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October 31, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-31

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 31, 2000

we-I

Vapor Transmission, Orgy; Reprise

Borders and Boundaries, Less
Than Jake; Fat Wreck Chords
By Gabe Fajuri
Deily Arts Editor
Little in this world is constant.
Certain things, however, can be taken
for granted. Campus will always be
under construction. The sun will
always rise in the East and set in the
.West. The world will continue to turn.
31y Stallone will continue making
worthless movies. And after seven
years of existence, to that list can be
added the fact that Less Than Jake will
always put out solid, rock and roll
records.
Eight weeks of recording in Los
Angeles led Less Than Jake to produce
its newest release, Borders and
Boundaries. The wait, for the most
part, was worth it.
From the album's opening bass riff
on "Magnetic North" to the closing
power chord of "Faction, Borders and
9oundaries delivers exactly what LTJ
fans have come to expect from the
band: Punk rock meshed with ska
'grooves that are louder and catchier
than anything else on this side of the
globe.
Borders and Boundaries showcases
what the Gainesville, Fla. six-piece is
all about - songs that deal with life in
the suburbs ("Mr. Chevy Celebrity"),
life on the road ("Hell Looks A Lot
Like L.A."), drinking ("Malt Liquor
Tastes Better When You've Got
problems") and straight up punk rock
("Bad Scene and a Basement Show").
The band shines through on the
record's first ten tracks, hitting high
points on the power ballad "Look What
Happened" and "Gainesville Rock

By Neal Pais
For the Daily

City," a song complete with finger tap-
ping and ultra-overpowering trombone
lines.
Sing-along choruses litter the
record's landscape. Trying to ignore
riff-punctuated lines like "You're on
your own/Can't make it through this
world all alone/Is this thing on at all?"
(from "Is This Thing On?") or the
prevalent harmonies, '80s guitar lines
and rock vibe of "Gainesville Rock
City" is nearly impossible. Put the disc
in your car stereo and your head is des-
tined to bob while windows shatter and
your speakers get blown out.
Unfortunately, the intensity of the
first two-thirds of the record diminish-
es slightly on songs like "Bigger
Picture" and "Last Hour of the Last
Day of Work." Even so, the most
mediocre material on Borders and
Boundaries translates into raw energy
in a stereo.
Luckily, the band pulls it all back
together on "Faction," record's closing
track, gathering together the ska beats,
horn lines and thick sound it's built a
reputation on.
Pop in Borders and Boundaries and
prepare to pump your fist in the air.

These days, the ever-cheapening music industry
has become crowded by IQ-deficient 'artists' who
take the easy road to success by pillaging classic
tunes of their so-called heroes. Orgy, on the other
hand, has managed to bring New Wave and glam
rock back onto the musical scene without practic-
ing the same sort of musical mutilation that their
peers do.
Their latest brainchild, Vapor Transmission,
takes listeners on a fantastic retro sci-fi trip while
exercising a respectable degree of originality.
Okay, the group did cover New Order's classic hit
"Blue Monday" on their [platinum-plus] freshman
album Candyass, yet this time around the quintet
from Southern California has risen above the
muck of much of today's harder rock.
Much of 1ajpor Transmission:s sound is still
tinged with bassist Paige Haley's self-proclaimed
'death pop' (coined after their debut album), yet
the present album mainly seeks to tackle the issues
of a futuristic, computerized culture.
Orgy even accents some of its tracks with a dis-

tinctly Orwellian flavor; "Opticon" drills in its
motif of mind control and paranoia and the
album's gem (and current single) "Fiction
(Dreams in Digital)" contains undercurrents of
futuristic individualism and propaganda.
Singer Jay Gordon's Anglicized vocals give the
album a very palatable '80s flavor which lends
itself to the band's desired sound.
After all, Orgy did seek to pay homage to '80s
icons New Order on their first endeavor. Some of
the other noteworthy tracks on the album include:
"Saving Faces" and "Chasing Sirens."
While most of the tracks on Vapor Transmission
belong to the harder retro set, awash with thrash-
ing guitar riffs and trippy, synthesized sound bits,
"Eva" shows that Orgy isn't just some soulless
rock band.
The song is a touching tribute to Orgy producer
Josh Abraham's late mother. It is marked by Jay
Gordon's constantly morphing voice; the native
Californian manages to stretch his vocals into a
Cure-like Anglo-drawl in order to pay his earnest
respects to his friend's mom.
While many rock fans may scorn Orgy for their
somewhat tacky glam image and unconventional
sci-fi 'pop-metal,' this group's sophomore album
certainly rises to meet any open-minded listener's

expectatiotfs.
If it's trite, talent-devoid music that you sec
you won't be hard-pressed to find what you i
looking for at the music stores. However, if y
want a medley -- no, an orgy of creative: n
sound.- look for Vapor Trnsmission.

Grade: B

Al!
Reh

By Gautam Ba
Daily Ars Writer

Grade: B+

i

Attack ofthe Manfish; The Fifth
Quarter Kings
By David Enders
Sil Arts Writer
'Need something different for your
aIIloween party tonight'? Try the debut
C1''from The Fifth Quarter Kings, a
loyal band that combines everything
from ska to rap to bagpipes to that oh-
so-popular Limp Bizkit sound. And to
keep party-goers in a monster mood, the
Title track is "Attack of the Manfish," a
ska ballad about a prom date hijacked by
a.swamp creature.
The Kings are an eight-man conglom-
eration who self-produced the disc,
ylyicb works pretty well any other day of
tjj year as well. They begin with a nor-
mal ska lineup (a pair of trombones, a
trumpet, guitar, bass and percussion)
and add a DJ, rapper and vox, giving the
band has a truly unique sound. Most of
the tracks are melodic and catchy, espe-

cially "Liquor Store" and "Projectile
Vomit."
Perhaps even more frightening is the
song about a projectile vomiting sorori-
ty girl: "She looks good 'til she's barfing
on your shoes," enter the blackest sound-
ing white rapper ever for the last three
verses and it might be an instant under-
ground classic.

Thank you, Bono. It's about time.
Time for arguably the best rock band
on the planet to release a rock-solid
record.
And U2 finally has. The world will
breath a deep sigh of relief.
Still licking their wounds from the
uninspiring Pop release of 1999, U2
returns to the gutsy, guitar driven
songs that elevated the Dublin-based
foursome to superstar status just a
decade earlier,
Though the album is filled with
Brian Eno's gratuitous synthesizer
work, the Edge's guitar steals the
show. Even Bono's crafty lyrics take
second place as his voice shows
signs of age straining to reach his
trademark falsetto notes on "Wild
Honey" and "Stuck In A Moment
You Can't Get Out of."
In the footsteps of "Where the
Streets Have No Name" and "Zoo
Station," the album's leadoff track,
"Beautiful Day" nobly sets the tone
for the remaining ten tracks. For fans
of the first single, be warned, this
album will command your attention
through its entirety.
Drummer Larry Mullin, Jr. returns

Grade: B+

. . . . . . . . . . . .
' ;L

,,....

The Least Worst of Type O Neqati
Type O Negative; Roadrunner
Records
By Justin Mann
Daily Arts Writer
Long-haired heavy-metal rock st
satanic cult'? Get out the Lithium bec
Type O Negative is coming out with th
"greatest" hits -- on Halloween "of
days. The title of the new albun
Least Worst of? i'pe O Negative says
you need to know. Fourteen cheery sat
ic songs that are sure to put a sm e
your face. A- lead singer with a"de
voice, some decent guitar riffs and do
right depressing lyrics characterize t
very very odd group of musicians,
The opening verse of "It's '"
Enough," "With my blood, time, swa
and tears/ My goal is to dissolve
fears/ Self-imposed imprisonment/
this way feels she must repent," isplen
depression for me. With song titles
lovly as "Everyone I Love is Dea
"Black Sabath (From The Satan
Perspective)" and "Everything Dies,"it
hard to imagine this cd not being a ch°
topper. 1, on the other hand, don't to
disturbing sounds, like those of'Ty
Negative, in my music. As with mc
people, I enjoy listening to music th
either relaxes me or pumps me up, b
never do I look for music that makes n
just want to cry. If you are looking f
music to scare people knocking on yo
door this Halloween, then definitely loc
into Type 0 Negative.

I

VisualAudio, State of Bengal; Six
Degrees
By Neal Pais
For the Daily
Sam Zaman a.k.a. State of Bengal
certainly brings something new to the
table of underground electronica/dance
with his VisualAudio. However, State of
Bengal is anything but obscure: The
London-based genius has opened for
Bjdrk, remixed the tracks of Massive
Attack and recorded with legendary
Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
His presence on the Asian dance circuit
looms large in his chosen home city, but
is also quite prominent in his native
-Pakistan and India. In his first solo
endeavor, the Pakistani-born DJ has
taken Far Eastern music and pushed it
ngt into the mainstream; sitars are jux-
"taposed with synthesizers and sunny
Bengali vocals are mixed with an array
of clubland beats.
Visual Audio contains such lush and
hypnotic tracks as "Chittagong
Chill"and "Taki Naki" which entice lis-
teners with tablas, saxophones, violins
and Eastern-style percussion. Track one
.on the CD effectively establishes a dis-
tinctly Indo-Pakistani sound, yet this
quickly gives way to a host of other
influences. The album also inventively

showcases aboriginal dirges, sweet
Middle Eastern melodies and, of course,
Zaman's own skills on the turntables on
such tracks as "Hunters" and "Red
Earth."What results from such a diverse
recipe of cultural flavors and vastly dif-
ferent instruments is a magnificent soup
of danceable psychedelia, ambience,
blues and space rock. Visual Audio is
indeed very difficult to define due to all
of its collective elements, so it is best to
simply take heed of the advice that Sam
Zaman poses on the inside cover of his
album: "Open your minds, prepare your
senses and let your journey begin." Do
this and see that Visual Audio is truly
this artist's medium of choice.

Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows,
Original Soundtrack; Posthuman
Records
Andrew Klein
Daily Arts Writer
Do you remember when the music in
horror films was scary? Maybe not, it's
been a while. But who can forget the high
tinkling piano anxiety of the original
"Halloween" or Tubular Bells in "The
Exorcist"? Or what about everyone's
favorite two-note theme? And no, dude,
I'm not talking about that new Blink song
I'm talking about "Jaws." The score
writers for those old movies knew how
audio could enhance the visual in produc-
ing fear amongst the viewers.
Today, the idea is "Score - who needs
a score? I'll just get the most popular
bands I can find and get them to con-
tribute some songs to a soundtrack that
has the potential to sell millions!" Blair
Witch 2 is a perfect example of this logic.
Or illogic.
The soundtrack consists of today's
hottest metal bands including P.O.D.,
System of a Down and Rob Zombie, as
well as many up and comers. This would
not be a flaw if the purpose of the album

were to be a compilation of this genre.
However, it is not. It is a soundtrack to the
follow up of" The Blair Witch Project,"
one of the most successful low budget
horror films in history. But if you try to
think back to the music in the first "Blair
Witch," you might be stumped. There was
no music. The film used natural sounds to
produce fear and that is part of the reason
why it was so scary. The rustling of an ani-
mal, which in the context of the movie is
interpreted as a ghost, is much scarier than
the screams of PO.D.
But the soundtrack's not a total loss. It
raises sonic interesting questions about
the ways music produces fear. One of the
faults of this album is it's insistence on
rhythm. When trying to produce scary
music, rhythm should not be a focal point,
as it is one of the most comforting things
a human being can be in the presence of.
It is the irregular pattern that produces
anxiety. Every song on the BW2 sound-
track has a steady rhythm, hence not much
fear value.
Many of the songs such as Rob
Zombie's "Dragula" begin with terroriz-
ing natural sounds but then turn into
looped samples that stir about as much
fear as watching "The Blair Witch
Project" after you know it's fake. Other

Grade: C+

Grade: A-

songs, like System of a Down's "Mind
use the always reliable jump-out-from-
behind-the-door method of fear by mov-
ing from soft to loud suddenly. However,
just like slapstick comedy, this kind of fear
leaves the audience as soon as it is over.
Marilyn Manson's "Suicide is
Painless" may be the album's only
truly scary song and that is because of
its simplicity. And it's subject. The
song's soft and dissonant piano lead
guides Manson's always creepy voice
to whisper about the benefits of sui-
cide.
If this is the future of movie sound-
tracks then we should truly be scared.

Bring in the Fuego, Ultra V; RCA

By Sarah Rubin
For the Daily

Grade: D

Stankonia, Outkast; La Face Records

Juan Manuel, Plastilina Mosh;
Virgin Records
3y Chdlstlan Hoard
)aily Arts Writer
Plastilina Mosh are not a dance band,
for do they make electronica, per se. But
what they've taken from both dance and
lectronic music is energy - the sort that
noves bodies and a very different sort
hatCdrves young auteurs like Alejandro
Zosso and Jonas (the Monterey, Mexico

eclecticism: Parts of Juan Manuel will
sound good on a car stereo or a dance
floor, parts of it should be heard through
headphones, parts of it are throwaway
nonsense.
So, is this groundbreaking or stupid?
Will it still sound cool in five years'?
Who the hell is Juan Manuel ? Like
Beck now and Prince 15 years ago, PM
are too into sounding oblique and frag-
mented to hip us to any definite
answers, but suffice to say that their
music is absorbing enough to make the

By Dustin Seibert
For the Daily
In the short yet flourished history of Hip-Hop music, there
has never been an artist or group who has successfully accom-
plished what Outkast has. They have released three albums,
switching their persona to suit a completely different "theme"
on each one and did so without losing their fan base, actually
gaining many more fans along the way. In a genre of music
where change is adamantly shunned, how have they pulled this
off? And does their new album keep their success moving at
such a high speed?
Damn. A brick wall.
To understand Stankonia, Outkast's fourth foray into their
own special blend of musical madness, one has to understand

This album is not
entirely without its,
high points, though.
"B.O.B." (Bombs
Over Baghdad), the -
first single, is proba-
bly the catchiest;
tune on the record:
with its rapid-fire4
lyrics and beats. -
"Ms. Jackson," anf
ode to the elder
woman, is a nice
positive addition to
the record. "Humble
Mumble,' the aforementioned track featuring Andre 3000's
baby's mama, is my standout track on the record. The mellow

Think Abercrombie & Fitch-bac
ground music. Think Volkswagen-con
mercial music. Think Somebody-ask
the-name-and-you-can 't-remembei-
music. '0
And the winner is ... Ultra-V Clich
nondescript and yet immensely likabl
this RCA spawn is sure to dazzle th
ambiance of Dawson's Creek of yo
local Gap. These guys are cute, in a po
ish/ rock-ish/ funk-ish kinda way.
With a tight union between the bas
guitarist and drummer, Ultra-V prdduce
a solid beat that is totally dance-worth)
Everyone can find something app
in the band's fast tempo and repetv
lyrics. You could picture them in a club o
on a warm-up tape. Their album is alsi
mild enough to be great Friday pre-part:
chill tunes.
Bring in the Fuego, the group's' lates
CD, is an eclectic compilation of'rois
,m- r:.n-~~ -,1-

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