SILVER CIRCLES REVIEWS Oct 09


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MR. CURT ENSEMBLE
Low Budget Records
Leaving The Farm
12-song CD
The current recording
from the Mr. Curt Ensemble is a treat for the eyes and ears. The cover
has me thinking of French surrealist Rene Magritte. The opening is a
spoken word piece narrated by Heidi Wolfe. The title is “Isolato (Je
Suis Isole)” which means “Isolated (I Am Isolated)” in Italian
then French. One is jarred from the pleasant languor of the first track
by the relative cacophony of “Chicken Feed” which seems to speak of
the recession. Still I can’t hear the word “toddle” without thinking
of the Lovin’ Spoonful and their song “Six O’clock.” “Go
Away (If She’d Only)” sweeps us away to a soothing microcosm. Here
the protagonist is haunted by the spectre of a past love. In “The
Key,” the female is more of a welcome presence—a catalyst for positive
change or perhaps his muse. The multilayered vocals and Clara Kebabian’s
violin lure us into the winter scene of “In The City.” In fact,
Kebabian’s violin represents the feel of a shiver convincingly. “Curve
of the Earth” asks a question on behalf of those who are both weary
and wary of technology run amuck—“are we forlorn for once-upon-a-time?”
With the exception of the Stephen Stills-penned Buffalo Springfield protest
anthem “For What It’s Worth,” all songs originate from Mr. Curt
Ensemble with a few outside collaborators like Ron Marinick, Wayne Humphrey,
and James T. Sutherland. “Ululate,” penned by Kebabian, is a euphonious
highlight that lingers in my mind. (Nancy Neon)

WILLIE ALEXANDER & THE BOOM BOOM BAND
Captain Trip Records
Loco Live 1976
16-song CD

Those unfamiliar with
Willie should know he graced Boston stages playing Boston rock ’n’
roll when even dinosaurs like myself were playing Little League. I mean,
this dude was in one of the last lineups for the Velvet Underground!
It’s an honor to review a still-playing legend and I’m very glad
this didn’t fall into the hands of some fool like Zortar’s hands.
This CD was recorded at two Boston clubs—the Rat (there’s even a
song called “At the Rat”) and the Club. The sound is great and the
selection of songs is pretty representative. Younger folks expecting
an early punk sound might be put off by Willie’s sometime falsetto
and keyboards, but like most early Boston rock, his style is more garage
than punk and he was one of the earliest and best of the time.

Willie Alexander &
the Boom Boom Band play sloppy, eccentric, creative, rockin’ Boston
music and you can’t go wrong with the lyrics from my favorite “Pup
Tune”—“Your dog swallowed another pair of panties, she puked them
up in the hall, they’re in a ball now.” (Slimedog)

THE NEW ALIBIS
Teenage Heart Records
Hard Promises
6-song CD
Hard Promises
is the second in what is intended to be series of EPs from the New Alibis,
and while their first one was very enjoyable, this follow-up shows just
how much they have grown in a short period of a time. It’s both more
musically diverse and more lyrically personal. While the punkier numbers
like “Going Through the Motions” and “Otherside” are hypercatchy
adrenaline shots, the disc’s soul can be found in “Against the World”
and the title track, songs that are given plenty of room to breathe.
The former showcases a perfect Kim Deal-like backing vocal from bassist
Julie TwoTimes; the latter, organ-drenched with a Social D-esque mid-tempo
groove, features a nuanced lead vocal from Drew Suxx that gives the
song a relatable worn-in quality. This is one of the strongest releases
of the year and sets the bar really high for the next installment.
(Kevin Finn)

