BUCKCHERRY
Self Titled
Dreamworks

Long before local radio started playing ‘Lit Up’ on a daily basis, Buckcherry was stirring it up at the Pontiac Grill with an intimate group of converts. Hailing from LA, the group are often compared to a ‘90’s version of Guns and Roses with a little Social Distortion thrown in. “We have this kind of biker-rock sound which may be where the reference comes from,” says tattooed guitarist Keith Nelson. “As for Social Distortion, the only thing I have in common with Mike Ness is that we are both red-blooded American boys that like tattoos and loud guitars.”

The band’s determination to keep their music edgy with a punk sound involved ex-Sex Pistols' guitarist Steve Jones. Says vocalist Joshua Todd, “Steve had seen the band as a fan and when it came time to do the record we brought him in. We had all the songs done and Steve came in and did some tweaking here and there.”

As a debut, Buckcherry is loaded with raw aggressive power. "Lit up", "Crushed", "Dead Again", "Dirty Mind" and "Borderline" all grind while "Check Your Head" and "For The Movies" add calenture.


Website: Dreamworks

HUNTINGTONS
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Live)
Tooth and Nail Records

Cooked up on a hot sweaty stage in Newark, Delaware, the Huntingtons first ‘live’ record gives some insight into their manic punk explosion. From the bastardized intro of Ennio Morricone’s ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ the four-piece launch into break-neck chemistry. 22 of their stage favorites fill the length of the CD with loads of attitude and chainsaw riffs o’ plenty. From the kick off Pencil Neck and I Don’t Wanna Sit Around With You to the hyperspeed of FFT and Don’t Beat Me Up , they are out to shake the rafters from the roof.

Picking up where the Ramones left off, the Huntingtons keep their songs rapid and brief with lyrics swirling around the awkwardness of adolescence; check out We Don’t Care, She’s A Brat and Alison’s The Bomb. Their maturity does go up a notch on I Don’t Want You, JW and Cracked. But for the most part Mikey, Cliffy, Mikee and A.J. are a simple set; straight ahead, in-the-face, leather-wearing punk at its most dangerous level. They hold down their melody better than Rancid and have better vocals than most bands of their breed.

Website:
Tooth and Nail Records

ORANGE GOBLIN
Time Travelling Blues
The Music Cartel

Retro-Stoner rockers from England joining the ranks of the COC spinoff Leadfoot and Europe’s the Hellacopters, Orange Goblin rev into the arena with Iron Maiden’s galloping bass-line and Trouble’s throaty vocals.

Time Travelling Blues is the band’s second foray into gaudy, 70’s-style psychedelic biker-rock. The album, recorded at Square Centre in Nottingham, England consists of a five-man band including Ben Ward (v), Joe Hoari (g), Pete O’Mally (g), Martyn Millard (b), and Chris Turner (d). From the get-go the CD roars in with the thunder of a motorcycle (fantasize a Harley) straight into first track, Blue Snow.

Their Black Sabbath influences are worn proudly on their sleeves from Shine and Diesel to Nuclear Guru and the album’s title track Time Travelling Blues. A tinge of space rock filters in through the cracks allowing the dense drone of a black-light haze to linger giving the repeated verse in Lunarville ('man, you’ve never been this high') all new meaning. Lumped in with a trend in this genre, these guys rise to the top.

Website:
The Music Cartel

NASHVILLE PUSSY
Let Them Eat Pussy
Mercury Records

Named after the notorious segway on Ted Nugent’s “Double Live Gonzo’ LP, this Atlanta based foursome are stirring up more controversy and ballistic rock ‘n roll than a rhinoceros in heat. Claiming classic rock as their point of reference, lead guitarist Ruyter Suys admits, “After our house burned down and our record collection was melted into one big lump of vinyl, we started building it up again and all the stuff we bought was old metal and ‘70’s rock like Aerosmith, Nugent and AC/DC.”

As a natural progression, singer/guitarist Blaine Cartwright and Suys put together a tight sounding unit. Six-foot plus bassist/model Corey Parks added a second female element, and Jeremy Thompson signed up on drums. The road has been their home ever since. “We’ve been playing non-stop,” says Suys. “For the last two years that’s all we’ve been doing.”

With their high-energy performances which include Sparks spitting fire, Nashville Pussy have signed to Mercury and won the supporting slot for Marilyn Manson. Their song Fried Chicken And Coffee was recently nominated for a Grammy. “If it’s good rock ‘n roll you want,” dares Suys, “you come to our show. We’ll blow your mind and well kick your ass!

Website: Nashville Pussy

ALABAMA THUNDER PUSSY
River City Revival
Man’s Ruin Records

You’d think there was a theme here. Yes, we’re putting the two of them together as a bit of a tweet. This is the second release from our boys out of Richmond, Virginia (the first being the lovely Rise Again). River City Revival picks right up where Rise Again left off with stripped down rock n’ roll in the same mold as Molly Hatchet, Mountain and you guessed it, Skynyrd.

Reversing the record, is the Four Horseman’s riff festival, Rockin’ Is Ma Business where ATP don’t simply cover the song, they pay homage to it. Surprisingly sensitive, Own Worst Enemy carries on into a mind-numbing drone. Giving Up On Living has a nice little clash of guitars reminiscent of two colliding steam locomotives. Mosquito screeches in then falls into a bold bass line. The chorus is a sticky one and very infectious.

Heathen winds in on its seductive belly underneath a full gage Marshall stomp. Spineless reeks of “70’s drone-rock. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is defiantly there between the cracks. The rapid-fire punishment of Dryspell is a ball-crusher. Singer Johnny Throckmorton is in fine form dragging his tongue through gravel and gargling with rock salt.

Website: Not available

ROADSAW
Nationwide
MIA Records

If this is truck-driving music, keep your distance and don’t cut ‘em off. Roadsaw come from Boston yet have logged hundreds of road-miles going from coast to coast preaching to the masses. The second cut off Nationwide sums up their mileage abuse with the lyrics, “Someday I’ll rest forever (not today).”

Originally formed as a three piece with Craig Riggs on drums, Tim Catz on bass and Steve Malone on guitar, the band released a popular local 7” EP. Adding a second guitarist, Darly Shepard they cut their first full-length CD $1,000,000 with Mighty Mighty Bosstones producer Tim O’Hare. Months of touring shuffled the band members around. Riggs went on to vocals, drummer Hari Hassen then took the cushioned perch. Shepard left which brought in Ian Ross and the five-piece recorded Nationwide.

The record benefits from the stability of a pumped-up line-up. Black Flower has got to be the ode to the riff with it’s Iron Butterfly keyboards and faithful verse, “All I want to do is kick it out with the band now” bangin’ around from ear to ear. Overspill, Van-O-Rama, Rotted Out, Signal and Motorcaster chug along as thick slabs of pure intoxication.

Website:
www.roadsaw.net

PAUL MURPHY BAND
I Smell Witches
Make A Move Records

One of New York City’s best kept secrets, the Paul Murphy band breakout with a debut of extraordinary songs full of crisp originality and clever spunk. Struggling as a singer-songwriter in the darkened caverns of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Paul Murphy has paid his dues. He became a full-fledged member of the subterranean concrete underworld at 19 and has since hustled practically every club in Soho perfecting his quest for the ultimate song.

Last year Murphy assembled a tight little band of New York’s finest moonlight musicians, (Mike Dell’ Arena-drums,Pete Kimlingen-bass, Joanne Malino-piano & vocals), booked some recording time and set about making I Smell Witches. Murphy claims the record is more of a soundtrack of his life. “It’s like a movie, you know all the scenes, every line of dialogue, every pulse.”

The CD’s Beatlesque harmonies and pop delivery have an honest endearing quality embracing Murphy’s lyrics. Hot off the disc are Mysteries and Mad, the David Lynch-like western Dead at 33 (Jesus, Belushi & Me) and the standout rumbler, See You In Hell. Of his outstanding band Murphy states, “I always said the band I’d put together would have The Who’s energy, Bowie’s eye for detail, and Lou Reed’s leather jacket.”

Website:
Not available

SUNSET HEIGHTS
Sunset Heights
Mystic Records

Pure “Texas” is the heat coming off Sunset Heights’ new self titled album. Known in their Houston hometown as the next big thing since ArcAngels ~ Storyville, the raving four piece move from standard blues to efficient, melodic burners.

13 southern baked delights fill the CD making good use of the twin-guitar presentation of Jackie Hibbard and Jorge Castillo. They are equally responsible for the passionate vocals drenching from each songs like Did I Let You Down and Lucy Come Home. Rick Hall (drums) and Jason Youngblood (bass) lock together like Texas long horns keeping the bottom end nice and thick.

The band have a great sense of groove moving Meet Your Maker, Freedom and Medicine Hat funky with a move to the Black Crowes’ side of the track. “We try to get that right arrangement with a big emphasis on songwriting,” says Jackie Hibbard. “People may hear this as a departure, but its strength is in the songs.”

Website: Not available

TIN DRUM
Real World
Brainstorm Records

An eclectic mix of pop tunes, this little ditty comes from our friends in Ambrosia, specifically drummer Burleigh Drummond. Tin Drum is a developing collection of Drummond, vocalist, keyboardist Mary Harris (Jimmy Buffett, Pink Floyd, Animal Logic), guitarist Mike Hoffmann (Tony Williams, Ed Mann) and bassist Marco Mendoza (Edgar Winter, Blue Murder, Thin Lizzy). Real World has a distinct calm to it with the band moving in a symmetrical balance.

The CD reaches out with a positive force in both its lyrical content and rock-jazz chemistry. Lay Your Hands, Way of the World and Brighter Day have a distinct Ambrosia feel moving well into Top 40 territory. Hit single Surrender was produced by Alan Parsons and has a subtlety unique to his masterful skills. Who Am I and Long Ago and Far Away are express concerns for the planet, its people and most importantly, its children.

Mendoza’s guitar works its way into Dangerous Man spicing up the song’s emotion, then flows as eloquent as a river into the lush ballad Alabaster. Harris and Drummond are married and have a son, Micky who’s caricature graces the CD’s cover and stands as the inspiration for Little Boy.

For contact information write to:
Tin Drum, PO Box 1589, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0589

DECEMBER WIND
Sacred Voices
Canyon Records

The first thing you’ll notice on December Wind’s debut recording ‘Sacred Voices’ is the exquisite guitar work of Randy Furnia and Donald Sharrow. The second is vocalist, Atsiaktonkie’s haunting trance-like Michael Stipe vocals. ‘Gentle Thunder’ you’ll swear is an R.E.M. outtake.

December Wind cross-pollinates into pop with the precision blending of well-honed songs and strong melodies. The folk-rock Akwesasne Mohawk six-piece move with a breath to contemporary while keeping the lyrics potent and razor sharp. ‘She Likes Flowers’ and ‘United’ have such an uncanny Tom Waits sting as to infect the listener with the talons of a sidewinder.

The musical craft in ‘Sacred Voices’ is top notch. Influence lay in thick from the Fifties fender tough rockin’ ‘Fisherman’ to the concise beauty and drama of ‘High Noon’. Excellent

Website: www.canyonrecords.com

BLACKFIRE
5
Tacoho Productions

We have Mary Redhouse to thank for the information leading to Blackfire, a premier Navajo punk-rock band based out of Arizona. The band is comprised of three siblings Klee (v,g), Clatson (d) and Jeneda (b) Benally who grew up working with their parents as sheep herder’s on the Navajo Reservation near Big Mountain.

The siblings evolved as musicians and dancers through native cultural arts over many years. As a band, Blackfire was put together to celebrate freedom, hope and dignity. Their delivery is a gruff CBGB style, making even the Ramones take notice. Dark Desire leans very close to Type O Negative territory. Very Good.

Website: www.blackfire.net

INDIGENOUS
Things We Do
Brainstorm Records

For the last month Indigenous have been getting daily radio play in Philly. They are the latest incarnation in Stevie Ray Vaughan-style blues with vocalist Mato Nanji doing his best to tribute the deceased blues hero.

The two brothers, a sister and cousin are from the Nakota Nation where they were raised on their father’s record collection of Santana, Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Albert, Freddie and B.B. King. ‘Things We Do’ is their fourth record (we reviewed their last record a year ago).

Their first three CD’s sold out quickly as they criss-crossed the country. Indigenous just may be the cross over band to dominate the upper tresses of the pop charts. Their sound is based on straight forward delivery with stunning arrangements. Excellent.

Website:
www.indigenousrocks.com