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Music Reviews

Local Bands
Rants and Raves
Heevahava played in Cincinnati recently at Sudsy's. Although the crowd was sparse, the boys really rocked. If you've never seen them, they're definitely worth checking out. Their songs are jam oriented yet intricately detailed as well. My buddy Joel referred to them as "math rock", which is an interesting way of putting their sound. One look at these guys though and it's obvious they aren't mathematicians. Whatever the case, if an evening of heavy duty rock ranging from ten minute epic originals sounds like something you'd be into, check these guys out.

I finally got to check out Big Foot in Athens a few weeks back and they blew me away. Their songs were intelligent and well crafted. I really liked the Fender Rhodes keyboard sound they had, not to mention the wonderful pedal steel. Support this band!

Gaunt and Howlin' Maggie have two things in common: 1. I bought both of their CD's for a dollar at Half Price books. 2. They both suck. Let's be serious here, these two bands have got to be two of the most overrated groups to come out of Columbus. Jerry Wick's generic songwriting increases with each new record he puts out. Every song he writes sounds either like a crappy Kiss throwaway or a wanna be Elvis Costello pop song (or both). Terrible stuff. As for Howlin' Maggie, their CD is so overproduced it makes me sick, and their live show makes me sicker. The words I'm looking for in describing Howlin' Maggie live is "sexually repulsive". Seriously.

A version of the Hard Black Thing played in Cincinnati at the underground club, S.O.B. My main man Jimmy Joey was there and told me it was a bunch of noise and Stu's trumpet was blaring through the entire mess like a big wet noodle! Blow a lip, Stu.

- Jay Dee (June 14, 1997)

Jay Dee's earlier submission was replaced by the above post. In his words, "The new article conveys what I'm trying to say, but is more music based (at least I hope)."

June 21
This was the last show that TJSA did as part of the tour, playing in front of a packed house at the El Rey in Los Angeles. I missed most of opener Pete Yorn's set (dub power-trio feel-good metal/folk) that had a couple of moments. Next up was TJSA, Ron House arriving double-fisted and speaking at twice the speed of sound; Craig most likely to win the women as he was spotlighted along with Ted, both of them holding down the fort while Bob Petric (still one of Columbus' best) using harmonics, trills and arpeggios to complement the chord structures and nailing his solos to boot. Ron's emphatic vocals and bedouin dance moves on the damp stage were noted and appreciated by large numbers in the audience who sang along to "My Mysterious Life" "Down to High St" "Cheater's Heaven" and many songs off the new Anyway release. Kudos for the encore of "RnR Hall of Fame."

"This is my new team" announced Robert Pollard as the reconfigured GBV took their instruments and went into "Can't Hear the Revolution." He might have included the audience in the team as well, because the show seemed more like a collective effort than a performance to a group of paying onlookers. The band played over half of the Mag Earwhig album, including and especially, "Jane of the waking universe" "Bulldog Skin" "I am a tree" and an extended version of "I am produced." Big ups to guitarist Doug Gillard and drummer Dave Swanson (not breaking a sweat while dressed impeccably in lame` or something). UTBUTS was barely noticed, as the band hit on Alien Lanes, Bee Thousand and Not in my Airforce for several songs; Propeller for "Weed King" and "Metal Mothers"; and "Shocker in Gloomtown." Bob Pollard nailed every leg kick, note and person with cigarettes in the front row. 3 encores (10 songs!) later, the band had outlasted the audience, who left in a state of shock as we got bounced out of the damn El Rey about 30 seconds afterwards. Who cares? Great show.

- Don Arnold (June 24, 1997)

The Creeps
The Creeps are pretty cool because unlike most punk poseurs they flaunt their metal. Metallica and Slayer really aren't ( well.. weren't) too far from D.I., the Accused, the Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front etc. They get it. Some vocal changes from the pissed off Cookie Monster schtick would probably push the envelope farther though.

