HOME of CRINGE: CRINGE: 5.4: Reviews


ISSUE 5.4            The Book'em Danno Issue            FALL 1995


55 Fireflies   CS (Botulism)
Now that Columbus has been officially dubbed a scene, and it seems that every other band that's managed to behave professionally enough to write ten songs without disbanding has an album on some half way reputable record label. Thank god for musicians who just don't bother. Hell, 55 Fireflies isn't even a band and this tape isn't even a demo. It's just two of our old friends from the now defunct Clay, Jake and Wilfoster, having fun with a four track and cheesy thri ft store instruments. Naturally, this four-song, homemade cassette is brought to you by the two Athens, Ohio youth who created the thoroughly unprofessional Botulism label as a means of recycling used self-help tapes. Boys just wanna have fun, you know. I suppose if the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 replaced their rock instruments with a horn, kazoo, turntable, and drum machine and let Jerry Lewis front them they might come up with music as charmingly dorky or lyrics as wonderfully geeky. What will you do when the irresistible force meets the immovable object? Jake chants like a robot on the first track. Another song is punctuated with Wilfoster's spastic shouts for Mothergoose!" Yes, the whole thing is a joke, but you've never laughed so hard. - Nathan Weaver

After Hours: A Few Smooth Grooves   LP (Epiphany 052067)
In 1993 After Hours recorded their debut album A Few Smooth Grooves   . The album featured Phillip Clark on saxophones and vocals, Caleb Hutslar on piano and keyboards, David Paul on bass and Rick Soriano on percussion. The all original album moves from one distinct jazz style (and era) to the next creating a unique format. David Paul, who produced the album saw it as an experiment to show that compositions of different styles could be linked together to produce an album with a strong personality that made sense to the listener. It also gives the listener the chance to build interest in styles other than what he/she might normally listen to. Long time Columbus media personality Fritz the Nite Owl made this comment regarding A Few Smooth Grooves : If you have taste, wit and sophistication, You'll dig it!

Currently After Hours is a Trio, losing Clark and Hutslar and gaining guitarist Mark Williams. - The Columbus JazzNet

Big Back 40
After the Bush League fallout, Sean (Feversmile, Train Meets Truck) got together with Greenhorn bassist Steve and Dali Llama guitarist Barry. They play some perty soulful country swamp rock (CCR meets Pearl Jam?). I'm callin' it swamptry rock fer now. I took a look over the heads in front of me and saw Sean sittin', singin' and playin'. Kinda a nice change of pace fer a rock band, though Barry's bouncy rock star posing kinda distracted me from the music in an annoying way. - Joel

Bush League All-Stars
The Train Meets Truck/Feversmile guys are gone. The Gunshy Ministers drummer and guitarist/vocalist are both in, with Ed from Ugly Stick on bass. Dan from Greenhorn still seems to be the lead man. I suppose not too surprisingly, the band kinda bores me now. I've never been to excited about Gunshy - and Dan's style tends towards basic Midwest song structures. - Joel

Dead Flower Bloom
... can be described as punky, but they're not punk. Definitely a straight-forward rock'n'roll band with many wrinkles... Their l ive show has been touted as one of the most energetic, heart-frenzied performances to grace a stage in years...

... In the June 1995 issue of Gordon's Flash, an A&R industry magazine spotlighting unsigned bands, Dead Flower Bloom was editor Julie Gordon's pick to click. In Gordon's words, Dead Flower Bloom fits nicely in the punk/pop pocket without sounding generic... If raw punk rock'n'roll appeals to you, so will Dead Flower Bloom. - [email protected].

The Evolution Control Committee
The Committee h as been known for years as a fringe one-man band, and many old Crazy Mama's dwellers still remember a man with flashlights duct-taped to his arms. The flashlights broke a long time ago, and while The Committee continues with occasional performances they a re also a minor figure in the subterranean network of home tapers, the cassette culture, or whatever your preferred title is. The Committee is also branching into being a bit of a label, responsible for projects such as Gaga (listed below), Flur, The Weir d Love Makers, and others. Tapes can be occasionally found at local stores, but are more available by mail. A CD will be out by the end of 1995. - Mark G.

Frog a mungus: Velour   CS (Froggy Style Records)
I just saw Frog a mungus for the first time in quite a few months, but first a history lesson. They went from irregular, on-the-spot singers like Chris Q (Clay, Wilfoster + Q and Flipping Hades) and me (in the basement just once) to one steady guy. They r ecorded a 7 inch with this guy, but shortly after he was out and two young women were in. One was a perty good rapper, but neither held a melody all that well. They did the Velour   tape with these two vocalist. Then they lost the good rapper. The vocalist seems to get lost in the melody and rapping more than she finds them. The most recent show seemed to lack a lot in terms of structure and melody, opting for noise, distortion, diss onance and strong rhythms. If I had to guess, I'd say they couldn't hear anything but drums. Maybe it's their new sound? In all fa irness, I've seen the band tighter in the past, with guitarist Joe's Sonic Youthinism closer to his sleeve. I suppose I should mention My Bloody Valentine too, but the prettiness and spurious melodies have turned to dissonance, bad intonation and muddy no ise. - Joel

Gaga has led a quiet existence for five years, perhaps because their musical focus is relaxation. Improvised electronic ambience might be a good a pigeonhole as any, even though many non-electronic elements are used as well. For that mat ter, it's not always so relaxing when the power tools get used as musical instruments, but the home-made instruments can be some of the most interesting parts. Not for the Stache's-impaired. - Mark G.

You may have heard that Gaunt are a poor man's version of the New Bomb Turks. Or that if you go see them you can expect Jerry Wick, who's an asshole by the way, to mouth off during most of the show instead of playing songs anyway. And, "Oh, they got that 'Jim Mother Fucker' song but that's about it." That's the shit I heard about Gaunt when I first moved to Columbus some three years ago. I still hear that attitude out there today. That's too bad. Ever since Jerry finally let his tuneful sound have some room, Gaunt's been a serious and solid addition to the Columbus scene. That was when "Pop Song" was conceived. The first time I heard it, and I think it was the first time it was played out, it sounded so different than the rest of the set. It was immediate and engaging, but still as raw and powerful as pun k should be. It seemed to me it was named as sort of a confession or an admission, so nobody could point the finger and yell sell-out faster than Jerry. But since then, Jerry has had no problem writing great songs. The single version of Turn to Ash is one of my all time favorite recordings. Any tape I've made for anyone recently, including myself, has ended with it. I'm still not tired of it either. Gaunt has even done such dastardly things as cover a Guided by Voices song, "Quality of Armor" (and long before the Breeders ever thought of it) and do an acoustic version of one of their songs, Lies . Gaunt unplugged? Whitey the what? Jim who?

So now I even know someone that likes Gaunt better than the Turks. Go figure. Hopefully they're over a recent band-member turnover frenzy. The band, especially Jovan, we're damn tight and full-on there before the split up. Go see 'em at Bernie's, their best shows are there. Skip the opening act, they probably suck compared to Gaunt anyway. - camyers

Jenny Mae
Most overrated and over written about Columbus returnee. I'm sorry, though Jenny Mae's singing may have improved a bit since Vibralux (with which vocal faux pas, there were some doozies), she just doesn't do it fer me. Her writing ain't nothin' to write home abo ut, to write about or to analyze too deeply as far as I'm concerned. In all her incarnations, Jenny Mae's vocals, lyrics and cheesy 60's-80's cheap & cheesy pop synth & organ were always good at one thing though - making me cringe. - Joel

They're probably wondering if I'm ever going to review them - being a one time neighbor of the cutest member and a fan of their older sibling, the Econothugs. Yep, the new thug drummer came from here and thug guitarist Stinky Bottoms is in both bands. Scary Gary Skully does the white trash beer-drinker dialog with hardy laughs most glam-goth metal bands would kill for - and probably have. Kind of a barsier, beer-driven Rocket from the Crypt. - Joel

Love Ugly: Mine   CS & VHS (Love Ugly Productions)
So I go t this bulky package in the mail. Turns out it's an audio cassette and VHS video tape. Since video is somewhat a change of pace, I played it first. It appears the band is being interviewed by a friend in their living room/practice space - dog included. Th e non-performance footage is kinda humorous and entertaining. I let the tape keep rolling. There were a few things not pertaining to Love Ugly on the tape. Most notably a series of animated Yogi, err, um, I mean Benny Bear and Scrap Cat toons. The sparse dialog and sound effects make these almost surreal. Great for listening to music. Hey, maybe ...

Eventually I ventured to the audio cassette. It's a 6 songer of fairly heavy, slightly white-boy-funky living-room-rock with a pinch of punk here and there. Kinda Tool or Chili Peppers with some suburban heavy classic/acid rock leanings - funky acid rock. The vocals can have this muffled, whiny, unsure swooping quality that makes it sound like this guy ain't much of a singer, melody maker or practicer - one, two or all three possibly. It ain't really that bad though - I think they've adopted it as part of their style. - Joel

Martyr Colony
Central Ohio's premier industrial noise unit is available for live performances once again. - Jeffrey Muth of Martyr Colony

Nice vocal melodies and harmonies, kinda lazy, mellow Midwestern (almost country or southern) pop rock as they call it. I get a bit bored with it. Oh, this is a group I shoulda had in the cute bass player issue of CRINGE, but I hadn't seen em yet. - Joel

Ouchcube (metallic)
Robert Fripp once said that sound is the cup that holds the wine of music; silence is that cup but empty; noise is that cup but broken... and OUCHCUBE is that cup with tequila in it. We (OUCHCUBE) are a 4 piece band out of Columbus. We just released a new 9 song tape on the local F.A.Y. label. I'd rather not give you a description of our band (I'll let Joel do that if he wants) but we sound just like your favorite band. How's that for shameful promotion? Elevator music for the insane is my personal favorite. Anyway, we have been together for about three years and while you may have heard us in the past we are a band that continues to grow and progress. Look for us this fall at Stache's, Bernie's, Chelsie's and the Newport, an d look for our tape at campus record stores. We hope 95/96 will be a good year for OUCHCUBE with the release of our new tape, a monthly newsletter and hopefully a CD to follow this winter.

If you would like a copy of our tape ($6.00), T-shirt($10.00) or the OUCHCUBE newsletter($0) write to: Aaron Pauley, 1727 Hollow Run Drive, Grove City, Ohio 43223 or call us at 614-871-8163. - Bob Bellas of OUCHCUBE

Pretty Mighty Mighty
Many of the ways Pretty Mighty Mighty has been described in the past ( astral , ethereal , swirling ) make the band sound like some retro art-rock band that would best be experienced under the influence of some hallucinogenic substance. On one hand, that may be true; PMM can weave some of the most haunting, dreamy soundscapes this side of the Cocteau Twins. However, they don't dwell on the astral plane long before plunging head first into a maelstrom of pure noise and violent dissonance. I think most bands would be lucky to pull off either of these two opposing musical approaches with such skill, let alone switch back and forth with such ease. It's the major way in which the band provides contrast to itself, a refreshing and inspiring talent, that should have been standardized long ago. Its one of a number of dichotomies Pretty Mighty Mi ghty makes good use of: alternating male and female vocals, complex melodies or monotonal phrasings, the long, drawn-out, soothing notes against sudden shrieks, and slow passages that gear shift into runaway rhythms. Which is the one thing that everyone f ails to mention, when these guys really try, they can really rock out as well as any of Columbus' finest punks. Things are still developing though, and their formula isn't so perfect that a few things don't sound similar here and there. From the sounds of their newer songs ( Take , Perfect ) Pretty Mighty Mighty are still trying to stretch into new territory. We'll see how much they can make Alternative Press slobber in the future. - camyers

quiet Matters
The motto different is good is just one way to sum up our philosophy. Since forming in 1989, quiet Matters has been producing our own brand of original music. As membership evolved, so has our style. The current line-up includes guitar, bass, drums, vio lin and female lead vocals. qM performs high-energy, original, alternative pop music... In 1992 we released our first CD, Another Thought ...   still available in record stores in the Columbus area, as well as by contacting the band. We continue to record demo tapes while raising money to produce another CD . Some are produced at studios, others are recorded at home on an 8-track home studio... - Leonard Rivers of quiet Matters (All material ©Copyright 1994 Not quiet Music (BMI))

Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments: Bait & Switch   CD/LP (Onion/American)
... In any indie scene, there are myths, legends, history...but most important...more important than any poser quotient', there are records.
THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS have been around as a functioning/ recording/performing unit for three or four years. Their new album Bait & Switch   on Onion/American is their first full-length release. The band has always seemed to tease us a bit with their habit of putting out singles' (they have 3 of those). When they actually released a twelve-inch! a few years ago with more than four songs on it, that seemed generous indeed...

