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CD Review

VHS OR BETA - Night on Fire
(Astralwerks)vhsorbeta
3.5 / 5
Self-described as punk meets new wave meets disco, VHS or Beta’s debut offering on The Chemical Brothers’ Astralwerks label is a delightful throwback to the best days of the 80s.  Night on Fire prompts the inevitable comparisons with Depeche Mode, New Order and Duran Duran but still manages to stand on its own two feet.  This album is a natural progression of the dance / rock genre moving on from ground that bands such as Interpol have already broken.  Irreversible is a complicated nine-minute monster, making you want to sway in oblivion while dancing up a storm on the floor.  Forever repeats the same lyrics (Forever/All night long) but it’s far from boring, with crunchy riffs and haunting melodies stuck in a blender to create a strange yet delightful fusion. This stuff would be right at home at Fortitude Valley’s Depot Nightclub. My only complaint is that the booklet doesn’t include lyrics.  All in all, Night on Fire is a good addition to any collection, even if, like me, you usually hate dance music. (JACLYN FITZGERALD)

Luka Bloom – Innocence
(Big Sky Records)
3.5 / 5
Like the scent of a fresh Irish stew rolling over the green hills, this album is deep, hearty and full of good ole Irish flavour.  Preceded by a critically acclaimed back catalog of songs, Innocence shows a stronger focus on the lyrics than earlier recordings.  There are tales of love, entwined with the simple wish for peace that comes from living in a country and a world of war. In the track Miracle Cure, Luka sings, “When all the fighting is done – forgiveness.” This album is not for everyone, but if Saint Patrick’s day left you feeling like getting back to some true Irish roots then this intensely mellow album might be just what’s need to take you there. (Alicia Fox)

Carus and the True Believers – The Breakdown EP
(MGM / Independent)
3.5 / 5
After jigging away to Carus’s previous track, Ain’t No Crime, for most of last year, I was expecting something equally funky.  When I put on this EP, I was surprised with the massive amount of folk and rock throughout the 5 tracks with harmonica, violin and piano all thrown in. With a similar vibe as fellow Western Australians, the Waifs, these charming folk songs could go down a treat on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  It’s easy to see why Carus has been tipped as the next Paul Kelly, with his sweet tales of love, life and longing.  The EP’s title track is layered with enthusiastic lyrics over a groove worthy base line.  It is the stand-out track of the five because of its style, but at times it feels like he’s trying too hard.  I prefer the pleasant almost countrified following four tracks – simple, clean tunes, full of heart.
(Alicia Fox)

Dr Chub – Live @ 907
(CD Factory / Independent)
3 /5
First drawn to this CD by the party-looking guys on the front cover with a porn-star nurse and cheeky monkey, I didn’t know what to expect from these local boys.  All six tracks were recorded in their lounge room except for Get It On, which was recorded at Planet Noosa. The recording standard isn’t world-class, but the rough edges are a reminder that not all good music comes out of big record labels.  Think a roughed-up version of live Sublime. With lyrics like “A little less chunk, a lot more funk”, how can you not have fun listening to them?  It makes you want to jump till you’re sweaty. Go and see Dr Chub live.
(Alicia Fox)

Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs
(Indie)
4 / 5
Believe me, Andrew’s music is as weird as the name that binds it.  This album is an eclectic mix of several abstract textures including slow melancholy rock, 60’s romance movie melodies, gypsy violin, Caribbean beats, docile Horns, 90’s distorted guitars, and everything random and obscure in-between.  What’s brilliant is he actually pulls it off, and what results is a bizarre journey through an array of instruments and genres. ‘The Mysterious Production of Eggs’ is most definitely music for contemplation, offering an atmosphere where hot dreary days can be transformed into lazy afternoons of reminiscence. This CD only falters in creating enough energy to hold those easily distracted, but given the right mood, Andrew presents a peculiar platform for escapism. (Nate)

WILLOWZ – S/T
(SMASH)
Trying to review this album is like being caught between a rock and a hard place. At first listen the album moves you with its raw groove but it really lacks any substance to make further listens essential. The Willowz are a tight band and obviously have the power and moves to rock with the best but they lack songs. They’re a band with potential that is unrealised at this stage, they come across derivative of many other rock revivalists and aren’t really pushing the artistic envelope. They will move you but you won’t be moved. Keep searching.

