SILVER CIRCLES REVIEWS Oct10


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SUMMER VILLIANS
Halloweenilicious
13-song CD
Before I get into cutting the small strips of flesh needed to complete my mask from the back of this unsuspecting creeper that had the misfortune of answering my latest Craigslist ad. I would like to advise you not to fight, or run away, simply take a moment and listen to this CD. It would be a great addition to any Halloween butchering soundtrack. Heed the creepy old man’s warning about impending doom that starts off this collection of more than novelty songs. I say more than novelty, because a lot of work and production went into this. It doesn’t sound like a quick throwaway, “let us cash in on a holiday” CD. The songs are well- thought out and usually comical. The most impressive part of this whole CD is the various styles it contains. “The Haunted Guitar” is a rockabilly tune; “Ghost Attack” has a rap in it, and “Halloween Danger Scene” sounds like something out a video game. I’m almost always against all things Bieber, but I can stand behind “Justin Bieber in the Haunted Graveyard.” The songs are all clean enough that the whole family can listen in as they pass out the razor-filled candy bars to the masses of small monsters that plague the neighborhoods on All Hallows Eve, shouting their evil trick or treat curses as they pass by. As “Scream Song” states very clearly, it’s okay to screammm! (Melvin O)

JENNY DEE & THE DEELINQUENTS
Q-dee
Keeping Time
11-song CD
Even though the Deelinquents are a great band (including guitarist Tony Goddess and bassist Ed Valauskas) and the background singers are solid, there is little question that it’s the strong and powerful singing of Jenny Dee (D’Angora) that makes this record as impressive as it is. Borrowing heavily from ’60s garage rock and the early girl groups, Jenny and company add their own modernized twist. They are also aided sonically with a superior production from Matt Beaudoin (Q Division), which only brightens the package. From the opening song, “Keeping Time,” to “You’re The Best Thing,” all the tracks (penned by D’Angora) are tight and moving numbers. As a bonus the band covers “Shake Some Action” (Flamin’ Groovies), which features Joe Guese from the Click 5 on 12-string guitar. Although this song has been covered by many, they indeed do this classic justice. The record is great, but the live experience is where you really start to groove when it comes to this outfit. (Steev Riccardo)

DUKE ROBILLARD
Stony Plain Records
Passport to the Blues
13-song CD
Although I’m clearly aware of the scope and prestige of local blues legend Duke Robillard, I must admit to only a marginal interest. Once the founder of Roomful of Blues, he has since created a 30-year career of blues, swing, jazz, jump, and roots guitar prowess with an array of talented musicians. Last year, he almost won a Grammy for “Stompin’ the Blues Tonight,” losing to Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, to which he quipped: “Sure am glad I lost to someone older than me!”

Well folks, let me tell ya that fans say this brand new album is a stone return to Duke’s grittiest roots—dirty, gutsy, house-rockin’, shack shakin’, finger bustin’, git-tar blues. Many clever, well-spun original compositions—often with current themes: “Workin’ for My Uncle (Sam),” “Text Me,” “When You’re Old, You’re Cold”—are clearly inspired and enthusiastic. He covers Tom Waits’ “Make It Rain” (with whom he toured several years ago) and it storms down the gates. Through many of the tunes, he even sounds like Waits (though both model after Howlin’ Wolf). An old friend, Brad Hallen, has joined on bass to team up with Mark Teixeira on drums to create a formidable rhythm section, aided by Doug James on saxes and Bruce Bears on keys. This musically-connected quartet dynamically and ably support Duke through his powerful guitar romps. The camaraderie is so positive and high octane, this album is a sure-fire winner!
(Harry C. Tuniese)

JORDAN VALENTINE & THE SUNDAY SAINTS
Never Souled Out Records
Van Van & Cleo May
10-song CD
I am a great admirer of the Stax/Volt sound but I can’t really completely wrap my hand around this recreation of its archetypes and tropes. Many of these production techniques utilized on this overly bright and transparent recording make the songs themselves seem slightly off as though even the originals are karaoke renditions of half-remembered classics rather than a set of fully-realized, completely home-spun songs within a recognizable tradition. I hate to adopt the pose of a mere purist: on the one hand, purists can be infuriating, because their self-styled standards often seem arbitrary and even unjustifiable. Yet, on the other hand, where is the unique selling proposition to be found in this assemblage of horn-slathered, easy-listening smooth soul and slick, boilerplate funk? “Follow Me” gives our hypothetical purist a starting point from which to praise the band and its vocalist for a bravura performance, but overall I’m just not getting into this. (Francis DiMenno)

JASON BENNETT & THE RESISTANCE
2:59 to Salvation
7-song CD
A good number of the Boston-area punk bands I’ve heard recently have seemed quite interchangeable, so it’s especially rewarding to listen to an artist whose individuality constantly sucks me in. Jason Bennett is one of those artists. He manages to be familiar in the sense that the minute that first guitar riff or vocal hits your stereo, you know it’s him, but at the same time, this release sees him (along with his trusty and powerful Resistance) going in enough different directions to keep things constantly intriguing. His previous release, Hope Dies Last, had more of a straight-up punk feel, but here we get snippets of hardcore and even a touch of acoustic guitar. Bennett continues to spit out his biting lyrics like he knows they’re God’s truth, but never at the expense of a good hook. And while song titles like “The Banners Won’t Make You Bulletproof” let the listener know that he or she is going to be expected to use his or her noggin, this record still feels like a damn good time. (Kevin Finn)

JON WATERMAN
New Roots Records
Waterman
13-song CD
There is something incredibly refreshing about a singer-songwriter who, despite being subjected to the fabricated, overly synthesized music of his peers, remains true to good ol’ Americana roots. It is this “retro” quality that transports the listener to a simpler time, one of Gram Parsons, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash. A good-hearted, God-fearing Christian (“Baptize Me in the Mississippi River”), the protagonist of Waterman’s saga is continuously led astray by the Devil. His beliefs and perceptions are challenged by the lure of moonshine (“Satan’s Own Still”), the promise of fame and fortune (“Jersey Blues”), and a torrid love affair (“Error of My Ways”) in which he sings, “And she was what I thought I wanted/ Calling out for me/ And I got lost in that sultry, smoky haze/ And now too late, I see the error of my ways.” A natural-born storyteller, one can easily envision Waterman crooning these songs by a blazing campfire, interjecting every now and then personal anecdotes and historical tales similar to those told throughout “Radiator Booze” and “Sultana,” the Civil War steamship. Of the do-it-yourself approach in every sense of the word, Waterman has put forth an edgy, bluesy, and compelling creation that is every bit heartfelt. (Julia R. DeStefano)

GOZU
Small Stone Records
Locust Season
9-song CD
Gozu comes on like a hurricane-force gale, and your cheap-ass umbrella just busted on you. Presumably named after the awesome 2003 Takashi Miike film, the music is not as messed up as its namesake, but whoever came up with the band name knows their cult films. Vocals sound like Chris Cornell and some Dave Wyndorf with the fat guy from Canned Heat in there too. I like the way the guy sings “little motherfucker” on “Mr. Riddle”—bad-ass. This music makes me want to get super-baked. If these guys don’t like the weed, I’ll eat my bloody insoles and pee on a box of Twinkies! Tuneage fucking swings like sledgehammers on a gopher’s head. It more than makes up for some of the silly song titles here: “Regal Beagle” (isn’t that the bar in Three’s Company?) “Jan-Michael Vincent”? “Kam Fong as Chin Ho”? (Were you guys in Presley before this?) I like the “Back in Black” tribute on the intro of “Meat Charger.” The Annie song—not so much. I’m kinda pissed that I missed their Middle East show. (Tony Mellor)