- Paul Hewston (May 19, 1997)

Koo Stark
Granted, this is my first time hearing Koo Stark. But I feel that a description can be executed without a criticism being delivered. I hear the strains of of the 80-85 English underground in Koo Stark. This is the underground that was schooled by neu, dub reggae and the Velvet Underground - such bands included, but are not limited to, Gang of Four, The Slits, Joy Division, Au Pairs and (the improbably named) Pop group. These bands all also a grounding in lock step bass and drum groove, atonal guitar and vocals of the strident yet monotone variety.

- Fuzzball Superstatic (July 07, 1997)

Polaris - June 17, 1997
The morning after OzzFest I went to work as usual. The moment I walked in the door I was bombarded with questions. What happened? Were you part of it? Did they really do this or that? Was Marilyn Manson as bad as the news says? Believe me, nothing is ever as bad as the news says.

Now I'm not a Manson fan, but from what I saw, I could see wilder things at Bernie's on a Sunday night. I mean the fans out did the band. Musically, well, I am by no means a music critic, but they just didn't sound good.

Whatever the band lacked the crowd made up for. Many people who had lawn seats thought that the people in the pavilion should have seats. So they pulled up their seats and tossed them up to the less fortunate. Before I knew it, the air was alive with dirt and mud. Within moments the crowd became the attraction and the band was just providing some background music.

I heard later that Manson destroyed their own equipment when they were finished. I wonder if that was in response to the crowd?

Anyway, once the sod hit the seats, all hell broke loose. Then came the announcement: "Ozzy will not be performing due to illness. We're sorry, please drive safe." I looked at my friend and her eyes grew big in terror.

I looked up to see the back fence was dancing. Now since I wasn't on acid, I knew this wasn't good. Then one section after another came down.

As we made our way out I felt I was escaping instead of just leaving. All around trees were pushed over and windows were broken. Then I looked over my shoulder. Up on the hill I saw the smoke rising.

I saw one car with a huge piece of wood sticking out its back window. It was part of the fence - a little something to remember the show by ...

All in all it was funny, scary and stupid. And when people ask me what happened, I just say, "That Ozzy, he brought the whole house down."

- Merc (July 07, 1997)

Revelers' Record release party
June 7, 1997 @ Bernies Bagels/The Distillery
Considering the competition down the road (Guided By Voices and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments @ Gene's Furniture), Break-Up! Records' 2nd record release party was quite a success. Opening the show was the rather newish Guinea Worms, a power duo consisting of guitarist/singer Wilfoster (formerly of Clay, as well as the tenacious Wilfoster and Q) and drummer Jenny Mullin (formerly of Chanel No. 5 and Belreve). Manhandling his distorted acoustic twanger, Wilfoster plowed through GW's set of about seven songs with reckless aplomb. In a rather non-bluesy Bassholes fashion, curiously strange odes to Europeans, Wal-Mart, and the colors yellow, brown, green, & orange, filled the stage. Up next was local folkie Jerry DeCicca, who seemed prepared for the task of playing to a mostly loud-rock type crowd. His quiet fingerpicking style won many favorable comments from several band members that followed him. Look for a new release from him soon.

Up next were the truly magnificent Heartdrops from New York. Playing most of their repertoire from their current This is The Heartdrops CD (on Melted Records), they come on like gangbusters. They remind me of The Devil Dogs, only not as break-neck fast, and with more consistently catchy songs. They closed their set with a blistering run-through of The Beatles' "Eight Days a Week," so you know their hearts are in the right place. If there is any justice in this world, The Heartdrops will be on all hipster's turntables soon.

The mighty Revelers closed the show, kicking it off with "Silver Ship" from their new Break-Up! single (the reason l'existence of the evening). For over an hour, the band fired off hit after hit, peppering their set with awesome covers like Flaming Groovies' "Shake Some Action," Elvis Costello's "No Action," and The Jam's "Happy Together." Drummer Tommy Fox once again hammered his skins like a born-again Keith Moon, Guitarists Joel Kaufman and Andrej Cuturic sang their hearts out, and bassist George Frank moved like a Slinky in time with the songs. Girls squealed, boys gave the "OZZY" sign, and everyone rocked like a mofo.

Up next for Break-Up! Records is a Dogrocket single, to be followed by a Heartdrops seven-inch in the fall.

- Pat Dull, CEO of Break-Up! Records (July 07, 1997)