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New Music Reviews



Brimstone Butterfly
Normality Killed The Cat
Silverline Records
11 song CD

 
The r-n-r keeps coming, this time from Denmark, with an 80s-era leaning which is one part new wave and two parts big guitar post punk. Think The Buzzcocks with a little more overdrive, and throw in the choppy and stilted neo-80s rhythms of Franz Ferdinand.

BB begins the album with the title track, which rips along with droning guitars and an incessant synth hook. The vocals are delivered in a dual, sung-yet-spoken fashion (which for some reason reminds me of the early punk-tinged new wave of Adam and The Ants) which adds another depth to an already deeply layered sound. The group employs a cool David Bowie-esque vocal on Tunnelvision, and a relentless synth explosion on Let's Go Out. They get a little more 80s-styled moody and brooding on Heroes And Villains, only to pull out the punky guitars again for Gimme (Hey Hey).

The important thing going on here is the irony, which drives the disc from beginning to end. It's all about utilizing that new wave sound, while still keeping it at a safe distance.

MISH MASH Mandate: Irony Of The 80s
Brimstone Butterfly Website



Sarah Glynn
To Sweeten Up
Self-Released
12 song CD

 

Sarah Glynn is a one-woman band--- writing, performing and producing her way through a tight album of catchy pop songs. She embraces an early 80s new wave style, which is often blended with an offbeat, herky-jerky rhythm. It's an endearing combination, keeping the familiar pop structures from becoming stale and boring.

Glynn's voice is low-key and unassuming, providing a melody which simply rides along above the instrumentation nonchalantly. The carelessness of it all gives it a light and airy feel which doesn't take itself too seriously, while at the same time adding a touch of mystery.

MISH MASH Mandate: Catch A Wave
Sarah Glynn Website

 



The Makers
Everybody Rise!
Kill Rock Stars Records
11 song CD

 

Can you imagine a combination of The Rolling Stones, T. Rex, The New York Dolls, The Stooges, and a heaping helping of Guns N Roses? In other words, a perfect intersection of rock, punk and glam? Enter The Makers. They've taken all the threads of the past 30 years and tied them up into one central knot. The songs are tight, the guitars are hot, and the vocals are delivered with the perfect combination of sneer and snarl.

The album begins with the undeniable driving force of Matter Of Degrees, burning with a classic big riff and plenty of dueling guitars. From there, they drop right into the dark and brooding power pop of Good As Gold, featuring a fist-pumping chorus hook that would make Hanoi Rocks green with envy.

As the disc progresses, the band spreads its figurative musical wings and experiments with acoustic rock, roots rock, and straight up high-heeled glam. They aren't afraid of taking a few chances, yet they're all the while keeping the sound solidly in their rock-n-roll foundation.

MISH MASH Mandate: Death Defying
Kill Rock Stars Records


 
Brent Gunter
Andalucia
Sandia Crest Entertainment
10 song CD

 

The artistry of Brent Gunter is hard to define. He skillfully blends classical flamenco guitar with smooth latin rhythms and acid-jazz grooves, creating a musical landscape which seamlessly mixes traditional music and contemporary beats.

On The Storm Is Near, Gunter rides his bluesy guitar lines over a drum-n-bass background, only to switch gears and go East with Secret Of The Tower, picking his guitar in an almost sitar-like fashion, bringing an Indian flair into the mix. Just to put a finer point on it, Gunter then rides into a laid-back soul groove on With My Heart.

Gunter obviously has no qualms with doing things outside the box, as he maneuvers his guitar around electronic drum patterns, world rhythms and through ethereal new age atmospheres. He sounds comfortable in all these settings, and it's sure to please fans of the guitar in any genre.


MISH MASH Mandate: Boss Guitar
Sandia Crest Website



Brianna Lane
Radiator
PMR Music
11 Song CD

 
Brianna Lane sings her songs with a lovely melancholy, almost as if she were apologizing for her angst-filled songs of sadness and lost love. Her acoustic guitar gently weeps through almost a dozen indie-rock tunes, wandering through an introspective depression while maintaining a brave face all the same.

For example, on Sad Songs she sings
"you listen to sad songs too much, and it shows, your heart's been broken one too many times," almost as if she needs to explain why her songs are, indeed, sad. Depressing, or no, Lane's songs are beautiful and cathartic, almost telling us that it's OK to feel down, but not to let it get us down at the same time.

MISH MASH Mandate: Sad Songs Say So Much
Brianna Lane Website





Rock'N'Roll Monkey And The Robots
Detroit Trauma
Drastic Plastic Records
12 song CD

 
Talk about apt titles. The word "Trauma" is well placed, as this noisy little disc from Rock'N'Roll Monkey can attest. Think lo-fi, loud and obnoxious, and you'll be in the right ballpark.
 
These guys do garage punk without apology, ripping through abstract and oddball tunes with the prerequisite sneer intact. Loose guitars and jerky beats are the name of the game, all topped off by vocals which defy interpretation.
 
The finest moment comes in the overpunked-out song Toss It Back Like Kerouac, where they rail away mercilessly with every punk cliche that's ever been beaten to death. Mr. Vicious would be proud, and would claim them as his love children.

MISH MASH Mandate: Punkalicious
Drastic Plastic Website



Sir Millard Mulch
How To Sell The Whole F#@!ing
Universe To Everybody... Once And For All!
Mimicry Records
3 CD set (or maybe just 2)

 

I'm not sure where to begin on this one, but suffice it to say that anything by Sir Millard Mulch is the musical equivalent to spam e-mail. It comes in your mailbox (at least it did for me), and you open it up, even though you know you probably shouldn't. Before you know it, you're ordering strange potency pills from an unknown website and scratching your head as to why a Millard Mulch three CD set only has two CDs inside.

With that having been said, this latest effort by Mulch pretty much mirrors his previous---manic and highly intricate electronic-based music which revolves around completely ridiculous subject matter. In this case, his musicial meandering is surrounded by an over-the-top parody about self-help sales programs. Think of it as Frank Zappa teaming up with Dale Carnegie in hell to produce the infomercial to end all infomercials.

This album isn't going to help you one bit in anything, but it will give you a good laugh, and it will tie your brain in knots with the absolute crazed-out music, which is just amazing to listen to.


MISH MASH Mandate: Soupy Sales
Sir Millard Mulch Website




© 2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved

mishmashmusic@hotmail.com


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2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved
mishmashmusic@hotmail.com