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 ISSUE  10.2 Summer 2000 

Intro | The Lowdown | Releases | Local Play | Reviews | Features


Reviews

David Church + Side Trak
Custom Made
CD
PRESS RELEASE

Date: 11/21/00

With the release of their new album, "Custom Made," David Church + SideTrak, a regional country music group has made it to the Top 40 on the Country General listing on MP3 after just 2 weeks. The song, "You've Got The Key" is now #26!!! Among other national artists such as, Mark Chestnut, The Dixie Chicks, Hank Williams III, Kenny Roger, Willie Nelson just to name a few. The album, just released on mp3, includes 6 songs on the mp3 internet sight, with 6 additional songs on the album that will be available on the sight at a later date. The full version is also available through the group. 2 of the songs are performed by female vocalist, Terri Lisa, (Church) and are also recieving great reviews. The album was recorded in Nashville with producer Dick McVey at Moonlight Studio's. Dick McVey is the former Road Manager for Jimmy Dickens, and promoter/press agent for George Jones. David is from Lancaster and has performed all over the U.S. with his former group in bluegrass, along side of such artists as Ralph Stanley, Lonesome River, Larry Sparks. David has also performed with Legendary Steel Player, LT Zinn. He performs regionally with his group, and writes many of the songs he performs. Additional information can be obtained by either e-mail, or contacting the group.

Terri Church Manager David Church + SideTrak E-mail: [email protected] www.mp3.com/DavidChurchSideTrak 740-689-3374

- Terri Church (Nov 21, 2000)


Quarkspace
Spacefolds 6: Review from Francois Coutere: CFLX, Quebec
CD (Eternity's Jest)
Quarkspace Spacefolds 6 Eternity's Jest EJ0021 CD

The sixth installment in Quarkspace's ongoing series of space-rock improvs, Spacefolds 6 showcases the best "on the spot" material the band has released yet. The Spacefolds concept consists of capturing the band improvising, keeping the best bits and releasing them. These CDs (cassettes in the case of the first three) were never treated like fully-fledged albums (including very basic packaging) and prior to number 6, it was true: the Spacefolds served as a laboratory for the band and they couldn't be considered on the same level of "Quarkspace" or "The Hidden Moon". This trend ends here, with Spacefolds 6. Still totally improvised, this material is very mature and stands on its own. The almost-techno feel found on Spacefolds 5 is better integrated and sounds less alienating. Bass and drums are more prominent, giving the band's sound a drive close to Ozric Tentacles at times. Even the disco flooring on Funkpalast at Brian's Wormhole works nicely with all the swirling synthesizers and the Moog solo. Sound quality is excellent and the whole album is a lot less ethereal than "The Hidden Moon", making it more danceable. "The Strangest String" is one of the band's strongest pieces ever, written or improvised. Strongly recommended. François Couture

- Cringe Websi (Nov 17, 2000)


Fulbone
Halt
CD (Kerowax Records)
LATEST REVIEW FROM ALASKA:

8/22/2000

Music Review: Fulbone

by Rob Simack Sun Star

A new sound is emerging from the underground music scene of Columbus, Ohio, led by the hard rocking band Fulbone. With influences like Suicidal Tendencies, Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More and Public Enemy it is no wonder Fulbone can appeal to most audiences with a hard-hitting rock and rap sound.

Their music has been described as "crunchy," "energetic," "pumped" and "groove rock". I see them as what happens when skate rock grows up. They come at you like a mixture of classic Chili Peppers and Rage without all the rage. In fact, though Fulbone consistently attacks political issues, their lyrics cater to the struggles of the working class and common folk. Songs like "Blue Collar Hero" express the all too familiar topic of corporate America and its effects on the average working Joe. Lyrics such as, "then up to the clock/ that makes a sound like a Glock/ being cocked at the men/ who hold time cards in their hands," describe the grisly feelings that can overwhelm the American caught in the rat race. In "Head Down" Fulbone defies political apathy that is common in our society. They write, "you left your children unprepared/ for a world that doesn't care/ all they had were laconic prayers/ while you tried to get somewhere/ with your...head down." Fulbone's lyrics are often powerful and sometimes frankly depressing but their fast-paced funky rhythms save them from turning into a souped-up version of The Cure.

Fulbone is not all about politics though. They recognize the value of good partying and some of their songs reflect that notion. Songs like "FOP," "Locust" and "Alstott" explore the finer side of hard rock music--fast paced fun and pure energy. "Locust" is a non-stop careening vehicle of bass and guitar power. It is definitely a song to dance to.

"Alstott" is a celebration of the American tradition of football. It was inspired by what was called the longest one yard touchdown run in history performed by Mike Alstott of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If one were to characterize Fulbone it would have to be done with this equation: street/campus sounds + politics + sports + energy= the epitome of young America.

Fulbone is finishing the production of their first CD, which will be released soon. However, their resume as a band is already impressive. Their walk up the staircase of success started with ESPN's worldwide broadcast of "Alstott" during the NFL playoffs earlier this year. Then, in June, they won the VH1 Save the Music Battle of the Bands. They are currently working on a score for the trailer and possibly the soundtrack of a film that will show at next year's Sundance Film Festival. ESPN has expressed interest in using Fulbone in their X-Games promotion. Likewise, the Vans Warped Tour of extreme sports has also expressed interest.

According to the band members creating this album is a dream come true.

"Cutting the first album was a great experience. We learned a great deal about the recording industry and a whole lot more about ourselves as a band," said Ryan, a.k.a. J. Duke, Fulbone's lead guitar.

The band consists of Kid Death on vocals and rhythm guitar, J. Duke, Z on drums and vocals and Boris on bass and vocals. More information on the band can be found at their website www.fulbone.com and “Alstott” can be downloaded in MP3 format from http://sharehouse.xoom.com/dnload.php3?FILE_ID= 391912. At that Web site, web-surfers can cast a vote as to the quality of the song and the file "Alstott."

This band has big goals as well as obstacles behind it. But from their earliest beginnings as a garage band it has made Herculean strides, and there is no doubt they will go all the way to the top.

- Kerowax Records (Nov 09, 2000)


Reading the Quarkspace Reviews
Oh God it's Happening all over Again
Cringe Websi
I'd like to say at the outset that I'm at work right now, so (in some perverse sense) that I'm being paid $13.92 an hour (plus OSU's excellent nonwage benefits package) to write this. That in itself is a case for a People's Revolution in which I'll be lined up with a bunch of other wastes of space and shot through the back of the head as if we were Coke bottles on an assembly line getting capped, as it were.

I was at Big Bear one morning buying donuts for my coworkers (I guess it must have been a Friday) and I heard the industrial 5-gallon mixer working in the background. It had a strong sense of rhythm, just like Quarkspace's opening track. I thought, "Hey, why are Chemical Brothers and Propellerheads getting all the credit when this mixer is generating all that rhythm by its lonesome?" JUST LIKE QUARKSPACE, MAN!

Then I paid for the donuts and went out to the parking lot. I heard a bunch of semi trucks with bad ignition timing rumbling, and some birds were chirping. At first I was jarred by the dissonance, but I realized, "WHOA, they've tossed out the rhythm in favor of freeform space meandering, reminding me of some of the great guitar/electronic combinations Ash Ra Tempel did so well in the 70's, but with the distinct 'Semi Trucks and some birds in the Big Bear parking lot' sound."

After work I got on the bus. Several people were listening to their personal stereos WAY TOO LOUD, and the rumbling of the bus, conversation and rush hour traffic all came together in the same mystical tribalism I'd heard with the mixer, and between garbled words it seemed the downtown office workers were providing celestial haiku along with the cacophony of internal cumbustion engines and cranked up headphones. Near Hudson stree the mixture reached an almost Floydian escalation to a subsonic rumble that made my guts hurt. I got off the bus and the smell of exhauste made me kinda sick.

A couple days later (maybe a week, I think it was a Friday, too) I walked by some South Campus dive and heard Quarkspace playing. I proceeded immediately to Pearl St. and vomited several partially processed meals into a pile of gravel. The sound of my wretching, boomin' systems of cruisers on High St. and Quarkspace's Sisuphysian wanking that futilly struggled to reach a senseible musical conclusion, all occupied themselves seemingly in their own world, yet it all came together to create a controlled and cohesive whole, the hallmark of any great improvisational unit.

(Nov 07, 2000)


Soda vs pop
rockin' at "the rock"
live show
I saw Soda Vs. Pop a little bit ago at bernies. they were good, but something was missing. well i just got back from an incredible show at a house on campus known as "the rock". i know why they call it that now. after a very loud performance by reinfield and an eclectic guitar/drum group, soda vs. pop came on. they ripped through their first song, phase ten, with the opening lines "it's warming up now and the guitars, bass and drums kick in with so much intensity, it nearly blew me out of the room. there wass definitly a different, fun feel to the show. the closeness of the crowd seemed to egg them on, being very entertaining (ian martin and sonny smith the guitar players were jumping around in the crowd, further exciting them). after several more songs such as the melodic "punch in" and the powerful "connecticut" to the twangy "speechless", ian asked the crowd to stand right in front of the band so they could sing right in their faces, and the crowd ate it up. Ending with a weird version of the beatles' "across the universe", they finished their a great night of rock n roll. it was a great show, with a very casual atmosphere. also, very noteworthy is their drummer nate rothacker, who is one of the most talented drummers i have seen in a while. overall it was a grat show, they are playing out again, i think at bernires later this month, check them out, you will like what you hear

- stan decker (Nov 05, 2000)


Fenix Phoundation
Live @ Little Brother's (10/29/00)
The first time I heard of Fenix Phoundation was from a friend who was asking me if I had ever heard of them. This began my quest to find out more about the buzz surrounding this band. My first stop was their website @ http://www.hypertheory.com/fenix . I listened and looked around. Pretty cool I thought. Then I heard that they were playing at Little Brother's and I had to go.

Fast forward to the show. The show started up with Cavendish and Trapper John opening. Both bands put on a good show. Fenix Phoundation then came on stage and they had a great stage setup with lights, a strobe lamp, and some other funky lights. They opened up with a strong instrumental and then kicked off into a great rocker called,"Alex". All the musicians on stage were excellent and the drummer really played his heart out.

The audience interaction was also a high point of the show. The lead singer did a good job of bringing the crowd into the act by telling some jokes and making random comments throughout the set. He also showed his professionalism by thanking both bands, friends, family, and fans who came to see them. The guitarist was also quite a character by declaring that he "bleeds for Fenix Phoundation."

Now back to their music. Fenix Phoundation does pretty much what their website claims by offering "... a unique sound that blends rythmical jams with a hard edge...". There was plenty of unique sounds and they definately started jamming towards the end. The highlights of their show were the songs ' College Song' , 'Ahead of Me' , 'Felicia (Saga II on CD)' , 'Emergency' , 'Lamb' , a song where the bassist played lead guitar (excellent guitar solo), and a Black Sabbath tune.

Overall, Fenix Phoundation is an excellent, but young band. They need to get a little tighter and do some more jamming. Another aspect that would help this band would be the addition of a solo instrument and acoustic guitar.

If you ever get a chance, go see this band, you'll have a lot of fun.

Fenix Phoundation: http://www.hypertheory.com/fenix

- Alpher DeLinovich (Oct 31, 2000)


Quarkspace
Spacefolds 6 review from aural-innovations.com
CD (Eternity's Jest)
From Aural Innovations #12 (September 2000) by Jerry Kranitz

The latest from Quarkspace is yet another in the Spacefolds series of all-improvised instrumentals. And a fine set it is! Quarkspace have created some wonderful composed songs, but excel as a tightly knit improv unit and the Spacefolds series exists to showcase this side of the band.

The disc opens with "Sheep Farm". There's a clear sense of rhythm, and the percussion and bass set a steady and prominent pace while the guitars and synths do their exploratory magic. There's just barely enough here to make this dancable, but trippers can relax, secure in the knowledge that they can sit back, close their eyes, and tag along for the journey. "Sturm Und Calm" is similar though there's some very cool synth lines at the end that sound like an old dark Van Der Graaf Generator bit. "Bonzo's G.S.B." is more dancable, a bit funky, even with a bit of a cosmic lounge feel at times, but is also one of the more deceptively busy tracks on the disc. Multiple keyboards, synths, and guitars occupy themselves seemingly in their own world, yet it all comes together to create a controlled and cohesive whole, the hallmark of any great improvisational unit.

Another highlight track is "D.O.B.H. #1", a cool freaky electronica and guitar tune. The band tosses out the rhythm on this number in favor of freeform space meandering, reminding me of some of the great guitar/electronic combinations Ash Ra Tempel did so well in the 70's, but with the distinct Quarkspace sound. Finally, Quarkspace has several times in the past incorporated techno influences into their music and "Funkpalast At Brian's Wormhole" is probably the most overt example I've heard yet. Now the only reason I never explore techno as a genre is because it's so singly focused on the techno beat. Pound that dancefloor! Quarkspace, on the other hand, utilize techno as an influence and make it an element, albeit a strong one on this song, of a larger whole. And the result is a totally funky space groove.

In summary, the Quarkspace trademark sound hasn't changed, but the band continues to evolve as an ensemble of musicians and these are some of their best improvs to date. Quarkspace have major crossover potential as this music would easily appeal to spacerockers, progheads, and all manner of electronica fans. Also note that the production and sound quality of Quarkspace recordings is fantastic and a headphone immersion into this disc will be rewarded many times over.

You can visit Quarkspace at their web site (quarkspace.com). Contact via snail mail at Eternity's Jest Records; PMB 212; 1487 W. Fifth Ave; Columbus, OH 43212.

- Paulo Quarkspacidini (Oct 31, 2000)


TWIN CAM 10/7/00
CD Release [email protected] High 5
(Live Show)
There's been a lot of words exchanged recently about the High5. Most of it bad. But at least, for one night in October, it was all good! Twin Cam revved up the engine and let it rip....as they celebrated the OFFICIAL release of their debut, Columbus Day. Local heavy band, the Susans, opened the show, and Stainless Mind closed the night. Sandwiched in between was the trio that had everyone rockin'! It was a great night. A very diverse crowd..from lesbians, to punk kids, to middle aged folk, and a Blitz DJ! They were all there to see Twin Cam set the stage ablaze, and boy did they ever! These guys have energy to burn. Mark Borror on guitar was a sight with his high jumps and down 'n dirty guitar play, while Chad Scholtisek on bass grooved from behind red shades. Drummer/singer Mike Sammons was in prime form. He had been smiling from ear to ear all night, working the crowd and being the ever jovial host. His drumming was solid and his voice,was strong and well-heard. Crowd favorites were obviously "MidWest" "Ashes" Silvertongue" and "Wave It". With lots of free food and good friends on hand, it was a great night. Local modern rockers, SEASON'S END (http://www.seasonsend.net) showed up to lend the guys support. They danced and cheered, just like fans. What a sight to see! Forget all the doomsayers. Hot rockin' music is alive and well in Columbus! Go to the Twin Cam site for the disc.. .http://www.twincamband.com. And remember to call up the Blitz and request more of Columbus Day from TwinCam!

- Diana Zimm (Oct 11, 2000)


Blatant Finger
Sit & Spin
CD (89 Records)
Blatant Finger’s debut CD “Sit & Spin” establishes these Columbus veterans as not only one of Columbus’, but indeed, the Midwest’s top rock talents. With influences as diverse as SoCal punk and rockabilly, Blatant Finger’s blend of punk is as unique as it is powerful. This 13 track CD, wrought with underdog anthems, delivers both musically as well as in providing an ideology not found in much of today’s commercially manufactured pop/punk music.

Their brand of peel your face off the wall punk passes on pretense and goes straight for the rock and roll jugular. “I don’t fit in anywhere, I’m a square peg on wheels” the first line of the first track “Square Peg,” sets the tone for the remainder of the CD. Singer Tom Barrett’s raw vocals are uniquely suited to ad the power to such lines as “pain feels good - love starts to hurt.” But don’t cry for these punk rock tough guys. With these guys, what you see is what you get and if you don’t like it, well then, remember their name.

In addition to his duties as lead vocalist, Barrett’s driving, straightforward guitar work, combined with Jim Stiers “slammin’ in the seam” bass provides Blatant’s unmistakable edge. Drummer Tony Terrell’s thunder behind the kit ads both power and energy to the mix. The resulting concoction is a raw, edgy, non-stop punk experience that will have you reeling in your seat (if in fact you can sit down while listening). This is real rock by real rockers.

Pick up a copy of “Sit & Spin” and you will see…the CD cover speaks for itself.

Blatant Finger Bio:

Formed in 1995 (current line-up since January 1997) with influences including SoCal punk, 80's punk, rockabilly and country. Blatant Finger is Tom Barrett (Lead Vocals, Lead/Rhythm Guitar), Jim Stiers (Lead Bass, Backing Vocals), Fred Sarginger (Rhythm/Lead Guitar), and Tony Terrell (Drums, Backing Vocals).

- John Nincehelser (Oct 03, 2000)


Knives, 9/13 @ Bernie's
Live show (??)
This review is a little belated and I was suffering from alcohol poisoning the night of the 13th, so my memory's a little shaky. The Knives were the first of three bands playing at Bernie's September 13th, before Spider Frendz and KRS' Me First, respectively. Only after the show did I learn (from Eric Davidson's review of the show) that they're from Cincinnati. It's a shame that they'd have to commute a couple hours to grace us with their presence.

After a couple songs I felt like I'd been transported about ten years back, watching some unholy union of Nation of Ulysses and Brainiac, with more emphasis on the former. By the end of the show I was convinced that the Knives, with lyric references to candy, disease and revolt, had their 13-Point Plan down pat, and the slick black outfits sealed the deal. Yeah, I'm accusing them of ripping off great bands, but at least they're not ripping off the crap that most Columbus bands seem to take after.

Not a hint of drunk_punk, no bass drum, and every note was dripping with self - aware irony and sleek sarcasm.

They blew my nuts off, dude.

Spider Frendz were OK. Me First was rock and good at it. [c.f. reviews for girl-laden power pop punk, sans SoCal crappiness and you've got it down].

- Colin Odden (Sept 27, 2000)


Quarkspace/National Steam
Vermont Review profile of Quarkspace/National Steam
(Eternity's Jest)
Quick CD Review: The Space Age Rock of National Steam and Quarkspace (Eternity’s Jest Records, 1997-99)

By Benson Knickerbocker

In this age, when techno is enjoying an increasing popularity with DJs /bands like Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, and the Proppellarheads enjoying widespread acceptance, why is that the bands who actually create trippier grooves by actually playing real instruments get left in the shadows? National Steam and Quarkspace are two Ohio bands have being enjoying a cult like status by playing crazy space techno rock. Both bands play primarily instrumental albums that touch on the techno era of Hawkwind (as versus the acid rock era), the keyboard onslaughts of Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream and the astral cacophony of early Floyd. For National Steam, songs like the opening "Pennsylvania Special" are well composed grooves while the seven minute "I’m Sorry, Earth’s Not In the Itinerary", "The Third Wheel" and "In the Caverns of Spacezilla" are complete space aged free for all improvisations (Think Syd Barrett meeting Phillip Glass and being chaperoned by Brian Eno). For "Orion", the first vocals are employed but expect nothing more than a subtle vocals similar to those found on "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun". For "The Sutler", the combination of eerie vocals and haunting keyboard effects, one feels like they have stepped into Hellraiser.

Two members from National Steam, Dave Wexler (Guitars) and Paul Williams (Drums, Keyboards, Loops, Samples, Percussion), came from the band Quarkspace. Like their primary influences, Hawkwind/Pink Floyd, Quarkspace has a vast array of sounds. Formed in 1984, Quarkspace has been spacing people out for the last sixteen years. They can produce hard thrashing guitar riffs and celestial keyboard vamps and like what is on their latest release, total tripped out space investigations. There is over 70 minutes of loose improvisation on Spacefolds 5 in which every tune has its humble beginnings but eventually give away to the world of intense rave like grooves. On double CD Hidden Moon, the two first tracks, "Prince" and "Starbridge Freaks" one can find the same grooves that are heard from the French twosome, Air. These two songs have a steady bass/rhythm line with sonic soaring synthesizers layered on top. On the live DC, Live Orion, which was recorded at the Orion Space Rock Festival in 1997, it becomes immediately evident why Quarkspace surpasses anything available in trip-hop circles - the music is live, unedited and jamming. Right from the beginning, with "Close to the Whipping Post", Paul William’s tribal drumming leads the way for soloists to stretch it out. With the live recording, there are less comparison to urban dance halls and more with today’s jam bands/progressive bands like Sector 9 or New Deal. The same mystical tribalism is conveyed through the tune "Air" which has bassist Chet Santia providing celestial haiku. "Siren Space" is the most inspirational tracks with Jay Swanson’s beautiful piano work and the song’s Floydian escalation. "In My Lost Mind" and "Don’t Stop the Levee" are Quarkspace’s stab at a vocal numbers in which Wexler’s guitar work takes a harder edge. This is when the band leaves the ambient and heads over to Robert Calvert-era Hawkwind.

Both bands provide the logical connection to the 1970s techno progressive bands and the music of 1990s dance club scenes and both of the recordings from Quarkspace and National Steam are great cerebral recordings to play for those late nights. For more info, go to www.quarkspace.com.

- Paulo Quarkspacidini (Sept 20, 2000)


Twin Cam-Live CyberCast
@Little Brother's (8/31/00)
Concert- Review

On August 31, with the great assistance of Digital Music Club (http://www.digitalmusicclub.com) Columbus' historic rock performance venue, Little Brother's, streamed a live cybercast concert across the World Wide Web. Local power pop band, Twin Cam, were off to the races the instant the green flag was raised-- or, in this case, once the video and audio feed from Real Player networks finally loaded and kicked in-- a whole fifteen minutes after the Cam began their set.

Those lucky enough to have been in the audience AND smart enough to have a laptop, got to enjoy the best of both worlds. For the rest of us, it was an interesting experience of the melding of technology and rudimentary rock 'n roll.

Twin Cam started things off on a real innovative note, opening with "Nothing Lasts", one of two brand new Twin Cam songs not on their debut release, COLUMBUS DAY. (The other is "Good To Me" and both sound really good!) Next came all my personal original favorites off the disc, all in quick succession: "Punk Song", "Silver Tongue", Wave It", the "supremely lovely" "In the Stars" and "Ashes". They played these songs faithfully as straight renditions, letting the grooves within each song reveal themselves harmonically.

Drummer Mike Sammons, sporting a Weezer t-shirt, seemed to strain a bit with his vocals, but it was easy to tell that he meant well. His singing actually grew stronger and more confident as the band turned the corner and made it mid-way through the set. "Ashes", in particular, is a song where Sammons reached melodic vocal heights. Guitarist Mark Borror and bassist Chad Scholtisek both displayed competent fret work, with the bass remaining steady and soothingly rhythmic throughout, as Borror occasionally soared and thrilled (especially on the last number, a wailingly slicing cover of Jimi Hendrix' "Voodoo Child"!)

In between, they did an excellent Cars' cover of "Just What I Needed", in such a way that Ric Ocasek should be jealous! The audience inside the club (a small handful of believers in good music), took it all in, laughing and interacting with the band from the stage. Well, it WAS an "interactive" night, wasn't it?

Sammons gets credit for being an engaging showman. He made a few comments about the 'crowd' needing to be kept in control, and warned about bottle throwing. You know how rowdy Standing Room Only Crowds of 10 to 15 people can be! He even called out to someone in the audience to come up and sing "Everybody's Happy" with the band, which, as a song, is an excellent sing-a- long composition anyway. If you haven't heard it, (why haven't you? Get the CD!!), the repeated ending chorus just goes on and on, building and building....'everybody. everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody!!, everybody's happy, don't you want to play with me!??!!' It demands that you participate and join in and that's just the point.

I have it on good authority that the web feed wasn't the best it could be, no matter how great your connection. Cybercasting concerts may be the wave of the future, but give me a cozy, flesh 'n blood filled dive with real people any day! Live music is meant to be experienced in the REAL, sharing the pulsing beats with people next to you and giving back to the band, who really depend on feedback and vibes from a live, engaged audience. But, I wonder.......if crowds don't show up to support local music, (how many people were at Little Brother's that night????), then we may all get just what we deserve...concerts broadcast over the Internet...no contact, no chance to have the guitarist sweat on you, or the drummer to throw you a drum stick. No way to let the band performing know just how grateful you are that they are playing live or to give them your resounding applause. And I really don't believe that would make everybody happy at all.

Twin Cam site: http://www.twincamband.com BUY 'COLUMBUS DAY'!

