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The Reviews Matrix - 2004

This page that will essentially be a way for bands and labels to keep up with the review process, from CD arrival/check-in to I-pod transfer, to initial reaction, to full review, to review publication in The Reader -- sorta like tracking a FedEx package. Because of the volume of CDs received at Lazy-i, not all get reviewed, but all get listened to and carefully considered. This will be a way to at least get some feedback and reaction on those recordings that don't make the cut of getting the full review treatment. The matrix will be updated every day a new CD is received, reviewed, etc. Reviews with are the most recent.

CDs submitted in 2004 -- Go to 2005.

Artist Title Label Received
Date
I-pod Download/
listened to
Reviewed
Comments
Rating
Blane Blair self-released 12/30/04        
They Walk in Line Medical Necessities Rock Ridge 12/27/04 3/26/05   Sort of post-punk rock band with sort of (Pixies-influenced) edgy sound marred by loungy lead vocalist. Arrangements are a bit overdone on songs that are not memorable. (3/26/05)
No
The Moaners Dark Snack Yep Roc 12/27/04 1/27/05      
Zyklon Bees Seven Mean Runs Speed! Nebraska 12/27/04     arrived destroyed.
--
Anubian Lights Phantascope Rhythmbank 12/27/04 3/20/05   Lounge space-trip rock with a decidedly retro feel. It's well-produced, no doubt about it, and has its moments where I think this could be good racecar/go-go music. Still, it's hard to recommend because none of these pop-tarts stand out. Adele Bertei can still belt them out, though. 3/20/05
No
Chris Porro Lampreys and Gigolos self release 12/27/04        
The Rockwells Tear It Down Migrant 12/27/04 1/16/05      
Brazilian Girls Lazy Lover EP Verve Forecast 12/27/04 1/16/05    
No
The Chris Stamey Experience A Question of Temperature Yep Roc 12/27/04 1/16/05      
Pitty Sing self-titled Or 12/27/04 1/27/05      
Built Like Alaska Autumnland Future Farmer 12/27/04 1/27/05      
The Bosch Havin' Fun, Soundin' Good self release 12/27/04        
Todd Stadtman Only I Can Save You Prix Fixe 12/27/04        
Robbers on High Street Tree City New Line 12/27/04 3/20/05
3/25/05
Red hot from the mean streets of NYC, the Robbers have only been churning it out since the summer of 2002 and already they're this year's "future of rock" band. I don't know about that, but you could do a whole lot worse. Their laidback rock-with-an-edge gets compared to The Strokes but more closely resembles Spoon or Wheat, with a giddy-up pop-rock sheen that glows from crooner/heartbreaker Ben Trokan's sweet, sweet swagger. Produced with Peter Katis (Interpol, Mercury Rev, Get Up Kids), look for Tree City on a radio near you, eventually. (3/25/05)
Yes
The Marlowes Glue, Glitter and Shine Shiny Fly 12/6/04        
Nathan Maxwell Undone Hoodoo Music 12/6/04        
Escalator Alva Star Princess 12/6/04        
The Atlantic Manor Special Is Dead Doo Too 12/6/04        
Men of Porn Wine, Women and Song Small Stone 12/6/04 3/12/05      
Strawberry Burns The Kitchen Pink self-release 12/6/04        
Aria Metamorphosis Koch 12/6/04        
Shimmy Starting Over self-release 11/26/04        
Milton and the Devils Party What Is All This Sweet Work Worth? self-release 11/26/04 3/25/05   Throwback jangling college rock that emulates R.E.M. without the style or substance. Just because you're a couple professors doesn't mean you know how to rock. (3/25/05)
No
Carmine Red Still Enough to Leave self-release 11/26/04 3/25/05   Sort of a cross between The Jealous Sound and Taking Back Sunday-style emo. Vocalist Chi emotes way too much yearning on songs that lack solid central melodies. (3/25/05)
No
Avoidance Theory The Shape of Trees Schmat 11/26/04        
The Sophomore Year You Are Here... She is There Search and Rescue 11/26/04        
Devolver Life Science Lifeboat 11/20/04        
The Stragglers Downhill Sunset self-release 11/20/04        
Two Gallants The Throes Alive 11/19/04 11/19/04   See Jan. 29, 2005 blog entry.
Yes
The Rosebuds/The Close 7-inch single Goodnight 11/19/04 3/26/05    
Yes
Paperdoll self-titled self-released 11/19/04        
Before Braille Balance and Timing Bad News Bear 11/19/04        
various artists Music from Thinking XXX Emporer Norton 11/19/04 1/1/05 1/15/05  
No
Cub Country Stay Poor Stay Happy Future Farmer 11/13/04 11/14/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Egon All Theory and No Action Has Anyone Ever Told You 11/12/04        
Motivational Speakers Just Add Water Whoulihan 11/12/04        
Tuesday Conspiracy Running from Ghosts Rock Garden 11/12/04        
Hedaya This Is Where I Keep It Cleverbedsit 11/12/04 1/27/05      
Parker & Lily The Low Lows Warm 11/12/04 11/12/04   Droll, droll, droll... (7/10/05)
No
Colleen Coadic You Feel This Good 12 11/12/04        
BeKay The Future of Hip Hop Is Now TSOB 11/12/04        
Little Brazil You and Me Mt. Fuji 11/2/04 11/2/04
3/25/05
Local heroes get it right on a pop-rock keeper featuring Landon Hedges' quirky, forlorn voice. (3/25/05)
Yes
The Donnas Gold Medal Atlantic 11/2/04 7/10/05    
No
Mike Ferraro 3-song EP self-released 11/2/04 3/25/05   Nice enough three-song folky excursion by a self-admitted Lou Barlow worshiper, produced by Wayne Dorell (Yo La Tengo). The kicky first track is a real hand-clappin' keeper, the last two are snoozers. (3/25/05)
No
Bermuda Triangle Service High Swan Dive self-released 11/2/04        
The Original Mark Edwards Rewind Tomorrow Princess 11/2/04        
Shesus Ruined It for You Narnack 11/2/04        
Guitar Wolf Rock 'n' Roll Etiquette Narnack 11/2/04 11/19/04      
The Minus 5 At the Organ Yep Roc 11/2/04 11/3/04      
Osgoods Automatic Do-Over self-release 11/2/04        
Grandaddy Artist's Choice Below the Radio Ultra 11/2/04 11/19/04      
UWP 4-song EP Blind Guru 11/2/04 11/19/04      
5 Story Fall Leaving Everything Behind AED 11/2/04 11/19/04      
P. Jones For Better or Worse self-release 11/2/04        
Forty Watt Bulb Shovel's Length Short Aquarium 10/23/04        
The Arcade Fire Funeral Merge 10/23/04 11/19/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Adam Richman The Patience EP Or 10/23/04        
Val Emmich Slow Down Kid Epic 10/23/04 11/3/04   For some reason, I remember Emmich being more of a straight-forward singer song writer, but on relistening to Slow Down Kid (the original release), this really isn't that much of a stretch, commercially or otherwise. Now that he's on Epic I suppose it's his duty to try to write radio/tv hits, which is really what he's done here in a Goo Goo Dolls sort of way. Stuff has a beat and is well-played, but we heard it all before a few years ago, on the radio. 1/30/05
No
Boyracer Happenstance Happy Happy Birthday to Me 10/23/04        
The Channel self-titled C-Side 10/23/04        
The Marlboro Chorus Youth Medium Future Appletree 10/23/04 1/15/05    
Yes
So L'il Revolution Thumpin' Goodbye Better 10/23/04        
Men in Fur self-titled Happy Happy Birthday to Me 10/23/04        
Driver of the Year Statik Future Appletree 10/23/04        
Dutch Elms Music for Happiness Jigsaw 10/23/04        
Son, Ambulance Key Saddle Creek 10/21/04 10/21/04   See profile Feb. 16, 2005 Lazy-i profile.
Yes
Yearbook self-titled Dunket 10/21/04        
Bars Introduing... Equal Vision 10/21/04        
Colleen Coadic You Feel This Good 12 10/21/04        
Landing Gear Break-up Songs for Relationships That Never Happened Catlick 10/21/04        
Matthew Sweet Kimi Ga Suki Superdeformed 10/21/04     See Feature/profile
Yes
Matthew Sweet Living Things Superdeformed 10/21/04     See Feature/profile
Yes
Flood the Sky self-titled self-release 10/21/04        
Aloha Here Comes Everyone Polyvinyl 10/16/04 10/21/04  
No
Low Millions Ex-Girlfriends Manhattan 10/16/04 11/19/04   Way too cheesy... (6/10/05)
No
Quantice Never Crashed self-titled Death Scene 10/16/04        
Grenadier Hand Ofensive   10/16/04        
Best of Seven Everything Is New Again Hellkat 10/16/04        
North of Emerson Rock the Hell Out of Rock N Roll self-release 10/16/04        
Montoya self-titled Erratic Music 10/16/04        
Saint Etienne Travel Edition 1990-2005 Sub Pop 10/16/04 10/16/04    
Yes
Askeleton Angry Album Goodnight 10/16/04        
The Invisible Cities Watertower Noisyfrog 10/9/04 10/9/04      
Pinkeye d'Gekko Dry Clothes for the Drowning Force MP 10/9/04        
Julia Wilde Rush Ear 4 Music 10/9/04        
various artists Soundtrack -- Mean Girls Ryko 10/9/04        
Codeseven Dancing Echoes / Dead Sound EqualVision 10/4/04        
The Atari Star Prayer & Protection Johann's Face 10/1/04 1/16/05      
David Singer & the Sweet Science The Stars Burn Out Engine Studios 10/1/04 11/3/04      
Zykos self titled Post Parlo 9/27/04 9/28/04    
Yes
Blood Meridian We Almost Made It Home Teenage USA 9/27/04        
Graham Perry Perryphernalia GGP 9/27/04        
OPM For the Masses Suburban Noize 9/27/04        
Daddy X Organic Soul Suburban Noize 9/27/04        
Faith Kleppinger No Galore Two Sheds 9/27/04 10/9/04    
Yes
Pitty Sing Demons, You Are the Stars in Cars 'til I Die Or Music 9/27/04        
Neotropic White Rabbits Mush 9/27/04        
The Zyklon Bees demo demo 9/27/04 10/9/04   Pure wallet-chain punk rock. It's a sweet combination of garage with a touch of twang and horror-billy that rubs raw on a demo that sounds like it was recorded in 1965. 10/19/04
Yes
Val Emmich 3-song EP Epic 9/27/04        
The Swiss Army Private Ambulance Women 9/27/04        
Okay Paddy Hunk Prison Jazz 9/27/04        
Frog Eyes The Folded Palm Absolutely Kosher 9/23/04 9/28/04    
No
The Autumn Project La Luna de Negra Zu 9/23/04        
The Rubens Esmerelda Spacebox 9/22/04        
Twinkie self titled Avebury 9/22/04        
Andrew What's It All About? Avebury 9/22/04        
The Get-Outs Get the Message Avebury 9/22/04        
Autolux Future Perfect DMZ/Red Ink 9/22/04        
Various artists A Situation Presents Itself self-release 9/22/04 9/22/04      
Groove Pocket Everything's Whatever self-release 9/22/04        
Art Damage Fear Before the March of Flames Equal Vision 9/22/04        
Vaux Plague Music Equal Vision 9/22/04        
Flogging Molly Within a Mile of Home Side One Dummy 9/22/04        
Wolf Eyes Burned Mind Sub Pop 9/22/04        
Frausdots Couture, Couture, Couture Sub Pop 9/22/04        
Damien Jurado Where Shall You Take Me? Secretly Canadian 9/22/04 9/22/04      
Liars Academy Demons Equal Vision 9/22/04        
Dereck Dereck 2 self-release 9/22/04 9/22/04      
Damien Jurado Just in Time for Something Secretly Canadian 9/22/04 10/1/04      
Before Today A Celebration of an Ending Equal Vision 9/22/04        
The Unseen Guest Out There High-on-Chai 9/22/04        
Cheating Kay Again the Distance (O Altitudo) House of Tears 9/14/04        
Sean Russell To This Point BPL 9/14/04        
Books on Tape The Business End Greyday 9/14/04 9/14/04    
No
Bella Parker The Things We Say self release 9/14/04        
Haiku d'Etat Coup De Theatre Project Blowed/Decon 9/14/04        
Afrika Bambaataa Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Light Tommy Boy 9/14/04        
Richard Buckner Dents and Shells Merge 9/7/04 9/7/04   It's not his fault that one of his songs made it into one of the most nonsensical Volkswagen commercials ever made (Why don't the yuppies just take the old lady with them?). Regardless, it's resulted in a lot of national attention -- when he played in Omaha recently, he was simply known as "The guy whose song is on the Toureg commercial." Too bad this rather limp stab at alt-country doesn't have the oomph to provide more fodder for his newfound pitchman status. (5/8/05)
No
Ian Moore Luminaria Yep Roc 9/7/04 9/14/04   Guess he used to be an Austin blues rock guy a la Stevie Ray Vaughan. You wouldn't know it from this middle-of-the-road AOR effort that tries to get by on twang when it lacks interesting melodies, which is most of the time. (5/8/05)
No
Piney Gir Peakahokahoo Greyday 9/7/04 10/9/04      
Paper St. Music for the Desperate self release 9/7/04        
'89 Chicago Cubs There Are Giants in the Earth Slowdance 8/31/04 9/7/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Now It's Overhead Wait in a Line Saddle Creek 8/31/04 9/7/04   One of the better EP/single values for your money, includes a remix by The Faint and (best of all) a cover of Magnetic Fields' "The Book of Love," which alone is worth the price of admission. (5/8/05)
Yes
Lismore We Could Connect or We Could Not Cult Hero 8/31/04 10/4/04   Great programming, great low-fi electronics; cold, uninteresting songs sung by a woman with a voice of an adenoidal robot. Sort of a limp Postal Service meets Gerty or Hooverphonic, but without their melodies or direction. (7/26/05)
No
The Eames Era The Second EP C Student 8/31/04        
Kava Kava Maui Chocolate Fireguard Music 8/31/04 11/3/04    
No
The Rosebuds Makeout Merge 8/31/04 9/7/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Campground Effect The Flight Seat EP Local Cannery 8/26/04        
Redlight Halo Make YourMaker Local Cannery 8/26/04        
Jonathan Rundman Public Library Salt Lady 8/26/04 10/9/04      
The Neighbors Mobile Homes -- 7-inch Realm of Records 8/26/04 3/26/05      
Winter In Alaska Innocence We've Lost Viking Funeral 8/21/04 9/14/04   Other than the "Happy Birthday" song (Note to attorney: Have they secured rights to record this? See Snopes), there's not much here to smile about on this long, rather droll journey into Cure-inspired neu-emo. Mopey, tonal, rainy-day music that will put you to sleep. It hits maximum yawn-itude with the 6-minute "Jersey Girl." While I like slow, moody stuff as much as the next guy, it's gotta be interesting, and dynamic (see Low, Red House Painters). It doesn't help to have a 2-minute introduction designed to put listeners in a coma. It pumps up after that, but is mangled by lyrics like "Yearning for the sunrise / I still remember the tears I cried / When I questioned / Did you miss me / Like I missed you / If you came back / Would I still be important to you?" Awww! The rest sounds like watered down Toad the Wet Sprocket. 9/23/04
No
Dura Mater self-titled Post Replica 8/21/04        
Renee Heartfelt Magdalene Limekiln 8/21/04        
BoySkout School fo Etiquette Alive 8/21/04        
Andy Germak Anybody Ever Really Know Anyone? Rough Diamond 8/21/04        
The Good Life Album of the Year Saddle Creek 8/18/04 8/18/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
The Faint Wet from Birth Saddle Creek 8/18/04 8/18/04    
Yes
American Music Club Love Songs for Patriots Merge 8/17/04 9/14/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
25%Toby Live at the BPL Bass Propulsion Laboratories 8/17/04        
Year Future The Hidden Hand GSL 8/17/04        
Rich Robinson Paper Keyhole 8/17/04        
halfwayhome A Brand New Subdivision Death Scene 8/17/04        
The Snake The Cross The Crown Mander Salis Equal Vision 8/11/04        
The Rutabega These Knotty Lines Johann's Face 8/11/04        
Carol Blaze <<o>> self release 8/11/04        
Mark Burgess and the Sons of God Zima Junction Pivot 8/11/04 8/17/04    
Yes
The Great Depression Unconscious Pilot Princess 8/11/04 10/4/04 1/15/05  
Yes
various artists Sketchbook Vol. 1 Burning Daisies 8/11/04        
The Wanteds Let Go Afterglow self release 8/11/04 11/19/04      
Blind Jackson Album Sampler self release 8/11/04        
The Ordinary Don't Let Me Dia a Waiter Audiction 7/30/04        
Arthur Yoria I'll be Here Awake 12 7/30/04        
Reneta self-titled self released 7/30/04        
David Demordaunt Everything that has a Beginning Temujin 7/30/04        
The Waking Eyes Watch Your Money WEA 7/30/04        
The Vandalays (re)begin Slip 7/30/04 10/9/04   Relatively straight-up rock, probably wants to be grouped with garage bands, but lead vocalist is too slick and arrangements are too boring. Released in 2003. 2/13/05
No
The Polyphonic Spree Together We're Heavy Hollywood 7/20/04 7/20/04 09/23/04  
No
Coastal Halfway for You Words on Music 7/20/04        
For Against Echelons Words on Music 7/20/04 7/20/04   Rerelease of a classic debut by the seminal Lincoln post-punk band, the CD still holds up 18 years later. A must-have for any fans of early Factory Records bands whose style they deify. (5/8/05)
Yes
The New Year The End Is Near Touch and Go 7/20/04 7/20/04    
Yes
Radiant Republic of Texas Goden Gate Mistake Satan Rides Shotgun 7/20/04        
Bensin Leave Your Mark Search and REscue 7/20/04        
patientZero Free of Any Mindset self release 7/20/04 8/17/04    
No
Hilliard {Inside} Out self-release 7/6/04 8/26/04    
No
The Starvations Get Well Soon GSL 7/6/04        
The Presidents of the United States of America Love Everybody PUSA 7/6/04 10/9/04   Aren't these the guys who sang "Lump" sometime in the '90s? I thought they were gone. Apparently not. They maintain the hick vocals as well as the clever, rather wordy lyrics. The guitars are there, too, along with the annoying synth touches that scream "out-dated." It's high-energy "up" rock with quick vocals but not as annoying as the detestably cheesy Barenaked Ladies -- more like
'70s-flavored pop that you could find in your big-sister's box of 45s. At times this also dawdles in Ben Folds happier territory, albeit without the keyboard. For you indie purists, think of this as what Dismemberment Plan would have sounded like had they ever tried for a radio hit, or latter-day Too Much Joy or (lest I say it) Cake. Fourteen songs is overkill, however. 1/16/05

Yes
Paul Westerberg Folker Vagrant 7/6/04 7/6/04   I love Replacements as much as the next guy, but Westerberg ran out of ideas after his first solo album. This comes off as an acoustic rehash of his usual schtick, and old Paul sounds road weary and bored most of the time. "Looking Up in Heaven" is an acoustic rip of his own "Dyslectic Heart." "What About Mine?" reminds me of an uptempo "Sadly Beautiful." Hardcore fans will never let go of this guy, and God bless them for their support because he is a living legend. Just don't expect the rest of us to come along for the ride. 9/27/04
No
The Cure The Cure Geffen 7/6/04 7/20/04   Like just about everyone else who worshipped The Cure since the '80s I was looking forward to this as a revisitation of Disintegration that Bloodflowers never was. Instead, it fiddles with darkness without ever trying to find a way out. It's atmosphere for atmosphere's sake, betraying the fact that Robert Smith doesn't have anything interesting left to say. 1/16/05
No
Pale Beneath the Blue Hologram Reach for the Sky 7/6/04 8/17/04      
Daniel Liszt Distance Engemics 7/6/04        
Comets on Fire Blue Cathedral Sub Pop 7/6/04   08/9/04  
Yes
Tommy Stinson Village Gorilla Head Sanctuary 7/6/04        
David Brookings The End of an Error Byar 6/30/04        
The Bubbleheads Atomic Fun PopPop 6/30/04        
Dutch Kills Nothting Was Ever the same Wordclock 6/30/04        
The Paradise Vending All That Ever wasn't Emergency Umbrella 6/30/04 1/27/05      
The Show Is the Rainbow Correcting Dog Behavior Problems Using Dog Radartron Suckapunch 6/30/04        
Beep Beep Business Casual Saddle Creek 6/30/04 7/6/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Rent Money Big Proper Flesh Suit Somedaynever 6/30/04 7/6/04   The recording is muddy and flat, lacking dynamics and doesn't capture the band's manic stage energy, brought to you in living color by resident mad-boy vocalist Tim Scahill's channeling the living soul of Iggy Pop. That said, there's a dark intensity to tracks like "Landslide Architecture" and "Paying Bills" that take into consideration the no wave-punkers that came before them (Pixies come to mind, though they were never this arch) or at the very least, the Nebraska garage punks from those golden '90s (Mousetrap comes to mind, though Pat Buchanan never sang this well).

On "JFKVD" they make the most out of a fuzzy keyboard then blow it up with power chords and the whining reframe of "kill the president," I think. It's one of the few lines that make it through the muck. A little more separation would have been nice, along with a few more breaks, some more change-ups, anything to crack through the noisy monotony created by every song. The clear-cut melody at the core of "Ruckus Fuckus" makes it the best track on the CD -- finally you have something that you can wag your head to (they call it a hook). More of this sort of ruckus, please. 9/23/04

No
Constantines self-titled Sub Pop 6/30/04 8/17/04    
Yes
Wigglepussy Live at the Gallows Quan 6/30/04        
Vago The Mariachi EP self-release 6/30/04 7/6/04      
Simone White The Sincere Recording Co. Sincere Recording 6/30/04 7/20/04 2/13/05  
Yes
Q Public self-titled Atomic K 6/30/04        
Rounding 3rd Everything I Would Say... self-release 6/30/04        
The Kingdom Flying Club Sumatra Fox Emergency Umbrella 6/25/04 6/25/04    
Yes
Will Johnson Vultures Await Misra 6/25/04 3/12/05    
Yes
Moron Parade Dark Nights: Knife City self release 6/25/04        
Tracey's Alibi Well Kept Secret self-released 6/22/04 7/2/04      
Tilly and the Wall Wild Like Children Team Love 6/22/04 7/1/04 08/9/04  
Yes
Various Artists Bad News Bear Sampler Bad News Bear 6/22/04 7/2/04   Three-song sampler by a pseudo label and I say "pseudo" because they have yet to release anything but this sampler. That said, if they stopped now they would by batting 1,000. Track 1, The Ruby Lee's "Broke Down" reminds me of upbeat Teenage Fanclub complete with groovy melody, great harmonies and lots o' happy moments. Track 2 by a couple guys who go by the name Peachcake is electro-dance by computer nerds who obviously loved New Order and Depeche -- the perfect combination. Called "Hundreds and Hundreds," their take on Hot Topic fashion shows their nerdiness and obvious wisdom and/or teenage angst and/or your typical anti-scenester frustration. "I will never understand why you think you're so cool for being part of this lame fashion," they quip. They're right. This is the best of the three. Closer is old favorite The Show is the Rainbow doing up "Ning Ning". Darren Keen is known for his live shows more than his recordings, probably because the mania hasn't translated, yet. It's a whole different thing, but I like it. "Charisma was my career choice / Mom says it could be better." Good thing he doesn't listen to his momma. If this three-song demo reflected the actual label direction and stable of artists we would all be excited. What comes of BNB is anyone's guess, tho… 8/17/04
Yes
Rogue Wave Out of the Shadow Sub Pop 6/22/04 7/2/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Zelienople Sleeper Coach Loose Thread 6/22/04 3/12/05      
Icares self-titled self-released 6/22/04 7/2/04      
Various Artists Another Year on the Streets Vol. 3 Vagrant 6/22/04        
Otasco This Product Is Extremely Delicious! Apocalypse the Apocalypse 6/22/04        
The Album Leaf In a Safe Place Sub Pop 6/15/04 06/23/04   Oh it's not bad, and for those who have never heard of The Album Leaf or Tristeza, it'll be a revelation. As for the rest of us, we've been there, done that. And the addition of vocals by LaValle, members of Black Heart Procession or Sigur Ros doesn't matter much, as groundbreaking as it may seem for LaValle. He seems trapped in his same, pretty chord progressions, his same computer click-pops, his same predictable soft/loud/soft arrangements that always seem to come down at the end. It still makes great incidental music for your next art party. 8/9/04
No
Soltero The Tongues You Have Tied Three Ring 6/15/04     Nerdy acoustic indie guy Tim Howard has a sweet, nasal voice that manages to not be annoying. A couple times, his style almost has a Gilberto Gil (by way of Boston) Latin lilt. The style is carefree, fun and somewhat clever without really trying to be. For fans of Okkerville or Kings of Convenience. 2/13/05
Yes
Irradio Make-up for the Inaugurated Grey Flight 6/15/04        
Pines self-titled Grey Flight 6/15/04        
Respira This Is Not What You Had Planned Grey Flight 6/15/04 6/25/04   So who hasn't J. Robbins worked with lately? Is he dead-set on being known as "thee producer" for the free-livin' emo world ? Well, he's getting that rep, and working with bands like this isn't helping matters much. Respira emotes what has become a cookie-cutter emo formula that's immediately recognizable to anyone familiar with the genre's vocal style -- the young, sad, whine that turns into the painful wail that proves to you that no one's holding back, in their own very earnest way. That, taken with the ho-hum arrangements and relatively flat production make this another boring indie/emo CD from a band that's bound to come through your town in the very near future. 8/9/04
No
X-ecutioners Revolutions Sony 6/15/04        
Pleasant Stitch Capacitor Tinderbox 6/15/04 8/17/04   Spacey trip-hop with female vocalist who honestly has a great, soaring voice (see "Ohmage"), but most of the melodies are more tedious than memorable. This is what can happen when you compose songs with a synthesizer. 1/16/05
No
Vero How Does It Feel Among Giants 6/15/04        
Division Day The Mean Way In Undetected Plagiarism 6/15/04 8/17/04   Its lineage is SF's Tiny Telephone studios, its style is Semisonic meets whatever indie band is coming though your town this week, and while they're not breaking new ground, they're keeping the old ground nicely tended while the six-plus-minute "Hello" gives us hope for future construction. 9/29/04
Yes
Burton L. Spy Life Omega Point 6/15/04 8/17/04      
Corporate MF The Royal We Omega Point 6/15/04        
Avenpitch self-titled Omega Point 6/15/04        
Pants Yell! Songs for Siblings Asaurus 6/5/04 3/23/05   Sweet little voices singing sweet little songs using guitars and Casios and a little trap set. And while there's a juvenile quality to these home-made ditties about relationships gone wrong and weekends on the cape, I like this low-fi kite-flying project better than, say, Tilly and the Wall, simply because it's more tuneful and inviting and heartfelt (and less coy). Think of it as Kings of Convenience folk pop played by a pack of art students who grew up with the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkle. (3/25/05)
Yes
Leaving Rouge White Houses Greyday Productions 6/5/04        
Acuity Skyward Retrograde 6/5/04 7/20/04   Throwback guitar histrionics (heroics?) a la Joe Satriani on six instrumentals that capture "that '70s sound" made famous by proggers of every stable and design. Complete with Wayne's World arpeggios and the usual power chords. I could see this catching on with the guys who never got over '80s hair metal. 8/17/04
No
Gnome Slaughterhouse / Bombardment Society split 7-inch self-released 6/5/04        
Ideal Cleaners Make Your Time 7-inch Speed! Nebraska 6/5/04        
Maritime Glass Floor DeSoto 6/5/04     See Feature/profile
No
Some by Sea Get Off the Ground if You're Scared Kringle 5/21/04        
Pushing Red Buttons Foreign Film or Tango Dance? Blockchord 5/21/04        
The Marcus Singletary Band Capitol Hill self-release 5/21/04        
The Waking Eyes 3-song demo self-release 5/21/04        
Low Skies The Bed Flameshovel 5/17/04 06/23/04      
Vehicle The Fire Is Warmer on the Inside Muze 5/17/04        
D.W. Holiday Technical Difficulties, Under the Influence... Three Ring 5/17/04 6/25/04   Clearly influenced by Pink Floyd, it has some interesting atmospheric touches on the second half of the CD ("Push Play," "Auburn Skies"), but unlike classic Floyd, lacks truly soaring melodies or memorable lyrics. 1/27/05
No
The Stepford Five A New Design for Living Reverbose 5/13/04 1/15/05   Typical by-the-numbers jangular indie rock by a Columbus, Ohio, four-piece, complete with chiming guitars (good) and limp, uninspired vocals (not good). The brooding "Getaway Car" is the best of the bunch, but it's only 95 seconds long. In the end, we've heard this all before. (7/29/05)
No
Jon Chinn I Can't Believe You Live Like That Reverbose 5/13/04        
Matthew Parmenter Astray Strung Out 5/13/04        
Eight Days Gone Silence to the Naysayers Ragin' Grace/Titan 5/13/04        
Stimulator self-titled self-released 5/13/04        
Summer at Shatter Creek Sink or Swim Redder 5/13/04 6/25/04      
South Bay Bessie It's About Time Acutest 5/13/04        
Lola Ray I Don't Know You DC Flag 5/3/04 10/1/04      
Kingsbury This Plane Is Coming Down self-release 5/3/04 6/28/04   They cite Radiohead and Pink Floyd as influences. If I were them, I'd-a picked Yo La Tengo or The New Year (especially on the elegant "18 Months") and The Feelies (especially on the snarling "Been Around"). This is a striking four-song debut that mixes laid-back, guitar-driven indie rock with plenty of cool piano and moody, sad vocals that make your chest hurt. No idea where they're from, and their one-sheet provides few clues (Their area code, 772, is for So. Central Florida. Can that be right?) A self-release worth seeking out (try their website). 8/9/04
Yes
Marshall Tucker Band Beyond the Horizon Shout! Factory 5/3/04        
Neurosis The Eye of Every Storm Neurot 5/3/04 7/2/04    
No
Danger Mouse & Jemini Ghetto Pop Life Lex 5/3/04 5/5/05   The only hip-hop CD from '04 that remains on my i-Pod. Go for "Bush Boys" and stay for "Don't Do Drugs" the title track and just about all of it. Always interesting mixes, always in-your-face lyrics. And plenty of style. 2/12/05
Yes
Kalpana Hors de Combat Redder 5/3/04        
Meth and Goats self titled self release 5/3/04 3/26/05   Grinding noise rock with a muffled beat a nasal whine a lots of screaming. It has it's mathy moments. Probably better live. (3/26/05)
No
The Patsys Beneath You/Gone Umbrella 5/3/04 3/25/05   Well-made Eric Burden-style garage rock by ex-members of, among others, Gaunt. Features big buzzin' guitars, organ and crash-smash drums. B-side was engineered by none other than Steve Albini. Perfect ambiance for any long-neck bar circa 1967. Should have been released on vinyl, though. (3/26/05)
Yes
Plasmodium Clairaudience Dark County 5/3/04 6/28/04   Listed as Electronica, has more in common with funk/lounge. Instrumental tracks are better than the ones with vocals, which is a nice way of saying the vocals aren't very good. Not compelling. 1/15/05
No
The Yesterdays Everything You Never Knew self-release 5/3/04 5/11/04      
The Gamits Antidote Suburban Home 4/26/04 5/23/04   Upbeat pop-punk in an Material Issue sort of way is cute, well-performed and somewhat selfless but not very interesting. (3/25/05)
No
The Subcons Time Has Come self-release 4/26/04 8/17/04   Feels homemade, probably because it is. Like a bunch of buddies getting together over beers in a loft apartment knocking out acoustic ditties while people walk in and out of frame. I like it because it seems sincere. And it's catchy, too. Not remarkable, but not bad. 2/13/05
Yes
Red Room self-titled self-release 4/26/04 8/17/04   By-the-numbers stab at smooth FM radio fodder, influenced by Hootie/Creed. I bet they have a huge local following of fans who never heard of indie rock. 8/26/04
No
Majestic Twelve Searching for the Elvis Knob self-release 4/26/04 5/23/04      
Love This Life All Song for All Occasions Expanse 4/22/04 5/23/04      
LKN In the Leap Year Greyday 4/22/04 5/23/04   Angle-punk comes dangerously close to losing itself in its own distortion (especially on a couple thown-together tracks meant as experimental but are just annoying), but keeps its head above the waves long enough to make it one of the most endearing female-fronted punk/noise records since The Breeder's Pod. From Portland. Grinding and mesmerizing. 2/13/05
Yes
Lucid Grey Out of Focus self-release 4/22/04 5/23/04   Metallica-style metal that mixes rock and CM (Cookie Monster) vocals. Uninspired. 9/27/04
No
Sophie B. Hawkins Wilderness Trumpet Swan 4/19/04 4/27/04   Slick, slick, slick. The perfect soundtrack to an '80s brat-pack feel-good movie or a toothpaste commercial. Almost too commercial for commercial radio. Certainly not "edgy" enough for The OC. Horribly overproduced. I didn't think they still made records like this, but then again, I turned off my radio years ago. (5/25)
No
Slow Train Soul Illegal Cargo Tommy Boy 4/19/04        
Tweaker 2 a.m. Wakeup Call BMG 4/19/04 4/27/04   Tweaker is a project by Chris Vrenna formerly of Nine Inch Nails, but it's not just Chris Vrenna. It's also all his guests, including Will Oldham (singing on the most NIN-ish soft-loud-soft industrial track of the bunch), David Sylvian, Johnny Marr and Robert Smith (which seems appropriate considering even the instrumentals (specifically "Cauterized") have a Cure-like pallor to them). Vrenna avoids being caste as a Reznor clone thanks to the CD's more cool, laid-back, rhythmic moments that lighten the load without losing any of their implicit sinister qualities. The transitions between the instrumental and vocal numbers are flawless and complimentary. This is the type of CD that will sound different under different circumstances. I've only listened to it in the light of day, but something tells me it's best heard at night, or just a few hours before dawn. (6/23/04)
Yes
Sour Deluxe White Noise self-release 4/14/04 5/23/04 07/3/04  
Yes
Carrier 5-song demo self-release 4/14/04 5/23/04      
Bright Eyes/Neva Dinova One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels Crank! 4/12/04 4/14/04      
Hudson Falcons demo self-release 4/12/04        
Bumblebeez 81 Print2 Modular 4/12/04        
The Good Life Lovers Need Lawyers Saddle Creek 4/10/04 4/10/04 07/14/04  
Yes
The Jealous Sound Kill Them With Knidness Better Looking 4/8/04 4/9/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Modest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad News Epic 4/8/04 4/9/04 07/16/04  
Yes
This Process Is a Still Life self-titled Firefly Sessions 4/8/04 6/30/04   While there is nothing inherently wrong with this recording, it's as appealing as listening to the jazzy Muzak they play during your local forecast on The Weather Channel. It's pretty and completely ignorable thanks to an almost complete lack of dynamics. Even when they try to get loud, as on "Pretty Is Predictable," the effect is as subtle as turning up your volume, then turning it back down again. 9/29/04
No
The One AM Radio A Name Writ in Water Level Plane 4/8/04 5/11/04   These electronic lullabies are luscious and sweet and almost too precious for their own good. Yaley Hrishikesh Hirway has a quiet, breathy Art Garfunkel-esque voice that mews lyrics of "quiet bare arms" and over a Postal Service pulse on songs that just as easily work with an acoustic guitar as the usual electronic tick-tock. Jane Yakowitz's violin is a welcome addition, especially on tracks like "Buried Below," and "What You Gave Away," where it sits like a nest above the tonal cushion that covers everything with a soft, gray gauze. In fact, that gauze is the CD's downfall, leveling out any interesting dynamic. Unless you're in a dark room with headphones, you'll have stopped closely listening to this CD way before the end, instead relegating it to background music. 8/28/04
No
Rachael Yamagata Happenstance Private Music/Arista 4/8/04 6/28/04

05/07/05

 
Yes
Midgetmen High Life self-release 4/8/04        
Austin's Obsession Independent Film Castle Road 4/7/04 5/23/04   It all borders at times on electronic music, or maybe electronic sound effects would be a better description. The ping-pongs get grating while the drop-in fuzz-tone synth on CD's spotlight dream-voice song is downright annoying ("Honest Girl"). Austin's Obsession seems obsessed with trying to build drama through effects, letting go of melody for the sake of sound. The result is impossible to get lost in, or like a film where all the characters are two-dimensional, impossible to make us care (6/22/04).
No
The Hokkaido Concern Circuits Flooded EP   4/7/04 5/23/04   Five-song EP is a stab at melding angular punk with dissonant screamo and lots of guitar bombast. And while there's no arguing the intricacy of the guitar lines and the CD's overall chutzpah level, the final product is a repetitive chug-a-lug that borders on prog. My advice: simplify. (5/7/05)
No
The Capsules Someone for Everyone Urinine 4/3/04 5/3/04    
No
Split Habit Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Double Zero 4/3/04        
Goldman Live self-release 4/3/04        
Darling You Get So Alone At Times That it Just Makes Sense self-release 4/2/04 5/23/04  

On a certain level, it's a mess, and hopefully, always will be. Who knows what these guys want to be when they grow up? A reincarnation of an early Factory Records band? A tribute to green Morrissey? An electronica experiment? The recording is distinctly low-fi and unfancy and barely functional, but good enough so that '80s synth balladry like "Darling You Are My Pop Song" can shine through the fog. (5/7/05)

Yes
Mike Harvat Already self-release 4/2/04 4/9/04      
Fight Dirty Making Up Stories My Girlfriend's 4/1/04        
Kottonmouth Kings Fire It up Suburban Noize 4/1/04      
No
Adam Weaver Someday These Will be Yesterdays self-release 3/30/04 5/3/04   This pretty 8-song debut owes a lot to those '80s heroes Toad the Wet Sprocket, though I bet Weaver would never admit to heaving heard them before. No matter. His voice is a dead ringer for Glen Phillips and the music's pace and acoustic style is Pale all the way. Some of the more touchy feelie love stuff like "Your Fiction" borders on Dan Fogelberg -- not a good thing, and all that prettiness eventually gets lost in its lack of variety. (6/21/04)
No
Feeling Left Out Once Upon a Time LLR 3/30/04 5/11/04   Carrabba-influenced neu-emo. 1/27/05
No
The Academy self-titled LLR 3/30/04 5/3/04   Tsk tsk… the two-and-a-half-minute found-sound collage that opens the EP was so promising, I thought I was in for a real Dark Side of the Moon experience (footsteps, broken glass, you know the drill). Instead, it’s the same old ho-hum emo whining of after-thought melodies, all-together-now choruses, and jangular guitars that take us nowhere we haven't been before by way of Saves the Day, Lifetime, etc., etc. (5/12).
No
Blue Scholars self-titled self-release 3/30/04 5/23/04   I don't know a lot about hip-hop -- that's well documented. But I do know what I want when hip-hop comes to mind. Good, clean beats. The ability to understand at least some of the lyrics. A clear flow. I turn off bad hip-hop almost immediately. It better hold my attention. This did. So, yeah, this gots bounce. It's well-produced. I like them horns. Reminds me of Pharcyde. From Seattle, with attitude. 1/5/05
Yes
Soil Pride EP j 3/30/04        
Sit Still Johnathan Blanket 3/30/04        
The Bruces The Shining Path Misra 3/30/04 4/2/04    
Yes
Sean Spada Bengal Lights self-release 3/30/04 6/30/04   His voice is a strange hybrid of Morrissey and a muppet, singing pretty nasal tunes over sweet twinkling electric piano and guitar. Bouncy and good, screams to be used on the soundtrack to some obscure indie movie. "Falling in Twos and Threes" sounds like it came off a David Byrne solo disc, if Byrne had a horrible head cold. At times, like on the cloying "Crossed My Knees," we get too much of his voice, which oscillates between pitch like a wonked-out Bowie. I blame the home-recording technique, which ain't bad, really. From Boston. 12/27/04.
Yes
The Eye Myopia Miltona 3/30/04        
Terrible Days Outlaw con Bandana Gold Street 3/30/04 4/3/04   Twangy rural drawl stuff with fiddle and a sideshow howler barking out the dark chords on an acoustic geetar. This is sort of new-rustic indie, and I'm not an aficionado. I like the stuff with the fiddles more than the straight guitar songs that sound like lazy Dead tracks. Not my thing, but maybe yours. (7/3/04)
No
Broken Spindles Fulfilled/Complete Saddle Creek 3/24/04 4/2/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Wheat Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second Aware 3/23/04 4/2/04 09/23/04  
Yes
Shoddy Workmanship The World's Greatest Shit in the Universe self-release 3/23/04 4/9/04   I have no idea where they're from, but judging from their show schedule I have to assume Washington D.C. That said, don't expect any DC punk from these guys. This five-song demo is mostly '70s style rock-n-roll party music. They even have an instrumental here called "That '70s Song" that seems to deify Mopar-flavored heavy metal. Are they playing it for laughs? Well, the lyrics for pseudo-ska Talking Heads-style rocker "I'm Goin' Out" is basically "I'm goin' out and I'm gonna get laid." You be the judge. Track "Big E" sounds like something by Cheech and Chong, and I expect Cheech to scream "My momma talka to me try to tell me how to live…" at any moment. The best thing here is the closer, a grunt rocker called "High School Sex Hour" that combines chug-a-lug guitars with a blistering piece of X-style punk that's sloppy and fun and probably an absolute gas live... and the only reason this gets a recommendation. More of that, please. 4/20/04.
Yes
Echo Helstrom self-titled self-release 3/23/04        
Teitur Poetry & Aeroplanes Universal 3/22/04 4/2/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Beauty Pill The Unsustainable Lifestyle Dischord 3/20/04 4/2/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Dope Smoothie For Milking self-release 3/20/04 6/30/04   I tried to put the Seattle band's name out of my head when I listened to this. The name Dope Smoothie screams hippy jam band, it's undeniable -- just a terrible name that overshadows everything. I was constantly searching for references to dope or 311. Instead, this long-player is mainly mopey art rock with slight jazz inflections -- and isn't that the basic definition of a jam band? Well, unlike most jam music, it sounds like these guys had a plan before they got into the studio, even if it was a failed one. It has its share of noodling, like the 30 seconds or so of fake laughing at the end of "Looking for a Place" or the 9-minute-plus "I Awoke" chock full of wah-wah guitar or the scatty "Cool Dark Spirit" or the 8-plus moodpiece, "Swing." They're at their best with the short, lo-fi stuff ("Bertha," "Raymond Daniel," "Hellfire") that have more in common with punk than funk. These guys are close, really close. They just need to change their name and drop the "dopey" stuff. (6/30/04)
No
Kenny Edwards s/t FireHeart 3/20/04        
Oblivion The Garden in the Machine Audiokio 3/19/04        
Of Montreal Satanic Panic in the Attic Polyvinyl 3/18/04 4/2/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Michael Mcdaeth Rusted on Through self-release 3/18/04        
Chronophonic Footwork self-release 3/18/04 7/2/04   Hip-hop/R&B eight-piece from Colorado with the occasional glaring guitar and crackin' horn section, something tells me I got this in the mail because I've interviewed 311 before. It sort of falls in that genre base (according to their site, they recently opened for the Dirty Dozen Brass band). Very clean, very professional outfit that at times reminds me of EWF. Not my thing, but obviously a quality, satisfying ride. 12/26/04
Yes
Low-Beam Every Other Moment Cosmodemonic Telegraph 3/17/04 8/17/04   There's something translucent in their sound, probably because of the organs or the harmonies or the melodies that seem both eerie and strangely hollow. The drums and arrangements betray their love for Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground. And when Stankewich and Weatherbee share the vocals (like on the rattle-trap classic "Tourmaline") they take it to another level. That, and the fact that "Stratosphere" is the best Yo La Tengo song that Yo La Tengo never sang make this trippy indie CD from New London, CT, well worth finding. 12/27/04
Yes
Ojee Ojee Walk Upright Unkee Doon 3/17/04 06/23/04   Sort of a low-tech laid-back approach to reggae, complete with loopy wah-wah guitars, drum machines, cheap synth keyboards and nerdy white-guy vocals. Has a vibe that would feel right at home wafting from the cabana bar at the Boone, Iowa, Holiday Inn. But too hick for the ganja set. (6/30/04)
No
The Slats Pick It Up Latest Flame 3/17/04 4/3/04 09/23/04  
Yes
The Kama Sutras Conclusion Confusion self-release 3/17/04 8/17/04   Failed to catch me, probably because of the muddy recording, preponderance toward Primus slap-bass styles (see "Why?" and "Raze") and flat melodies. This one is all about the bass lines, which more often than not, lean toward prog. Might be interesting to hear how this would sound with a better mix. 9/4/04
No
At the Close of Every Day Zalig Zijn de Armen van Geest Loose Thread 3/17/04 5/3/04 06/22/04  
Yes
Seismic Man from Space Fusebox 3/17/04 5/23/04    
No
Sinombre Curves of Sirens Firecode Core 3/17/04 4/2/04   Sounds like Margo Timmins fronting a dream-indie band, but with no memorable melodies. 2/13/05
No
Less Cover, Protective, Individual Firecode Core 3/17/04        
Starlight Mints Built on Square Pias 3/15/04 3/22/04   It's not tha they're not interesting anymore, but with real Pixies out on the road, they seem somewhat redundant. (12/27/04)
No
Brando 943 Recluse Recordhead 3/15/04 4/9/04    
Yes
Single Frame Ashtray Wetheads Come Running Volcom Entertainment 3/15/04 6/30/04   Austin artrock project seems to have been influenced by Pavement. Reaches some interesting points at times, but never interesting enough to want to listen to again. Weighs in with 20 tracks, which was about 15 too many. (12/27/04)
No
Number One Fan Compromises Pat's 3/15/04 6/30/04    
No
Sleep Station After the War Eyeball 3/15/04 4/3/04   It's a concept album about WWII, which is a shame. I would have preferred a straight-up collection instead of sandwiching found sounds and journalistic bits between the rather lush songs that sound like '70s dream-pop ballads. Sure, Matthew Sweet, Trip Shakespeare and The Posies have been here before, but can you really have enough of of this style of sugar sweet pop? I think not. The concept doesn't work because you never absorb the meaning of any song -- no lyrics stand out. Still, it's pleasant enough, though I have to believe this band can do better. (12/27/04)
Yes
Jonathan Goldman Chakra Dance Spirit Music 3/15/04        
various artists A Tribute to Guns and Roses Law of Inertia 3/10/04 5/3/04

12/27/04

 
No
Pedro the Lion Achilles Heel Jade Tree 3/6/04 4/2/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Furnace St. Headmusic self-release 3/6/04        
Twilight Promenade The New Being Human New Moon 3/6/04 4/9/04   When the fiddles are a-blazin' and the vocalist is a-blazin' it reminds me of up tempo Water Boys by way of Nashville (which, it so happens, is where the trio hails). Songs are well-developed, well-scripted ballads with a light Celtic lilt, hailing such well-thought-out, Michael Bolton-esque lyrics as "I can't imagine living without you." But despite the lush instrumentation, the trio seems content with trying to fit in with the U2/Creed crowd. There's nothing inherently wrong with that (except for the Creed part), in fact, those of you who are into the whole Third Eye Blind radio ballad schtick may get a rise out of it if they can get past all the fiddles. Everyone else has seen this trick before and knows there really isn't a rabbit inside the hat. (6/23/04)
No
The Bloody Hollies Fire At Will Sympathy 3/5/04 5/20/04 11/6/04 Buffalo trio does punk that sounds like gritty, dirty, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"-style Jet mixed with the latest Peaches CD, maybe because at times voxer Weslie Doyle sounds like Merrill Nisker with a different crotch (to me, anyway). As garage punkers, they're bound to be bunched in with shit like White Stripes, Datsuns and any other band that pays allegiance to The Stooges. I like it though, if only for its sheer screechy hubris, its dry-hack screeching, its funny way of pounding a chord halfway through a song before giving way to a jangly guitar solo. That's my way of saying this CD rocks. (11/12/04)
Yes
Hound demo self-released 3/5/04        
Devil with Cheese s/t Mexican Deth 3/5/04        
Loretta The Translation Benchmark 3/5/04 5/23/04 11/6/04 Straight forward alt-rock band -- alt rock as in the kind they play on the FM. The Indianapolis band sports the usual power chord chops on faceless power ballads that stylewise sounds like an effort to make Radiohead pop (their best stab is "To the Knife" which even sports a RH-style chime guitar dreampop counter). They would seem to have the chops to make it in this crowded alt-rock world, especially with their smooth vocalist, but not with this second-hand songwriting. (11/12/04)
No
Andy Logan Last Dance on the Wild Frontier Koan 3/3/04 5/23/04 06/22/04  
Yes
Oil The Vanity Press self-release 3/3/04 4/2/04   The most unheralded feel-good indie rock band in Omaha, mainly because they broke up (sort of) shortly after this release. 10/13/04
Yes
Rainer Maria Anyone in Love with You (Already Knows) Polyvinyl 3/3/04        
Halloween, Alaska s/t Princess 3/3/04 5/23/04   Opener "You're It" sounds like it came off a David and David CD. Okay, you guys are probably too young to remember that '80s relic of a pop band. But those of you who do, you'll hear "Being Alone Together" all over this track. I'm also reminded of The Blue Nile and for the rest of you, we're talking about a quiet, rhythmic, dark-and-smooth groove, like a glossy TV movie midnight drive under a full moon. Mid-tempo thumping bass, minimal drums (or percussion effects), slight chiming keyboards, the occassional spy guitar solo and James Diers' perfectly understated vocals sounding a lot like early Mark Eitzel singing Avalon-era Roxy Music. "Des Moines" with its second-half reframe "20 times around the block/ Twice in every speed I've got" conjurs images of escape and non-escape. It's also very good bedroom music, until you get to the creepy, stark cover of Springsteen's "State Trooper," then all bets are off. 10/1/04
Yes
Fivehead Guests of the Nation Tight Spot 3/1/04 4/8/04   Jangle-fuzz indie rock from Austin that owes a debt to Archers of Loaf and Dinosaur Jr. It's not bad, but none of the tracks stand out, mainly because these guys seem to be lost in the same-ol' formula, a formula that they play well but that we've all heard before (12/26).
No
The Fire Science self-titled self-released 2/28/04 4/9/04   The Dayton trio wears its influences on its sleeves -- more OK Computer-era Radiohead than, say, Interpol, in fact, a lot more. That said, the three-song demo is a diamond in the rough thanks to its penchant for pulling melodies long enough to nearly induce a trance. This séance is utter midnight, painted in hushed, chiming tones with shards of lightning tossed in. I would like these songs even more if they went on for 8 to 10 minutes instead of 4 or 5. Don't ask me what drummer/vocalist "John" is singing (praying?) -- enunciation is something he can work on after the labels come knocking. (5/17)
Yes
Strike Anywhere Exit English Jade Tree 2/28/04 3/11/04   Same basic hardcore-meets-metal as their earlier stuff but not nearly as tuneful or engaging. Pick up a copy of Chorus of One instead. 3/31
No
Cex Maryland Mansions Jade Tree 2/28/04 3/11/04   I like it better when he's trying to make funny instead of trying to scare. No doubting the production, or the flow, but when he's too serious he reminds me of a watered-down version of Nine Inch Nails, and there's only one Trent Reznor (though he seems to be MIA these days). 10/16/04
No
Paul Yates But of Course self-release 2/26/04 5/20/04   Aussie guitarist/instrumentalist goes for a whole album of smooth jazz ditties. The guy clearly knows how to play his guitar, but the backing programming ruins everything it touches with New Age gloss that borders on the one-man-band guy playing down at your local Holiday Inn. Forget about the trip-hop stuff, give us a CD of you and your guitar alone. 10/16/04
No
Deadwood Live from the Scorpion Lounge self-release 2/26/04        
Lisboa Either Origami Acutest 2/24/04 4/2/04   They cast a natural glow from a fire lit sometime in '70s by Cheap Trick and Foghat, the '80s by the likes of Bryan Adams and The Hooters, burning well into the '90s by The Goo Goo Dolls and any other heavier radio-ready band you can remember from that era that was mistakenly labeled as punk when it was rock. I have a feeling these guys thought this might break through to a wider audience, until they found out that it's impossible to break into a wider audience these days without a busload of lawyers and a briefcase full of cash. The guitar attack is nice, as are the occasional dynamics, but I can't get past singer Joe Kirkland's too-earnest delivery on songs that would have been better with a touch of self-deprecation. Instead, it comes off as pure rock star. 10/16/04
No
Joseph Patrick Moore Drumm & Bass Society Volume 1 Blue Canoe 2/23/04        
Year Future self-titled Gold Standard Laboratories 2/20/04 3/16/04    
No
Now it's Overhead Fall Back Open Saddle Creek 2/20/04 2/25/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Paradigm9 Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage soundtrack self-release 2/20/04        
Emotional Rec Club self-titled Outcrowd 2/20/04 5/23/04   Worth checking out if only for thigh-slapping rocker "Cool As Shit." Their sound is cleaned-up Dinosaur Jr. meets Folk Implosion with Joseph Donhowe playing the Lou Barlow part. This is simplistic indie rock dressed up by the likes of Flaming Lip/Mercury Rev production vet Keith Cleversley at the Playground in Chicago. Not a bad listen, though it could use more "something" to make it more "interesting." 9/29/04
Yes
Chromelodeon In the Year 20XX self-release 2/17/04 4/9/04   A cross between Saturday morning cartoon dramatics and '70s metal prog I prefer when they tone it down (the lovely start of "Wily's Castle" and the lovely start of "Eloquence Is Dead") then when they hype it up (the rest of the record). Though their all-instrumental melodies are borne of art rock acts like Kansas and Rush, something tells me all eight of these guys were in high school concert band together, and usually got in trouble during practice for playing too loud. What would it sound like if they played the whole album with acoustic instruments? 10/16/04
No
Lostprophets Start Something Columbia 2/17/04 3/16/04   I suppose this is the sweetest of candy for the agra-scream-core crowd -- catchy quick powerchords, tight as a tic breaks, sing-scream vocals, lots of bashing. And I admit I like the intro to track 1. But it's really just more of the same Nickleback FM metal that them kids love these days. Sing along if you're in the stadium with the rest of them, screaming to the lines from "Lat Train Home" while the rest of us wonder what's going on down at the club. 10/1/04
No
Polysics Neu Asian Man 2/17/04 3/16/04   Hyper-kinetic noisefest accentuates its high bpm with assorted noises, scream-o vocals (think Sweet's Brian Connolly doing "Ballroom Blitz" with a highly caffeinated punk beat) and video-game keyboards that grate. Irritation is mistaken for cutting-edge innovation by a youth-set that thinks technology makes this something new. It's not. 8/26/04
No
io Where the Engines Lay Eleventh Hour 2/14/04 2/25/04   They're self-proclaimed products of "the Chapel Hill sound," though all I hear is the second coming of Sponge. Hey, I'm not kidding. They have the same driving guitar and vocals that betray a rank essence of coliseum hair rock masquerading as indie. They're very "tight." Very "together." Very well thought out, and they'll catch the ear of a smart record label honcho looking for a safe bet as indie gets ready to break free (again). Maybe the whole "commerciality" comes from being recorded and produced by Chris Manning, who worked with such hitmakers as Santana, Metallica, and (gulp!) Third Eye Blind. So yeah, you could say it's commercial if you define that as something that's well-executed, almost sculpted. But I still doubt this would ever make it onto the FM, not now anyway. 3/31
Yes
Model One Days and Counting self-release 2/13/04 2/25/04      
The Talk It's Like Magic in Reverse MoRisen 2/13/04 4/9/04   I wanted to say this Charlotte, N.C., band sounds like modern-day Monkees but it really doesn't. It sounds like hyper-active Shins, jet-propelled and sung by Davy Jones. Some of the electronic effects, mostly percussive, are innovative in an Andrew W.K. sort of way. A little goes a long way, but if you're into, say, International Pop Overthrow at 130 bpm, you're in. It helps that no song is over three minutes long. "The Worst Chest Pains" is already a genuine hit. Produced by Saddle Creek's Mike Mogis. (7/3/04)
Yes
Spanish for 100 Newborn Driving self-release 2/12/04 3/16/04   One of those bands whose style is tough to peg because in many ways, it lacks any specific characteristic. It's definitely indie, but rocks only in the laid-back sense. Singer Corey Passons' high, nasal voice is along the same lines as Ben Gibbard, but isn't as cute. This is glimmering acoustic-born pop without a hint of punk or angst, which makes you think alt-country, but that's not right, either. How 'bout straight-up 4/4 backbeat indie sung buy a sweet-voiced guy who collapses wholeheartedly on the hooks? The fact that its built in Seattle and was produced and engineered by Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Modest Mouse) gives it a lift. The fact that the songs are amazingly catchy pushes it over the top. 3/31
Yes
Rasputina Frustration Plantation Instinct 2/9/04 undown-loadable    
--
The Hiss Panic Movement Sanctuary 2/9/04 2/25/04   Reminds me of those other one-word bands -- the Vines, the Hives, you know the ones. I like it better than both. I like it as much as you can like this style of rock. Straight-up garage that borders on stoner at times. Big riffs with big solos. You could do worse (like the Vines and the Hives). (12/26)
Yes
The Wrens The Meadowlands Absolutely Kosher 2/9/04 2/14/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Local H Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles? Studio E 2/7/04 2/25/04 09/23/04  
Yes
Angry Atom the EP RightLeft 2/6/04 2/25/04   Has the unfortunate problem of the lead vocalist singing with a faux British nasal accent, so instead of singing "You are there for me" he sings "You are there for may." I hated it when Green Day did it, I hate it even more now. Musically, reminds me of safe, over-produced Alk Trio doing love songs that "rock" with lyrics like "I want to be with you forever." These guys could be the Boston of pop-punk. 3/31
No
Pepper In with the Old Volcom Entertainment 2/6/04 2/25/04   Kinda like a pasteurized, homogenized, commercial radio-ized version of The Police meets laid-back Chili Peppers. Call it reggae Freedom Rock with an advantage in that lead singer Kaleo Wassman is better than Kiedis will ever be (easily the most overrated vocalist in commercial radio). Unfortunately, Pepper's lyrics are rather bland and forgettable lovey-dovey stuff. They're at their best when they drop the dreads and pick up the pedal steel (like on the sunset-tinged "Border Town"), but I got a feeling they won't be walking away from the reggae anytime soon. 7/16
No
The Tuesday Suits Fork Studio EP self-release 2/5/04 4/9/04   Retro is what retro does, and this is retro by way of The Alarm, or so it seems on this little 4-song EP's opener which sounds like it came right off a copy of Strength. The key to The Alarm's short-lived success was their crooner's ability to really sell the song, and vocalist Ryan Gannon has a similar, familiar style. The rest of it bares more than a slight resemblance to The Smiths, Trashcan Sinatra, and any other skip-happy brit-pop band you can think of that made videos when Reagan was president. In a time when you were tough if you listened to Van Halen, you were cool if you listened to stuff that sounded like this, whether anyone knew it or not. Yeah, it's a walk down memory lane, whether that was their intention or not. But this NYC 4-piece's sheer energy makes this supercede mere nostalgia. (6/30/04)
Yes
Buckra So Many Weapons Detonation Laboratories 2/5/04 3/11/04   Rock music for the next generation of Camero-driving fans who would have loved David Lee Roth's solo stuff if they were old enough to remember it (and I always thought that was Kid Rock's job). Pure corn-pone with lyrics like "When you took your panties off / I loved it" and "I got a big ol' present for you." Yee-haw, I wonder what it is? On "Bubble Gum Bandit" the lead guy eschews "Do the wild thing all night long." You know the story. There are 10 more just like it. Nice and cheesy. Moving on... 3/31
No
David Aaron 12:00 Scenery self-release 2/5/04 4/2/04   There's a reason for the Layne Staley comparisons. Aaron's mimic (unintentional or not) of Staley's slacker snarl is dead on. I'm sure he could argue "I can't help it; it's the voice I was born with." I've never bought that one before, I'm not buying it now. The voice is where any Alice in Chains' comparisons ends. Aaron's songs, while cut from the same grungy bolt of alt-rock cloth, are more apt to overlook Alice's big guitar posturing for a close-to-the-bone singer/songwriter style. Still, there are plenty of the usual chest-pounding flourishes that make most of his music fit right in on, say, the sound track to Reality Bites. Aaron puts his stamp on this music through subtle touches, like the brief keyboard arpeggios on "Free", where he moans over and over, "If I was free, then I'd be happy" more as if he's complaining than mourning. "Outcast City" is downright lethargic, right up to the growling guitar solo halfway through. By the time you get to "Make You Happy," he's practically singing under water. The CD rarely gets out of second gear, preferring to lean back and watch the world go by through dark, polarized lenses. And sometimes that's just what you need. 8/28/04
Yes
Owsley Sunshine/Tone Def Amigos split demo The Foundry Crew 2/5/04 4/9/04 7/28/04  
Yes
Vinyl Collide demo The Foundry Crew 2/5/04 4/9/04   This five-piece from Lincolnshire, UK has managed to create a demo that makes them sound like a Midwestern 5-piece garage band -- Midwest as in Midwest, USA, that is. They remind me of a half-dozen bands from the Omaha area that are really into '80's-era Johnny Cougar meets Hootie rock. It's probably considered rather novel over there. 5/11
No
Transfer Interrupted Central Ave self-release 2/5/04 4/9/04   The problem here is the lead singer's faux punk vocals whining lines like "If I can make it through the day/Will this feeling go away?" and "What would you say if I asked you to stay with me tonight?" It would be interesting to hear what these songs would sound like if the vocalist sang normally instead of like every other bad emo band with brit-fashion vocals. Is this the future of emo? No. This is retread of retread. 5/11
No
1090 Club/The Forecast split EP Thinker Thought 2/3/04 2/20/04   Straight-indie fare by the numbers, with little discernable difference between the two units represented. I think they call this, uh, emo. I give the Forecast an edge for sheer energy's sake and better melodies, though nothing here was terribly ear-catching. 5/3
No
DropZines Between Sheets and Walls self-release 1/29/04 2/11/04   Retro like GBV can be but they go on too long and try too hard to get it all out. Let me explain. GBV sounds like one unending search for the perfect hook, and once they find it, they wrap it up -- so you're treated to a dozen or so great hooks per record (and a dozen duds). These songs are realized in the GBV style but don't exit when they should. As a result, when they do find their golden hook, like on the rocking "Wire," they don't make a quick getaway. It would be so much better if they had. The ballady "What Would My Mary Say?" is pure hot-rod stuff you'd hear at Al's Diner if Al lived in Detroit. All that's missing is the doo-wops. A little too vanilla for my taste. The lack of variety makes it a snoozer. 3/31
No
Revelation Theory demo EP self-release 1/29/04 4/9/04   Creed meets Godsmack. Actually, I like it better than Godsmack's stuff because it's more in control. Could be a real fine for fans of those bands, none of whom read this Web site. Gets points for not attempting to rap over power chords. First-rate big-riff, rollin'-bass, alt-radio fare. There's not much room to move in this genre, though, and anyone who's heard this stuff has heard this before, but then again, those folks don't want anything new, anyway. I predict big-label Ozzfest interest. 5/11
No
Grayson Wray Picasso's Dream Impressive 1/28/04 2/3/04   Reminds me of a typical Ringo Starr record. OK, that's not fair, entirely. There are some interesting trip-hop touches here and there, but the songs are generally sing-songy, bordering on bad early Beatles (did I mention Ringo Starr?) or uninspired ELO. 2/20
No
Echobrain Glean Surfdog 1/28/04 2/20/04   Grunge as in Soundgarden without Chris Cornell's screech. These guys sound just like the Seattle '90s (but nothing like Nirvana, which never quite fit into the grunge club for me -- now Pearl Jam's a different story...). "Knock Em Out" sounds like a Pablo Honey-era Radiohead song, sort of, thanks more to the falsetto-style vocals than anything. There are some interesting moments here and there, some subtle changes and turns, but no one song stands out and I don't have a clue what they're singing about. According to their website, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted acted as executive producer -- you do the math. 3/31
No
Jackpot F+ Surfdog 1/28/04 2/11/04   Stylistically all over the place, from NYC Reed-influenced indie groove ("Black Road") to gritty, stomping alt-country yee-haw ("Headlights"). In the end, the twang wins out, unfortunately, and we get a West Coast Jayhawks-meets-Tom Petty swing album from the guitarist of Cake, who weren't very good with or without him. 7/28
No
