Bunch of mini reviews of various stuff for you

Kilgore - A Search For Reason Another US band seemingly out of nowhere. They’ve been doing the Ozzfest in the States, and the album is out. It’s ok. I’ve not really lost myself in it, but maybe that’s because I’ve not listened enough. It’s not grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and been demanded to be replayed. And with so many good albums around at the moment, that’s what it needs. Still, it’s quite powerful, and has the current selling point of a guest appearance by some dry vocal martyr thingame bloke from some Fear Factory. But an album shouldn’t be sold on such a thing, and maybe at the moment, this one is.

It’s not bad, opener Steamroller has a suitable industrialish-metal crossover, and a vocal which is part new metal part grunge slips in.

Introverted is slower, moody, introspective. But then, you’d never have guessed from the title would you. How many pigeonholes can I apply to this band. It’s not fair of me, but that’s maybe one of the problems with the album, you CAN do this sort of thing.

Fracture zine - bit of a major venture this one, a huge free zine covering and promoting the punk scene. Something like a 4000 distro. The main contributors also have good reputations from their own zines, and it shows. Professional and well put together, with more reviews in one issue than YAZ will likely have in its lifetime. If you’re into punk you probably already have this, if not, why not? SAE to Fracture, PO Box 43, Cardiff CF2 3WD.

Swingin Utters - Five Lessons Learned. Yet another melodic US punkcorewhatever band. This one has hints of Bad Religion crossed with the Pogues. Well it does if you use my ears for listening to it, in which case GIVE THEM BACK. Sorry, uh yeah, it’s not at all bad. But there’s so many bands that do stuff that isn’t bad, it feels like you have to be so entrenched within the scene to be able to stand a chance of differentiating the good and the bad. And I’m not that far entrenched. I like it, and their touring soon, and if I can, I’ll go and see them. Don’t know what else to say really. You probably already know if this is your thing or not.

Liberty 37 - Stuffed EP. Yep, a review to go with the interview. Anyway, debut EP on Beggars Banquet, 3 tracks, which are all pretty long. They don’t really make it easy for you, but if you listen long enough, ie, give it a chance, things start to grow. Maybe not as obvious as the No Beauty EP, but another step in the right direction as far as I’m concerned. Go and look for it.

Jakey zine - had this a while, so it’s probably out of date. Bit spartan, but some nice interviews with the Nocte, Public Disturbance, the’Shifter and a fair selection of small reviews. Can’t remember the cost if there was any. Jakey zine, c/o Scott, 22 Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1FG.

Dog Toffee - Specification demo EP. Picked this up at the gig where the interview in the last YAZ was done. Four tracks of garage like punky stuff with a rock’n’roll overtone. Tuneful and starts getting into your head quite nicely after a few listens. Should have a new EP out on Aniseed as you read this.

Monkey Boy - Monkey in a Rocket - a new band to me, I think this is their debut single on Lockjaw Records. Only other stuff by them I’ve heard is on the elping You Back to Work Vol 1 compilation. A trio consisting of a drummer and two bassists, this was never going to be easy listening, but it’s actually bloody good. But I love bass, so I was probably going to find a reason to like this anyway. 4 tracks on offer, and 10 Below is probably my favourite. Planet Paul Pope has a strong Primus feeling running through it, and It Came From Mars ends in a total noise bath, which is nice. Definitely ones to keep an eye on if

Vision On zine - Yeah, I know it’s about time I actually reviewed/mentioned other zines in here. After all, that’s part of what it’s all about right? Helping each other. Anyway, normal excuse. I haven’t got enough or know enough to have warranted it in the past. A few more are plopping on the floor now though, or hitting me in the face at gigs, so I can mention them. The other problem though is they can inspire you, to know it’s all worth it. Or make you feel like packing it in, cos you look at one and go, “shit, that’s way better than what I can do”. Which is the category Vision On fits into. 44 A4 pages, loads of reviews, interviews columns. The works. And free with an SAE. Go on, get writing then.

