Drive by Monologue Victory
Ah, who doesn't love the smell of hardcore emo in the morning? Who
can't sympathize with the heartache, angst and rage of today's teenagers
burdened with the horrors of finding that perfect cell phone to match
those life-affirming hip-hugger jeans to correctly showcase that upper-ass
tattoo? Certainly not U.K.'s The Hurt Process (insert funny line about
stupid band name here), who slather themselves with that stuff on
their newest CD Drive by Monologue.
Alternating between power cord-anthems and emo-pop ballads, the ten
tracks here are clean if uninspiring stuff, with some decent guitar
and drum work scattered here and there. The twin vocals are the weak
link, as is often the case, and leave little to remark upon, other
than to please stop that.
Tracks like "Come Home" sound great...to begin with, but
then those darn singers start their James Hetfield growl imitations
and each driving measure is followed by an annoyingly light-weight
pop-hook that sounds like it would fit perfectly on the Leno show.
"The Beast Sails In" has some pretty cool drum work until,
again, that annoying pop-hook comes in, and the singing...well, you
get it. Something has definitely gotten hurt in this process (pretty
clever, huh?). Brandon Whitehead; Posted 5/7/04
Under Suspicion Eudora
Wanna know a secret? Well, maybe it's not that big of
a secret, say, like a PDA on Osama, but it's still something a lot
of readers never realize: music critics, at least in the form of CD
reviewers, are pretty much completely bogus. See, it works like this:
labels send out "freebee" CDs of their newest groups to
various publishers and freelance reviewers. Now, if a particular writer
pans what they get sent too many times...bam! They don't get nuttin'!
If, however, a reviewer does the opposite and drools all over whatever
over-produced pre-packaged emo-pop-punk-alt-crap a labels pimpin'
out, not only do they keep gettin' the free stuff, they also get preferential
treatment: Phone interviews, free tickets backstage, access to groupies,
etc. (by the way, movies are exactly the same, just ask most any movie
Yes, Virginia, the world of criticism is ruled by sell-outs and quote-whores,
and since you, the highly discerning consumer, are going to by that
next Kid Rock or White Stripes CD even if their best use is as a small
Frisbee, nobody cares. Even now, shaved monkeys like yours truly are
desperately banging on their keyboards for that next free crappy CD,
resulting in the current flood of incredibly shitty and biased reviews
that are essentially bought before they're even written.
Buy the way, the new Madcap CD Under Suspicion is really, really
cool. Really, no kidding. Brandon Whitehead; Posted 5/7/04
Show & Tell J Records
Take a bunch of thin white boys in grubby clothes, mix with a lead
singer (Walt Lafty) who knows how to pout-pose for the camera, sprinkle
with a sound ripped off from the Black Crows and lots of song intros
that go "One, Two, Three...Rock!" and you pretty much have
Fresh from opening for Aerosmith (They don't even have an album yet,
and theyre already opening for Aerosmith? Makes it hard to tell
if they're just that good, or Aerosmith has just gotten that lazy.),
they've come out with Show & Tell, a four-track sampler
(not including a fifth "bonus" track called "Mary Jane"gee,
do you think these guys might smoke the reefer?) of their upcoming
All the songs here sound just about the same, but who cares? These
guys have got Commercial Gravy-train tattooed all over, and judging
by their slick, full-sized press packet complete with dozens of glowing
quotes from mags like Metal Hammer (they're not metal) and
Kerrang (Is that even a word?), they've got the big money people
backin' 'em up all the way.
This is the complete Clear Channel consumable. As Metal Hammer
UK wrote in it's "Hot 50" issue, "Silvertide not
so much (sic) push the foundries set before them, but rather smash
right through the crash barrier in their '67 Dodge Charger, soaring
headlong off the cliff and into the great blue yonder!" We can
only hope. Brandon Whitehead; Posted 5/14/04
Ten Years of Sundays Box
Chemistry. Every band wants it; few have it. How to
tell? Its in the playing, but not completely. Theres also
the stage presence.
For a good lesson in how to recognize it, take in the The Brew Jam,
the Sunday night house band at the 75th Street Brewery. Chemistry
Their recently released Brew Jam X10 Years of Sundays
celebrates a decade of good chemistry at the Waldo establishment.
Its their third CD, following the 8-year and 9-year anniversary
CDs. 10 is the best.
Mark Valentine kicks off with a Stagger Lee, a 1959 top-charter
by Lloyd Price. Valentines voice has enough of a razors
edge to slice the delivery of Stagger Lee truthfully while
paying respect to one of Prices classic tunes. Andy De Witt
takes his voice and fretless bass through Stings Love
Is the 7th Wave. De Witt can run through the strings, breaking
the low-end sounds into peaks and valleys like no one else in town.
Greg Camp, another underrated yet superb musician, sings of those
girlfriends in a Keith Richards penned Why Me?
Camps voice equals the versatility and range of his guitar playing.
Where he really shines is his nearly every-Sunday signature song One
Way Out, a feeling the Allman Brothers put on the map. Its
here where the talent of each player and their generosity to one another
Valentine smoothes out his voice a little, and layered behind Camps
guitar, with I Aint Lyin, a tuneas much
as I can find outby East Coast bluesman Little Sammy Davis.
Every lonely dude has experienced the line about a lady who gets
better lookin with every single shot.
Helping push it all along is Ray DeMarchi, a musician who knows how
to accent, not overpower, on percussion.
The last three cuts feature some local guest musicians. In all, The
Brew Jam is about chemistry, the artistic kind. Go to 75th Street
on Sunday, and then take home this CD for the memory effect. Bruce
Rodgers; Posted 5/14/04