New Music Reviews

No-Fi Soul Rebellion
Lambs To The Slaughter
Wantage USA
5 song CD

Here's some truth in advertising---the cheeky duet No-Fi Soul Rebellion is actually "No-Fi"---as in one step below lo-fi. The absence of production quality is the main element of the band's sound, which is loosely based on a nasty collision of rap-rock-meets-garage-rock.

At first glance, this combination should turn away most music lovers who have a modicum of taste, yet the tunes are so catchy and creative that you find yourself singing them to yourself as they escape from the dark recesses of your brain a few hours later.

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.

MISH MASH Mandate: One Step Beyond
Wantage USA Website

Nouvelle Vague
Nouvelle Vague
Peace Frog Records
11 song CD

This is the unlikely premise: famous punk and new wave songs performed in the style of early 60s bossa nova. You're probably thinking, "Thanks, but no thanks," yet you'd be mistaken. It's absolutely gorgeous and surprisingly refreshing, as the tunes are reworked from top to bottom.

Songs like Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough" and PIL's "This Is Not A Love Song" get a wonderous makeover, the likes of which you've never heard before unless you frequent latin jazz lounges where the musicians happen to fancy The Cure and The Clash instead of Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

MISH MASH Mandate: Punk From Ipanema
Peace Frog Records Website


Tie Your Noose
Bomp! Records
12 Song CD


BBQ (aka Mark Sultan) is a one-man band who bases his lo-fi retro rock squarely in the late 50s, when rockabilly was king. He stirs up the dusty ghosts of Elvis and Carl Perkins while adding the caustic neo rawk-out attitude of Flat Duo Jets and The White Stripes.

Sultan sings and plays all the instruments live to tape, a basic ensemble which appears to consist of a heavily reverbed guitar, a bass drum, a snare drum, and a tambourine. At one point he shows his penchant for soul on "Don't Hold Out On Me," which sounds like a Sam Cooke song run through a fuzz box. Another standout track is his take on the Rolling Stones' "Out Of Time," which rambles along the straightaway following the unrelenting drum beats. Let's face it, your dad's music was never this cool.

MISH MASH Mandate: Retrobilly
Bomp! Records Website

Skyline Rodeo
Long Drive To Iceland
Mightyming Records
9 song CD

A while back, I reviewed Skyline Rodeo's EP, and stated that I was eager to hear a full release. I am not disappointed, because these guys delivered. Their brand of dissonant semi-prog works nicely in the long playing format, giving them plenty of legroom to kick our collective rear ends.

There is no pop structure, and very little in the way of melody, as they concentrate their efforts on noisy guitar runs and angst-ridden vocals which ride counter to the aggressive rhythm section. Yes, it is a dynamic mess, but it works almost flawlessly. Where the EP left us wanting more, the full meal deal leaves us fully satisfied, along with an aching backside. Consider yourself fully warned.

MISH MASH Mandate: Assume The Position
Skyline Rodeo Website

This Band Makes Me Feel
Sanctuary Records
12 Song CD

What does this band make me feel? Like rock and roll, of course. What other answer could you give to the likes of Widespread Panic's Dave Schools, Hayride's Kevin Sweeney, and Counting Crows' drummer Ben Mize?

The trio's classic rock roots are on full display as they rip out a dozen tunes which run the gamut from big riff rock to jam band to southern rock without missing a beat. They don't take any real chances, but they don't have to. They are obviously having some fun, and man, does it show. I'd imagine it was hard to get them out of the garage and into the studio, as they were probably having a blast just playing together. This is what a supergroup should sound like

MISH MASH Mandate: Feelin' Groovy
Sanctuary Records Website

Salad Days
11 song CD

Sean Jackson is a one-man hard rocking machine, as he practically single-handedly wrote, performed, and produced his debut release. It's an amalgam of all that is rock, venturing from classic metal to grunge to prog to rap-rock and into punk, displaying a knack for big power chord assaults and rhythmic aggression.
The songwriting is tight, and so is the playing---something which generally suffers in a non-band situation. At the same time, the self-production tends to make the sound a little thin in places, although not enough to take away from the complete package. When it's all said and done, there's plenty of "meat" here, enough that Mr. Jackson can leave the salad days behind.
MISH MASH Mandate: Solid Rock
Sean Jackson Website

© 2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved

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2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved