CD Review: the F-Ups – “Screw You”

by on August 25, 2004 @ 3:40 pm

Y’know, I had high hopes for this band. They cover a Mott the Hoople song, they’ve got a pretty cool promo photo on the back of their disc… then things started to jump out at me. Things like- they’re called the F-Ups, not the Fuck-Ups; the cd is entitled Screw You, not Fuck You… yeah. Then I put it in the cd player.

Yeah, Screw You kinda sucks. It’s not that it’s a complete waste of time to listen to it, really, so much as it’s just really dull. It sounds like the F-Ups would give anything to be Madcap or the Swingin’ Utters. Unfortunately, they sound more like New Found Glory covering the Swingin’ Utters. It’s just kind of weak. They’ve got the look down, but the sound is terribly lacking.

Capitol Records
the F-Ups

CD Review: Engine Down – “self-titled”

by on @ 12:59 pm

My brother Steve loves Engine Down. I’m slowly coming around to see why he does. They play some dense music. While creeping into the “indie-metal/screamo/post-hardcore” genre by the skin of their teeth, Engine Down does not play music that’s easily accesible.

Frankly, I’m all for some dense music. Engine Down layers their music. They start with melodic vocals- and these cats can sing. None of that screaming bullshit for them, no sir. The guitars are fast-moving, but not punk rock fast, or metal show-off fast. It’s a pace similar to that of Helmet, but without the chugging freight train riffage. Drums are kept sparce and inobtrusive. They keep things interesting by throwing in the occasional accent, such as the strings in “In Turn.”

Engine Down’s self-titled is a damn fine record. It’s a step up from the easily understood Poison the Well or Thursday. This is music for the fans of the post-hardcore genre who want to avoid music that doesn’t challenge their ears.

Lookout Records
Engine Down

You mean it’s not for who dies?

by on August 23, 2004 @ 9:06 am

So, over at MTV’s website, you can vote for the Viewer’s Choice Award. The nominees are Yellowcard, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Christina Aguilera, and Linkin Park. Jesus fucking Christ. Seriously? This is the “final five”?

Kids, this is why I quit watching MTV. I know it’s old hat to bitch about them not playing videos anymore. Hell, it’s old hat to bitch about MTV2 not playing videos. But for fuck’s sake, if this is what videos they are playing, I’m just gonna hope for another Road Rules marathon.

CD Review: the Lashes – “The Stupid Stupid”

by on @ 8:01 am

Hook-filled, poppy, and sunny as a spring afternoon, the Lashes make for a damn fine band to play at parties. Anybody who, upon listening to the Stupid Stupid, doesn’t get a little voice at the back of their demanding that they shake their hips just a little is most likely a robot.

The EP, despite being a short four songs, wonderfully demonstrates from where the Lashes are coming. There are healthy doses of ’80s New Wave, ’60s power-pop, and more than just a little Cheap Trick.

Fine stuff from Seattle… amazing to hear a band so upbeat from that region, after all the Nirvanas, Soundgardens, Murder City Devils, Melvins, etc. that have spread their rain-influenced gloom and doom across the country.

Lookout Records
the Lashes

Kings of it all

by on August 18, 2004 @ 10:15 am

The new Flogging Molly album, Within a Mile of Home, comes out September 14. However, if you’re not one of the lucky people (such as myself) who got a promo copy in the mail this week, you can go listen to three songs from it on a micro site that SideOne Dummy put together. And, for you kiddies who want to start putting tunes on mix cds to prove how much cooler you are than all your friends, you can download the three tracks they have up, as well.

Seriously, this is a hell of a good disc. I’ve only had it about an hour now, and I can tell it’s fucking phenomenal. The track “Factory Girls” features alt-country chanteuse Lucinda Williams on vocals, and sounds like it was written with her in mind.

Also, if you’re just that fucking into the band, SideOne Dummy has teamed up with their friends at to put together groups of people in various cities. According to SideOne’s site, “they are looking for true Flogging Molly fans to help spread the word. They do all kinds of cool shit. Listening parties, bar patrols, record store scavenger hunts etc…”

Look for the band on tour in the US in September and October to support the album. They’ll be touring with labelmates the Street Dogs and the Briggs, so look for that raucousness to be hitting your area. Show dates and ticket info are available at Flogging Molly’s site in the tour dates section.

Give it up for the mc whose voice is the highest

by on August 12, 2004 @ 10:43 am

All of you should know who the fuck MC Chris is by now. We’re all geeks here, so I assume every here watches Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup.

Have you seen the episode of Sealab with the rapper doing that song about Boba Fett? That’s MC Chris doing “Fett’s Vette.” Seen the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes with MC Pee Pants and Sir Loin? That’s MC Chris busting out the rhymes behind “I Want And Need Candy” and “Fo’ Tha Shorteez.”