DAN KING
Light City
11-song CD
Normally I’m not a fan of live CDs. I don’t care how famous the artist is, I just hate the crowd screaming, the quality, and the long instrumental jams, but I should give them more of a chance and I’ll always give local artists a listen. Dan King and his accompanying band are quite the established artists with impressive backgrounds all around. Their smoky folk-blues-rock mix gives off an easy and soulful vibe. The first tune, however, is one of the reasons I’ve been anti-live CDs as it comes off muffled and inconsistent-sounding but after that, the sound was warm, even, and not at all distracting. Listening to this CD feels as intimate as I’m sure the performance was and that’s a great accomplishment of an act to capture that feel. The 11-songer features some great originals as well as a few cool covers of tunes by Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, Johnny Mercer, and a couple more. And another reason to give this live CD a chance: I’m in love with the percussion throughout. (Debbie Catalano)

KLAPKA
Klapka Music Co.
Version 5.5
15-song CD
Sometimes (rarely) a CD comes along that really gives you a good sense of change. This is an ALBUM, a complete vision of musical work, which currently seems under-appreciated, at least in terms of how our culture consumes music. Anyway, Klapka is a schooled bassist/composer from the Czech Republic, who defected to New England in the ’80s, and now resides in New Hampshire. He describes his sound as “bass-powered poly-ethnic savage pop rock fusion.” That’s true. In terms of the sound of the compositions, I might add neo-psychedelic Eastern Beatleseque vibe, super heavy riff-based constructions, tender melodicism, awareness of styles such as ’80s pop, ’70s fusion a la Weather Report, and just a knack for making it all sound 2010. Considering Klapka is not even from the USA, his lyrics speak of a wistful yearn for the IDEAS that made America what it once was, along with a righteous anger at how the country is in the shitter. GREAT. www.klapkamusic.us. (Mike Loce)

THE SOMETHING
What Would You Do If I Were You?
12-song CD
So I’m lookin’ at this CD from the New England based band The Something—the wha?, and I’m left with nooooo idea what this bands music will sound like. The cover art features a press photo with three dudes lookin’ like they crawled out of an office cubicle. Maybe It will be some slick, over- produced music-school inspired pseudo-jazz from hell? Woooohaaaa! No! Upon listening to all 12 tracks of What Would You Do If I Were You?, I find that it sounds like a photo of three gritty funk-metal, long haired dudes would. I haven’t heard influences like this since Boston’s own Extreme graced the stage of Bunratty’s. This power trio of well-dressed lads are layin’ down some rippin’ groovy shit. What sets it apart from the ’80s version of this genre are the unique vocals. The band features vocals from Marc Sherman and Jeff Pongonis. One of these gents has an excellent Blind Melon tone that rips and croons over this funky bunch of choppy gems. If you don’t like it, get the funk out! (Lance Woodward)

GIRL HAGGARD
Country and Eastern
10-song CD
I seriously love this CD. It is a very quirky mix of the best of country with a splash of punk. This is white trash at its best. The only way I could love this CD more would be if I lived in a double wide, had a mullet, and sat on my patch of grass in a plastic chair, sipping a PBR, scratching my gut through a white wife beater. The songs are about drinking, love, a ’56 Ford and drinking. Mandy’s vocals have a deep whiny twang, and it is hilarious during “Early and Often” to hear her say “do a bootie dance.” It however is not all fun and games, even though the CD is very playful, it covers serious issues; in “Hungover/Pissed Off” we find out how being awakenedearly after a night of hard drinking, leaves a person pretty pissed off. It is a cautionary tale for the ages. “Drunk, Broke and in Love” features Hank Sinatra, Jr. This song is a perfect example of white trash love; one of the lyrics is “You say get a job, and I say shut up! Even Building 19 makes you piss in a cup.” This band takes what Exene and John Doe started twenty years ago, perfects it, then takes it into a whole new direction of greatness. (Melvin O.)

DARK MARTINI & THE DIRTY OLIVES
Rapeesh Records
It’s Easier to Drink Than Change

12-song CD
Sometimes a record just leaves me so uninspired and/or uninterested, that I really don’t know what to say. It’s not the terrible records that leave me wordless; those are easy, as most reviewers will agree that the bad reviews can be a blast to write. They give you the chance to be witty and make random comparisons and show the world just how much more clever you are than the people making the music. The guys in Dark Martini and the Dirty Olives did not do me the justice of making a really horrible album that would lead me into easy jokes about needing to have downed several martinis just to make it through the record. Nope, they just made a proficiently performed, but emotionally sterile bar band record. At times it rocks, but never too hard. At times it’s a bit bluesy or jazzy, but never enough to make you actually feel anything. This is in no way a horrible album, but a week from now, I won’t remember a thing from it. (Kevin Finn)

ARTHUR NASSON
Echo Garden
18-song CD
Echo Garden—such a nice, fitting title and it really does capture the dreamy journey on which this CD takes you—which is down a low-fi, subtle, mesmerizing musical path. Arthur Nasson has put together a mini masterpiece, really. He overlaps and weaves his stylistic inspirations through this beautiful three-part CD. It sounds distinct yet effortless. To get across that this is like a story—or really the aforementioned journey—to me is quite an accomplishment, yet the string of songs takes the listener right along on that voyage. The instrumentation is gorgeous and lilting at times, darkly jaunty at other times, and retro boogie-woogie pop rock at other moments. The feel is that of a movie soundtrack because the primarily instrumental songs (though some have vocals) do feel as though are part of a tale. Enjoyable, relaxing, thoughtful, interesting, this feels like a very personal project that Arthur Nasson is sharing with us. How lucky we are that he has. (Debbie Catalano)

MARK MANDEVILLE

Nobody’s Favorite Records
No Big Plans
10-song CD
One of the nice things about doing these reviews for the past several years is discovering that New England actually has a good number of folks who make music with a delightfully non-hokey twang. Given this winning collection of intimate, subtle songs, Mark Mandeville proves to be a standout amongst that group. Backed by very spare instrumentation and a good amount of welcome empty space, Mandeville delivers songs about life’s smaller moments, the ones that we actually live out every day. While his worn-in voice doesn’t have a ton of range, it does convey an effective and varied mix of color and emotion. The best songs are given a boost by the backing vocals of the very talented Raianne Richards, whose thick and powerful voice provides an intriguing counterpoint to Mandeville’s. At times, while listening to this record, you can feel the chilly breeze and see the leaves changing color, making this a perfect fit for the onset of fall. (Kevin Finn)

LUKE JAMES & THE LOCKSTEADIES
Diamonds in the Dark
8-song CD
Well, I suppose it’s about time for the almost extinct, once-ubiquitous upstroking off-beating hell-beast known as ska to re-emerge from its so-far-underground exile for another reincarnation—I just wish it could wait a few more years to skank back into the earholes of the populace. Not that Luke James & the Locksteadies bleed only in black and white if they were pricked, if ya know what I mean. In some places, the lead guitar work has a bit of a bluesy Tex-Mex tone to it. In other places, threads of funk and metal weave their way into the song structures. Thankfully, the sound is fairly original—I’m particularly thankful for the lack of a horn section—that shit is so played out for me that I’d be tipping a Port-A-Potty over and smearing whatever came out all over this thing with a paintbrush. So thanks for not doing that, guys. All in all, it’s not my thing, but I do like tracks “The Well,” and “So Good at Doing Bad” And “Stoned Coyote” is a good, ambitious album opener. (Tony Mellor)

THE CHEMICAL DISTANCE
Bluntface Records
The Pain & The Progress
13-song CD

Formed by Otto Kinzel, a self-described “musical chameleon,” the Chemical Distance’s full-length is a conglomeration of danceable techno, electronic, industrial, and rap genres. Although the concept itself is intriguing, each track is weighed down by computerized, sci-fi elements which only serve to detract from the music’s sincerity by drowning it in over-the-top repetition. Kinzel and his band members are undoubtedly talented for having even dreamt up such a project, and for that, they deserve credit for their efforts. To those who take pleasure in experimental, mechanized sounds, and in ear-spitting noise —this disc is suited for you.
(Julia R. DeStefano)

