a beautiful green field full of flowers and kids swaying from
side to side with teletubbies bobbing and weaving thru the
crowd. They are all joyous and carefree and all they need
is the melodic sound of Maura Kennedy’s voice singing
"Dance around In the Rain" and "Anna and the
Magic Gown," to make this a harmonious and uplifting
musical work. Some of the lyrics dealing with death in "When
I Go" are over the kids heads, but this is only a mental
picture I am painting and there are lots of adults who would
eventually end up in this field with the teletubbies strumming
along on guitars. By the end of this album, I suspect teletubbies
also play guitars and lots of the adults will cry their eyes
if your life has taken a turn for the worse and your life
has turned into a country song, take the Slayer CD out of
the stereo and spend a little feel good time with The Kennedys.
Soothing and relaxing, singing from the heart, you can pick
up "Stand" just in time for a great Christmas present
for you mother or that religious cousin or singer/songwriter
coworker you always buy socks for.
CD Review : S/T (2003)
caught Bahrain at Beerland fresh off their tour with ST-37
and Primordial Undermind and was able to pick up what I had
been waiting for - their self-titled latest release.
first seeing this group nearly a year ago Bahrain has consistently
proven themselves among the most innovative and adventurous
bands on the local scene and, while still unmastered and totally
homemade, this CD does not disappoint.
instrumental “Yukon” opens the disk with its bass
led drone and icy bits of guitar which lull you into a sense
of calm before the blizzard “Trapped In The Ice Floes”
roars in on Scott Telles’ lilting scream.
Wheel” pushes the power drone sound even farther, almost
over the edge when “TV Stiinks” brings you back
with its catchy danceable lullaby.
Them Win” picks the steam back up with it’s only
lyrics - the enigmatic, but pregnant title - chanted over
and over, and with the band pushing the tempo past the red
last half of the CD showcases more of the slow, swirly side
of the band. “Tortoise Is Dreaming”, “Watching
The Hydroplanes” and “Celene, Poet Of Disgust”
give you a chance to take a breath, but “I Know Nothing
Good” turns the volume and speed back up, while “I'm
Not Who I'm Supposed To Be” is a trancey stoner dream.
wondered how well Bahrain would be able to package their psychedelic
live show into a permanent document and am very happy with
a few places where the disc’s lack of polish distracts
you from the songs underneath and I think “Metaphysical
Freakout” would be better left off or with stronger
lyrics, but as my only complaint it’s a minor one.
these guys. And when you do shell out the fiver for the album.
You won’t regret it.
Ape : Fleshspa : LunaSound Records (2003)
you like exuberant, guitar driven music, pop Acid Ape into
your stereo and turn the volume up loud. You are about ready
to be blown away with their fierce, attention demanding sound.
These boys prove that Sweden knows how to rock. Heavy on the
guitar, this album really packs a punch and hits you hard.
The raw, but rousing, vigorous vocals add a nice touch to
this resounding blend of rhythmic guitar and essential bass.
The drumming cannot be ignored either, just as heavy as the
guitar, it sets the tone and pace for their ingenious sound.
Shot” begs to be turned up. The first song on the album,
I guarantee you cannot listen to this song all the way through
without adjusting the volume on your stereo. Before long you
will find yourself screaming and grooving to these musicians’
incredibly involved blend of fervent vocals and heavy rock
music. “Mouthful” displays these guys’ extraordinary
expertise. My favorite song, it had a powerful guitar piece
at the beginning and ended with an explosive vocal and drum
section. The last song on the album “Shitfaced”
is a nice little ditty. This song is one that will get stuck
in your head for days, but you won’t mind because you
like it so much. It starts out calm and slow, then turns the
energy up and comes at you full of force. So, go buy this
album, make sure your neighbors aren’t around, turn
the volume up, and rock ‘n roll.
: Engine Trouble : Go-Kart Records (2003)
Any track from this band’s first full length could be
the senior song for graduating high school students across
the globe. To me, this is not an admirable trait for up and
coming bands. But neither is the fact that watered down pop-punk
and crybaby lyrics are what all the kiddies are clinging to
these days (see MTV, the mall or just open your friggin’
from Athens, Georgia, it is notable that Guff has committed
to the DIY tactics of constant touring with bands like the
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Flogging Molly and local pop-punk
favorites Dynamite Boy. This kind of work ethic may merit
respect, but not adoration.
sound is repetitive, with built-up power riffs that break
into frantic start and stop drum progressions with punk fashioned
axe shreds and boring “I can’t sing so I’ll
whine for you’’ vocals. This kind of music is
not original which forces me to search for some kind of humor
or goodness within the lyrics.
I myself enjoy artistic phrasing that scratches more off the
surface than “what do you think the word love meant…’’
or “…when kids make fun of you at school,’’
but hey, I’m not the one who will be buying a Guff record.
On the contrary, all the emo youngsters should be bobbing
their spiked-hair heads to this bubble gum punk with a box
of tissues nearby.
of Life : Promises Made, Promises Kept : Lorelei
Spark of Life is another radio-friendly screamo band. There
has been a disturbing influx of melodic outfits that have
vocally incorporated elements of hardcore into their pseudo-punk
or post-punk sound over the last five years. However, this
particular So-Cal four-piece does a respectable job putting
their product together despite lacking originality.
the opening track “From Ash Rises Hope,’’
the band lays down thick harmonies behind desperate yet hopeful
screams and yells before an infectious bass line takes over
the song, making it somewhat unique. On “Welcome Home
Relax and Slow Down,’’ the band manages to effectively
squeeze in a catchy piano riff as the lead vocalist pleas
for having “…confidence as evidence.’’
the album falls short through its lack of creativity and the
progression of repeated heavy licks combined with sub-par
vocals like “…Its not fair that you still take
from me, I fall down again.’’ The start and stop
drum formula attached to crunchy riffs are delivered in bulk
and have been the recipe for a plethora of hard rock outfits
as of late.
the full length comes off sounding clear and well–produced,
but definitely not new or refreshing. If bands like Thrice,
Atreyu or From Autumn to Ashes float your boat, then Spark
of Life might tickle your fancy too.