ZOOPARTY CD ZOOPARTY - s/t CD (Ordinary Mortals Records)
This Swedish trio have been getting some press coverage because of the punk rock celebs on this debut CD EP.

They've got guest guitarists GLEN MATLOCK and BRIAN JAMES on all three tracks, but this is no cross between the Spunk and Damned Damned Damned albums. This is just average rock with pop vocals. I don't think it's very interesting or great, though it's not bad. MATLOCK is a bass player first, but here he's playing guitar, and I can't hear anything really special from JAMES in it either.

The rest of the band are doing ok, but the vocals could have had a lot more attitude. MATLOCK, who produced this, should have worked on that a bit more. Ditch the pop approach and shout it like you mean it. The music is basic rock somewhere in IGGY solo land, and it's played well, but with lead vocals like this it's not very memorable. Speaking of IGGY, I think this is the first time MATLOCK and JAMES play together since they where part of his band, back in jurassic times.

ZOOPARTY is going to Brighton this summer to record again. If they work on the vocals they may end up with something good. You can download songs or order this CD on their website.

HATE IS JUST A FEELING - Promo CDR (self released)
Here's a CDR with all six tracks from a forthcoming release called The Road To Kingdom Come. This Swedish band has members from various other old local bands. You've probably never heard of any of them. HIJAF was called MANSIC before this too. Don't know if they released anything.

The press sheet says that four out of five members have been playing folk music before this and that they mix this influence with punk rock. Well, what you get here isn't something new, most of the songs just have a DROPKICK MURPHY type thing going. The exception being Young Hearts, where they try to sound more like the UKs '78/'79 new wave rock bands. STARJETS or RADIATORS maybe.

Some of the lead vocals are ok (if a bit dry), but the folk rock guitar leads are not. There's violin too, a lot of it on one or two tracks. They also sound very old in a seasoned musicians way that doesn't appeal to me at all. Complacency rather than hate seems to fuel this band. They need to redo this when they're really angry.

There are semi-political lyrics in some of the songs like the opening Labours Grind, but I don't think I can remember a single line after hearing it.

Songs available on their website.

PYRITE Iron Soul Fight CD PYRITE - Iron Soul Fight CD (self released )
5 tracks from this new Chicago post-punk band.

Deep bass and screeching, shredding guitars in a clear production. The opening song Arrest That Cop is really cool. A bit like a fast CRUCIFUCKS or MINUTEMAN song.

Automatic Drip sounds like WIRE but with an american pop accent. In the opening of the final track Rocket To The Rock Bottom the vocals even remind me of good old OZZY.

Check it out if you like other stuff than punk rock too.

OUTL4W - Get In The Van CD (Inl4w Wreckords)
Here's the debut album from this rather well known kiddie punk outfit. A lot of the songs were previously available on the web and in live versions on their It's Only Rock'n'roll DVD. It was recorded in 2004 and 2005, but not released until 2006.

It opens with the title track which has a very basic RAMONES type verse, but at least it has some energy. Most of the tracks are fairly up-tempo stuff with nothing but the voices and lyrics giving their young age away. They can play really well for a band in their mid-teens, but in the slower songs as Summer Of Rock'n'roll they lack the necessary punch to ram it home.

Lyrically this is very school age stuff, though Television Addict could sadly be about some people I know too. The main theme of their songs are about having fun, playing rock'n'roll and things like that. Not one reference to sex, alcohol or criminal behaviour though. Very clean, these boys.

There's 12 tracks here with nearly half of them being cover songs, including a faster but otherwise rather faithful version of If The Kids Are United (SHAM 69), a rather weak go at Strychnine (SONICS) with a guest saxophone player and I Don't Wanna Grow Up (by TOM WAITS, but this sounds more like the RAMONES version).

This will appeal to young teens and fans of happy sounding skate punk/pop. Comes with a fold-out lyric sheet/poster.

OUTL4W - Get In The Van CD