REVIEWS March 2003



ALLGENTLE -- Silly Teats And Little Apples (CD / My Favourite Toy Records)

Allgentle started in November 2001, and some of you might know their singer Jelena, because she's a VJ at German music television VIVA and got a lot of tattoos, too. Formed as a side project of the band Jane, two members of this Hardcore outfit decided they wanted to do some band besides Jane with a more melodic sound. That's when they hooked up with a drummer and Jelena and releases a four song demo afterwards. Now another seven songs got caught on tape and pressed on CD, these being the ones you can find on "Silly teats and little apples" which is released through My Favourite Toy records. In comparison to Jane, the music is totally different, a lot more melodic and stuff. How about some powerpop with vocals that are very close to those of Gwen Stefani from No Doubt (well, apart from the vocals the music can't be compared to No Doubt)? I wonder how Jelena can keep so cool when she has to present some stupid videos on VIVA considering the music this band is doing here.



AND NONE OF THEM KNEW THEY WERE ROBOTS -- Victory As A Drug (CD EP / Jealous Records)

UK based four piece And None Of Them Knew They Were Robots emerged from the crypts in Leeds in late 2000 and shared the stage with bands such as Les Savy Fav, Cave In, Dismemberment Plan etc. in the following months. In 2001 The Robots released their self titled debut album on PigDog Records, while in 2002 they put out an EP on In At The Deep End  Records, apparently containing more faster punk songs than before. Now it's 2003 and The Robots are back with another EP entitled "Victory as a drug", this time on Jealous Records who brought us the excellent Pylon EP a couple of time before. This latest output presents four new songs and one hidden track. The opening title track is a straight forward emotional punk anthem in the vein of bands like Hey Mercedes or Samiam while the following songs are a bit more complex yet still melodic and powerful. Maybe you could compare them to Braid or, I am repeating myself, Samiam, especially when it comes to the vocals. Friends of those bands should give this EP a try, anyone else too.



ANTENNA -- On The Endless Waves (CD / My Favourite Toy Records)

I read in another review for Antenna that the voice of the singer would resemble the one of David Bowie. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Sorry, but that's not true. In fact, the voice of Tom Ashforth sounds exactly like the one of Morrissey, the former frontman of the Smiths and later famous solo artist. No kidding, I threw this CD in my player and after the vocals set in, I looked confused at the booklet who the hell's responsible for the vocals. And no, it's not Morrissey but Tom Ashforth. After having listened to "On the endless waves" I listened to the some Smiths and some Morrissey and was happy. Then I listened again to Antenna's second EP and was still happy. I think if the Smiths were still around they'd sound like Antenna. Perhaps Antenna are a little less pop than The Smiths, but that's just because of the distorted guitars, because the melodies are fantastic and, yes, pop. Is it guitar influenced pop or pop influenced rock? I don't know, it's amazing, that's all. As I said, "On the endless waves" is the second EP from these guys who come from Germany and England. The first CD "Scandinavian seaways" was done in late 2000, and the band's currently working on new tracks. Do I have to tell you that I can't wait for these songs to be released? I don't think so. Honestly, I received a lot of cool records this month, but "On the endless waves" is one of my favourites. Great stuff!



THE APERS --The Buzz Electric (CD / Stardumb Records)

"The buzz electric" is the second album by this Dutch pop-punk-rock'n'roll outfit. I don't know the debut which came out on Stardumb Records as well, but this one here is pretty cool. Listening to the 12 songs I can almost see those guys rocking their asses off on stage and the audience going crazy to the sound which is not unlike Screeching Weasel. Over the last three years The Apers have toured Europe three times and in the near future they're heading over to the US to do a tour with their labelmates The Groovie Ghoulies to support them. The music's high energy melodic pop punk delivered in a really great way and now as days are getting longer again and the sun is shining almost constantly "The buzz electric" is the right soundtrack for this year's spring. But hey guys, don't be so mean to Emo kids (check out the lyrics to "Too many backpacks at a show"), they don't deserve it ;-)



