Xploding Plastix – Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents

(Beatservice BSCD038)
From: Jyoti Mishra Newsgroups: uk.music.alternative
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 17:04:14 +0100

I won’t do a potted biog as you can find that done excellently here and this is the official site.

This is the first XP record I’ve heard and I’d most compare it to some of the Pork Records stuff but perhaps just a touch jazzier. My fave overall is ‘Treat Me Mean, I Need The Reputation’ which is sort of tango (mambo?) drum’n’bass. Honestly. It works like you think it won’t. I predict this track being very popular with whoever picks BBC2’s link music.

I do like the fact that the album isn’t just the one groove, there’s a range of moods which reminds me of the breadth of Fila Brazillia’s ‘Power Clown.’ There’s some classic be-bop type grooves on here but laid over completely unjazz synthiness. Probably the best example of this is ‘Tintinnamputation’ which does sometimes sound like two different bands rehearsing next to each other. But in a good way.

The strange thing is that I hate both jazz and drum’n’bass but I like this CD and it uses elements of both. How does that work, eh? I guess part of this album’s charm is that it’s pushing itself beyond a lot of other contemporary instrumental electronic stuff. There’s a lot more going on here, in terms of melody and and structure.

So, prime jazzy instrumental electronic noodling. Buy it if you need music to comb your goatee to. Don’t buy it if you’re looking for happy clappy pop.

Blueline Medic – The Apology Wars

(Fueled By Ramen FBR043)

From: Jyoti Mishra

Newsgroups: uk.music.alternative
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 17:04:14 +0100

Hmmm… what label do I hang on this CD? BM are Aussies, this, their debut album, is released on Fueled By Ramen and you can find out more about them here

Reading the bio there, this album was produced by,

“J. Robbins, who recorded their forthcoming debut album “The Apology Wars” at Inner Ear Studios in Washington D.C. “

Didn’t he do Promise Ring? Inner Ear? Ahhh… I could probably get away with calling BM emo. After all, they’ve just done a tour with Jimmy Eat World..

But labels always lie. This album does emorock, yuup, but it also jangles in parts and, truthfully, it’d be more accurate to call BM an indie band. Some of the songs make me feel that there’s an 80s-indie guitar dynamic behind the modern sheen. I don’t exactly know why but BM also remind me of New Day Rising-period Husker Du. Perhaps it’s the singer’s voice, which has a Mouldy hoarseness at times.

But it’s also a very poppy, accessible record. Probably the most singalong track is ‘Making The Nouveau Riche’ which gets you going before, unforgivably, fading out too quickly. Fadeouts – bah!

Then you have a track like ‘Up Against The Fault’ which, if it was less heavy, could almost be a Lloyd Cole song. It’s *very* catchy in that kind of riff-driven way, completed with a neat false ending into big chorus. There’s a lot of Chills-like dyanmics in these songs.

This is a rock album. *Not* a nu-metal album – it’s too complex for that. And too honest: no big swearalong choruses to annoy your parents with here. But you do get a lot of emotion. It doesn’t go down that Vedder-esque whingeing route Staind are taking because the mourning is balanced by anger.

Buy this album if you still secretly treasure Smiths-y melancholy and jangly guitars. Don’t buy this album if you’re looking for heavy, heavy guitar bashing and shouting.

Capdown – Pound For The Sound

(Household Name Records HAUS043)
From: Jyoti Mishra

Newsgroups: uk.music.alternative
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 17:04:14 +0100

Now, I’m not really big into ska-punk cos I’m far too old and fat to dance to it. That being said, I gave this a quick listen and I had to buy it cos of its energy. As soon as the chorus of ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ kicks in, I feel my aged flesh vainly trying to launch itself moshwards. And you’d better watch the fuck out when I crowdsurf…

Click here to find out more stuff about Capdown:

CAPitalist DOWNfall, eh? Well, it’d be nice.

Meanwhile, there isn’t a duff track on here. Capdown switch gears effortlessly between fleet, bouncy ska and then, a bar later, heavy bastard rock. All the songs are concise and catchy, in and out without ever giving you a chance to get bored. Tracks like ‘Judgement Days’ remind me of the Dead Kennedys. There’s that Jello kind of mad drama and sheer, um, loonery.

Then there’s ‘An A-Political Stand Of Reasons’ which I *have to* like cos it reminds me so much of Madness. Although it sounds *nothing like* Madness. Especially when the monster rock bit kicks in. Listen to them kick drums stutter! I defy anyone who likes rock music to not like this track – it’s so fucking mental.

‘Pound For The Sound’ (the song) barrels along like God-fucking-zilla. Never since X Ray Spex has a sax intro sounded so cool and catchy. This is just a brilliant, awesome pop song. It segues seamlessly into ‘Dub2’ which almost crosses the border into that terrifying new genre ProgSkaPunk but I still love it.

‘Dealer Fever’ doesn’t cut any slack. Huge, trainer-vibrating riffs, cool wah-wah and, I think, Rototoms, chug along, daring you not to dance. Absolutely awesome singing, too. Ahh… if I was only twenty years younger… or twenty stone lighter…

Of the three CDs (Blueline Medic and Xploding Plastix being the other two), Capdown’s is definitely the best. Which isn’t to say the others are bad, it’s just I’m a sucker for great pop music and, like I said, Capdown’s CD is overflowing with riffs, grunts and melodies that get my head nodding.

*PLUS* the songs are actually saying *something.* I’m so fucked-off with the reams of oh-so-trendy, tasteful, turntablism-lite instrumental bollocks clogging up the airwaves that it’s a positive fucking relief to hear sermons and polemics like Capdown’s. It’s easy to make me happy: give me great melody, give me compelling rhythm and then sing/rap about something you care about. Capdown do all that

Buy this album if you ever, ever liked the Specials, Crass or Nuclear Assault.

Don’t buy this album if you like the Avalanches.