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T ... is for Treble

Review Archive:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V WX YZ
Various Artists

Taking Pictures Friends are Ghosts
Taking pictures is a sort of arts/indie rock band from Chicago. This is their debut release put out on My Pal God Records. Taking Pictures combines interesting guitar riffs with technical and sometimes off-time drumming. They tend to bring it all together with lyrics that are abstract. All the words in the booklet ran together with no punctuation spacing so after reading it I had to take two Tylenol and a nap. Anyways, I can't speak for the band's lyrical intention, but the music seems to be clear and well-written. My only complaint would be that the drumming becomes to overbearing. All in all I enjoyed the CD. It reminded me a bit of Braid. If you are into that whole jazzy/indie rock scene check this out. My Pal God Records KG 4.15.2003

Ten Foot Pole Bad Mother Trucker
OK, like the whole trucker thing that entered the punk community was done a while ago. So bands like Ten Foot Pole are a little slow on the draw and named their latest album Bad Mother Trucker and bored us all to tears. I mean, the music itself is okay; kind of fast, kind of loud and definitely Warped Tour material, but over all I wasn't wowed at all and the funny guy in the "punk" band thing who wears a monster truck tee shirt has to be dealt with. I mean, they could be wearing swastikas or Nike ads which sucks just as bad and just as played out, but instead they go for the used-up obvious and make a pretty decent record when it could have been much better. The tunes here are really light in tone and the tunes are tight but not so original that you'll want to wake up grandma and be all "Gran! You have to hear this! It speaks to me!" I did that once with Cannibal Corpse and got in major trouble so I don't suggest you do it here. Or anytime soon. Granny needs her sleep. She's old and stuff. And you are her grandchild. That deserves a few breaks now doesn't it? Yeah. Victory Records MW 4.15.2003

The Terrifying Experience Hit Single 7"
Nowadays, with so many independent and small-label bands to choose from, it's probably safe to say there's something out there for everybody. That said, I'm still trying to figure out exactly who Magnetic Breakthrough, the second full-length album by The Terrifying Experience, is for. It starts out sounding like '80s heavy-metal deconstructed by an intellectual anarchist. Then, as the album progresses (or retrogresses, depending on your tastes), other sounds intermingle, including psychedelia, acoustic guitar and, in the end, an absolutely pointless electronic drum track. The guitar work sounds consistently polished, as it should; guitarist Mitch Mitchell left the band Guided By Voices to form this troupe. Unfortunately, the vocals are simply too weak to complement the music, and invariably get lost in the haze. There is one notable exception: "The Tearful Champion" is a simple and near-perfect blend of voice and music, and it's too bad there aren't more tracks like it. GW

There Were Wires Self-Titled
For once in my lengthy term at Schreurs review central, a band manages to include a bonus live set on their CD without pissing me off with horrible sound and repeated songs ad nauseam. Boston's There Were Wires end their self-titled, nine-song disc with a live set from local college radio station WERS. It's an impassioned, powerful set from a band who must have been bouncing off the studio walls. The album songs are even better, combining the metallic chaos of Deadguy and Botch with the epic emotion of Yage or You and I. "Bigger and Better Things" even provides an acoustic send-off that shows the melody these songs have hidden deep beneath the hellish sounds. Okay, the lyrics are only one step above notebook-scrawled, bus trip meanderings, but, hey, sometimes simplicity can be refreshing, and it certainly is here. When singer Jaime Mason sends a blood curdle of, "We're all so fake," he sounds anything but. Besides, the focus here is not on the literary relevance of the lyrics, but on the screaming and the noise. Both are pure music to the ears. Iodine Recordings JS

This Computer Kills Self-Titled EP
I enjoyed this record more at its incorrect speed of 45 rpm, even though I don't think a speed-metal version of Alvin and the Chipmunks is what this band was shooting for. None of the four songs here -- all straddling the line between thrash and punk rock -- show any direction. Lead singers Jawsh and Nick (no last names) have nothing more insightful to say other than scream bad high-school poetry about the agonies of insomnia and bad relationships. ("You're swallowing razor blades/and I'm sure it tastes like better days.") At least the packaging and liner art is nice, but that's the only good thing to be said about this extended play. At least, when it's played at normal speed. Sedition Records ZH 4.15.2003