THE USUAL SUSPECTS
Old Fat and Bitter
10-song CD
I’m so sick of what has been dubbed as punk over the last few years. It seems that anyone who picks up a guitar, has a stupid haircut, and whines about things being unfair is now a punk icon. But the Usual Suspects are what I feel real punk is. They have always been more than just music, they’re a complete package. This CD displays all the aspects of what being a punk is all about. Every song has a message that is delivered in short hard bursts, but isn’t preachy. They don’t apologize for insulting the masses “Say What You Want (We Don’t Care)” point blank says they will piss you off. They sing about having a great time drinking with friends, and even pull in other local bands to sing along on “I Am Providence.” They take a dig at the hipsters that seem to flock to the scene just to say they are a part of something in “How Ironic.” So if you’re sick of the mass-produced crap that radio stations try to pass off as good punk rock, look no further. This is good, old fashioned punk rock music. It makes no excuses, is in your face, is loud, and it has substance. The band says what they need to say, nothing is ever hidden—like the song says, they are as subtle as a “Brick Through A Window.” (Melvin O.)

1476

A Wolf’s Age
14-song CD
This is a band that presents itself as a Luciferian/pagan/witchy topical collective, at least in their lyrical output. Musically, however, the sound doesn’t fully deliver. The best the band sounds in weaving these interesting mythical stories is when the music recalls western alternative punk in a minor key. These tunes are really strong, the western chord changes mixed with a distorted, current awareness of the style. Acoustic makes an appearance here and there. Vocals are honest and melodic. The band sounds better on each repeated listen, which I think is a good thing. The thing is, the filler tunes are too uptempo for this subject matter, in my opinion. The first tune for example, had me almost throwing the CD out for its 1996 derivative pop mashup. Luckily I had the patience to stay around. So to summarize (says professor Loce), the message and stories of 1476 work in my ear to the strains of a hyperwestern twangy Johnny Cash-meets Lemonheads grind. Dig it. (Mike Loce)

RIGEL
Xenophobia
9-song CD
So the other day I was spinning Seymour, my cat, around in his toy jet airplane and the string broke and he went flying out into the street! Just then an ice wagon came down the street and somebody screamed. You should’ve heard just what I seen! But he just sailed under the moving wagon to the other side of the street unharmed. Silly kitty.

Oh, I forgot, please allow me to introduce my presents; I am Mrs. Slimedog, top reviewer, most knowledgeable writer and best square dancer of the Noise. Also, I coined the popular term “reception top.”


This band says their “plethora of influences include Depeche Mode, U2, Joy Division, Nine Inch Nails, and Megadeth”—you’d think they just might pick someone I’ve heard of? Anyways, this band sings like robots with their heads cut off. The music sounds like machines, also, but I think machines play with more feeling. Slimedog says this is the most pretentious music he’s ever heard but I think he is for using that word. He says it sounds nothing like those bands but more like some horrible pop/prog band like Styx or Asia. I don’t think it’s too bad, more like if Miley Cyrus and Andre Bocelli collaborated musically or maybe in creating a new race.


So, I guess no thump ups for these guys. I’m off to put Seymour into his blue sailor suit; I bought him a new sailboat! Come sail away with me! (Mrs. Slimedog)

THE BATTLESHIPS COMETH
Repeated Kicks
7-song CD
There’s a line in an Okkervil River song that goes “You’ve got taste/ You’ve got taste/ What waste that that’s all that you have.” You know what’s an even bigger sin? Having no taste at all. We’re looking at you Battleships Cometh. From the cheesy opening wah-drenched guitar lick of “Kata of the Man Bear” to the two “bonus” demos tacked on at the end, this record is an exercise in tastelessness. A distorted spoken word part, slap-bass featured ridiculously high in the mix… there’s not a goofy production trick that isn’t tried here. Of course, I get why they do it. The songs lack focus, heavy but not heavy enough and groovy but not groovy enough. Vocalist Leilani manages to be both overpowering and forgettable. When the battleships truly do cometh, let’s hope they destroy all of this band’s gear. (Kevin Finn)

CLARA BERRY

Creature
5-song CD
Greetings, Zortar here, space alien inhabiting the objectionable, oblong, orgiastic, orotund, ostentatious, oxycontin-addicted vessel known as Slimedog. What a thankless, unpleasant task, indeed.

But today I have the utmost pleasure of reviewing Clara Berry, a young woman I have reviewed in the past. While I showered accolades upon her singer/songwriter solo piano work before I am quite dismayed by her turn toward death metal. Only kidding, but she is now accompanied by other humans who play strings, drums and other things. I would usually warn anyone from consorting with humans in any form, such a vile lot you all seem to be, but here it seems to have worked out without any form of violence. Imagine that! Clara, whom I assume is Chuck’s daughter, is a very talented singer/pianist in the Kate Bush/Tori Amos mould. In fact, she makes me recall when I saw Kate Bush touring my planet in the nineties.

In conclusion I find her classically influenced sound with little dissonances thrown in quite pleasant to appreciate. (Slimedog)

THE WEISSTRONAUTS
Sool Recordings
In Memphis
4-song CD
The “Memphis Sound” has served Pete Weiss and his band well. Absolutely bluesy gut-bucket treatments of four songs exist on this little CD. It has gotten multiple rotations in my car’s stereo. All instrumental, just the type of stuff my fretting and picking hands yearn for. It’s small dosage and strong quality, like a good martini or absinthe. They credit the echo chamber used to season the tracks, but it’s not just that; the great sound is the sound of a band who knows they sound great. Follow? (Mike Loce)

SHONEY LAMAR & THE EQUAL RIGHTS

Revenge of the Narrator
6-song CD
The smell of whiskey and cigarette smoke permeated the basement as the band tuned up for another take. They wrote a bunch of songs and played them really loud. The songs on this EP are concise little anecdotes about real people who just do stuff. The songwriting style reminds me of local band Me & Joan Collins or Mascara with a slight southern drawl. One can tell from the first listen of this DIY effort that Shoney Lamar and the Equal Rights clearly are adept at turning a phrase on its head and giving it a little bit of an attitude. The band seems on the edge of losing control and that fine balance of control and chaos make this an exciting listen. (Joel Simches)

THIS BLUE HEAVEN
Spinning and Shining
5-song CD
Unbelievably bubbly, This Blue Heaven’s latest release is everything it implies and then some. The toe-tapping, otherworldly opener, “Nova Love,” has the potential to be a huge radio single: “Fireflies in the summer sky/ A white flash like a thousand dreams alive/ And if you try, you might just catch a few/ So why keep your world apart/ A star bursting blast about to start…” A bright pop confection, each track is lighthearted and dazzling, beckoning listeners forth into a realm of never-ending smiles, belly laughs, great big bear hugs, and rainbows. Let’s face it, who among us couldn’t use more of those things? (Julia R. DeStefano)

COO & HOWL
Water Came & Cooled Us All
6-song CD
Coo & Howl are a dynamic band that mixes smooth rhythms, melodic harmonies and crafty musicianship. The sounds are both exciting and relaxing at the same time; like a canoe ride through a beautiful stream as it meanders down a pristine river. Not surprisingly, the songs have an aquatic theme. Some of my favorite tracks are “Big Blue Heron (parts 1-3) and “Sea Dragon Shaped.” The layered vocals make for a fascinating listen, taking the listener to a new dimension in which acoustics shimmer and shake and the lyrics soar like eagles. I have also been privileged to see this band live and they can put one quite a show as well. If you want the have fun, relaxing, audio experience, check out Coo & Howl. (Kier Byrnes)

SWITCHBLADE SUICIDE
Suicide Strip
Japanese Release
4-song CD
First off, why the hell is this EP called Japanese Release? Cheap Trick’s At Budokan album was originally a Japanese-only release—this ain’t. There’s geishas on the cover—just call the damn thing “We Like Japanese Shit” and give away free Pocky with purchase… Anyway, on to the music. Switchblade Suicide are total run-of-the-mill bah-band suburban hard rawk—listen to that cowbell intro on “Stronger.” It’s Guns N’ Roses without the danger and Mötley Crüe without the swagger. They got the chops, but they lack attitude. Power-ballad “Wasted Time” lives up to its name. These guys need to develop drug habits or something. (Tony Mellor)

FOUR POINT RESTRAINTS
The Borderline Sessions
4-song CD
They’re a little bit rockabilly. They’re a little theatric. They’re a little cynical. And while their demo sounds a little like a bad dub from a broken iPod, the music is energetic and engaging. It is almost easy to overlook that high-end mp3/YouTube munch when the music is this good. The mix of country, cabaret, and macabre is the perfect soundtrack for the rape and murder of a loved one caught on tape, and/or a house party with latex and Cool Whip. Listen to this on Mom’s pills. I did. Oh look, Purple. Can’t wait to see this band play live to see if my conjured imagery is a build up or a let down. (Joel Simches)

THE ISLAND EFFECT
The Island Effect
6-song CD
An all too brief debut by a promising new group coming straight out of Cambridge. This is the sound of a band finding its identity before our ears. Will they polish it up in the studio next time and sound like Hum or Archers of Loaf, perhaps raking the cash in the process? Or will they keep offering us rough diamonds, shining brilliantly through the mist of time and production like Northern Liberties, 6 Star General, and Happy Flowers? Either way it should be awesome. This record has a little of both lo fi and dreamscapes. This is a great album, a nice surprise.
(Eric Baylies)


SERIAL THRILLERS
iMedia Entertainment
Serial Thrillers
5-song CD
Proof that big business and the producer are controlling what you hear, and not the artist. At least if you still consider mainstream radio, MTV, and such as a pertinent influence on the country’s music consummation.

Hailing from much maligned and misunderstood Chelmsford, MA, the recording was made at Bopnique Musique, in North Chelmsford, a section of town looked down even MORE upon by the Chelmsford natives. In terms of perfection of the vocal harmonies, I could mention bands as varied as King’s X, Dada, and Fall Out Boy.


The rock-based composition is on an interestingly high level, say approaching the Queen aesthetic. Guitar is a strong presence, which means a lot to me. Good solos and riff-based construction. (Mike Loce)

FOG WIZARD
Neverwife Records
Enter The Fog
4-song CD
This EP sounds like the song in Cheech and Chong’s Earache My Eye. Yes, the entire EP sounds like a ’70s parody of a metal band trying to sound scary and evil. Unfortunately Fog Wizard is about as scary as a hayride at Spooky World and about as entertaining. The people who take this band seriously are probably members of the Tea Party who think masturbation should be outlawed, women in the military are a sexy distraction, and Sarah Palin is a MILF. While it takes a lot of talent to make music that is as stupid as this, I would prefer they simply left their talent sputtered on a towel at the end of the bed. (Joel Simches)

KEVIN KELLIHER
Memphis
4-song CD
What is it about songs about Memphis? I mean, I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s one of the most fun, exciting cities in America. But what songs does it inspire people to write about? Dull ones like “Walking in Memphis,” even a great songwriter like Chuck Berry (father of Clara) his song “Memphis” is not one of his best. Now we got another dull one by Kevin Kelliher. Beale Street in Memphis is full of nice people, delicious food and smokin’ rhythm and blues coming out of a dozen funky joints. Don’t expect none of that here. Here we got plod along folk/country tunes tastefully drenched in boredom. Only plusses for me are some nice harmonies and its brevity—“only four songs.”

I vote to change the title of this CD to Chelmsford or maybe to some town in Connecticut. I would rather have sex with Zortar’s non-existent genitals than to listen to this again. (Slimedog)

THE MURDER
’Til Death
6-song CD
I wish I could get excited about this EP, but it’s just another generic punk band with a band name more impressive than their music, which is pedestrian at best. Their first song is dedicated to the fine city of Boston, guaranteed to get the drunken fans at the Midway to raise their Buds in tribute. The rest is just simply boring. Songs about drinking, fighting, and running from the law, with lots of references to death and killing (Get it? Their album is called ’Til Death—see what they did there?) Ho Hum. Fortunately the album picks up a bit of steam and gets a little more adventurous. They have a reggae rapper, rapping about murder. Too bad they didn’t let him finish the song. This is 17 minutes of my life I want back. (Joel Simches)


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And everyone else should
update our contact info too. Thanks.


T Max/ the Noise
24 Beverly Drive
Georgetown, MA 01833
978-352-8656
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