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0-9 - 50 Cent -

A - Alkaline Trio - Amber Pacific - Armor For Sleep - Audioslave -

B - Babaloo - Bane - Bear Vs Shark - Blackalicious - Boy Sets Fire (2) - The Bravery -

C - Chiodos - Circa Survive - Coheed and Cambria (2) - Coldplay - Converge (2) - Billy Corgan - Sheryl Crow -

D - The Darkness - Day Of Contempt - Death By Stereo - Default - Dengue Fever - Dropkick Murphys (2) -

F - Marianne Faithfull - The Fall Of Troy - Fivespeed - Foo Fighters - The Frames - Sage Francis - Franz Ferdinand -

G - Garbage - Gorillaz -

H - Hedley - HorrorPops -

K - Korn -

L - Daniel Lanois - LCD Soundsystem - Left Alone - The Lost Patrol Band -

M - Meesh - Mentake - Metric - Millencolin - Roger Miret and The Disasters - Motion City Soundtrack - MXPX -

N - Nekromantix - Nickelback - Nural -

O - Oasis - Orange - Ozzy Osbourne -

P - Pennywise - Pitty Sing - Pressure - Priestess -

Q - Queens Of The Stone Age -

R - Rammstein - Rocketface - The Rolling Stones -

S - Seemless - Simple Plan - System Of A Down (2) -

T - The Trews - Turbonegro -

U -  The Unseen -

V - Florent Vollant -

W - Martha Wainwright - Wasted Sunday - Weerd Science - Weezer - Kanye West - The White Stripes - Wolf Parade -

Y - Youth Group -

COMPILATIONS - The Flaming Lips - Punk O Rama - The Suicide Girls: Black Heart Retrospective - Sympathetic Sounds Of Montreal - Vans Warped Tour '05



50 Cent - Massacre Cover Art

50 Cent, The Massacre

50 Cent made an impressive debut in the hip hop industry in 2003, essentially thanks to the Eminem help, but also with the help of his particular character interesting to discover for the most curious ones. In fact, it's not every day we can see a new artist with bodyguards all around him and wearing a bulletproof jacket. It's because this musician had a criminal life before and is always seeked by previous bad relations. He says music gave him the opportunity to get out of this life he had before, fortunately. The promotion around this new release was once again based on the guy's reputation. It was supposed to be issued on Valentine's Day and to be entitled Valentine's Day Massacre, but they postponed the release of a few weeks and it's simply entitled The Massacre, nothing to get reassured. But, except for a couple of fire shots we can hear in a couple of occasions including the intro, it's an album that is most of all soft by this gangster, with even a kind of soul at some points. We can hear great songs like the first single "Candy Shop", "Disco Inferno" and "In My Hood", plus many collaborators like Olivia, Tony Yayo, Jamie Foxx, G-Unit (the band he recorded an album with) and for sure Eminem. But, despite those good parts of the CD, we miss the little spark that brought his previous album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin', to become the best hip hop album of 2003. Many songs seem all the same and we don't remind anything from this too long album of 78 minutes (which is often the case in hip hop). It's anyway a good ambiant and relaxing album that should please the genre's fans, without bringing a revolution to it. (May 2005 featured review)

Alkaline Trio - Crimson CD

Alkaline Trio, Crimson

I have to admit I didnít know the Chicago band Alkaline Trio, even if they were formed almost 10 years ago and they release now their 5th album (I canít know them all!). But, itís a great late discovery I made with this new album. The band is doing a sound going from pop/rock to punk. The 3 guys propose catchy melodies and energetic songs that can remind us of the good years of Blink 182. The album was in fact produced by Jerry Finn who also worked with Blink on the famous Enema Of The State. The power of the production gives great value to each of the songs, especially for the rhythm section. We can also compare them to Sum 41, Simple Plan and Good Charlotte, but I also recognized elements of AFI in some occasions and darker moments from the punk and gothic music, even if the band is most of all pop. We feel some influences of the alternative rock of the 80ís, particularly with The Cure, and some moments reminded me of the Misfits. The use of piano in some songs adds depth to the arrangements. Despite the quality of tracks like "Time To Waste", "The Poison", "Mercy Me" and "Back To Hell", a few of the songs really get out of the album and some are more common. But, in general, itís an album that is easy to listen and pleases me more than many other bands in the genre. A great point to mention is that there is no ballad on it, even if some tracks are a little slower. Take note that it is an enhanced CD containing a 7 minute video about the studio sessions for the recording of the album. (November 2005)



Amber Pacific - Possibility And The Promise CD

Amber Pacific, The Possibility & The Promise

Amber Pacific is a new pop/punk band from Seattle. They take their inspiration from bands of the new generation like Simple Plan, Matchbook Romance, 1208, Armor For Sleep, Motion City Soundtrack and many more. Until now, they are most of all recognized as an act at the 2004 and 2005 Vans Warped Tours, but the release of this first record will give them the opportunity to enlarge their actions. With their effective and very catchy melodies, they have all what is necessary to conquer a large audience of teenagers (more specifically the girls). Leaded by the blond Matt Young to the microphone, seduction should happen with the young female audience if we gave them the possibility to present themselves on the music TV networks. Without being totally incredible, the album contains very good songs including the excellent "Gone So Young" that can become a big radio hit. They even added a little musical depth with a string section in "Everything We Were Has Become What We Are". Amber Pacific presents us an excellent debut to a brilliant future. Check them carefully in the years to come. (September 2005)



Armor For Sleep - What To Do When You Are Dead Cover Art

Armor For Sleep, What To Do When You Are Dead

The New Jersey band Armor For Sleep presents us its 2nd album following Dream To Make Believe issued in 2003. The guys give us a modern rock sound, perfect for the rock radios, thanks to great melodies. Their music includes elements of punk, metal, and progressive, but stays totally pop. With this new record, the band goes ahead and is able to establish its own style, being different from all those rock bands we can hear everywhere on the radio. What To Do When You Are Dead is a well done rock album that is beautifully produced by Machine who worked with bands like Clutch, White Zombie and King Crimson. Every song is a piece of a puzzle that represents this concept album, but we can also listen to all of them separately which can be great to release singles out of it. But, maybe it misses the hit that could represent success for them and give the band the possibility to reach a large audience. In fact, very few songs stay in our minds among the 11 of the album (lasting 43 minutes). It's a good product anyway that should please a lot of rock fans. (March 2005)

Equal Vision


Audioslave - Out Of Exile CD Cover Art

Audioslave, Out Of Exile

Three years after a first album who divided the critics, some talking about Chris Cornell (former Soundgarden) simply singing on the Rage Against The Machine music, Audioslave comes back now with a second try. I did not completely agree with the critics at that time and I had the feeling the band had been able to develop its own style. It's once again the case here. Ok, we can hear some elements of the 2 previous bands, but the total package is more coherent than their self-titled album with a better mix of the voice of Cornell with the music of the former Rage, leaded by Tom Morello. Rage comes back to our mind in the title song, when the pop of "Be Yourself" presents us probably what makes the biggest difference with the past of Audioslave. The power of "Doesn't Remind Me" makes it one of the best songs of the album, when on "Drown Me Slowly" Cornell takes sometimes a tone of voice reminding us of Bon Scott of AC/DC, another good moment. "Man Or Animal" is also one of my favorite ones with its very efficient rock n' roll. There are 12 like this in the common rock genre, but with good moments we appreciate more and more each time we listen to it. Even if their compositions are often catchy, their music is also a bit difficult to access by a new audience and doesn't fit with the modern rock standards. When "Be Yourself" will be completely exploited by the radios, these ones will have nothing else to offer to their audience. So, it will be most of all the fans of the 2 previous bands to Audioslave that will buy once again this album, an album that will probably mix them a bit. Also, If you like Pearl Jam and if you appreciated their first album, you will probably also appreciate this one. If you're not of the groups of fans mentionned previously, I think you will have problems to enter the universe of Out Of Exile. (August 2005)


The Awesome Team, The Awesome Team

The Awesome Team is a new quartet from Toronto offering us here an EP with 6 tracks for a total of a little more than 20 minutes. As soon as with the first song, "Drive", the comparison I had in mind was Weezer and this comparison will be valid for all the rest of the CD. Itís certainly a big influence for the band which is giving us good hooks on powerful guitars. Itís always the same problem with the EPs because they donít allow us to have a good idea of what the band can really offer on a full length album where the risk of having songs we donít need is becoming a problem. But here, there is none of those songs and each one is interesting for a reason or the other. For the ones who prefer the pop/rock of Weezer to the Nickelback style, here is a band youíll have to check out in the years to come. You can see the video for the excellent "The Last Of My World" in rotation on Much Music. (November 2005)


Babaloo - Babaloo International

Babaloo - Babaloo International

The eclectic group from Boston Babaloo was formed back in 1994. They describe their music as mambo punk, but they also combine among other genres samba, reggae and ska. In fact, what they offer us, itís dancing and international music to party. I was very surprised to hear French words in songs like ďMartineĒ, ďLoganĒ and ďRumba pour mamanĒ. They also sing in Spanish and obviously in English. Babaloo International offers 15 tracks that are sunny and entertaining, and you will not be bored at any time during the 53 minutes of the CD. A very good record! (April 2008)


Bane - The Note CD

Bane, The Note

The Note is the 3rd album for this hardcore band of the east coast of the US. Their sound is closer to metal than punk and I heard sounds reminding me of the pioneers of D.R.I. and Converge, even if we can also do comparisons with Death By Stereo. What is making the biggest difference with the other bands in that genre is the positive aspect of their lyrics. This attitude makes them sympathetic to us, even with a hardcore sound not well suited for a large audience. The various rhythms on the album are interesting, but itís too bad the voice of Aaron Bedard doesnít have the same variations. On my part, itís the only thing that bothered me in the second half of the album, because at a certain point we only hear the voice, forgetting the music. But, if you like this type of screaming voices always on the same tone, Bane music will probably conquer you. For hardcore music fans only. (June 2005)

Equal Vision

Bearvsshark - Terrorhawk CD

Bear Vs Shark, Terrorhawk

Terrorhawk is the second album of the American band Bear Vs Shark and its most coherent one at this time. The band offers us a creative alternative sound with good rhythms that can remind us of Fugazi and Modest Mouse. We can hear soft moments ("Baraga Embankment") that come to diminish the hardcore tendencies of the band in different occasions. Bear Vs Shark is certainly one of the most creative bands of the Equal Vision Records family and this new album needs some good listens to really enter their universe. But, when itís done, we are greatly rewarded. An album that is easy to listen to for any open-minded person, but will have problems to catch the attention of a larger audience. (July 2005)

Equal Vision


Blackalicious - The Craft CD

Blackalicious, The Craft

Blackalicious is a rap duo from the US west coast which is releasing now its 3rd full album, even if the band was formed officially in 1992 (we can even go back to high school in 1987). We can compare them to The Roots, Busta Rhymes and Outkast. Which is different with them in comparison with all the hip hop artists we can hear on music channels (50 Cent and company), it's their positive and spiritual approach. Networks like MTV prefer generally violent and misogynist rappers, which becomes unfortunately the standard for the teenagers. With Blackalicious, there is no bling bling, no almost naked chicks dancing behind them in stupid videos. In fact, it's a smart music that Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) offer us. A well searched and worked music that doesn't miss rhythm and good hooks and has everything it needs to have as success as Eminem, The Black Eyed Peas, etc. Unfortunately, they are not in the gang they would have to be a part of to receive the same visibility, even if many songs have an enormous potential for the radios ("Supreme People", "Powers", "Side To Side", etc.). A couple of reviews I read say that The Craft is not the best album the duo did at this time. If it's right, send me the other ones immediately, because this is probably the best hip hop album of 2005! (January 2006)

Anti- / Epitaph


Boy Sets Fire - Before The Eulogy CD

Boy Sets Fire, Before The Eulogy

Boy Sets Fire is a progressive hardcore punk band from Delaware that has 3 real albums excluding the EPs (the issue of a 4th one should be in March 2006). Before The Eulogy is a CD of demo recordings, 7 inches and other rarities. We can also hear the In Chrysalis EP and 2 of the 3 tracks of the Suckerpunch Training EP. The fans of the genre that don't know the band yet will maybe discover them in a great way with this disc, which can give them the desire to buy their other albums. If not, it's essentially a CD for the fans of Boy Sets Fire and they will be pleased with these 20 tracks for a total of 64 minutes. (January 2006)

Equal Vision

Boy Sets Fire - Day The Sun Went Out CD

Boy Sets Fire, The Day The Sun Went Out (1997) (2005 re-issue)

Boy Sets Fire was formed in Delaware more than 10 years ago and released 5 albums since their beginning. The Day The Sun Went Out is their very first one and their best at this time, if I refer to what I read about the band because I didnít know them before listening to this album. Here, it is the re-issue of it because it wasnít available anymore. The band is offering us a hardcore punk sound, sometimes emo and sometimes progressive. So, itís a happy mix we can hear. In many songs, the voice of Nathan Gray is screaming (not really guttural), and this is when I donít like the sound of the band. In the songs with more melodies like "Swingset" and "In Hope" for example, the band is better and more interesting to me. The production of the album keeps the guitar aside in many occasions, despite its importance on the album. Itís most of all the bass that takes the lead very often. They had problems signing a record contract because it seems everybody told them they didnít have any hits. Thatís true, and we donít even keep anything in mind. If you like the hardcore genre with creativity, youíll probably like it. (December 2005)

Equal Vision

Bravery - Bravery CD

The Bravery, The Bravery

The Bravery is a new band from New York City that fits perfectly in the new wave of rock of the last years. We can compare them to The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, The Stills and The Strokes, with influences of New Order ("An Honest Mistake"), Duran Duran, The Cure ("Tyrant") and other new wave and electro bands of the early 80ís. Creative compositions, even surprising considering the big number of bands in that genre having made their apparition recently, this first album of the band wonít be disappointing to you if you like the bands mentioned earlier. Their good rhythms, mixed with unforgettable melodies, will certainly drive them directly to success. I also detected a little garage side in some occasions that can remind us of The Hives ("Swollen Summer"). The 11 tracks of the album (+ 1 bonus), that follow each other perfectly for 40 minutes, should give you great moments this summer and who knows, maybe The Bravery will catch our attention in 2005 like Franz Ferdinand did in 2004. Unfortunately, they only have the problem to be there after many other bands and they wonít probably seem as bright as the previous ones. But, itís perfect for the fans of this genre. (July 2005 featured new artist)


Chiodos - All's Well That Ends Well CD

Chiodos, All's Well That Ends Well

Here is a new group from Flint, Michigan with an eclectic style including many rhythm variations in its compositions. Because of it, All's Well That Ends Well is difficult to describe and compare. The 6 guys of Chiodos, who went on tour with Yellowcard and Coheed & Cambria, have influences of Saves The Day, Queen and At The Drive In, and we can compare them sometimes to Faith No More, The Mars Volta and even System Of A Down because of the atmosphere changes that can go from a powerful metal sound to a simple soft piano. Electronic rhythms, punk tendencies, experiments and catchy melodies are added to this happy mix that will keep you on guard for all the 42 minutes of the album of 13 tracks. They said they have a rule of never doing verse-chorus-verse structures and I can tell you they respect greatly their own rules. Without staying totally creative all along the disc, the Chiodos guys will surely not annoy you with too simple structures. Eclectic, energetic and different rock fans should find in this a lot of satisfying and interesting elements. (August 2005 featured new artist)

Equal Vision


Circa Survive - Juturna CD

Circa Survive, Juturna

Circa Survive is a new alternative american band regrouping former members of Saosin, This Day Forward and Taken. Their sound includes progressive and metal influences, but stays particularly within the reach of a large audience, even if there is no big hit on it. It's most of all a CD we have to listen to a couple of times to discover every subtlety of it and really like it. Despite the album has no hot song different from the others, a few of them are weak and it's easy to listen to it from the beginning to the end. With a great creativity, you will have problems associating them to a particular genre, even if we can recognize at some points a bit of Fates Warning, Dream Theater and Mars Volta. A 70's rock sound can also be heard sometimes, even if it's easier to associate them to the early 90's. For the ones who say rock is always the same these days, pay attention to this band which is different from almost everything you heard recently. A great finding. (May 2005 featured new artist)

Equal Vision


Coheed & Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madn CD

Coheed and Cambria, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One:

From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness

Here is the 3rd album of Coheed and Cambria, which is in fact the 1st part of 2 to conclude the 4 parts concept about the saga of 2 protagonists, Coheed and Cambria. You don't understand anything? It's not important. All you need to know is that the band is offering us a third concept album in the progressive metal genre, the first one on a major label. What is catching our attention at the first listening is the change in the sound of the band that is far from the emo style they were known for before. It's closer here to the progressive metal of the mid 80's with bands like Queensrˇche and Rush coming to our minds. We're not so far either from Fates Warning and Dream Theater that have been most of all present in the 90's. This change of sound can be particularly hard to swallow for the first time fans that will have the feeling to hear a completely different incarnation of their favourite band. What is not different on the other side, is the necessity to listen to the album carefully and many times to really like it. Nothing is easy to listen on this disc of 72 minutes and 12 tracks (with the last one in 4 parts). This is a very good album that will please the ones who like complicated structures in music. But, it reminded me a little too much of the bands of the 80's in the same genre, which took off a lot of magic. I'll eagerly wait for the next one anyway. (January 2006)


Coheed & Cambria - The Second Stage Turbine Blade CD

Coheed and Cambria, The Second Stage Turbine Blade (2002) (2005 re-issue)

Here is a band we hear more and more about, and with good reasons. Coheed and Cambria presents us a creative and interesting mix of genres including emo, hardcore, progressive and pop punk. The melodies of great quality and with good hooks are beautifully sung by Claudio Sanchez which is often going in impressing high tones. The Second Stage Turbine Blade is the first official album of the band released first in 2002 and re-issued here in a longer version. The 3 songs added are "Elf Tower New Mexico", a previously unreleased track, plus "Junesong Provision" and "Everything Evil", 2 tracks from the album presented here in their demo version. The structures of the Coheed and Cambria songs are most of the time complex, but are a lot simplified by the virtuosity of the musicians for whom three chords are far from the acceptable minimum. Despite that complexity, many tracks could have become hits at the time. What impresses us from the beginning and all along the album is the quality of the production. The rhythm section is brought to a new level which makes our house vibrate in many occasions even if the volume is not so loud. Itís definitely a sound of the 2000ís, where all the instruments sound great without hiding the other ones or the singing. The perfect balance! (December 2005)

Equal Vision


Coldplay - X & Y  CD Cover Art

Coldplay, X & Y

After having given us the best album of 2002 in A Rush Of Blood To The Head and having conquered the entire world, the English quartet Coldplay offers us its follower, X & Y. I don't have to tell you how strong the pressure was because of the huge expectations of the fans. A first impression when I first listened to "Square One": is Coldplay offering us an album with a little more guitars? The answer is yes, even if there is still some efficient piano on a couple of songs (most of all on "What If"). With their previous record they replaced Radiohead in the heart of many british rock fans, but with this one it's from U2 that Coldplay is the closest ("White Shadows", "Low", etc.). X & Y contains more songs with rhythm than A Rush Of Blood To The Head which was made most of all of introspective songs. So, the balance is perfect on this album that is never annoying, even if some tracks can seem a little too similar to compositions from the previous album. So, it's an excellent album that Coldplay presents us once again, an album which is not necessarily equal in creative qualities to the previous one, but will certainly give you great moments. If you appreciate the hit "Speed Of Sound", don't be afraid because the song gives a good idea of the rest of the CD. (August 2005 featured review)

Converge - Petitioning The Empty Sky CD

Converge, Petitioning The Empty Sky (1996) (2005 re-issue)

Converge is a metal / punk hardcore band who changed the face of the genre in the US underground in the last 10 years. With metal guitar riffs close to Slayer and Carcass and structures that can be compared to the new hardcore punk, the band offers us a sound always aggressive, loud and screaming which will certainly be pleasant for metal fans that have nothing to do with the pop metal. Petitioning The Empty Sky was released first in 1996 on an independant label before being re-issued in 1998 by Equal Vision Records. This new 2005 edition, remixed and remastered, which is in fact thankful to the fans of the band who were there from the beginning, gives us a bonus track that is an alternative version of Love As Arson released on When Forever Comes Crashing, and also an enhanced video of "Forsaken". It's certainly not their best album with too many songs that leave us indifferent, but "The Saddest Day", which is opening the CD, can compensate for all the others and is one of their most popular songs in concert. The single "Forsaken" and the too short "Buried But Breathing" are also interesting. Take note that the 3 last tracks of the album, "For You", "Antithesis" and "Homesong", were recorded live. (May 2005)

Equal Vision

Converge - When Forever Comes Crashing CD

Converge, When Forever Comes Crashing (1998) (2005 re-issue)

As soon as at the beginning of When Forever Comes Crashing, we have the feeling Converge goes a little bit far ahead than on its previous one Petitioning The Empty Sky. In the fastest moments, Slayer still comes to our mind, but the band adds more depth to its musical structures. Tracks like "My Unsaid Everything", "The High Cost Of Playing God", "Towing Jehovah", "Love As Arson" and the title song, well distributed all along the CD of 40 minutes, make the band very interesting to every metal fan. The guideline, more effective than on the previous album, gives us less weak and uninteresting songs. But, you still have to have good ears that are hard to hurt, because to find softness, you'll have to search a lot on this album. This new remixed and remastered edition gives us as a bonus an unreleased demo version of "Bitter And Then Some". You'll also see the enhanced video for the title song. This re-issue of one of the best albums of Converge will give you the opportunity to discover an excellent underground metal band and will probably motivate you to buy their most recent one, You Fail Me, released on Epitaph in the fall of 2004. (May 2005)

Equal Vision


Corgan, Billy - TheFutureEmbrace CD Cover Art

Billy Corgan, The Future Embrace

Here is a guy with a huge talent that was able to use it totally in the early 90ís as the leader of The Smashing Pumpkins. Unfortunately, he seems to have lost his inspiration later and the end of the Pumpkins had to happen in the early 2000ís. Corgan came back happier than ever with a new band, Zwan, and an album, Mary Star Of The Sea, released in 2003. The reviews were good, but itís certainly not an album that will make history, because we almost donít remember anything out of it. Now, Corgan makes a comeback, but this time by himself. First impression when we are listening to The Future Embrace: we can find interesting electronic elements, sometimes very 80ís style, that make a separation with what he did in the past. Otherwise, when we know this new sound, we are quickly in the same impression than on the Zwan album and we donít remember anything from it. The beginning of "Mina Loy" and "The Cameraeye" for example seem interesting and we canít wait to hear the entire songs. But, before the middle of those songs, Corgan still becomes stuck in old patterns and the difference with what he did before is not easy to hear. "Tolovesomebody" on the other side, a cover of the Bee Gees, is really good and creates a calm atmosphere we appreciate a lot, like for the techno "A100". In conclusion, itís an album with good elements, but that is very far from the level of the 3 first Smashing Pumpkins albums. We understand why many rumors mention that Corgan does everything he can to convince the former members of his legendary band to do a comeback. By himself, he seems a little bit lost. (September 2005)

Sheryl Crow - Wildflower

Sheryl Crow, Wildflower

After the sunny album C'mon, C'mon issued in 2002, the pretty Sheryl, that still doesnít look 44 years old, comes back with a fifth studio album a lot more introspective, not to say annoying. Since a couple of albums she offers us more and more adult pop songs on which the rock sound disappears completely. On the previous album, the presence of efficient pop songs made us forget the other ones, but here the up tempo tracks are not very present. I always thought she was annoying singing adult pop songs like we find here, so this is not difficult for me to say Wildflower is the Sheryl Crow album I like the least. Musically, the rich arrangements are very interesting, but I donít like Sherylís voice which is bringing it boring. On the contrary of her previous records, the songs need a couple of good listens to catch our attention. The problem is that I donít want to take some time to learn how to like a Sheryl Crow album when other artists with soft and relax atmospheres seem a lot more interesting to me musically. Even if some critics talk about Wildflower like her best album in career, I just cannot agree with them, unfortunately. (February 2006)


The Darkness - One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back

The Darkness, One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back

The British quartet The Darkness strikes again with another hard rock album in a style of the 80ís and late 70ís. I was afraid about this one considering the band was able to issue a great album at first even if nobody could say if it was a joke or a real artistic creation. If you liked the guitar riffs of Permission To Land, you wonít be too mixed up, because they come back exactly where they left, without any progress, like I thought. With the hit title song, the fans of the first album will go straight to their favorite music store to buy this album. But, the CD of only 10 tracks and 35 minutes wonít give them a lot more creative material. At some points, I even had the feeling to hear Meat Loaf, which is not a good thing! There is still a pair of ballads ("Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time" and "Blind Man") to respect the good old wayÖ There are 2 or 3 interesting tracks full of energy like "Is It Just Me? and "Girlfriend", and the celtic "Hazel Eyes", but there is nothing really impressing and unforgettable. They put all they could in the orchestrations, but it doesnít help the base of it which is giving us the feeling the songs were rejected for their previous album sessions. If the quality of their first record made us forget it could have been released 20 years earlier, here we donít have any choice but thinking to all those hair bands of the 80ís we forgot a long time ago, very often on a voluntary basis. The biggest fans of the first album will find interesting elements on One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back, but itís far from being an essential discÖ (March 2006)

Day Of Contempt - The Will To Live CD

Day Of Contempt, The Will To Live

Day Of Contempt brings a modern hardcore sound to the Australian scene after the punk rockabilly of The Living End and the hard rock of Jet. This is hardcore for sure, but with also good melodies at some points, which is making a catchy sound for a large audience. After a first independent album released in their native Australia in 2003, the band comes back with this 6 song EP produced by the great Josh Abraham (Weezer, Velvet Revolver, Linkin Park, Orgy, Static-X, Coal Chamber). In fact, we can hear some Linkin Park and Static-X in their metal side. The centerfold of this EP is "Shattered Deams and Broken Hearts", a track mixing perfectly softness and aggressiveness in a structure not so far from progressive rock with keyboards particularly well used. The Will To Live gives us a good portrait of what the band is able to offer and it has the advantage to be sold at a low price, but itís definitely too short with only 22 minutes. A full length album will probably be more appreciated. (October 2005)


Death By Stereo - Death For Life CD

Death By Stereo, Death For Life

On its forth album, the Californian band Death By Stereo presents us a style of metal extremely well worked that is less close to the punk style they always used in their sound before. We still can hear elements we can compare to Slayer and the speed metal of the 80's, but with more elements of new metal and a creative metal in the Faith No More style. From the beginning, with the excellent "Binge/Purge", we are totally impressed and expectations are automatically created for the rest of this album we hope to be superior to Into The Valley Of Death, their best album at this time released 2 years ago. "I Give My Life" is also very impressing and, even if the situation is more stable after that, some very interesting tracks get out of it ("Forever And A Day", "W.W.J.D." in the Bad Religion style, etc.). Even if a couple of songs leave us indifferent, others are so interesting that the album becomes their best at this time. Good work! (August 2005)



Default - One Thing Remains CD

Default, One Thing Remains

The Vancouver band Default had an amazing success in 2001 thanks to its album The Fallout, more particularly thanks to the mega hit "Wasting My Time" which was on every rock radio in America. Helped by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback at their beginning, everyone always compares both of the bands and it would be impossible not to make this comparison. They offer us the same post-grunge rock sound with powerful melodies, perfect to please the radios. Unfortunately, in this genre of rock, originality and creativity are not often present. We only have to check out the entire careers of Nickelback and Creed to date to see how they didnít have only good moments of creativity. Itís the same for Default which didnít impress anybody with its second full length album, Elocation. Here comes now their 3rd album, a record that is too close to the Nickelback sound once again. Kroeger comes again to help with the producing of "Count On Me", a track that could be interpreted by Nickelback without hearing a difference. There are a little too much ballads and very soon on the album with "It Only Hurts" and "The Way We Were", which doesnít help us to enter correctly in the mood of it. Despite those arguments I consider negative, but wonít be for any big fan of Nickelback and Creed, there are good moments on the album. "Hiding From The Sun" with its punk/metal energy help us to like the band again, when "Get Out Of This Alive" proposes a different structure and an incredible power reminding us of the best years of Soundgarden. The energy the guys can have in some moments is extremely well carried by a great quality production all in power, a sound that will certainly test the quality of your speakers and will make you love them more than ever. To conclude, the album doesnít have a lot of material to differentiate from all the other bands in the genre, but if itís a type of sound you appreciate, Default should please you. (November 2005)


Dengue Fever - Escape From Dragon House

Dengue Fever, Escape From Dragon House

Here is an album for the fans of eclectic and totally different music! Dengue Fever is a band from Los Angeles singing in Khmer and inspiring from Cambodian pop rock of the 60's. They are also strongly influenced by American surf music, rock, ska, new wave and psychedelic garage of the late 60's. Some specialists say we can also hear in their music elements of pop music from South-East Asia, Vietnamese music from the war era, klezmer, Ethiopian jazz and Ethiopian soul, but I can't go that far, because my knowledge is limited... What is a fact, it's that Dengue Fever don't come close to anything successful in America or in Europe. The only comparison I was able to do was with the pop alternative Japanese band Pizzicato Five. Escape From Dragon House is the 2nd album by the band. On their first one, we were hearing most of all Cambodian classics, but this one is almost exclusively filled with original compositions. Their music is energetic, danceable and extremely entertaining. It can please the fans of alternative rock music, as well as the fans of surf (Pulp Fiction way) and world beats. No song is very different from the others, but the 11 titles of the album are very fun to listen. To enlarge your music horizons, Dengue Fever is a band to discover... (November 2006)

M80 / BRG


Dropkick Murphys - The Singles Collection, Vol. 2  CD

Dropkick Murphys, Singles Collection Volume 2: 1998-2004

The first volume of this series was issued in 2000 and was regrouping songs of 1996 and 1997. It's the follower we can hear now with songs released on 7'' and different compilations between 1998 and 2004. We can hear most of all covers, the most famous being "Fortunate Son" of Creedence Clearwater Revival, "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n' Roll)" of AC/DC, "Rock And Roll" of MotŲrhead and "Halloween" of the Misfits. There are 23, offering a good mix of punk and good old rock n' roll, everything we need to have a good time, as well for the fans of the Dropkick Murphys as for the ones who don't like the band very much but like many songs offered here. Obviously, this type of compilation can sometimes seem to go in every direction, but for this one, you will certainly appreciate most of the 56 minutes offered. A good entertainment! (May 2005)

Hellcat / Epitaph

Dropkick Murphys - The Warrior's Code CD

Dropkick Murphys, The Warrior's Code

After their best album in career, Blackout, the Dropkick Murphys had a lot to do to present us a product as interesting with The Warrior's Code. Like I thought, itís not the case, unfortunately. There are some energetic songs of 1st quality. But, the traditional arrangements with bagpipes or the covers of traditional songs start to lose a lot of their creativity, now that we know very well the concept. Maybe itís only in my opinion, but those traditional ones are most of the time the main weaknesses of the album, even if there are a couple of other punk or rock ní roll songs that are not very exciting either. For the second time, the band had the permission to use lyrics of Woody Guthrie and compose the music on it. They chose one of his more silly, "I'm Shipping Up To Boston", lyrics that donít say much anyway. In bonus, youíll hear the not very good "Tessie", recorded to give more motivation to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series of baseball in 2004, and it seemed to work because they won their first championship in 86 years. Otherwise, the Dropkick Murphys wonít win anything with this album, most of all no new fans. Youíll like a couple of them, but youíll have problems to listen to many of them, unless the mix of rock and traditional is perfect for you and you are an unconditional fan of the band. (September 2005)

Hellcat / Epitaph


Faithfull, Marianne - Before The Poison Cover Art

Marianne Faithfull, Before The Poison

I didn't follow very well the Marianne Faithfull career, like most of the Americans anyway, but in addition to have been Mick Jagger's girlfriend for many years in the 60's-70's, she recorded many albums. Which is very caracteristic to her is that she was able to evolve through the years keeping the interest from the critics, despite a couple of poor records. She offers us now Before The Poison exactly 40 years after her two first records issued simultaneously, Come My Way and Marianne Faithfull, the last one containing the hit "As Tears Go By" written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. On this new album, she worked with different reknown persons like PJ Harvey, who wrote the lyrics and the music for 3 songs (including "No Child Of Mine" that we can hear on her own album Uh Huh Her) and composed the music for 2 others, collaborating for the lyrics, Nick Cave, who composed the music for 3 songs, Damon Albarn (of Blur), who co-wrote one song and composed the music of it, and Jon Brion, who composed the music for one song. The Harvey and Cave compositions give the direction to the record and give you at the same time a good idea of the style we can hear on it. The 10 songs of the album, most of all introspective, are beautifully interpreted by Marianne which has a voice lower of at least an octave in comparison with her debut, result of her age, but most of all of drugs and alcohol abuse (after all, she was with the Stones for many years). It's an album with great poetry and also rock moments that were great surprises for me. Marianne Faithfull has nothing more to prove to anyone and can do whatever she wants to please herself before everything else, but with Before The Poison, she pleases us as well and gives us the desire to discover some of her previous records, even if I really have the feeling this one will be considered like a great moment of her career. (February 2005)

Anti- / Epitaph

Fall Of Troy - Doppelganger CD

The Fall Of Troy, Doppelgšnger

The Fall Of Troy is a Seattle trio presenting us the second album of its young career, the first on Equal Vision Records. Produced by Barrett Jones, who worked with the Foo Fighters, the Melvins and Jawbox, the album offers us a very eclectic mix of sounds in the progressive rock genre. The spectacular guitar sound of Thomas Erak (who is also the singer), added to many rhythm changes make us compare them, even if itís not a perfect comparison, to At The Drive-In, Yes, System Of A Down and Faith No More. The voices can be screaming or singing in the same song, which is not annoying, but can sometimes be too noisy. The ones who have sensitive ears can easily hate that, which is meaning they can certainly not obtain a commercial success. Some melodies are very good, but the extremely complicated structures bring us out of it and make us less appreciate the compositions of the band. Some instrumental moments can even make us think they are not so far from jazz after all, even if we would have to talk about hardcore jazz. Fans of new progressive rock and fans of anti-pop music should appreciate the energy of The Fall Of Troy, as well as the fans of The Mars Volta and Mike Patton and all his projects. (September 2005)

Equal Vision

Fivespeed, Bella

Fivespeed is a new band from Phoenix, Arizona who is a part of the 2005 Vans Warped Tour. The band presents us this EP of only 4 tracks which opens the door on a career that will certainly be interesting to follow. The leader of the band, Jared Woosley names Jane's Addiction and Deftones like two of his influences and those bands represent well the Fivespeed sound, an alternative rock sometimes heavy we can consider like new metal. The good hooks of the melodies have everything they need to catch the attention of a large audience. Check them outÖ (September 2005)

Equal Vision

Foo Fighters - In Your Honor CD Cover Art

Foo Fighters, In Your Honor

Ten years after an important apparition in the musical industry and after 4 successful albums, the Foo Fighters decided to offer a gift to their fans. In Your Honor is a double album containing 10 tracks in their standard style on the first CD and 10 acoustic songs on the second one. For the first disc, we can compare it to what the band did in the past and we can hear excellent songs, very catchy ("Best Of You", "The Last Song", the title song, etc.). For the second one, it shows us a side we didnít know about Dave Grohl and his colleagues, but a side we like very much. The band compositions quality doesnít need big arrangements and we have the proof for it here. The band, that became one of the rare post-grunge bands to stay effective, proves us it can go further, which is making them one of the bests in the modern pop rock genre. This album in 2 phases for a total of 83 minutes can easily be listened to in one shot, despite the changes of style from one disc to the other. If I liked a lot their previous record, One By One, I have to say that this one catches more my attention and I appreciate it more and more every time I listen to it. Without being one of the most creative and original bands in the world, they know how to offer us effective melodies, extremely well sung by a Dave Grohl in perfect possession of his means singing better than ever. Letís mention the participations on the album by John Paul Jones (former Led Zeppelin), Norah Jones (singing with Grohl on "Virginia Moon") and Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age giving back his due to Grohl by playing the guitar on "Razor". Itís a quality album that will please the fans of the band. Take note that a version with a DVD is also available containing the surround 5.1 version of the album and a documentary about its recording. (October 2005 featured review)

Frames - Burn The Maps Cover Art

The Frames, Burn The Maps

The Frames is a Irish band formed about 15 years ago, and this is their 5th album. Maybe you heard about them under the name of The Frames D.C., because they used that name at a certain moment to avoid confusion with an American band of the same name that doesn't exist anymore. The band offers us a sound strongly influenced by British music like Coldplay and Travis. Which is making the originality of the band is its hability to go from a soft sounding to a violent one in a few seconds, a great way to communicate emotions. I don't know their previous records, but it seems that Burn The Maps would be their best at this time. Which is obvious, it's that it is an album of first quality and that the band has nothing to be ashamed of in comparison to the greatest artists of these years. The arrangements are beautiful, as well as the orchestrations and we can find an excellent musical deepness. There is a good guideline to the album that catches us completely and forces us to go through to the end after being conquered by their universe. There is no weakness on it and being issued by Anti-, you can rest assured that they did exactly what they wanted for this product. Even if 2005 is still very young, here is an album that will probably be a part of my 2005 top 20. A great finding I made! (February 2005)

Anti- / Epitaph

Francis, Sage - A Healthy Distrust  Cover Art

Sage Francis, A Healthy Distrust

Sage Francis is an independant rapper of 27 years old from Rhode Island which is presenting us its third album, A Healthy Distrust. He gives us a hip hop sound we can compare to the classics of Public Enemy, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. Francis writes a poetry strongly politised in which he doesn't hesitate to show us a dark side of our society, most specifically American society. His powerful voice is beautifully accompanied by a rich music different from many modern hip hop bands. The ensemble is very well produced by Francis himself and the music, the sampling and the voice are perfectly mixed. The 15 track album for a total of 48 minutes presents a good uniformity with very few weaknesses. Even if he is still an alternative rapper, only a radio hit would launch Sage Francis close to white rappers like Eminem and the Beastie Boys. But, guess he won't be appreciated by the young black Americans hip hop fans because we have to admit: racial conflicts are still very present in the US and hip hop is still a music for blacks, even if Eminem was able to get into this by working with the good persons. Here, it's most of all the Beastie Boys fans that will be conquered because the album can be easily compared to the most recent release of the legendary band. I had very few expectations about Sage Francis and I was really surprised and impressed. I like more and more A Healthy Distrust, a mature album from a guy to check out. (February 2005)



Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better

Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better (CD + DVD)

After a first album that impressed last year and was considered by many like one of the best albums of the year, a new album by the Scottish band Franz Ferdinand was eagerly awaited with big expectations. Anyway, they decided to come back as soon as this fall with You Could Have It So Much Better, maybe to take the advantage of the moment. One thing is sure, itís they decided to come back with another ugly cover, which seems to work well for them catching the attention. Musically, the band uses once again the sound that made them famous, but explores new directions. The previous disc had a good uniformity we donít hear on this one. A few songs are similar and they go from dancing pop to a pseudo-punk sound, including a couple of particularly effective ballads. So, we canít say the quartet was trying to redo the same successful album, on the contrary of many other artists that canít pass the test of the 2nd album with a lack of creativity. "The Fallen" opens greatly the album, but itís with the instant hit "Do You Want To" that it really takes off. When the ballad "Walk Away" will stay in your mind for days, itís on the other ballad, "Eleanor Put Your Boots On", that the band really impresses in a style strongly influenced by the Beatles. With the hit "Take Me Out" on the previous record which had the particularity of changing of rhythm in the middle, the band presents us once again this kind of changes on a few tracks of the new album. Itís the case among others on "Do You Want To", but itís a lot more difficult to appreciate on "Well That Was Easy". In fact, the problem with this new album, itís that in despite of the presence of first quality songs, excellent melodies and good rhythms, they are all separated by weaker songs which is breaking the rhythm of the album. Many of them will make you dance, but you will have more problems to listen to the album totally without skipping a couple of tracks. I think that if they had taken more time to compose and record it, they would have offer us an album of the same quality than the previous one without the less interesting songs we can hear. But, donít get me wrong: itís a very good album anyway by one of the most creative modern bands. Itís only that, like I said at the beginning, the expectations were very big. The album is offered in CD version only or in a dual disc version, with a DVD on the other side of the CD. The DVD contains the entire album with an enhanced sound, the video of "Do You Want To", an interview, studio footage and a picture gallery. Without being amazing, the DVD side adds a good value to the album. (November 2005 featured review)

Garbage - Bleed Like Me

Garbage, Bleed Like Me

Garbage is back with its 4th album, 4 years after the commercial failure of Beautifulgarbage. Even if the album was bringing interesting elements, with the integration of electronic to their post-grunge sound, the audience didnít seem ready at all to follow them. Having myself lost a lot of interest for this band through the years, I was not really eager to acquire Bleed Like Me. The first listening of the album captured my attention anyway with particularly effective and catchy melodies and riffs (like on the excellent first single "Why Do You Love Me"). There is only one problem: we have the feeling to go back by 10 years and to hear a mix of Stone Temple Pilots, Elastica, Veruca Salt and Hole, without forgetting Smashing Pumpkins and L7, 2 bands for which Butch Vig (drummer of Garbage) produced albums in the past. Despite this big lack of creativity and this return in the past, itís anyway an album that is fun to listen to until the end with melodies that stay in our mind for a long time. But, I have the feeling that the band will never be able to match up the quality of their first album (Garbage) issued in 1995. We will have to go through with that idea... (May 2006)

Gorillaz - Demon Days CD Cover Art

Gorillaz, Demon Days

The first band of virtual hip hop, Gorillaz made their apparition in 2001 with an excellent self-titled album, one of the bests of the year, conducted by the hit "Clint Eastwood". This virtual quartet hides a super group leaded by Damon Albarn of Blur. The fans waited eagerly the follower to that first record and here it is lastly, four long years later. We have to mention that Dan The Automator left the band, a guy who was an important collaborator to the previous one. I didnít have big expectations like many other fans, because I had the feeling that the surprise effect was now past and that the band would not be able to offer us something new. But, like it was the case when I discovered their first album, I was pleasantly surprised. Once again, the band offers us a perfect mix of genres sometimes far from hip hop with elements of pop, rock and R&B. Effective rhythms and melodies with a generally soft sound, everything is here to please a large audience, but with a privilege to the true modern music specialists. The creativity is still present and with sure hits like "Dare", "O Green World" and "Feel Good Inc.", we donít have other choices than foreseeing another big success for Gorillaz. Anyway, you will have to make an effort, because the band canít be compared to any other band and needs necessarily an open mind. But, the effective melodies should seduce you quickly.  An excellent album that will keep you warm in the cold evenings of fall and winter! (October 2005)

Hedley - Hedley

Hedley, Hedley

Hedley is a Canadian band leaded by a finalist of Canadian Idol, Jacob Hoggard, probably the most charismatic and one of the most talented singers to have been a part of a reality TV show. If he was already a bit crazy in that show despite the structure they gave, he is now completely out of himself and he seems to have a lot of fun showing his butt in interviews. Musically, the band, who did many concerts opening for Simple Plan, offers us an energetic rock sound with a few punk influences. The hit "On My Own", one of the bests of the album, gives us a good idea of their genre. But, we can also hear ballads showing greatly the unique voice of Hoggard ("Trip", "Gunnin", etc.) and creative rock songs ("Streetfight", "Villain", etc.). Some songs are a bit weak, but the ensemble makes us imagine an interesting future for the band that will only increase its quality, in major part thanks to the huge talent of Hoggard. Rarely politically correct, Hedley will please a young audience of rebels, but wonít create a mass movement among the fans of Canadian Idol. They will certainly prefer to listen to the winner of the same edition, Kalan Porter, who, with his pretty baby face, his powerful voice and less provocative songs, will please older ladies, the main audience of the TV show. Judging the performances Hoggard gave on Canadian Idol, Hedley is probably very interesting to see in concert. So, if they go on stage in your area, donít miss them. (February 2006 featured new artist)

HorrorPops - Bring It On CD

HorrorPops, Bring It On!

This is the comeback of the psychobilly super band leaded by the singer and bassist Patricia Day and the guitarist Kim Nekroman (who is the singer and double bassist in Nekromantix). I liked a lot their first record issued last year and entitled Hell Yeah!. This time, they asked Brett Gurewitz (of Bad Religion) to produce the album. The recipe is still the same with the completely crazy rockabilly, but it is more accessible to a large audience than Nekromantix. The pop direction is clearer on Bring It On! with ska and pop rock tendencies that a band like No Doubt would love to do ("Hit 'N' Run", "You vs. Me", "Caught In A Blond" which is my favorite one, etc.). "Freaks In Uniforms" begins the album in a great way with the sound we know them for and the title-song could become a great commercial success. This mix of genres and influences makes us hesitate between listening to a band that will certainly become a pop success and a band that will probably stay in the underground. Only the future will tell us more about it, but despite their great creativity, the band doesnít fit in any music movement we find on the charts. At the end, itís a good album that will please the fans of the genre and the fans of their first record. Letís hope they will be able to acquire a couple of new fans. (December 2005)

Hellcat / Epitaph


Korn - See You On The Other Side

Korn, See You On The Other Side

See You On The Other Side is already the 7th album of the metal band Korn. They had a great success in 1998 with the excellent album Follow The Leader (the best album of the year) but they seem to have problems in their evolution since that time. Without offering us bad records, none of them was able to really catch our attention and we forgot each of them quickly. With this new CD, the band grows up to a more interesting style, more efficient with its melodies and guitar riffs. "Twisted Transistor" starts greatly the album that wonít contain a lot of weaknesses until the end. We can hear less of their characteristic bass sound that made them known for in the last 10 plus years and made them different from all the other metal bands. But, the efficiency of their compositions we can hear here will make us forget it soon. Their genre is still a slow version of metal but with good rhythms, most of the time heavy, with rap core influences, but we can also hear now more industrial influences (in the Nine Inch Nails style). Jonathan Davis and his band, which are now only 4 because the guitarist Brian Welch left, are now going in an interesting direction that should bring back many fans to them. Korn should not reach a large audience once again, because we have to admit they are not easy to approach. But, for their fans from the beginning, they will be completely seduced by the new direction they now have. For the System Of A Down fans that donít know Korn, take note that itís not because we talk about 2 metal bands that you will necessarily like Korn, because itís totally something else and the influences come completely from somewhere else. I donít think either the quality of this new Korn album can reach the level of the 2 recent SOAD albums, but itís an excellent one anyway. To consider stronglyÖ (February 2006 featured review)

Lanois, Daniel - Belladonna CD

Daniel Lanois, Belladonna

After a break of 10 years between his 2 previous albums, Daniel Lanois comes back with a new record only 2 years after Shine. Belladonna offers us once again an ambiant sound, but more difficult to like than on Shine because this one is totally instrumental and generally without big arrangements. The album was created and recorded during a year Lanois was in Mexico and you can hear it because we find the warmness of this country. You won't hear latin music by Lanois (even if we can hear reggae/dub influences on "Frozen"), but the arrangements will carry you there anyway. Lanois wanted to create a music that would inspire us our own script of movie and on this side, it's perfectly done. Almost exclusively because of his legendary pedal steel guitar, he is able to bring us in a parallel universe. Except for brass on "Agave", no other exceptionnal instrument comes to overpass his guitar with a unique sound. With Belladonna, Lanois comes back with a sound very close to what he did with Brian Eno 25 years ago. So, it's an ambiant album of 39 minutes that is for an advised audience only. Despite a great music richness, he won't break any sales record and won't fit in the charts. (January 2006)

Anti- / Epitaph


LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem (2 CD)

The LCD Soundsystem music is certainly one of the most heteroclites Iíve heard for a long time. The New York City band, which is in fact the band of one man only, James Murphy, is able to present us a different genre in almost every track. We discover quickly that Murphy has a large music horizon and he doesnít hesitate to explore it on CD. He goes from a dancing and ambient electronic sound to hardcore punk, including indie rock, garage rock, acid house and dance music. The only link we can do between many of the songs offered is the presence of electronic beats, but they even disappear in the rock songs. For the comparisons game, Iíll only drop a few names I had in mind at one moment or another, but donít take it too seriously: Rapture, Scissor Sisters, Peaches, Beck, Moby, Radiohead and Coldplay. The only thing sure is that it is a totally modern and creative album which should please a very open-minded audience. Even if many songs are catchy and have good beats, the link is not always easy to do from one to the other, which can make it easier to skip a couple of tracks for some people. There are also long compositions. But, despite those elements that can be irritating to a non-warned audience, I discovered an album pleasant to listen to from the beginning to the end when we make an effort. The 2 CDs fit perfectly together, despite a total of 100 minutes. Itís certainly one of the best electro albums of 2005 and I donít have any choice but adding it to the top 20 of the year. Iím sorry for the ones that wonít be on that top 20 anymore because of it. (April 2006 featured new artist)

Left Alone - Lonely Starts & Broken Hearts CD

Left Alone, Lonely Starts & Broken Hearts

Even if itís their first record distributed at a large scale, the band from California Left Alone is on the road since 1996, creating a group of fans always growing. The bandís leader is the singer and guitarist Elvis Cortez who wrote all the 13 tracks of the album and produced it. Influenced by artists like The Clash, Rancid and Elvis Costello, the band played with HorrorPops, 1208, The Groovie Ghoulies, U.S. Bombs, F-Minus, etc., in addition to a participation in the Vans Warped Tours editions of 2004 and 2005. They go from a conventional punk sound, right to your face ("Broke My Heart", "My Whole Life", "Heart Riot", "Wasted Time" and the title track), to a ska/reggae of 1st quality ("Another Feeling", "By My Side", "Dead Red Roses"). Some rockabilly influences (closer to psychobilly) can be heard at some points ("Monday Morning") and the Ramones come to our minds in "My 62". Concerning the crazy "My Way", it regroups almost every genre. This is one of the most energetic punk albums Iíve heard in a long time, an extremely good one, with very few weaknesses. Every real punk fan, which has the feeling that punk rock goes nowhere, has to listen to the Left Alone music that will certainly impress him or her. Lonely Starts & Broken Hearts will probably have its place in my 2005 top 20, with the greatest artists of the year. Left Alone: a name to remember! (September 2005 featured new artist)

Hellcat / Epitaph

Lost Patrol Band - The Lost Patrol Band CD

The Lost Patrol Band, The Lost Patrol Band

The Lost Patrol debuted as a solo project of the former Refused member, the Swedish Dennis Lyxzen, at the same time he was forming The (International) Noise Conspiracy. The solo project becomes now a real band with The Lost Patrol Band and its self-titled album. We can hear a rock sound with punk of the 70ís and new wave of the 80ís influences, and a very good pop direction. Even if the band is hard to compare, we can take the risk of associating them to Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Tom Petty and Cheap Trick. No matter which movement we decide to associate them to, what is clear is that the album doesnít contain any weaknesses and that the compositions are particularly effective, with great energy. From "Feels Like Drowning" to "Can't Stand The Quiet" including the excellent "Golden Times", "Hanging On", "Pick Me Up" and "A Girl Like You", they will all be able to catch your attention in a way or the other. When the CD is ending in a very sharp way after only 10 songs and 29 minutes, we have the feeling that this is the weakness of the album: itís too short!. Itís one of the best albums of the year at this time and it will certainly have its place in my 2005 top 20. (November 2005)

Burning Heart / Epitaph

Meesh - Touch

Meesh, Touch

Here is a new band of the Montreal rock scene that will probably create waves in the months to come, if the press agrees to talk about them before the Americans tell us theyíre good like itís often the case. This quartet, presents us a raw rock sound with different influences from the punk of Green Day to the dirty rock of Hole and Bif Naked, with the energy of No Doubt and Joan Jett. After participations to the Vans Warped Tour in 2003 and 2004, here is the first album for Meesh entitled Touch. We can hear the excellent voice of Michelle Morrison transmitting beautifully all her rage on music with a lot of rhythms that wonít keep you inactive for a long time. You only have to take the example of the excellent title-song, the first single from the album, which is full of energy. I know many rock bands that would love to have this kind of song in their repertoire. Another good point about the album is the quality of the production by Graeme Humfrey who was able to present in a perfect way the bandís energy bringing the rhythm section in front and presenting in a great way the voice of Michelle. Good work! The very effective melodies of the band could easily give them the opportunity to follow the steps of Simple Plan in a successful world career. In fact, it would be very interesting to see Meesh opening for Simple Plan, just to make sure the venue is hot for the last performance of the evening. On an artistic point of view, some tracks may leave you not convinced, but after all, itís rock music and if it rocks, there is no reason to argue. For the ones who think that in Quebec we hide too often the guitar, youíll be pleased to here a band with a good presence of the guitar on CD. Itís a very good first tryout by a band to check out closely in the futureÖ (December 2005)

Diffusion YFB


Mentake - Mentake

Mentake, Mentake

Mentake is a young Montreal quartet giving us a pop rock sound. With influences of Nickelback and very hooking melodies, the band quickly got airplay on radios and music TV channels. The 2 first singles, "There It Goes" and "Moving On", reached the top of the charts and it will probably be also the case for the newest single, "Spin Me Around". Very good for young guys barely 20 years old! Musically, the band is not among the most creative ones, using essentially old sure patterns. But, itís the quality of the melodies and arrangements, the talent of the musicians and the unique voice of Jonathan Nathaniel that do all the work here. There are too much ballads in my opinion, but the young female fans will love it. Warning: for their concerts, it would be cautious to bring ear plugs, not because of the volume of the music but because of the young girls at your side that will scream with their very high voiceÖ (May 2006)


Metric - Live It Out CD

Metric, Live It Out

Metric is a band from Toronto but that was formed in New York City. Often compared to Blondie, the quartet leaded by Emily Haines presents us here its second album offering once again a sound taking its inspiration in the new wave of the 80ís, but in a 2000 style. With Live It Out, the band goes far ahead and has nothing to be ashamed of in comparison with other great names from Canada, the US and the UK. The simple songs, but that are very inspired, are full of energy, have excellent melodies and rhythms of first quality that are perfect to dance. My favorite one is certainly "Monster Hospital", one of the punkiest songs of the album that I cannot get out of my mind anymore. Sometimes a bit soft and sometimes a lot more aggressive, the Metric music will carry you in different moods all along the disc. A few songs will maybe seem less interesting to you, but itís certainly more a question of opinion than a weakness on the record. My major impression, after the total listening of the CD is most of all positive. But I consider that with only 10 tracks, there are at least 1 or 2 great compositions missing to the album to make it completely cemented and make it one of the best albums of the year, every category and country considered. Itís a great move ahead that does Metric and Iíll eagerly wait their next album. (November 2005)

Last Gang


Millencolin - Kingwood CD

Millencolin, Kingwood

What we quickly discover from the first riffs of "Farewell My Hell", it's a comeback to their sources that the swedish punk band Millencolin offers us, plus a certain parallel with Bad Religion and the Descendents. This certainty will stay all along the CD with particularly effective melodies and good rhythms. There are a couple of exceptions like "Shut You Out" and "Stalemate" that are more ordinary, maybe even boring. But songs like "Cash Or Clash" (not so far from The Clash's style), "Biftek Supernova", "My Name Is Golden", "Ray" and the very fast "Simple Twist Of Hate" will give you a lot for your money and will satisfy you, even if you are a very experimented fan of punk rock and you have special expectations. Without equaling Pennybridge Pioneers, we can say that Nikola Sarcevic and the guys give us a great follower to Home From Home. I don't think we can count on Millencolin to make a revolution in punk rock, but this album will keep them among the leaders of the scandinavian punk scene. It's an honest album that will please as much the fans of the band as the fans of California punk who would like to have good albums to listen to. (May 2005)

Burning Heart / Epitaph


Miret, Roger - 1984 Cover Art

Roger Miret And The Disasters, 1984

Roger Miret was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in Queens, New York. He has been the singer of the legendary hardcore band Agnostic Front for about 20 years and he was in the heart of the New York punk scene of the 80's. He started working on solo material in 2002, which resulted in the self-titled album of Roger Miret and The Disasters, a record that left the critics without any opinion. Miret and his disasters come back now with 1984, an album a lot more interesting. We can hear influences of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, the New York Dolls and the Buzzcocks on a very effective rock n' roll delivered right to your face like an uppercut to the chin. A lot less hardcore than what he did with Agnostic Front, the Roger Miret and The Disasters sound can be interesting for a larger audience, even if you can bet all you have they won't be played on any radios or tv channels. Without being a very creative music, almost every song of the album is energetic and will please the fans of real punk, too often disappointed by modern punk bands (specially from the California scene). (March 2005)

Hellcat / Epitaph


Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory CD

Motion City Soundtrack, Commit This To Memory

After a first album appreciated by the fans of pop/punk (I Am The Movie), Motion City Soundtrack opened for Blink 182 in Europe and Japan. It's at that time that Mark Hoppus mentioned he could be interested to work with the band on its future album. So, he is the producer of Commit This To Memory, an album more oriented on pop rock than on punk. In fact, after having appreciated the three first tracks, including the first single "Everything Is Alright", I was a little bit annoyed by their "boys band" style on "Resolution" and "Feel Like Rain". "Time Turned Fragile" gave me a better idea of their reputation of punks of the new generation, even if other songs too pop in my opinion were added after that. If at least we could feel that one of those songs could launch them and make them famous, it would be great. But, pop music that stays in the underground, it's unuseful and I'm afraid it will be the case here. If they reach success, it has more chances to be with one of their songs with more rhythms that are almost all interesting. The acoustic ballad "Together We'll Ring In The New Year" could be an exception. Even if I'm mixed up in my opinion of this second album by Motion City Soundtrack, I can say it is well produced and it should please many fans in that genre. But, they will have to work harder on their compositions for the next album to present a more consistant one. (August 2005)


MxPx - Panic CD

MXPX, Panic

After a couple of years with a major record company, the pop/punk band from the west coast of the US MXPX is now once again with an independent one, Side One Dummy. Even if it proves their dropping success, it can help them to be more creative than ever. The result, on Panic, is sometimes very interesting even if they are not among the most creative bands in punk music. The rhythm and melodies are still as effective as they were and gave them the possibility to build an army of fans among the skateboard fans throughout the previous years. The band is also known for their religious Christian themes and they do it once more here, even if the punk rock fans donít care very much about the lyrics of their favorite artists. On Panic, the band is able to get out of the bad position they got on their previous record, Before Everything And After, which didnít contain anything interesting, offering a common pop/punk sound without any energy. Once again, we can hear their sound influenced by Green Day and Social Distortion, and refreshing and energetic compositions like "The Darkest Places", "Young And Depressed", "Cold Streets", "The Story", the creative "Late Again" and the hardcore "Get Me Out", even if the themes are not always funny. So, MXPX has everything it needs once again to reach the young generation of punk fans, with more mature lyrics anyway. (September 2005)

Side One Dummy


Nekromantix - Brought Back To Life CD

Nekromantix, Brought Back To Life Again

Brought Back To Life Again is the re-edition of the album Brought Back To Life recorded in 1992 by Nekromantix. It was certainly the best album they did before the release of Dead Girls Don't Cry in 2004. The Danish band of psychobilly (rockabilly in a faster version) is completely out of control on it. On this re-edition, we can hear a remastered sound. We can also hear a couple of additions to the original record like the original intro that had been excluded from the first version, the song "Monster Movie Fan" with a different ending and in bonus, the original version of "Nekrofelia" with bell and organ. The fans of Kim Nekroman and his band will certainly appreciate this new edition which is bringing the album to another level. Take note that Nekroman is still active with his superband HorrorPops which just released a new album I will talk about next month. (November 2005)

Hellcat / Epitaph


Nickelback - All The Right Reasons

Nickelback, All The Right Reasons

Because itís necessary, here is the review for the latest Nickelback album that has a place at the top of the charts since its release. The band also attracted a big crowd for their recent Montreal concert. Since the huge success of the album Silver Side Up, the band always uses the same formula and itís still the case here. Easy riffs, screaming ballads, predictable melodies, same guitar sounding and the unique voice of Chad Kroeger (that I canít listen to anymore) are still a part of this album that has everything to obtain the same success the band had until now, but nothing to seduce a music reviewer. Itís because through that formula, reused by many other bands in the last 5 years, there is nothing creative or artistically interesting. There are a couple of energetic tracks on All The Right Reasons, songs influenced by Metallica catching our attention quickly before losing any interest by a lack of creativity ("Animals", "Side Of A Bullet" and "Someone That You're With"). But, they are all surrounded by FM ballads easy to remember like the hits "Photograph", "Savin' Me" and "Far Away". They even remind me of the Bon Jovi of 1994, when ballads were all they could do forgetting anything heavier. Itís interesting to mention the tribute they do to the late Dimebag Darrell (former Pantera and Damageplan) on "Side Of A Bullet" where a Darrell solo is overdubbed. They tried to add something new to their sound with piano and acoustic guitar in a couple of moments, but it doesnít bring any change to their post-grunge sound of another era. If you like what you heard of them on the radio in the past months, itís sure youíll appreciate the album because youíll recognize most of the songs. But, on a creative point of view, itís now clear that Kroeger cannot really go far ahead. It would be a good moment to stop following this Canadian band that has nothing really interesting to offerÖ (April 2006 featured review)


Nural - Weight Of The World CD

Nural, The Weight of the World

Listening to "Tension", the first and excellent track of The Weight of the World, we have the feeling weíre listening to veterans of the California pop punk scene in Nural. On the contrary, these 5 guys are barely 20 and they present their very first album. Formed 5 years ago, when they were in junior high school, Nural participated to the Vans Warped Tour as soon as in 2003. Signed with Hopeless Records, the band immediately started working on their first album with the producer Michael Rosen (Rancid, Less Than Jake). The powerful melodies of the band give us some great anthems and you will have a couple of them in mind for a long time, including "Tension", but also "Not Guilty" and "Enlighten Me", to name a few. We can also hear some good rock ballads, something about to disappear, even if there are maybe a little too much on the album. The band differentiates from almost anything coming out of California and we have the feeling they already found their own style. A little more experience and the band will certainly play in the big league. So, we will have to check them out closely in the years to come, because they could invade rock radios. (October 2005 featured new artist)



Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth CD Cover Art

Oasis, Don't Believe The Truth

For many years, Oasis was not anymore the great band they were at their beginnings, having many intern problems, and because of the drug and alcohol abuse of the Gallagher brothers who seemed to have lost all their creativity. In fact, like it was Noel that was composing everything, itís him and only him we should blame for it, even if Liam was impossible to deal with after having become a star. It seems that all those problems are over now and that the guys are more focused on their music and can talk to each other again. On Don't Believe The Truth, the band takes it back where it left after (What's The Story) Morning Glory?. Without equaling the incomparable quality of that one and of Definitely Maybe (their first one), this new record beats easily the 3 previous albums. For the first time, Noel gives the opportunity to the other members to compose some songs, a fresh air that is really appreciated. For sure, we can still make a natural parallel with the Beatles because itís the most important influence for the band. They even hired Zak Starkey on drums, the son of Ringo Starr. Tracks like "Mucky Fingers", "Lyla" and "Love Like A Bomb" remind us of the good years of the band, even if a few songs a little weaker appear in the second half of the CD ("Part Of The Queue" and "Keep The Dream Alive"). But, the last one, the excellent ballad "Let There Be Love", beautifully sung in duet by the Gallagher brothers, seduces us completely and gives us the desire to replay the 42 minutes album. An excellent album that will make you rediscover and appreciate Oasis once againÖ (July 2005)


Orange - Welcome To The World Of Orange CD

Orange, Welcome to the World of... Orange

Recruited by Tim Armstrong of Rancid when they were still in high school, and signed to his record company, Hellcat Records, the guys of Orange offer us now their first album. Those 4 youngsters from Hollywood, California (with 2 of them that were born in England) present us a pop punk sound that can be pleasant to any young skater fan of Californian punk. But, what makes the difference between them and all the other ones in the same genre is their strong influence of the 1977 British punk rock,  most of all by the Sex Pistols and The Clash. We can also compare them to Social Distortion and the Buzzcocks in a couple of occasions. All along the 11 tracks of the album (+ 2 bonus ones), the band is never annoying and there is very few weaknesses. From "Hollywood" to "Orange" including "Cool Mexicans" (my favorite one), "No Rest For The Weekend" (the first single) and "Affirmation Song", each one has an interesting point, a good energy and a great freshness. The guys may still be very young, but you donít have that feeling hearing their compositions and their interpretations that are original, creative and rich in content. Orange is a very interesting addition to the Californian punk rock scene which had many problems in the last couple of years. You have to check out closely this band in the years to come. (November 2005 featured new artist)

Hellcat / Epitaph


Ozzy Osbourne - Under Cover

Ozzy Osbourne, Under Cover

What do we do when we donít have inspiration anymore? We release an album on which we do covers of some of our favorite songs. Thatís what gives us Ozzy here, having been in a serious breakdown of creativity for the last 15 years, period he used to make the foundations of the Ozzfest, to become a television celebrity in The Osbournes and to release concert albums. On Under Cover, Ozzy sings 13 of his favorite songs of the 60ís and 70ís, with only 4 of them never released before because the others were in the box set Prince Of Darkness issued in 2005. So, itís a collection of the various Ozzy covers. "Rocky Mountain Way" of Joe Walsh starts well the album, but after that, many of the songs presented are not at the same level than the original. Itís the case for "In My Life" of The Beatles, "21st Century Schizoid Man" of King Crimson, "Sunshine Of Your Love" of Cream, "Working Class Hero" of John Lennon and "Sympathy For The Devil" of The Rolling Stones. Others were already ordinary in their original version and itís not the unique voice of Ozzy or the guitar of Jerry Cantrell (former Alice In Chains replacing the virtuoso Zakk Wylde, a long time partner of Ozzy) that will be able to make better versions of the songs. There is among others "Mississippi Queen" of Mountain, "Go Now" of The Moody Blues and "Good Times" of Eric Burdon. We can hear a couple of good versions anyway of "For What It's Worth" of The Buffalo Springfield, "Fire" of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, "All The Young Dudes" of Mott The Hoople (composed by David Bowie) and "Woman" of John Lennon in which Ozzy is able to communicate the emotion of the original version of the song. But at the end, very few covers by this legend of metal will send you upside down. The versions always stay close to the original ones and he canít make us discover a song by a great quality new version of it. We have the feeling to hear a karaoke session in the basement of the prince of darkness. (June 2006)

Pennywise - The Fuse CD

Pennywise, The Fuse

Here is the 8th album of the California punk band Pennywise, an album they recorded quickly without asking any questions about themselves. The result: a fast album with a lot of energy, like at their debut. The two first tracks of the album will totally seduce you ("Knocked Down" and "Yell Out") and youíll get impatient to hear whatís coming next. Once again, the band doesnít hesitate to take position politically and socially (for example in the excellent "Fox TV") and pitches it right to our face. Itís now our turn to catch it or not. With The Fuse, we catch more than we donít because itís one of their good albums in career, at least as good as Land of the Free? released 4 years ago. Like itís always a bit the case with Pennywise, we donít like it as much as the first songs after a couple of them because their music is often similar. But, itís a very good album anyway that will please the bandís fans without any problem. (October 2005)



Pitty Sing - Pitty Sing CD

Pitty Sing, Pitty Sing

Pitty Sing was formed in Boston before moving to New York City, even if its leader and composer, Paul Holmes, was born in Manchester, England. The sound we can hear is most of all british and we can compare them to The Smiths, Simple Minds and The Cure, even if Holmes says he never listened to their music (at least for the 2 firsts). There is also a couple of elements of Talking Heads in different occasions throughout the album to justify the New York origins of the band. Holmes was inspired by an old dark alternative compilation of the 80's he listened to a couple of times before leaving it completely. That music haunted him for many years and it's from those souvenirs he composed what would become the first full length album of Pitty Sing. He told his desire to bring back souvenirs in people's minds and it's essentially what is giving us the self titled album. It's that nothing of this CD is similar to something modern. Everything reminds us of the alternative rock music of the 80's, when The Cure was dominating that scene. The voice, the often slow rhythms, the addition of keyboards, dark themes, everything brings us back to then. Despite all that, the band is able to present its music with creativity and it's completely different from anything in the music industry of today. Without being incredible, this is an interesting album by a band that will please the fans of Robert Smith. (January 2006 featured new artist)

Videos: "Radio" - "Bleeding Hearts"


Pressure, The Hard Way

Pressure is a punk band from Quebec City giving us elements of the glam and hard rock of the 80ís. So, we can compare them to New Found Glory as well as to the debut of Bon Jovi. In some occasions, I even had the feeling of hearing a glam band, influenced by Poison, which released only one album in 1989, Pretty Boy Floyd. I have to say I didnít have very big expectations about The Hard Way, but I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the energy coming out of this album, which is leaving expectations about their performances on stage. What impressed me the most was that they were able to create their own style using perfectly their different influences together. Even if I heard similarities with many different bands, I wasnít able to associate them to a particular music movement and the comparisons are difficult to do with other bands of 2005. So, itís a creative band we can hear with these young guys from Quebec City. Even if itís easy to consider itís too often the same sound on every song, I can say itís a great discovery I made. (November 2005)

New Horizon


Priestess - Hello Master

Priestess, Hello Master

Priestess is a band from Montreal offering us a rock ní roll heavy sound, but very melodic. We can compare them to Queens Of The Stone Age and Jet, but also to the rock sound of the 70ís from MotŲrhead (for which they opened for many concerts) to AC/DC. They are now on tour at many venues anywhere in the US where it seems to work well for them, when at home in Quebec, there is nothing significant happening (but there is nothing new about it!). With the 2 first singles of the album, the fast "I Am The Night, Colour Me Black" (which reminds us of Queens Of The Stone Age) and "Run Home", plus the excellent "Lay Down", all three opening the album, Priestess is able to catch our attention for the rest of the CD. After that, there are a couple of weaker tracks, but the whole remains of a very good quality and gives us the wish to see them perform in concert. Take note that the album was produced by Gus Van Go (who also worked with The Stills) and that the cover is from Melissa Auf Der Maur. Priestess is an excellent new band that will please every fan of hard music! We should start to hear about them soon, when the wave will grow a bit in the USÖ (April 2006)



Queens Of The Stone Age - Lullabies To Paralyze CD

Queens Of The Stone Age, Lullabies To Paralyze

After the big success of Songs For The Deaf, one of the best albums of  2002, Queens Of The Stone Age comes back with another great record, Lullabies To Paralyze, its 4th. This band, that was formed from the rest of the metal band Kyuss, is still as hard to describe and compare. Somewhere between metal, alternative rock ní roll, psychedelic rock of the late 60ís and progressive rock of the 70ís, we can try weak comparisons with Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, Screaming Trees, Jimi Hendrix and of course Kyuss. After the intro entitled "This Lullaby", "Medication" can remind us a bit of the good years of Black Sabbath. After that, the excellent "Everybody Knows That You Are Insane" and "Tangled Up In Plaid" bring us beautifully to the hit "Burn The Witch". The soft "In My Head" gives us the opportunity to catch our breath before "Little Sister", one of my favorites. "I Never Came" starts softly the second half of the disc that will keep you well awake until the end of the 58 minutes with "Someone's In The Wolf" (an intense one of more than 7 minutes), "The Blood Is Love", "Skin On Skin", "Broken Box", "You Got A Killer Scene There, Man..." and "Long Slow Goodbye". Even if the album needs a couple of listenings to appreciate it, QOTSA offers us one more time an album extremely interesting that will surely be in my top 20 of the best albums of the year. Fans of creative music, even weird music should certainly pay attention to QOTSA that will always give them a lot for their money. (June 2005 featured review)

Rammstein - Rosenrot

Rammstein, Rosenrot

Only 1 year after Reise, Reise, the industrial German band was back at the end of 2005 with Rosenrot. Unfortunately, the band is still not able to bring us once again an album at the level of Sehnsucht, their breakthrough record of 1998. With each album, they try very hard, bringing a couple of new sounds. But each time, the heart of the album is copied on what the band did since the beginning of its career. Heavy guitars with a dark atmosphere, exploding chorusesÖ but not really exploding, German lyrics, here is what we still hear on this latest album. This time, the little something new they incorporate is a song in Spanish with mariachi horns, "Te Quiero Puta!". Except for the stupid lyrics, itís certainly one of their best tracks since the classic "Du Hast". We can also hear the dynamic "ZerstŲren", an industrial track in the Ministry genre. For the rest, itís too often monotonous and annoying. I think we can start talking about Rammstein as a band of one album only. Fortunately that the band always offers impressing and unique performances on stage, because it can keep them hot. The album is also available in a limited edition including a DVD of 3 tracks in concert captured during their last tour. I donít think itís worth the money. (July 2006)


Rocketface - Rocketface CD Cover Art

Rocketface, Rocketface

Rocketface is a trio from Toronto that has the particularity that their singer is their drummer. The band proposes a hard rock sound of the 2000ís in the way of the British The Darkness, the Australians Jet and the Canadians Danko Jones. They performed in fact with Danko Jones recently in Montreal. Despite this hard rock side strongly influenced by the 80ís, the band is able in many occasions to bring us in another universe. For example, with "To Take You Home" and "Once You Were Alive", the band offers us touching songs in a musical genre closer to ambient British rock than the rock ní roll full of energy that is the most associated to them. On this self-titled album, the band gives us 12 tracks for a total of close to 48 minutes and very few of them will annoy you, like for the first single, "Dirty". For sure, because we talk about hard rock here, some compositions donít go very deep, but like says very well a song from the Rolling Stones, "It's Only Rock n' Roll, But I Like It". The fans of energetic guitars and music should pay attention to this band that can certainly please them. They will perform live for a couple of concerts in Ontario in the weeks to come, among others with The Trews (November 9th in Kingston and 14th in Peterborough). (November 2005)



Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang CD Cover Art

The Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang

It has been a long time since I was interested in a Stones album, because in my opinion they were only a great band in the 60ís, despite a few good albums at some points in the last 35 years. I already see the emails coming into my inbox because the Stones are one of those bands you always have to say theyíre good even if theyíre not and you have to buy $1000 tickets to see them in concert even if you saw them many times before. I donít enter this kind of ridiculous wave, sorryÖ But, to talk about their new album, A Bigger Bang, itís their first one in 8 years, since the not very good Bridges To Babylon. I was happily surprised by the album of 16 tracks that captured quickly my attention (with "Rough Justice") and was able to keep it until the end. After the good ballad "Streets Of Love", a surprising blues hits you right to your face, "Back Of My Hand", which is immediately followed by the inevitable hit of "She Saw Me Coming". We can find a folk or country sound in many occasions which is showing us that the band didnít try to copy itself, but produced the kind of album they really wanted. For the first time in many years, the band is renewing itself a bit and this is certainly their best record of the last 25 years, maybe even since Exile On Main Street in 1972 (already 33 years ago!). Logically, youíll quickly recognize the unique riffs of Keith Richards and the particular voice of Mick Jagger, but the band presents a more modern sound, using less their sound of the 60ís. We still can do comparisons, but it is a lot more difficult to associate a song to a classic of the band, which is a great step ahead. Despite this good new album that will certainly please their old fans as well as a younger generation, I still think they should retire before becoming pathetic. Itís true they have a great promotional team behind them, but they are all over 60 years old now (except for Ron Wood) and they can have problems following their reputation in a near future. I thought they were close to the end with the double compilation Forty Licks released in 2002 for the 40th anniversary of the band and the double live album of the following tour in 2004, Live Licks. But, it seems that itís not the case, like they prove us with A Bigger Bang. Will they be able to come back with another quality album after this one? I have big doubts about it, but itís to follow upÖ (December 2005 featured review)


Seemless - Seemless Cover Art

Seemless, Seemless (2004) (2005 re-issue)

After Seemless had released the album in 2004 on the independant label Losing Face Records and quickly sold all the copies available, Equal Vision Records re-issue now a remixed version of Seemless with a new cover art and a bonus track, "Maintain". Seemless is a metal band from the Massachussetts scene. Its members were in different important bands from that scene like Shadows Fall, Overcast and Killswitch Engage. With blues influences and a particular sound, the band is different from the other new metal bands, but is still having a pop direction that can be interesting for the radios. I can make a couple of comparisons with the Seattle grunge scene of the early 90's, particularly with Soundgarden, in part because of the powerful voice of Jesse David Leach not so far from Chris Cornell's voice in many occasions, but also musically with the special structures. Faith No More and Fates Warning also came in my mind in a couple of occasions. Weirdly, I discovered I already knew "Lay My Burden Down" without knowing where I heard it before. This song can carry the album by itself and give the band the push they need to become known by a larger audience. It's a good album for people who like heavy rock with complicated structures, with a good potential for the radios anyway, a well better album than many of those metal bands we can see in the Billboard top 200. (March 2005)

Equal Vision


Simple Plan - Live From The Hard Rock: Deluxe Edition

Simple Plan, MTV Hard Rock Live (CD + DVD)

After only 2 albums, the pop punk band from Montreal is becoming more and more famous around the world. At the same time, they become the leaders of that wave. Iím very satisfied that the boy bands from the 90ís are being replaced by guitar boy bands leaving stupid choreographies. Especially if the band played in clubs for many years, wrote all their songs and was formed by French speaking guys from Montreal. It took sales of 5 million copies in the US and concerts all around the globe before Quebec finally discovered their talent, but thatís not newÖ The band gave a concert in Orlando, Florida, a concert captured for MTV, and this is that concert that is offered to us here on CD. In a limited edition, we can have a bonus DVD of the concert as first seen on MTV with 5.1 surround sound. For the CD version, in addition to the 13 tracks presented on the DVD, we can hear 3 acoustic tracks: "Crazy", "Welcome to My Life" and "Perfect". For someone like me who has no interest listening to a live concert on CD, you will certainly prefer the version with a DVD, especially because we can see all the energy of the band on stage. Maybe they gave everything they could for the MTV cameras, but they were in total control of the crowd, a young crowd already conquered that knew all the songs by heart. If you prefer to pay less, the CD only version presents also the best of Simple Plan at this time and should please you anyway. (February 2006)

System Of A Down - Mezmerize CD Cover Art

System Of A Down, Mezmerize

Four years after the gigantic Toxicity, the best metal album of the millennium at this time, System Of A Down comes back with Mezmerize with so much pressure and expectations. The band did the best thing taking a break and a good breath and giving us a rarities CD in 2002 to make us wait (Steal This Album!). Mezmerize is the first part of what could have been a double album, but they decided to offer them separately, the following, Hypnotize, being awaited for September. Once again we can hear the unique style of SOAD with their always surprising various rhythms where we can go from the most aggressive metal sound to softer and more introspective genres. Despite those variations, the songs have good rhythms and the melodies are still as effective. It starts with a one minute intro, very soft to be sure we are surprised when it really starts. Fortunately, itís the first single, "B.Y.O.B.", following, which is nothing to be afraid of because it has the same qualities as "Chop Suey!" had on their previous album, a song that largely contributed to make them reach stardom. All the songs following that one will have their incredible riffs at one moment or the other, a never ending energy and, despite a very characteristic sound now unique to the band, they will all stay different from each other. "Radio/Video" will give us some kind of a little old ska in the middle of it, a style they never did before, at least not in this frame. Some almost industrial moments in "Violent Pornography" make it one of my favorites, and they used an electro voice treatment in "Old School Hollywood" to make it unique. Weaknesses are pretty rare on this 35 minutes album and the only thing that can make it inferior to Toxicity is the impact they will have on new generations of musicians that will surely be less important now that they are well established in the music industry. Their fans and the fans of great quality metal music cannot forget to acquire Mezmerize, but donít forget to check out the release of Hypnotize at the end of the summer. (July 2005 featured review)


System Of A Down - Hypnotize CD Cover Art

System Of A Down, Hypnotize

Here is the awaited follower to the excellent Mezmerize issued 6 months before. At that time, it was already announced that Hypnotize would follow in the fall, a good marketing work! Especially because the 2 albums, even if we can listen to them perfectly separately, could have form one album only of 76 minutes. Even the cases have been conceived to fit together and do a kind of box set. Once again, it's an excellent idea from the creative department to avoid illegal downloads on the web, because there is a great value to buy the 2 albums. Musically, this new CD is similar to the previous one for sure. What is making it maybe a little bit inferior is that we already discovered some faces of the band on Mezmerize that come back again here. You will say it is normal because they were created together and you're right. It's exactly the reason why they should have presented us the 2 albums at the same time, like Guns N' Roses did with Use Your Illusion 1 & 2, more than a decade ago. But, it would have broken the marketing of genius behind it... On Hypnotize, you won't find any instant hits like "B.Y.O.B." or "Question!" on the previous one, but "Stealing Society", "Attack" (which is starting the album) and "U-Fig" will fill up your ears. "Kill Rock 'N Roll" takes it where "Old School Hollywood" left us with a rock n' roll sound I didn't ear before by SOAD. The title song and first single of the album didn't impress me at start, but it is more and more interesting and it's one of those songs we have to learn to like. The album is ending with the excellent ballad "Lonely Day" and with "Soldier Side" that completes the intro of the same title on Mezmerize. I listened to the album by itself, and after its young predecessor and I have to say that it's when we listen to them one after the other that they are at their best. With those 2 records, not only SOAD gives us the best metal of 2005, but the best since many years. Even if Hypnotize is maybe (and it's really maybe) a little bit inferior to Mezmerize, it's a first class album by a band that is playing in its own league. Who will be able to take their place? Take note that Hypnotize is also available in a dual disc version with the DVD side including studio footage about the recording of the 2 albums. (January 2006 featured review)

Trews - Den Of Thieves CD Cover Art

The Trews, Den Of Thieves

The Trews is a band from Ontario presenting us its 2nd album. They offer us a rock sound with rock n' roll and blues influences, a sound we can compare to Big Sugar, Sam Roberts, Jonas and Sloan. Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar produced in fact the first album of the band, House Of Ill Fame, issued in 2003 and re-issued in 2004 in a limited edition of 2 discs. Despite the band plays a style that is not very young, they are able to offer us a surprising creativity. A few tracks will impress you totally, but an energetic song like "Fire Up Ahead" which is opening the album should catch your attention, like it will also be the case in a couple of occasions throughout the 57 minutes of the CD (like with the hits "So She's Leaving" and "Yearning" for example). You will also hear a Tracy Bonham song, "Naked". The guitars are always very present and are at the heart of the sound of The Trews, a sound very centered around the rhythm section. Among the 15 tracks of the album, you will certainly find a couple that will particularly please you. Without being equally good from the beginning to the end, Den Of Thieves is a good album that has its own place in a canadian rock scene that is in great shape these days. When will Nickelback disappear to pass the torch to new creative talents? (January 2006)

Bumstead / Sony BMG


Turbonegro, Party Animals (CD + DVD)

In the 90ís, when all the rock industry was into grunge, then post-grunge, a Norwegian hard rock band appeared and it was offering us what the Americans and the British were not able to do anymore in the glam metal and hard rock genres. That band was Turbonegro which gave us the classic Apocalypse Dudes in 1999. The band is now back, 2 years after the excellent Scandinavian Leather. My first impression when I heard this album: it rocks and itís good! But when I listened to it with more attention, I changed my mind. Itís because the band comes back to the same clichťs he used in a brilliant way on its previous albums, except that here it seems to be a cover of what they did before. They try to redo their big albums again but fall unfortunately in real clichťs copying themselves as well as at least ten bands of the late 70ís and 80ís. Here are the bands that came to my mind the most often: Judas Priest, Accept, Scorpions, Guns N' Roses and Hanoi Rocks. In addition, the themes they use are not very modern like you can see in the following titles: "City Of Satan" (the new video), "Death From Above", "Stay Free" and "Babylon Forever". Itís true the band never really took itself seriously, but now the creativity takes the shot. Some melodies will please you anyway and the punk tracks "All My Friends Are Dead" and "Final Warning" are very good. The fact that a DVD was included interested me in the beginning, but it is totally not useful in any way. We only see the singer Hank Von Helvete in a gym giving tips on a good training. Itís difficult to trust him in that personality and it can make us smile in the beginning. But after, the 13 minutes of the video seem very long, even if we can hear parts of songs from the album in some occasions. To conclude, youíll appreciate maybe because it rocks and because the good hard rock bands are hard to find those days. But, Party Animals wonít make history like one of the best albums of Turbonegro. (December 2005)

Burning Heart / Abacus

Unseen - State Of Discontent CD

The Unseen, State Of Discontent

The hardcore punk band from Boston The Unseen is already well known in the American underground, because they participated to many tours, in the US as well as somewhere else in the world. They opened for Millencolin, as well as they participated to the Vans Warped Tour 2003. State Of Discontent is their 5th album in 7 years and probably one of their bests, even if the previous one, Explode, can still be considered the best of their career. This one was produced by Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys, and was mixed in part by Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion. All big names giving a dynamic result, a punch right to our face that will please the fans of old school energetic punk rock from 25 or 30 years ago. The hardcore tendency of the band is most of all in the screaming voice of the singer Mark Unseen, because for the music itís an energetic rock n' roll that has nothing to do with the usual hardcore sound. Their music is extremely efficient and wonít annoy you at any minute, even if the creativity is not always present. The 32 minutes will seem very short for you, especially because with 14 songs we expect it to be longer than that. The album is ending in a great way with an excellent cover of "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones. Itís one of the best versions Iíve heard for this 60ís classic song. To conclude, itís a good album that offers us The Unseen, an album that will please their fans as well as many other fans of energetic punk rock that still didnít have the opportunity to discover this band from the US east coast. (June 2005)

Hellcat / Epitaph


Florent Vollant, Nipaiamianan (1999) (2005 re-issue)

Nipaiamianan is a Christmas album that was released in 1999, but it was not available anymore since a long time. Here is the re-issue of it that was much awaited. Itís because this is a Christmas album very different from all the others by its music style, more folk, and the language used, the language of the ancestors of Florent Vollant, Innu. He is surrounded by many collaborators on this album: Richard Sťguin,  Rťjean Bouchard, Ray Bonneville, Zachary Richard, Luce Dufault and Lucien Gabriel Jourdain. Youíll hear some Christmas classics, sometimes largely reinvented by Florent who offers us them in a unique way you wonít hear very often. I have to admit I never have big expectations with a Chritmas album, but it was easy here to fall in love. The acoustic guitar of Florent Vollant is always beautifully arranged in a soft and captivating atmosphere. Some songs were able to make me forget I was listening to a Christmas CD ("Kassinu", "Tshishe Manitu", etc.), which can leave us the possibility to listen to it all year long, skipping the Christmas classics that can be less interesting on a great afternoon of June. For a unique Christmas album with great artistic qualities, here is a good choice that will change you of the classics always re-interpreted in the same way. (December 2005)

Diffusion YFB

Martha Wainwright - Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright, Martha Wainwright

The young sister of Rufus and the daughter of Kate McGarrigle, the Montrealer Martha Wainwright had her destiny predefined to become a professional singer. After having worked as a back-up singer for her brother, having released many EPs and having played many concerts in bars and coffee houses of the Montreal area, sheís now offering us her first full-length album. On this self-titled CD, the songwriter gives us a contemporary folk sound, most of the time based on acoustic guitar, but often accompanied by beautiful orchestrations. Her soft voice is added gracefully to this rich and as soft music. Even if there are very few weak songs, I have to say I have a couple of favourite ones through the 13 tracks of the album, including "Ball & Chain" and the one that opens the CD, "Far Away". Some ballads, like "These Flowers" for example, are reminding us of Joni Mitchell and in some cases, itís a little bit less convincing. We can hear her in a duet with her brother on "The Maker" and the album is ending with a nice interpretation to the piano (even if itís a little bit sleepy) of the classic composer Vaughan Williams, "Whither I Must Wander". If you like acoustic and introspective music by songwriters, youíll certainly appreciate what has to offer Martha Wainwright. Donít miss her newest video for the song "When The Day Is Short", another great song that is even flirting with rock. (March 2006 featured new artist)


Wasted Sunday - Barely Spoken, Already Understood

Wasted Sunday, Barely Spoken, Already Understood

Wasted Sunday is a band from Quebec City formed by 4 young guys of a little more than 20 years of age. They offer an energetic and melodic pop punk. Among their main influences, we find NOFX, No Use For A Name, Thrice, Strung Out and Lagwagon, which is giving at the same time a good idea of their sound. We could also compare them to 1208 and Amber Pacific, with traces of Sum 41. Despite effective melodies and a first quality production, in my opinion the band has nothing to distinguish from the sea of bands of the same style. For sure, in a punk festival with many other punk and pop punk bands, Wasted Sunday will certainly be appreciatedÖ like most of the other bands on stage. But there is a little something missing, a couple of songs above average that would bring the band to another level to eventually live of their music, even if tracks like "Quietly Drowning" and "The Silence" are very interesting. Maybe their next album will bring them at that level. I hope so! Before that, I hope theyíll have fun being on tour all across the province of Quebec. For the ones who need pop punk to live and listen to only that style, Wasted Sunday will have its place in your collection. (December 2005)

New Horizon

Weerd Science - Friends And Nervous Breakdowns Cover Art

Weerd Science, Friends And Nervous Breakdowns

Weerd Science is a side-project of Josh Eppard, drummer of the alternative american band Coheed and Cambria (which will release a new album later this year). This project presents a totally different style from the work he does with the band because this is hip hop. Comparisons are easy to do with Eminem and Sage Francis, other white rappers that donít hesitate to use excellent arrangements sometimes exploring other musical genres (soul, R&B, etc.). You will hear at some points the offensive language of Eminem with the poetry of Sage Francis. A gangster rap side can be heard in some occasions bringing him closer to 50 Cent, but his sound is most of all melodic and fun to listen to. This Weerd Science project will probably stay unknown from a large audience, even if there are songs with a great pop direction, but itís certainly one of the best hip hop recordings of the last few years. The ones that say they donít like this genre should pay attention to Friends And Nervous Breakdowns that will maybe make them change their opinion. (April 2005 featured new artist)

