Music Reviews

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Every couple of months, I buy an album. Sometimes its good, sometimes it isn't.

Handy key to ratings

Juned ***

Lady-rock from Seattle. Smoother and less punk than Team Dresch, but I like it OK.

The Fugees Blunted On Reality ****

I'm not much of a hip-hop fan, but I found this accessible. There's a lot of interesting sonics and harmony mixed right up front, which makes it easier for me to get into.

Guns N Wankers ***

From the artist formerly and latterly known as Snuff. This CD has been quietly sitting in my collection for a while, until I recently rediscovered it. It's really good anthemic pop-punk from the UK. My only real quibble is the excessively live English-style mix.

They Might Be Giants Lincoln ****
Another disc I've owned for a long time and hadn't listened to much. I've always considered TMBG a band that makes one or two great pop tunes per album, tossed in with 27 or so novelty tracks, a combination that can make for hard listening. Ana Ng, which leads off the album, is one of those great pop tunes, but for some reason the rest of the album sounds better than I remember, and there are several more shiny nuggets that I had missed before.
Built To Spill Perfect From Now On ***

My fear with this band is that they will turn out to be the Pink Floyd of the 90's. This album leads off with two delicious mind-expanding indie art-rock maestro-pieces. The remaining six or seven tunes are also long, indie art-rock compositions, but they leave me with that Smashing Pumpkins aftertaste.

Karate In Place Of Real Insight ****

More of the good stuff. The sound is a little thicker than their previous album due to one more guitar, and Eamonn sings a couple of songs.

Descendents Everything Sucks ****

I finally bought this record, and boy was it worth it. I liked a fair amount of ALL's music, but it's really amazing how much better they are with Milo singing. Not that he's much of a crooner, but he's got the personality that was subtly missing before. I think this album is even better than most of their pre-breakup records, with the exception of Milo Goes To College, of course. There are fully fifteen tunes, and none of them is really terrible, something that can't be said of Enjoy or ALL, for example.

Vitapup An Hour With... ****

This is not a perfect record. In fact, more than half of it sucks eggs. But the good songs are really good. The recording is excellent as well, very natural sounding and powerful, with a little bit of weird studio manipulation here and there. Many of the good songs are on various singles, so you might do well to pick up one of those before investing in the album. Stylistically, Vitapup is sort of a fusion of emo-hardcore with funk, hip-hop, jazz, etc mixed in, which I know sounds like a really bad idea, and it is when they don't inject enough hardcore into the mix. When they do it rocks.
Karate ****
Southern Recordings

One review of this record called them "emo black-belts", which sums things up pretty well. There's more dynamics than you can shake a stick at on this record. | Thatcher Ulrich