AD FRANK & THE
FAST EASY WOMEN

The Archenemy Record
Company

Your Secrets Are
Mine Now

12-song CD
It’s quintessential
Ad Frank, one of the finest lyricists in the business. Ad doesn’t
disappoint, spinning his yarns with multi-layered phrases like; “If
I were a couple I’d break up” (from “If I were a Band”) and
from the album’s opener with deceivingly positive atmosphere
“Open up the patio. Pretty girls are back in style.” His rich emotionally
scarred insights are slung crisply over a variety of perfectly suited
musical genres and rhythms that include some horns and vocal arrangement
assistance from the Somerville Gay Men’s Chorus. Longtime stage favorite
“The Cuddle” is indicative of just how insightful Frank can be in
mining the soul. In it, the destructive tryst climaxes as his pained
soul offers: “if we take our lives then we can fuck in hell” which
is mellifluously intertwined with FEW keyboardist Sarah Rabdau’s lasciviously
sensuous taunting “it’s criminal at worst and at best it’s just
mischievous/ Come and let me take you down to where we won’t be forgiven.”
Meditate on the entire album and you shan’t come away unchanged as
a being. (Rick Dumont)

NEON GOD
Rome
12-song CD
The notes say this
was all recorded and mixed in one day, that all tracks but one are first
takes, that the only overdubs are one guitar bit per song, and that
the whole shebang cost $750 (before packaging). For many (most?) bands,
this would spell disaster, but such is not the case here at all. In
fact, I think it was the only way to go for this stuff. They’re a
trio, one guy singing. Melodic rock, not too heavy, not too light, stripped
naked of all frills, flash, and pretense. The playing is exactly as
full or as sparse as is needed in a given number. I gotta single out
the bass lines for really clinching the deal. Where most bozos would’ve
gone shithouse, Joe Diaz’s parts are, in a word, perfect, and jack
the whole thing up a just-enough notch. There are no classics among
the songs themselves, but it really doesn’t matter. They’re simply
and proudly THERE, in refreshingly take-it-or-leave-it non-fashion.
Even the occasional screams don’t sound forced. Ya don’t gotta be
Lennon & McCartney to make a solidly pleasant listen, but apparently
it helps to be these guys. (Joe Coughlin)

JAKE & THE JAKES
Take A Sip Records
Back In Black and
White

7-song CD
Greetings, Zortar here,
alien record reviewer from another planet (unlike Mrs. Slimedog, illegal
alien from across the border), once again inhabiting the corrupt, corroding,
calamitous, contagious corpse known as Slimedog round these here parts.

This musical contingent
consists of Jake who sings and plays guitar and two other Jakes who
play bass and drums. One of the worst parts of my inhabitation is the
monthly assault on my auditory sensors, that and the foul smelling festering
sores, but gadzooks, this is a CD my cold alien soul can bear! These
Jakes play straight-ahead, no frills rock with tastefully understated
production. They’re not punk, metal, or garage but take bits of all
to make an original whole. They’re like the Bags in this aspect-high
praise, indeed. Though my favorites are the fast ones, there’s not
a clunker in the batch. It (almost) makes my vile subsistence bearable.
(Slimedog)

DOCTOR X
40 song CD
Ambient Hours
Lowbudget Records
Okay folks, this is
the entire cabinet of tranquilizers! Over three
hours of total bliss. No simple allotted doses amidst a palette of diversity.
When Doctor X says ambient HOURS, he means it. Rest and meditation
are remedies for a hectic life and this three-CD set is an ample prescription.
Another crushing night out in the clubs? Disc one will mellow you out
to pile up the zzzzzzz’s. Tortured by bad relationships? Disc two
will cool your angst. Had a rough day at work and need to chill? Slap
disc three in and float into the ether. Quite amazing! This epic homage
to his ambient influences (Bowie-Eno/ Sketch Show/ Biosphere/ Angelo
Badalemnti’s “Twin Peaks”) might be considered to be a tad indulgent
to some people, but I’m taken in by the audiophile sound quality,
the clever instrumentation, and the sheer scope of his ambition. 40
miniature tracks never felt so entertaining and grand. (Harry
C. Tuniese)