EARLIES – WE ARE THE EARLIES
(SPUNK)
The Earlies are the joining of forces from both sides of the Atalantic, two members are from UK and the other two members hail from the US. This might go some way to explaining their eclectic broad range of symphonic ditties. They are being hailed in the all major street press in the UK being compared to bands such as the Beach Boys, Mercury Rev and Polyphonic Spree  all in the same breath and are sure to make waves in Australia. The album is comprised with songs from their first bunch of 7”s and 10”s and shows a band relishing in their dense, lush and often times over the top pop foolery. It is joyous affair and shows there will always be life in old legs as songs and artists from the formation of rock and roll are absorbed, rolled into the new millennium and appear as something totally original. Yet it leaves you with a feeling like you have been there before..

Various Artists - Genesis (Nutznboltz Records Compilation 1)
(Nutznboltz Records)
3.5 / 5
Featuring a broad spectrum of tracks from “Australia’s freshest electronic gurus”, Genesis is quite the little compilation indeed, displaying the talent this country has for all things dance. Breaks, house, trip-hop and electro-tech are what you’ll find on this disk including Kid Kay Ferris’ monster dance-floor boogie inciter, Working Underground. Other standout tracks include trip-tech, dirty-rasta-fuckfest, Son of Son (Monster Zoku Onsomb), Cute Girls Have the Best Diseases (Dollar Bar), and the strangely scary Cut To The Chase (Sucka Reflex). At once presenting the best of Australian dance – the kind of stuff you’d expect at an outdoor festival – and the boring, tired tracks you can find on every other night at $2 joints like Family, Genesis is still infinitely better than a lot of disks you’ll find in the same rack at the music store.
(SAM LOY)

Pilate - Caught By The Window
(Indie)
5 / 5
It’s quite hard to fault such an enjoyable, beautiful and brilliant album. Another thumbs-up from Canada. Pilate (pronounced like the guy from the bible, not like the exercise) recently played to audiences in Australia, receiving a rapturous welcome and a heartrending goodbye. Even with passionate vocals reminiscent of Thom Yorke and rollicking tunes like the early Counting Crows, Pilate are anything but derivative, producing the kind of sounds that forces you to close your eyes and float wherever they choose. I really love this job when I’m given disks like this. Superb. Just superb. (SAM LOY)

Stiffler – BBS
(God knows?)
1.5 / 5
Self-proclaimed in the liner notes as “porn punk rockers”, these pre-pubescent bad boys sound a lot more like “pop corn boppers”. Remember The Androids? Yeah, well, if you liked them, you’ll probably like these guys. Stiffler is yet another in a long and laborious line of over-commercialised, faux-punk, quasi-bad boy bands who wear their $80 shirts untucked because they’re beyond society’s control, you know? There can be only one Blink 182, and even they may be one too many. (SAM LOY)

Confusion of Faces - Self-titled
(Indie)
2.5 / 5
This group claim to have a vast array of influences but only one stands out, Tool. The problem with this is that although the band has moments of brilliance and a ton of potential, they simply can’t stand up to the might of such a definitive band. Ryan O’Connor’s vocals fail miserably in comparison to Maynard’s, (but then again, who’s don’t) and although they produce tight riffs and 5 minute “epics”, their music is too similar to Tool’s for it to gain its own acclaim. I know it’s a little unfair to compare a small band from SE Queensland to one of the greatest bands from the last 10 years, and there is no doubt that these guys could attract and please a decent sized audience, but put simply, Confusion of Faces may have bitten off more than they can chew.
(Nate)

Elation - Solar Underground
(Indie)
4 / 5
Brisbane band Elation, have released a sensational album presenting their considerable talent and diversity over the tableau of modern music. Easy to dance to (Subtle n Fine), funky (Driving Away), relaxing (Out To Sea), and with a couple of bona fide sing-a-long hits (Let The Wind Blow), the brilliance in this CD is the difficulty stores will have displaying it in the right section. Combining the best parts of Morcheeba and Portishead with a distinct, lazy Sunday afternoon by the water feel, Elation would be a must-see any chance you have. (SAM LOY)

Fishing With Henry - Tu da Pola
(Indie)
2 / 5
This Adelaide four-piece may be about four years too late. While this EP isn’t complete garbage it is perhaps a little hackneyed for my tastes [Yeah, bring it! – Ed]. And while Skin E is a dead-set hit, the other tracks sound like entries into Triple J’s unearthed competition, fusing distorted guitars and fast drum licks with lyrics that attempt to tell a stories of suburban living using vaguely secretive terms. There’s nothing really to dislike about this EP, but – apart from the aforementioned hit-in-waiting – there’s nothing really to run home and tell the grandkids about either. (SAM LOY)

I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN - Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You
(Resist / Hand of Hope Records)
4.5 / 5
Most bands out there, if they’re lucky, hit their creative stride after a few releases. They experiment, try a few new things here and there and then finally settle on a sound they can call their own. Bands that find that unique sound early on are a rare breed and I Killed The Prom Queen is one of them. This EP is made up of re-recorded versions of songs that appeared on the band’s first demo in 2001, as well as three other unreleased tracks, and it’s apparent on the older songs that the boys had their own trademark way of playing melodic hardcore from the start. Minus the melodic singing, everything’s here: the palm-muted guitars and cymbal-crashing breakdowns, it’s all classic Prom Queen. To top it all of, it’s graced with the best production so far of a Prom Queen disc. Unfortunately, the record only clocks in at about twenty-four minutes, leaving the listener wanting more, but fortunately we also have When Goodbye Means Forever to help with that. Bottom line, a great EP from a great band, and an awesome addition to any fan’s collection. (Rob S.)

Infusion – Natural
(Nates Record Label)
3 / 5
This song seems to be being pumped on every radio and TV station lately, and its no wonder, in its condensed radio friendly format it features all the elements assumed needed to achieve well-founded success.  It only seems to become clear when listening to the other four tracks that these guys are as pop as Nine Inch Nails or Radiohead, and (in the opinion of this overly cynical writer) are fighting the colossal battle of trying to please the record company whilst attempting to stay true to their music. Infusion’s ‘Natural’ is simply a watered down by-product of this groups innovative dance music, while the rest of the single offers a glimpse into their real musical talent.  Natural is just O.K for a commercialised pop track, what lifts this review is the remaining four well-mixed tracks.
(Nate)

Irrelevant - Ascension
(Resist Records)
4 /5
“Ascension” opens with a brief, almost ambient, black metal intro before launching into the powerful melodic hardcore / punk style that they seem to have refined with this album. Irrelevant have toned down their harder edged style that we saw on their previous EP, “Reflecting & Refracting” and settled into a more Boysetsfire influenced melodic punk screamo outfit. Sutherland has managed to confirm his place as one of Australia’s best melodic singers and he has the band to back him up. Worger and Groenestyn have come up with what sounds like heavily Iron Maiden influenced riffs as displayed on tracks like Burying Saints that are as punk / metal as they are catchy. Irrelevant have matured their sound and this coupled with a sensational live show will capture a larger audience that will catapult them to one of Australia’s top bands.  (Tom)  

Judas Priest - Angel of Retribution
(Sony Music)
4.5 / 5
After fifteen years, Judas Priest have made their triumphant return in the form of “Angel of Retribution”. They open solidly with Judas Rising which affirms the fact that Judas hasn’t forgotten what metal is all about. Tipton / Downing deliver high pitched guitars firing off between blazing riffs and squealing solo’s. Halford’s vocals certainly haven’t aged as he shows he can still scream as high as the heavens and hold notes as strong as any of today’s finest Power Metal front men. There are moments of modern metal influence that flit through on songs like Revolution and even a ballad in the form of Worth Fighting For that could just as easily have been a throw back from the “British Steel” days. The only let down of the album is the absurdly long closing track Lochness that is a boring and monotonous romp that brings down the mood of the whole album. Listen to “A of R” without hearing Lochness and you can be assured that The Priest are back with a vengeance.


Arabia 2morow – Vol. 2
(EMI)
3 /5
This compilation has been put together by EMI and Sydney radio station 2moro (1620am) which is one of Australia’s leading Arabic stations. There are 16 tracks here which are traditional songs performed by some of the Arab world’s current leading music artists. This style of music instantly creates visions of billowing tents nestled between wind swept sand dunes with nomadic tribesmen swathed in meters of dark cloth tending their herd… or maybe it doesn’t. If you are into exotic or world music this is definitely worth considering. After listening to Vol. 2 a few times it starts to sound familiar and is easily danceable, not being able to understand the lyrics isn’t a hindrance. (PJ)

Aurora Jane – What is it?
(Independent)
4 / 5
Good news for AJ fans, they now have a full length album to wet their appetites. This band should be called the Versatiles; one listen will be all you need to convince you of that. They cover such a wide range of musical styles and don’t favour one over the other. This is due to their obvious mastery of their instruments. If anything funk is the dominating factor woven through each track and that’s what ties the whole album together. You won’t be let down in the lyric department either, you know you’re listening to Aussie music but the song themes could easily be related to by any nationality. (PJ) 

asiandubAsian Dub Foundation - Tank
(EMI)
4 /5
Not so long ago ADF’s music would have been described by comparing them with other bands, of course you can still do that but to their credit ADF have created their own niche in dub / dance / electronica. This release has 11 tracks with most songs carrying a message delivered in such a way so as not to distract or brow beat the listener. They obviously feel a responsibility to help heal some of the wrongs that are out there and, let’s face it, at this point the world can do with all the help it can get. Musically it’s sophisticated with multi level rhythms that draw from world music more than ever; if anything they have moved away from dub / reggae to the dance floor. It’s a move that will probably see them receive wider recognition although not on commercial radio. (PJ)

Transport - Transport
(Independent)
4 /5
This Brisbane trio sound like so many bands it’s hard to pigeonhole them, a situation that I would guess suits them just fine. Sunday Driver, the first track shows you straight up what the band is capable of, guitar driven Aussie rock with polished melodies and vocals. Track 2 sees them morph into a cross between Skunkhour and Hilltop Hoods on speed with a satire on manufactured pop. There are only three of them but due mainly to their confidant playing rather than production techniques they have a big sound. This EP perfectly showcases what Transport is all about and if diversity helps you survive then these guys are in good shape. (PJ)

MwardM-Ward - Transistor Radio
(Inertia)
4 / 5
The way Matt Ward chooses to identify himself as an artist has a no frills way about it and with his music it’s the same, he’s not looking for a filled up sound, he wants the lyrics to be out the front. I can imagine M. Ward a couple of hundred years ago making his living as a traveling minstrel, just his mandolin and his stories wondering the countryside. That may be going too far because most tracks have drums, piano and varying types of guitar including lap steel, it’s just that the words are the star attraction. His phrasing, choice of words and the brevity of the songs [16 in all] keeps it flowing along nicely so it’s never boring. The quirkiness and personal nature of the material is also a bonus; it almost feels as if you are looking through a window at moments of his life. (PJ)

I Killed the Prom Queen - Your past comes back to haunt you
(Resist Records / Hand of Hope Records)
2 / 5
Prom Queen have worked hard over the past few years to make a name for themselves as one of Australia’s finest and hardest working metal core bands. With the release of this aptly named CD they have managed to jeopardise the title they have worked so hard to secure. This is a re-recorded, re-release of they’re much early EP released on final prayer records and it shows as the songs lack in structure or much musical credibility. Guitar work seems rushed and monotonous and the only glimmer of Prom Queen today shines through, ironically, on their cover of Crafter’s former band, Fall of Troy. This album comes off as nothing more than filler and I sincerely hope this is not the direction that they continue to pursue. (tom)

Valanti – Cinderella
(MGM / Independent)
3/ 5
Valanti’s new C.D single ‘Cinderella’ was definitely extremely unique. It may not fit everyone’s taste, but I’m sure there will be people out there who will appreciate it. (You mean it’s shit – new Ed.) Valanti are a part of the burgeoning synth-pop-rock trend in music at the moment which seems to believe that overpowering keyboards and intricate sounds belong in rock music. (Thus confirming my above statement – new Ed.) With their eccentric lyrics and diverse band members they can be described as being a mix between Punk, Rhythm and Goth Rock. (Rachael Williams)

Marcia Hines – You
(Sony / BMG)
3 / 5
Once named the Queen of Australian Pop, Marcia Hines’s new single ‘You’ is like listening to a blast from the past. The CD features the original 1977 Version of the track, which was a major hit in the Ozzie Charts, plus a number of remixes. With its funky beat and fantastic vocals, it would be a great club song to dance to while your kicking up your heels on a Saturday night. (Rachael)

Gavin Degaw’s – Follow Through
(J Records)
4 / 5
Gavin Degaw is an extremely talented singer-songwriter. His new single, ‘Follow Through’ is an inspiring song. I honestly couldn’t say a bad word about it. He could be described as a mix between Jack Johnson and Pete Murray, except he still has his own individual style and charisma. On the single there are two different songs, ‘Follow Through’ and ‘Get Lost.’ They were both really good, it’s the perfect music to listen to after a long day at work and you just want to chill out, have a drink and unwind. (Rachael)
goodcharlotte

Good Charlotte – I Just Wanna Live
(Sony / BMG)
4/ 5
Good Charlotte’s new C.D single ‘I Just Wanna Live’ is fantastic. The C.D has three really great songs on it. The first one is of course, ‘I Just Wanna Live,’ followed by S.O.S and The World Is Back. If you’re a Good Charlotte fan or you love Soft Punk/ Emo music then this is for you, so give it a try and go and get yourself a copy.

Joel Tuner and The Modern Day Poets with Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine - ‘Knock U Out’
(Sony / BMG)
3.5 / 5
This C.D single is very up beat with a catchy hard hitting tune. I thought it was good, but it probably isn’t a song that everyone will like. I must say that Anthony Mundine did a great job for his first debut as a rapper. I wonder if there will be more to come from him as an artist or will he go back to the boxing ring? Meanwhile Joel Turner continues to exceed our expectations, even at such a young age. With his mixture of “hip hop, rock, pop, R&B, funk, soul and Jazz,” there isn’t much left not to like about this talented teenager.

Grinspoon D.V.D
(Universal)
3.5 / 5
‘23 Hours Of Waiting Around’ shows Grinspoon doing what they do best. This DVD features awesome documentary footage, music videos, special commentary and hidden features. The live footage mainly consists of stuff taken from the bands Panic Attack tours. Basically, this is as close as you can get to the band without actually seeing them live and / or being in the back of the touring van. (Wouldn’t we all love that?)

Grinspoon’s latest DVD will not fail to impress and neither will their CD, ‘New Detention’, which is also featured on the DVD. It is really entertaining and has all of their latest songs as well as a few of the old favourites. Extra features on the DVD include exclusive documentary footage as well as some live footage from when the band performed at the Emmore Theatre in Sydney. There is also never before seen footage of the making of the DVD I can guarantee that some of it will have you in stitches.

All the video clips feature commentary from the band members themselves and the multiple camera angles that were used really do show Grinspoon in the limelight. There are also some hot pics and candid moments to have a look at in their exclusive photo gallery along with some interesting goss on the bands recent tour of the UK. ‘23 Hours Of Waiting Around’ has heaps of cool stuff on it. Be prepared to be glued to the telly and enjoy the roller coaster ride with the boys! (Rachael)

Regurgitator – My Friend Robot
regurg(Nates Private Idaho Records)
3 / 5
The well-publicised experiment in the bubble may have just been enough to re-ignite this bands dwindling career but only a handful of songs from their reality TV lovechild Mish Mash really cut it in comparison to their earlier hits. Luckily, MyFriendRobot is one of such songs, and it brings together The Gurges irrelevant, illogical subject matter with a well-patented mixture of modern rock sounds and Frogger style bleeps. The following three bonus tracks on this single are all duds however, diminishing the singles appeal as one might as well just go buy the album. Put simply, what’s emerged is nothing groundbreaking for Regurgitator, its just the same old guys who obviously love their music, but never seem to take it too seriously.
(Nate)

The Panda Band - Sleepy Little Death Toll Town
(Waterfront Records)
4/5
One has to wonder what’s in the soil in WA as another band rises up to receive national recognition and acclaim from a scene brimming with talent and originality.  The Panda Band isn’t the first rock band to mix their music with electronica (or are they an electronic band mixing their music with rock???) but there is no doubt these guys bring something different to the table. Sleepy Little Death Toll Town is a joyous EP where each song could become an anthem for a free-loving peace-tooting hippie cult.  In such a bleak world its great to be amongst obscure feel good music that helps to block out the egotistical discrepancies of this planet, and establish a sense of pleasant naivety. Death Toll Town isn’t faultless; there are moments where quirky slides too far into insanity and the bizarre but overall this groups optimistic tunes are a bright change. (Nate)

IMAGINE NATION - SPLENDID ISOLATE
(Independent release)
4 / 5
Finally, we have a CD in our hands to serves as the hard copy companion to one of Brisbane’s most inspiring live acts. Coated with a strong sci-fi flavour, INation are among the more unique acts around these parts, providing a strong cybernetic skeleton upon which to build their melodic but heavy tracks. While the live shows tend to emphasize the crunch this band is capable of delivering, the CD comes across as a more dynamic beast, sounding like a mixture of Pretty Hate Machine, NIN, Filter, Ocean Machine and touches of KMFDM. Whilst I may not appreciate the keyboard patches used, the production, presentation and strong melodies of this disk definitely make it one of the best local releases I have heard. (Greg Buchanski)

EARTH GOAT - SEX AND BLOOD
(Independent release)
2 / 5
Coming from the darker side of industrial, Earth Goat seem content to let the brooding atmosphere comprise the core of their album, with little variation on any of the tracks. Thick, rumbling synths fill the background while tinny drum machines fill the foreground, sound effects and samples sitting solidly in the middle while bass and guitar add density to the whole affair. The vocals are unfortunately rather typical of the industrial genre (meaning that there is no deviation from the norm of distorted male vocals with occasional clean female vocals). At least the vocals have more melody than your average industrial band, but I can’t say that this release excites me at all…. However, if you like old school industrial in the vein of, say, Skinny Puppy, then perhaps you’ll appreciate this one. (Greg Buchanski)

LAYLA - HERETIC
(Obese Records)
3 / 5
I have an aversion to hearing the Aussie yob accent at the best of times, let alone captured for posterity on a compact disk, but as far as Australian rap goes, this disk impresses me far more than a lot of the other stuff I have heard. The only strong female rapper I’ve noticed in the local scene, Layla doesn’t try to impress with speed or flash, sticking to strong, flowing lines that put her point across in simple terms. The production is great and the backup music is among the best I’ve heard in any Aussie hip-hop featuring nicely chosen samples, funky live instrumentation and fantastic variety of timbres.
(Greg Buchanski)

VARIOUS ARTISTS - PRIORITY RELEASE SAMPLER
(Roadrunner Records)
1 / 5
I won’t go into my feelings towards Roadrunner Records as a label. I’m sure that there are plenty of wonderful people that work for them and they certainly do a good job of marketing the bands in their stable. The problem I have is with the bands that they choose to occupy said stable, with the exception of the The Dresden Dolls, I can’t find any words of praise for the groups on this compilation. Slipknot have never impressed me and they aren’t about to now, despite their penchant for sounding like Pantera. Nightwish are gothic trash for a new wave of underage dress-up queens. Killswitch Engage are uninspiring Euro-styled metal devoid of most of the things that made the European bands they are copying great. Hatebreed are boring metal-core (as if we need more metal flavoured metal!)… I won’t go on. It just seems to me that this disk is full of cleanly washed and unoriginal music that I’d be happier without. (Greg Buchanski)

VARIOUS ARTISTS - ALMA DE AMERICA
Discograph Records
4.5 / 5
This is a fantastic compilation of some of the most recognized and greatest artists to have worked in a Latin setting, from those who spent their entire career in this style right through to others who only briefly borrowed from the culture’s wonderful music. The common feature of this style is that no matter who plays it, it retains a joyful swing, a lilting bounce that is brimming with sexiness. With such luminaries on this disk as the great Nat King Cole, New Orleans legend Louis Artmstrong, big band great Dizzie Gillespie, dance hero Fred Astaire, iconic female star Doris Day and the soulful Harry Belafonte, there is no shortage of brilliant music to be heard and each and every artist offers their own unique take on the flavour. So if you want to smile and dance while still getting a good strong dose of heartfelt emotion, then look no further. (Greg Buchanski)

millincolinMillencolin – Kingwood
(Burning Heart Records)
4 / 5
Millencolin return after Nikola Sarcevic’s solo album with another Punk fuelled album. The first single ‘Ray’ sticks to their pop punk side with a great looking film clip and includes a bonus live version of ‘Bullion’. ‘Biftek Supernova’ shows their punk roots through and through, fast paced and catchy riffs. After listening to a few songs and seeing what this quality 90’s style punk band have produced in the past I’m sure this album will go off. They are still continuing to develop their rock side while not forgetting the fast punk they first gained their fan base with. They are currently on the ‘Kingwood Tour’ and hopefully we’ll see’em here later in the year. (Simmo)

BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE–
TEPID PEPPERMINT WONDERLAND

(SMASH)brianjones
4 / 5
The Brian Jonestown Massacre have been delivering top-notch psychedelic tinged pop gems for nigh on ten years. If it weren’t for their manic leader Anton Newcombe’s out of control live shows they would be a household name like the Dandy Warhols. If their live shows could match the genius of their recorded output they would be unstoppable, but in saying that, this is Rock N Roll and it doesn’t hurt the world to have a mad genius like Anton roaming the lands without a care for convention or authority. Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective collects the best recordings from their last ten albums plus some live radio performances. Highlights include the majestic ‘When Jokers Attack’, ‘Starcleaner”, and “Anenome” to name a few. Anyway this is the perfect option for someone wanting to get an initial taste of this trail blazing, influential and totally self-destructive band.

EARLIES – WE ARE THE EARLIES
(SPUNK)earlies
3 /5
The Earlies are the joining of forces from both sides of the Atalantic, two members are from UK and the other two members hail from the US. This might go some way to explaining their eclectic broad range of symphonic ditties. In the UK they’re being hailed in all major street press as a bastard combination the Beach Boys, Mercury Rev and Polyphonic Spree. The album is comprised of songs from their first bunch of 7”s and 10”s and shows a band relishing in their dense, lush and often times over the top pop foolery. It’s a joyous affair and shows there will always be life in old legs as songs and artists from the formation of rock and roll are absorbed, rolled into the new millennium and appear as something totally original. Yet it leaves you with a feeling like you have been there before…


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