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Issue #38 January 2002

Shannon Saunders and the Splinters
Let Your Fingers Do the Walking
(Click Here)

The Woggles
Sir Millard Mulch
Mikki Kornegay
Gus McKay

MF Logo - medium
Giveaway Text

The Woggles
Live! At the Star Bar

Blood Red Vinyl & Discs
23 song CD

One of the main problems with The Woggles' studio recordings is that they fail to capture the sheer raw intensity of the band---well those days are over. This over-the-top live set from the Athens/Atlanta-based quartet shows just how furiously wild the group can get, drawing from their infamous and extensive catalog from the past decade. The Woggles' powerful brew of 60s-era garage rock has never sounded sweeter on the hi-fi.

The disc begins with the pounding blast of C'mon and Swim and never lets up until the end. The Professor (singer Manfred Jones) and his backing rhythm section barrel through almost two dozen songs with barely a breather between each one. They build in excitement and craziness through tunes like Mad Dog 20/20, Get Tough, and Doin' The Montague until it appears the train might skip off the tracks. By the time they rip into My Baby Likes to Boogaloo, the music is dangerously sloppy and reckless, yet that only adds to the undeniable bare-bone rock atmosphere. They spiral from there into the final number, a drunken punk send-up of Lieber and Stoller's Saved ("I used to drink / I used to smoke...").

If you never get the chance to see The Woggles in the flesh and blood, this is the perfect cure. Just don't light a match, because this disc is sure to burst into flames.

MISH MASH Mandate: Inflammable Hi-Fi

The Woggles Website

Mood Shifts

NFE Records
13 song CD

At first glance, it would appear that Steely specializes in your usual middle-of-the-road pop. But, buried within her disc Mood Shifts are a few modern rock gems which take chances and breathe life into an otherwise standard sound.

The first few songs bop along without any surprises; even though they are catchy and well executed, they offer little to sink your teeth into. The picture begins to change on Stone Cold, which begins with a creepy bass line and an edgy vocal delivery. The song has an underlying bitterness which surfaces in acidic angst, and we see Steely in a completely different light. The scene changes again with Simple Girl which takes hold of the pop structure and pokes fun at it instead of letting it control the song itself. An opportunity is missed with Fair Share, a song whose crunchy guitars are just not crunchy enough, and instead we are left with Steely going through the motions without revealing any true aggression. Yet, she makes up for it with the cool offbeat sounds of Humble Abode and the noisy groove of Think Again where the aggression feels a little more real.

There's a great record hiding somewhere in this one, and one that is well worth the effort of looking.

MISH MASH Mandate: Digging Deeper

NFE Website

Sir Millard Mulch
The De-Evolution of Yasmine Bleeth

Ed Furniture Dot Com

This album rocks so hard that I am at a loss for words. Instead of writing a review myself, I am using a pre-written review that was included in Sir Millard Mulch's press kit. I would have taken up this space with a chance to sharpen my writing skills and criticize someone else for their hard work (and because I'm jealous) but instead I am just being a good little ditto head and doing what I am told.

MISH MASH Mandate: Blatant Plagiarism

Ed Furniture Website

P.S. Listen to Sir Millard Mulch and it will all make sense...the review, that is...not Millard.

Mikki Kornegay
Give Me A Sign

12 song CD

Mikki Kornegay weaves her spiritual magic with influences steeped in gospel, 80s R&B, and a touch of jazz. Her voice exudes pure power which draws the listener in and never lets go. While the production sometimes comes across too slick, the attitude is in the right place and that makes up for the "too perfect" sounds.

Kornegay shows her soul in the title track, a tune which revolves around a Prince-inspired progression and allows her to display her vocal acrobatics. Feel The Spirit utilizes a funky handclap and backing choir, giving a respectful yet still contemporary nod to traditional gospel. This feeling is also present in the intro to Worthy, which features a full accapella choir right before the song launches into a jazzy groove. The danceable bass lines and soulful vocals of Amazing move along in the style of Lisa Stansfield. This song is probably the best on the disc, and it's only hampered by the questionable inclusion of a few lines of rap, which sound totally out of place. We revisit the song at the end of the disc in the form of a remix, although the original version wins out hands down.

With eyes to the skies and a voice coming from the heart, Mikki Kornegay's Give Me A Sign captures the spirit as well as the ears. Truly an inspiration.

MISH MASH Mandate: Spirit In The Sky

Gus McKay
All About Flight

Shock Records
10 song CD

With a nasal-toned wail and a mean guitar strum, West Australian Gus McKay rips out 10 roots-rock gems on his All About Flight. His unpolished voice comes across like Neil Young or Tom Petty, finding its beauty in its honesty. The songs find their foundation in the blues, simple with little flash or showiness, reminding me at times of the Dire Straits.

McKay begins the album with a touch of irony in the song Accordion, a tune which doesn't feature an accordion at all. He laments "Don't wanna play that accordion," while the backing blues shuffle moves right along just fine without it. The quiet discomfort of Fragile paints a disturbing picture with its claim that "there ain't no love in the whole wide world, Amen." He then turns that notion around with Chassis, a double-entendre blues jive that pines for "the school boy's dream of a drive."

You can't go wrong with a little grit and grime. It's an album that's not afraid to get its hands dirty, building a firm foundation on the classic days of rock.

MISH MASH Mandate: Get On The Bus, Gus

Gus McKay Website

This Will Help You On Your Way

Planting Seeds Records
10 song CD

Astroblast vocalist/keyboardist Jenn Kellough has one of those cartoonish "little girl" voices; one that lilts happily above the band's eclectic blend of sounds. The music twists and turns through a variety of noise pop which leans heavily on over-saturated fuzz guitars, with Kellough's sweet twee voice bouncing around on top. The songs don't really ever go anywhere in particular, but the voice/noise combination is enough of a juxtaposition to keep it interesting.

Conversation Hearts sets the tone with mysterious whisperings from Kellough drifting over a dissonant chord pattern in the intro, which eventually kicks in hard with a massive guitar attack. A psychedelic keyboard takes over briefly in North Georgia Experiment, while the deep guitars of What Goes Unspoken blend seamlessly into the background as a solid wall of noise. A quiet side is reflected in the Beatlesque sounds of The Lows, a song which gently wanders in pop abandon. Kellough's voice feels more at home here, able to take full advantage of the tranquil setting.

While no real new ground is broken here, this disc is anything but boring. The wide shift in dynamics keeps the songs alive and fresh with each listen, allowing the whole disc to grow on you over time, and you can't go wrong with that.

MISH MASH Mandate: Sweet Noise

Planting Seeds Records Website

© 2001 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved