Archive for October, 2003

RX Bandits – The Resignation

October 30th, 2003

Not Your Ordinary Pharmaceuticals

Want a recipe that would make Betty Crocker shake her salad mixer? How about this: Add equal parts of prog-rock, reggae, punk, jazz, and metal, and mix them together in a bowl. Sprinkle over some socially conscious lyrics, smooth transitions, and varied time signatures. Throw it in the oven for 58 minutes. Remove, let cool, and enjoy the non-glossy dose of reality that is the music of the RX Bandits. Read more…

By Ryan Lewis Posted in Reviews

The Distillers – Coral Fang

October 28th, 2003

Watch Out – She Bites

The Distillers’ major-label debut comes with a lot of pop and speed despite a summer of friction for lead singer Brody Dalle. Coral Fang, their third full-length, is cleaner and not as heavy as their previous albums, but that doesn’t mean the Distillers are going the way of so many other punk bands before them. This one wasn’t meant to be typical radio play and tough Distillers’ fans shouldn’t pass up the chance to get out and hear it. Fang comes packed with personality and is still dug in deep with their roots. The album builds off of their earlier releases and comes with all of the Distillers’ garage attitude, enhanced with a strong presence, fast beats, and great screaming. Read more…

By Mike Verzella Posted in Reviews

Junior Senior – D-D-Don’t Don’t Stop the Beat

October 25th, 2003

File Under: Uhhh… Everything?

In the future, music industry conglomerates will band together to artificially engineer the definitive “perfect” band. In an almost Frankenstein-ian manner, scientists will combine the genetic material of musical greats such as M.J., Wham!, MC5, Run DMC, Stevie Wonder, The Ramones, etc., and create this ultimate moneymaking über-band. Okay, okay, not really – but if such an experiment were to happen, Junior Senior would be the end product and the results may leave you shocked… in a good way. Read more…

By Ben De Leon Posted in Reviews

DMX – Grand Champ

October 24th, 2003

This Dog Is Still the Champ

DMX is back with his newest release, Grand Champ, which hits harder and quicker than his 2001 mediocre album, The Great. It’s good to see DMX back where he belongs – behind a mic, making club-bumping hits. Read more…

By Fred Pilarczyk Posted in Reviews

Top 5 Driving Albums

October 24th, 2003

I’ve been traveling up and down the East Coast a great deal lately, often with my only companion being the car stereo. Sitting for hours behind the wheel, passing though industrial parks and strip malls, over hills and through the woods, all the while watching the sun and moon take turns illuminating my trip, it’s the soundtrack of the road that helps keep me sane. So here it is, my top 5 albums to listen to while driving. I’ve carefully researched all of these while gliding over the asphalt of highways and back roads, dodging the taillights of drivers from New Jersey, scrounging for change on the floor before I pass through that next toll, and they have all stood the test of time (and miles). Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Features

Top 5 Driving Albums Page 2

October 23rd, 2003

3. Pink Floyd – Animals: Like Neurosis, I think just about any of Pink Floyd’s albums are well suited for traveling. Each of their albums is so carefully arranged and produced that moving from first song to last is a rewarding and enlightening experience. But 1977’s Animals proves to be my favorite for the road. In just 5 tracks Pink Floyd builds some of the most powerful metaphors of their career on this unique concept album. Each song points to the animal in man, whether it be a dog, pig or sheep. Animals begins and ends with the short and simple acoustic “Pigs on the Wing” parts one and two, only to unleash the full creative potential of these four progressive rock veterans on the 3 tracks they encase. David Gilmour’s superb soloing on “Dogs” will effortlessly carry you halfway from Washington DC to Baltimore before you even realize what’s happening. “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” is a classic Pink Floyd epic with organ and guitar building up to Roger Water’s chant of “Ha ha charade you are” as he berates corporate and political greed and you berate the SUV that just cut you off. Sheep begins with Richard Wright’s soft, almost jazzy keyboard work which climaxes into what is easily the most driving song on the album. Samples of bleating sheep fit almost perfectly with rush hour traffic, and in the 10 minutes this song takes from beginning to end you’re likely to move your car forward at least once.

2. Jurassic 5 – Power In Numbers: When the trip starts to get long, road rage has your blood boiling, and the mellow voice of Roger Waters is not enough to keep you from shutting your eyes and hitting those rumble strips, I have only one solution. Jurassic 5 continue to be one of the driving forces in underground hip-hop, rivaling much of the generic radio-friendly bling bling rap in sheer popularity. Power In Numbers demonstrates some of the finest positive conscious hip-hip that these 4 MC’s have ever created as always with the help of DJ’s Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark. Bobbing your head and singing along to “I Am Somebody” can help cure even the worst case of highway stop-and-go hopelessness. Every song on this album is a perfect pairing of lyrics and music that refuses to let you sit still. Hearing Soup over the infectious bass line of “A Day At the Races” rap “Hit it, like operation Push / Operate the tush / Black octopus of soul” gives me a jolt of energy every time. And the straight jam “Acetate Prophets” closes the album with enough instrumental energy to make you want to pull over and start the dance party. Power In Numbers brings all the rumble your car will ever need without crossing the yellow line. Seriously, it’s packed with more groove than pavement in a construction zone.

1. White Zombie – La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1: And if we’re going to even talk about driving music in the first place, how can we ignore the album that gave us Iggy Pop doing a spoken word about exploding down the highway in a mustang “like a slug from a 45.” That’s right, I’m talking about “Black Sunshine,” the ultimate driving song on the ultimate driving album by White Zombie. If anything, Rob Zombie and crew have given us a perfect album of driving metal. Each song screams “Hey you! Grab the 8 ball shift stick in the Satan’s Hotrod and throw it in high gear, burning rubber and crushing skulls on the Highway to Hell!” The first half of the album pummels the ears with a barrage of thrash metal littered with samples from the golden age of B-grade horror movies. As the tape flips to side B, I often wonder if perhaps the album was somehow accidentally switched, as the momentum of terror drops suddenly into the blissful opening of “I Am Legend.” Just as listeners let down their guard, White Zombie spikes the intensity once again, proving they’re capable of more than just shock value. Songs like the infamous “Thunder Kiss ‘65″ and “Thrust!” sound as though they were penned mid-orgasm the in back seat of a hearse barreling off the side of a bridge. Now if that isn’t enough to keep you pumped as you glide down the interstate, next time take a bus. Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Features

Belle and Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress

October 23rd, 2003

A Breath of Fresh Air

Ahhh…a breath of fresh air! A breeze heavy with strings, brass, noisy guitars, clear falsetto, sexy accents, and poetic lyrics about love, being bullied, and road trips. After endless conjured-up refuse, Dear Catastrophe Waitress is such a welcome change of rock-and-roll pace; a break from the monotony of corporate spawns, cloning projects, and overly repetitive dumbed-down displays of what record companies can crap. Read more…

By Elizabeth Halvorsen Posted in Reviews

Desert Sessions – Desert Sessions Vol. 9/10

October 23rd, 2003

Operation Desert Sessions

Even the hardest of rockers need to take a rock’n'roll vacation once in a while. Since 1997, Josh Homme has been taking regular retreats from Queens of the Stone Age to his Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree, California, each time accompanied by a group of friends and fellow musicians for a relaxed jam session. These Desert Sessions have grown to now rival QOTSA’s own discography, and Ipecac Records has decided to release the most recent offering, The Desert Sessions Vol. 9 & 10. Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Reviews

Brand New – Deja Entendu

October 21st, 2003

This Sure As Hell A’int Deja Vu

“I hope this song starts a craze–the kind of song that ignites the airwaves. The kind of song that makes people glad to be where they are, with whoever they’re there with.”

If Jesse Lacey, singer of Brand New, had any idea what kind of masterpiece his band was about to produce, he could have been much more sure of himself before scratching down those words just minutes before walking into a studio to record them as Track 4 of Deja Entendu. Brand New’s latest release is a far cry from their debut full-length album. In trading the poppy teenage-style punk for a heavier and much more mellow sound, they have created an album that is completely unique in style; an emotional cannon hitting so hard that you’ll ride out the entire 11 tracks glued to the bouncing lights on the equalizer, transfixed on the lyrics, and simply just enjoying the music. This isn’t noise for the background. This is a motion picture of music.
Read more…

By Mike Verzella Posted in Reviews

Limp Bizkit – Results May Vary

October 20th, 2003

Calling All ‘Haters’

Every generation has one – a band who typifies the decade, not only with their style and sound but with their rise and subsequent fall. Descending on their wave of success is Limp Bizkit, a band who will always have their insignia stamped on our generation. We’ve watched LB and their tattooed, backwards-cap-wearing, trash-talking frontman Fred Durst go from nu-metal’s #1 group to a parody of themselves. Durst, who has also become ever the music industry player, realizes this and attempts to regain some of their lost popularity and musical notoriety with Results May Vary. Read more…

By Taylor Whipple Posted in Reviews