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vol 8 - issue 05 (jan 2006) :: entertainmental
RE: VIEWS (LISTEN)
Compiled by the staff of TLC
Above image by Kathrine Berger

Here's what's making love to our ears this month. Click on the artist's name to visit their website, and click on the title to buy it on Amazon.
 

 
 
It’s so rare for an album conceived and performed by one person to sound so much like a full band. I must admit, it’s a little difficult to pin down an album this ambitious, but from the all-out rockers to the strumming ballads, writer/vocalist/guitarist Christopher Taylor wins you over with a heartfelt voice and great music.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Night Watchman

 
GUTTERMOUTH - BEYOND WARPED (Immergent Records)
 
Goddamn, Guttermouth sounds good live even on disc! Brutally fast and ridiculously loud, America’s punk rock sweethearts' Beyond Warped installment reigns as one of my favorites in the series, capturing the intense live spirit the Gutterboys possess.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
 
Some of the hardcore Hicks collectors might already have portions of this two-hour recording via the abridged, import-only Shock And Awe from a couple years back. Others might see these two discs as the perfect starting point-- a gateway drug, if you will-- to explore more of Hicks' comedy and commentary. Sure, he hasn't written any new material in almost twelve years, but some of the shit he says on this set about the first Bush administration is frighteningly relevant these days.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Staff Member #716

 
 
I became a big fan of Frou Frou when I heard "Let Go" on the Garden State soundtrack. The music was fantastic, but lead singer Imogen Heap’s voice was what made the track soul-sticking. Here, Heap releases her second solo album, Speak For Yourself, delivering ten mesmerizing dream tracks.
 
THE GRADE: A+
 
- Bethany Shady

 
LEMONADE - BREAKING LACES (Meeka Salise Music)
 
Super. I can't wait until the next hit teen drama-- Dawson's 7th O.C. Heaven or whatever-- debuts, so I can hear this album provide the soundtrack to an angst-ridden teen drama.
 
THE GRADE: C
 
- Fphatty Lamar

 
MIKE RELM - RADIO FRYER (Self-Released)
 
Holy shit... everyone knows the fastest way to my hip-hop heart is through a damn fucking good mixtape. And to speak in Pulp Fictionese, this is the five-dollar shake of ‘em. Who is Mike Relm? I don’t know... yet. But I’ll be learning. Radio Fryer is split up into autobiographical movements, with stories behind each segment telling their significance to Relm and his life and career. Clever titles, surreal blends (Is that Falco and Pharcyde five tracks in?), and segments dedicated to cartoons, Danny Elfman, and Joy Division pushed me to exceed my word count and applaud until my hands bled.
 
THE GRADE: A+
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
 
 
For those of you out there listening to modern metal but not knowing your roots, this is the kick-in-the-ass beginning of your education. Motörhead is the grandfather of metal, and Sanctuary is re-releasing a slew of albums remastered with shitloads of bonuses. Each two-disc set includes both the original album, B-sides, and alternate cuts. Heavy-hitting early albums like Ace Of Spades and BBC Live & In-Session will kick your ass, and they’re out now. Lemmy and crew will punch you in the face and make you like it.
 
THE GRADE: FUCKIN' A
 
- J-Mil

 
 
What is Fatty Arbuckle's coke bottle? Why is it so important? And more importantly, how in the world did Munkey Juice manage to put out eight albums, yet never get a Grammy or appear on Carson Daly? Probably because they’re actually interesting musicians making interesting music. But until the Dali Lama can lead the people towards this insightful enlightenment, you’ll have to settle for having your musical dick kicked in by the sheer hard-rockingness of their trademark well-craftedness.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
MUNKEY JUICE - TEN UNDER SIXTY, VOL. 3 (Self-Released)
 
The third in an ongoing series from Minnesota’s musical mad hatters finds them once again spoon-feeding you ten songs less than a minute long. And as is always the case with Munkey Juice, no two songs sound alike. All smell distinctly like their usual musical grab bag, but each one sits nicely as its own mini-movie soundtrack.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
PAUL MANOUSOS - FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE (Shock & Fall Recordings)
 
I love it when I hear new music that doesn't make me want to throw up, and Paul's solo debut album, For Better Or For Worse, is just that. The clean, powerful melodies of the opening track, "Another Day In The Life", set the tone for the rest of the record. Each track is catchy in that quiet-yet-powerful, Belle & Sebastian sort of way. What you get with this record, in all its simplistic beauty, is great music. Well made, well recorded, and even better written.
 
