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Issue #37 December 2001

Remembering George Harrison
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
(Click Here)


The Jigsaw Seen
darlingd
The Burning Obscurity
Jenn Lindsay
Judithstar*
Bobby Hinton
Troy Lukkarila


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The Jigsaw Seen
Perfformiad I Mewn Cymru

Vibro-Phonic Recordings
6 song CD

Delivered with a cheeky air that only The Jigsaw Seen can muster, Perfformiad I Mewn Cymru comes wrapped up in a special edition just-for-fans package which would make a 1960's British Invasion band green with envy (it even includes a "parking pass" for the BBC studios). The CD features a live acoustic set from a couple of shows in Wales, and it gives the band a chance to show their quiet, sensitive side.

The songs take on a new life, only recognizable from the studio versions by their melodies. Fiddlesticks and Letter to the Editor suddenly open up with room to breathe, lighter than air itself, although the absence of bass and drums shows the band's pop influences are obviously taking a back seat as the disc progresses. Unplugged, the band's sound takes on a decidedly more psychedelic feel, approaching the lazy haze of early Pink Floyd. And my, how easy it is to get caught up in the mist...

MISH MASH Mandate: Hazy Shade

Vibro-Phonic Website


darlingd
the fallout ep

swsmusic
5 song CD EP

Darlingd is a solo project, yet the music on this disc sounds as if it could be from a tightly packaged modern rock group. The songs presented here are practically flawless, the perfect blend of angst-rock guitars and emotion-drenched vocals built on a solid base of power pop. Mr. darlingd's voice has a round and empathetic tone, one which grips the attention and doesn't let go. If it were lower and a little more harsh, it would almost resemble the voice of Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies.

The disc begins with the title track, filled with edgy guitar riffs which are juxtaposed against darlingd's nonchalant vocal delivery. Mistake toys with a pseudo drum-n-bass groove, which accelerates into a chorus of driving power chords. The true creative side of darlingd shows up in Around Again, a beautifully hazy tune that seems to float weightlessly above its piano lines and acoustic guitar strums. It is by far the best song on the EP, showcasing a songwriting ability which runs deep, separating darlingd from the rest of the modern rock pack.

MISH MASH Mandate: Livin On the Edge

swsmusic Website


The Burning Obscurity
Our Time Has Come

Euphonic Records
10 song CD

The Burning Obscurity has that wall-of-sound attitude that overwhelms you. The guitars and drums are stacked tightly, with the vocals of lead singer/guitarist Ryan Forbes ripping across the entire framework. He sounds like a cross between Perry Farrell, Billy Corgan, and Iggy Pop, commanding your attention with a whiny snarl.

The music isn't particularly catchy, it just drones on with a quiet intensity that never stops. I Hear You Talking (I Feel Alright) sets the tone with a pounding progression that at times reminds me of the Smashing Pumpkins. The plodding rhythms of Selfuntitled lay down the foundation on top of which Forbes rails with his acidic guitars and vocals. It's a cool blend that's one part Gothic and one part modern rock, with just a hint of pop.

Very cool, and just twisted enough to give you a shiver.

MISH MASH Mandate: Snarl & Shiver


Jenn Lindsay
Bring It On

NoEvilStar Records
16 song CD

Alone with her acoustic guitar (and the occasional piano), Jenn Lindsay twists and turns through an eclectic mix of anti-pop tunes. She shrugs off standard form and procedure, creating a melodious melange of underground tunes. There's a heartfelt sentiment at play, as the guitar is often a little sloppy and the lyrics tend to ramble with a feverish bent. This leans to Lindsay's advantage, painting a picture of harsh honesty which doesn't rely on hooks or catchy phrasings. It's akin to freestyle poetry, running along with just a hint of structure to keep everything in place.

Throughout the album, she often pops the strings of her guitar in a random fashion, accenting her winding words with unpredictable sharp staccato bursts: "Oh I've gone and done it again / (pop pop) Gone two hundred miles(pop) when I should've gone ten." The effect scatters your concentration, like a ball bouncing in many directions, although the beauty of it is that it doesn't sound intentional. Whether or not is a subtle mind trick, it gives Lindsay a unique edge in her unusual style of playing.

MISH MASH Mandate: Shrugging the Standard

noevilstar_records@hotmail.com


judithstar*
Fossils

4 song CD
Super Joe Music

Judithstar* specializes in a hazy, lazy kind of pop. The songs ramble and stumble with directionless movement, never really getting anywhere and not in any hurry. The funny thing is that the songs stick to you like chewing gum on hot asphalt, this in spite of the fact that the tunes aren't overly catchy and they're hard to sing along with. Singer/keyboardist Tracy McMillan's voice is on the borderline of mumbling and singing, whispering a melody that simply hangs on to the edges of the music with a precarious grip. The best effort of the EP would have to be Always In Trouble, a tune with a perfect laid-back shuffle and McMillan's voice taking control and not just coming along for the ride.

MISH MASH Mandate: Heavy Mental

judithstar* Website


Bobby Hinton
Singing the Blues

Umbrella Record Company
14 song CD

The thing about the blues is that you can spot a fake from miles away, and be assured, Bobby Hinton is the real thing. He has that perfect gruff voice that is essential to the blues, a cross between BB King and a tiny dash of Howlin' Wolf. He struts his stuff with emotional control, knowing when to hold it all in and when to let it all out. While the music at times is a little too slick and produced, Hinton never lets it get in the way of his delivery. I would imagine a live set at the local dive would cure any overproduction represented here. Highlights include the downtown blues stylings of Are You Happy? and the traditional blues of Today I Sing The Blues.

MISH MASH Mandate: Built For Comfort

Bobby Hinton Website


Troy Lukkarila
Don't Sit On Tables

Lukalips Destruction Co.
16 song CD

Perhaps you could get a good idea of where Troy Lukkarila is coming from if I quoted a few lines from his song Compulsion: "WASH MY HANDS! / There's germs everywhere / And I gotta stay clean! / There's germs everywhere /and they're all after me!" Yes, Lukkarila specializes in silly songs, enriched with a moronic, low-brow humor that would make Dr. Demento proud, a la Art Paul Schlosser.

Most of the album plods along the expected course of stoopidity (especially on songs like Confessions of a Necrophiliac), yet a few tracks stand out above the rest. The somber mood of Road Trip gives the illusion of a serious song, yet the self-deprecating and juvenile lyrics push irony to the limit: "Mother I do such bad things / Can you look at your son the same?" The same feeling is present in Shy Boy and Playing God. This is where Lukkarila goes beyond mere dumb for dumb's sake and into dark comedy that can be downright painful in its subject matter.

MISH MASH Mandate: Use Your Illusion

Lukalips Destruction Co. Website



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