SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS: September 2008

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KAY HANLEY
DeGuerre Records
Weaponize
12-song CD
Eighteen-years and seven-plus studio albums later, Kay Hanley maintains her grasp on gleeful arrogance while surrendering to her trademark youthful voice. The former Letters To Cleo frontwoman has held her own in the solo world without compromising her dedicated fan base. Weaponize, Hanley’s second full-length solo album, is full of pop-rock sing-along gems and is possibly closest in sound to her long-gone Cleo days. “Nicky Passes Marble Arch,” the album’s opener, oozes attitude with strong vocals and guitar power while “Video” is very bass-driven with enough hooks to keep you humming the chorus for hours. “The Wrong Year” is slightly reminiscent of Hanley’s first solo effort Cherry Marmalade, while “Take It Like A Man” captures the polished sound of her Baby Doll EP. “Cellars By Starlight” Captures the simplicity of Hanley’s appreciation for a sunny pop song while playfully name-dropping local music venue T.T. the Bear’s. The feel of “I Guess I Get It” and “Strange Life” truly captures Kay’s new sunny California environment, while album closer “Don’t Drop A Bomb” features a rap chorus by Fan_3. All songs are written by Hanley, with many co-written by her husband and former Cleo guitarist Mike Eisenstein. It’s a perfect rock album that can be enjoyed all the way through. Take comfort, because Kay Hanley can still rock with the best of them. (Rob Watts)

RICK BERLIN
Hi-N-Dry Records
Old Stag
13-song CD
What do you call a record with songs like “John Lennon’s Nose,” “Happy Lesbians in the Snow,” and one about a prostitute roommate who doesn’t eat? Especially when it’s just voice, keys, some occasional strings, and recorded in a living room? I call it a small masterpiece. Berlin’s made all kinds of music here for decades, and never fails to surprise, but rarely does anyone’s material match its delivery with such finesse. It’s impossible not to feel his experience in your gut, as his voice floats from whimsy to heartbreak, from ecstasy to absurdity, from wisdom to mystification, all set to words and music that unspool countless reels of a life lived fully, gladly (I’m pretty sure), and recklessly. In a perfect world, he’d be writing Broadway scores, but of course he’s too smart and speaks a hundred times the truth of that swill. Check these lyrics from “How Can I Hate People I Don’t Know?” “Prejudice is simple/ ya just make up a lie/ judgmental is mental/ it makes ya die inside/ you’re old, you’re ugly, you’re a frisbee freak/ I hate you, why not?/ my face is buried in the ass of sheep.” As JFK once said, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” (Joe Coughlin)

TIM MUNGENAST
Innova
Steam-Powered Mars Lander
12-song CD
Innova records has apparently given Tim Mungenast a free hand to craft a very odd series of improvisations with his fellow bandmates Jon Proudman and Michael Bloom, among others. And our proud boy runs with it, let’s give him that. Now, if you have a ragin’ hankering after some free jazz tinged with loops and truncated psychedelic space jams, you’ll probably lap this right up. It was great driving music, though at any minute I expected to see looming up next to me an enormous Mack Track in the shape of an interstellar mandala. But metaphor strains and splits asunder to describe a track like “Bagpipes of Osmotic God”: Is it the muscle memory of twitch-happy Vivaldi as he wakens from a nitrous oxide stupor? Okay: repeated listens uncover from time to time a lovely melodic line craftily concealed ’neath reams of Cthulhulian ook, as on “Prana.” The solo electric guitar work on “The Scream” is surely harrowing, but also strangely beautiful. And anyone who appreciates PiL will really dig Michael Bloom’s innovative bass work on “Barrage a Trois.” But an awful lot of this wild, sound-mangling rattlebag makes Lightning Bolt seem thoroughly domesticated and Skip Spence’s legendarily addled “Oar” sound like the gaw-damn Eroica by comparison. (Francis DiMenno)

REVOLUTIONARY SNAKE ENSEMBLE
Cuneiform Records
Forked Tongue
12-song CD
After a glance at the band costume shots and a listen to the first track, I figured this’d be an all-Mardi Gras-type thing, and I’m happy to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. While mostly horn-driven instro, it’s hardly what I’d call jazz, as is the case with Either/ Orchestra (but I don’t know much of their stuff either). This is decidedly more upbeat, but just as dense and involving. It’s tempting to call it a feel-good-record-in-spite-of-itself, but if it feels good, fuck what anyone thinks anyway. Most surprising were the covers, including fairly drastic and worthwhile takes on “Que Sera Sera,” “White Wedding” (of all things), and “Down By the Riverside” (the lone vocal track, and a haunting sucker at that). It was no huge surprise to see that the ingenious Ken Field (alto sax and more) apparently runs the show, as the guy’s been steeped in more great things than most of us are exposed to in a lifetime. So while I’m generally opposed to clothing as a selling point, it’s doubly nice when it makes absolutely no difference in the bigger picture, or something like that. (Joe Coughlin)

GRAVEHAVEN
Calico
7-song CD
Nouveau-progressive metal/punk which, at its very best, evokes the now-obscure but still much-lamented Anastasia Screamed: see, for instance, “Lunatic.” In Benjamin Grenville the band has an accomplished vocalist, and we are also treated to expert chops, a hard-edged approach, and a monumental feel that, on this track, at least, feels fully earned rather than merely assumed. On the whole, this is a maturely conceived and well-arranged set of songs that improves with every listen. Nearly every track is at least a minor gem. This is definitely a band to watch. (Francis DiMenno)

ICHABOD
Rootsucker Records
2012
7-song CD
Ichabod’s first disc, Reaching Empyrean, was one of the best heavy-music releases by a Boston band in quite a long while. Expecting more of the same? You might want to open your mind up a little then, because the band isn’t playing the rehash card, but instead have stirred up the, um, pot a bit. There were plenty of psych elements on that first album, and they have become more of a focal point on this new disc. Now, make no mistake—they bring the heavy riffage and head-banging song structures that one would expect—but the album is peppered with heady, smoky songs and passages that place this pretty firmly within the stoner realm. The blistering cover of Pink Floyd’s “The Nile Song” alone is ample proof, but then contrast that with the head-down near-thrash of “Sleeping Giants,” and you get a clear picture of how broad this band’s palette really is. Judicious use of the wah-wah pedal just earns ’em extra points in my book. Fine, fine stuff. (Tim Emswiler)

TWINK
Twink Tones Records
A Very Fine Adventure
12-song CD
The term for this type of music according to the CD cover and previous reviews is “toytronica.” I guess it’s apt for putting a visual image in your head for the sound of the music, but damn if the word does NOT roll off the tongue at all. Twink sounds like music from my original Nintendo Entertainment System (circa 1987) with the addition of toy piano, pot smoke and energy beverage. Twink is one talented guy named Mike Langlie. It’s interesting because this obviously could be background music for video games and cartoons—and it’s very synthy, sequencery and poppy. He’s really pushing it well, based on the website. It makes me hope that some visual media uses this material, though now I’m thinking like a marketer, not reviewer. I can’t imagine a bunch of college kids sitting around getting stoned to this… if they do then I’m genuinely getting older and less hip. Really cool new music for the 21st century. (Mike Loce)

LONESOME JUKEBOX
Plimbro Records
Deep Down Low
15-song CD
When you make your record at Charlie and Anne’s barn using banjos, steel guitar, harmonica, violin and glockenspiel–yes, glockenspiel–among other things, you can just imagine what the end result might sound like. I can taste a delightful Hee Haw sandwich stuffed with slices of Traveling Wilbury’s and plenty of good ole American cheese as I sing along to the pride of Plimbo Records. Delicious! While listening along to songs like “She’s Got A Ring,” I feel the urge to board my rusty Ford pick-up truck and drive on down to the weekend square dance. All the members of Lonesome Jukebox actually sing quite well. This keeps their 15-song chigger of Deep Down Low sounding fresh as I cruise from track to track. Song 10, “Steppin Out,” has actually taken some cues from the likes of Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis. Yes, my thoughts return to having a muuuuuch younger girlfriend. “She Loves Me Not!!” quickly extinguishes the flames in my underwear and shows yet another twist in the long list of song writing skills these cowboys possess. Giddy up! (Lance Woodward)

