Make your own free website on



New Music Reviews

The Rock Snob's Dictionary
by David Kamp And Steven Daly
Broadway Books
151 page softcover book

What is a rock snob? According to authors David Kemp and Steven Daly it's defined as a "pop connoisseur for whom the actual enjoyment of music is but a side dish to the accumulation of arcane knowledge about it."
We all know the type, the know-it-all music buff who is immersed in the nit-picking trivia of rock---not unlike the characters who populate High Fidelity ---and ravage those who are ignorant of the seemingly never-ending stream of super snob knowledge.

The dictionary is written with acerbic wit, biting with abandon the hipster hands that feed it, making fun of not only the rock snobs, but those the snobs hold in high regard. There are few sacred cows untouched, as the dictionary attempts to define and decipher everything in the snob lexicon from "Acetate" to "Zoso" (the first is a test pressing of a vinyl record, and the second is the fan-given name to Led Zeppelin's fourth LP). One of my favorite examples is in the entry for Nick Drake, who is described as being a "sad sack" who "was frequently photographed standing dolefully among trees". If you find that funny, you either know a snob, or you are one.

The brilliance comes not only in the definitions, but in the fact that many of the entries are cross-referenced, and the most important entries are highlighted for those who aren't in the know. Armed with this book, you can go up against any snob when they go on about "coruscating guitars" or The Master Musicians of Jajouka.

MISH MASH Mandate: Lexicon Of Love
Rock Snob Website
Broadway Books Website

Jet By Day
The Vulture
Future Farmer Recordings
11 song CD


Jet By Day is a group of angry young men, and they aren't afraid to show it---even if it's not quite clear what they're angry about. The angst just peels off of this record in layers, drowning the listener in dissonant guitars and aggression.

That having been said, this is one of the finest albums I've heard all year. The band has a knack for combining the punch of classic hard rock and the anxiety of emo into an incredible package. It's tight, it's on edge, it's catchy and it's loud. Even though they're rocking out, they're not afraid to write memorable pop songs---so while you're pumping your fist, you're also singing along.

MISH MASH Mandate: St. Anger
Jet By Day Website
Future Farmer Recordings Website


The Ponys
Celebration Castle
In The Red Records
10 Song CD


On the Ponys' first album, Laced With Romance, the band attacked straight on with a bludgeon to the head, but on their second outing, they're sneaking up from behind to put on the stranglehold. This one isn't as big and brass as the first, scaling back the raging bonfire into a smoldering slow-burn which rambles and meanders through ten tragically beautiful songs of noisy, jangling punk rock.

Recorded with producer Steve Albini, it seems that any embellishments have been stripped away, leaving the raw musical skeleton of The Ponys exposed for our listening pleasure. When vocalist Jered wails that he's "saving all my pennies up, trying to buy some cigarettes" on the classic rock-n-roll track Get Black, you know that you're getting the real thing, without polish or pretensions.

MISH MASH Mandate: My Little Pony
In The Red Records Website

Pistol Star
Wax Orchard
11 song CD

Pistol Star is basically a one-man band, the pen name of one Paul Kimble (formerly of Grant Lee Buffalo), who acts as musician/producer on this multi-faceted release. Kimble not only wears many hats, he also emulates a multitude of artists and styles, ranging from the funky dance sounds of Jamiroquai, to the funky retro rock of Lenny Kravitz
, to the obscure dynamic Brit pop of Radiohead.

While there is definitely a lack of focus, the album certainly does not get boring, as every track seems to open up a different side of Kimble's talent and musical influence. There is plenty to keep you occupied and on the edge of your seat, as the songwriting is top notch and the production is perfectly executed.

MISH MASH Mandate: Pop Pistol
Pistol Star Website
Wax Orchard Website

Angela McKenzie
Nine 9
10 Song CD

Angela McKenzie isn't just a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice, she also has a beautiful heart to complete the package. According to her album's liner notes, she has worked for the UN, along with a number of other humanitarian organizations. Not only that, she has created her own non-profit organization called The AMcK Initiative to help benefit the needy---which this album was released to support and promote.
On top of all this, her music reflects this desire for compassion. Her songs are acoustic-guitar based and folksy---yet not preachy, delivered with a self-assured optimism which is infectious. It's something to feel good about.
MISH MASH Mandate: Folksy Philanthropist
Angela McKenzie Website

Dynamite & Other Inventions/Hard Times
Nine Mile Records
17 song CD

Here's a quirky little album from a quirky little lo-fi rock trio. Their distjointed sound fails to be defined, other than saying that it has an adventurous garage rock feel. The vocals of singer/guitarist P.W. McHugh are delivered in a half-whispered/half-sung style which doesn't always hit the right note, and the guitars ping and dink along in herky jerky fashion, occasionally ripping out a bluesy power chord amongst the dissonant noodling. All the while, the rhythm section seems to be doing their own thing, never quite settling into anything resembling a groove.
The funny part is that it inexplicably works. It's not listener friendly, but it has that unique draw that only a homemade recording seems to have.

MISH MASH Mandate: Homemade Noodles
Grubstake Website

© 2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved

Home | Archive | Submit | Links

2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved