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texas chainsaw massacreSoundtrack: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Bulletproof/Nitrus Records

I haven’t seen the new recreation of the 1974 Texas-filmed cult classic, but if it’s anything like the soundtrack I’d probably leave the theater during the film or press eject on the VCR with the quickness (no I haven’t graduated to the over-hyped DVD).

Chock-full of bland death metal, mediocre hardcore and bits of industrial fill-ins, this particular score serves it’s purpose as the back-ground music for slaughterhouse murders enjoyed by knuckle-head horror geeks and meathead teenagers alike. Yep, everyone from grindcore/sludge-metal favorites Pantera to the not-so-frightening pop trash of Seether made the roster. Highlights include Fear Factory’s remix to the electro-refreshment Archetype, a much-needed change of pace from the rest of the recording. Gloom and evil are truly captured on Morbid Angel’s Enshrined By Grace, which accurately lays the groundwork for a fitting anthem to the gore-spattered visions of anxious black and death metal fans. Meshuggah don’t disappoint either—their molten brand of metallic speed combined with a lofty rhythm section shine supreme on 43.

However, the truth remains that as a whole, the soundtrack plays like a watered down mesh of fun/happy nu-metal bands trying to sound malevolent and deadly. I truly must stress the word trying. The vocals and terrible lyrics are what usually ruin it for the majority of the eighteen or so bands featured here. Please don’t waste your time checking out the new Static X album. Mushroomhead, Lamb of God, Nothingface—nah, I’m not really feeling those blood curdling bands either. Listening to this record was like staring in the flick myself. I was the young kid being chased and annoyed by sappy rock bands looking to saw me up into tiny bits with their less-than-savvy sounds. Help!

-Smitty-

Slow Poisoners - Days of the Soft BreakSlow Poisoners www.slowpoisoners.com
Days of the Soft Break

Heyday Records

The press release calls the Slow Poisoners “accessible but off-kilter”. Sure, I’ll buy that. Conceived by San Franciscan Andrew Poisoner, the band takes the best of early Tyrannosaurus Rex (pre-Glam, mind you), Lee Hazelwood (ya know, Nancy Sinatra’s long-standing partner in song), XTC and the more melodic moments of the Olivia Tremor Control, slap the various elements together in perfect little 3-minute packages with the ardor of demented fanatics.
The production is lush, reminiscent of Phil Spector’s “wall of sound”. Luxuriant string fills and horn lines worthy of Tijuana Brass intermingle with pedal steel guitar, harpsichords and a grand piano like gumbo and rice: tasty and just a little exotic. Sounds like the perfect late 60’s hit machine, right? Read the song titles, chum.

Sad Angel Symphony; Chain of Flowers; The God that Failed and, my favorite, Mama, Don’t Leave Me Lyin’ Here Bleeding on the Floor all reveal the quirky, twisted under-workings of this, at first listen, ostensibly hippie band. And you think the song titles are funny? Man, you gotta hear this record. At one point, I laughed so hard that beer shot out of my nose and soaked my cat ten feet away. To be fair, Andrew Poisoner’s ridiculously comical voice had a lot to do with it. It’s sorta high, sorta whiny with a fake (?) British nasal inflection. I picture him as maybe a tall, skinny guy with thick glasses and perpetual bedhead.

They’re playing in early December with Attic Ted (a more perfect match has not occurred in many moons). It will be interesting to see how these songs translate live.

-Trevor Wallace

shelby lynne - identity crisisShelby Lynne
Identity Crisis

Capitol Records (2003)

Identity Crisis is a perfect title for the work of a woman who has had just as many sounds as she’s had hairstyles. As long as I can remember, Shelby Lynne has been singing country music. With such a beautiful voice, she can sing whatever she wants, but she won my heart with her performance of “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” with Willie Nelson on his 70th birthday album, Live & Kickin’. Then my mom introduced me to I Am Shelby Lynne which featured two Sheryl Crow-like songs and not a lot of country. Have you seen the Shelby Lynne video were she plays a flying V guitar and her band mates ride around on foot propelled scooters in orange prison jumpsuits?

Miss Lynne is having an identity crisis because she’s a freaking rock star not a country belle only for the eyes of the Grand Ole Opry. She’s crossed over folks, and she’s taking rock ‘n’ roll hostages. “Buttons and Beaus” may be the only hook in this body of work for the most die hard rockers. “Your mama’s a whore, your daddy’s dead…Your Mama’s a gold digger, for money she’ll spread her sticky fingers all over his bed.” Somebody’s mama has pissed this lady off. You might also like “10 Rocks” a gospel-sounding ditty with demons. Are you into Chris Isaak? “I’m Alive” or “Gotta Be Better” may be more your style, and if you worked in a fountain in the back of an old-fashion drugstore in high school, you are gonna love the Patsy Cline-style crooning of “Lonesome.” I have to skip over a few of the heartbreakers, “I Don’t Think So” and “If I Were Smart,” because they are just too sad! Alright, so I am hooked on “Baby” and “One with the Sun,” inspired by my main man, Willie Nelson.

Maybe Shelby Lynne won’t bring your rock ‘n’ roll-only ass across the tracks with this album, but she’ll win you over in a poker game at the World Series singing the national anthem. Or you’ll see her on a random show with her flying V, and you’ll give in. So, just submit now. She’s coming to get you and your mama, and it might not hurt to lock up your papa, too. If an identity crisis is wrong, I don’t want Shelby Lynne to be right. Find out about Shelby Lynne recording her album analog style at www.shelbylynne.com.
Thanks for the signed CD Miss Missy!

-Beth Sams

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