BENTON FALLS -- Guilt Beats Hate (CD / Deep Elm Records)

After their 2001 debut on Deep Elm, Benton Falls from Santa Rosa, California, come up with their second album, once again on Deep Elm. The music hasn't changed much, it just became tighter and better than before. Indie rock with both melodic and screaming vocals is what Benton Falls are doing, and they do it pretty good. The songs are very varied, lots of time changes, lots of dynamics and lots of melodies. You're about to witness intimate parts as well as furious ones. Unlike most of Deep Elm's releases, "Guilt beats hate" was not produced by Ed Rose, but by Matt Bayles (Rocky Votolato, Botch, Murder City Devils) in June 2002 at Avast Recording in Seattle. But still the same is the great layout that can be found with almost all Deep Elm releases. Fans of the label's sound can buy this album without hesitating.



BROKEN DOWN -- Dressed Like Autumn (CD / Gernhart Records)

I don't know, but this month is really special when it comes to the releases I received. I can't remember a month when I got so many great records. Broken Down's "Dressed like autumn" also makes it to this month's faves. Considering the cover artwork and the title of the record I expected emo, but after the first few seconds I was proven wrong. Powerful Hardcore, combining both old school and new school elements. Sometimes reminds me to a mixture of Where Fear And Weapons Meet (the vocals, not so much the music), Shai Hulud and Pole* (the moshing parts). High energy music from another great band from Germany, and a production that suits the music perfectly. You can also find some experiments like female vocals and some strings, but not in a way that you have the feeling it's too much. Broken Down released a two song CD (or was it a 7"?) and another six song EP before, and I'm pretty curious how these recordings sound like considering the six tracks on "Dressed like autumn" are excellent. Oh, and a band that takes the intro for song no.2 from one of my favourite movies ever, this being David Lynch's (he rules, ok?!) "Mulholland Drive" can't be anything else that cool, right?



BUCK -- Hello Holland (CD / Kasual Recordings / Puresome Productions)

"Hello Holland" is the second album by Buck from Gothenburg, Sweden, but the funny thing about the ten songs on this release is that most of them were written before their debut "Your guide to better lies". I don't know the reason why the four Swedes skipped these songs in the first place, but luckily they didn't forget them and let people hear them. It would have been a real pity if these tracks wouldn't have seen the light of day as they are too good to be forgotten. Imagine a mixture of lo-fi indierock bands such as Sonic Youth and more pop slanting acts just as Weezer and you have a slight impression how Buck sound like. Especially the keyboards they use in their songs are really great, not too over-ambitious but simply the right dose. Just listen to the end of the second track "Killing Tamara in a sound world" and you'll know what I mean. The cover artwork and the design of the booklet are also very nice as both depict some robot scenery. Hello Holland? Hello Buck!



COSTA'S CAKE HOUSE -- 555 (CD / Firefly Companies)

Don't be fooled by the name of this German band that might make you expect a different type of music instead of the furious and brutal metalcore CCH present on "555". Everyone into this kind of sound can stop reading this review NOW and buy this album right away, because it's really really cool. After a demo, a split 7", a split MCD as well as two MCDs (the latest one from 2002 called "Lighting up the nightsky" must have gotten your attention as it came as a 3" in a great DVD case) CCH from my hometown Karlsruhe come up with their first full length which is a huge step forward. I already liked "Lighting up the nightsky" a lot, but "555" is another big improvement. Their sound got more straight compared to their older songs, and I think this development suits them very well. CCH aren't just another metalcore unit but quite unique, because apart from the fact that they have two bass players the lyrics are both in English as well as in German. But hey, their singer screams and growls in a way you won't hear any difference, hehe. Another good thing about this release is that the lyrics are printed both in English and in German, because CCH have something to say and want people to know that. The songs are not just full speed ahead or moshing all the time, there are also some very interesting instrumental and more quiet parts with acoustic guitars and a flute. As I said, it's not just one of those typical metalcore albums that you get to hear a lot these days but really worth your attention.



DEAD SILENT DAYS VS. THE WHOLE NINE YARDS -- Split (CD EP / Puresome Productions)

Swedish based label Puresome Productions presents a split EP featuring two bands from... guess what... Sweden. There are two songs by each band on this EP, and Dead Silent Days from Gävle are kicking this CD off. They play nice indierock that sometimes reminds me to their fellow country mates Serene and I think that people who like the Deep Elm stuff will like Dead Silent Days, too. The Whole Nine Yards are next, and the first thing that came to my mind when I heard their songs was the production that is really not the best. I'm not saying it's dumb or bad or anything, it just could have been a lot more powerful. That's very sad because the songs by The Whole Nine Yards are really good, also indierock, but this time from Gothenburg and with some screams intermingling with the melodic vocals. Indie fans should take a listen and rock along.



DEAR DIARY -- Laughing Ends Like This (CD / Bastardized Recordings)

The first time I heard from Germany based four piece Dear Diary was in 2001 when a song from these guys was featured on Deep Elm's "Emo Diaries Chapter 6". This song was called "This year's first snow" and the title and the music was totally emo. In December 2001 My Favourite Toy Records released an EP from Dear Diary called "No. 5 EP" which was cool. In the following months there was rumour that Dear Diary were to release an EP or a split EP on Deep Elm Records, but that never came true. I wonder why, because Dear Diary would fit on Deep Elm quite good. Anyway, not the first full length is out on Bastardized Recordings and it's the best release by the boys so far. When I looked at the cover artwork (great one and great layout by the way) I felt reminded to Hot Water Music a bit, that musically Dear Diary are quite different from the Gainesville dudes even though both bands play emotional music. But while Hot Water Music are more rough, Dear Diary are more into the melodic way of a style called emo. Call it emo, indie rock, whatever, the 11 songs on "Laughing ends like this" are really strong. I think Dear Diary became more straight with this record compared to their previous stuff, and for me that's the best thing they could do. Recorded in the early days of 2003, "Laughing ends like this" has a great production and should appeal to all fans of bands like Sensefield or Sunny Day Real Estate. Stop reading now, check them out.



DEHUMANIZE -- Animi Motus (CD EP / Firefly Companies)

What a sick record! The first of the six songs (playing time is 28 minutes) starts off with some really disturbing sounds that would be a good soundtrack for a horror movie. After some 7"s and another MCD, "Animi Motus" is the latest release from Dehumanize from Italy. The first thing to notice is the nice layout of the EP. The band was already formed in 1994 and I bet these guys have records from bands as Neurosis or His Hero is Gone in their collection. Dehumanize manage to write songs with chaotic blasting next to quiet melodies. It's definitely no easy listening stuff, but powerful as hell. Fans of the aforementioned acts should check this EP out and get blown away. I can't say that "Animi Motus" is one of my favourite records, but it's definitely intense.



DOLLHOUSE -- s/t (7" / Puresome Records)

Let me tell you a little story: When I was a lot younger and still going to school I was glad when it was over. That was in 1994. After I had finished school I worked with old people for 15 months before I went studying at a university. One thing why I didn't like school in the last years was that there was hardly anybody listening to the same kind of music I loved. People were rather listening to crap like 70s hard rock and one of the most horrible bands ever: Led Zeppelin. Funny, we were living in the mid 90s and those guys still listened to some hippie shit. And Led Zeppelin definitely were the worst. But the people I was going to school with loved them. They talked shit, smoked pot and later went to the university to study art. There's one word for these people: Losers. I hated them and I hated the music they liked. There's a line from a 7 Seconds song that reminds me to them: "You finish college, grab a wife, you're dead before your thirty-five". Nine years later I find this 7" in my mail (limited and numbered to 500 copies in red vinyl) and you might have guessed how Dollhouse sound like. Yeah, right, it's Led Zeppelin to the max. Not even some Hellacopter's like songs, but pure 70s rock. Sorry, but I still can't stand this kind of music, because "I'm gonna stay young until I die".



ESTRICH BOY -- Frameworks (CD / Redfield Records)

Five songs can be found on the latest EP by Germany's Estrich Boy after two demo CDs (1999 and 2000) and they leave you wanting more. Fortunately a full length is scheduled later this year, and until this one comes out, take a listen to the "Framework" EP. Overall the sound is melodic and driving, but you can also find some complex elements in the songs. But not complex in a way that it destroys the song. I read in the info that came along with the CD that Estrich Boy could be compared to bands like Saves the Day at times, and listening to "Saving the end of summer" I'd say this is not too far fetched, even though the mighty vocals from Chris Conley (Saves the Day) can't be beaten. Did I tell you that the song "Rocks tonic juice magic" from Saves the Day was the song of the years 2000 for me, because I listened to that track over and over again when I drove to the girl I fell in love with and didn't know what she thought about me? But that doesn't belong here I guess. Well, maybe you can listen to "Frameworks" this year when driving to someone you love? Wouldn't be the worst soundtrack you could choose I'd say.



FACE THE FACT -- The Safe Place (CD EP / Firefly Companies)

"The safe place" is already a bit older, but it music by these Italian five piece is too good to be forgotten. Six songs mixing hardcore and metal, imagine Strife, Zao and In Flames doing a record together. As I like Strife and Zao (honestly I don't care about In Flames that much) this EP appeals to me, too. Founded in the year 2000, Face the Fact were pretty much influenced by bands like Path of Resistance, Hatebreed or Madball in their early days. You can hear these influences on their self titled 7" that came out in the same years. After some line up changes the music changed as well, as more and more metal elements found their way into the songs. The songs vary from mosh parts to fast stuff and also some melodies can be found. I can't wait to see them on their European tour this March, and you should go check them and this EP out, too.



FALLING CYCLE -- The Conflict (CD / Guideline Records)

Did I mention before that I love Carl Orff? Now if you know this you can imagine how I felt when I heard the intro to "The conflict" by Falling Cycle which is a piece from this brilliant composer. The other 11 tracks were all written by Falling Cycle, and there's just one word to describe them: Strong! After listening to this debut record (!!!) I was no longer wondering that "The conflict" is the top seller of the band's American label Facedown Records. Totally Scandinavian Metal influenced Hardcore in the vein of bands as Darkest Hour, Zao or In Flames. I don't care much about In Flames, but Darkest Hour rock for sure and so do Falling Cycle. This record is a must for everyone into this sound and another proof that you miss a lot of great music if you don't want to listen to bands with Christian lyrics. That's right, Falling Cycle have a Christian message in their songs, and that's just fine with me. If you don't like this attitude, you don't have to read the lyrics. But what you should do is check out this album or you'll truly miss a materpiece.



FROM US -- The Hard World (CD / Fat Sound Records)

From the Eastern part of Germany From Us come up with their first long player on Fatsound  Records, a cooperation between punk/hardcore bands located in the same area. Formed in 1997 From Us describe themselves as melodic pop punk. Fortunately they don't play this high speed melodycore like thousands of bands before them, because apart from some of the original acts in this genre I don't give too much about that kind of music anymore. Right, there are some faster parts on "The hard world", but the majority of songs is played in mid tempo. Sometimes they remind me to the mid tempo songs of No Use For A Name. Well, it's not the kind of stuff I listen to regularly, but it's an okay release I think. Catch them on their tour this March. By the way, pretty cool booklet.



THE METHADONES -- Career Objective (CD / Stardumb Records)

I'm pretty sure all of you know Screeching Weasel, right? Well, Dan Schafer (a.k.a. Dan Vapid) from Screeching Weasel, Riverdales, Queers, etc.) plays guitar and sings for The Methadones, and his three companions aren't youngsters either. Mike Byrne (guitar) plays in the Vindictives, Matt Drastic (Drums) is known for his appearance in the Queers and the Teen Idols, and Sensitive Pete (bass)... well, he drives the van. Now after all this name dropping I'm sure you know what to expect from the band's second full length "Career objective" (produced by Mass Giorgini). Usually this punk'n'roll stuff bores me pretty soon, but The Methadones rule! Maybe that's because they're no average punkrock band, but know how to write dynamic, powerful and catchy pop songs. As The Wolf in Pulp Fiction used to say: "So pretty please, with sugar on top, get this album."



MOTION COMING TO REST -- Wussrock (7" / Puresome Productions)

Apparently the single members of Motion Coming To Rest from Sweden are a bit surprised concerning the release of this 7" because it was actually recorded two and a half years ago, should have come out a year ago but got cancelled back then. Vrey confusing, isn't it? The music of the four songs is in the vein of indierock with female vocals and some noisy parts. The band considers the sound as pretty crappy and says that all of them have been in tighter and more skilled bands afterwards, so I don't know if this band still is around. But why not checking out their website, maybe you can find it out there. Oh, back to the sound: Indeed the production could be more powerful, but for a 7" packed with indie music it's ok. But what the heck is Wussrock?!



NORTH OF AMERICA -- Brothers, Sisters (CD / Rewika Records)

Maybe I'm not clever enough, but I wasn't able to find the cover for the latest output of North of America, not on the website of Rewika (the band's label) and not on the website of the band (that I didn't find at all). So I'm sorry that I can't show you the cover for "Brothers, sisters" from North of America. Hey, guess where the band's coming from! You don't know? Well, just look at their name then. No, you fool, they're not from Alaska, but Canada!! And they're pretty good, too. In the past North of America were always a little bit too complex and mathy for me ("This is dance floor numerology"). Now don't expect that the Halifax based four piece are playing melodic pop punk on "Brothers, sisters", I just think that their sound became more straight and therefore more interesting for me. You can clearly hear that on the first track of this CD "Keep it on the download" that should appeal to both old and new fans of the Canadian outfit. Maybe their new bass player Jim MacAlpine was responsible for the more rocking sound. If so, thanks Jim! 11 songs can be found on "Brothers, sisters" and they were recorded by Michael Catano from North of America himself. What are you waiting for? Check them out!



ON WHEN READY -- Try Harder (CD / Redfield Records)

I'm pretty sure all of you know that there are lots of great bands coming from Germany these days. Lots of those bands play the type of music that can be described as emo or indie or melancholic alternative rock or whatever. Lots of those bands release their albums on Germany's Redfield Records. I'm thinking of great bands as Summer's Last Regret, That Very Time I Saw..., And The Winner Is and now On When Ready. "Try harder" is the debut of the five guys on Redfield Records after some CDs they put out on their own. And like their label mates, On When Ready rock! Founded in 1998 this is the first piece of music I get to hear from them and I like it a lot. As I said earlier in this reviews, the music can be described as melancholic rock with great melodies and emotions. Friends of bands like Gameface or Samiam should check them out. "Try harder" was recorded in various sessions during the summer of 2002 and I dare say it could be on a compilation tape for this year's summer. Good songwriting, lyrics that deal with problems in a relationship etc., what do you want more? Get this.



OPPOSITION OF ONE -- I Try To Understand This (CD EP / DIY)

This young four piece from Ludwigsburg, Germany, presents with "I try to understand this" their first five song EP which is distributed by Guideline Records who also do the promotion for them after they saw Opposition of One supporting Figure Four on their tour last summer. For a DIY release this CD has a fantastic layout and artwork, and also the sound is cool. I saw them once supporting Brandtson, but don't expect anything emo-like here. The five songs are in the vein of bands like Turmoil or Strain, most of the time mid tempo and with mosh parts. A full length album is scheduled for 2003, and all in all this EP is not overwhelming or outstanding, but a pretty good point to start from.



POINT OF RECOGNITION -- Day Of Defeat (CD / Guideline Records)

How tough can tough guy Hardcore get? Here's the answer. Hatebreed's latest full length "Perseverance" is probably the best tough guy Hardcore album ever, and anyone into this sound should check out Point of Recognition from South California. I mean a look at the band photos say it all, fat dudes with football or hockey shirts don't play emo, right? The vocals sometimes remind me to those of L.G. from Entombed on the latest Entombed records. But there's one thing that sets Point of Recognition apart from all other tough guy bands, and that's the lyrics. They have a Christian message, and you can also see that religious attitude in the cover artwork (which was done by Dave Quiggle, who worked for Comin' Correct, No Innocent Victim or Figure Four in the past) and the thanks list. Now somehow I have the feeling that a lot of people stay away from bands with a Christian attitude, but honestly I don't know why. What's so bad about Christian lyrics? I mean I also listen to Death Metal bands with a satanic attitude and I don't bother either. So get yourself together and check Point of Recognition out. Produced by Tim Mason (No Innocent Victim), "Day of defeat" features 11 songs of pure violence and mosh, and on "Holding on by a thread" you can hear Andrew Neufeld from Figure Four doing backing vocals. get in the pit and rip this fuckin' place apart.



ROB & THE PINHOLE STARS -- Greyskysmile (CD / Mi Amante Records)

Artist like Kristofer Aström or especially the former Further Seems Forever singer Chris Carraba and his outfit Dashboard Confessional (close to superstardom in the US) get a lot of attention these days as the "Quiet is the new loud" things seems to appeal to a lot of people. 22 year old Rob, his buddy Kai and a couple of guest musicians are also focusing on acoustic, quiet and beautiful melodies and they do it very good. The dominating factor on the ten tracks on "Greyskysmile" are acoustic guitars and quiet vocals, but what really makes these songs so special are the piano and keyboard parts as well as some electronic beats which fit perfectly to the songs. Even though there are no distorted guitars, drums and basses on this album, I'm sure everyone into bands like The Get Up Kids, Elliott or the Juliana Theory will like the songs, too. Needless to say that listeners of the aforementioned Dashboard Confessional can add this CD without a doubt to their collection. "Greyskysmile" is the right music when you're in love and lying in each other's arms as well as when you just broke up.



SUNDAY DRIVER -- A Letter To Bryson City (CD / Doghouse Records)

Now this is a great record! I was pretty excited about this release when I found it in my mail because Doghouse put out some great stuff in the past, so I expected another fine piece of music from the Ohio based label. What I didn't expect was such a great album as "A letter to Bryson City". It all starts with an intro that's made of the sound of a typewriter, but the 11 songs that follow are just amazing. Call it emo, call it alternative rock, call it hardcore, there's no description that could really come up to the sound of the four piece from Miami, Florida. What I can say about the songs is that they're melodic yet powerful, energetic yet calm at times. "Forever again" will be the first single and is a perfect example how Sunday Driver Sound like and what makes them so great. But honestly, there's no single weak track to be found on this album. Just skip to "Certain doom" which is very quiet with strings and a really beautiful melody and you'll know what I mean. If you listen to these songs you start wondering why Sunday Driver are not on heavy rotation on music television, because they're far above the rest of the bands shown there. "A letter to Bryson City" was literally recorded on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere (well, it was done somewhere in North Carolina to be precise) after the band had loaded all their equipment into a van, traveled to the mountains, lived in a cabin for a month and recorded the album in another cabin that was transformed into a temporarily recording studio. Amazing if you consider how good the sound of the record is. Let's sum it up to this: While Eleventeen's record was my favourite album last month, Sunday River win this month's contest.