... The sonic BLAST that permeates out of the grooves and exits through the speakers in your room on Bait & Switch is what THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS does best. They blast, blow, and rock, and from what I can hear, they seemed to have nailed this baby in the studio without hardly any over-dubs and flash. It's in your face, just like their live shows. It's sonic. Electric. It kicks ass... - Jim Shepard, V3 guitar/vocals (excerpts from http://american.recordings.com/Onion/onion_artists/TJSA/index.shtml)

Joel's comments: Nathan Weaver and I highly recommend reading the entire article from which the above excerpts were taken. Lots-o good stuff on Ron House and Columbus' punkier history. And it's by local Jim Shepard. Just in case ya need it repeated, the URL is: http://american.recordings.com/Onion/onion_artists/TJSA/index.shtml  

Watershed: Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust   LP (Epic)
Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust   , the debut Epic recording by Watershed, borrows its title imagery from an old Woody Hayes description of Ohio State's predilection for running plays: Three yards and a cloud of dust. The young but seasoned trio's music is similarly straight-forward and gimmick-fre e, recalling such classic Midwest pop outfits as Cheap Trick ... Watershed was weaned on the soundtrack of the Seventies: Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, KISS. We didn't really have college radio until we were 19 or 20, Colin (guitar/vocals) reveals. Just recently we've become fans of the Replacements, because people always told us we sounded like them. ...

... We're pretty much Midwestern guys we like to keep things simple, says Colin. If you want to quote something profound and philosophical, you're going to have to make it up. If you think of something great, go ahead and attribute it to us. We'll take care of it. - excerpt from http:// www.sony.com/Music/ArtistInfo/Watershed_ThreeChordsAndACloudOfDust.html EPIC Reg. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (Copyright Sony Music Entertainment Inc.)

White trash beer/bar rock. They just seem like a buncha boys who always wanted to be in a band together and finally learned a few instruments and did it. Nothing too ambitious, they just do what they can, and it comes off as a perty good time fer all. - Joel

Cornell Wiley: All Kinds of Lovin   CD (Tetrachord TET2148)
You name it, he's seen it, done it, and definitely played it! Cornell Wiley comes to Columbus by way of Chicago but not before traveling th rough and playing in most of the U.S. and Vietnam. And not before growing up and playing with some of this country's most notable musicians.

There was a time when you could catch Cornell if the road led him to your area or if you were watching The Arthur Godfrey Show on the right night but these days he can be found fronting the Bob Allen Trio or in a small room teaching yet another student hi s/her first bass lesson. His reputation as a performer is equaled only by his reputation as THE bass instructor in town. - The Columbus JazzNet

Mark Williams: Echoes in the Night   LP/CD (Tetrachord TET2002)
Mark Williams has had the kind of experience a guitarist (or any musician for that matter) dreams about. After learning from Columbus heavyweights like Bobby Alston, Don Hales, and Cornell Wiley, Mark spent several years on the west coast where he got to perform around and with the likes of Tal Farlow, Kenny Burell and John Pattitucci. Now that Mark's back home, We are all fortunate to be able to enjoy the result of this experience mixed with his own natural great talent and taste.

Since coming back to town, Mark has recorded two solo albums, both of which are available through Tetrachord Records. They are entitled Echoes in the Night   and Quiet Moments   . These albums feature Mark's talent as a solo guitarist and as an accompanist as he features vocalists Meg Murphy and Cornell Wiley on a few numbers. - Mark Williams/The Columbus JazzNet

The Yips: 1000% Fox 7" (Siltbreeze Records)
Wow! It's one of those records that will have you hopping around in your living room seconds after you start playing it. Unlike their live performances, you can understand nearly every word that Gilmore utters. People claim it's the hip lo-fi sound - I just think it's great. Oh, and you can even play Boggle with part of the back cover! - lee p.


Columbus Alive VIBES! on the Web
With the help of ColumbusPages, Columbus Alive's entertainment calendar is now on the web. Last Ichecked it didn't have the current week's listing posted yet. I suppose they'll need a little time to get this updated easily and regularly. Oh, the URL is http://www.columbuspages.com/Alive/calendar/ - Joel

A voice for jazzbos and lovers of groovy sounds in Central Ohio. This site is dedicated to the memory of Bobby Alston. great musician, teacher and friend. - The Columbus JazzNet

In Your Ear / P.O. Box 3518 / Col. OH 43210 / 292-4063 day
Producer: Jerri Shafer [email protected]
In Your Ear is a monthly half-hour music video, performance & talk show airing on Columbus's Public Access Station ACTV 21 every Tuesday at 11:00 pm. Each show features either combination of videos and musicians, bands, and others in the industry talking about their music, live studio performances, or documentaries of musical events.

In Your Ear is produced by Jerri Shafer along with other EarCandy shows and has received over 20 awards to date in several categories including Best Graphic Intro, Best Music Performance, Best Music Video, Best Documentary, and Best Personal Profile both at the local Pyramid competition and the regional Philo competition. The music video What A Day by Rj Cowdery was a finalist in the national Hometown awards competition this year.

For people wishing to see In Your Ear that do not have cable access - several of the past shows can be borrowed from the Grandview Library. And for those that live in other cities - In Your Ear is now being aired at 20 other public a ccess stations including Seattle and Canada!

  Upcoming shows include (Shown every Tuesday, 11:00 pm on ACTV channel 21):
  Oct. - live studio performance by acoustic artist Todd Burge.
  Nov. - edited live performance by Watershed at their Epic CD release party.
  Dec. - highlights from the 1994 Trash Festival held at Stache's last year.
  Jan. - live studio performance by Gray Matters. 

If you would like more information on how you or your band can appear on In Your Ear - or - have CDs, cassettes, and/or music videos that you would like to appear on ACTV write or send promotional materials to: (see above) - Jerri Shafer


Epiphany & Tetrachord Records / 5571 suite B Hibernia Dr. / Col. Oh 43232 / 759-0635
 Epiphany 052067     After Hours:  A Few Smooth Grooves    
 Tetrachord TET2002  Mark Williams:  Echoes in the Night   
 Tetrachord TET2148  Cornell Wiley:  All Kinds of Love  

- The Columbus JazzNet & Epiphany/Tetrachord Records

Jazz City Entertainment
Providing the city's finest musical entertainment for your gathering... We are an agency dedicated to providing you with a soloist or group that fits your needs. Columbus has a wealth of talent and experience but finding the right act can sometimes be a shot in the dark . Every artist working with Jazz City is an established professional with a great reputation in Columbus and often all around the country. - the Columbus JazzNet/Jazz City

Prince Ubu Gallery 755 North High (basement of Waldo's)
Much like the old Cafe Ashtray in Acme, The Prince Ubu Gallery is a tiny Fridays-only performance space put on by N.A.I.V.E., a group which aims to introduce some more experimental aspects to the Columbus artistic scene. Eric Myers and Leni Anderson are the main members behind it, and Eric is the one mostly responsib le for the performances. For N.A.I.V.E. show information, call 470-0278. - Mark G.

I caught the first half of the Rule-a-thon at Bernie's in October. (Imagine that, me at Bernie's.) Now I know yer asking yerself, what's a Rule-athon? I was too. I guess it pays tribute to all those performers people said ruled at some point ... I just don't recall Billy Joel ever being one of them. Changling started off with what we thought were some 70's Rush meets Montrose knock-offs, then they started blata ntly ripping off Zeppelin, eventually working their way into a cover of Zep's No Quarter. Dogrocket continued with what could be called covers of covers. I think half their set list was copped from the suave solocoustic cover man Pat Dull. Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl" (I've always wondered if Jesse is a man or a woman) and Greg Kihn's They Don't Write Like That Anymore (Na na naa Na na na naa naaa) were included. The highlight was Swivelarm Battle Grip's (how many words is that?) cockeyed Feel Like Makin' Love. Proving once again covers are a lot more fun and interesting when ya venture away from the original. Their cover of Duran Duran's Rio was quite a surprise too, though a bit truer to the original. Oh, did I mention they did a fast punk version of some Billy Joel tune? My life, er somethin' like that. - Joel

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