Thirty-Two Frames Self-Titled EP
It's 32 frames a second that go by when you're watching a movie ... just to let you know. Anyway, Thirty-Two Frames the band is heavy grit rock that gets the job done with a sore throat and full bladder. I dug them even though at the time I gave this thing a good listen, the sun was out, the neighbors smiling, and this hummingbird fluttering by and hovering in front of my window. I was a bit displaced. At first I liked it, but then it grew on me like a sour wart about to pop. It was then I decided to shelve it and give it a go again later on. That night I tossed it on as the sirens blared, the junkies stumbled by, and the hummingbird was safe asleep in it's little nest and I enjoyed it a bit more. There is a strained anger here that I have a hard time pinning down, but the four boys from Louisville, Ky. somehow manage to release the demons from within without tearing us a new butt hole while at the same time opening up the pit as to have that same jerkoff hit me in the head with his spiked boot. Damn ... I hate that guy. There are only six songs here and the last one is called "Thanksgiving" and pretty good. I thought. Revelation Records MW 4.15.2003

Three Summers Gone Time Well Spent
Three summers ago I graduated from college, and underwent relationship foibles. At that same time, the boys from Three Summers Gone started playing emo-flavored punk rock in their native South Carolina, experienced broken hearts, and eventually moved to San Francisco, my town at the time. Had we been friends, I would have been there to welcome them with open arms. We could've split a twelver of Weinhardt's and cried into our suds. Instead, singer and bass player Chris Summers and company turned the anguish and loneliness of living in the harsh maelstrom of metropolitan San Francisco into what their press release refers to as "post-punk". I've never understood what "post-punk" means, but I guess we're to believe that either punk is dead, or whatever a "post-punk" band is doing is so astoundingly good that they have transcended punk into its eventual punk aftermath. Whatever the meaning is Three Summers Gone neither transcends the genre nor fills the grave of punk rock. They learned the bar chords, practiced hard, and wrote sad lyrics about being hurtled from the South to America's Most Overrated City. If strict emo-punk is your cup of Peet's Café Latte, then Time Well Spent's aural cumulation of three hard years should satisfy your craving. Substandard Records RG

The Thunder Gods Rocknrollica
This has the package and promise of a band bent on a true rock revival. The cover mimics Don McLean's "American Pie," with a bearded nerd giving the metal fore/pinky extension and each painted like ol' Glory. The back shows The Thunder Gods draped in the flag, a la The Who, with eyes closed and ... yeah. Plus, the band's name is so bombastic, one would think we were to be treated to some sonic explosion, an aural education in what it means to be in a true rock and roll band. Unfortunately, this falls a little short. I'm sorry, but you know ... maybe that's the joke. It does rock in the primal sense -- there are guitars and drums and a boogie-woogie piano now and then. But the mix is too light and they come off sounding like a lilty bar band doing Stooges covers, while wearing AC/DC T-shirts and claiming the genius of the Big Bopper in between songs. That's all fine and dandy, but hopefully I paint a simple picture of what you are privy to when purchasing this record. Anyway, rock music is still alive and it's good to know that bands such as this still carry a torch. What we need to do now is start a bonfire and crank it up to 11. Garage Pop Records MW

Thursday Full Collapse
In the band's press sheet it states that Thursday has played with bands like At the Drive In and Boy Sets Fire. Clearly, as this release sounds like a crossbreed of the two. The first song "Understanding in a Car Crash" is blatant At the Drive In guitar thievery. If they are not playing At the Drive in riffs they are playing Boysetsfire heavy/melodic guitar lines. The only unique part of the CD is the vocals -- and even the vocal get monotnous using the same vocal patterns. The musicians in this band are talented but need to focus on not listening to their favorite bands so much and work on creating their own sound. Two of ten songs show a potential in writing. Not horrible, but I have heard all these music cliches before.
Victory Records AH


Tijuana Crime Scene Change of Venue
Alex Brahl must have written Change of Venue, Tijuana Crime Scene's last CD, after a messy break up and before a group hug. This guy can sort through all of his thoughts, doubts, and the pain with his rock band. From the wistful theme in the lyrics, you might not have guessed that a synthesizer backs up the melodies on this emo EP (think Grandaddy The Sophtware Slump). The music has a strange way of making you want to sing along and tap your feet with the scorned lover's music. TCS does not go the traditional slow-paced, minor-chord guitar riff route on Change of Venue. I like the way the synthesizer has a melody in every song on this EP, it gives this CD a new twist to an otherwise standard sounding guitar-carried melody. I wish I had this CD to drive around with in high school after a lonely dance emptied out of our school cafeteria. Strike that, I wish I had Alex Brahl to drive around with. The mood of the music changes with every song, but the theme stands strong throughout. Track four, "Shoot the Lights Out," suggest we move on, and I hope that TCS can recover from whatever scarring experience did happen in their romantic lives, because the music sounds good, but I don't think I can do any more reflection on lost romantic optimism. Arise Records. JR

Tora! Tora! Torrance! Get Into It
Another semi-tolerable band rendered completely unlistenable by a inexcusably annoying vocalist. Nick Koenigs has nothing to fall back on here; he plays no instruments and if he's writing the cheesy lyrics, well ... no dice there either. So why not fucking axe the guy? He's not adding anything positive to the band. Tora! Tora! Torrance! (change the band name too, while you're at it) have decent chops and a pretty kick-ass drummer, sounding somewhere in the realm of At the Drive-In or Rocket from the Crypt, but, argh, that singer! Pull the plug on this guy, please?! The Militia Group JS 7.2003

Jason Traeger My Religion is Love
Maybe you heard these guys at your local coffee shop. Lite and comedic semi-accoustic songs to make you giggle while being serious enough to not make you annoyed. With a poppy cover of a Cro-Mags song this could be the next Bloodhound Gang. K Records MH/AH


Translucent Songs The Walking Wounded
This is what music sounds like if it was recorded underwater which is how I think Tangerine Dream recorded everything from 1971 to 1976. Do you know how much drugs those guys took? Even if I started now, I wouldn't be done catching up until 2035. You'd have to be on drugs to sit around a room full of keyboards saying to your bandmates: "Today, let's create a new atmosphere." Or whatever the equivalent is in German, since Tangerine Dream's a German band, not Americans like Pink Floyd who were better anyway, up until Roger Waters left. Collective Recordings RG 1.18.2002

Trash Brats American Disaster
Ah-HA! Glam punk gone horribly right/wrong. I still can't decide. Men in cheerleader gear and pigtails lend some bent appeal to the chewing on the New York Doll's bones. Like a power-pop fudgcicle dripping on your torn fishnets, these four cross dressers from Detroit just lay ‘em down and smack ‘em yack-em. I enjoyed it. The Trash Brats are fun, mindless rock and would probably put on a good show. So, uncap that bottle of JD, light that um-teeth cigarette and bust out the glittery platforms. Uncle Iggy would be proud. Storm Records MW

Travoltas Endless Summer
Dude ... great name but not what I expected in a band. I don't know why, but I was looking for maybe one of them new fangled trash rock bands or some surf thing or ... something. What I got and what you will get as well is a piece of almost standard punk. But I like that. I mean, the whole Ramones thing comes across pretty easy and the tunes themselves are rather glittery and fun, but not enough to mainstay the title they gave themselves. Mind you, there is that sense of absolute humor that tends to become ample once the record needle scrapes the vinyl enough and after a listen or two they grow on ya. Kinda like that thing down there after that one summer you spent making out with the rebel kid from the co-ed camp across the lake. Even the cover of the album resists all temptations of stodgy classification what with the teen scene doing the hula bop on the sweet, sweet sands of Rockaway Beach. Oops ... there goes the Ramones identification again. But I can't help it. Neither can you. Plus I think John Travolta is dull and makes crappy movies. Dude, Battleship: Earth? Are you kidding me? Fastmusic Records MW

Trial Are These Our Lives?
Cliche hardcore. While sounding like most of the other bands of their era -- Undertow and Strife -- they did impress us with their opening track. An orchestral opening provides a dark entry into double-base, dance-your-ass-off-fun. The remainder of the disc lacks original tempo and becomes mundane and bland. The hooks have become rusty, please purchase new ones. Equal Vision Records MH/AH

Mike Turpen Reno
This Seattle songwriter provides nothing out of the ordinary or of interest on Reno's five songs. From a town that spawned acoustic songwriting heavyweights like Pedro the Lion and Damien Jurado, it's surprising how dull Turpen's strummings and romantic laments actually are. Besides that, his voice is pretty annoying with an accent I just can't place. Spanish? Redwood Records JS 4.15.2003

Two Day Theory Self-Titled EP
Ah, here we have old sckool hardcore resurrected in the form of a bunch of college-aged lads from Memphis, Tenn. -- by way of Athens, Ohio -- tossing out four quickie songs that are supposedly political, according to the liner notes. I say "supposedly" because it's hard to tell what they're singing under the monosyllabic grunts. It's no hardcore classic, but it's kind of fun ... if not funny. There's even an attempt at a melody on the song "Dress For Success (Wear A White Penis)". Tree Of Woe Records ZH 4.15.2003

Two Man Advantage Don't Label Us
This one was a surprise. I had their previous record where they succeeded to taking Gang Green's gimmick of songs about beer and the Hanson Brother's gimmick of songs about hockey and put the two together really well. Still, it was really a gimmick record. Even though their address is Babylon, NY, this totally sounds like it should have come out of Boston 15 years ago. The chorus of "Zamboni Driving Maniac" is impossibly infectious! This is actually a really good record. However, it makes me feel old because it's basically a facelift to those great mid-'80s hardcore records. It is done well. Go-Kart records MM



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Also in Song ...
Song Archive

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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