Music Reviews: ALL * GARRISON * FLOGGIN MOLLY * HALF PINT * YUMAC SUMAC
ALL busts out 18 fresh songs on their new full length PROBLEMATIC. The songs on this album are extremely catchy especially if you like the poppy punk sound. Lyrics range from the down right goofiness of everyday life to worth while social issues. Some songs that stand out are LOCK’EM AWAY (covers the topic of the criminalization of youth) , CRUCFICTION (deals with disguising war behind religion). Sure there are a couple “love” songs on this release, but at least they’re intelligent. ALL has been around for a long time and it is good to see that they can still write quality songs unlike some many other bigger “punk” bands. Definitely one of the better releases I have heard on Epitaph as of recent. For some reason they remind me of the DESCENDENTS… -Nick Simich
A Mile In Cold Water
Since 1998 this Boston based four piece has eeked their way up from total obscurity to become a solid rock band. Yes, I called it rock. This release is not just emo-core, indie-rock, pop-punk or any of the post what-ever categories. This is one of those recordings that’s good to listen to without having to accessorize it into your youth culture.
I know that’s a strange way to describe a release from a record label that in the past was synonymous with some of the most worthwhile hardcore around. Apparently times have changed for the label and over the past couple of years they have broadened their repertoire. Revelation is venturing out with a lot of new bands, which can be a big risk and cause them to loose their old audience. With this release from Garrison and some other new titles, it looks as if Revelation is seeking out a new audience.
But enough theories about the label…as for their discovery of Garrison, Revelation first released their E.P. entitled The Bend Before The Break (Rev: 83) as a means of introducing Garrison to the Revelation audience. Apparently it worked as it garnered enough positive press and warranted the band to hit the road with Death By Stereo, Farside, Boy Sets Fire and others. Find out more at the Revelation Records web site – www.revhq.com – V.L.
Side One Dummy
Yeah, some of you go to the Irish pubs around here and think that you are indulging in some kind of Irish soul experience. You knock back a Guiness or Harp and listen to some band perform covers of The Pogues, The Dubliners, Van Morrison and any of the other real Irish bands only to treat them as if they composed these songs themselves. Well that’s not where it’s at!
Flogging Molly is all original and it’s about time! Swagger is beautiful at times but most of the songs are raw, brutal and fast. Speed reels and jigs that would make Michael Flagerty limp home crying. A very appropriate release from a record label that also brought us the lastest albums by 7 Seconds and Suicidal Tendencies. Steve Albini fans will be happy to know that he had a hand in this as producer. Not since the Pogues first two albums has Irish music sounded so fierce. Ah hell, these seven people are more pissed than that! God I hope they keep it up. www.floggingmolly.com or www.26f.com. – V.L.
For those of you not familiar with Half Pint’s legacy, as was I until this collection came across my desk, you may have only heard his songs by one of two means. Sublime had some success with a rendition of his song “Lovin”. And maybe more familiar to others might be the Rolling Stones 1987 version of “Winsome”, which the crusty old brits renamed to “Too Rude”. Now with those cheesy reference out of the way – Half Pint has apparently been recording reggae albums since 1983. 20 albums later he is now receiving wider recognition here in the states thanks to Skunk Records.
Skunk Records has been home base for Sublime, who showcased their passion for ska & reggae throughout their career. Through it’s spin off label Cornerstone RAS, Skunk continues to honor reggae music by releasing this collection of staff selected favorites. 12 hard to find songs of honest and positive reggae from a man who grew up in the same region that brought us giants like Lee “Scratch” Perry, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. http://www.halfpintmusic.com. – V.L.
the ultimate Collection
Who said that the major labels aren’t putting out any thing worthwhile? Well…maybe I have but they still can reissue and repackage some classic music that makes me very happy. Especially when it comes to Yuma Sumac. This is a record of the best-contrived exotica from the 50’s and 60’s. As the rumor goes, Yuma Sumac may have actually been a New Yorker named Amy Camus who saw a cleaver way to spell her name and create a whole new persona. And what a persona! Regardless of this old rumor, if you ever need to clear a crowded room just play a few of these tracks.
Picture the MGM studio orchestra playing a 50’s concept of exotica fronted by a woman with a whirling operatic voice that could take out satellites services, land planes and prevent an alien attack from outer space. This is a 21 track collection that actually features three previously unavailable tracks. What was somebody thinking? You can’t hide music like this away! Now if you’re daring enough to try the crowded room trick that I recommended earlier and you find that some people actually remain you can call those people your true friends (or you can call them seriously disturbed, either way it works.) – V.L.