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Review Archive:
Various Artists

The Ladderback Introductions to Departure
This starts out sounding like a bad version of the Dismemberment Plan, then it gets really metal (good thing), but really repetitive (bad thing). This record is just really inconsistent. If you like lots of erratic changes and clean parts mixed with grind parts, this is for you. It definitely had its moments, but seemed to lack focus. Either that, or I just didn't get what they were going after, which seems likely as I listen to this record for a third time. Bifocal Media MM

The Ladderback Honest, I Swear it's the Turnstyles
A few years ago I would have shit my pants over a band like the Ladderback. They have elements of emo hardcore, indie rock, punk, and DC rock to their credit. What they don't have is a constant stream of consistency to bring them together, and what results can shift darn fast from exciting to messy and somewhat dull. Time passes and people change, if anything this band reminds me of the kind of music I used to be interested in, but it only proves how little of this kind of emo stands the test of time. This won't be locked in my personal emo vaults alongside Hoover, Shotmaker, or Sunny Day Real Estate. The emo time capsule has no vacancies for the Ladderback. Bifocal Media/Rayman Records JS

L'altra In The Afternoon
So, you could always use the term "emotional" when speaking about bands such as L'altra here. I mean, not really "emo" but, you know, emotional. There is a difference ... I think. Anyway, I will have to kind of use the term "emotional" here for this band and this here release, In The Afternoon. The songs themselves are quiet rumbles delving into tales of life as a hammer down for both the downtrodden and heartbroken. But, you know, also full of hope and nostalgia. I had this sinking feeling the whole time the record played. Well ... CD. Regardless, I had these images of gray skies and an old shoebox filed with random photos; the kind of day that calls for you to snoop around the attic in search of such lost treasures. I mean, for those with attics that is. I myself have this apartment ... so I guess I'd have to stumble around under my bed in search of that moldy Converse box packed with various Polaroids taken from various drunken nights. But, you get the scene here right? The atmosphere L'altra create is fairly thick but very breathable and it is chock full of image-laden intentions that don't let up till the needle leaves the records, or the laser leaves the shiny plastic disc. I felt both happy and teary-eyed with this band. Kinda like that box of photos you came across. Sure it's cool to see those images again and be revisited by old friends again, but at the same time those times are gone, you're older and you wonder if it will ever get as good as it was back then. But then again ... was it all that good? That's the rub. Aesthetics Records MW 4.15.2003

Langhorns Club Gabardino
Quinten Tarantino needs to hire these guys for his next movie. I swear this could have been the soundtrack for Despardo or Dusk til Dawn. That mexican, surf swagar, Spi versus Spi sound that just makes you think your some tough guy from the movies. What
's interesting is that this band is from Sweden land of metal and darkness. These guys certainly stick out. A lot of fun to listen two and played with a lot of feel and attitude… like it should be played. Bad Taste Records AH

Last Days of April Angel Youth
Chalk up another one for mid-tempo, mid-interest emo rock. Sweden's Last Days of April are interchangeable with a lot of other band of this ilk, I'll spare you the names. We've all heard them before, just think of any band on the "Emo Diaries" compilation series from the same label that released this full length. Pleasant enough, Angel Youth is a strong album with interesting and nice sounding songs that blur by like passing clouds. Soft, pillowy, and billowy, white and fluffy. Deep Elm JS

Laymen Terms An Introduction EP
Don't be fooled. If someone ever says to you: "Let me put it in laymen terms..." they think you're an idiot. It's completely condescending. I suggest you grab them by the shirt collar or medical scrubs and growl this through your teeth: "I went to Harvard you jackal, and let me tell you plainly it's a pretty damn good school." That'll show 'em. And don't worry if you didn't go to Harvard. We can't ALL be smart. Soda Jerk Records RG 1.18.2002

Lazy American Workers Another Half-Assed Job Well Done
Fight, fart, and fuck punk rock. Self-defeatist packaging and presentation leads way to the kind of annoying, slip-shod sound that's been done way too many times. Redundant, worthless, and hopeless; surely this will deliver pure joy to those operating on single digit brain cells, and/or anyone still interested in "stroke your beer belly" drunk punk. Biscuit Scrubbers Records JS

Lefty's Deceiver Process Junior
Ernest Hemingway wrote a lot about fishing. To those that are unfamiliar with the authors exploits with the pole and elusive trout (sometimes cod), he transcribed the meaning between man and water and the lurkers below with simplistic poetry while always remaining true to his tough guy stature on paper. Perhaps you've come across The Old Man And The Sea yes? It's short, and a lot of schools have to divvy that one out due to it's context of the aged, the young and the oh too resilient demise of coming home with an empty net and half empty bottle. As I pondered Lefty's Deceiver, a name derived from a particular lure I believe, the Hemingway mantra came into full hold as the half done mild/heavy rock clanged through the crackling speakers: It always was and always will be. Man, and sometimes wo-man, conquer the rivers and seas to deplore much of its gilled content only to be come either mounted on lacquered wood or a scrumptious dinner with pilaf and beer ... and music like this will always happen. You pull for it (much like a tugging line) but eventually it gets away from you and there it goes! But, there's always another bite yet to happen. Will this be the one, or will it just fade away, but to tease the steady hand of the fisher another early morning? Only time will tell. Not much to tell here though. It just faded away ... My Pal God Records MW 1.2002

Liar's Academy Trading My Life
The new four-song EP from Liar's Academy, comprised of three ex-members of Cross My Heart and one current member of Strike Anywhere, is way more rock and way less emo than their last full-length, No News Is Good News. The boys must have been spinning their Soul Asylum and Replacements records, because something has definitely changed, and for the better. It's a pleasant and comforting listen for fans of the mid-western collegiate sounds of old, but emo kids who dug their last record might be a bit confounded. Equal Vision Records JS 7.2003

Little Grizzly I'd be Lying If I Said I Wasn't Scared
The whole term of "alt-country" is really pretty great. I mean, all of these cool kids out there that love Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn, along with the Pixies and Husker Du can finally get it together and combine the two and make a pretty decent record around it. Little Grizzly here have constructed a fine album with whips and jangles and good time lyrics, but unfortunately they want to label themselves "alt-country." Why is this I thought? It really has no inclination of alterno country except the fact that perhaps a folk element is introduced now and then. But that's really about it. Maybe they wear cowboy hats or something ... I don't know. Anyway, their sound is tight and light but with a flair for classic rock stylings. Dare I use the word "quirky?" Well, maybe. I just hate that word. Dumb middle-aged women on bad talk shows use that word a lot. To like describe the "bad boy" kid in one of those boy bands. Perhaps it's their Texas homeland inception that forces us to relate the whole "country" thing with them. But ZZ Top is far from country don't you think? I think Little Grizzly is too. They're basically in a genre all to themselves. A nifty little ditty genre with happy trails and bunnies. Perhaps the South and Midwest is something I should consider. Never really thought about it 'til Little Grizzly. They seem cool. Cool beyond a tag like alt-country. Quality Park Records MW

Love Daria Sixth Unknown
This is some decent alt-rock done totally DIY and really goes nowhere. It's always great to listen to people's rehearsal tapes and see all of their efforts by putting graphics and stuff on the cover as well. They even have a web site. These guys might be good to catch live, but on my stereo, I was never really hooked. Oh its cool and all, its got a bit of heaviness now and then, but it just is and there is nothing forward thinking or innovative about it. Perhaps they need to work on a good hook now and then. I don't know. I bet they're nice folks though. MW

Love Kills Love/Mommie's Friend We Don't Want It/Out To Get Me Vinyl Single
You have to oooh and aaah at the sight of the marbleized bluish-gray coloured vinyl here. It is a sight to behold and admire, because the music sure ain't worth writing home about. This is pretty much your standard punk rawk, punctuated with '80s-style metal guitar solos. Boring, recycled Clash and Dead Kennedys-style riffs abound. Food Stamp Records ZH 4.2003

The Lot Six The Code Mode
Why God why? This EP was so rocking out at first. It was a great mix between Garrison and Archers of Loaf. I was really grooving, then they had to show "how deep" they were musically by throwing in out of place trumpets and piano parts. The Code Mode has some promise (Check out their song "Swimming with Sharks"). The first and third tracks of this four song EP are so cool. Unfortunately, the other two (especially the track "We're Breaking Up") made me want to rename this "THE CHOAD MODE." Espo  Records MM

Lunachicks Babysitters on Acid
Lunachicks are a real "ove ‘em or hate ‘em band. Sloppy, haphazard garage punk with cheesy lyrics. Never a dull moment here on their re-released "classic" debut album. Well, maybe a few dull moments --the endless drone of their "Theme Song" rushes to mind -- but, for the most part, this will tease and please garage punk/hardcore diehards. Personally, I can't stand this shit. Go-Kart Records JS

The Lyndsay Diaries The Tops of the Trees Are on Fire
Cry me a cure. This is another songwriter type named Scott Windsor who plays acoustic guitar and sings lame lyrics about girls with the same view as Chris Corobba from Dashboard Confessional. If you are a 14 year old girl this album may strum your heart string, but I am getting sick of this. I can just picture being at the show and little Scotty is on stage singing his heart out while the whole audience sings along. It makes my head hurt. I'll just say if you're a diehard Dashboard fan waiting anxiously for the next album this may hold. The Militia Group KG 4.15.2003

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JS - Jason Schreurs

MW - Mark Whittaker

KG - Kenny George

ZH - Zachary Houle

MH - Melissa Hostetler

RG - Ryan Gowland

CS - Cameron Smith

CR - Chuck Reith

CO - Cory O'Malley

BD - Bruce Duncanson

JR - Jessica Richman

GW - Greg Wilson

DG - Daniel Garret

JT - Jessie Turner

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