- Diana Zimm (Sept 02, 2000)


A Planet For Texas
"You Can Still Rock In America"
CD (Diaphragm Records)
Columbus has long been home to numerous punk outfits, but few have been as deserving of attention as relative newcomer, A Planet for Texas. This foursome plays a fearsome punk-metal hybrid (with the scale tipped toward the punk side) that draws its inspiration from the best of each genre. Shreds of Motorhead and classic hard-core in the vain of Bad Religion and Social Distortion (circa "Mommy's Little Monster"), as well as the Supersuckers can be heard emanating from their SGs. Manically frantic licks, vocals that match Leatherface's Frankie Stubbs in the bristle quotient, and jackhammer playing from the rhythm section all add up to an electrifying band. However, though each APFT cut is played at furious pace, melody remains omnipresent in their potent formulas it is with the luminaries the band emulates.  After recording a 7-inch EP in 1998, the band released its debut full-length, "You Can Still Rock in America," on guitarist-vocalist Diamond Ike Midnight's Diaphragm Records the following year. The record is one of 2000's most pleasant surprises. With great sound thanks to producer Jon Chinn, the disc is comprised of 13 tracks with a not a weak one in the bunch. Songs like "Amphetamine" and "Red Sweater" are imbued with great chops and the kinds of melodies that get stuck in your head. Rounded out by a cover of the rock classic "Crimson & Clover" played with breakneck stops and starts, "You Can Still Rock in America" lives up to its title. - Stephen Slaybaugh (citysearch.com) 

- J. Gunn (Sept 01, 2000)


Earwig
Perfect Past Tense
CD (Lizard Family)
Lizard McGee sings, "I'll move on to the next Nirvana now" on Two Dragons, the fourth song on Earwig's new album Perfect Past Tense. The question becomes, what next Nirvana?

Could he be referring to the old claim that Columbus would be the next Seattle? In the mid-90s, there was a lot of talk about Columbus being the next big thing, with Scrawl, Howlin' Maggie, Watershed, and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments signing to big-time labels.

Could it be a comparison of Earwig to Nirvana? Both bands are/were three-pieces, with soft verse/loud chorus song structures. In an August 1995 College Music Journal article, Ron House wrote, "Earwig will be a force if it develops further from its debut."

Or could it be a place or state of oblivian to care, pain, or external reality as the dictionary so adequately puts it. This reviewer's bet is on the third choice.

The album is dominated by songs about love and loss. A sample of lyrics like "I made you sad/I know/that's why you went away" from Best Kept Secret, "On a houseboat in Chicago/I'll take my turn/Leaving you behind" from Where's Yr. Ghost, and "Put your lips up to my mouth/and suck my heart right out" from Anatomical Gift shows that McGee and company have had a heart or two broken in their day.

However, that's not the only thing that Perfect Past Tense has going on. It's a great collection of songs, with stand out rockers like Drag, Cinema East, and Dress coexisting with sad ballads like Where's Yr. Ghost and Anything.

It also captures a fine performance from Earwig mainstains McGree (vocals/guitar), and Rich Cefalo (bass).

What it lacks its cohesion. Three drummers perform on the albumÑChuck Palmer, Brad Swiniarski, and Justin Crooks. The songs were also written over a period of yearsÑDress and Nineteen first appeared on the Beautiful People compilation, and I heard Cinema East the first time I saw the band in 1995.

You can pick up the album through the Lizard Family web site, www.lizardfamily.com. And yes, this is the same album that was released in Columbus last year, only with redesigned artwork and a jewel case.

- Chad Painter (Aug 31, 2000)


SEASON'S END
trenches
CD (Stonewater Records)
One listen to the stand-out leadoff track "Always There" from this sophomore release by Columbus, Ohio's Season's End is enough to prove==practice makes perfect. TRENCHES displays maturity in sound and form, as well as heightened professionalism and musical expansion — elements that were not yet fully developed in the group's initial attempt, 1999's sincere release, Spring in Struggleville. Putting in more craft and devoting time, Season's End shows their potential to reach a wider, more sophisticated audience. Matt Ebright's keyboard work is strong and bold, as evidenced on "Place in the Sun" and "Crow's Nest," while the rhythm section proudly assumes center-stage on "Innocence" (along with some spacey, neo-new wave effects towards the end). Lead guitarist Alex West proves his musical agility by cranking out expert solos ("Take My Soul Away") and intriguing vocalizations, without ever over-reaching. The compositions in TRENCHES are sharply aggressive, catchy, muscular and definitely worth the trip. — Roxanne Blanford (courtesy of All Music Guide)

