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Mish Mash Indie Music Reviews November 2004


Issue #66 December 2004

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The Newbees
The Pine Club
The Paper Hearts
Eight Dollars To Eminence
Colleen Coadic
The Jane Anchor
TOMO
UWP
Nathan Maxwell
Many Axes
Frank Lee Sprague


The Newbees
Songs From A Dilapidated Apartment

Highway Bound Records
14 song CD

No frills power pop is overflowing on this release from this quartet from Kentucky. The title track bubbles along with positive energy, not unlike the Wonders' song from the movie That Thing You Do, while the rest of the album reveals a wry sense of humor and lots of great hooks. The perfect summer album for a cold winter day.

MISH MASH Mandate: Positively Pop

The Newbees Website


The Pine Club
The Pine Club

Debauchery Records
12 song CD

The Pine Club is all about indie rock, that "lost" form of underground music from the mid-80s. They flirt with power pop and lo-fi noise, revolving around catchy refrains and dissonant guitar work. It's simple and fun, just like a good rock record should be.

MISH MASH Mandate: Evergreen Rock

The Pine Club Website


The Paper Hearts
Hard To Smile

Heartshape Records
5 song CD

Living up to the title of the EP, The Paper Hearts strike their best melancholy pose, drifting from shoegazing big guitars to moping alt country in the course of five songs. Falling somewhere between the feedback of Neil Young and the heartbreaking melodies of Emmylou Harris, The Paper Hearts deliver a hard-hitting emotional one-two punch.

MISH MASH Mandate: Country Feedback

The Paper Hearts Website


Eight Dollars To Eminence
Three Feet From The Bed

Self-Released
10 song CD

Eight Dollars To Eminence comes across like a combination between R.E.M. and Hootie & The Blowfish, with just the right mix of roots rock and college angst. While the album isn't particularly groundbreaking, the guys show off a penchant for intelligent songwriting and structure.

MISH MASH Mandate: Rapid Hootie Movement

Eight Dollars To Eminence Website


Colleen Coadic
You Feel This Good

12 Records
12 song CD

Colleen Coadic has the perfect voice for an angry young woman. Her vocals cut across the music with edge and grace, drawing in the listener with the first line she sings. The songs are just agressive enough to give the songs weight, and at the same time soft enough to keep the sound intimate. Great stuff!

MISH MASH Mandate: Grace Under Pressure

12 Records Website


The Jane Anchor
Second Wave

Lark Lane Records
11 song CD

The Jane Anchor is the latest vehicle for indie songstress/guitarist Kara Lafty (formerly of Moped & Sonny Sixkiller), and her new group gells seamlessly with plenty of pop melodies dancing over dissonant chords. The tunes are crafty and catchy, but they don't let the sweetness take over--the big guitars and driving drums make sure of that. This one deserves to be turned up loud.

MISH MASH Mandate: Second Wave

The Jane Anchor Website


TOMO
TOMO

Daft Alliance
10 song CD

Weird and whacked out sounds pervade this release from electronic sound artist Tomonori Yasuda. It almost sounds as if he has taken the songs of Kraftwerk and deconstructed them into their respective parts. While their work revolved around specific and often repetitive patterns, TOMO seems to defy conventional rhythms and structures, creating a disjointed palette of melodies and beats. The result is not an easy listen, but the challenge makes it that much more engaging.

MISH MASH Mandate: Bring The Noise

Daft Alliance Website


UWP
UWP

Blind Guru Recordings
4 song CD

The first track from UWP's disc features nonsense text-to-voice software vocals over a funky musical groove borrowed from James Brown---and it only gets stranger from there. Throw in an avant garde cover of Jimi Hendrix's If 6 was 9 and you might just have an idea of how weird it gets. The aptly titled Drugs rounds out the EP with a barrage of sound, wrapped up in a strange collage of drums, guitars, and music samples. Not for the faint of heart.

MISH MASH Mandate: Purple Hazed


Nathan Maxwell
Undone

Hoodoo Music
4 song CD

This one is pure roots rock, right at home at your local dive. Think CCR with a touch of Springsteen and you'll get the picture. Soulful guitars, Hammond organ, and just the right mix of sweat and spit, with no apologies or excuses.

MISH MASH Mandate: Spit Shine

Hoodoo Music Website


Many Axes
2 Many Axes

pfMentum
13 song CD

Many Axes describes its music as "neo-primitive," and I can't think of a better term for their unique sound, which blends a multitude of bizzare and unlikely instruments like the tuba flute, polyglobular trumpet, waterphone, bougaraboo, and Tibetan singing bowls. The end result defies description---at times it has a tribal and primitive quality, and at others it sounds like the soundtrack for a dark and mysterious horror movie, set in some timeless void. Truly an adventure.

MISH MASH Mandate: Not-So-Obvious Child

pfMENTUM Website


Frank Lee Sprague
Merseybeat

Wichita Falls Records
12 song CD

Frank Lee Sprage does his best John Lennon on this ode to all things Mersey, conjuring up the sound and spirit of the early Beatles. Surprisingly, he pulls it off more often than not. What's most impressive is that most of the songs are self-penned---and a few of these would make even the likes of Lennon & McCartney proud.

MISH MASH Mandate: We Got The Beat

Frank Lee Sprague Website



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