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November 14, 2000 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-14

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I,,- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Relationship of Command, At the
Drive-in; Grand Royal
Luke Smith
Daily Arts Writer
At the Drive-in's latest opens with
Zaeh De La Rocha sound-alike growl-
ing "must have read a thousand faces."
Apparently none of those faces told him
to sing.
Musically, At the Drive-in resembles
Rage Against the Machine minus the
political message and sans the innova-
tive guitar riffs of Tom Morello. And
they don't have the driving bass or cav-
ernous drum sound, either. Alright, so
their vocalist sounds a lot like De La
cha, but instead finds himself ram-
bling about pretty much nothing; any-
thing as long as it rhymes.
"Invalid Litter Dept." quietly repeats
the line, "Dancing on the corpses ashes,
dancing on the corpses ashes," imagine
the monotony of that imagery.
Especially when followed up by a
throat-wrenching primal scream.
"This could last a lifetime, limbs
tact, untouched." begins "Enfilade"
d the rest of the song continues to talk
about making a sacrifice on the railroad
tracks and there is apparently a really
big freight train coming. Sweet. God
this CD does seem to last a lifetime.
At the Drive-in finds itself versatile
Peakin'at the Beacon, The Allman
Brothers Band, Warner Brothers
By Mike Spahn
aiy Arts Writer
In 1971, the Allman Brothers Band
produced what is, to this day, their
definitive recording. Taken from a
series of shows at a small New York
City rock club, Live at Fillmore East
stands as one of the best rock albums
ever made.
Now the Allmans, nearly 30 years
ter, release a new recording from
other New York venue, this time the
Beacon Theater, home to an annual
three-week run by the band.
Peakin' at the Beacon, packed with
older tunes the band brought back for
this year's tour, weaves expertly
through percussion-driven grooves to
soaring guitar solos.
Every live Allmans disc has at least
one gem. An Evening ith the Al /man
Brothers has "Blue Sky." On 2nd Set, it
s an acoustic version of "In Memory
f Elizabeth Reed." On this album, it's
another instrumental: "High Falls." The
27-minute rendition includes a percus-
sion section solo that has been the high-
light of recent Allmans shows, guitar
solos from Dickey Betts and Derek
Raising the Bar, Amazin' Blue
&sh Gross
wly Arts Writer
With Raising the Bar, Amazin' Blue,
the University's oldest a Cappella group,
offers an alternative take on popular con-
temporary songs. The result is a well-
rounded CD, a musical cornucopia of the
past few year's catchiest songs.
The quality of the music is contingent
upon each song. "Millenium" is fun with
the lead vocal crooning in mock imitation
0Robbie Williams' pleasantly annoying
e. "Brick," however, feels empty and
flat. The vocal arrangement of "Sonny
Came Home" is complex and the multi-
tude of sounds transforms the song from
a somewhat stale and singular tale into an
engrossing, multifaceted compilation.
Their take on "Cosmic Girl" is comy and
forced, it lacks all the funk of
Jamiroquai's pulsating original. Although
the backing vocals on "Criminal" are a bit

k, the lead is extraordinarily confi-
dent and threatening. The Indigo Girl's
"Ghost" resonates with the congenial
spirit of a cappella, playing with the
melody and unabashedly harmonizing at
all the right moments.

enough to use two (loose term follow-
ing) singers on "Rolodex Propaganda."
The song is highlighted by the fusing of
moog-style keyboards into the rest of
the mess of sound that makes up the
song.
Heavily influenced by hardcore, occa-
sionally adding pop chord changes, and
covering it all in the high pitched rumble
of vocal mess, At the Drive-in's latest
effort is just an effort. An effort resem-
bling Rubber Neck Syndrome: You drive
by a car wreck wanting to look, craning
your neck, but instead you're greeted by
a police officer saying, "Move it along
people, move it along"
There is nothing to see here.

Conspiracy of One, The Offspring;
Columbia Records

Stories From the City, Stories from
the Sea, P.J. Harvey;
Island Records
By Christian Hoard
Daily Arts Writer
Saying that Stories From the Cite,
Stories fiom the Sea is the happiest-
sounding album P.J. Harvey has ever
made is a little like saying "Tit To Tit
5" is the least-pornographic film
Tawney Peaks has ever made: Though
it's much livelier than Is This Desire?
Harvey's last record, Stories is still
darker and moodier than just about
anything y'ou'll hear this year.
All the same, Harvey, now five
albums into her career, seems more
willing to take things in stride than to
brood on them; just check out "We
Float, "the elegantly wistful closer that

features a rather genial (for Harvey)
chorus of "Now we float / take life as it
comes." Or maybe it's that Stories is
simply more upbeat than what we've
come to expect from Harvey: For
every contemplative downer that
shows up on the record, there's a track
like "Kamikaze," a lightning-speed
barnburner complete with foreboding
riffs, hip-hop drums and Harvey's
angst-y caterwauling.
If anything, Stories makes compar-
isons between Harvey and Patti Smith
all the more apropos, and not just
because of Harvey's punky-yet-doleful
style of singing or the laundry-list of
sordid images that pile up like garbage
in the streets of New York City (which,
by the way, is the city Stories' title
refers to) on "This Mess We're In."
Like Smith, Harvey has a knack for
cramming line after line of witty,

expressive and acerbic poetry into
songs that would be compelling even if
you couldn't understand a word she
sang. Stories is the sound of those
songs growing ever so slightly brighter
and more rockin'. More power to you,
Polly Jean.

By Neal Pais
Daily Arts Writer

Grade: B+

Grade: C-

Trucks and a bass solo/scat performance
from bassist Oteil Burbidge. It encapsu-
lates the 31-year old band in less than a
half hour. It makes this album worthy of
your money on its own. But it's not alone.
A clearly funk/jazz influence brought
to the band by Trucks and Burbidge
shines through on "Stand Back" and
"Leave My Blues at Home."
Above all, this album offers material
you can't get anywhere else and shows
the band, through all its changes, can
still play a great show.
There's no way this album will replace
Live at the Fillmore East - but it's an
excellent addition to an impressive array
of live recordings from the Allmans.

Them good old boys of mainstream
punk are back again with yet another col-
lection of catchy, off the wall ditties that
are refreshingly devoid of sobriety.
Unfortunately, most of the tracks on-fhe
album are also steeped in mediocrity and
sound uncannily like the ones on The
Offspring's last endeavor,t Americana.
The Orange County quartet relea ed
Conspiracv of One in its entirety as
MP3s back in September (which this
writer endorsed/took full advantage of)
amid efforts to back Napster and pro-
claim its dedication to serving its fans.
These benevolent musicians followed
in the generous, fan-committed ways'of
many of their punk rock peers, but
Columbia, their new label, prompdy
had all of the tracks with the excepti'n
of the single "Original Prankster"'offi-
cially yanked from the Net. Despite all
of the online hoopla, howeve,
Conspiracy of One has failed to gener-
ate much excitement.
Most critics will agree that the band
reached its musical summit on its 1994
album Smash. A much more serious
work with more traditional sounding
punk anthems, Smash came to epitr-
mize mainstream punk. The collection
was most certainly the band's breal-
through album, yet since then The
Offspring have made their move
towards a merrier vet more mediocre
brand of punk.
A few of the songs on the album are
entertaining in a shallow sort of way;
"Original Prankster" and "One Fine
Day" exude the band's now trademark
happy-go-lucky sound while
"Vultures" and "Living in Chaos" con'
centrates on showcasing Tho
Offspring's decent guitar work. Most of
the other tracks simply disappear ina
sea of repeated noise. Frontman Dexter
Holland's voice continually carlies
across the album's dozen tracks asab
unusually static whine; his humok
tone is perhaps the only salvag#
aspects of Conspiracy of One. T e
future of this established group may §
uncertain as long as it puts forth is
type of music. If these rockers wahipp
remain aristocrats in the realm of pn,
it might be in their best interests to
clowning around and revert to the c~as
sic tunes that once defined them as K
quality punk act.
Grade: C+

Strait Up, Various Artists;
EMD/'irgin

Grade: A-

The recording suffers from a focus on
male leads when there is such obvious tal-
ent in their backing female vocalists.
Those songs that concentrate on the
female voice, "Sonny Came Home,"
"Criminal" and "Talula, for example,
tickle the ear a bit more pleasingly than
the male's. The group also tends to play it
safe in many of their selections, translat-
ing the music into vocals in a straightfor-
ward manner rather than experimenting,
exchanging innovation for recognition.
However, half the delight in listening to
Raising the Bar is recognizing your
favorite guilty pop pleasures, which
Amazin' Blue delivers by the spoonful.
Grade: B+

utiun tteu screeching ©t Anfwnrssr tra
We Have Come for your Parents,
Amen; Record Label
By David Edelman"
Dally Arts Writer

By Justin Mann
Daily Arts Writcr
Snot vocalist Lynn Strait and Boxer
Dobbs (the band's mascot) died in a
three car collision in Santa Barbara, CA
on December I 1 th, 1998. Virgin records
tribute album, Strait Up, features the
vocalists from System of a Down, Korn,
Sevendust, Limp Bizkit and Sugar Ray.
The singers join the remaining members
of Snot in this collaborative effort.
This album's strongest tracks are
"Starlit Eyes" sung by System of a
Down's frontman Setj Tankian, "Take it
Back" sung by Jonathan Davis of Korn,
"Divided" features Incubus growler
Brandon Boyd and "Absent" played
solely by the members of Snot. Strait Up
is an eclectic arrangement of hardcore
and heavy-metal rock songs whose lyrics
express the life and death of Lynn Strait.
The album was created under less
than ideal circumstances, but it show-
cases the respect that these musicians
have for their friends, fellow musicians
and especially Strait. As Fred Durst says
in "Forever," "You don't know what
you've got till it's goneiYou don't know
what you've lost till it's gone." These
words convey the immense amount of
feeling driving this tribute album.
The songs on Strait Up are as diverse
as the men singing them. Some are hard,
some angry and all were chosen to cele-
brate the life of Lynn Strait.
Grade: B
Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park;
Warner Brothers ,i
By Justin Mann
Daily Arts Vriter
Straight out of Cali comes one of
today's best rap-rock-hardcore
bands. Linkin Park has released
their debut album, titled H.brid
Theory, the band's original name.
Coming at you with two great vocal-
ists, Chester Bennington and Mike
Shinoda, like 311 or Zebrahead,
some insane.
beats compiled
by DJ Joseph.
Hahn, guitarist
Brad Delson
and drummer'
Rob Bourdon
are here to
blow you away.
With intelli-}
gent lyric s >::<
sung by two-
compatible
vocalists and
their DJ, gui-
tarist and
drummer, it is

It's no wonder that Amen released
their third album titled Me Have Come
bbr Your Parents on Halloween. It's ter-
rifying, mainly because you know what
this band is going to sound like even
before you listen to the album: Really
crappy. I wonder if the members of
Amen dressed up as a moderately loud
metal band with a %vining lead singer
that has nothing important to say,
because that wouldn't be much of a cos-
tume. These guys are horrible. This is
pretty apparent by the third track on the
album when you can recall the last two.
That's considering that you didn't turn it
off already, because besides the fact that
every track off the -album sounds the
same, the band has almost nothing to
say that's worth listening to.
Amen's lyrics could be summed up
with a series of grunts, screams,
screeches, the occasional yell (the yells
are actually quite impressively long)
and the common death to all rhetoric,
life sucks, no one understands me, boo
hoo hoo talk. I haven't quite figured out
the pattern yet. I hope that these guys
are just trying to appeal to some mar-

Breaking Records Star System

keted confused audience; otherwise
they need some serious psychological
help. Somebody needs to come for your
parents and give them a long, long talk.
Don't quote me on this, the promo
doesn't include lyrics, (surprise, sur-
prise) but I'm pretty sure that in the
track "Justified" includes the lyrics "We
burn the lives of all the women in
church." Feminists attack! Luckily for
everyone's sake you actually have to lis-
ten carefully to pick up on something
like that. Listening to this album is
about the last thing that you should do
with it. A nice shiny coaster is a better
alternative. Please save yourself the
money, time and many long painful
headaches.
Grade: D

difficult to think of this band not
making it big in the rock-rap-hard-
core world of Limp Bizkit's 'rid
Durst and Korn's Jonathon Davis.
Not only does this band produce
incredible melodies, but every song
has an enormous amount of meaning
to it. Linkin Parks can take serious
subjects, such as depression, .aid
turn them into powerful lyrics. -
Some songs deal with depressn
and pain, while others deal wit
relationships.
And the beats get you want'g -o
jam. Why e, lit-
tening,, it is npt
unlikely to find
yourself drum-
Ming and singing
along with them.
In fact, it is hard
to keep yoursef
from doing 9o.
Hahn does- a
great job of itix-
ing up the buts
Sand even haya
very cool tecto
track of his ovn.
Grade: B

A - Moo Goo Gai Pan
B- Mongolian Beef
C - Sweet & Sour Pork
D Fried Rice
F - Fried Dog

- If you missed a week
of Breaking Records,
check out the Daily's
archives online at
www.michigandaily.com

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