The man makes being a geek seem cool. He rhymes about tripping on the ‘tussin, Star Wars, pop-punk, and all sorts of cool shit. His voice sounds like a ten-year-old, or so he’s been told. And his beats are heavy. You listen to “Evergreen” and you’d swear it wasn’t being recorded in a New York apartment. Go fucking download Life’s A Bitch and I’m Her Pimp and see how right I am. Right fucking now. Go on. It’s even fucking legal.

If you don’t know, you weren’t meant to

by on August 11, 2004 @ 2:43 pm

Take your hot little hands and roll the mouse over to the Explosion‘s record label, Tarantulas Records. That is where you can buy their new disc, the Red Tape EP. Go to their website and take a listen to the EP before you buy it, if you want.

The Explosion is the best damn punk band playing right now. Their debut full-length, Flash Flash Flash, has been a regular visitor to my cd player since it came out. I saw them for the third and fourth times yesterday, and their new material is fucking amazing.

The Boston punk rockers have a new full-length coming out October 5 on Virgin Records called Black Tape. The Red Tape EP is a preview of the new disc, and it is completely and utterly worth your six bucks. Go buy it. Now.

In the club

by on August 5, 2004 @ 2:37 pm

When I was into drinking heavily (i.e., the past five years off and on until a month ago), I pretty much went to one bar- the Replay Lounge>. Fantastic place… cheap beer, good jukebox, interesting patrons, generously pouring bartenders… we all have our favorite watering hole.

However, the Replay, as well as its sister bar, the Jackpot Saloon, have recently begun making money on weekend nights by bringing in djs. This is not a new thing, as the Replay’s had various djs in over the years. These are not djs in the typical sense. They’re usually scenester types with a box of records who want to make an extra buck here and there.

This does present a trend that has become worrisome in recent years, though. Another club, the Hurricane, in Kansas City has been having bands play until midnight, at which point they then move in a dj mto spin records until the bar closes at 3am.

Now, I’m a live music sort of person. If I wanted to listen to somebody play records, I’d turn on the radio or, more likely, sit in front of the stereo and do it my own damn self. This is why I would like to give extra-special super-duper props to Jet. They’ve recently released their new single to radio, and it’s called “Roll Over DJ.” It spoke to me as I was driving home from the local clothing resale store. Lyrics like “I wanna move but I don’t feel right / ‘Cause you’ve been playing other peoples songs all night” simply hit the nail on the fucking head, as far as I’m concerned. Add in “Well I know that you think you’re the star / A pill poppin’ jukebox is all that you are” and you have some pleasantly biting commentary on why it sucks to be a live music lover and go out to a club.

I suppose I wouldn’t be so pissed if the clubs paid the djs themselves, but they charged a fucking cover to get in. Why in the fucking hell should I give someone five bucks to hear them play their damn music, when for that much money, I could get fifteen plays on the jukebox of music I want to hear?

Word life… this is basic thuganomics

by on July 29, 2004 @ 4:29 pm

WWE wrestling superstar John Cena is coming out with a cd. This news has been known for some time, but it’s only been recently announced that it’s been pushed back to December. The disc was originally intended to be released June 8.

Frighteningly, the disc is also slated to feature an appearance by another WWE peformer, Matt Hardy. The nice thing is, however, Cena’s track “Thug Life”, from the WWE Originals cd, was also rather promising. And, according to Lords of Pain, “Cena has been spotted with Freddie Foxxx, Melle Mel, Brand Nubian and others.” He’s also been interviewed by Method Man for

This is all good news, but until we hear it, all we can do is just hope it doesn’t suck like the Macho Man’s disc.

Is it the same , or did you remodel?

by on @ 4:08 pm

So, this may not mean much to those of you who haven’t been following the MidWest music scene for the past ten years, but it means a good amount to me. See, Truck Stop Love is playing some reunion shows. The shows occur at Auntie Mae’s in Manhattan, KS, and the Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS, on November 11 and Novemeber 13, respectively.

For those of you not familar with the group, Truck Stop Love was a four piece country rock outfit from Manhattan, KS, that played around the country in the mid-90s. Made up of Rich Yarges, Brad Huhmann, Eric Mozier, and Eric Melein, they released two albums on Scotti Brothers Records- a self-titled EP, as well as the full-length How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

The group never received any sort of major success, but their legacy remains. Drummer Eric Melein went on to fame in Ultimate Fakebook, who coincidently recorded a version of Truck Stop Love’s “Nothing Left to Start.” That track can be found on the Initial Records re-release of Electric Kissing Parties, as well as the band’s split seven-inch with the Stereo.

The funny thing is, had the band come along just five years later, they would have found themselves in good company. While their Replacements-meets-Hank Williams style of music didn’t go over big in the mid-90s, you can now find bands like the Old 97s and the Von Ehrics doing quite well on the same sort of sound that Truck Stop Love did so well.

The band’s releases are now out of print, but you can easily find them used on for cheap. Do yourself a favor and check them out. And, hell, if you’re in the area come Novemeber, make sure to swing into one of the aforementioned clubs. You’ll be happily entertained.