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New Music Reviews

The Vibrating Needle Recording Collective
10 song CD

The duet FOLK? delivers their lo-fi pop with quirky sensiblity---there's a hint of They Might Be Giants, but not enough to make the songs completely silly or goofy---the songwriting stands strong without leaning on gimmicks. There's humor involved, but it comes wrapped in clever and subtle elements---like the dot matrix printer sound effect used as percussion in Machine Dash, which you might just miss if you aren't paying attention.

When it's all said and done, this is a fun little record that displays a knack for pop structure, without taking any of it too seriously.

FOLK? Website

In The Red Records
4 Song 12" Vinyl EP

This French trio sounds like a shotgun marriage between The Fall and an 80s New Wave synth band. Picture cliche electric drum machine beats drowned in dissonant guitars and sneering vocals delivered in the style of Mark E. Smith.

The standout track on the EP is Testbild, where all the competing elements come together with sense and purpose, mixing a driving industrial beat with catchy female vocal hooks from singer Lili Z. The song descends into a frenzy, showing off a dizzying array of fuzzed-out guitars. Sure to annoy just about anybody within earshot of your stereo.

MISH MASH Mandate: Falling Wave
In The Red Records Website


Burn It Forward
13 Song CD


Now here's a great little acoustic rock band that's obviously not in it for the money. It's not that they can't make it---these songs are stupendous. They actually encourage people to burn copies of their disc and pass it on for free--hence the title Burn It Forward. But I'm going to save you the trouble of waiting for someone to hand over a copy to you, because you need to go online and buy one, copy it and pass it along to your friends.

Why? Because your friends will be impressed with your musical tastes, and you will be the man. Simply put, singer and main songwriter Marco Aiello will just blow you away---these songs are tight, catchy, and definitely worth passing on to somebody else.

MISH MASH Mandate: Take One Down, Pass It Around
The Red Website

Day And Age
Via Moderna
North Park Records
8 song CD

Raw intensity is the name of the game here, jumbles of dissonant guitars and "I don't care" vocals are packed loosely over raging rhythms, which start and stop in almost indiscriminate fashion. I would make a pointless comparison to any number of noisy guitar rock bands, but there's more to Day And Age---almost a feeling of progressive jazz underneath the wall of noise.

At any rate, the songs are beautifully unstructured, even though the angst remains completely in focus throughout. It's like punk music disassembled and put back together by an angry fusion band. Very cool, indeed.

MISH MASH Mandate: This Side Up
Day And Age Website

Starlight Shuffle
9 Song CD

Courtney Wing has a mysterious and engaging way of singing which would make Nike Drake proud. His voice is gravelly and understated, yet instantly appealing, drawing in the listener to hang on every note.

And thankfully, the do songs live up to the performance, each one a great stage for Wing to shine. I would be hard pressed to select a stand-out track, because they all seem to work together so well--at times folksy, and at others in a jazz mode, relying on subtle moves instead of dynamic changes to get the point across.

MISH MASH Mandate: Wing It
Courtney Wing Website

One Scene To Another: Plumline Record's Tribute To Canadian Indie Rock
Plumline Records
16 song CD

The Detroit indie rock scene pays tribute to the Canadian indie rock scene. I know what you're thinking, and don't worry about it; you don't have to already be a fan of either to enjoy this disc. (And if you are already a fan, then what are you waiting for?)

There's a lot going on here, of course, but the highlights include Mood Elevator's take on Sloan's Money City Maniacs and The Pop Project's cover of Zumpano's The Only Reason Under The Sun.

MISH MASH Mandate: Tributary Rock
Plumline Records Website

© 2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved

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2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved