By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
VICTIM #1--Rodney and the Tube Tops,
I Hate the 90's seven inch
(Sympathy for the RecordIndustry)
Revolver: So a bunch of rich alternative types got together to do a masturbatory supergroup kinda thing with famed KROQ punk DJ Rodney Bingenheimer on a pretty cool indie label. Whether they're paying homage to their roots or grasping for indie cred doesn't matter, because this record is shit. You get two blasts of lagging, fuzzed-out sludge rock overwhelmed by Rodney's beyond-annoying, snot-filled voice, screaming about tattoo removal and tube tops.
Even if you can get past the bourgeois whining, the rest of the players sell themselves far short. The band--Thurston Moore, Eric Erlandson, Dave Markey and Pat Fear--oughta be able to come up with something, anything, better than either of these mud puddles. And if I buy another indie record that thanks Brooke Shields, Claire Danes, Kate Moss and Brian Wilson in the liner notes, I swear to God, I'm switching to country and western. (Sympathy, 4450 California Place #303, Long Beach, CA 90807)
Sebopinion: Lou--"Hey, these are, like, famous people or something. (Reads the roster.) Christ, this is really bad."
Jason--"That plastic coulda been made into combs. What a bad idea for a record."
VICTIM #2--John Davis,
Blue Mountains LP (Shrimper)
Revolver: John Davis is the half of Folk Implosion that doesn't sing for Sebadoh. This LP oughta shake up FI fans a little, though, as John's songs sound like the soundtrack to a children's show. You can almost picture him tying his shoes and buttoning his cardigan as he sings 'em to you and Lamb Chop. As neofolk goes, John writes impressive songs, albeit a little naive (lyrical example--"Drivin' through, French fry me, I'll burn I'll burn"). The biggest problem is his voice, which screams "Kick me, I'm a wuss!" That's not his fault, but a liability all the same. (Shrimper, P.O. Box 1837, Upland, CA 91785-1837)
Sebopinion: Lou--"He played that song for me ['The Way You Touch Me Makes Me Laugh'] when it was, like, only one verse and asked me if I thought he should go with it. He wanted to know if it sounded too cheesy ['the way you touch me makes me laugh, don't worry, not in a ba-ad way']. I told him to go with it."
Jason--"I haven't acquired a taste for John's voice yet. I think he's got balls, but I dunno about that voice."
VICTIM #3--Long Hind Legs,
Long Hind Legs LP (Kill Rock Stars)
Revolver: Long Hind Legs is an anonymous duo outta Olympia, Washington--well, not that anonymous (one-half of Long Hind Legs equals one-third of Unwound, but we're not tellin' who)--that's out to shatter your preconception of the "Olympia sound." Wolfgang and Paul (pseudonyms) certainly don't sound like Bikini Kill or Dub Narcotic Sound System. More like the demon spawn of Human League and Joy Division. From the ambient/synth opener, "Icarus Flew," to the nightmarishly repetitive "Alphabets of Unreason," this record is pure '80s New Wave, the vocals passionately belted out in a faux-British accent. This is turtleneck music for kids who missed the WaxTrax era. (Kill Rock Stars, 120 NE State Avenue #418, Olympia, WA 98501)
Sebopinion: Lou--"This is pretty bad. Is that really the bass player from Unwound?"
Jason--"Total fucking New Wave. Are they serious?"
Bob--"He sings like Dave Shouse [of the Grifters and Those Bastard Souls]. He just pushes his voice a little too hard. It comes off contrived."
VICTIM #4--The Softies,
Winter Pageant LP (K)
Revolver: This duo--consisting of former Tiger Trap vocalist/current Go Sailor front girl Rose Melberg and Jen Sbragia--couldn't have found a more appropriate moniker. The songs on Winter Pageant are pure acoustic melancholy, both heart melting and disturbing. This album's biggest liability is its monotony--it's hard to tell the love songs from the heartbreak songs without the lyric sheet. Individually, each song holds its own in the girlie-pop pantheon, but as an LP, it falls from grace. (K, P.O. Box 7154, Olympia, WA 98501)
Sebopinion: Lou--"I like the Softies. Rose's voice is incredible. This needs harsher guitars, though. There's too much strumming. Their inner peace is deafening me."