GLENN WILLIAMS
Lowbudget Records
Breathing Freely
16-song CD
I first noticed Glenn Williams hosting his long-running Boston cable TV show, It’s All About Arts. He’s just a regular guy and an enthusiastic, honest supporter of local arts and music. As a musician he participates with Blown Glass, Boys With Toys, Casey-Williams, and most notably with Random Access Memory, whose several CD releases spouted pop, rock, electronica, and ballads. After a layoff of several years due to health problems [hence the album title], he is back with a debut solo album of laid-back love songs to his coveted family life and snazzy, groovy paeans to many dear friends. Throw in a few choice covers and you’ve got a rockin’ lounge singer a la Martin Mull or that hammy Mr. McCartney, obviously one of his idols still (Glenn’s version of “Ram On” is so right on, and so is his superb bass playing). Sometimes the vocals are a bit strained and a little more grit could have helped these songs growl a bit more, but there’s no denying his brilliant use of gracious collaborators such as Ramona Silver (“Just Us”), Bird Mancini, Andy Hollinger (a perfect slide solo on “It’s True”), Eliud Herrera (magnificent nylon guitar solos), and his longtime partner, Tim Casey. In an era of too many merch fabrics, this is the real deal. Porch rockers unite! (Harry C. Tuniese)

THE SUN LEE SUNBEAM
Look For The Light
9-song CD
There’s two girlees in this band, and one boy-oy-yoy. He plays drums. One of the girlees sings and snarls. She’s Korean. Cool. Another girlee plays bass—she looks tall. Their songs are quick, garagey numbers with pounding floor toms, complaining guitars, and pulsating bass. I wish I could see these guys, like at the Abbey. But I’m not in the zip code anymore. Cheap beer, cheap surroundings, and cheap companions with too loud music to block out the world for a little would be more than fine. Is there a hint of PJ Harvey, Joan Jett, or Hole in this band? Maybe. “We crush the lies that hide the light.” Did I mention great lyrics? Yeah, I know, who gives a fuck about words. But you should listen to mine because this is the best CD I’ve heard this year, maybe in a few years. Who cares? You probably don’t, but if you saw this band live with a refreshment or six you would probably have a pretty great time. But forget I said anything; your Gameboy is calling you. (Slimedog)

DRAGO
Winter St. Records
Bowling With Stalin
19-song CD
From out of Boston’s hardcore scene comes another giant collection of rip-roaring angst driven tunes from seasoned punksters Drago. Bowling With Stalin brings high intensity rock loaded with violent drum riffs, speed changes and enough pissed-off energy to fuel a hybrid until the next ice age. Are you getting the picture? Let me help some more. “My Fist Your Face” is about getting punched in the face and “You Got Fat”—and ruined your tattoo, just might remind a close friend that they could use a little exercise. But wait. This type of music isn’t just about blind rage and brutal hints. Track 12, “Wal-Mart,” sends us all a positive message about the great deals one can find at our beloved department store Wal-Mart. If you need 19 songs to listen to while cleaning your house or to just plain smash the fuck out of anything you come in contact with, Drago’s Bowling With Stalin is your disease! (Lance Woodward)

THE COMPLAINTS
CompRecords
Sunday Morning Radio
13-song CD
For many readers, the phrase “modern rock” will conjure up horrid memories of late ’90s radio, with Matchbox 20 and Creed ruling the charts. With Daughtry riding high now though, the sensitive-rocker-guy genre may be coming back. In which case Rhode Island’s the Complaints are in business. On Sunday Morning Radio acoustic rock verses lead into big guitar choruses written for the arena stage while Dean Petrella’s gruff baritone belts out tunes aggressive enough for alt-rock pre-teens to enjoy, but family-friendly enough to play for Mom. With a different direction these tunes could really explode, but tracks like “Man Downtown” have been scrubbed so squeaky-clean their kick is lost. Though too sterile to be disagreeable, most of the songs are forgotten the moment they end. Occasional glimpses of promise point at a more interesting direction the band could take however. The slow funk of “Wrapped in Silk” gets my head bobbing as a wiry guitar line oozes the sexuality missing elsewhere. It’s hard not to wish the group pursued this direction instead of just making generic bids for radio play. (Ray Padgett)

LOS HIJOS UNICOS
Dead Earth Records
…And the Lights Go Out
17-song CD
The first track from this up-and-coming western Massachusetts ensemble follows the post-modern playbook: Your opening salvo must be problematic and difficult, so that, by sticking it out, your audience will therefore feel as though they’ve truly earned any rewards that follow. And, indeed, there are some very bright, if somewhat overstatedly ironic touches here. The over-the-top hillbilly spoofery of “Blue Highway.” The loping populist pronuncimento “Running Out of Time.” The somewhat goofy Western-tinged graveyard plaint “Nothing to Lose.” The persnickety guitar riff on the waltz-rhythm “Ring of Fire” tribute “County Line.” The loony slide-guitar infested blues-oid manifesto “Burning Black.” There’s even a catchy zombie tune straight out of the playbook of Jeffrey Lee Pierce: “The Dead.” Now, camping it up is all well and good, but lots of bands can do that. Yet there are also two songs here that I like enormously. On “Signs and Calls,” the swirly organ brings to mind an up-to-date version of the crafty old nouveau-Americana that the folks in the Band were so adept at. Even better is the closing track, “Nebraska,” which features a narrator whose tale of lost love hints that his every future attempt at fulfillment will fail. Both songs on this debut effort are genuinely touching hard-luck tales that stick, and simply won’t let go. (Francis DiMenno)

ACTION CAMP
Incubator Records
Dead Like Tan
11-song CD
Imagine a whole album steeped in the ethos that makes the song “Creep” by Radiohead work so well. A sludgy reliance on proportioned slowness, and melodic sense with plenty of basic chord progressions. Female vocals waft like ground fog above an ancient forest floor. A bizarre sense of darker monster surf music slithers in the eardrums as well. Some really nasty, groovy country fuzz tone songs hit you hard. Folk pop sensibility alters the course here and there. This is a very listenable album, and as I go for the overall impression of the music these days instead of poring over the lyrics for deeper meanings, I assume the title is apropos in many respects. Action Camp sort of rocks in the way one doesn’t expect, you can tell they’ve listened a lot to some of the best, and distilled it in their own unique style. A good listen. (Mike Loce)

THE HUSH NOW
The Hush Now
11-song CD
Despite the name, these guys aren’t all that quiet, playing a pleasant brand of dreamy indie pop. The album as a whole is quite cohesive and just as you hit the mid-point and fear a bit of sameness setting in, the band wisely shifts things up a bit with the slower “Pining” and the Cure-tinged “Ashes.” The overall production is excellent. The guitars shimmer brightly throughout, and Noel Kelly’s thin voice is wisely mixed somewhat deep into the sound, allowing it to blend in rather than storm to the front, where its weaknesses would be more apparent. There are a few instances when things start to meander off into background music territory, but not enough to distract from what is a pretty strong effort. (Kevin Finn)

DESTROY BABYLON
ADD
The Shadow Army
7-song CD
This will please fans of nominal reggae and dub. All the familiar conventions are scrupulously observed–heavy reverb, bass high in the mix, swaying rhythmic impetus, scrupulous drumming, politically charged lyrics. But nothing here leaps out and attracts the uninitiated. How do I put this? It’s not top of the line; it’s not state of the art, and it certainly isn’t cutting edge. It’s just another sharp reggae band. Now, there’s nothing wrong with competence—but in this genre, I think, even clever isn’t quite enough. I’d like to hear something beyond the ordinary—something transcendent, or even truly innovative, and it just isn’t happening for me on this go-round. (Francis DiMenno)

MINDSET X
Thread
11-song CD
There is little to complain about here. Thread is a nice slab of mostly metal, albeit slicker than I like my metal. The vocals are immaculate, high notes are hit effortlessly, with some sweet harmonies to boot. The lead guitar work is likewise essentially flawless, and the songs are catchy enough that they’ll start sticking in your head after two or three listens. Production values are supremely high, so it all sounds even better when played really loud. Why, then, will I probably never listen to this again after I review it? Because it sounds like it came straight out of a time capsule that was buried during my high school days, and those days were a long, long time ago. My younger brother, who used to sport a hand-painted Bon Jovi denim jacket and drove a Camaro, would devour this. Maybe Bang Camaro would devour this, or maybe they should play together. Perfect for those who foolishly parted with their cassette collections when DVDs came along, and just need a taste of that anthemic, melodic, and perhaps slightly hairy metal. (Tim Emswiler)

JO HENLEY
Sad Songs and Alcohol
12-song CD
Jo Henley is a band name, not a person, so if the name reminds of you of the Eagles’ Don Henley that may be more than coincidence. By aligning themselves with the bland country rock quartet, however, Jo Henley sells itself short. The Byrds would be better avian cousins—these bluegrass inflections are more “Eight Miles High” than “Tequila Sunrise.” Because on Sad Songs and Alcohol Jo Henley keeps their country stylings poppy enough for the indie kids, but authentic enough for the local barn dance. The gospel flavor that inflects tracks like “Take Me Back” adds some extra punch to the proceedings. The style suits Andy Campolieto’s strong tenor as he unselfconsciously belts out the words while legato violin lines dance over bouncy banjo plucking.
The words, however, are the record’s weak point. Including a lyrics booklet with the CD the band does themselves a disservice, revealing how impotent the songwriting looks next to the performance. Pseudo-profound reflections on life and love try hard, but say little. It’s no coincidence the album’s highlight is a Hank Williams cover, but even with awkward lyrics it’s hard to not get caught up in all the country fun. (Ray Padgett)

MUY CANSADO
Precious Gems
Stars and Garters
12-song CD
This is the most remarkable album I’ve heard. Since about 1991. When the Pixies were doing the exact same thing. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that these folks merely sound a little bit like the Pixies. Or even that they are clearly influenced by the Pixies. I mean that, in song after song, they sedulously ape the Pixies. Sometimes quite well. See, for instance, “The Killing.” Still, nearly every single trope made famous by that band some 20 years ago is lovingly recapitulated here. The slow-fast stop-start dynamic. Anthemic choruses. Chundering guitars. Vaguely louche lyrical subject matter. It was great on the first go-round. But to hear it all again is kind of unsettling. I wonder if these enterprising folks have ever heard of the fate of the short-lived comedy team of Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo? Probably not. Nowadays, virtually nobody remembers them. (And that’s kind of the reason that I brought them up.) (Francis DiMenno)

UNIVERSE NARROWS
Cossack
The Little Machine
11-song CD
Ah, yes, Mrs. Slimedog here—unequivocally the foremost authorita-rian of all things musical, displaying her expertise (and shiny new nails!) once again in these pulchritude pages of the Noise. Let me first alert you that this is a father/son duo that brings forward the question why hasn’t this been done before? On hand I can think of several good ones—James Brown with his son, Bobby; Country Joe MacDonald with his son Michael; and of course, Brian Wilson with his son Ricky Wilson from the B-52’s. Hopefully, some of these duos can still happen.
But now up to business. This CD has a laid back, strummy, folksy, ’60s hippie-ish feel to it but strangely Slimedog doesn’t hate it. He says there are Kinks-like harmonies going on that recall that band in their folky mode and he likes that. Where he gets these obscure bands, I’ll never know. I like it too, it’s pleasant and catchy. Any CD that doesn’t sound like the devil vomiting guacamole over a car crash is a-okay by me. Okay, dogs? (Mrs. Slimedog)

DANIEL BON & THE FUTURE GHOSTS
Lazing in the Alcove
Peeling Away the Beauty
12-song CD
It’s probably never a good sign when the album cover proves much more memorable than the album itself. Then again, is a topless, tattooed woman all that memorable these days? Okay, so maybe nothing here is all that memorable. Daniel Bon has made an album of almosts. It almost rocks, and it’s almost very catchy. In fact, it’s almost quite good, but it isn’t, largely because Bon never really wants to get his hands dirty, seemingly too content to be a watered-down version of ’80s or ’90s hard rock. At times, he sounds like a lesser Corey Glover (not necessarily an insult) fronting a lesser Rage Against the Machine or Red Hot Chili Peppers (absolutely an insult). By the time we reach the all-sensitive-and-shit falsetto and acoustic-driven number actually called “Karma,” I’m clearly ready to move on. (Kevin Finn)

MARK NOMAD
Blue Star
Acoustic Land
14-song compliation CD
Electric Church
9-song CD
Mark Nomad, hailing from western Massachusetts, has a real knack for blues-based material, and this is particularly evidenced by his wrenching and superlative cover versions of songs by genre giants such as Mississippi Fred McDowell, John Lee Hooker, and Blind Willie Johnson. Spanning a period from 1993 to 2004, his compilation CD Acoustic Land kicks off with a masterful original from 1997, the eerie and languorous blues-based instrumental “The Journey.” Another original, 2004’s “Coming Home,” reveals an artist who has thoroughly matured in his approach to the deceptively simple but notoriously tricky form of the blues ballad. Even on earlier originals that feel largely like genre exercises, such as 1993’s “Baby Please,” “Angel Boy,” and “Hannah Lee,” his slide playing is spectacular. And the closing track, 1993’s “Heavenly Bound,” meticulously channels an almost primeval blues spirit without sounding forced or strident. Nomad’s original compositions on 2007’s Electric Church are, if anything, even more striking in their mastery of technique. “Suite Freedom” shows us a more introspective and jazzy aspect of his sonic palette. Furthermore, the 2007 version of “Angel Boy” seems far more assured, and the updated version of the heartfelt “Hannah Lee” is electrifying. He also manages to breathe new life into the John Lee Hooker warhorse “Come Back Baby.” And the primitivistic coloration of his cover of Fred McDowell’s “Heard Somebody Call” is so well-wrought that it sends a chill running right up my spine. (Francis DiMenno)