Tulsa Drone No Wake Dry County 1/27/04 2/6/04   Hammered dulcimer and spy bass? I don't know if they're purposely going for that "Old West" outlaw vibe, but that's exactly what you get on songs like "Honcho Toro," where the dulcimer rings like an old dancehall piano among the trumpets and doomsman drums pounding out the waltz time. It's Ennio Morricone for the indie set. All instrumental, the Richmond, Virginia four-piece is an original, thanks to that hammered dulcimer and the dripping spy guitar. They are the natural successors to Pell Mell -- the only band I've ever heard that deserves that compliment. 3/31
Yes
Chrome Yellow Co. Red Light Runners Northern Light 1/26/04 2/11/04   They hint at '60s psych retro but their counter melodies and guitar lines are too modern for that. It's probably the vocals that bring up ideas of mod-rocker types like The Kinks and Small Faces and Them or any of the '60s Brit garage invaders. Its similar ground turned by the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre or Outrageous Cherry. But on songs like "Mineral," the Hamilton, Ontario, four-piece takes it in a different direction, with crack syncopated beats, drone guitar and Luca Ciardullo's sweet harmonized vocals. Then just as he sings "I've been around the block and back / It's bright out" here comes this glowing guitar line. This track is a standout and should get college radio play (Hey, I'm talking to you college DJ kids, work it into your set and get ready for the phone calls). Really only an EP at just seven songs, this is one of the the best things I've heard so far this year. 3/31
Yes
Carte Blanche Summer's End EP Schmat 1/23/04 1/30/04   Sunrise acoustic with dual guitars and soothing, almost EZ-listening cooing of simple pop melodies with just the right cushion of "ew-eews" in the background. I equate it with non-jazzy Yo La Tengo especially in the quieter moments like "Don't Forget Love" where Dana Kruse takes over the vocal chores. I like it because it doesn't try to be anything more than it needs to be, which is glimmering afternoon-lit music, pretty and searching. 3/31
Yes
Break the Silence Near Life Experience Hopeless 1/23/04 2/6/04   Borderline hardcore that alternates between singing and screaming, and can feel like sanitized Alk Trio in its tender moments. But I confess that I have little patience for the screamo schtick these days. If you want to show your rage, do it in the lyrics where it matters. It's impossible to take any of it seriously when they feather gentle cooing with "I'm the Devil" grunting. Too bad, because some of the guitar bombasts work well in a pseudo-metal sort of way. 3/31
No
This Is Exploding self-titled self-release 1/22/04 2/3/04   So does the name fit? It is a good name, no doubt about it. But exploding? Well, they're sort of like exploding Wallflowers, especially on the keeper opening track "Girl Named Hell." Unfortunately track 2, "Better," isn't, and flounders in a morass of mid-tempo "big sound" rawk that doesn't work because the vocals are too mundane. The lumbering continues on "Uneducated," and then it dawns on me who they remind me of -- my most-hated band from the '90s -- Live. Just when I thought I had forgotten Ed Kowalczyk once and for all. They try to recover on the next song, but sink themselves with the line "There's this game you know nothing about / Neither do I / It's called life." Gack! They end it with a quiet-than-loud ballad, bombastic and predictable. So are they exploding. Do I really need to say? (6/30/04)
No
Shane Bartell Too Soon to Say Lilywhite 1/22/04 1/28/04   Reminds me a whole lot of watered down Love Story-era Lloyd Cole (thanks to the sometimes orchestration), which by itself wouldn't be a bad thing ("Don't Believe Anything" is the Cole-ist of the bunch, and the best). But it lacks Lloyd's lyrical intelligence, instead being content giving us pretty albiet uninspired moments clearly targeted toward your FM dial. Pretty, dreamy pop fluff. 7/28/04
No
Miss Autopsy Ruhr self-release 1/22/04 2/25/04 5/10/04  
Yes
Volcano, I'm Still Excited self-titled Polyvinyl 1/22/04 1/24/04   I got this as a preview disc for a show at O'leavers that I missed and have regretted ever since (Hey, they were opening for Tilly and the Wall -- there was no way I was gonna suffer that crowd). It's one of my favorites so far this year. Keyboards and pop and nerdy vocals that remind me of what Mates of State could be if they (MofS) weren't so tuneless. 3/31
Yes
Humble Gods Born Free Suburban Noize 1/21/04 2/20/04 4/12/04  
No
The Kite-Eating Tree Method: Fail, Repeat... Cowboy Vs. Sailor 1/21/04 2/10/04 2/20/04  
Yes
Winterbrief Tickets for a Peak Heartcore 1/21/04 1/28/04   At first blush, it's kind of trippy, what with its videogame synths and keyboards, disco beats and such provocative lyrics as "I want be sexy" repeated over electronic whip cracks. In fact, that song, with the mantra "Christina Aguilera," would have made a helluva single. And this long player would have made a helluva EP, cuz it can't sustain its goofy disco vibe for its full 45 minutes. By the end, the whole thing blurs into one big bleep-bloop. Still, with headphones on, it can be pretty good trip, and I do dig Jan's (just Jan) voice. Look, I'm hedging because I really wanted to like this CD. But I have to be honest, it mostly just annoys after track 8, where it should have stopped. 3/31
No
Birds of India American Eggs EP Limekiln 1/21/04 1/24/04   The Prescott, Arizona, four-piece is a modern-day Smart Went Crazy, or maybe The Who, since their tunes seem inspired by both. Even vocalist Jason Ei has the same bright, throaty bellow as the one with the great hair as opposed to the bald guy (though I suspect that Ei also does a mean windmill guitar strum). I like that they're not afraid to take a chuggin' guitar rocker and grab it up into an over-the-top raver that glows from the inside. Lyrically they're borderline oblique, though there's more to lines like "We build ourselves monsters / They do what they want to" than we (I) understand. They're not reinventing rock, they're pushing it forward. Not a dud in the bunch. 3/31
Yes
Staija self-titled self-release 1/20/04 1/22/04   3-song demo is metal bordering on grunt-rock. Opener and closer have Cookie Monster vocals bounced off Incubus sweet-guy vox. I generally like their Sabbath-meets-Godsmack guitar riffs. Too bad the vocals are what they are. 2/6
No
Anthemic Pop Wonder Supesonic Lullabies Funstuff 1/20/04 1/22/04   A throwback to '60s Brit-flavored garage bands a la Them or (modern day) Outrageous Cherry. In some regard, reminiscent of Guided by Voices, but not the same level of songwriting. Recording quality is somewhat lacking, downright muddy. Notable: "Ridin' a Hitch," a play musically and wordwise on "Hitchin' a Ride" is one of the more clever moments. 1/27
No
Someday Mission Live self-release 1/18/04 attempted   CD was damaged, skipped
Shelter Belt Rain Home self-release 1/16/04 1/18/04   See Feb. 20 blog
Yes
Kyle Harvey The Holidays in Spain self-release 1/16/04 1/18/04   See Feature/profile
Yes
Corkskrew Micromania Fretbuzz 1/14/04 1/18/04   To say that this resembles Garbage would be an understatement. It's almost a morph, except that it's clearly more pop-driven, more commercially targeted, and as a result, safer. Garbage is tons heavier, grittier, angrier. I guess you could call this Garbage-lite. The Maltese four-piece (that's right, they're from the Mediterranean island of Malta) have taken a calculated approach toward alt-pop-rock, and while they might succeed from a commercial standpoint, there's a lot to be desired from a creative one. Vocalist Diane Micallef is no Shirley Manson. 2/17
No
Onelinedrawing The Volunteers (selected tracks) Jade Tree 1/12/04 1/14/04   This is only "selected tracks" so there's no telling what the full-length sounds like, but if it's even half as good as this, there still might be a future for pop punk.3/31
N/A
Hospital Grade Written Axe to Trigger Urinine 1/12/04 1/14/04   Regarding this Matrix, you can discern that if it's been more than three months since I received the CD and I still haven't reviewed it, chances are the rating will be a "no." Such is the case with New Brunswick, Canada, band whose debut was released on Kansas City's Urinine Records. They call it post-punk, but it hits closer to flaccid hardcore, grunge or even prog, especially on tracks like "Channel 12 Decay," which bounces from pace to pace and metal riff to metal riff without a clear direction. This stuff is pure throwback sans charm and nostalgia. 5/3
No
Harris New Morning Pulse. Urinine 1/12/04 1/14/04   Despite the muddy recording quality, despite the relatively cliché approach to what's being referred to these days as "pop-punk," despite the nasal rock-nerd vocals, despite the annoying synth noise in "Literal," this earns a nod due to cheer chutzpah. The six-song EP manages to gravitate with that same warm indie rock sheen that comes off bands like Rainer Maria and Superchunk, at least on the first four songs. The last two throwaways are experiments in emo/screamo and indie prog that I'm sure the hardcore geeks will suck up as essential instead of merely misguided. 2/14
Yes
Centro-matic Flashes and Cables Misra 1/10/04 1/10/04  
Yes
Hannah Marcus Desert Farmers Bar None 1/8/04 1/10/04  
Yes
The Silent Audibles Assimilation self-release 1/8/04 1/10/04   New Jersey guys are Creed meets Incubus meets Metallica. Variant of metal and '80s FM rock. They're trying oh so hard for radio, and "Too Late" is probably catchy enough, if only the vocals weren't so cloying. Pure post-grunge by way of Alice in Chains. We've got a few of these type bands here in Omaha as well. 1/28
No
Quiet After Nine Arrangements self-release 1/7/04 1/10/04   Tacoma, Washington, band compares itself to Death Cab, but this is Emo by-the-numbers, complete with the occasional cello. At times, like on "Came to America" "Your Improv Killed" and "The Last Time," they border on Toad the Wet Sprocket careening dangerously close to Goo Goo Dolls. Some nice moments, like laid-back "A Momentary Lapse," but little else stands out. I just got this CD, and their website says they've already broken up! 1/28
No

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Copyright 2004, 2005 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.