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Jan.28 '05

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The Litigators
Look Out For The Bottom Line Wrath and Wroll

Two guitars. Bass, Drums. Lead Singer. Sounds kind of like the line-up for a rock & roll band, right?

Man, that would be nice for a change: no spastic hip-grinding Barbie’s, “early pre-teen whore” outfits or pouty self-indulgent lyrics aimed to soothe the jagged nerves of one of the laziest media generations in the history of mankind...

That being said, thank you Jesus for The Litigators. This is pure “beer and cigarettes R & R” these five dish out, in their own personal court of sonic justice, and when they stand before that bench they don’t just pontificate, they preach. Not only do these dudes (“dude” is commin' back, man!) put on a boot-stompin' live show, they've actually managed to whip out their thing (ahem) in the form of a five-track EP that's available at several local record stores (check their website at www.thelitigators.net for details on show dates).

While suffering slightly from not having a bazillion dollars for production values, the CD still pulls off an “old school” sound with just the right amount of crunchy distortion. While you don’t get to see Jeremiah damn near jump through the ceiling of Davey’s or watch Matt holding a cigarette, beer and guitar while limbo-ing under an invisible bar for an entire song, tracks like “Class Action” would make even the Pope pull out a little air guitar. So get out and support an actual true-to-life local non-sucky bunch of rockers and fling some green out for dis thing — Bang that gavel, baby. —Brandon Whitehead (Posted 1/28/05)

The Black Maria
Lead Us To Reason Victory Records

If you are a fan of yours truly music reviews…well, for one thing you would pretty much be the only one (and by the way, thanks mom!). However, you would also know yours truly’s oft-stated opinion of emo (or post-emo, scremo, ennie-minnie-emo, whatever) which is that it pretty much just sucks.

Emo music is John Tesh for white teenagers. Got it?

Still, their is an important example to be learned here: these suddenly profitable musical-style “explosions” usually burn out and start eating their own young within a decade or so, leaving all the studios who got on the bandwagon too late holding their…(Heh, heh) unwanted dime-a-dozen pretty-kid bands in ever-poorer hands. The results of these recording industry binge and purges can leave behind a landscape littered with failed “Let's jump on board!” bands.

But again, the organic nature of the biz can give rise to proof of Darwinism — the best bands sometimes survive, and cleansed of all the mimics that once smothered them they can even surpass the original sound.

Example: The Black Maria. While still suffering from a ridiculous “Let's change the world” attitude (guys, changing the part in your bangs doesn’t really change much…), the tunes are appetizing, and pleasantly bland in consumption. The vocal are clear and relatively whine-free, and some genially good guitar and drum work helps hold the sound together. This is probably the best emo can get anytime soon, so just hang in there guys, ten years from now and you could be the next…Tone Loc or something. Well, maybe not. —Brandon Whitehead (Posted 1/28/05)

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