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Gomez

Liquid Skin

Virgin

Finally, a band has come along to make ranting schmucks like Billy Corgan eat their words about rock being dead. Gomez’s latest is an even tastier treat than its ’98 debut, Bring It On. But please, don’t hate Gomez because they’re Brits. Their sound is as American as inbred hillbillies and overpaid athletes. Gomez’s specialty is a complex layering of divergent sounds via studio wizardry. The result is a whirlwind of effects-laden roots-rock, swirling from speaker to speaker in expert fashion and owing a debt of gratitude to Yes’ sound architect Eddie Offord. “Hangover” fuses country plucking, spacey keyboards and a tricked-out guitar made to sound like a sitar. “Revolutionary Kind” bubbles and gurgles with sleek sci-fi fanfare. Gomez now ranks among rock’s burgeoning elite for two reasonsthe quintet’s ability to fuse simple and ragged passages with beautifully orchestrated strings and technological brilliance and the combined vocal talents of Ian Bell and Ben Ottewell. —Ian D’Giff



Hot For Remixes:


A Tribute to Van Halen

Party O’ the Times:

A Tribute to Prince

A Flock of Seagulls:

Greatest Hits Remixed

Cleopatra

If you’re in need of a good ass-kicking, pop in Hot for Remixes: A Tribute to Van Halen the next time you’re at a party in Levittown. In an embarrassing display of irony, members of Quiet Riot, Great White and Ratt cover David Lee Roth-era Halen with all the prowess of Shatner covering Lennon. To make matters worse, the tracks are remixed by the likes of Nitzer Ebb, the Electric Hellfire Club and KMFDM, creating a nauseous blend of squeaky sounds and useless guitar riffs that will leave you begging for Gary Cherone. A tribute to Prince is ambitious, but the little purple one’s songs still get butchered by tired ’80s wonders like Gary Numan (“U Got the Look”), Dead or Alive (“Pop Life”) and Information Society (“Controversy”). The only interesting tracks are Ice-T’s hard-nosed rendition of “Head” and Rebecca Romijn Stamos’ earnest job on “Darling Nikki” (hearing her sing that line about the magazine is reason enough not to re-sell the disc for a buck). A Flock of Seagulls is the only band in this triumph of sacrilege to actually get its due. The band’s three big hits are each tackled twice-“Wishing” gets a vibrant dance mix from Intra-Venus, then four tracks later receives a House of Pain bass line, turning the gentle new wave ballad into a song you’d want to beat up English soccer hooligans to. —Bill Jensen



Blood For Blood

Livin’ In Exile

Victory Records

Straight out of the Boston underground, these four foul-mouthed bastards are pissing on the ashes of our twisted world with another tirade of sociopolitical angst, prison chorales and hatred for the human race. Drawing on the pestilence of their last wasted-youth manifesto, Revenge on Society, this latest seven-song EP (with a hidden cover of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”) is another bear-trap of piercing riffs and hardcore-anthem hooks. “Cheap Whine” is loaded with turbulent solos and trad-speed, with Buddha and guitarist White Trash Rob trading tandem lyrics. Sample: “If I drink this wine I stand this place/If I drink this shit I can stand your face.” “Eulogy for a Dream” is a spike ‘n’ hammer jewel with cyclic chord breaks, soaring crescendos and H20-like momentum, while “Anywhere But Here (Maybe Someday)” gets right down to the gnarled strings in Descendents’-key grit. And the title track reeks with a 100-proof onslaught of unpredictable rhythm and vox-another crotch-kick from some of New England’s finest coreheads. —Ron Strauss




LI SOUNDS




Spider Nick and the Maddogs

Firepit

Spider Nick Records

Keeping their recordings concurrent with the momentum of their energetic live shows, Spider Nick and the Maddogs venture into all corners of blue beat on their second full-length. These superheroes of LI ska aim to please the fussiest skaholics, spanning traditional (“The Fool”), big band (“No, No, No”) and pop (“Get Out of My Sight”). While a previous self-released album was full of heartache, Firepit has a flair for romance in songs like “As Good As You” and “Angelina.” “Uncle Al” pays tribute to a relative who’s been through war and lived in China, while allegiance is given to Prince Buster’s “Time is Longer than Rope.” And no ska record would be complete without crossing genres for covers. The gang gives an excellent treatment of horns to “Midnight Special” and “Spiderman.” With 16 tracks, Nick and his two-tone army do more than an adequate job respecting their heritage as well as representing today’s third wave. Contact: 516-266-1966 NickMaddog@aol.com PO Box 187 Huntington, NY 11743 -Kenyon Hopkin

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