MIKE MOUNTAIN
75 or Less Records
Mike Mountain
6-song CD
This CD contains the greatest opening
line ever. I present, for your approval “I rode a goat to Plymouth,
freshly shaved on the road to meet Kim Deal.” Another line may sneer
that “the critic’s a cynic,” but this is an amazing work of art.
Mike Mountain swaggers and staggers his way through a maze of songs
that recall Mars, DNA, Landed, Faust, and the Fall. He responds with
tortured howls and primal screams like Pil, Captain Beefheart, and the
Jesus Lizard. How can such an out-there project have such big hooks
and rock out without shedding the scenester cred? Attention all musical
anthropoligist of the early 21st century schizoid men; buy or steal
this album and study it for the rest of your lives. An instant classic,
three thumbs up and 50 million stars. (Eric Baylies)

THE PART-TIME LOVERS
LSK Records
Raw Transmission
9-song CD
A native of Braintree,
drummer Brian Kelley is not only of blues tribute the Part-Time Lovers,
but also of Social Lubrication, the Brian Kelley Organ Trio, and the
Brian Kelley Trio. He has, according to his website biography, “worked
as a sideman gigging/recording in virtually every style of music.”
With sparse Internet presence, and lack of a one-sheet, the Part-Time
Lovers are a curious mystery. I was however, able to dig up something:
Stephen Matthews, Brian Kelley, Cole Grinnell, Ken Cook, Bob West, Herman
Johnson and Barry Fleischer delight fans all over the United States.
They frequent B.B. King’s and the New Daisy Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee,
as well as Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. In 2000, they were winners of Boston’s
Best Blues Band and were among the Top 10 Finalists of 2001’s International
Blues Festival. Metronome magazine has stated, “The Part-Time
Lovers make everything they touch their own” and after listening to
such a collection, I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. Favorites
include the opener, “Sweet Home Chicago,” and “Got My Mojo Working.”
To put it simply: wow! (Julia R. DeStefano)

JOSH LEDERMAN & THE CAMBRIDGE
SOMERVILLE ALL-STARS

Nine Mile Records
Seven Years A-Roaming
12-song CD
Josh Lederman’s music
makes me think of those bands that play live in Irish bars. You know,
the ones that always sound great when you’re drinking with friends,
but the next day you don’t remember what they were called or any of
the songs they played. That said, I really like “Chere Bassette”—the
violin accompaniment is plaintive in a hopeful kind of way. I like “Julie”
too—the female vocals make the song. “I Can’t Talk to You,”
which features what I believe is a mandolin, is another standout for,
well, the fact that it has a mandolin. You know, after listening through
this whole album a few times, I realize that Josh Lederman’s music
is deeper than it seems. You have to pay attention to notice it, but
the complexity caused by the dozen or so different instruments involved,
the bittersweetly insightful lyrics, and the infectious choruses make
this a lot more than just a live bar band. (Emsterly)

ERIC BETTENCOURT
Shadow Shine Records
Two Wine Glasses/The
Fear

5-song CD
This single gives an
offering of what’s to come from Eric Bettencourt’s upcoming release,
The Giraffe Attack Collection
with a couple of bonus tracks that
didn’t make the cut. The “single” tracks are poppy with little
flashes of southern rock and blues. Bettencourt sounds a lot like
Shannon Hoon, giving his band’s sound an obvious Blind Melon tinge,
but the music is more intricate, sophisticated, and fun. If the
rest of this album is as good as these two songs, then we are in for
a treat. The “bonus” tracks are the real prize in this Cracker
Jack box, and this is what they left off the album! “Lighthouse”
is a trippy epic that could have been on McCartney’s Ram, if
Shannon Hoon were old enough—and alive enough—to have sung on it.
(Joel Simches)

GREG ALEXANDER
Sky It Shall Be
11-song CD
Greg Alexander sings
and strums straight folk music with few of the extravagant look-at-me
frills so beloved of tyros and showboaters. His songs are deepened in
their texture by a significant bluesy underpinning. But he’s from
a more modern wave of the folk/blues tradition; think less of Bukka
White and more of the ’70s-era singer-songwriters like James Taylor,
with a slightly melancholic but uplifting emotional component. Perhaps
the most memorable song on this collection is the delightfully up-tempo
“I’m Still Writing This,” which reminds me a great deal of British
folk of the Fairport Convention school. However, many of the songs are
performed at mid-tempo, but with nuanced and brightly colored instrumentals,
heard to best effect on “I’ll Rock the Boat” and the soulful and
appropriately titled “Lullaby.” A name to watch. (Francis
DiMenno)

PLAINS
Plains

9-song CD
Recorded live on-air
at WMBR in December of last year, this is a pretty, sparse collection
of folk rock that, for the most part, has enough tension, darkness,
and variety to keep it from going down too easily. For a live recording,
this album has an especially clean sound. The harmonies, a nice variety
of female-female and female-male, are spot-on throughout, and the backing
vocals and the varying instruments (guitars, cello, banjo, minimal percussion)
smartly introduce themselves at just the right time and then fade into
the background before wearing out their welcome. Listening all the way
through can be a bit of a challenge; with the exception of “Pilot,”
these songs don’t have a lot of pep, which can cause the listener
to drift off at times especially if he or she doesn’t have the world’s
greatest attention span. For those willing to make a commitment, though,
the rewards are definitely there. (Kevin Finn)

THIS BLUE HEAVEN
Quicksandglass

12-song CD

Bubbly, entertaining
and, as stated in their one-sheet: “…melodic yet cerebral, catchy
but never canned, This Blue Heaven has exorcised the pose from pop,
ascending to an awesome afterlife somewhere between introspection and
celebration…” The album, an invitation into the passionate and only
occasionally solemn world of the quintet (lead vocalist MacKenzie Outlund,
guitarist Stu Dietz, keyboardist Aaron Rosenthal, bassist Mark Desrosiers,
and drummer Brandon Erdos) is melodic and therefore, highly enjoyable
in every sense of the word. The theme is time—the past, the
present, the future, and our ongoing attempt to make peace with it all.
With influences ranging from Tori Amos and 10,000 Maniacs to Aimee Mann,
Elvis Costello and the Police, the result is quite impressive.
The album’s opener, “Bliss,” in which Outlund sings, “It don’t
get much better than this, I’m telling you now, so you, you’d better
enjoy it, you’d better enjoy every moment of bliss” is especially
welcoming and pleasantly carefree. One thing is clear, with such
a relatable, radio-friendly, crowd-pleasing effort, This Blue Heaven
could very well be the next big thing. (Julia R. DeStefano)

THE DAILY PRAVDA
Burning Bible Diamonds

10-song CD
There is a great deal
of craft, and craftiness, in the instrumental textures and song structures
on display here. Proud, self-styled acolytes who craft personalized
versions of past rock landmarks seem all too au courant, and the ensuing
ongoing zombification of rock has, perhaps, become an unavoidable market
imperative. But…way too many of these songs come off as precious,
almost ludicrous knock-off pseud, rotely derivative of glam, the Cars,
and the Pixies. And to what good end? “Dead House” has a certain
balladic retro charm, and “The Stiffs” is almost-but-not-quite magisterial,
but, um, quo vadis? Like, whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny
car in the night? (Francis DiMenno)

SADBASTARDGOESPOP
Weasel Shifter Records
Sadbastardgoespop
10-song CD
Labeled on the bio/press
page as modern rock for the discerning listener, I was skeptical. I
threw the disc in as I merged onto Route 3 south, accelerating very
quickly across three lanes to the fast lane. I didn’t cut anyone off,
but I’m sure those back on the highway saw my cross-cut lane antics
and thought, what an asshole. That’s why things suck. It’s all the
fault of shitheads who drive like that. I was undeterred from these
self-hating paranoid defeatist thoughts. This music stayed right with
me and validated every moment. I liked that. I like the layout of the
songs on this disc and I like the fact that the guys in the band say
that one of their many strengths is that they all like each other. Isn’t
that likable? I think we need to like more things in the world, even
if there are assholes that drive across three lanes of a highway to
get to where they’re going. (Mike Loce)

MATT SHWACHMAN
Uncharted Territory

12-song CD

We are indeed all searching
for something and according to his one-sheet, Matt Shwachman is seeking
“melody, motion, and fulfillment of the mind.” His contemplative,
soulful lyrics are alive with philosophical themes, yet maintain a straightforward
approach. In this way, audiences of any generation can easily
relate: there is no guesswork. Irony and metaphors are simply
not present here. Instead, listeners are greeted with simple,
inspirational messages of hope. Gentle, melodic grooves are reminiscent
of John Mayer’s debut album, Room for Squares, as well as the
Dave Matthews Band. With tunes such as these, it’s no wonder
Shwachman has been featured in a variety of places—on over 150 college
radio stations, as well as the television series, One Tree Hill.
Here’s to many more! Uncharted Territory is a solid,
likeable effort—ear pleasing with a coffee-shop ambiance.
(Julia R. DeStefano)

LOS WUNDER TWINS
DEL RAP

Los Wunder Twins Del
Record Label
Activate
13-song CD
Upon listening to the
first track, I was dreading writing this review. It sounded exactly
like the Beastie Boys, who I simply cannot stand. But then a few tracks
later, we have “Practice,” which is a good track with a sick beat
and rhymes. Likewise with “Puttin on the Crew,” a rehash of “Puttin
on the Ritz.” These guys embrace the whimsical with their beats, ala
Jedi Mind Tracks. But then in track 4, “Drink Beer and Get Laid,”
we’re back to the Beastie Boys thing. Then comes “Janie Jones,”
which features Lenny Lashley of Darkbuster. This is a badass punk song
and I’m really digging it. But I’m so confused! I really like some
of these songs, and strongly dislike others. Each song sounds completely
different from the last; I think there are like 10 different genres
on this one CD. The good part about this is no matter what kind of music
you prefer, there’s bound to be at least one song on this album you’ll
like! (Emsterly)

IRON OAK
Iron Oak
7-song CD
Stop here if you don’t
like metal up your ass, as they used to say back in the day of denim
and leather. The song “Spin Madly” echoes “Metal Gods” by Judas
Priest via Danzig vocals. What’s that you say? Metal is for morons?
How many thrash bands at the Palladium will include lyrics like “On
days when elderly men shuffle home with their loose leaf for letters
they won’t live to write, the devil is real in shoelaces coming untied,
or ice melting in streams, the arrival of spring, the slow respiration
of tides.” There are plenty of dirgy Trouble or Candlemass parts,
mixed with the expected Helloween Walls Of Jericho
era speed. “Black Sara” may remind you of Children of the Grave,
but not enough to sue. Take that phone out of your trembling hands,
Ozzy! Iron Oak might be metal thrashing mad, but producer Ron Poitras
works his alchemy well here. They are not reinventing the wheel but
are driving it straight on the highway to hell. This is the Boston metal
band for the next decade or my name’s not T Max. (Hey, wait a minute…)
(Eric Baylies)

THE NUBBISH
Bridgewater Triangle
Records
Blumpkins by the
Bagful

11-song CD
Their website touts “…gravelly
baritone barking out dissertations on such topics as charlatanry, harlotry,
ethno-centrics, drunkards, perverts, and the whole gamut of questionable
human behavior on top of a grinding rock tracks [sic] that draws comparison
to Alice in Chains, Deep Purple, ZZ Top, and Soundgarden.” Huh? Too
bad they forgot to mention the sub-junior high mentality. Really, guys,
WHY? There’s considerable talent afoot here (namely the lead guitar),
and apparently a shitload of cash behind it (judging by the 12-page
color insert), so WHY squander it all on songs about getting kicked in
the nuts, taking a dump, and rape jokes? Not only ain’t it funny,
it wouldn’t work if they were serious. Sadder still, they look to
be about my age (old), for Chrissake. Okay, there is one funny
thing, the ironic disclaimer: “This disc is guaranteed to be free
from defects or it will be replaced,” noting that the song “Butt-Cheese
(On the Bus)” contains intentional skipping that’s “intended as
artistic effect.” The record plays just fine. It’s the notion that
any of this is artistic that’s defective. Can I still replace it? With
something else entirely? It doesn’t specify. I refuse to quote any
lyrics on principle (something I usually enjoy when they’re awful),
but I’ll concede that one does sum it up nicely: “It’s all there
to keep the cattle confused.” (Joe Coughlin)

FREQUENCY 7
Frequency 7
4-song CD
This EP is a tight
blend of funk, hip hop, indie rock and old school R&B. The
rap and vocals sound like a wedding band version of Red Hot Chili Peppers
with a melodic saxophone. That’s no insult. How many rock/rap/funk
songs have acoustic guitar, harmonies and saxophone? Despite the
sterile “studioized” sound, the music is tight and energetic. I
wish the album credits were a little less vague. The drummer listed
apparently did not play on the record, but there is no credit for who
actually played. Pity, because the drumming is pretty good.
In a city where this style of music gets little attention and is frequently
underwhelming, I am sure with a new band name, these guys won’t stay
local for long. (Joel Simches)

FLY UPRIGHT KITE
Weightless
6-song CD
This is obviously a
band that cares not only about making good music, but making music good.
The songs on this album are lush, soaring, and anthemic, with layers
of guitars, vocals, and ambience. While at times, this could sound
like Sigur Ros and Coldplay had a bastard Autotune child, each song
is memorable and powerful. The violin plays a major role in this band,
equal to the guitar in mix, in a scene where such a thing would be relegated
to “special guest” status merely window dressing. To me, this
is what a perfect album sounds like. Eargasms like this are rare
and elusive. Please make more music soon! (Joel
Simches)

THE HIGH SEAS
Kicking In Records
Threads
5-song CD
The High Seas conjures
the arty, proto-emo sounds of bands like Television, Polvo, Fugazi,
and Firehose. There are lots of angst, tempo changes, and interesting
grooves. This first “official” release on their own label
has an energy on display that is urgent and immediate. Their angular,
off-kilter approach to songwriting is something that will hopefully
set themselves apart from similarly influenced bands and is a welcome
change from a genre of self important, entitled complacency. It
is clear that this band wants to set themselves apart from that stylistic
sensibility. Very awesome stuff! (Joel Simches)

THE FRANKLIN KITE
Science Time Records
Explosions &
Batteries

6-song CD
Electronic indie pop
never sounded as inviting as it does on this disc. The Franklin
Kite’s latest boasts the use of a device called Drumchuck, a midi
drum controller made for Wii remotes. Yes, air drumming is now
a technical reality! The songs are fresh and mature, with plenty
of irony. Some of their excursions into singer songwriter territory
are somewhat reminiscent of some of REM’s low-key moments, with flashes
of Bruce Hornsby and Jack Johnson. While I wish this EP had more
of the clever electronica of the first two songs, the middle of the
road songs at least had more musical heft and arrangement than the usual
songwriter pablum. (Joel Simches)

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Brown Bag Propaganda
Radio Riot! Volume
One: Independent Music for the Masses

26-song CD
From the bowels of
Saint Louis, Brown Bag Propaganda has brought together 26 punk bands
from around and just outside country and put them in a (yep, you guessed
it) brown paper bag. New England is well represented by Tony Jones
& the Cretin 3 and their anthemic “Cindy Was a Terrorist.”
Their high energy ditty fits well with the Ramones/Pistols/Oi!-inflected
punk rock on display. If you buy this just for Tony Jones & the
Cretin 3, you won’t find the rest of this disappointing in the least.
This is a rock solid compilation, worthy of a plain brown paper bag.
(Joel Simches)

RADIO CONTROL
Breaker, Breaker,
1!2!3!4!

