The Hives -Veni Vidi Vicious (Burning Heart)
Really it’s a 2000 release but tough poop! This is one of the catchiest
CD’s I’ve heard in years. Their earlier releases have more of a straight up
punk sound, but Veni is just good old garage rock with some supreme riffs.
There are a couple of tracks that touch on the punk flavor…all the better.
Hearing them on the radio kinda took away some of the “exclusive”, cool
vibe but they deserve all the praise they’ve received.
The Donnas – Spend the Night (Atlantic)
A band who has shown some real progression from their early days.
Technically showing more skill, especially the guitar playing. Overall their
sound has gone from their first two releases being an all-girl RAMONES and
gradually moving to their current style which is heavily influenced by
AC/DC. Guitar crunchy rock that makes you want to play air guitar and
drums at the same time.
The Pattern – Real Feelness (Lookout)
Led by label boss (Appelgren) and backed by a pretty impressive
garage band. Riff after catchy riff keeps this disk moving from beginning to
end. As with the Hives current release this CD shows a heavier hand in
production compared to the earlier stuff.
Rocket from the Crypt – Live from Camp X-Ray (Vagrant)
This is one of those bands you can always count on for at least a few
great tracks. This time around they’ve managed to put together an almost
perfect CD. I’ve always been drawn to them for their use of a great horn
section. Sax and trumpet along side trainwreck guitar assault is about as
good as it gets.
Original Sinners – Original Sinners (Nitro)
Another Exene (X, Auntie Chirst) band that doesn’t duplicate either of
her previous efforts. There are a few instrumentals which is something new
for her…and they are some of the best tracks. There’s just something
missing, ..maybe John Doe?
Infinite X’s – Infinite X’s (Chainsaw)
Former Hazel/Team Dresch super-chick, Jody is still showing her
many talents. Now playing guitar and some bass and doing most of the
vocals. An all-girl power rock assault. Not a totally solid release but when
she’s front and center that’s when the toe is a tappin’.
Jason Lownstein -At Sixes and Sevens (Sub Pop)
I was hoping he would put out a solo release after Sebadoh disbanded. His contributions were almost always my favorite and this is truely ALL his…doing pretty much everything. It could use a few more rockers but still a decent disc.
Lords of Altamont – To Hell with… (Sympathy for the Record Industry)
The Farfisa takes center stage but the rest of the band are nothing but a
bunch of psychotic slam bangers. Led by a former Bombora, this
surf/garage/punk band has just the right blend.
Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights (Matador)
This takes me back to my high school days …great 80’s new wave flavor with a few modem touches. It’s hard to pin a specific similar sounding band but Joy Division, New Order and even the Jam (on one song) come to mind.
Dixie Chicks – Home (Columbia)
I prefer this to the previous two more because of the bluegrass feel. The downside is there are too many ballads. But it doesn’t matter when there’s “White Trash Wedding” being cranked.
Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
Bratmobile – Girls Get Ready
Hazel at Brownies – By far the highlight of my concert year. They broke up a few years back and I thought I would never get the chance to see them but they played a one-off show. ..not even in their hometown but in NYC I!! They covered material from all their releases and I just stood there with my eyes glued and my mouth shouting all the words. A great moment!
Hives, Mooney Suzuki, Pattern at Bowery Ballroom – THE garage triple bill!!! Three great bands who tried to outdo eachother and the winner was Hives but not by much. The showmanship was pretty spectacular.
Le Tigre, International Noise Conspiracy at lrving Plaza – Two totally different bands and they both stood on their own to keep the audience moving non-stop.
The Donnas at Bowery Ballroom – Their show keeps getting better and this one was the best. Totally, guitar heavy riffing… Angus would be proud!