Royal Crowns/Kingdom Records
Punkabilly is what the Amazing Royal Crowns do, and they do it in
such a killer manner that Johnny Brunette, Carl Perkins, and the Stray
Cats jump for joy. Fourteen tracks of boppin' and rockin' on tunes such
as "1965 G.T.O.," "Swimming In Drinks," and the bombshell satan rocker
"Do the Devil," presented in the raw retro 1950s sound. The Colonel's
guitar playing is rapid R&R swinging with Jack Swinger's heavy upright
bass and the beatlike drums of Super Nate enhancing King Kendall's powerful vocals.
Punkers, greasers, and rockers will think this is amazing from this royal court.
Juice Bros. - JUICE BROS. 12" EP
Long Beach, California punk with tons of beer-infested overtones.
These drunk-infested punks deliver five ripping tunes -- "13 and Fat,"
"Juiced," "Joe," "Hiddeous," and "Clambake" -- which prove that the true
spirit of punk is not dead and exploited. Juice Bros. pop pills, piss off
people, drink beer, and get violent. Kind of the Flyboyz, Germs, or Black Flag
modernized for the gangster style of the 1990s. Best original punk release out
in some time. Can't get this off my turntable, for it melted right to it.