THE SEVENTH SEAL -- Demo 2003 (+ Demo 2000)

It's pretty cool for me to listen to some Death Metal demos again. You know, in the early 90s I was really into the whole tapetrading thing, and I still love the bands I grew up with from that era (Nihilist/Entombed, Carnage, Nirvana 2002, Malevolent Creation, Dr. Shrinker, Pestilence etc. etc.). The Seventh Seal from Germany sent me their two demos, one is the actual one (so I guess this means it's from 2003?) and the other one was recorded back in 2000. After having listened to these demos I think I prefer the first one. No, this is nothing like "The first rehearsal tape of the band was great and after that they sucked", I just think The Seventh Seal don't really know in which direction to go with their second demo. I mean the first of the three tracks is pretty much Death Metal with growls while the second one is more into the Black Metal vein. Or it that merely because of the dump and bad sound of the second track? I wonder what went wrong, the first one isn't that well produced, too, but song number 2 sounds like some old Darkthrone rehearsals. Maybe that's what they wanted to do, I think a more powerful sound would have been way better. Imagine a mixture of Death Metal, some Black Metal and Thrash and maybe you get a glimpse how the five dudes sound like. As I said, the five songs from the first demo are better in my eyes. Better production and one type of music: Thrash/Death Metal, mostly midtempo and with rough vocals. Some faster parts would have been nice I think, but for considering it's their first demo it's ok. If you're interested in them, check out their website



ULTIMATE FAKEBOOK -- Open Up And Say Awesome (CD / Floppy Cow Records)

Weezer fans, beware! Here's something for you. "Open up and say awesome" (what a great title) initially came out on - you guessed it - Initial Records and is licensed by Floppy Cow Records. Say a warm thanks you to those Swiss guys, because this American three piece rocks! I could have guessed where "Open up..." was recorded before looking at the booklet, because the sound of producer Ed Rose is really unique. He produced bands like the get Up Kids and almost all the latest Deep Elm releases, so you know the sound's cool. Speaking of the Get Up Kids: Matt and James from the this same band are featured here, James playing some keyboards and Matt delivering some of his unique vocals. But kids, that's not enough. Stephen Egerton from the mighty Descendents / ALL played a guitar solo on "Before you leave", but it's quite unspectacular. But back to the Weezer comparison: The green album by Weezer is really one of my favourite releases ever, and Ultimate Fakebook also have this college loser nerd attitude in some of their songs, and also the vocals remind me to those of Rivers Cuomo, but "Open up and say awesome" isn't just a mere copy of Weezer. In fact it's just cool poppy college rock with lots of hooks, melodies and power. Just listen to tracks like "Girl, here's another lie" or the aforementioned "Before you leave" and you know exactly what I mean. Live they're supported by a second guitarist, and speaking of live performances, Ultimate Fakebook played some dates on last year's Warped Tour and apart from that shared the stage with bands like MxPx, Good Charlotte, The get Up Kids or Further Seems Forever. Hey, why am I talking any longer, go ahead and get a dose of heartbreaking melodies.



UNBOUNDED -- Reviving (CD / Motorcity Entertainment)

"Reviving" is the third DIY release by this German band that was formed in 1998, and a record that contains a cover from Dan Harrow's "Don't break my heart" can't be that bad. Basically Unbounded's music is in the melodic emo vein and might appeal to friends of bands like Brandtson. The ten songs you can find here were recorded between December 2002 and February 2003, show some cool double vocals and even some faster parts ("Garden variety"). In the past the four guys in Unbounded played with bands such as Shelter, Bombshell Rocks, No Fun At All or the Beatsteaks. So much for the name dropping. What can I say more about this release? Hmm, not much that hasn't been said before. Not very original or anything, but nice music to listen to.



V/A -- Deep Elm Unreleased No. 2 (CD / Deep Elm Records)

As the title indicates, this is the second part of Deep Elm's label compilation that features all unreleased songs by current and former bands that put out records on the label from Charlotte, North Carolina, that definitely found its own style. You might wonder why there's another compilation coming out from Deep Elm, because there's the regular Emo Diaries series and another compilation is on the way entitled "Emo is evil, emo is awesome". Too many compilations one could say. But anyway, this compilation here is really interesting because all of the ten songs are exclusive to the "Unreleased" series and can't be found anywhere but here. So if you want to check out some rare stuff from bands/artists like The White Octave, Cross My Heart, The Appleseed Cast, Drive Til Morning, David Singer or Race Car Riot, this is the right way to do so.