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Issue #31 June 2001

An Interview with Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers
The World Won't End
(Click Here)

The Show
James Kealy
Speed Freq.

Various Artists
The Show

Side One Dummy
VHS, 60 minutes

The Show is an L.A.-based TV show dedicated to showcasing underground punk acts, presenting videos, live clips and interviews in a raw, cable-access fashion. The amateurish production values accent the DIY mentality, giving the show street cred on the level of an average fan. As far as this home video release is concerned, the results are hit and miss. But, when it hits, it hits hard.

Highlights include the clever pop punk of H2O and the Riverdance-meets-the-Sex-Pistols sound of Flogging Molly. Also memorable is the sheer unbridled energy of 7Seconds in a burning live rendition of If the Kids Are United (and I'm curious---why censor a home video, especially when you can't understand what they're saying anyway?). On the more questionable side, the not-so-scary hardcore of Kill Your Idols and the scary tattoo-you interview with Avail.

The real upside? It's far more interesting and entertaining than anything you'll see on the bland, mainstream music channels.

MISH MASH Mandate: Punk Production

Side One Dummy Website

James Kealy
Forward Moving

Plover Close Recordings
13 song CD

Imagine the urgent vocals of the Cult's Ian Astbury combined with the down-home flavor of Neil Young, and you can create a close image of the raspy strains of James Kealy. It's not a very pretty voice, but it has a certain draw that holds your attention at its will. The songs twist and turn with classic rock intentions, not forging anything new, but managing to keep it all sounding fresh with creative melody and phrasing.

The 60s-era strains of Undermine have the angry overtones of a protest song, while Submerged meanders in the stumble-bumble style of early Bob Dylan. The pleading emotion of the title song is gripping in its desparation, driving in rhythm yet going nowhere in the end, much like the self-deprecating sounds of Thought I Knew Everything.

Wonderfully non-commercial, with an honorable salute to pop's past, James Kealy scores with one heck of a record.

MISH MASH Mandate: Protest Power

James Kealy Website


Trainwreck Music
6 song CD

There's an underlying current of anxious pop that runs throughout this EP. Perhaps it's the urgent vocals or the dissonant guitars, or maybe it's because of the production credits of John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr.) and Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom), who were impressed and recruited with a homemade four-track demo. Either way, it's an impressive debut from a band with humble beginnings and big intentions.

Skiptrace plows through the disc with a big guitar sound, jangling and driving on songs like the dynamic Open Hands and the bitter angst of Don't Support the Band. The quiet intro of Test Life builds into a high-intensity chorus, and the off-beat patterns of Where You're Thrown expand and recede with unexpected grace.

MISH MASH Mandate: Grace Under Pressure

Skiptrace Website

"Scary in Adulthood"

Vital Cog Records
12 song CD

Exploding with cool serrated indie pop, Tizzy launches into their disc with the Belly-inspired & off-beat Cut Down Fight, stumbling around with mean guitar chords and herky-jerky drumming. The album never settles into a complacent groove, the band choosing to keep it on the edge, creating an uncomfortably enjoyable listening experience. The rocking grrrl vocals keep the angst alive throughout, providing plenty of attitude with some to spare.

They mix lo-fi savvy with smart songwriting, wrapped up in one jumbled but tight little package with just enough room to move.

MISH MASH Mandate: Jumbalaya

Vital Cog Website

Various Artists
Speed Freq.

Pivotal Records
10 song CD

As master purveyors of underground electronic music, the guys at Pivotal (Craig Conley and Michael Warwick, aka Captive Audience) have once again topped themselves with a compilation of cutting edge artists. They run the gamut from the quirky collages of Arthur Loves Plastic to the easy flowing tones of Kenneth Grey Hope, with many of the artists collaborating on the same tracks.

The album begins with the quick-stepping Intro Montage, which melds into the frantic beat circus of DJ FM's Dreamstate. Captive Audience's Dream Engine has a tense, industrial feel to it, while Dr. Bizzaro laces Mike Mine Karma (Edit) with heavy guitar histrionics. Arthur Loves Plastic's Bev Stanton and Lisa Moscatiello show off their unique talent for wild sound layering topped-off with mysterious vocalizations. Kenneth Grey Hope adds a touch of quiet reflection to the end of the album with the smooth sounds of Among the High Kings.

The title of the compilation would suggest a disc full of songs simply focused on the BPMs and played at breakneck speed. Thankfully, we find something that runs much deeper than that.

MISH MASH Mandate: Need for Speed

Pivotal Website

© 2001 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved