Reviews June 2004


Voice of Reason, c/o Stefan Muench, Dreihalde 15, 73527 Hussenhofen, Germany


A18 -- Dear Furious (CD / Victory Records)

What the hell! Yeah, alright, A18 features ex-members of Hardcore legends such as Outspoken (Mike Hartsfield, guitar) and Chorus of Disapproval (Isaac Golub, vocals) (and in the begiining of the band even some Insted members), but I didn't expect such a killer record!! If you wanna check out some really pissed off Hardcore (and I mean pissed off!), then take a listen to songs like "Fire in the hole" or "Stab you through the everything" and get blown away. Even though this is no Tough Guy Moshcore, "Dear furious" hits you right in the face and takes you off your legs. I'm glad A18 didn't do another full speed ahead old school record but rather a mid tempo inferno in 13 chapters. Quite original, brutal, and pissed off. Oh, I already said that? Well, maybe the rough brutality of the songs keeps me from having clear thoughts. Talking about clear minds: Even though the A18 guys are all known for their outspoken (hehe...) sXe attitude, you won't find the typical sXe lyrics on "Dear furious", but more angry lyrics. I just wonder how they do it live, because in the studio their drummer also played the bass. Hopefully I can find it out when these guys come over here to play some shows. Until then I think I keep on listening to some Hardcore the way it was meant to be. Great! (Stefan)



AGE OF RUIN -- The Tides Of Tragedy (CD / Alveran Records)

"The tides of tragedy" was produced by Ken Olden (Battery, Better than a 1000, Damnation AD, Worlds Collide, Face the Enemy), but - surprise, surprise - it's no old school Hardcore record. Instead, Age of Ruin from Washington D.C. are totally in the vein of bands like Darkest Hour which means you get MetalCore at its best with a huge Scandinavian influence. After one full length from 2000 and two EPs from 2002 and 2003, Age Of Ruin are back with full length number two that was - as I said - produced by Ken Olden who also turned the knobs for "The longest winters woes" EP (2003). The music reminds me of "So sedated, so secure" by Darkest Hour, in other words: Not pure Metal as on "Hidden hands of a sadist nation" but more Hardcore influences and mosh parts. A really excellent album featuring new vocalist Ben Swarn, formerly of Tribunal Records' Samadhi who does a cool job on "The tides of tragedy". Good stuff! (Stefan)




A PERFECT MURDER -- Unbroken (CD / Victory Records)

Aaarrgghh, if you're feeling pissed off, don't listen to "Possessed", the second track on "Unbroken" by A Perfect Murder because it might make you wanna punch in someone else's face! After their debut EP and the full length "Cease to suffer", "Unbroken" is the band's first effort on Victory Records and it's damn cool. Recorded at Trax East by Eric Rachel (Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Snapcase), "Unbroken" clearly shows that the roots of A Perfect Murder are both in Hardcore and Metal. Now don't expect (Death) Metal with Hardcore vocals but a mixture of bands like Throwdown, Black Sabbath riffs and Bay Area Thrash (see "Speak without faith"). Really cool stuff to find here. Seems like Karl Buechner (ex Earth Crisis, r.i.p.) thought the same as he contributed some vocals on "No truce". Fans of early Cro-Mags will love "Unbroken"! Check out A Perfect Murder on stage with Unearth and A Life Once Lost later this year. Killer! (Stefan)




ATREYU -- The Curse (CD / Victory Records)

I think it's really amazing that in times of massive music download a band like Atreyu sold over 120.000 copies of their album "Suicide notes and butterflies"! It's even more amazing when you take into consideration that this album wasn't released by a major label but by Victory Records. Ok, this label is not the smallest one around, but still no major label, right? Now Atreyu are back with their new record "The curse". The cover depicts a half naked good looking woman wearing lingerie combined with some visual effects that make her look like a vampire. And as I'm always into half naked women sporting underwear I immediately liked the album, haha. But even if it weren't for the cover you have to admit that Atreyu really recorded a damn fine album. After a short intro "Bleeding mascara" shows the typical trademarks of the band: Metal riffing, melodies, screaming and clean vocals which makes it a blend of Hardcore, Emo and Metal. And even though there are hundreds of bands around these days playing this kind of music it's quite obvious that Atreyu were one of the first bands performing this style, so why should they change ? The third song "Right side of the bed" is the first single from "The curse" and one of the highlights of the album, showing why Atreyu are so popular. The band will be appearing at this year's Ozzfest and believe me, they will be huge in the future! Both thumbs up for Atreyu. (Stefan)



BAD RELIGION -- The Empire Strikes First (CD / Epitaph Records)

If you're frequently visiting this site you might have recognized that I'm a big Bad Religion fan. I got into them in 1989 when "No control" came out and have been a fan ever since. Albums like "Suffer", "Against the grain" my all time fave one "No Control" really changed my life. In the mid 90s Bad Religion went through a strange phase, seeing Mr. Brett leave the band and the last album in the 90s that saw his participation, "Stranger than fiction" was the last great Bad Religion record for a long while. A couple of mediocre albums followed and 1998's effort "No substance" marked the absolute low point of the band. I honestly didn't expect much from Bad Religion anymore, but I was proven wrong when Mr. Brett returned to the group in 2002, Brooks Wackerman took over the drums, Bad Religion went back to Epitaph Records and the legendary Westbeach Studios, where classics like the early BR stuff were recorded, saw the rebirth of the band with the release of "The process of belief", one of the strongest Bad Religion albums ever. Two years later it's time for a new Bad Religion album called "The empire strikes first" and after listening to it for about ten times I have to admit it's a solid record, but it can't compete with "The process of belief" or reach the magic of the old albums (well, I farnkly didn't expect that). In my opinion you can divide "The empire strikes first" in two halves, the first comprising songs 1 to 6, the second songs 7 to 14. Now the first half is fantastic. All killer songs without exception. "Sinister rouge", "Social suicide", Atheist peace" and "All there is" are high speed songs in the true Bad Religion vein while the first single "Los Angeles is burning" is a mid tempo track with one of the best choruses these guys have come up with in years and a tip to the hat to their first record with the line "More a question than a curse, how could hell be any worse?". I really love these songs! The second half of the record can't quite compete with the first one, even though there are great songs among these tracks, too. "Let them eat war" and "God's love" are great mid tempo songs with magnificent choruses and tons of ooozin' aaaah's, while tracks like "The quickening" or "Live again" see the band play full speed again. But there are also mediocre tracks like "To the abyss", "Boot stamping on a human face forever" or the title track among those songs. That's why I think "The process of belief" is better, because all of the songs were killer. Another interesting thing is that even though the majority of the songs was once again written by Greg Graffin and Mr. Brett, "new" drummer Brooks Wackermann co-wrote three songs (same did Brian Baker) and "Beyond electric dreams" and "The quickening" was co-written by Chris Wollard from Hot Water Music! And another point that I have to mention is that the drumming of Brooks Wackerman is outstanding. I mean regarding the coolness Pete Finestone was my favourite drummer for BR, but Brooks is without a doubt the most skilled one. Forget the simple and boring drumming of Bobby Schayer that was nothing more than a bad joke on his last Bad Religion albums, Brooks Wackerman is great!! To sum it up: Any true Bad Religion fan who's into the early stuff and "The process of belief" will like "The empire strikes first" for sure, and I don't want to imagine how this album would have turned out without Mr. Brett... (Stefan)

Note: Meanwhile it's the fourth day since I received "The empire strikes back" and I'm totally into the record. I don't like "Boot stamping...", but the rest of the songs are killer. Just to let you know. (Stefan)



BLOOD FOR BLOOD -- Serenity (CD / I Scream Records)

The first time I heard from Blood for Blood was a contribution to a mountain bike video and I thought the song that could be heard from them was pretty cool. Now their latest full length called "Serenity" is out, but to call this nine song assault a full length is a bit of an exaggeration because the running time is only about 17 minutes! I can only hope that the record will be available for a low price. But to compensate the short duration of the record you can find an enhanced part to be played on your computer which features a "making of" the album, outtakes and demo versions of the album tracks. But let's go to the music that can be found on "Serenity": I guess not much has changed compared to "Outlaw anthems", Blood for Blood still play pissed of singalong Street-HateCore straight outta Boston with their typical "You can't bring me down" lyrics so I'm pretty sure everyone into their previous stuff will like "Serenity" as well. Fast parts that remind me to Sheer Terror (a self proclaimed huge influence for Blood for Blood) mix with White Trash Hardcore Rock'n'Roll and I guess if these guys come on tour this summer the pits are gonna burn! (Stefan)



CAITLYN -- Save Yourself (CD / My Favourite Toy Records)

One of this month's winners is "Save yourself", the nine song album by Swedish Indie Pop band Caitlyn. To call these songs "new" would be some kind of an exaggeration as they were all recorded over three years ago in May 2001. In the meantime Johanna Magnusson, handling the guitar and backing vocals in Caitlyn, left the band and the band somehow lost inspiration. During the next six months only few rehearsals took place and no new songs were written. But then they found a replacement for Johanna called Sebastian, worked on new songs which hopefully will make it on the new full length scheduled for this autumn and are planning to go on a European tour in July. Before that, "Save yourself" is being released in Germany through My Favourite Toy Records and boy, this record rocks! As I said, it's some kind of Indie Pop, but with lots of guts and heart and rocking as hell! Sometimes the straight parts remind me to Brandtson a bit, but Caitlyn are truly outstanding featuring both male and female vocals, energetic as well as quieter moments. "Save yourself" is a great record that none of you into Indie, Pop or melodic Emo should miss. With bands like Caitlyn on my iPod I can't wait for this year's summer! (Stefan)



CATTLE DECAPITATION – Humanure (CD / Metal Blade)

After Cannibal Corpse and Exhumed having trouble with their cover artworks in Germany it´s no wonder that the distributor is refusing to deliver “Humanure”. I won´t comment on that but I can say that I had to laugh when I saw it first. It seems like the cow itself is pretty surprised of what came out of its ass. In context with the lyrics - which aren´t less brutal than most lyrics in the Death/Grind genre - it even has a message. Okay, that message is not very subtle but at least there is one. Cattle Decapitation are “singing” about Animal Rights which may be the most surprising fact about them (at least it was for me) because that´s a very uncommon topic in a scene that´s always making up gore and splatter stories. Musically we get the full Death/Grind treatment that reminds me of what I´d call the “Relapse Records” style: Sick and everything but straight forward. For me it is almost impossible to listen to “Humanure” without taking a break every now and then because I´m just too weak for this kind of music. I like it straight and simple (yeah, maybe that´s lame…) but I´m sure that everyone into the Relapse releases will love “Humanure". (Tobi)



CHELSY -- Unfinished Smile (CD EP / My Favourite Toy Records)

Chelsy is a three piece founded in winter 2003 by ex members from Relief (who I remember having seen together with Reaching Forward and Absidia, quite an unusual package I guess) and Music is my Girlfriend (hm, seems like we have fans of Fastbreak among us) and "Unfinished smile" is already their second single. It comes out on My Favoutite Toy Records after the first one was released by Beniihana Records / True Romance Records. "Unfinished smile" contains only two songs, but these songs are great. Even though it seems to be the latest trend to do an all acoustic record (no wonder after the impressive success of Dashboard Confessional) Chelsy are anything but a lame and boring singer/songwriter group that easily puts you to sleep (no, I don't mean Dashboard Confessional because I like his/their songs). "Bad luck" reminds me a bit to Rumbleseat, the other band of Chris Wollard and Chuck Ragan from Hot Water Music, even though the vocals from Chelsy are way more melodic, hehe... There's this cool Country approach to the songs which I think is pretty interesting. Well, only two songs, but these two leave you wanting more. More!! (Stefan)



CLAIR DE LUNE -- Marionettes (CD / Deep Elm Records)

The last releases from Deep Elm have been mostly been by new signings like Fire Divine, Burns Out Bright, Lock and Key, and Sounds Like Violence (yeah!), and all these bands showed some kind of a new sound of Deep Elm: More rocking and energetic, and I like these bands and their records a lot. Now Clair de Lune from Minnesota come up with their debut album called "Marionettes". And even though these guys sound quite different than the aforementioned bands they can't be compared to the "old" Deep Elm bands either. Some similarities can be seen between Clair de Lune and Desert City Soundtrack as both bands have the piano as a full instrument besides guitars, drums, and bass. Elegiac and melancholic parts meet intriguing and light elements, flowing away in sound. Maybe that's the only way to describe this outstanding band. It's amazing "Marionettes" is their debut album, because most bands wouldn't succeed in recording such an album after years and years of trying. Awesome! (Stefan)



DEAD MAN WALKING -- Screaming Past Turns Into Silent Future (CD / Striving For Togetherness Records)

Dead Man Walking is one of the new bands on Striving For Togetherness Records and as "Screaming past..." is their debut release the connection between the band and their label is quite fitting as Striving For Togetherness is also some kind of new label even though it's one of Europe's oldest Hardcore labels. Sounds confusing? Well, then check out the interview with Markus SFT that should be up in the near future. Anyway, back to Dead Man Walking: These guys started out in summer 2003 and played in bands like Not Enough, Sincerity, In Our Hands and Rainbow Revenge before. After the release of their demo Striving For Togetherness got interested in them, signed them and in February 2004 they recorded their 7 song debut EP. The music's in the vein of bands like Give Up The Ghost/American Nightmare, Right Brigade etc. which means you get pissed off Hardcore with lots of anger and energy. And even though thousand of bands play this kind of sound these days (I wonder where all the Youth Crew Old School Hardcore bands have gone to? I mean can it be possible that all these bands disappeared after groups like Ten Yard Fight, In My Eyes or Hands Tied broke up? Szrange...) Dead Man Walking are cool. Of course they don't come up with something completely new that makes your jaws drop, but hey, this EP is a solid piece of angry Hardcore so it's alright for me. Give 'em a try. (Stefan)




Along with its "Emo Diaries" (R.I.P.) Deep Elm puts out another fine series which comprises EPs shared by three Deep Elm bands each time. The latest chapter features Sounds Like Violence, Desert City Soundtrack and Settlefish. Sounds Like Violence can be heard with one unreleased song which is as great as "The pistol" EP and this song alone is worth your attention. Settlefish contributed three songs, and Desert City Soundtrack two. All of the songs are previously unreleased, and as Sounds Like Violence and Desert City Soundtrack are one of my favourite bands on Deep Elm I like this split EP a lot. Settlefish are good, too, but I prefer the other two bands. Check them out and get everything, I repeat EVERYTHING from Sounds Like Violence. (Stefan)




DOWNSET. -- Universal (CD / Hawino Records)

Coming soon!





FACE TOMORROW -- The Closer You Get (CD / Reflections Records)

From out of nowhere comes a band from Holland, releases its second album and easily delivers one of the records of the year 2004. When I got this CD I thought "Oh, another band on Dutch label Reflections Records. As always nice layout and packaging, so let's see what the music is about". And I honestly can say that Face Tomorrow succeeded in fulfilling a very hard task, and that is to come up with something really unique and outstanding. I mean it's obvious that most bands these days - even the good and very good ones - find it hard to create something exceptional. In many cases that's not even a bad thing, as there are a couple of bands in one genre that can come up with good music, but in most cases there's one or two bands that manage to define a whole genre. Just think about Thrice and their melange of Hardcore, Emo and Metal riffs. Which brings us straight to Face Tomorrow: Despite their sound is totally different than the one of Thrice, both bands create something fresh and new. Maybe you could take bands like melodic Boy Sets Fire, Sensefield (the quiet parts) and Radiohead (if they would do good music, hehe), throw in some complex and progressive elements and a big dose of originality and you get Face Tomorrow. Comparisons are really hard to give as "The closer you get" is - I'm repeating myself - unique. "Sign up", the first single (and also a video) is in the vein of the latest Boy Sets Fire record, but the rest of the songs is a clever combination of melodic, straight songs combined with progressive and complex arrangements. But unlike many bands, Face Tomorrow make even the complex parts sound light and delicate. I think a big part in the band's development played the fact that they did over 250 live shows in the past two years together with bands like A.F.I. And like A.F.I. with their last record Face Tomorrow created something way beyond the boundaries of Hardcore with "The closer you get". Needless to say this is a must have. (Stefan)



FIRE IN THE ATTIC -- Decisions & Action (CD / Redfield Records)

I found it a bit sad when Summer's Last Regret split up because in my eyes they were one of Germany's finest Emo outfits and created some of the best songs in that genre. So I was very curious when I heard that Fire in the Attic would feature some members of Summer's Last Regret who got together with former members of Fastplant who also broke up in 2003. Now after only two months of groundwork the first effort by Fire in the Attic sees the light of the day, this being the five song EP "Decisions and actions". And these five songs make you forget the departure of their two previous bands pretty soon. The songs are highly melodic like Summer's Last Regret and Fastplant, yet still with a rougher edge to it. That's mainly because of the vocals which are both melodic and rough at times. I like this young band a lot and hopefully there will be more songs in the future. Everyone into the melodic Emo Punk MUST take a listen! (Stefan)



HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS -- The Silence In Black And White (CD / Victory Records)

Coming soon!





THE JUDAS CRADLE -- Too Bad They're All Dead (CD / Alveran Records)

June 17th not only sees the release of Age of Ruins album "The tides of tragedy" but also "Too bad they're all dead" from their label mates The Judas Cradle emerges from the crypts that day. Seeing the name of the band I was reminded to a band called the Judas Factor that put out some records on Revelation a few years ago and that I didn't like that much because their complex and confusing sound was definitely not my cup of tea. Fortunately The Judas Cradle are far from being chaotic and hectic, but rather a full force Metal mosh assault that hits you straight in the face. The short intro shows features some melodic guitar leads that go hand in hand with the Guns n'Roses shirt one of the members is wearing, but that's the only mellow part you're about to hear on "Too bad they're all dead". Even though the number of MetalCore bands is countless these days, The Judas Cradle are still an interesting band in my eyes, because despite most bands that come up with a mixture of At the Gates meets Darkest Hour meets Heaven Shall Burn, the Alabama five piece doesn't offer your average MetalCore sound. I don't know, somehow I think they're more brutal, more mosh, more like a bulldozer coming your way. Play this album loud and destroy your furniture at home! (Stefan)



KORODED -- The Abused Beauty Of Being Alone (CD / Brainrox Records)

Having started out in 1998 Koroded from Germany come up with their sixth release so far, this being the five song EP "The absurd beauty of being alone". According to the band their roots and influences are bands like Sepultura, Machine Head, Deftones or Pantera. I was a bit reluctant to listen to this EP because I like Sepultura up to the "Arise" album but hate their later records, and I absolutely can't stand bands like Machine Head or Pantera. But at least the cover art of Koroded's EP is very nice (great painting!), so let's take a listen. And - surprise, surprise - the first song starts with a cool Metal riff and "Taboba" kicks off with some Disembodied like guitar work. Unfortunately the vocals and the rest of the music are pretty much in the vein of the aforementioned bands so I can't say I'm the biggest fan of Koroded. But I guess people unlike me who are into this sound respectively these bands should take a listen. (Stefan)



