By Dan McQuade
By Brian McManus
By Hilary Hughes
By Jena Ardell
By Brian McManus
By Chaz Kangas
By Sound of the City
By Peter Gerstenzang
"Hey! No! Don't let go!" the whole band chants semi-Ramones-like. "We all need a daddy!" Isn't it great how concerned today's hard rockers are with the plight of the young? Just like "House of Pain" by Faster Pussycat! Except, with Jerseyites Monster Magnet, they might actually mean "daddy" in the Springsteen "hey little girl is your daddy home" sense, since the rest of the song seems to be another of those extended-by-brown-acid take-me-home-baby-and-I'll-show-you-visions-you-never-imagined pickup lines these stoners are so seductive at. The drums rumble boom-boom-BAP!, boom-boom-BAP!, and the space-age grind is silver and futuristic: probably the closest Hawkwind have ever come to having a radio hit in the U.S.
Speaking of Lemmy (who was in Hawkwind): This shows up on an alternately symphonic-and-gutpunched EP called Everything Louder Than Everything Else, and wasn't that the name of a live Motörhead album? Appropriate, since "Stompbox" is the rare techno record even more Motörheaded than "Firestarter" by the Prodigy. Nagging Mike D-style nasal squeak tops a riff-buzz that, when circling downward, kinda recalls the Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun." Hard to tell whether the inarticulately blathered hook-chants are actually stupid or just a cheap holiday in other people's misery; best I can translate is "I'm the ill destructa and flight combusta, Motörhead is thickuh from kruh-mike conducta!" Then again, I used to imagine Night Ranger were saying "Motörhead" in their Boogie Nights classic "Sister Christian," too. So caveat emptor.
Artful Dodger UK "Re-rewind"
"Two-step," this kinda techno is said to be called; it's supposed to mix house and pop r&b, though (correct me if I'm wrong) didn't house music already haver&b in it? And isn't two-stepping what Shania Twain fans do?? Anyway, I assume the "UK" in their name is due to the '70s powerpop group Artful Dodger (who are said to have rocked as hard live as the Dolls), which maybe makes these guys electronica's answer to the English Beat. Tap-dancey skittering to kris-kross your legs to real fast, but with flesh-and-blood reggae in it that drum'n'bass is usually too tasteful to more than merely imply. Cash registers and robotic silverware drawers get cutely clanged around too, under Fatboy Slim-gone-new-jack-swing vocals. And, going "out to all the DJs" (who probably don't deserve it), one of those prim, overserious Brixton monotones from an MC commanding some unnamed "selector" to "re-rewind" over and over again. Which makes this record somewhat reminiscent of that old joke about how "Pete and Re-pete went to a lake. Pete fell in, who was left?" (Try it on your friends!)
The Clientele "6 a.m. Morningside"
(Elefant Spain, email@example.com)
Is that title as re-redundant as Sun Ra's name (which means "Sun Sun God"), or what? A morning from a Bogart movie, in a country where they turned back time. Are all songs with times-of-the-day in the title touching, or am I just too lazy to think of exceptions? The music on this seven-inch sounds like its lemonade-yellow vinyl looks: refreshing, enchanted, fragile. Not to mention less vague than your average Belle and Sebastian, if more vague than your average Auteurs. Put it on the end of a mix tape, and watch someone fall in love with you.