Daisy Chainsaw - Eleventeen (1992)
I've always been a fan of this record and when I saw it in the pawn shop for $4, I hadta buy it. As the Alternative Nation began to take hold in the early '90's, Daisy Chainsaw briefly flirted with outright stardom. If you recall the episode of Roseanne when Darlene snuck out of town to go see a concert with her friends - this was the band she supposedly went to see. MTV regularly used the incredible riff from "Love Your Money" in promo spots, and yet, they never could quite hold the attention of the masses. The problem is, this album, is uneven and at times, not incredibly accessible. They deflty blend New Wave spunkiness with punk, grunge, and white noise of no wave. If you've never herad "Love Your Money", listen to it. You deserve it.
Da Lench Mob - Guerillas In The Mist (1992)
This was the other album I bought at the pawn shop. Funny, it was released in 1992, too. Anyway, Da Lench Mob's clame to fame was the it was produced by Ice Cube. In fact, Ice Cube produced nearly all of the music on the album.
I had heard bits and pieces of this record over the years and always liked what I heard. It's got that laid back West Coast vibe and over-the-top gangsta lyrics, but with a militant/Black Panther slant that is heavily informed by the L.A. Riots sparked by the Rodney King verdict. Try out "Freedom Got An A.K." for a song that'll stick in yo' cranium. Also of interest is "Lost In Tha System", which was produced by The Bomb Squad.
Pablo Francisco - Knee To The Groin (1997)
I first heard of Pablo Francisco listening to the Bob & Tom morning radio program which I listen to rather religiously in the mornings when I'm in a city that carries it. He is an astounding vocal impressionist and not just familiar voices, but familiar sounds like the clacking of a spraypaint can being shaken or the drum beats on a Casio organ. I was listning to this last week when I was stuck in the late night traffic jam in Chicago, which is a good thing, because his bit about "Mexican Women" had me laughing in tears. I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time. Sadly, the entire album is not as solid as that bit, but there are other moments of brilliance, such as "Fighting Background Music" and his take on "Movie Previews".
Bear Vs Shark - Right Now, You're In the Best Of Hands (2003)
They play fast, loud, post-hardcore with meldoic elements. Ok, so that describes every emo band and that pretty much sums up Bear Vs Shark. They play by the formula and bring little new to the genre. They appear to be competent and the record is fairly solid for what it is, I suppose. When will this shit stop? I'm sure the emo kids got all wound up over "Ma Jolie".
Minus The Bear - This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic (2001)
Now here's an emo band with some promise. Rather than play by the yell-yell-yell-ok-now-be-pretty formula they actually construct some music that is full of surprises and interesting. They have developed an unique guitar language that utilizes a lot of sliding, bending, and finger tapping on the fret board (yes, finger tapping!). They also have a sense of humor, with song titles like "Lemurs, Man, Lemurs" and "Pantsuit....Uggghhh". People are calling this "post-emo". If this is the result of putting up with all that crap for the past decade, I guess I can live with that.
The Crabs - Brainwashed (1996)
Knowing that The Crabs hail from the fertile music scene of the northwest and were on K Records should be enough to give you an idea as to their sound: coarse, clever indie rock. They're reiminscent of Imperial Teen in that they are a sexually egalitarian unit, switching back and forth between male and female vocals and their pop sensibilities are well developed. This is the first of three albums I intend to consume by them over the coming months. This one was their second LP. The only fault I have with them are the vocals: most of the time it sounds like they are trying to across half-bored with the whole thing, playing the indie/slacker role a bit too heavily. Given their proclivity for writing some rather solid pop/rock songs, I find it detracts from the music, but, hey, what can ya do gonna do with those sarcastic indie kids, eh? Try the pretty "Sad Song", the hardpop "Anything and Everything", and the rockin' instrumental "Quicksand".
The Kittens - In Bazooka and the Hustler (1997)
One of the saving graces of the Canadian indie scene is the Sonic Unyon record label, home to a stable of solid, hard rocking bands like the Tricky Woo, Treble Charger, Thrush Hermit, and The Kittens. The Kittens play the hard'n'heavy end of the spectrum with hammering drums and buzzing, throbbing guitar chords all at lightning speeds. The vocals are deep and strained with not much to offer in the way of melody or harmony. Suffice it to say, you won't likely sing-a-long with your favorite Kittens song. What's fun about this album is that it's heavily influenced by country and western music (?!?!?) You just have to hear it to understand. Have a hoe-down with the brutal "Orca" (it's a whale of a song. Ha!) or the rather inspired "Binoculars".
I also have a bunch of singles online that I put up for a couple of LJ friends to peruse, feel free to check them out, too since they're there: I highly recommend any of them. Some of them have been posted here before, others not.
The Vines - Get Free
Sleater-Kinney - Oh
Holly Golightly - A Length Of Pipe
Thee Headcoatees - Tear It To Pieces
Gluecifer - Under My Hood
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The Modern Lovers - Modern World
Raveonettes - Beat City
Stellastar - In The Walls