6-song CD
After what appears
to be a fairly intense mock police radio introduction, I was expecting
something a little more aggro, a little more rocking. Instead
we have some cute and clever punk/pop songs with a Monkees Lunchbox/Hello
Kitty Sneakers attitude. From the instrumentation, the band could
easily elicit comparisons to the White Stripes because they are a boy/girl
guitar/drums lineup, but with songs like “Pretty, Pretty Kitty,”
and “Riding Bikes” the comparison is merely superficial. This band
is obviously green and still finding its way, singing songs about mayors
and riding bikes in Boston, but their sound is too gimmicky to take
their social commentary seriously. (Joel Simches)

FRANCESCA REGGIO
& BLUE SHIFT

Bluekay Music
Static of Motion
6-song CD
Francesca Reggio and
her band, Blue Shift, claim that their music is “bringing it back
to the days of the accessible, self-deprecating live show.”
In the process they’re also bringing back the days where female fronted
singer songwriter music sounded trite, predictable, and virtually indistinguishable
from every other songwriter to ever attend the Berklee College of Music.
Reggio has a bright and pretty voice, but clearly got good grades alongside
the likes of Paula Cole in “Woah-oh-o-Woah 101” class. There
is absolutely nothing here that hasn’t been done better by nearly
everyone else in the genre, fifteen or so years ago. (Joel
Simches)

AUDITORY IMPLANT
Spice Rack Records
This Time
10-song CD
Listening to the first
song, I’m pleasantly reminded of the old times, great songwriting,
skilled musicianship and heavy riffery of the shining metal trio King’s
X. For those who aren’t in the know regarding that Texas band, look
them up. The next tune starts with a solid rip-off of a Primus riff,
followed by a Metallica-esque double bass drum and guitar riff. This
combined formula is pushed a bit thin on the third tune. Fourth tune,
they’re in the formula with some jazzy vocal interludes. The rest
of the songs can be left to your imagination. I’d like to give credit
where credit is due, because these guys have an incredibly tight, polished
sound. My issue is just that they seem to be hitting the bottom of the
chili pot in regard to the “originality” of the songs from piece
to piece. I would have digested an EP easier, that’s all I’m saying.
(Mike Loce)

RADIO TAXI
100 Years
10-song CD
Radio Taxi arose from
the ashes of Lusting Kay, but it should have stayed buried. This is
a collection of pop songs without any memorable hooks, and the production
is among the worst I’ve encountered. To be fair, the musicianship
of John and Keith Menard is decent throughout, but it’s nearly impossible
to get past the shortcomings of the vocals. Jessica Kern’s singing
is consistently lethargic, colorless and, with the exception of one
number in which her thin voice is layered on top of itself, often buried
into the mix. It doesn’t take long for this to become actively distracting.
The fact that several of the songs just seem to sputter to an end is
also a point of annoyance. The alternapop feel of the Menard brothers’
instrumentation makes me wonder if their previous band name was meant
to pay homage to Kay Hanley. Now there’s someone who could have breathed
some life into this record. (Kevin Finn)

THE GENTLEMEN’S
BET

From a Great Height

10-song CD
Ah, yes, Mrs. Slimedog
here, top reviewer of the Noise and soon to be Rolling Stone
reviewer, the magazine devoted to the Rolling Stones. I would like to
take this moment and announce my new magazine, Beatle,
that will not deal with their old catalog but exclusively with any current
recorded Beatles material. It should be a smash! Well, let’s get the
show on the street.

These gentlemen describe
their music as “the Rolling Stones took acid and jammed with the Zombies
and the Memphis Horns.” Gee, even Slimedog knows that when the Stones
took acid to create something they ended up with “Satanic Mammary
Recess” (um, not their best). Nice arrangements and nice horn parts
here do not make up for the boring songs and bland vocals. I do like
the ending of the first and sixth song though, very much. Next
time I would suggest imagining the Rolling Stones on heroin as it seems
that’s when they were at their best. Tah, tah, I’m off to do my
hair. (Mrs. Slimedog)

If you’re sending a CD in to
the Noise make sure to use our new address.
And everyone else should
update our contact info too. Thanks.


T Max/ the Noise
24 Beverly Drive
Georgetown, MA 01833
978-352-8656
tmaxnoise@aol.com


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