PAX AETERNA "DEMO 95" Cassette

A good Goth band coming from an unlikely place, Croatia (ex-Yugoslavia). This four-track demo is the best Gothic thing I've heard lately--perhaps it's not too original, perhaps it's just the umpteenth band that copies Christian Death (featuring the mandatory cover of "Spiritual Cramp"), but at least they do their job really well. The songs are skillfully constructed, with real tunes (oh, bliss), and English lyrics. The lead singer howls and sighs with flair, clearly he comes from the Dave Vanian school of sexy, melodic crooning. If these guys had been born in London they'd be rather famous by now. Gaunt poseurs all over Europe would be dancing to their tunes. Yeah, it's Gothic Lite, but why not? - Paola Sorrentino

F. Klevisser Bareticevo 13A, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia


Exceedingly well done, highly skilled, beautiful and exciting electronic sound collage. Here, PBK, who is already widely known for his prolific and high quality products works with other well-known electronic artists such as AMK (thus there's a lot of turntable experimentation), Hands To, Deaf Lions and two pieces with Jarboe. Anyone with a serious interest in the abstract ways of sound needs to seek out PBK. - C. Reider

Lunhare M Gatti, Via Mozart 13, 20092 Cinisello (MI) Italy


I loved "Waiting" from the instant it began. Awesome girlie singing and the music is so fuckin' playful. Highly infectious. I wanna call my mom and play this down the phone for her. Each Night. "Alone" sounds like Magnetic Fields (everything I like this month does). No really. This record is fucking fantastic. Twee Kitten put it best: Adult pop with toy-pop elements. This record overflows with baraka! If you had my uncanny ability to actually taste music, Pedestal would be a grape Mr. Misty (don't you have Dairy Queen there?) on the hottest day of summer. Outta sight. - Ian C. Stewart

Twee Kitten Records 1547 Palos Verdes Mall #213, Walnut Creek CA 94596 USA


This is a conceptual C90 reflecting seasonal themes of growth, death, quiescence and regeneration. All sounds are derived from Pierce's guitar. On side A he strums a batch of pastoral melodies with no processing or studio trickery to cloud the naturalism of his approach. On side B, Pierce samples snippets of his guitar playing and arranges/orchestrates the tones into minimalistic studies which often resemble Philip Glass soundtracks or Bach fugues. Pierce really reaches his stride on side B as the computer enables his talent for harmony and counterpoint to shine through with greater clarity than the multitracked guitars on side A. - Tom Sutter

4675 Lillian Drive, Decatur IL 62521 USA

P.I.S.T. "A VENGEANCE" Cassette

Typical speed / death metal / thrash with titles like "Nerd Annihilation", "Killing The One You Hate", and "Death Of A Yuppie". Most of the eight songs follow the same formula of starting slow and building or breaking into mosh mode. This could use better production and mixing as it sounds flat and one-dimensional. The drums sound like cardboard boxes being played in a cardboard box. S.O.D. fans may like this. - Butch Canfield

Andy George P.O. Box 9171 Springfield IL 62791 USA


Another homer from Jawbone Records! Norwich is the new pop mecca! Who knew? It all began with Cathy Dennis, I swear. (Oh! Cathy!) "Killing Me Again" is a jangly boy-girl guitar pop track with incredibly clear production. Jump around the room: You're killing me again and I love it! Oh shit, there's even a bit with handclaps on the end! BST continues the happy bopping. Pristine!!!!!! - Ian C. Stewart

Jawbone c/o Unit 10, St Marys Works, St Marys Plain, Norwich UK


A cassette (or as the French say, a K7) that starts off with a way cool bit of hard funk pop from the Peter Gabriel school called "Love Buzz". Make a whole tape of stuff like that and I'm yours! this is followed by a lengthy, somber piece called "Et ce n'est pas bon", and then several instrumentals with funky basslines and searing guitar solos. "Osseghem / Simonis" is especially good (I can't help but sing along), as is "Mellow Drone", both showing the quieter side of the bad. A varied and awesome tape. Recommended. - C. Reider

Red Box BP 54, B-6820 (Florenville) Belgium


Not to be confused with the American band Post Mortem (two words) from the 1980's, whose best song was "Waiting For The Funeral." Okay.

It's 3:10 am. Guy walks into downtown 24-hour kopy place carrying a cloth totebag overstuffed with xeroxed photos of naked young boys posed beneath trees and sprawled across beds with glazed pre-porn looks on their prepubescent faces. Guy wears a pink dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up above his elbows; has a long beard; thick, square glasses; a big Iron Man watch. In his shirt pocket he keeps another pair of glasses and more folded papers. He looks like the host from Victory Garden. He flashes the cashier a reluctant, jagged grin as she counts his change out into his palm.

Meanwhile, in Berlin, Postmortem puts the final backing vocals on a song they call "Albert 'Cannibal' Fish", when the entire band plus the producer and some friends shout "I! Love Children!" in English with a thick Sprockets twang. Over a chugging, midtempo riff. "Co-ed Killer" opens with a grim confession: "As I'm sitting there with a severed head in my hand, talking to it, or looking at it...I'm about to go crazy," launching Postmortem into a fairly tame digga-digga thrash riff, and a speed metal chorus. "He killed her with a hammer in her sleep, cut off her head. He put her vocal cords in the garbage disposal." Band stops riffing. "And threw darts at her severed head."

"Der Totmacher" is a moody, Alice In Chains-style alternarocker. "The Age Of Massmurder" is the rebirth of Exodus! I knew that was coming.

"Are We Not Men" is not a Devo cover; rather it's a phat Kreator-approved Kraut-thrash with the lovable "if you die we don't give a fuck" chorus. The wacky accent and harmonized singing sound like Laibach on this cut, making it the high point. This disc is a decent soundtrack for driving around town trying to fool people into thinking you're a serial killer. Put this into rotation between Pantera and Sepultura.

Guy in kopy shop goes home but "forgets" a pile of boy-photos in the store. - Ian C. Stewart

Morbid Records Postfach 3, 03144 Drebkau Germany


An odds-and-ends collection of rock tunes and a few folky traxxx as well. Pratt's ideas are very strong but it sounds like a couple more takes would've made the presentations a whole lot better. The vocals sound great, they're recorded really well--but it's a ragtag affair beyond that. Dude has a real cool voice but this shit is just sloppy. "Grounded" is almost very large. - Ian C. Stewart

Day 2 Records 2073 SW Park Avenue #118 Portland OR 97201 USA


This disc starts with Jerry Wagers belting out some VERY strong vocals. Reminds me of some great songs from the late 80s. These songs have great beats to lose yourself in, you'll find your foot a'tappin' throughout the whole disc. It won't have you jumping around with excitement but it's good enough to have in your collection. We will hear more from these guys. - Howard Cowell

West Oakland Music 2200 Wood Street, Oakland CA 94607 USA


Puri-do is the uninvited guest that stays too long. Talks too much (about farts and shitting and pee and boogers and buttholes). Eats all the food, drinks all the Dr. Pepper. Runs up a big long-distance bill. Orders all the pay-per-views at the same time; warps your Kiss albums. Deletes your bookmark file and gets spunk on your shower curtain: HECKLING YOU ALL THE WHILE.

Each of these discs is over 70 minutes. The songs--comprised of clapping, mouth noises, instruments played incorrectly; and with the mesmerizing vocal delivery of a once and future cult leader--develop like slow motion car crashes. "Faces Of Death I-III" with color commentary by the illegitimate son of David Koresh and Perry Farrell. Squawking, and I quote (from PERP REEL AND WCMD) "Take It In the Breast":

"When you feel like you'll shit yourself inside out, take it in the breast, stab me in the heart, jesus; jesus stab me in the heart."

Acoustic guitar thrum thrum and layers of vocals. Proper songs occasionally emerge from the icky-samey goop---especially on "PERPETUA REEL": "Provo" rocks like a neutered Zeppelin; "Perpetua's Greeting," a muted bass n drum groove with harmonized voxxx that includes the chorus "hurrah for golden showers." It's the lost collaboration between Eric A and Crispin Glover! This guy talks way too much shit. The first 20 seconds of every song sound like god. Check "The Lords Errand"---fuckin' bass chords. come on. He could be right. He's been talking so much shit I'm starting to believe him.

On "ARSS" especially, when they're right, they know it. Puri-do is about as much fun as a new batch of seamonkeys. Give or take. - Ian C. Stewart

19 State Of Deseret 369 E. 900 S., Salt Lake City UT 84111 USA

"THE PURPLE DOT EXPERIENCE" Compilation Cassette

These songs are based on the poetry of Pamela Mary Stone, KD Schmitz's ten year old niece, and they reflect the basic, naive themes and imagery of a young mind. The limited number of verses deal with love, trees, books, reading, books and reading, books and trees and reading, and the eponymous Purple Dot. They are interpreted in different ways by nine or so credited artists, folky to electronic, but never condescendingly. "Love isn't something you can buy with money, love is something as sweet as honey, love isn't just gifts or flowers, love rules over all other powers..." Schmitz does it as a gentle, harmonious acoustic; Pseudozanos lends it a low-rent Lou Reed style; Chris Ballew strums through three quick takes on it and then drops the lyric sheet. The Purple Dot is an odd little spot that fascinates Pam, in the way a kid can be fascinated with stuff the rest of us are too busy to notice. Wall Of Hair does a spacey take on the Purple Dot that dispenses with lyrics altogether. Schmitz turns it into a protest song, "Should I Fear?" So that's THE PURPLE DOT EXPERIENCE, a neat little exercise, though not an especially compelling one. - River Pearl

KD Schmitz P.O. Box 1806, Poughkeepsie NY 12601 USA


Yawn. Guitars and rhythm presets. Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh-nuh. Yawn. Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh. Whew. The vocals are mostly inaudible. Yawnerific! Toy sampling keyboard "action." It's like L7 with a drum machine! - Ian C. Stewart

Love Ugly 10903 N Main St, Archdale NC 27263 USA


JD SMX UNIT rips open the funkless (lifeless) "Funk Power"---a mix of James Brown vocal samples and some sour minor-key acoustic guitar ack-shawn. The B Double's "The Style Of Rap" is a short slice of late-80's rapsmithery. Sugar Too Sweet's "Sugar's In Effect" is a tired old-school rhyme. The music is decent, a bit noisy (noise--as in "Bring The..") in spots. Kathleen's "White Rabbit" ranks among the skankiest covers of this already-done-to-shit song. Casio drum presets + keyboards with acoustic guitar and that fugly singing! Yee-ikes. Big time. Users Of The Wicked Gravity do an almost-believable Ministry takeoff (albeit with keyboard preset-drum patterns) on "You Shall All Decay." Sounds like he's yelling "you shall all be gay" on the chorus. He shoulda. Coulda had a new anthem for pissed off homosexuals. Los Leche's "Movin' To Arizona" uses that fucking keyboard for the drums again. A not-very-novel novelty song. Each and every one. - Ian C. Stewart

Jeff Smelser / Access Tucson 124 E. Broadway, Tucson AZ 85701 USA


Why is it that the shittiest CDs are also always the longest? The worse the songs (solo guitar and monotone male vocals), the more there are. Good god, why did this ass munch overload this 77 minute CD with such utterly worthless crap? 33 songs (which makes it exactly 32.5 songs too many). Says here: lyrics provided on request. Ya think? To wit: 1000 of these discs cost me a little over $1000 dollars to make, so there! Something tells me there's still a stack of 976 CDs (and lyrics sheets) under someone's desk. It's too bad you cant record over CDs. - Ian C. Stewart

1322 Meadowbrook Avenue, LA CA 90019 USA


Awesome, classic, breezy pop--like the "happier" moments on "Daydream Nation "(I realize that 'happy' is a relative term here). Every single song on the tape kicks ass. One of the singers even sounds like Lee Ranaldo. Frenzied and ungodly strong pop. Sonic Youth + Unrest+ early XTC. Yes, they're that good. RHT do shit right tight. The single is comprised of four songs from the tape. On marbley blue and white vinyl. - Ian C. Stewart

Rebuilthangartheory 83 University Avenue, Providence RI 02906 USA



Have a few hits of testosterone! Here's a well-presented sampler of death metal bands including Deranged, CSSO, Avulsed, Darkified, Godfall, Vomitory, Haemmorage and ten others. As I am generally biased toward heavy metal, I'll probably listen to this pretty often and can easily recommend it to someone whose tastes run in this direction. But I have to criticize this whole scene for being so closed-minded as to abhor any wavering from the standard formula. All these bands are too damn similar, there's so little to differentiate them. They all have the same vocalist burping the same lyric: "Blorph, blorph BLOOORPH!!!" All the bands have logos that are impossible to read, and they all have double bass pounding and low, crunching, fast guitars. Which is cool, but pretty damn predictable and not at all trailblazing. this kind of self-contained community leads to stagnation, any innovation is seen as either "pussy" or "sellout" or just gets ignored for being too weird. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. I will listen to this often. I'll just pretend it's all the same band. - C. Reider

Repulse Records P.O. Box 50562, 28080 Madrid Spain


Great fuzzy guitar pop rock. The recording quality is gloriously atrocious. "As I ease her panties down her writhing hips, what makes porno teens go bad?" "Don't You Fucking Darling Me" is in the playoffs for Song Title Of The Issue. "Sherri and I had our problems, all couples fight, it depends on what you mean by don't you fucking darling me." Aw yeah. My other new anthem. - Ian C. Stewart

Hobart Arms Records P.O. Box 8104 Bellflower CA 90706 USA

LAWRENCE SALVATORE "PREFAB!" Cassette Single Cassette

Into the so-bad-it's-bad pile? I don't know. It's tough because Lawrence seems like such a nice guy...but this single is the longest 10 minutes of my week. "Prefab!" is prefab keyboard preset predigested precrud that Lawrence sings his heart out over. Nice guy but I'm launching this one. - Ian C. Stewart

211 S. Hebbard Street, Joliet IL 60433-1308 USA

SATAN'S GOD Cassette

All the sounds on this bloody nightmare soundtrac were constructed by Igor Beirstein Von De Heilichtson the third. He sounds like he's trying to tear out his vocal cords with his distorted, incoherent rants between bursts of effected guitar and noise. "Black Zeppelin Dog 4" stands out along with "Wicked Arrival Of Nazi Aliens". If you ever thought Whitehouse could use noise guitar along with their patented sound you'll dig this. The sound quality is pretty good and with six tracs it clocks in around twenty minutes. - Butch Canfield

3614 Falling Springs Avenue, Cahokia IL 62206 USA


Same-o-lame-o acoustic guitar + outta tune vocals noise burst interjections and an interview with a band on side two. It all adds up to a punishingly overlong amateur hour. - Ian C. Stewart

Zach Dellorto-Blackwell 304 N Seminary, Downs IL 61236 USA


Whoa! It's a rockin' fiddle! On a goldang heavy metal CD! Yee haw, wake up the chickens! It's a HM hoedown!

Okay, not really.

I'm all for trying something new-- In this case, heavy metal with a violin. But my man needs to just back the fuck off with that thing. The novelty wears off about .2222 seconds in. WE HEAR YOUR VIOLIN, bub. Now shut up.

The recording "quality" of this disc is disagreeable for songs that ache to be as majestic and powerful as Slayer at the menacing climax of "Raining Blood." On the title track the guitar, bass and violin riff together with doom overtones---but the drummer can hardly wait to show everyone his Clive Burr impression. Rack toms! Who still has those! Kinda kills the mood.

The cottage-cheesy vocals are way WAY too loud, which is unfortunate. The singer is lost in the thick brush between Geoff Tate and Phil Anselmo. At this point you can't be both, you're either a complete prat or a brute. Pick one or the other. And no switching. --Hey, I don't make the rules.

These riffs show great promise. No, really, they do--but they're totally unfulfilled on this shoddily-recorded, hastily-mixed clunker. "The Dawn Of Crimson Skies" is ELP playing Iron Maiden's "Strange World," conducted by John Tesh. But worse. (Teshie conducting left-handed? blindfolded?)

"The Innocent Of Darkness" starts of with some okayish Pantera-style riffing but veers back off course within thirty seconds when it too turns into "Strange World." And I hate to say it but that flanged violin sounds exactly like my first Casio. Can your violin play "Greensleeves" with one keystroke?

And who's this second vocalist, the sensitive one with the Flappy Asscheeks (concept TM 1997 Tom Dark)??? You've got to be shitting me. Like I said, there are some truly okay ideas buried in here somewhere under all of this cottage cheese and bullshit. And Iron Maiden records. I'm willing to wager they've put out better stuff since this. I hope. So...

Does "AWAKENED" rock? Nearly. - Ian C. Stewart

Wild Rags 2207 W. Whittier Boulevard P.O. Box 3302 Montbello CA 90640 USA

Justin Miller 7302 Sara Street, New Carrollton MD 20784 USA


Chilling darkambient experiments. Possibly improvised. Hollow, minimal, sustained tones. Layered. Beautiful. Great packaging too. - Ian C. Stewart

Fever Pitch 1108 E Capitol Drive, Appleton WI 54911 USA

"SIGHTS UNSEEN" Video Compilation Video

I was excited to get this because I've been curious about Fever Pitch, but, unfortunately, I wouldn't wish the viewing of this entire video on anyone. There are some good bits, but most of this is depressingly dull noise tripe with boring visuals. Gravitar kicks it off pretty well with a cool, grindy Godflesh-like jam. Although seeing the guy deep-throat the mic was just kind of silly. Impact Test sounded like someone dragging a cheap tape recorder on a dirt path for ten minutes, and was almost as visually stimulating. Dum Dum TV / Wire Hippo is a nutty Japanese performance, mildly entertaining and goofy. Sirvix had a really cool soundtrack, but the visual was like looking into a strobelight for FAR too long. No thanks. Crawl Unit's piece is a highlight. It's power noise. Complex and varied, and you can see all the stuff the guy is doing to make the noise. A nice performance. Unlike Killer Bug, who jumps around like an idiot on male hormone injections while making his unfathomably dull power-electronic poop. Similar are the Amputease, who are a bunch of middle aged, farting white dudes doing SCARY noise, with SHOCKING visuals (so scary! so shocking!). The only reason (and it IS a good reason) I can come up with for watching this is Death Squad's awesomely presented piece depicting a USA helicopter blowing up American trucks by accident during the Persian Gulf "War" (or Operation Super Scam). You never saw THIS on television with "Proud To Be An American" droning in the background, did you? I don't know for sure but it looks pretty fucking authentic to me. MUST BE SEEN. Maybe it can be obtained directly from the band? Fever Pitch DOES have some interesting stuff in its catalog. Hopefully, for their next video they'll expose some artists who are more worthy, and they'll spend more time on dubbing and mastering. Did I mention this tape was all screwed up? - C. Reider

Fever Pitch 1108 E Capitol Drive, Appleton WI 54911 USA


Anyone who titles their album "More of the Same" and who calls the tracks Parts 1, 3 (...yes...), 4, 5 and 6 is inviting a bland and superficial assessment of their material. Well, I won't give Art Simon what he's looking for, so there. I find it impossible to divine any positive purpose for this music at all. The tracks are far too long and too strident to be of any use to the movie industry, you'll never hear any of these tracks on a TV commercial and the Spice Girls need not worry about their grip on the Christmas No. 1 spot. Buried somewhere underneath all this willful noise is some interesting music, though typically it's to be found at the intros and fade-outs. Art has this pathological urge to press all the buttons on his drum machine. Forget it, man. The album works "best" when the drum machine has been switched off. I "liked" Part 3, with its sonic equivalent of rapid cross-cut editing, and Part 4 with the ringing wet glass effect and the moaning synths running throughout the track. I have to say, though, that I found little in More of the Same that would encourage me to give the album another listen. Sorry... "Art for Art's Sake"? Probably. But music that "just is" just isn't enough, is it? - Daniel Prendiville

Cohort Records 247 Sullivan Street #403, Oshkosh, WI 54901-4129, USA


Lee Matching Head sent me this, & I presume he was responsible for the usual high standard of packaging, which I can barely describe but looks (& feels) delectable. However, its Simon of Daffadowndilly fanzine (kicking up a storm with its dance & noise music cross-interests, in the UK, at the moment) who gets his address on the insert. It looks Like my copy is number 3 out of 62, so get moving on this one. Musically, it's all very Nic Collins meets Doc Scott, if that makes sense. The great British dance music triumph of the 90's, drum & bass (jungle) music gets treated to a CD pause & rewind & fastforward buttons technique for the sake of your droned-out ears. It gets more listenable & expansive as it goes along, as you start to see what's really occurring, & relax into the groove. Perhaps not the masterpiece & eye-opener it could be, but it might encourage a few more to try the same thing, as it was meant to. - Philip Smith

Simon Marleys, Minstead, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7FY UK


Ken Miller (Shouting At The Server, AUTOcrit and all around tough guy) dishes out a bunch of instrumentals---guitar, cheap keyboards and drum machines---with spoken samples overlaid. Sometimes it's really funny and cool ("Bhagdad"). On Side B it's The Singles: including the classic "Bludgeon The Osmonds" and "Day Tripper". "Burn Me Down" adds Doc Holiday's vocals and bass for an extra-sludgy Soundgardeny effect. The cover of "In The Mood" (yeah, the one from the 40s or whenever, you'd know it if you heard it) illustrates how twisted the minds involved here are. - Ian C. Stewart

Ask Alice P.O. Box 246 Yardley PA 19067-8246 USA


Skeptical Cats, eh? This group should change it's name to Schizoid Cats, because this album demonstrates the split personality inherent in the group. The album contains some excellent tracks: "Upside Down" and "Opaque" evoke early Sparks; "Quad Circus" calls to mind Jethro Tull (with some fine flute playing, by the way) while "Easy Street" sounds like 60's Pink Floyd. However, none of these fine tracks come within an ass's roar of "Slight Of Hands", a Ben Folds Five soundalike (so they *have* been listening to contemporary music, then...) which has a fabulous piano-driven intro and comes complete (at no extra cost to you, dear listener) with a swing like an elephant's dick. Ah, but then... The group churns out this appalling R 'n' B based twaddle that I can only categorize as "pub-rock lite". Inoffensive, workman-like, "good-time music"; fine stuff to play at frat-house dances if you don't mind the audience ignoring you while they get pissed on various unspecified toxic concoctions. "Whiskey Breakfast" is typical of this genre, while "Moonnrise In Bombay" can be filed under "ethnic 'pub-rock lite'". The album typifies for me the classic problem with self-produced, self-financed music. You've paid through the nose to record all these damn tracks; economics dictates that you've got to slap 'em all on the album, irrespective of quality. Leaving aside the songwriting quality control issue, many of the poorer tracks are not helped by lackluster instrumentation, frankly dopey backing vocals and an overall deficiency in aplomb. But, hey, I'm a grumpy old fucker, anyway. Skeptical Cats are probably a very good live band and there is some excellent material on RECORD RECORD. Ultimately, though, it would have made a brilliant EP. - Daniel Prendiville

SKEPTICAL CATS 2517 California Avenue, Dayton OH 45419 USA

SLUG TWO Compilation Cassette

Whoa! Noizeyy popppp. Um. Fuscillage "Please Listen" badly recorded chickie voxxxist plus guitars. Nice song, pity about the careless "production." 600 Noses put themselves through a tremolo pedal and play a distorted children's' song: "911 Song." Fork sticks to what it knows best: irritating noise BS. Safer Potato sounds like a marching band or some shit, there's about 70 people playing various horns and percussion (and talking) on "Allergic To Fragrance." I must agree with the kid who yells "I don't believe it!... shut up!!!" Space Jockey's "Outside Of Me" goes completely beyond hiss-obscured oblivion when they click on that distortion pedal. The whole recording goes "whisssshhhhhhhh." Dude. The Stuffings' "The Way It Should" woulda made a decent jumping-off point into loud, strobey psychedelia had they any idea how close they were. Damien Pratt serves up another near-hit with "Thin Light." The guy has a great voice. Overall... acoustic guitars and bad singing as weapons! - Ian C. Stewart

Day 2 Alliance 2073 SW Park Avenue #118 Portland OR 97201 USA


Wow! This stuff sounds great. For all the new age melody freaks that fall asleep each night to Patrick O Hearn, Tangerine Dream and Shadowfax. this collaboration is very clean, technically speaking and the sound is very deep and complex. I found myself listening to it over and over just trying to discern all the different sounds. Awesome, well worth the time and trouble to track these guys down for your own copy of this! - Howard Cowell

Zzaj Productions 5308 65 th Avenue SE, Lacey WA 98513 USA


4-track-in-the-basement-fidelity recording... Basic punk rock 3-piece band. The bass and drums act as a foundation for the guitar and the vocals to wander a bit. It's great when it works! "Baby Cart At The River Styx" emphasizes the punk overtones, mainly on that recurring two three four shout. "An Instant Attraction" has a real nice (and LOUD) freakout bit on the end with screaming. Good stuff! From the basement! - Ian C. Stewart

Fringe Weird 1912 SW 6th #1021 Portland OR 97207 USA


Heard of Fishbone? Imagine them reborn as a hookless mess of song-parts. Got it? Then you got Spooge. - Victoria

1082 Frances Drive, Valley Stream NY 11580 USA


With Flackzz on "vokills" all is not well here. Remnants of Testament, Hades and Death Angel but not as technical. Very straightforward metal. Anvil Chorus, Metal Church, just not as heavy. Then it gets worse. Chants of "Wasted Again" and "fuck you all, you know it's true" sound their alliance with the LA shit metal scene of the 1980's. London, Motley Crue, Ratt, etc. Those varmints in that flick "Slingblade" did this better. "Worldaphobia" is an attempt at a melodious and harmonious song but it ends up felonious and full of bologna-ious. Do not try this at home. - Joe

P.O. Box 1505 Cahokia IL 62206 USA


Newcastles worst doing what they do best! More of that punk rock gang bang (says here) thang. Sounds like they spent more at the bar than on the recording down Peters Swinging Basement Bar & Grill that night. - Ian C. Stewart

Real Records 13 Bell Hill, Petersfield, Hamps GU32 2EH UK


Innovative idea of a radio show / magazine on cassette! It includes songs, poetry, book reviews and publishing news. Goddamn! Why didn't I think of it first! I can't say tons of good stuff about the actual material on it 'cause much of it sucked, but the concept is fucking ingenious. Let's give it to the Brits on this one for being ahead of the pack! - Victoria

35 Kearsley Road, Sheffield, S2 4TE UK


On the title track we are transported to Merry Old England with melody and lyrics reminiscent of The Beatles (can I say "The Beatles" in a zine?). Now keep in mind that Dan lives in Chicago, so I just have one question: What's up with the accent? If you still get your hair cut with a mixing bowl by the first barber your dad took you to when you were four, then send Dan Susnara five bucks. Otherwise you can pull out any old Beatles album and save yourself five bucks! - Howard Cowell

Mumble Mumble Music 7806 S. Kilpatrick, Chicago IL 60652 USA


Jon here says: "I'm going to give you my honest opinion. The drummer could use some improvement. The singer should try harder for that Dead Milkmen sound. I like the toilet! The bassist is good. The drummer, though..." This tape was made by renegade member(s) of Little Turkey, so the version of LT's "Destruction Of Hemlock" doesn't differ too much. A little slower but so what. Boring indie rock is boring indie rock no matter what tempo it's played at and regardless of what kind of cartoonery you wrap it in. - Ian C. Stewart

Pink Hippo Records P.O. Box 19896 Oklahoma City OK 73144 USA

THORAX "3" Cassette

Alternative punk? This is more Bush-like than I remember them being. "Mutter" is a dense, unhappy song. The guitars sound meaty and tough like a good bowl of stew. The lyrics are in German so you know Thorax ain't no sell-outs!!! "Sonnenstrahlen" is a perky little up-tempo number. Well produced alternapunk-pop. Yeah. - Ian C. Stewart

Lukas Schwichtenberg, Sehta, Str 36, 22083 Germany


Two pieces, "Pedalium Murex" taking up the entire first side and "Trillium Erectum" taking up two-thirds of side two, of roiling sheets of wall-to-wall noise. Pulsing bleeps, suspended warbling tones and static washes moving in and out of the mix create a pleasant sonic backdrop for doing other things. Or turn it up for active listening. I REALLY like this. Unlike a lot of the so-called noise stuff coming out these days this actually has a sense of space and dynamics with all levels of the frequency spectrum used. Sometimes loud, sometimes softer, with each sound having its own place in the development of the piece. If noise is your thing this is highly recommended! - John Gore

Michele Lorusso CP 1326, 50100 Firenze Italy


I was tempted to send this back straight away because even though they're Italian like me, they play heavy metal. Yeurgh! I can't cope! However, upon reading the credits I discovered this is metal with a twist! Yes-- a chromosomic twist! A girl on vocals! I had to listen to it! And surprise, it's not bad. It's not too heavy and has Celtic and medieval overtones. Susanna has a beautiful and power voice and she takes the whole thing very seriously. I can imagine her singing from the tower of a ruined Irish castle. The lyrics are in English, with titles like "Princess Of The Dawn" and "Fairy Tune". In short, excellent background music for your next round of Dungeons & Dragons. - Paola Sorrentino

Flavio Facchinetti via Vespucci 1, 24100 Bergamo Italy

TOWPATH Cassette

Hail Towpath!!! Satanic, sample-happy Venom/Twisted Sister/Exciter/ Link Wray soundalikes---with a screechy-ass singer! It's probably that kielbasa dangling from his keester that makes him sing that way. "Five Gates Of Riverside" open wide with a slow, heavy riff + stuff. "Force Fed Bags Of Rotten Meat"--"from IGA it's a Riverside treat!" The background "singer" sounds like the kid on the Let's Put The X In Sex single, screeching like a freak. Towpath rides my Wayne Butane/Beavis nerve. If you had grown up listening to cheesy early black metal like Venom the way I did, you'd think it was funny too. I mean, Mr. SkiMask plays a damn Hamer Scarab bass, for fuck's sake. And he admits it! "Desecrating The Grave Of Carol Hathy" is the best, most incredibly awesome King Diamond impression ever attempted. I piss myself every time I hear it. Oh shit, here it comes again. "Black Mass In Riverside Park After Dark" is what I imagine the first wave of Sabbath clones in the early 70's ("Coven" anyone?) sounded like. Spooky kinda, but not really. I mean: "Masonic sausage served up for SATAN?" I hope they didn't start this band to get chicks. Though come to think of it they probably get more tail than all of us combined. "Mouthful Of Bag" is a devil/porno Dr. Demento reject. Moloch The Chylde Devourer on rhythm guitar!!! The Creature From The Riverside Sea on drums!!!! I guess they have a cable access show too, I gotta get some dubs. This rules. Hail Towpath! Word. - Ian C. Stewart

P.O. Box 638 Kenmore NY 14217 USA


This is like seeing a foreign film by a director whose name you've heard but whose work you've never seen. It's a weird jumping-in point. I feel like I haven't done my homework!

Quirky rock band with horn section. A Nordic Los Lobos! Art rock in spots. "The Lost Souls" is very epic and grand; very Nick Cave. "Saint-ex", with its drunken oompah swing and cascading melodic bit is the first thing to take hold. "John Daniels Pressed The Bulb" is a cute little revisionist lyric saying the most noteworthy thing to happen during the Wright Bros' first flight was that someone--John Daniels--got it on film. Hey! "Toads Are Trippy"! Nordic country and western! Achtung un liebe ji-ha! "The Day When The Stones Raided Scheveningen" is a dull Bo Diddley riff with lyrics that go on about the fateful day in August 1964 when the Rolling Stones "played the stately Kurzaal in Schevningen," with "excitement bigger than a Cadillac."

"Artemesia Gentileschi" details the life and work of a 16th century Roman "paintress." The song has a great chorus: "why should women paint," later becoming "why should women kill?" "Raven's End" is made from the same psychic matter used to propel the Sugarcubes to greatness: mildly whacked out rhythms and quirky horn break and unpredictable synth leads. "Oom Jan's Hemelvaart" has a long horn vamp at the beginning that's very pleasant. "Angelic Face Of North East England Could Be Fatal Distraction" is a short novelty song with dramatic chord changes and spoken text. FLY UP gets better (and easier) with repeated listenings. - Ian C. Stewart

Opulence! P.O. Box 23071 Wilmington NC 28402-2071

ADM Postbus 15582, NB Amsterdam Netherlands


Dead Milkmen meet Violent Femmes. The delivery is fun, light, playful, ironic or whatever. Not too serious. The songs are generally pretty good. Few are indispensable ("Pretend Boyfriend", "Me And My Pillow"), most are good-to-average. It's not as self-consciously funny as Dead Milkmen (not saying they were funny either) but the lyrics are amusing and weird. I'm sure they're a fuckin' hoot live---overall, very not bad. - Ian C. Stewart

Opulence! P.O. Box 2071 Wilmington NC 28402-2071 USA


When the AUTOreverse Hall Of Fame is erected (huh huh, I said erect), you can bet your fucking Dolby C that Franco Turra will be among the first inductees. With this CD as Exhibit A. "Ho Non Ho" is an infectious pimp-jam (XTC meets... uh, Domino... no---XTC on BET). Fabiola Riccis backing vocals are beautiful, smooth and dramatic. "A Livello Di Pelle" loads on layers of vocals and features more guitars and live drums than "Ho Non Ho". It's been a favorite around here for months. A real Hands-and-feet-and-genitals-and-eyelids-in-the-air sing-a-long. "Mica Tu" actually rocks a little, with a slippery Colin Moulding-like fretless bass line and a chorus that creeps in from the other room and just KICKS ASS. Franco even has the balls to pass the mic to Gabriele Gagglioli for track 4, "Mi Manda Un Fantasma", which just shows what a generous guy that Franco is!!! Great song. Great CD. The man is a force, people. - Ian C. Stewart

via Castiglione 91, 40136 Bologna Italy


"Doobie Mothers" is experimental and noisy---layers of warped tape loops and talk radio samples. "Shitback" features some guitar warming-up action (one guitar and one fretless bass improvising or whatever) and layers of answering machine messages. Its a sociological lesson in how stupid people sound when they leave messages on other peoples machines. All of them. This is some crazy shit. - Ian C. Stewart

P.O. Box 1144 Williamstown NJ 08094 USA


Psycho grind core, and pretty damn kick-ass at that, thank you very much. Drum machine pounds away as layers of guitar sonics and creepy whispered vocals also occur. Rock that drum machine, you fuckers! Yeah... Sufficiently grindy while still displaying a goofiness akin to much of the early industrial scene (Severed Heads, Chris & Cosey...). Sometimes this is Dead Voices On Air-ish, sometimes a little Big Black-ish and sometimes it even rocks likes Ian's mom (on an off night). Stop sucking up for Christ's sake! Am I going soft? Am I wussing out with too many good reviews? OK, I've changed my mind, this sucks, don't contact them. - C. Reider

P.O. Box 114 Williamstown NJ 08094 USA


Some early work. More loud, spare, improvised, industrial grinding here. I think this one has a live drummer, but not a very good one. If they got a good drummer, they'd surely rule my little corner of the underground. I put my vote in for Harlan. I smell a super-group and it smells TASTY. It takes TFTJ a little longer to warm up on this one as opposed to Germination, but they still have more energy than the majority of undie bands. The tape ends with a drawn-out drunken jam and a bit of Iron Maiden. - C. Reider

P.O. Box 114 Williamstown NJ 08094 USA


In every issue of AUTOreverse there's always a ton of reviews filed under "F" for Fuxa. Do they really release ten bloody seven inchers a month? With this single they collaborate with members of Azusa Plane, Gravity Wax, Therisphere and Mariner 9-- and they've released the product on translucent green vinyl. We have four instrumental jams with bubbling synth sequences augmented by zoned-out droning guitars. Rather goddamnable cool stuff. A keeper. - C. Reider

Astro Lanes P.O. Box 725161 Berkley MI 48072 US