MORRISSEY - You Are The Quarry (CD / Attack)

I always wondered why MORRISSEY and The Smiths have such an influence on the Emo and Straight Edge movement. I guess it has to be the lyrics which - once again - are outstanding. After the release of his last album "Maladjusted" and the following tour MORRISSEY lost his record deal. I was not the only one who didn´t understand that but I guess we all got used to the often strange behavior of major labels. To be honest: After that I didn´t really expect a new album from MORRISSEY so I´m really surprised that "You Are The Quarry" is so strong! With a few expectations "Maladjusted" was not really a good album and MORRISSEY always stood in the shadows of the mighty Smiths. But now, six years after "Maladjusted" he´s coming out of nothing and proves me wrong: "America Is Not The World", "Irish Blood, English Heart", I Have Forgiven Jesus", "First Of The Gang To Die" and "I Like You" are for sure the strongest songs I heard from MORRISSEY in a very, very long time. Maybe the music got a little bit more mainstream but that doesn´t bother me at all. MORRISSEY has always been on the edge of pure pathos and he still is. But with "Come Back To Camden" he´s taking it a bit too far. But that´s really the only thing I´m complaining about. I´m stunned! An awesome record! Welcome back! (Tobi)



NARZISS -- Neue Welt (CD /Circulation Records)

"Neue Welt" is actually the first piece of music I ever heard from Narziss. I mean I stumbled upon the band's records quite frequently when I was at shows, but somehow I never managed to take a listen. So I was happy to find their latest release "Neue Welt" in my box. I feared that Narziss would play some chaotic Screamo type of thing, but fortunately that's not the case. Instead, the six guys play Hardcore influenced Metal (or is it the other way round?) with German lyrics. And unlike tons of Heaven Shall Burn clones they indeed manage to come up with something original! I mean it's nothing new to combine Metal and Hardcore, but Narziss are not your average MetalCore outfit at all as the song structure is not just the typical mix of mosh parts, melodic At The Gates / Darkest Hour elements and Slayer riffs. They come up with some really nice melodic lead guitars in addition to more aggressive elements. And even the vocals are cool! I mean sometimes I don't like German vocals that much but with Narziss that's not the case. Speaking of the vocals: Back on track is their former singer Alexander (who sung on the "Ebenbilder" EP from 2000) who's sharing the mic with Rayk this time. What else can I say about "Neue Welt"? The layout of the booklet is nice, the lyrics are printed both in German and in English, and I really thin this is a cool album. (Stefan)



NO COMPLY -- Long Way Home (CD / Rp-Punkrock)

No Comply, No Comply... wait a second, I think I heard that band before, but honestly I can't quite remember how they sounded like. But hey, they come from an area close to where I lived for the last two years, so that's a bonus for sure, haha. And even though I moved in the meantime, No Comply convince me with their third album "Long way home". Even though their first song starts like a typical MelodyCore track in the vein of bands like No Fun At All etc., the second track "Wave on it" reminds me to some of my faves, namely Strike Anywhere. You know, fast yet still melodic, mixing aggression with catchiness. The following songs (11 in total on "Long way home") could indeed be described as a combination of MelodyCore meets Strike Anywhere. Could be worse, couldn't it? No, I really think that this record is cool and you should give it a try. I just wonder why only five lyrics are printed? Well, at least you get some interesting thoughts about individualism etc. in the booklet. (Stefan)



REDRUM INC. -- Selfish Blood (CD / DIY)

Formed in 1999, Redrum Inc. (Stephen King fans or what?) present their second release after "Cure the pain" from 2002 and shows with bands like Crowbar, Pro Pain, Born From Pain or appearances at the Summer Breeze Open Air. Don't get me wrong: The production is really fat and the musicianship is good, but the music could be a bit more original. I mean it's pretty easy to figure out that one of the bands main influences must be Madball for sure, because the vocals could be done by Freddie's little brother (who would then be Roger Miret's brother, too, now that I think about it...) and the music is also similar to Madball, even though Redrum Inc. throw in some Metal influences, too. The third song "Haze" starts out really cool, but when the vocals set in I rather wanna skip to the next track. I don't wanna be nasty, but it's not my cup of tea. Boys and girls, if you're into Madball, Pro Pain, Madball, Crowbar and Madball, then check out "Selfish blood". I stop listening to it now. (Stefan)



ROUND UP -- After Dying With Thirst Drowning Is The Greatest Danger In The Desert (Demo CD / DIY)

According to the info sheet Round Up are very much into Good Clean Fun, quote: "Round UP were founded in summer 2002 when Hardcore was young and the shows were great. The sky was the limit and the world was our stage. (...) How can we relearn the good old songs and play them again and again?" Furthermore, a mysterious "XXX Round Up" can be found on the sleeve of the CD, so I guess it wasn't too optimistic to expect some old school Hardcore in the vein of bands like the aforementioned Good Clean Fun. Well, I don't know if Round Up is a sXe band, but the music is definitely no old school. I'm not even sure if one can call the band's music Hardcore or if it is more precise to speak of Punk Rock. But maybe such categories are no help anyway, so I try to describe Round Up's music as best as I can. The beginning of "The unemployment of the cowboys" reminds me a bit to the quiet moments of Bane (ok, ok, Bane indeed IS a Hardcore band), but the rest of the songs is more straightforward and does absolutely NOT sound like Bane (what a pity, because I love their early 7"s). You could basically say it's midtempo based Punk Rock but not in the vein of all those MelodyCore kiddie bands, because the guitar melodies are more melancholic and somber. I honestly can't come up with a more precise description of the boys' sound, so what would be better than checking them out for yourself? Here's the contact address: (Stefan)



THULIUM -- Unleashed Dragon (CD / DIY)

To call Thulium a band would be some kind kind of exaggeration as there's basically one single person behind this outfit called Boubou from France who's currently residing in England. When I read that he's handling all the instruments and the vocals I immediately expected "Unleashed dragon" would offer something in the vein of Neo Folk or the likes. Well, seems I was wrong as Thulium sees their / his influences in bands like Staind, Metallica or Evanescence. And indeed, the music's in that direction, but I would leave Metallica out as a comparison because Thulium's songs are not as hard even though you can hear distorted guitars and stuff. I'd say the songs all show some kind of somber atmosphere with melancholic melodies and vocals. 13 songs can be found on Thulium's first record, and another 12 on his second one called "Tm" (which I don't know). It's really a cool start if you consider that it's only one person doing just everything. Thulium's producing and recording the songs on his computer, so of course you can't expect a top notch production, but a solid demo sound. I heard that he's currently looking for members to join Thulium so that he can play live. I think this is a good decision as the songs sound very promising. If you are interested in Thulium, get in touch with him through (Stefan)



U.S. ROUGHNECKS -- Twenty Bucks And Two Black Eyes (CD / Hellcat Records)

The label is Hellcat Records, the band is called U.S. Roughnecks, song titles include "Weekend", "Saturday", "No justice", "Roughneck noise", Midtown nights", "Outcast" or "Short haired Rock'n'Roll". Do I have to say more about this release? I don't think so. But anyway, here are some more facts: U.S. Roughnecks play Rancid influenced Streetpunk with your typical Oi! and working class lyrics. Everything is so cliché on "Twenty bucks and two black eyes" it's almost funny. I miss back up vocals (therefore the choruses are pretty weak and not energetic), singalongs and some "Oi oi oi" here and there. But I guess after a couple of beers you don't mind actually. But as I don't drink and smashing bars and kicking in heads doesn't belong to my weekend entertainment, I don't care much about U.S. Roughnecks. (Stefan)