THE CELEBRITIES - Demo Tape (Self released)
This 3-piece band is from Umeå, Sweden and released a demo last year under the name C.B.F. The new tape's got 7 songs on it, recorded with a decent demo quality.
Musically this is mid-tempo to slow oi!/punk with a touch of pop. They show some talent for writing songs though some of them are too long. The guitars are a bit like The Clash in places, and it's all well played if a bit too clean. The major downside is the vocals which sounds like the guy is singing lower than he can. Pronounced in an Inga-from-Sweden way too. Actually, that might appeal to collectors of international punk rock.
The chorus of Riots And Rock'n'roll is very close to fellow Umeå band Guttersnipe's masterpiece Riot In The City. Too close for comfort. The rest of the lyrics are either personal stuff or deals with cops, pollution and revolution.
If they work a bit on the vocals and play a little faster and louder this will be pretty good.
Free MP3's on the website.
V/A - Punkzilla The Compilation (Nitro Records)
20 songs from Nitro records. Starts off with A.F.I. who does three songs on this one, none of them good. Nitro keeps repeating that they've sold 150 000 copies of their last record. This label's letters always got a fucked up mix of 'heavy rotation' business talk and 'you the underground punk press is what counts' sycophant crap.
The Damned have two songs off their new somewhat over rated album on this and they're the best of the lot. The single Democracy? is a pretty good song really. Bodyjar next with one terrible pop song. Awful. Press info says they've toured with Blink 182 (serves 'em right) and sold gold in Australia (remind me not to go there).
The Vandals do two songs. First one has some half-ironic lyrics about being in the mainstream rock industry and all that - well, you can allways quit, you know. You don't have to be on Nitro (or maybe you do?). Second one - Why Are You Alive? - is sort of marching in a 60's pop way and is too nice and clean to live up to its title. I'm struggling to find something positive to say so here's: The Vandals can sometimes come up with some good lines.
Rufio is like the Calling or some other boy band with guitars - ''you're my everything oooh ahhh''. The Offspring does Jennifer Lost The War and A Thousand Eyes which sounds like The Offspring, only a bit more boring and with 80's LA poodle metal solos. The guitar sounds like a kazoo and I don't mean that in a good way. That said, it's better than half the crap on this compilation. TSOL have one song from the new CD and one unreleased track. They're ok. The unreleased track Sold has a good guitar solo repeated over and over. Sounds a bit like old Captain Sensible stuff actually.
Stavesacre are some christian band from the much hated Tooth And Nail label and predictably bad neo-metal. The Ensign song has not improved since I last heard it.
Guttermouth's Hit Machine is driving and almost ok for ten seconds then it's back to rap and neo-metal and ska and everything else that just doesn't sound good (or punk or even fucking rock). Divit is just another soft skate pop no-good-to-anyone-except-MTV band.
Original Sinners features Exene Cervenka on vocals and sounds a lot like later day X. Sort of nowhere but compared to most of this CD it's superior. Son Of Sam get one track off their album and I think I gave them too good a review last time. This is really uninteresting stuff.
The Turbo A.C.'s is Nitro's token rock'n'roll/dragstrip/punk band. Of course they're slower, with less guitar and more oh-ah-doo-wop backing vocals than their countless peers. This label can't even get a carbon copy band right. Sad.
In addition to the 20 songs you get what they call three Special Enhanced Features. These are videos with the 2 worst bands and (get ready for this:) a link to their poxy website.
The name Punkzilla is ridiculous too. It's not punk and 20 songs and some promo stuff isn't enough to qualify as a Godzilla sized comp either. Nitro Records, if this is all you've got please don't send me any more records.
Some of the bands' full length CDs reviewed on Record Reviews page 7 and Record Reviews page 8.
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