- Roxanne Blanford (Aug 29, 2000)


TWIN CAM-CD Review
COLUMBUS DAY
CD (independent)
Twin Cam is an energetic/melodic/percussion heavy pop-rock band that admits to actually having fun doing what they do, and it’s a feeling that is quickly and easily transferred over to their listeners and fans. Twin Cam is Mike Sammons on drums and lead vocals, Mark Borror on lead guitar and Chad Scholtisek on bass. They are a dynamic unit of skilled musicians whose beguiling and compelling alternative pop compositions shine as bright as the stars in a clear mid-western sky.

COLUMBUS DAY, their self-produced debut CD, can best be described as embodying the seminal Columbus Ohio sound: fresh, crisp, expansive and a pleasing composite of all the best trends in new music from the past fifteen years.

Notable influences range from Foo Fighters and the Cars to Weezer and Lit, with elements of free-wheeling new wave rock. This is clearly apparent in the aptly titled track, “Wave It”, which has an engaging sing-along chorus that bounces along with all the groove of your favorite 80’s band. Like others on this disc, (namely, “Rocks On My Head” and “Everybody’s Happy”) the song develops gradually, beginning carefully, then opens up lyrically and musically until it expands into a full-fledged anthem. The drums are usually the catalyst, propelling the basic rhythm along as the guitars play catch up and, eventually, assume a commanding lead. The pace zooms along, building in tempo and complexity, but never becoming overly constructed. The hooks remain free and airy throughout, with enough space to insert an unexpected chord change or shift. This disc doesn’t know how to be a bore.

Among other stand out tracks, there is the punkish “Pole Position” (with it’s echoes of the ‘Ready-Steady-Go’) and the nuance of “Silver Tongue” --part rockabilly, part post grunge alt-rock. Other songs reveal the band’s ability to create jaunty riffs with original ideas ("Mid-West", "Ashes", "Waterchild") conveying Twin Cam’s penchant for not taking themselves too seriously---after all, it’s only rock’n roll, and they like it. http://www.twincamband.com

- Diana Zimm (Aug 29, 2000)


Bravado
Live @ Bernie's 7/22/00
I had seen this band once before but wasn't sure who they were at that time. Later Wilfoster introduced me to one of the members and I started making the connection. Just before they took the stage someone mentioned they heard the band listened to too much Oasis. My response? I guess I could see that. Looking at the members, Oasis might be a visual influence. They at least look like they're out of one of those mid to late 1960's blues rock bands, though not necessarily a British one (The Doors, the Small Faces, the Stones). And with the lanky vocalist standing at what must be close to 7 feet tall with a hipply scraggled, jet-black bob, visions of the Black Crowes came to mind too.

However it doesn't really end with the look. The band, while not as edgy, dirty, rough and moody as any of those visually compared bands tend to be, there is definitely a stylistic influence. But the vocal delivery distracts from that with an unmistakable Dylan delivery and tonality. OK, maybe it is mistakable. I'm not sure which Dylan -- Jakob or Bob. Hmm, maybe this is what Jakob's Wallflowers would be like live at Bernie's ...

- Joel (Aug 28, 2000)


Marblehead
I doubt anyone will ever see this but I must let people know. July 14th I saw the Zero Rain cd release party. I have seen them a couple of times and must say they put on a good show. The opener was a band called Last Call. They seemed borish yet talented. My big surprise of the evening was after Zero Rain left the stage the crowd nearly dissipated I thought that was it for the evening. As I sat and had a few pints I couldnt help but notice a couple of people scurrying around the stage. By this time it was around 12:45 I was almost ready for home. Out of the blue a Four piece band I have never heard of started doing a little plucking with their guitars and out of the blue came "Stone Free" a Hendrix cover that had all the pizaz and balls of the original ala the Chili Peppers. I only stayed for about another 45 minutes but let me tell you this band played as if they where at all the Woodstocks put together. The only ongoing riot that broke out was the power of a good old fashioned rock and roll four piece band that played to only 15 people. The Original music left an impression on me I can only understate. I was more than dissapointed to find out they are a local band with no record and not some national touring act. If you see them enjoy them because they wont be HERE long.

- Tim Lane (July 22, 2000)



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