THE MYSTERY TRAMPS
Queue Records
6-song CD
We are the Mystery Tramps
A little while back these guys put out an impressive EP with none other than Greg Hawkes of the Cars producing. I remember being impressed with such a sophisticated sound coming from such young musicians. This release was produced by the band themselves and rocks like nobody’s business. This record has everything a pop record should have: great songs, tight harmonies, catchy hooks, and choruses you can sing along to. This album is as irresistibly catchy as that case of mono you kept passing back and forth between you and your first sweetie. The Mystery Tramps defy labels by making a sound that is uniquely their own. I can’t think of a single band that these guys sound like. That’s the highest praise I can give to any band. Brilliant. Simply Brilliant! (Joel Simches)

GUNS OF NAVARONE
Guns of Navarone
6-song CD
Never listen to old school ska when you’re hung over, pissed off, strung out on allergy medication, or having trouble sleeping and are wide awake at 5:00 am. In my case I’m listening to this on all of the above and it bothers me because this CD’s so fucking happy and cheerful and full of fun. I want to dance, but I also want to punch my wall. Why don’t these people understand my unrelenting angst and aggravation?? Why do they torture me with such tunefully peppy stuff?? They do such faithful renditions of “Monkey Man” and “A Message to You Rudy” that I want to smile, but it hurts my jaw from all the teeth grinding I’m doing. Now I have a headache from all this fun. Fuck you guys. I’m going to find a skinny tie and hang myself in the closet. My corpse will dangle rhythmically to your wonderfully playful music. Assholes. (Joel Simches)

TERRITORIES
Dead Wings
4-song CD
Just pop the CD in and Territories sound like your typical everyday guitar-driven indie rock band, with the introspective voice and the shoegazing, heavy guitar, but then there is a secret weapon: The Keyboards!! The dimension added to having a piano on these songs is the difference between a picture on the wall and a hologram. It is refreshing to hear keyboard in front this style of music without calling attention to itself in a kitschy/retro sort of way, like Weezer. The piano really opens up the organic possibilities of this band without turning it into Muse or Coldplay. Territories is a band that should be heard. (Joel Simches)

MINDWALK BLVD.
Paint the Seconds
6-song CD
This collection of slick prog/metal pop has been described as “Hanson on steroids.” With each listen, there is a polish, flash and technique made even more impressive, considering that each band member has started his professional musical career in grade school. While this has brought them more notoriety than the average Boston band, don’t mistake the band’s flashy presentation for lack of substance. There are thoughtful lyrics, gifted playing and compelling songs. The tight harmonies do drip with Splenda, but there is enough grit and punch to keep those goat horns in the air. As long as the band can write compelling songs, there are plenty of people who will want to listen. (Joel Simches)

BILLY SHAKE BAND
Shake Therapy
5-song CD
Right from the start, Billy Shake and the boys rock like a bar band on a Saturday night, influenced by the songs on the jukebox: some CCR, BTO, ZZ Top, and any other ’70s rock band that can be abbreviated with letters from the alphabet. Shake’s voice drones tunelessly though each track like Dylan trying to rock out, or Lou Reed trying to be glam. The band has no dynamic range. They’re either all on or all off. Like most bands of this ilk, the band likely plays on the stage next to the big screen TV, thinking the cheers are for them, when it’s really for the ballgame that’s on. (Joel Simches)

GHOSTHUNTER
Viking Daze
6-song CD
You know how some people complain that they can’t hear the lyrics when band plays? This CD will have you complaining that you can hear the lyrics. The words to most of these songs are laughably bad; so much so that I thought this band is a spoof, a la Trey Parker/South Park. Then I realized that Ghosthunter is from Maine and it all started to make sense. If you like your metal/bar band silly, mindless and rockin’, grab a 40 and go for it. I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to hit the stop button. No really, I need to eject this before I sprain something. (Joel Simches)

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