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Issue #46 November 2002

Warren Buttler: Secret Agent Man
Part 1
(Click Here)

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U. Kay Hytz
Vic Thrill
My Dad Is Dead
Dead Left

U. Kay Hytz

5 song CD

For a slow, relaxing excursion into the groove, you can't do much better than U. Kay Hytz (read: "UK Heights"). Their laid-back blend of New Age, New Wave and trance is aptly named Ambients, a misty collection of effervescent musical bliss that borrows from the best of each aforementioned genre. Their slow dance beats are built around the sounds of early 80s electronica, while the expansive atmospheric music/vocal beds conjure up the ghosts of Enya. It's a unique feel, and the group tends to lean on the "less is more" theory. The end result is an album which shows its beauty in subtle near-nothingnesss.

MISH MASH Mandate: Subtle Excursion

U. Kay Hytz Website

Vic Thrill

Circus Clone
11 song CD

This is a messy amalgam of everything that ever was pop, a trash bin of all things under and above ground in the music world. At one moment we're being pummelled by the dischordant electronica punches of Hummingbird Pneumonia, then serendaded by the twisted pop melodies of The Williamsburg Strangler. I would try to name influences, but there are so many wrapped up so tight in this stuff it would all be redundant. Everything from Kraftwerk to Marilyn Manson is in here, all blended up like a frightening, pasty music batter. You don't so much as listen to it, rather than have it shoved down your throat note by note. It's harsh, it's crass, and it's downright unbelievable---the ultimate in deconstruction rock. Vic Thrill is either musical genius or madman, or maybe just a great deal of both.

MISH MASH Mandate: Mondo Bizzarro

Vic Thrill Website & Salon

My Dad Is Dead
The Engine of Commerce

Vital Cog
16 song CD

Mark Edwards is back with more brilliant slacker rock, again in the form of My Dad Is Dead. Edwards embraces the DIY spirit to the core, choosing to keep his songs short and noisy. He relies on droning guitars and incoherent vocals, jumbled together in a not-so-organized fashion. The songs have a lethargic energy, plodding along with their irrepressible "woe-is-me" attitude. Edwards is at his best when he takes a stab at a more "standard" pop sound, like in Finger On The Pulse and Stories Left Untold, where he picks up the pace and gives the guitar a few real riffs to rip on. I can almost sing along. Almost.

MISH MASH Mandate: Do It Yosef

Vital Cog Records Website

Dead Left
Up And Atom

Noray Eel Music
8 song CD

Well this is a pleasant surprise. When I first saw the cheesy rocketship graphics (not to mention the title) on the cover of Up And Atom, I thought I was in for some seriously mediocre sci-fi prog rock. Instead, I found a perfect little gem of ultra-cool power pop from this unassuming quartet called Dead Left.

Take the best of early Cheap Trick and mix in a little attitude from Thin Lizzy, and you’d have something pretty close to the aggressively commercial rock represented here. They are definitely not afraid to exploit their classic rock roots, yet they do it with such skill that it doesn’t come across sounding fake. The guys even through in a pseudo power ballad, If Only, which has just the right amount of heartbreaking angst. I hate to say it, but the song almost sounds like the Wonders from That Thing You Do. Chalk this one up to be your next guilty pleasure, ‘cause you’re gonna love every minute of it.

MISH MASH Mandate: Lizzy Trick

Dead Left Website

© 2002 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved