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Numb
Numb
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Numb (Audio CD)
With this their third studio album, Linea 77 have moved significantly away from the crushing muddy riffs and style similar to the Deftones that was evident on previous records. Their sound has been replaced with an interesting concept that is a cross between funk metal and jazz. A sound punctuated heavily with bass use and stop start percussion; that is often rhythmically dynamic and discordant. The lyricism is forceful as the vocalists trade off in a mix of English & Italian.
In ‘Warhol’ there is even the inclusion of brass, which adds an occasionally uncomfortable additional element to their exciting yet tiring sound. There is real beauty in the breakdown for this song and once there you find yourself in the eye of the storm – a calming, yet tense middle 8.
Opener; ‘Insane Lovers’ shows their grasp of dynamic lyrical presentation, as they craft mundane lyrics into powerfully structured sections of layered vocals. While ‘Fantasma’ showcases a kinetic bassline, rap/funk tendencies and a far more calculated beauty than the aforementioned – ‘Insane Lovers’. This is a track where their new styles come together in a significantly more fluid manner than others like; the confused but darkly beautiful and complex track; ‘66…’ that not only touches upon greatness but flirts with it like a high class prostitute and a drunk Japanese businessman..
There is a catchy element to be found in nearly every song here. ‘Ants’ demonstrates a wonderfully catchy chorus while; ‘Third Moon’ works on many levels with a melodic verse and powerhouse chorus of; ‘with lines such as; ‘I want to run faster, before I die, follow the right rabbit, it’s the right way’. It also possesses a far more organized sense of progression than many of the other songs.
‘Houdini’ is a tense union of lounge and metal that actually works fairly well as far as fluidity goes, however the vocalists have difficulty maintaining the style it requires. Linea 77 have acted bravely by delving into such a diverse and fairly untried style of composing and writing. While it often falls short of working there are some very listenable songs on offer here. These songs have the power and creativity to not only inspire but also intermittently amaze.
This album is an exciting, confused, anti-masterpiece all rolled into one. When it works it is rewarding, when it doesn’t in songs like; ‘Alienation Is The New…’ it is dire. However it is a marked improvement from their sludgy second record – ‘Ketchup Suicide’. Linea 77 have finally discovered their own style but with it has come many flaws but also many triumphs.
Standout Tracks: ‘Fantasma’, ‘Third Moon’ & ‘66 (Diabolus In Musica)’.


Double Wide Double High
Double Wide Double High

3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Double Wide Double High (Audio CD)
I first heard Leisureworld on an alternative radio station a few months ago with their signature track ‘I’m Dead’ with its effects ridden bass and haunting guitars swimming amongst intelligently arranged lyrics. I then set about finding out all about them and inevitably tracking them down to get a copy of their debut to review as I was that intrigued.
Well I now have it and I must say it wasn’t exactly what I expected but I was pleased and surprised. This CD is full of explosive and haunting tongue in cheek rock with imaginative, effective instrumental use and wonderfully simplistic but extremely catchy lyrics delivered with a slight American drawl that adds that element of comic sleaze to the proceedings.
Tracks like ‘I’m Dead’ & ‘Sucker’ are instantly catchy gems that will impregnate your mind and burst out ‘Alien’ style, in a gush of blood and mumbled singing when you least expect it. This album is one of the best examples of driving music ever; forget those compilations of oldies you receive with your Sunday tabloid. This is the real thing. You could imagine being adorned with denim driving a beaten up old dodge pickup half way across America with a blood hound named ‘Duke with just this CD and never get so irritated as to consider flinging your slightly over weight dog from the open window.
This is chock full of larger than life riffs and a sense of humour that must be taken with a pinch of salt. Despite never wishing to push musical boundaries Leisureworld quite often create something rather special and despite some ‘balls out’ tracks with soaring effects and basslines there are some very sedate moments here that give this release a really mixed vibe. Songs like ‘Another Sad Song’ demonstrate their observational humour while still maintaining a swirling beauty that could almost be associated more with older ‘Feeder’. Even on the most sedate of songs the chorus never fails to explode on a flurry and sometimes fury or powerful, slightly unhinged vocals, most evident on ‘Pig’, with its viciously dark lyrics ‘There is something down inside, that makes you swallow all your pride, it just might be the time to ask, where’s my great big bag of cash’.
Leisureworld are a new artist that is extremely deserving of a lot of attention because they are genuinely taking a different approach with their style and writing and it has payed off on nearly every track of the album.
Standout Tracks: ‘I’m Dead’, ‘I Can’t Quit You’, ‘Sucker’ ‘Pig’ & ‘Another Sad Song’.


Got the Thirst
Got the Thirst

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Got the Thirst (Audio CD)
Self Financed & recorded & produced in one month: This is their first release from their recent three album signing to ‘Golf Records’. One of the most prestigious punk labels in the UK. News of this some months previous left me with high hopes for one of my favorite UK punk bands. When I received this I was not to be disappointed. They always had a unique style, I mean truly unique. So when you first listen to any of their CD’s it can be an exciting 40 minutes. This one was of course no exception. You never know what to expect. The next song could be fast paced and vibrant ska or a haunting reggae metal ballad. This is a band that can make the hairs on your arms stand on end in one breath and have you laughing and tapping your feet in the next.
These gentlemen have always been a rather underground outfit. Which has earned them a dedicated following. That said, it is time King Prawn got a chance to follow in the footsteps of ‘Less Than Jake’ and ‘Reel Big Fish’ not to mention other smaller ska bands like ‘Farse’ and ‘Capdown’. These bands are all good in their own right but in a potentially soon to be flooded genre King Prawn will be like a breath of fresh air is to an open window in an old people’s home.
One of the highlights of this album is the blatant ‘RATM’ riff thievery in the song ‘The Dominant View’ This is so ear grabbing for anyone familiar with the ‘RATM’ song ‘Bullet In Your Head’. They pull it off and make enough of a sound change to make it their own and most of all at home in the track.
Another interesting and amusing moment is the song ‘Smoke Some Shit’ lovingly dedicated to the use of marijuana and judging by the backing vocals in the chorus and outro the use of the aforementioned illegal substance by those of all ages. It is exciting that vocalists are still able to emulate so many different voices, frequencies and vocal rhythms.
It is hard to find any less positive elements to this album. There is such variety and flavor from all kinds of cultures, countries and styles of music. I would say that at some points the horn section can become a little unimaginative, especially if you own previous albums. The saving grace is that these brass moments are at times sparse so you may not even notice if you aren’t really looking for it.
King Prawn are one of the last true punk innovators, or perhaps they are yet to even try to. They are what ‘System of a Down’ were to 2001’s ‘Alt. Metal’ explosion, so far ahead of the competition that it was almost embarrassing. For the rest of the genre that is.
Standout Tracks: ‘Bring Down The House’, ‘The Dominant View’, ‘Smoke Some Shit’, ‘Raise The Banner’, ’Satan’s Folly’ & ‘Viva Devi’.


Punk Soul Brothers
Punk Soul Brothers
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £9.96

4.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Punk Soul Brothers (Audio CD)
This is UK punk band ‘Jesse James’ first major release and it is so amazingly promising it could have easily been from a band that has about 3 records out and has been touring for at least a couple of years. Now I am a big fan of this genre of music which allows me the luxury of knowing quite a bit about it. This again allows me the luxury of being able to say this is an excellent ‘debut’ album that should, in a fair world propel ‘Jesse James’ to the level of fame, bands such as ‘Reel Big Fish’ & ‘Less Than Jake’ have achieved.
I say this with the greatest possible respect for both of the aforementioned bands. ‘Punk Soul Brothers’ is a mix of ‘The Bouncing Souls’, ‘Reel Big Fish’, ‘Mango Groove’ and Some ‘Catch 22’ with an inkling of British humour.
These all work in harmony to make this album, fun, frenetic and entertaining. From the very first track it goes on a joy ride of craziness that only ends on the last beat of the final track. None of these songs were designed to be taken too seriously, if you have ever seen this band live you will know that they are all about having a good time and this record gives that impression off to the listener so well that it could almost be a live album, but with good production. Songs such as; ‘Elephants’ and ‘My Favourite shirt’ are glorious fresh snapshots of a great future for this outfit, and if they never obtain fame and fortune (this would be in it’s self a travesty) they will have a great time trying.
‘Shoes’ is the kind of track that you would get if you let ‘Guttermouth’ near a horn section in mating season. This is probably the best track on this album. It has already caught the public eye having claimed the prize of cheapest ever music video, that aired on ‘Kerrang T.V’ and received a warm welcome and made it comfortably in the ‘Kerrang’ Chart. As far as I can see and I have really been listening to this CD, there is not one dud of a track, if your skip button mysteriously falls off...never fear slip this into your stereo and you won’t miss it.
.


Overgrown Eden
Overgrown Eden
Offered by OnlineMusicFilmsGames
Price: £6.48

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Overgrown Eden (Audio CD)
It would be fair to say that ‘InMe’ took the UK by sheer surprise when it came to their landslide rise to fame after the incredible success of their first single ‘Underdose’, this catchy Alt. Rock song filled with elements of nu-metal and grunge fill the music TV channels and airwaves for months, soon to be joined by equally successful follow up single ‘Firefly’. Two more singles ‘Crushed Like Fruit’ & ‘Neptune’ would follow, not doing quite as well as their predecessor yet still keeping the dream alive for this teenage 3 piece from Essex.
This album’s strongest points are; of course the sheer quality of the writing, that far exceeds any expectations for a band this young and the wide ranging accessibility for listeners from all different genre fan groups and walks of life.
In a time where pain and angst are at an all time high, with bands like ‘Staind’ marketing it to death as you would a new bathroom cleaner. Taking this into account, ‘InMe’ could have died on their feet but there is something special about this album, a genuine feeling of hurt and a resounding indication that this is a band of wise young men. ‘I went to the aisle to marry your soul, to miss you that much’ & ‘Rust in my eyes from my corroded halo’ from ‘Firefly’ suggest a real dark experience, this is moving and torturous and at the same time insanely catchy.
I would say that the good tracks on this album are very good and the not so good tracks are very wearing and mediocore, yet still all in all; a creative masterpiece for such a young band. Songs such as ‘Underdose’ & ‘Newptune’ are full of pain and hope swimming amongst creative and advanced, haunting guitar and pounding rhythms. Whilst somgs like ‘Energy’ offer nothing more than anonymity amongst a selection of instantly classic tracks. The line in ‘Neptune’; ‘This is the way forward, you are the way backward’ shows a delightful glimmer of hope, rather than just a wearing series of doomed anthems.
‘Overgrown Eden’ is a wise and well written affair that is sure to aid you with those homicidal feelings of lost love and hurt. ‘InMe’ are far more than the sum of their years, all they need to do now is to create a follow up without the slumps that are just packed with the exceptionally memorable and creative masterpieces that much of ‘Overgrown Eden’ was.
Standout Tracks: ‘Underdose’, ‘Firefly’ & ‘Neptune’


Confession
Confession
Offered by westworld-
Price: £10.00

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Confession (Audio CD)
Ill Nino were always the more accessible alternative to Soulfly’s tribal metal onslaught. With their obvious Latin roots, dreadlocked hair and use of Spanish; Ill Nino managed to create a diverse and aggressive yet often spiritual atmosphere on their debut – ‘Revolution Revolución’. Their follow up; ‘Confession’ certainly delivers on some levels but often falls short of the mark.
Opener; ‘Te Amo…’ displays their patented mix of melodic sludgy choruses and stripping, aggressive verses. This track creates a very sonic kick start to the record with a huge sound that allows the vocalists talents to shine through – as does their first single; ‘How Can I Live?’ With its haunting intro reminiscent of Adema and soulful choruses interspersed with tribal percussion. This song is perhaps most representative of Ill Nino’s sound at this stage in their career.
It is in songs such as; ‘Unframed’ that they fail to make the leap over a bar they themselves set. With it’s unimaginative and slightly discordant chorus dragging down any good that the verse offers; like the displacement suction from a stricken ocean liner. The same unfortunately goes for the ferocious yet sorely limp effort that is; ‘Cleansing’. Thankfully the gentlemen come through on fine form with the haunting and powerful melodies of; ‘This Time’s For Real’. Such a fitting title as many of the songs that came before seemed like rehearsals for the big day. This track is the album’s true high point; with a very Latino bridge and fantastic timing and structure.
‘I loved you, your all that I wanted’ from ‘Numb’ shows Ill Nino’s hopelessly romantic side. The way this band swing between belligerent anger and soulful love is rewarding and often juxtaposed as the energetic build up of; ‘Lifeless…Life’ demonstrates well. ‘My inner voices are part of disease, because it’s pushing me to hurt you, but killing you is just killing me’ from the mournfully honest ‘Letting Go’. Despite its raging breakdown this remains a dark and despondent song.
Ill Nino have touched at greatness here in the forms of; ‘How Can I Live’, ‘This Time’s For Real’ & perhaps in some ways - the touching ‘All The Right Words’ as well. However there is nothing present to match the monstrously diverse and catchy; ‘What Comes Around’ from their debut effort. ‘Confession’ is a hit & miss affair with some great songs that are unfortunately too smothered by tracks lacking in imagination and creativity to allow the great ones to excel. Much the same effect could be achieved if you placed 2-3 bright, intelligent students in a class populated by dull, lifeless and uncreative students. Spend long enough in their company and you start to become one of them.
Standout Tracks: ‘How Can I Live’, ‘This Time’s For Real’ & All The Right Words’.


Caution
Caution
Offered by Books2anywhereUS
Price: £5.58

3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Caution (Audio CD)
Now nearly everyone who likes punk has heard of hot water music, but I’d warrant only about half of them have actually heard them. Now this was never an issue before 2001 saw the release of a ‘flight & A Crash’, the album that brought them into the press and public spotlight. Now what it did do was to bring them recognition, unfortunately this only went as far as a worldwide Chinese whisper, that stated, ‘HWM’ are hot property. That was all.
Now 2002 sees the release of ‘Caution’, now this album should ride happily in the wake of the critical acclaim they received for their previous release. Today though, we are going to look at it for it’s own merits. These are actually quite wide ranging. This release boasts high production values and a much tighter arrangement in terms of track selection and the tracks themselves. This record is all about tight melodic hardcore and it achieves this memorably. People who hear this album may well draw comparisons to ‘Glassjaw’ but these would be fairly unfounded as ‘Caution’ maintains a good sound throughout with shimmering verses and boundless melodies.
Another good merit of this album is that I am finding it hard to compare it with other releases or artists, which surely must be a good thing. Now that we have established a sense of originality and style (uncommon in a hardcore record these days) then we need to look deeper.
The deeper you look the flaw you expect to find doesn’t exist. The singing is customary, he doesn’t really have a voice that stands out but it is suitable and works well with this music. The lyrics are probably the most fascinating part, they are very varied and you will find yourself listening intently to what is being conveyed. ‘HWM’ are probably a more mature ‘Jimmy Eat World’ with a hardcore background. One of the most incendiary aspects of this record is the way the music is light or a sonic barrage at exactly the appropriate moments for each and every song. This must indeed be a difficult task and you can tell that a lot of care and attention to detail went into the entire process of creating this record.
This band have been around since early 1997 and have been constantly improving, I recommend that fans of ‘Glassjaw’ desert the sinking ship and board the S.S. ‘HWM’ for carefree and intelligent sailing for years to come. This is a must for all hardcore fans.
Standout Tracks: ‘Trusty Chords’, ‘The Sense’ & ‘Not For Anyone’.


Hot Action Cop
Hot Action Cop
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.ney, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Hot Action Cop (Audio CD)
Hot Action Cop burst onto the airwaves and TV screens this spring with their frat boy funk metal ode to all the little hotties out there and what they do to the mind of your average male. If this song was a STD then it would be syphilis or herpes because once you hear it you have it for life. With its memorable and catchy lyrics and sing along ‘oooh hey hey hey, hey hey’ chorus. There will be detractors, for obvious reasons. However I think there is nothing better than a testosterone fuelled summer anthem like this.
Their debut album is a very mixed affair offering everything from funk injected metal in ‘Doom Boom’ to almost chart topping R n’ B in ‘Alayal’. What you have to try and get your head around is; some of the songs they have created are very well crafted and catchy. Whereas some are trying a little too hard to be hip and end up sounding a tad stretched, this is most notable in; ‘Club Slut’ with it’s sludgy unmelodic chorus and break down. They follow a similar formula throughout of funky, rapped verses a little similar to ‘Zebrahead’, ‘RHCP’ or ‘Limp Bizkit’ and then break into alternative rock and metal for the choruses and bridges.
They often come across as possessing a good humorous writing ability, well more so than the latter two examples. There are also some quite intelligent moments of social commentary; ‘Busted’ demonstrates their softer side as they examine what influences that most complicated of mammals; humans. ‘Murder is a game on a PC screen’ & ‘This chick is trying to pay for her things, swinging from a pole with a nipple ring’. Both are actually rather profound statements. This may all be in layman’s terms but sometimes the more everyday style used, the better. A definite high point and I’ll say this: When I am possibly done with the rest of the album this is always a song that will keep me coming back.
Songs like; ‘Goin’ Down On It’ are very similar to a lot of tracks from the H-Bloxx 2000 release ‘Get In The Ring’ with a catchy as hell mix of big riffs, funky guitar flurries and sexually orientated lyrics, definitely one for the guys to sit around listening to in sweaty little bedrooms looking at pictures of Jenna Jameson. If dumb stuff funk metal is your thing then this would be a welcome addition to your collection. There is even a little bit of a reggae influence in ‘Show Her’ that comes in the form of a chilled out mid album intermission with a high standard of musical arrangement and yet another of those sing along choruses.
Overall I would say that this is a worthwhile album and it even has some very accomplished moments on it, especially in the form of ‘Busted’ but is let down by a poor ending and bad arrangement, this is a front heavy record. That aside though if you are capable of overlooking or even enjoying some of the more misplaced and chilled out R n’ B moments; then you will enjoy Hot Action Cop’s debut.
Standout Tracks: ‘Goin' Down On It’, ‘Fever For The Flava’, ‘Busted’ & ‘Show Her’.


Twelve Shots On The Rock
Twelve Shots On The Rock
Offered by USA MEDIA
Price: £14.98

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
Hanoi Rocks are legendary. Fortune has smiled upon us all because of a fortunate meeting and jam between the singer and guitarist in late 2001. This led of course to the creation and release of this, their most recent album. I had never heard much of Hanoi Rocks, only hearing their name mentioned or whispered in appreciation by modern day stars like Marko 72 from Sugarcult. The term legendary came up more often and not and after checking out their back catalogue and listening to the sleazy and wonderful power that is harnessed on this album I had to wholeheartedly agree!
I myself am a big fan of bands like the ‘Backyard Babies’ and it is certainly thanks to Hanoi Rocks that they exist and of course write fantastic songs. Hanoi Rocks’ frontman Michael Monroe is as big in Finland as Ozzy Osbourne is in America and with good reason. So without further ado let’s see what the first Hanoi Rocks studio album for 19 years has to offer.
From the first track; ‘Obscured’ this album brims with powerful, sleazy and larger than life sleazy rock anthems. ‘New York City’ reminds you of where Metallica first started getting their ideas for riff structure and vocal style. That is before they bastardized it into the unceremonious drudgery we know today. ‘Delerious’ is fantastic fast paced 80’s rock that will make you reach for your ‘free perm voucher’ before you even realize what you are doing.’ Lines like; ‘No one in the world likes me, no one gets it right with me, no one knows what I’m about, that’s why I just scream and shout’. That is real angst and alienation without all the moaning. They just embrace and enjoy it.
The new UK single; ‘A Day Late And A Dollar Short’ is a beautiful and catchy as hell stadium rock anthem while it pumps with power it proves to be very beautiful and melodic. The verses remind me of an upbeat version of Bad Religion’s – ‘Sorrow’. Its nature is positive and self critical. It is good to experience such positivity in these dark months and to hear it from such veterans of one of the most flamboyant genres is marvelous.
‘People Like Me’ is a bouncy gutter rock song that implodes into a disappointing chorus. This is a shame as one of their trade mark elements is a very strong chorus. So when the verse outweighs the supposedly high point of the song it is a shame. The fact of the matter is that Hanoi Rocks are so good at creating these powerhouse verses that to top them occasionally proves impossible. The wonderfully ‘Bluesy’ and harmonica laden; ‘Gypsy Boots’ is one of the real standout tracks to be found here and a definite exception to their occasional lack luster choruses.
With its final song; ‘Designs On You’ with it’s brass and country style light acoustic sound is the perfect final track. With that the album suitably draws to a close leaving you wanting more of their rampant and rewardingly sincere rock. Hanoi first imploded in 1985 after the loss of their drummer ‘Razzle’ in a car accident where the Vince Neil singer of ‘Motley Crue’ was convicted of ‘Vehicular Manslaughter’. This tragedy led to a massive burn out that left them split and pursuing solo projects in the years that followed. Thankfully they are regrouped, re-moralized and back stronger than ever. This is a fantastic album that is not only extremely retro but un-deniably modern and sonic in its abilities and refinements.
Standout Tracks: ‘Obscured’, ‘Delerious’ & ’Gypsy Boots’.


Scholarship in Punk
Scholarship in Punk

3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 13 Feb 2004
This review is from: Scholarship in Punk (Audio CD)
This single features one of the better songs from their 2002 release ‘Gusto’. The album it self was a disappointment, yet it still managed to throw a good few gems in the listeners direction. The title track is bouncy and entertaining with a simple but catchy hook, normally associated with this band.
There is nothing really new here, but what is here is an entertaining and fun guitar laden punk gem that will hopefully gain a few more fans for this vastly underrated punk outfit.
It also features some favorable extras such two amusing but seemingly roughly recorded live tracks, and an accompanying video for the single. Luckily these aforementioned offerings are two of their best songs to date.
Support a worthy cause and buy this single, everyone should have a Guttermouth CD in their collection.
Standout Tracks: ‘Scholarship In Punk’ & ‘Chug-a-lug Night’.


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