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Issue #52 May 2003

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Hanoi Rocks: Twelve Shots On The Rocks

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Tristan Da Cunha
Les Baton Rouge
The Parkinsons

Tristan Da Cunha
Tristan Da Cunha

Losing Blueprint Records
8 song CD

Do you like noise? Louder the better? Tristan Da Cunha is your band. From the same vein of rock that started with Fugazi and evolved into Rage Against the Machine and At The Drive In, TDC gets in your face as doesn't let up until they're through pummelling you with riff after riff.

The disc opens with the unforgiving Jesus Marches With A Little Spider, a nonsense title for a track that simply knocks the senses out of you. Jumpy rhythms and dynamic swings dominate in Re: Maeve (Everybody Knows), which segues into a driving full throttle bridge about halfway through.

This album is all about the juxtaposition of quiet and sheer volume, understated guitar lines meeting the sonic onslaught of pounding drums. It's messy, but it's one lovely mess.

MISH MASH Mandate: Rock And A Hard Place

Tristan Da Cunha Website

Les Baton Rouge
Chloe Yurtz

Elevator Music
6 song CD

Les Baton Rouge sounds like the B-52s, that is, if the B-52s played a lot louder and a lot faster. The punk stylings of Les Baton Rouge heavily outweigh the influence of pop, but the dual young girl vocal rantings (from Suspiria Franklyn and drummer Corrine Dumas) can't escape their beehive kitschy heritage, even if they're delivered with a scream.

The title song bounces along violently with a danceable beat, while Somersault rages with a herky jerky stop-n-go pattern and a piercing vocal screech. The two-girl vocals get a real workout on To Dead Ahead, where Franklyn and Dumas put their lungs to work doubletime, jumping from pouty and quiet rambling to throaty yelling.

This is post-punk grrrl rock taken to its logical end, with a nod to the glam sisters of indie's past.

MISH MASH Mandate: Rebel Yell

Elevator Music Website

The Parkinsons
A Long Way To Nowhere

Elevator Music
9 song CD

Many groups try, but few actually are able to emulate a true punk sound. The Parkinsons sound so authentic, you'd swear you time-traveled back to the glory days of punk in the late 70s. The coolest thing is that they sound so seminal that you can't really pin a particular influence on them. Not to say that what they're doing is original--it just sounds that way, fresh as it can possibly be almost 30 years later.

A great example of this is Too Many Shut Ups, an automatic punk classic which drives along with ripping guitar lines and an infectious punch-the-air chorus.

If you're looking for a modern day punk band which plays by old school rules, then you can't get much better than this.

MISH MASH Mandate: Prehistoric Punks

Elevator Music Website

Let's Go Metropolis

10 song CD

What is power pop? It's such a hard genre to define, yet that's what I think of when I hear AM. Maybe it's the hooky guitars or the catchy choruses, or maybe the groovy driving beat. Whatever it is, these guys cook with pop appeal, with just the right touch of garage rawness (think The Hives).

Superficial kicks off the disc with a screaming vengeance, getting right to the business at hand. From there they explore their pop roots, leaning on big guitar riffs and smart-aleck vocal sneers. Man, it's like eating candy, but I like candy, and admit it, so do you.

MISH MASH Mandate: I Yam What I Yam

AM Website

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