Equal Vision


Weezer - Make Believe

Weezer, Make Believe

Here is a band that represents a total mystery. A few bands separate clearly the critics in two parts like they do, even if they never released a bad album. We only have to take the example of their 2nd album, Pinkerton. In 1996, it was a total commercial failure and also destroyed by the critics, Rolling Stone magazine even talking about it like the worst album of the year. But, after many years, Pinkerton has become a cult album for the band, an album nobody would criticize, and it is considered by many like the best album of their career. They were first falsely associated with punk releasing their first album in the period of the mega hits of Green Day and The Offspring in 1994. After that, they were associated to alternative rock when they always simply did good pop rock songs. They only have their own style, so why donít we stop trying to associate them to a specific genre! On Make Believe, the band comes back with pop songs like on its 2 self-titled albums, leaving the heavy side we heard on Maladroit, their last one issued in 2002. So, itís not really surprising to see all the success they had with the tracks "Beverly Hills", "We Are All On Drugs" and "Perfect Situation". But, they are able to impress us in a couple of occasions with a different sound, like itís the case with "This Is Such A Pity" which can easily be compared to the 80ís. It reminds us of The Cars and maybe they arranged this song for Ric Ocasek who worked with them before as producer. Rivers Cuomo, who took control of the band a long time ago, offers us once again good compositions and there are very few weaknesses on Make Believe, despite a couple of ballads that were not necessary to the CD. Itís Rick Rubin that had the responsibility to produce the album and the result is efficient, without being over-produced.  After all, Weezer needs distortion and a dirty guitar sound to be sure they still have their unique sound. Some could say that many tracks are similar to what they did in the past and itís not totally false. But, I didnít have the feeling they were trying to redo their own songs again, and if the songs are good, I donít see any problem. Another good album for Weezer... (February 2006)


Kanye West - Late Registration

Kanye West, Late Registration

Kanye West was first producer for some of the greatest rappers including Jay-Z. But, when he decided to issue his first album in 2004, The College Dropout, he had instant success, in addition to critics acclaim. One year later, he came back with Late Registration, considered by his fans like an album inferior to his first one, but once again greatly acclaimed by the critics. In my own opinion, what I discovered here is an album of a great quality, among the best hip hop albums of the moment. West gives us music richness exploring different genres from funk to R&B, with a jazz background in a few occasions. His melodies are very effective and many songs have great pop possibilities (including of course the mega hits "Gold Digger" and "Diamonds From Sierra Leone"). All the elements of a good hip hop album are present: 70 minutes of music, skits and many guest featured artists (Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Jamie Foxx, Brandy, Jay-Z and many others). There are a couple of tracks that interested me less, but the total is easy to listen in its entirety, which is making it certainly one of the best hip hop albums of 2005. Late Registration is an excellent way to make us wait for the next good Eminem album. (May 2006 featured review)


White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan CD Cover Art

The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan

Here is the eagerly awaited 5th album of the minimalist duo from Detroit The White Stripes, a pair that continues to say they are brother and sister even if they are in fact former husband and wife (yes, the name of Jack White is a pseudonym). Musically, the band have been able to go through the blues garage underground sound and become one of the most admired bands of the 2000ís. With their previous one, Elephant, they broke sales records, most of all thanks to the hit "Seven Nation Army" which even inspired many DJs to do dance versions of it. On Get Behind Me Satan, Jack, who is the only composer, is more romantic than ever and leaves a bit the guitars with distortion that were a big part of the success of the bandís previous albums. There is still guitar, like in the blues song "Instinct Blues", but itís the piano that takes the lead and makes us miss the great talent of Jack as guitarist. Different styles are explored like country music on "Little Ghost" and "I'm Lonely" and also disco/metal on the hit "Blue Orchid", another song we can dance to and will certainly get remixed a couple of times. But, in general, itís a blues sound completely distinct that offers this new composer with a never ending creativity. We recognize the White Stripes style, but the album goes somewhere else once again. Itís that way since their beginnings, which is bringing new fans to every record they release and which is making them lose fans to every album too because they would like to hear what they loved before about some of the songs of the band. Like for "Seven Nation Army" on the previous album, the people who will buy Get Behind Me Satan because they like "Blue Orchid" will surely get disappointed, because the rest of the album can not be compared to it. In my opinion, I like this one less than Elephant, which I considered like the best album of 2003. Itís not that it is not creative, but the piano sound is less interesting to me than the guitar sound, so itís my opinion. In conclusion, this is another great album The White Stripes offer us, a top 10 for sure at the end of the present year. (September 2005 featured review)

Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary CD

Wolf Parade, Apologies To The Queen Mary

Wolf Parade is a new Montreal band which is most of all known for the openings of many Arcade Fire concerts, the new sensation of the Montreal scene. Itís in fact in those circumstances that I discovered them last April. After 2 EPs, the band offers us now its first full-length album, a much awaited one in the Montreal alternative scene, as well as anywhere else in America. The band was influenced by David Bowie, the Pixies and Modest Mouse. We can compare them to Franz Ferdinand and The Arcade Fire for sure. I even heard Gorillaz in the structure of the first song, "You Are A Runner And I Am My Father's Son". After having caught the attention of Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, Wolf Parade was signed to Sub Pop Records thanks to the manager of the creative American band who brought them there. At the end, Brock produced this first tryout for the new band. One of the most particular things about the band is that they have two guys singing each their half of the album: Dan Boeckner, the guitarist, and Spencer Krug, the keyboardist. Hadji Bakara (keyboards and electronic) and Arlen Thompson (drums) complete the quartet. We also have to mention the presence of Tim Kingsbury of Arcade Fire on 2 songs on guitar and 1 song on bass guitar. Even if I was not totally impressed by their performance on stage 7 months ago, I have to say I was impatient to hear an album by them. When I first heard the album, I wasnít impressed yet. But, itís important to mention this is an album that you need to listen many times to learn how to appreciate it. So, I didnít give up and listened to it a few more times to finally discover one the most creative albums of 2005. There are a couple of soundings I still donít like very much: sometimes the vocals, sometimes the keyboard and sometimes the particular rhythms. But, personal opinion apart, itís a very good album we can hear with Apologies To The Queen Mary. Weirdly, despite good catchy melodies, I donít have the feeling this is a pop album that will please a large audience. A few songs have good hooks like what Arcade Fire gave us until now, except maybe for the excellent "Shine A Light" and "It's A Curse". For the fans of original and different music, Wolf Parade is a very good choice. With them, the future of success of the Montreal alternative scene is secured. (December 2005 featured new artist)

Youth Group - Skeleton Jar CD

Youth Group, Skeleton Jar

Youth Group is an alternative rock band from Australia we could compare to the Pixies and The Frame, with in bonus a kind of a British touch. They also have sometimes a folk direction, a sound that would have like Elliott Smith. Skeleton Jar is their 2nd album, but the first to get released in America. Itís an album we have to listen to a couple of times, but as soon as we know the songs, we canít live without it and we have to listen to it until the end in one shot. Melodies are great on a well composed, arranged and played music. The weak moments are rare and itís only for a personal opinion that maybe youíll hear annoying moments. A great surprise by a band to check out carefully in the years to come. (June 2005 featured new artist)





Flaming Lips - Latenight Tales Cover Art

The Flaming Lips, Late Night Tales

Here is not really a new Flaming Lips album, but a collection of tracks chose by the band, like itís the concept with the Late Night Tales series. Youíll find anyway, leading this record, a Flaming Lips cover of "Seven Nation Army" of the White Stripes. For the rest, itís most of all ambient tracks, the most interesting ones being the ones by BjŲrk ("Unravel"), Miles Davis ("My Ship"), Roxy Music ("2HB"), Alfie  ("People"), Aphex Twin ("Flim"), Chameleons ("Up The Down Escalator"), Chemical Brothers ("Playground For A Wedgeless Firm"), Love And Rockets ("Saudade"), Lush ("Monochrome"), Psychedelic Furs ("Sleep Comes Down"), Sebadoh ("On Fire"), Radiohead ("Pyramid Song") and Brian Eno ("Another Green World"). There are 20 of them that will please you totally by their relaxed atmosphere and will make you discover the Flaming Lipsí universe and what makes them happy. (April 2005)


Various Artists - Punk-O-Rama 10 CD

Punk O Rama 10 (CD + DVD)

It's the 10th edition of Punk O Rama a compilation of the main artists of Epitaph Records. And once again, it's their best edition at this time. The 9th included for the first time a DVD with some videos, but here it's not less than 21 videos we can find for a total of close to 1 hour and a half. Among the most interesting ones, we have to mention the ones by From First To Last, Millencolin, Tiger Army, Bad Religion, The Weakerthans, Black Keys, Dropkick Murphys, and we can also hear excellent songs by The Matches, HorrorPops, Pulley and Roger Miret & The Disasters. The DVD itself justifies the total price, but let's talk also about the CD. It regroups 26 tracks for a total of 72 minutes, all different songs from the DVD except for "Riot, Riot, Riot" by Roger Miret & The Disasters. So, it's 46 titles we can find on the 2 discs sold at a good price! Among the tracks included on the CD, we can find some of them that are previously unreleased by The Matches, Bad Religion (a never released song of 1994), This Is Me Smiling, Scatter The Ashes, The Offspring (a never released song of 1992), Hot Water Music, The Bouncing Souls (a live version of "Anchors Aweigh"), Pulley and The Special Goodness. Among the other tracks, we cannot forget the excellent songs of Sage Francis, Youth Group, Millencolin, Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, Pennywise, NOFX and Tiger Army. Fans of punk of all genres (hardcore, pop, rap, psychobilly and old school) will definitely have a lot for their money with this compilation of the best of Epitaph. A must! (August 2005)


Various Artists - Suicide Girls: Black Heart Retrospective CD

The Suicide Girls: Black Heart Retrospective

Suicide Girls comes from a porn website that was brought in real world with a book and a tour before signing a contract with Epitaph for the production of a DVD, Suicide Girls: The First Tour. You donít understand anything? Donít bother because me neither! All I know is that we now see this compilation appearing with goth and industrial classics. We can hear 15 tracks by bands like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Bauhaus, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, Love and Rockets, Joy Division and Siouxsie & The Banshees. We also hear the excellent "Lucretia My Reflection" a previously unreleased song by Alkaline Trio cover of Sisters of Mercy and the classic by The Cult, "She Sells Sanctuary". Those are the 2 best tracks of this compilation which is perfect for Halloween or your parties where another color than black is not at its place. There is also another never released track, "Don't Know How Much" by Atmosphere. Like every compilation of this type, there is a couple of songs that donít fit perfectly together, but like you can judge by the names included, the weaknesses are very rare. Maybe this disc will not be useful for the fans of the genre because they probably already have all those songs, but for the others, the 72 minutes of the CD, mixed very well together, can be really pleasant to you. (December 2005)



Various Artists - Sympathetic Sounds Of Montreal Cover Art

Sympathetic Sounds Of Montreal

by Frťdťric Gagnon

Funny to see this fine little comp coming out a few years after the heyday of Montrealís garage scene. Not to say that there arenít any good rock and roll bands going on in Montreal right now, but almost half the bands here are either on hiatus or have broken up, except for BBQ, CPC Gangbangs, Torontoís Deadly Snakes, the Sunday Sinners, the Royal Routes and maybe the Cheating Hearts. Two kinds of sound are represented here : the noisier, darker punk sound influenced by the Cheater Slicks and the lighter, poppier, sixties-influenced sound, which I happen to prefer. The best of the bunch are the Sunday Sinners, with their Staple Singers cover "Are You Sure". Perfect, stomping, melodic gospel/garage/R&B, whatever you wanna call it : chekíem out. The Sexareenos, BBQ and Del Gators tracks arenít bad either, but the real aceness is brought to you by the Deadly Snakes. Who would have thought? Their bold cover of Eddy Floydís Stax staple "Big Bird" is incredible, and their original number is worth a hundred spins as well. The darker, noisier side of the disc is best represented by the Scat Rag Boosters, who just released their first LP after several years of seven inchers. If you like what you hear on this comp, do yourself a favour and check out the somewhat superior A Harem of Hits compilation on Sultan Records, which basically covers the same grounds. (April 2005)

Various Artists - 2005 Warped Tour Compilation CD

Vans Warped Tour '05

The Vans Warped Tour gained a huge success throughout the years presenting numerous alternative bands, most of the time in the punk rock or metal genre. Many are new artists not well known yet, but others are well established in the industry. Once again this year, Side One Dummy Records gives us a compilation of the artists presented during this tour. Itís a double album with studio recordings by those artists. There are 50, so youíll have a good idea of the punk and alternative scene in 2005. The best known artists are MXPX, Pennywise, The Offspring, Millencolin and the Dropkick Murphys. Others will seduce you like Fall Out Boy, Gogol Bordello, Atreyu, Amber Pacific, Nural, Armor For Sleep, Motion City Soundtrack, Youth Group, Go Betty Go, Left Alone, Strung Out, The Matches, Tsunami Bomb and many more. Itís a great gift to a young punk rock fan who will have something to go crazy with this double CDÖ (September 2005)

Side One Dummy








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