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by Joe Szilvagyi
The Cruel Sea
"The Honeymoon is Over"
Good Tunes: Excellent instrumental arrangements augment Tex Perkins' rich vocals in this combination of southern rock and calypso music boiled out of Australia.
Bad Notes: Overly simple lyrics make the listener look forward to the instrumental tracks.
Other Riffs: Funk and blues are also mixed into this recording, as well as a few other influences that make it very well rounded.
Certain Distant Suns
"Happy on the Inside"
Good Tunes: Yet another band demonstrates the variations possible in the wall of guitar sound.
Bad Notes: Yet another band demonstrates the variations possible in the wall of guitar sound.
Other Riffs: "Crustacean," the last track, shows what the band can do without guitars, providing a relaxing dance rhythm.
Castle von Buhler Records
Good Tunes: Many upcoming gothic bands are featured on this compilation.
Bad Note: Someone threw a rap band into the mix. It does add variety but disturbs the pacing of the album.
Other Riffs: All proceeds go to the AIDS Action Committee Boston. A few of these bands should get national recognition within the next year or so.
Good Tunes: Louise Wener's vocals run from subdued (usually) to angry (when they need to be). Slowly played, grungy guitars provide a firm foundation for Louise.
Bad Notes: At times, the edge in a song has been polished out, leaving it more pretty notes and less emotions.
Other Riffs: Nothing exceptional here, but the music is solid and worth listening to.
Good Tunes: Bouncing rhythms and lighthearted melodies lift the listener's spirit.
Bad Notes: Most of the artists featured are difficult to find in local record stores. Hopefully this album and others like it will increase the demand so we see more on our local shelves. (Not likely.)
Other Riffs: Clean production presents the life in every song.
The Burning Sofa no. 10
"Great West Life"
Crown Pocket Records
Good Tunes: I applaud the range of experimentation with distortion and fuzz boxes.
Bad Notes: Unfortunately, each piece wanders aimlessly after establishing potential.
Other Riffs: Watch this band. They have the potential of being something truly wonderful.