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June 06


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Warped Tour 2006 Compilation
SideOneDummy Records

Imagine the Warped concert tour as a nomadic gathering. Clans assemble, dance and scream, reuniting for a day of full-on freak-out and brotherhood. Social norms be damned. The two-disc Warped Tour 2006 Compilation CD serves as a 51-track soundscape of this summer journey. Let the gathering begin.

Flogging Molly contributes "Laura," a ballad that brings to mind The Waterboys with a howl, aching violin, and beauty that never fades. Gogol Bordello's "Not a Crime" barrels into snarling gypsy punk.

Usual suspects such as Saves the Day, NoFX, and veteran Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toss their musical Molotov cocktails into the mix. Jett's "Five" proves that maturity and experience can add depth to driving guitars and raspy rock vocals without losing a step.

Helmet lumbers forward with bottom-heavy bass and the guttural assault of "Bury Me." Check out Chiodos' "The Words 'Best Friend' Become Redefined" for its manic Mozart-like guitar intro, compelling piano line, understated vocals that soar into a valiant chorus, choppy chords, swirling synth and rampant drums.

Slightly Stoopid packs enough energy into "Nothing Over Me" to fuel a small city. Next speed into the guitar bursts and relentless drumming of Eight Fingers Down as they dive headfirst into "Everything." And that's just a taste of the first disc.

The Casualties bring a brawling attitude to "Under Attack." Pause, regroup, check the dental work. Compilations, especially one this extensive, allow fans to find their favorites and a few discoveries. Relient K breaks up the pace with its energetic emo introspection. "Which to Bury, Us or the Hatchet" is not afraid to rock first, figure it out later. Rise Against brings another heartfelt song with "Everchanging" that stands out on disc two.

Bands like Motion City Soundtrack, Bouncing Souls and Crash Romeo punch up the pace with enthusiasm. Bedouin Soundclash pumps out a funky bass line on "Rude Boy Don't Cry" that should transform this tune into a summer fave. Some might prefer the aural assault of Love Equals Death or the bombastic Scotch Greens. Los Kung Fu Monkeys wins for the most amusing name, but "Short Fuse" is no laughing matter with its triple punk-ska combo of horns, guitars and drums.

Altogether, this Warped Tour compilation represents a vast tribe of musical nomads that vary in style and sonic expression. Listening live in concert or delving into these discs is worth the journey. — Pete Dulin (posted 06/09/06)

The Warped Tour 2006 will be at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, KS on June 19.

King Louie One Man Band
Chinese Crawfish
Goner Records

Somewhere out there, hummin’ off old barbed wire fences and tumbling through dusty ghost towns at the border of No-where and No-Place Particular, there’s a strange hummin sound that sometimes blows through the shimmering desert heat. Mongrel dogs howl to it, crows listen to it with black baby-doll eyes, and the snakes under the floorboards twitch their tales to the beat. If music could be a place, such a setting would be where King Louie’s One Man Band ruled from his dusty throne (which is made mostly out of old PBR cans, if you didn’t know).

While Chinese Crawfish actually sounds pretty tasty (do they even have crawfish in China? Ah, the soul-searching questions of a music critic…), the real meat here is his royalty’s 16 smokin’ tracks of 1950’s rockabilly beats, finger-searin’ guitar work, ramblin’ lyrics and far too many instruments for one guy to every even think about playing (including bass drum, harmonica, can (?), gong-hey, that’s kind of Asian, right… boing boing harp (!), and of course…cowbell).

With song titles like Beat Up by a Girl, I’m 13 and too Ugly to Live, and Flat Foot Sam meets Way Out Willie, you can pretty much guess what the tone is here, and if you can’t, you won’t like it so go away. Funny, isn’t it, how a one-man band sounds better than most bands with lots of members…Anyway, this is a tasty and spicy little dish that fills just fine. Don’t even need any hot sauce! —Brandon Whitehead (posted 06/02/06)

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