Howdy! Welcome to the album reviews. A section where I attempt to force my musical tastes on you the reader. I will review anything that is sent to me, regardless of musical styles or whether I think its crap or not (just accept the fact that I will state what I think!). I basically listen to every thing except for new country. I especially love punk, ska, emo, pop, soul, hardcore, old-school style hip-hop, celtic, speed metal and experimental music, but like I said I am open minded. Keep in mind that if you send me the album on vinyl you will get my undying affection forever! Because I work with fishermen I use the salmon method of rating records. Each salmon a record gets represents one pound of fresh sock-eye salmon. A really crappy record would be worth only one pound of salmon because I could go trade in the album at the local used record shop for something I really want. A really great album gets five fish, which means I would rather have that record then five pounds of salmon, and trust me I really like fresh salmon. You can probably figure out the value of any record that falls between these two ratings. Some albums also include the Captain Haircut seal of approval. This is for folks who like their pop-punk or emo without the slightest hint of discordance or weirdness.
7M6M4 - Whenever You See Fit 12" (Up/Suicide Squeeze)
This is a 12" featuring Modest Mouse and 764-HERO. When I first heard about this I assumed it would be your standard split EP with each band having one side, but it's not. The two bands have combined to record a thirteen minute long ambient like epic on the a side, while the b side features two remixes of the song. You definitely hear influences from each of the two separate bands on this release. The two vocalists alternate vocals which works very well.
BOUNCING SOULS - s/t (Epitaph)
If you read my review of the Warped Tour you'll know that I was blown away by these guys when I saw them live. I gotta tell you that this album comes pretty close to the amazing experience that the Bouncing Souls were live. Some truly rockin' songs can be found in "Cracked" and "Kate is Great", as well as humor in "The Toilet Song" (about throwing a toilet off of a roof) and "Shark Attack" (a song which features Joe and Warren from the Vandals) and just to keep things interesting they include an instrumental song called "The Screamer". Definitely a nice solid release that leans more towards the punk side of pop-punk.
CREEPER LAGOON - I Become Small And Go (Nicklebag/Attic) I was so ready to slam this record. Sometimes I swear that the people who book tours must smoke crack. I saw these guys open for Rocket From The Crypt and anyone who has ever been to a Rocket From The Crypt show knows how impossible it would be for any band not to be overshadowed by the might of RFTC. Especially when that band plays nice layed back pop music like Creeper Lagoon. But after I listened to there album I changed my mind about Creeper Lagoon. This is some good stuff. It kind of reminds me of the Flaming Lips at times, but not quite as experimental. This will probably get the Captain Haircut seal of approval once he hears it.
H2O - Thicker Than Water (Epitaph)
Once again another great live band from the Warped Tour. But unlike the Bouncing Souls, they just don't translate to the recorded medium as well. I'm still trying to figure out what the big buzz surrounding these guys last year was for. They seem to do an ok job of doing your typical New York Hard Core thing, but with much better bands like Sick Of It All and Civ out there I think your money could be better spent. Of course if you are one of those tattooed, NYHC guys who loves bands like Madball then you'll probably love this. However, if you do get the chance, check them out live.
JURRASIC 5 - Jayou/Without A Doubt 12"
This, in my opinion, is the best hip hop group that is out there right now. They got the old school hip hop going on but there definitely moving forward at the same time. The a side is off of the self titled EP that came out earlier this year, while the b side is an unreleased song. My only complaint is that this 12" is a bit pricey considering that it only actually really has one unreleased track. The rest of the tracks are instrumentals and dubs. They do have a new album coming out soon and this makes me very excited.
MURDER CITY DEVILS - s/t (Die Young Stay Pretty)
The only record to get five fish this month, and trust me, it deserves every one of those fish. This record could kick your teeth in if you looked at it the wrong way. We're talking attitude here. When the singer screams out "Can't get no dance hall music, on the radio-o-o-o!", you know that this is something that troubles him. The Murder City Devils know how to rock! From the opener, "Dance Hall Music", to the last song, "Tell You Brother" these guys know how to get you moving. I think the ten songs on this album last only 20 minutes, but this is definitely a case of quality over quantity. These guys do that garage rock/Dead Boys type of thing that seems to be popular in the state of Washington right now, but they add some organ and a lot more fury then most of the bands doing this style. Some people ask where the murder city is, I tell you it's on, it's on my turntable. Listen to the record you'll understand.
PIETASTERS - Willis (Hellcat)
Now this is some fine ska! These guys write good songs. Even though I think they're going for that two-tone type of sound they definitely have a lot of other influences in the mix, like rock n roll and soul. In a marketplace that is full with a glut of ska bands that sound pretty much the same these guys are doing something original.
RANCID - Life Won't Wait (Epitaph)
Rancid is a band that seems to be musically exploding. I mean they started off with a straight forward punk sound on their first LP, but there seems to be a lot more interests then this in the band and with each album a bit more of what makes them musically tick leaks out. On this new album we got ska, reggae and punk. Rancid is a band that can successfully pull off all three of these styles either individually or combined in one song. The only problem that I have with this album, and the only thing that stopped it from getting five fish was that with all these different styles on one album it's a bit overwhelming to have 22 songs and after a while it starts to sound like one big sonic blur.
ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT - RFTC (Interscope)
There are few things that are certain in this life, but one thing that you can count on is that if Rocket From The Crypt releases an album that it is going to be good. It's been a while since their last album, "Scream, Dracula, Scream!", came out but it was worth the wait. We got some straight up rock n roll, which Rocket From The Crypt is famous for, and then we got some nice soul songs. A song that especially stands out in the later category is "Let's Get Busy". This song could have been released on Motown, that's how much soul we're talking about.
SAVE FERRIS - It Means Everything (Epic)
Actually I think it means nothing. Another band contributing to the already overcrowded ska market plus it looks like they're also trying to join the soon to be overcrowded swing market since they seem to have a lot of swing influence. If you want your ska mixed with swing I think you'd be better spending your money on the new W's album. Save Ferris seems pretty boring and unoriginal with almost each song undistinguishable from the last.
VANDALS - Hitler Bad, Vandals Good (Nitro) Definitely the best album title I've heard in a while. A few years ago I wrote a review of the Vandals album "Live Fast, Diarrhea" and stated that I did not care much for the Vandals' music. Boy has my opinion changed since then. I think the Vandals style is something that takes getting use to. They definitely have that Fat Wreck Chords style going but they also have a lot of 80's punk influence due to the fact that they've been around for a long time. The vocalist also kind of reminds me of Weird Al Yankovic vocally sometimes. Lyrics wise they remind me of NOFX's funnier stuff, these guys definitely write some very funny songs. An example of this can be found in the song "My Girlfriend's Dead", which talks about a guy who tells people that his girlfriend died, even though see actually dumped him. Other great songs include "I've Got An Idea For A Movie" and "People That Are Going To Hell". The Vandals are a group that doesn't always stick to the straight ahead pop-punk style and you got to give them credit for that, but it also results in there being at least a few crappy songs per album, but the great songs definitely more then make up for a few bad ones. Vandals definitely good.