2006 ISSUE #81
(128kbps 22.5mb mp3 file)
Out of Time LIVE
TRACK = SWEET ANGEL
Robin Trower has always been sort of a sleeper guitar
hero, virtually unknown in the mainstream through most of his
long career, but always near the top of blues guitarists' best
of lists. This latest CD/DVD release from Ruf Records shows why
he's often mentioned in the same breath as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie
Ray Vaughn, proving that he has earned the title of living legend
over and over again.
The release focuses on a live set recorded in Germany
during the Rockpalast Crossroads Festival, in September of 2005.
It's not a terribly long concert, spanning 13 tracks and clocking
it at around
an hour and a half. Yet, this brevity and tightness keeps the
music flowing quickly, never letting the show get stale. Trower
rips immediately into the tunes and doesn't let up until it's
After a few decades in the music business, you'd
think that Trower would be going through the motions by now, but
thankfully that isn't the case. On the DVD, it is visually obvious
that he enjoys what he's doing, and that he gets a lot out of
playing his new material. He looks like a man having the time
of his life. His playing sounds fresh, and he attacks each tune
with the fervor of an artist half his age. If his chops are starting
to rust, he doesn't show it at all. The songwriting is also better
than expected, with Trower avoiding simple rehash of tired blues
lines. The songs are tight and catchy with lots of creative guitar
riffs from Trower, along with gutsy and soulful vocals from singer
Overall, the production quality is great both in
sound and picture, with video techniques kept simple, wisely relying
more on the musicianship to carry the show and not effects for
effects sake. There are plenty of close-ups of Trower's guitar
antics, sure to make any guitarist drool with envy.
Trower proves you can age gracefully without losing
your fire, and that an old man can still teach the whippersnappers
a few lessons on how to rock.
MISH MASH Mandate: Let The Music Do The Talking
Of Life In Music, Film & Culture
Magazine & CD
Paste Magazine is what Rolling Stone should be in
2006, but isn't: smart, edgy, and most of all, relevant. Rolling
Stone reads like an old magazine trying hard to be hip, whereas,
Paste just is, apparently without effort.. So how does a startup
mag in its infancy show up the old guard?
First of all, its obvious by looking at the cover
that Paste isn't plugging the flavor of the month. Digging a little
deeper, you'll find that the magazine is intelligently written,
and actually covers music and films, and not just the antics of
celebrities who happen to make them.
It feels modern and up to date, and a godsend for
those of us who lament that new music is too hard to find. For
crying out loud, the "free" CD compilation is filled
with music you'd actually want to track down and buy. How's that
for a giant killer?
MISH MASH Mandate: Tasty Pasty
Paste Magazine Website
and Bastards Rise
- 7" Vinyl Record
The A-side of this single is a textbook example
of perfectly pure power pop. It's got smart-aleck, sing-along
lyrics and one heck of a catchy hook which is sure to stick
in your head at the first listen.
Flip it over and with Picture, Picture,
the band takes it into a slightly more aggressive direction.
There's lots of big, loud guitars rolling around on this one,
and the refrain is delivered with a snarling sucker punch
that would make any punk proud.
This is old school rock-n-roll in its natural
habitat, and definitely worth a few spins on the turntable.
MISH MASH Mandate: Danger On The
Kill Rock Stars Website
Kane / Moira Mathematics
Space Ranger In A Manger
- Stickfigure Records
- 7" Vinyl Record
Techno garbage meets punk rock in this three
song single by S.I.D.S. The songs revolve around choppy keyboard
noise and driving beats, while the vocals are yelled out with
Kandy Kane would probably sound
more like a traditional punk song if it were centered around
guitars and not keyboards, while Moira Mathematics
plugs along in a reckless and more mechanical fashion. Space
Ranger seems to flail around a little bit more, starting
off with an almost techno dance beat and devolving into a
noisy and wild thrashing that decontructs until the end.
The approach takes the best of punk and techno
and jumbles them up into a crazed and sometimes confusing
package. Of course, this is a great thing if you like your
music to be a little challenging.
MISH MASH Mandate: Peppermint Patty
HEY BANDS! OPEN YOUR OWN ONLINE T-SHIRT
SHOP FOR FREE!
New Music Reviews
Bar None Records
13 song CD
TRACK = A.M. SLOW GOLDEN HIT
Hotel Lights is the latest project for Darren Jessee, founding
member of Ben Folds Five. While there is definitely a slight departure
from BFF in terms of sonics, Jessee still has a firm grip on the
pop sensibilities which made that group famous.
For the most part, the songs are quiet and introspective, relying
on acoustic guitar and piano to drive the songs along while Jessee
sings in a half-whispered voice. He sounds like Joe Pernice having
a good day, not quite wallowing in despondent woe, but not exactly
jumping for joy, either.
At times he breaks free from the depression to deliver upbeat tunes
like I Am A Train and Marvelous Truth,
giving the album a few rock solid legs to stand on, and avoiding
the tag of Garden State Soundtrack, Pt. II.
MISH MASH Mandate: We'll Leave The Light On For You
Bar None Records Website
Dirty Little Secret
Dirty Little Records
13 song CD
TRACK = GOT A FEELING
Dirty Little Secret is one of those bands which you like in spite
of your better judgment. There's nothing particularly good or redeeming
about this twisted power pop, but you find yourself drawn in just
This is like junk food music, crazed and manic guitar pop delivered
with a sleazy sneer. There's a touch of hair metal and glam wrapped
up in post-modern angst, leaning on just enough New Wave techno
trash to keep it interesting. It certainly doesn't help that these
guys are as catchy as they can be.
I really don't want to like this, but I do. Man, I feel dirty.
I need a shower.
MISH MASH Mandate: Guilty Pleasure
Dirty Little Secret Website
The Seven Mile
The Journey Studies
4 song CD
There are only four songs, but the album runs for over 40 minutes
total, so it is more than just a journey in name. This four piece
band from Scandanavia uses a minimalist approach to turn music
inside out, changing the landscape of sound into something completely
The instrumental songs drone and drive with quiet intensity,
slowly and surely, towards the end destination with musical tunnel
vision. While there is a great deal of repetition, the songs move
along in stages where instruments enter and exit with varying
rhythms and dynamics.
The overall result is an album that comes across more as a work
of art than a simple listening experience.
MISH MASH Mandate: Stone In Love
Seven Mile Journey Website
Ten Mile Tide
Ten Mile Tide
10 song CD
TRACK = RIVER SUN AND RAIN
Get ready for a road trip, because you'll want to take one after
listening to Ten Mile Tide. I hate to call this a "jam band",
but I fail to come up with another name for it. They approach their
roots rock with a fun and optimistic air that can't help but be
compared with the likes of the Dead and Panic.
Thankfully, these guys are very good at what they do, so there's
nothing to worry about. If you like your tunes lined with the sound
of fiddles and a Hammond B3, then you can't help but fall in love
with these guys. So, put the top down and get ready for the ride
of your life.
MISH MASH Mandate: Tennessee Jed
Ten Mile Tide Website
10 song CD
TRACK = 1978
The track 1978 starts off this album in an aptly named direction,
in more ways than one, because Glassine owes a great deal to the
punk movement which dominated the late 70s rock scene. If Elvis
Costello had teamed up with The Ramones and The Cars, then we'd
probably get something similar to this.
Glassine pouts and preens with punk attitude and New Wave plasticity,
reviving the glory days when it all revolved around a great guitar
hook and lots of image. They've obviously done their homework,
skillfully executing the sound as if it were all new again. And
in a way, it is.
MISH MASH Mandate: Plastic Punks
Take Action! Volume 5
45 song 2 CD set
TRACK = SUGARCULT "CRYING"
Take Action! is a collaboration between dozens of artists and labels
to benefit the Youth America Hotline (YAH!) sponsored by the Kristin
Brooks Hope Center, a counseling network to help youth in crisis.
Volume 5 is a two disc collection which brings together 45 modern
rock artists, including Sugarcult, Plain White T's, Dropkick Murphys,
Teenage Bottlerocket, and many others.
The music is ready made for the current MTV teen generation, a
blasting mix of hard-rocking, post-punk angst. With this many bands
represented, there's a lot of musical ground covered---this one
is sure to keep you rocking at least until the winter blues have
For more information on YAH!, you can go to their website at www.youthline.us
or call 1-877-YOUTHLINE.
MISH MASH Mandate: Let's See Action
Sub City Website
Me And Him Call
14 song CD
How loud can you scream? If you've got the pipes, these guys may
need you soon because they're certainly going to lose their voices
if they haven't already.
It's almost hard to tell how much of this is serious and how much
is tongue-in-cheek. There is an almost ridiculous amount of wailing
and screeching, layered upon sheer guitar noise and frantic drumbeats,
a pure cacophony if there ever was one.
Is this true hardcore, or simply a parody? It's hard to say, because
there are a few breaks in the action where the band is gently atmospheric
and transparent, such as on the track ...Into The Troubled
Waters, I Sink. This leads me to believe they have more
than one trick up their sleeve. In any case, there is overall an
artful and almost playful approach, as if this were all being done
just to see if we have the guts to stick it out to the end. Either
these guys are seriously into noise, or they're having a good laugh
while we lose our hearing.
MISH MASH Mandate: I Scream, You Scream
- Dead Heart
Dead Heart Bloom
13 song CD
Dead Heart Bloom is the one man solo project of Boris Skalsky,
who approaches his music with the eclectic eccentricity of Beck
and the dramatics of David Bowie. A wild collage of styles is
present here, a melange of art rock that mixes the best of 70s
glam and modern cut-n-paste cynicism.
- Perhaps the most interesting track is the haunting take on
Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues, a song that is presented
in a stark and cold manner. Skalsky's voice is dry and wispy,
riding above deep and heavily reverbed guitar and piano sounds.
It is as far removed from the original as it could possibly
be, which is a fitting homage to Cash, who would often take
others' songs and make them his own.
MISH MASH Mandate: Space Oddity
Dead Heart Bloom Website
© 2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved