Brand Nubian / MF Doom / Dillinger Escape
Plan / Hives / Rise Against
In The Hole
I'm usually a happy individual. I appreciate a lot of
things and hate many others. For instance, I hate the fact that my buddy
Jerome wasn't allowed in 3rd Room because "his shirt was too big,"
while we could clearly see that there were people in there who had shirts
just as big, if not bigger, than his. And I hate Brand Nubian’s latest
album. It's a fucking shame they had my hopes up by dropping the first
single entitled "Whatever Happened," only to purchase this
album and demanding my money back. The album is 12 tracks long and,
in my opinion, only 3 are good. I liked "Where Are You Now,"
"Young Son," and, of course, "Whatever Happened."
of the album is slow and features a lot of singing. Yuck! If I wanted
an R&B album I would buy Usher, or Musiq Soul Child, not a damn
Brand Nubian R&B album. Like I said, my hopes were high, and I was
greatly let down. Listening to this record was like getting a back rub
when you thought you were getting laid. Gee, thanks Brand Nubian, my
back was killing me.
if you have the opportunity to download this album, by all means do
it. But don't waste your money. You're better off buying sex toys. 2.5
out of 5 tomatoes.~Ketchup
Doom (aka Viktor Vaughn)
After listening to Brand Nubian and accepting that they
made a wack album, I turned to an artist who I can always depend on
for the hip hop I seem to play on a daily basis. MF Doom, who goes by
the name Viktor Vaughn, drops his 2nd installment in the Vaughn era,
entitled Venomous Villain (VV:2). No doubt MF Doom does not
skip a beat after dropping the undeclared classic All Caps LP
to drop another long-awaited album, which is strictly for the true underground
hip hop heads. It's 12 tracks of MF Doom...I mean Viktor Vaughn, at
his finest, with dope beats and strange lyrics only true Doom fans
can understand. Tracks like "Back End," "Fall Back/Titty
Fat,” "Ode To Road Rage,” and "R.A.P. G.A.M.E." featuring
Iz-Real and Manchild (of Mars Ill), bring out that side of us that usually
comes out after listening to "Coke Whore" by Reginoff on repeat.
If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, pick up the "Milk
Fat" compilation CD and you'll understand. Other artists featured
on the VV:2 project include Kool Keith, Carl Kavorkian, and Poison
Pen, which adds a nice dimension to an already rare yet familiar Doom
album. It's not for everyone, but don't sleep on this album. It will
definitely pique your interest in MF Doom, and might make a fan out
of you. 4 out of 5 tomatoes.~Ketchup
Dillinger Escape Plan
The New Dillinger Escape Plan Album is a bit more cohesive
than their last outing, Calculating Infinity, but no less brutal.
I figure if I’m going to review a hardcore/metal CD I must use the word
BRUTAL and refer to all coo guitar riffs as “Insane Fret Board Gymnastics.”
Miss Machine is a bit more song structure orientated than previous
works. It still has crazy technical parts but this album is not so
much about the complete “everybody solos” of days past. These songs
actually have humble melodies and intelligible singing thanks impart
to new singer Greg Puciato.
Song styles range from spastic ADHD Freak outs (Panasonic
Youth) to songs reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails (Phone Home).
Plus as a nice bonus the CD comes packaged with a DVD of live songs
taken from shows such as Hellfest 2003(mislabeled 2002 on the dvd) and
from the House of Blues. Also the artwork on the CD case is an engaging
collage of female body parts and machinery.
Fans needn’t worry that DEP are getting soft just because
they have melodies in their songs now. This CD is still a brutal slab
of brutality soaked in anger cooked over the ever heating coals of guitar
insanity. Oh yeah and for you music snobs there’s some jazz thrown
in there for good measure, it’s not really brutal or anything cause,
you know, its jazz. So to wrap it all up, I give Miss Machine
Four out of Five Evil Aborted Fetus Encrusted Stars.~Jerry
The Swedish invasion is back with the return of the Hives,
attacking the air waves with their third full length album Tyrannosaurus
Hives. This album is a fast pace blast of Retro Garage Punk with
a side of 80s New-Wave. Think Veni Vidi Vicious only better.
There is enough attitude on this album to kill an attitude allergic
horse two times over, not to mention sway anyone who has questioned
their credibility in the past.
There are plenty of poppy catchy hooks that will have
any person chanting along to songs like “Walk Idiot Walk” and “Two Timing
Touch and Broken Bones.” The strumming is tighter than a dolphin’s
butt-hole and there are plenty of bass licks courtesy of Dr. Matt Destruction
and robotic like time changes by drummer Chris Dangerous. Front man
Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist has said that on this record they wanted their
instruments to sound like machines. This machine style is defiantly
evident throughout the twelve track LP. I found it particularly evident
on track ten “Love In Plaster.” It’s like you’re almost positive that
someone is rocking out on a synthesizer but in reality it’s just the
guitars. This is what makes this record so much better than their last.
By exploring their sound the Hives seem to have grown up a bit.
But overall there’s nothing like seeing the Hives play
live. There are plenty of Swedish appendages and headstocks flailing
this way and that and Howlin’ Pelle struts around the stage like a younger
Jagger on speed. So at that, I give this album Four out of Five Mic
Jagger Strutting Poses.~Timothy
Song of the Counter Culture
not easy presenting your second album as a band hovering just below
the surface of the underground. If you stay with your roots, music critics
for the likes of Alternative Press (the music mag) and ArtVoice
wag their fingers at you for not "developing your sound."
Change too much, and you alienate your core fan base. Even worse, nerdy
22-year old 'zine writers in Rivers Cuomo glasses bitch about how you
totally sold out.
the latter won't happen in this case, since Rise Against pretty much
sticks to their formula in Siren Song of the Counter Culture. And
who can blame them? The Chicago-based outfit manages a straight-up rock-infused
hardcore sound, with lyrics that are political without being preachy
and confessional without being whiny (at least most of the time). That's
no small feat in the current musical landscape, where all you need to
de-pussify an unmistakable pop-punk/emo ballad riff is some guy death-metal
screaming about bleeding hearts, shitty presidents, or people's trite
lives as cogs in the corporate machine.
of Rise Against don't describe themselves as overtly political in most
interviews, but touring with Anti-Flag and Against Me! does little to
sway people from that perception. But they are musicians first and foremost,
and they back that up with their bass and drum work and the occasional
sweet guitar effect. If you like a little ass-kicking urgency and hope
mixed in with your gloom and doom, pick up Siren Song for a cathartic
release of your political and emotional angst.~Chris