THE GRADE: A+
 
- Neogeo the Prophet

 
PEDRO - PEDRO (Mush Records)
 
All the things I love about instrumental records from producers is sandwiched between these nine tracks-- hints of DJ Shadow’s atmospheric superiority; Aphex Twin’s gentler, more ambient side; and the kind of sonic magic that filled you up the first time you heard Radiohead’s Kid A. There’s even a bonus to woo you more: a seven-track remix disc, with entries from Prefuse 73, Danger Mouse, Four Tet, and others.
 
THE GRADE: B
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
SCIENCE GRAVY ORCHESTRA - BLOODBATH HALLOWEEN (Self-Released)
 
Paul Brown and his Science Gravy Orchestra are back with this mostly live album chock-full of avant-garde playing, set to some of those crazy beats the kids like so much. If Ayler and Coleman are too far out for you but you still want to be a hep cat, check out the Science Gravy Orchestra. The only downside to this release is some dated but humorous political satire pieces which interrupt the flow.
 
THE GRADE: B+
 
- Franklin Furter

 
SLOW RUNNER - NO DISASSEMBLE (Red Ink Music)
 
Very depressing... which means I like it! Michael Flynn's voice drips like warm honey on my melting heart. The light beats and hollow piano keys become a lone friend to smoke cigarettes with while you watch it snow on a winter night. Slow Runner is like a good melancholy lover.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Eric Adkison

 
TALIB KWELI - RIGHT ABOUT NOW (Blacksmith Records)
 
Rather than wait two years for the major-label machine to put out an album full of thoughts he was thinking two years ago, Kweli keeps it recent, releasing Right About Now. The twelve-song self-release (in conjunction with Koch) shows where he’s at at the moment. There’s production from everyone on this thing, but none of it sounds out of place. And the best cuts? His tribute to Fugee Lauryn ("Ms. Hill"), and his collabo with the future Mrs. Baggadonuts, Jean Grae ("Where You Gonna Run?").
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
THE APPLICATORS - I KNOW THE TRUTH (Skunk Records)
 
These hardcore/punk rockers prove once again that girls rock better than boys. Powerful vocals and rockful melodies are not to be missed. Just mix The Ramones, Black Flag, and The Gits, and you have The Applicators.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Sal Swayzo

 
 
Yay for new music that I thought I would hate! On the first listen, I hated it. The singer's voice reminded me of a country music star. But later, I gave it a retry and really got into it! I'm just not used to a vocalist actually singing so well. It's really good! If you think outside the box, give this one a spin.
 
THE GRADE: B
 
- Eric Adkison

 
THE PLASTIC CONSTELLATIONS - CRUSADES (French Kiss Records)
 
Sounds like boys in heat or Fugazi's younger brothers. (Boys in heat would be cooler.) The picking and scratching of the guitars and the vein-in-the-neck-popping shouting is very reminiscent of Fugazi (sometimes even Slint), but also in a league all its own.
 
THE GRADE: B
 
- Eric Adkison

 
THE WAILS - VIA (Self-Released)
 
I like The Wails. Low-key, but with a sense of urgency. The cool of Caroline Edelen's voice and the upbeat Indian drumming really pull this one off. You can either cry or laugh with this CD. Or you can laugh hysterically while you cry. I don't think The Wails are officially signed to a label yet, which is amazing to me because I sit back and ponder all of the crap bands that have been signed. Save The Wails!
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Eric Adkison

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS - NY2LON (Reincarnate Music)
 
A few bands came to mind when I was reviewing this US/UK compilation: The Bravery, The Strokes, The White Stripes, and some other awesome indie rock bands. It's a pretty good mix, especially with contributions from Every Move A Picture (track four), Magenta Lane (track five), The Cribs (track fourteen), and a number of others. A couple songs didn’t rock my proverbial boat, but overall I think it’s worth its price... in blood. (Just kidding.) (No, I'm not.)
 
THE GRADE: B-
 
- Neighbor Girl


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