Steve, Vision On, 27 Springbank Croft, Holmfirth, W. Yorks, HD7 1LW.

Product zine - Picked this one up at the all dayer. Total punk. Not bad. Ints with Sham 69, Agnostic Front, one of the Ramones. Covers a lot of stuff which is I guess outside my scope. Cos I’m not 100% into any scene, so when you get down to the nitty gritty, the real reason for the existence of a particular genre, feeling part of a community, well, that’s when I bail out.

One of your shiny pound coins does it.

Product Fanzine, PO Box 16573, Glasgow GB1 2YG

Radiator - Resistor. Three track single, which is the first thing I’ve heard by this lot. Sounds like another rock / techno etyled crossover, which isn’t bad at all. Not as inspiring to me as Pitchshifter, which has become my benchmark by which I mark anything which brings this sort of fusion to mind. Resistor suffers mainly from a repetitiveness in the chorus, which simply consists of “resistor “repeated. Still, it never stopped the Prodigy did it? Dark Show is a more energetic and entertaining song, which if it showcases the strength of the rest of the material will make them well worth checking out. final track Feel, er feels strangely out of place at first, being a “gentle” acoustic romp, but after a couple of plays you think “great”, as it marks them out as being more than 1 trick ponies, which is always a good thing.

Knuckledust / Indecision - Smash Tradition- A split CD on Household Name records featuring UKHC Knuckledust and Americans Indecision. There’s not a lot here in some respects, the 9 tracks taking only 18 minutes of your time. The first 5 tracks belong to Indecision, and it has to be said that the production lets it down totally. I’ve heard better demos. But it doesn’t matter you say, this is about whats being said, the message and the get up and doing it for yourself. Yeah, and I don’t fault them there, but it’s difficult to listen to. Which is a shame. Believe, the first of 3 tracks recorded live, showcases a heavier side to the band that could be pretty good. If it was really listenable that is. The 4 Knuckledust tracks are much better recorded. But even here it’s a band that needs to be seen live to be appreciated. Some decent stuff, Ill Vision standing out for me, with some anguished howls from Pierre. My personal view is I could do with a little more variation in the vocals, just something at times to make them more easily distinguishable. As you read the lyrics and listen, it can all be made out, but otherwise its difficult. Shit, I sound like a parent there. Bugger. One for the HC fan more than anyone else.

Available from Household Name Records. PO Box 12286 London SW9 6FE.

Speedurchin - If I Could Get More Drinking Done. You have to love a title like that don’t you. So does that love translate to the band. Partially. This is pretty good punky Wildheartsy sort of stuff. Nothing to set the world on fire, but that doesn’t matter. Won’t get fooled Again continues the blueprint.

Brought to you by those very nice people at Org once more.

Skyscraper - Shooters. This one’s been lying around for a while now, and should’ve got reviewed sooner, but sometimes I just plain old mess up. anyway, Shooters is the second offering from London based Skyscraper. Their debut album Superstate was a bit of a belter a couple of years back, and so were the gigs. So how does the new one fair.

Well, it’s not as immediate, but it’s still a strong followup. Doesn’t really stray too far from the path set by Superstate. For My Sins starts things off, and Vic’s voice is instantly recognisable, that straining desperate cry. But it’s always taken a few listens to appreciate the songs with this band. Time for the ideas to seep into your brain and take a hold, and this is no exception. The first few times doesn’t do it, but then you find yourself listening for the incessant little riff in Gold and Silver, the background grind of Broken or enjoying the more laid back dynamics of Fly or the beauty and simplicity of Bury Me. There are times on Superstate and Pick-Me-Up in particular where Vic’s voice takes on some more of Lemmys characteristics.

Ultimately it doesn’t feel as strong a followup as I’d have liked, but it’s still a solid enough set of songs. Of course they’re British, so they appear to have pretty much zero support for this album. Nothing like supporting our own eh?

Available on Dynosupreme.