The Special Goodness – Land Air Sea – Review

March 29, 2004

You know how Weezer’s Maladroit rocked fuzzy guitars in a weird, slow, brashy way that nobody really liked? The same concept is in effect here. The Special Goodness is the brainchild of Weezer drummer Pat Wilson.

Madcap – Under Suspicion – Review

March 29, 2004

Madcap rocks out on their third album with punk, reggae, rock, and ’80s dance inflections. “Keep Dancin” made me sit up and give this band a serious listen. Then I got up and danced. That’s how catchy the songs are.

The Silent Treatment – Review

March 22, 2004

This is classic MidWestern emo, no fuss about it. The trailing arpeggios, the accented guitar/drums interplay, the yelping.

The Radio Hour – Review

March 22, 2004

With steady, heart-bearing emotion washing through the notes like a young Michael Stipe, Tim Hort has created the R.E.M. album we’ve all been wishing for since Out of Time.

Smogtown – All Wiped Out – Review

March 22, 2004

Smogtown is influenced by the L.A. roots of Redd Kross, Circle Jerks, and, to a lesser extent, Black Flag. They have a sense of humor, write engaging and funny lyrics, and write feverishly fast and high-strung riffs.

Black Helicopter – That Specific Function – Review

March 22, 2004

Monstrously sluggish tempos, the thud-heavy, stuttering beats and ponderous basslines keeping more or less the same speed and emotional heft on every track as the guitars drone compellingly and the vocalist intones the words in a spoken monotone.

Procession Came Opposite – Oceans – Review

March 22, 2004

I’m all for an album revolving around a certain theme, but after seven all-too-similar melodic and anthemic jams about the sun/surf/ocean waves, I don’t ever want to hear about oceans again.

Preston School of Industry- Monsoon – Review

March 22, 2004

That-other-guy-from-Pavement, Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg, returns with his second Preston School of Industry album, sounding more Terror Twilight than either “Date With Ikea” or “Two States.”

Sister Sonny – The Bandit Lab – Review

March 22, 2004

Yhe band wanders through a double album’s worth of textural seas without catching much fish, often too busy appreciating the scenery and not working the net harder.

Seksu Roba – Pleasure Vibrations – Review

March 22, 2004

I suppose it’s called Pleasure Vibrations because the theremin is one of the primary instruments. Seksu Roba is also down with le mini-Moog, but their music sounds more like Felix Da Housecat, Ladytron, and Miss Kittin to me.

Rocket From The Tombs – Rocket Redux – Review

March 22, 2004

David Thomas of Pere Ubu and Cheetah Chrome of Dead Boys felt the band they split from (RFTT) had “unfinished business.” 26 years after the band split, they toured. The next year, this basically live-in-the-studio disc appears.

Anadivine – Review

March 22, 2004

A skillful mix of early Get Up Kids-sounding vocals and melodies plus The Julianna Theory-esque drawn-out orchestration.

Amaran – Pristine In Bondage – Review

March 22, 2004

A combination of pounding, proggish but pedestrian power metal, fronted by a mid-operatic female vocalist, landed somewhere between the Goth metal world, old Gathering, low Nightwish, and Lullacry.

Map – Secrets by the Highway – Review

March 22, 2004

A distinctively different Map. The “band” (Dooley, Swift and Lenz often moonlight in Starflyer 59) sounds much, much “lighter,” with sprawling Californian sunshine replacing past shadows and darkness.

The Hidden – The Hymnal EP – Review

March 22, 2004

Seven edgy but catchy little numbers, the frenzied but slightly off-center energy of the band’s attack bringing to mind both Fugazi and Di’Anno-era Iron Maiden.

Julian Coryell – Rock Star – Review

March 22, 2004

Born with the same visceral affection as Jeff Buckley and the sixth sense of pop mastery ala Jason Falkner, Coryell’s moody take on polished California pop is like an aural orgasm.

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