Music Reviews



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Artist: The Bad Hand
Title: This Is No Time For Modesty
Format: 12"
Label: Daly City Records (@)
Distributor: Massive Music America
Rated: *****
Pleasantly eclectic San Francisco band with jazz-alt-grunge-punk leanings give their utmost in this 11-song effort, yet have a ways to go to cement their overall feel. Most of this LP's instrumentals seem partially half-formed, as if still stuck at their "jam" phase of songwriting, and their incidental noise effects, farty kazoo and backwards-taped snippets of conversation do little more than add comic relief to the album's off-beat-ness. Nevertheless there is a certain charm about the shoegazerish, wispy female vocals on "Hell Bent" and "Grand Theft Bravo," and the way they work atypical instruments (Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, violin, mandolin, recorder) into the mix. But although they sound just the way a band like Guided By Voices might have sounded at one time, the Bad Hand's alchemy is not quite yet up to par.

If you are a local S. F. scenester, however, then you need to both own this album (on limited edition white vinyl, no less) and go to all of their shows because whether or not they become the next G.B.V., this is exactly the kind of unpretentious, non-commercial non-pop that every growing boy and girl of collegiate age should cut his/her canines on.
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Artist: SINKE DUS
Title: Akrasia
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by a Swedish guy called Marcus Lönebrink, Sinke Dus is releasing for the Canadian label Cyclic Law its first full length titled AKRASIA. Behind this term there's a philosophic question: the problem goes back at least as far as Plato; Socrates (in Plato's "Protagoras") asks precisely how this is possible - if one judges action A to be the best course of action, why would one do anything other than A? [from Wikipedia]. Under the light of such dilemma saw the light the seven tracks of this album. We have: "The Premonition", "Acedia", "Remnants", "That which was lost", "The abyss", "That which lies beyond" and "Fortitude". I found intriguing and important to link a concept to sounds/ambience because it make you focus on a direction and it characterize a project. In this case Sinke Dus, presents 45 minutes of dark ambient made with synth patterns and light noises. The suites span from calm ambient moments to mix of ambient and dark minimal industrialism (see "Remnants" or the following "That which was lost"). This is a nice release, a little minimal but if listened into the right mood, it has really good moments (like the dark opus titled "The abyss").
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Artist: THE DOUBTFUL GUEST (@)
Title: Acid Sauna
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Distributor: Good Fellas
Rated: *****
Mixing acid house, drones, reggae, ambient and breakbeat, Libby Floyd's The Doubtful Guest is releasing its first full length. Presenting seven new tracks, ACID SAUNA, contains fifty minutes of obsessive rhythms, hypnotic loops, Rebirth like sounds (it is the Propellerheads' software which emulate different Roland gear famous to be used to play early techno/house music and now it is downloadable for free) and ambient intuitions. The album opens with the eleven minutes of "Slaves", a track which gathers TR-909, TR-808, TR-303 sounds and other synths just to form a sort of suite where we have the alternation of different moments (techno, acid, etc). The following "Tubby", mixes 2-step, ska and breakbeat melting everything into a ambient hypnotic blob. "Neighborhood" is the most "extreme" of the lot because of its controlled chaos, but the track I appreciated since the first listening is "Brulush" because on this one Libby uses different sounds which aren't linked to a specific instrument and it also has a subtle structure made of techno energy, ambient intuitions and dark ambience. The album is closed by L.H.S. mix of "Ruffpet", a track which blend gabber and acid house into a whirl of sound.
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Artist: KREPULEC (@)
Title: New Radical
Format: CD
Label: Beast Of Prey (@)
Rated: *****
Here we are, after the interview published at the beginning of the month, with the new Krepulec album review. NEW RADICAL is the title of the new and properly distributed Krepulec album which present a new line-up: the band now consists of Wojciech Z., Tomasz L., Przemyslaw C. and Marcin J. Thematically it tries to recreate the atmosphere of the post conflict times incarnating desires and dreams for a new life coming after a long time of fighting and determination. As Krepulec wrote: "The vision of times and changes people were doing creating "new" system". This album is a particular one because its eleven tracks haven't got lyrics, the only words you can say are coming from samples (but being in Polish language I can't tell what their meaning is). Another peculiarity is the new increased traditional folk influence which is bringing to the audience a less industrial approach (only "Poznan" has a sort of industrial sound) but without forgetting a certain dark vein thanks also to percussions and samples. Accordion, acoustic guitars are mixed with drums and strings creating tense moments (see "Kongres jednosci") as well as joyful ballads ("Mysl o przyszlosci!"). NEW RADICAL is a new way of playing new-folk and Krepulec did a good job. The album is also available in a limited edition released in military bag for medical equipment. On front is printed KREPULEC "New Radical" made in three different colours - black, dark brown and dark green. Inside are tree CD's, "New Radical" CD, "Krepulec" CDR and "Parabellum and bonus" CDR. Further more three propagandal posters in A4 size, three photos made in sepia and two graphical photos. All hand made and limited to 150 copies. Beast Of Prey already sold all the copies but you can look for your copy through different distributors.
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Artist: Across the Rubicon
Title: Elegy
Format: CD
Label: Rage in Eden (@)
Rated: *****
Dark, atmospheric, symphonic, industrial, neo-classic music with a lot of power and beautiful melodies = ELEGY.
Synthetic music with bombastic music far exeeding bands such as Arditi and other bands that are one-diemensional. Across The Rubicon is not one-diemensional and were acts like Puissance fail in atmosphere Across The Rubicon with this album succeed!
The album is very well executed and for those into this kind of style I really recommend it. Sometimes the noise takes over just a little bit but that´s really nothing to complain about. I am really looking forward to hearing more from this promising act.

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