BAD RELIGION – Broken (CD EP / Epitaph)With their latest album “The process of belief” my all-time faves Bad Religion released one of their best albums in many years and one of their best ones ever. Someday I’ll dedicate a whole part of this site to this band and their music, but until then here’s a brief review of the “Broken” single. On it you find the title track, the opener from “Process…” “Supersonic” and an unreleased song called “Shattered faith” that apparently can be found on the Japanese version of “Process…”. The last b-sides from Bad Religion that were really fantastic were “Leaders and followers” and “Mediocrity” from the “Stranger than fiction” single way back in 1994. All the other b-sides were basically either bad live versions of well known songs or crappy studio songs (just think about the horrible “Lose as directed” from the “New America” single). But “Shattered faith” is once again a real classic that fits perfectly to the other songs from “Process…” Fast, highly melodic and simply great. Oh, the video for “Sorrow” can be found on this EP, too, so all you real Bad religion fans out there, go buy this EP.
GALLERY – Universe (CD / Element Records)
Gallery from Germany appeared in the world of rock’n’roll as the first band from the Internet. Well, don’t get me wrong, this is not a virtual band or something, but some time ago internet users could decide which band should get a record deal or shoot a video or whatever. And Gallery were the winners of this competition. Before I received this album I only knew their cover version of a dance song by an Italian project (for which they did a video), and as I remember right I didn’t like this song. Well, now it’s time for their second album, and still Gallery can’t make me go crazy. Now don’t get me wrong, the sound is good, the music (rocking guitars along with synths and pop tunes) is quite good if you’re into this kind of music, it just doesn’t mean anything to me. But maybe it does for you, so feel free to take a listen.
GOVERNMENT ISSUE – Complete History Volume Two (CD / Dr. Strange Records)
I’m sure everyone of you knows Government Issue or at least has heard of this legendary band. Maybe not their bands, but countless bands that were influenced by this legendary band. As the title indicates, this is the second part of G.I.’s discography on Dr. Strange. While the first one showed the early days of G.I., this two CD set with 51 (!) tracks in total brings you the late days of the band with a more rocking sound compared to the Hardcore past. Included are the studio albums ‘You’ and ‘Crash’ as well as the ‘Finale’ live album plus two unreleased live tracks. Lots of pictures and informative liner notes by G.I. singer John “Stabb” Schroeder himself make this double CD worth your attention. Classic D.C. stuff comparable to Dag Nasty.
NORTH OF AMERICA – Elements Of An Incomplete Map Pt. II (CD / Rewika Records)
This is not a really new album by North of America but rather a compilation of older and hard to find songs. 20 songs in total, among them the entire ‘Elements of an incomplete map’ album that was previously released in Canada only along with the ‘Bayonet Point’ 7” and some compilation and demo tracks some of which could never be heard before. The sound of North of America is a wild mixture of indie rock, punk and math rock, which means that fans of bands like Fugazi might like this band, too. All of the songs on this CD were re-mastered and you’d better be fast to get this release as it is limited to 1,500 copies and has a nice layout. Good stuff!
PITCH BLACK – s/t (CD / Revelation)Kevin Cross, guitarist in Pitch Black used to be in the Nerve Agents, so maybe he’s the one responsible for Pitch Black’s appearance which is quite similar to the late Nerve Agents, in other words: Punk Rock with some kind of horror edge to it. Although you can find pictures of graveyards in the booklet (and a very nice cover art by Kevin Cross himself) I feel more reminded to the last Nerve Agents album “Days of the white owl” than to bands like The Misfits who have a similar horror touch. If I had to choose between the Nerve Agents and Pitch Black I would prefer the latter mentioned band, because the songs are more driving and powerful in my eyes. Paul Miner (courtesy of Death by Stereo) produced the album, and there are lots of nice keyboard horror effects and intros on it, so everyone into this kind of sound should check out Pitch Black.
SUMMER’S LAST REGRET – Understanding (CD EP / Redfield Records)
This is fuckin’ brilliant! Summer’s Last Regret come from Germany and play totally great… pop influenced hardcore, indie rock, emo core? I don’t know how to describe them, sometimes I feel reminded to Brandtson or the Donots (especially on the first song) and the second song could be by Hot Water Music as well. This five song EP is their first release on Redfield Records after a demo in 1999 and a DIY EP entitled “What if everything’s said and I still don’t feel alright” in 2000. I don’t know these two releases, but this EP is a must have, no doubt. Highly recommended!
THE SUNCHILD – There She Goes (CD EP / Redfield Records)
Like their labelmates Summer’s Last Regret (see above) The Sunchild also come from Germany. The sound of The Sunchild is more complex and a bit more in the vein of alternative rock I’d say, and for fans of this sound this 4 song EP with a playing time of over 15 minutes will be the right thing. I like it pretty much (just listen to the second track which is great) and you should support these young band(s).
UNIVERSAL SLAVE DRIVER – Undo (CD / Moving Magnet Records)
This is the first release of Moving Magnet Records. Band and label both come from Germany, but the lyrics of the band are written in English. And the music? Well, how to describe their sound? Guitar music I would say with the guitars tuned down. Or maybe hard indie rock. Or… whatever. Check them out for yourself and send me possible descriptions of their sound, hehe. I can’t listen to this kind of sound all the time, but when I’m in the mood for it, then it’s fine. The CD comes in a nice digipack and the production is cool, so why not taking a listen?