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October 02, 2001 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-02

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7 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 2, 2001

The Grand Pecking Order,
Oysterhead; Elektra Records
By Keith N. Dusenberry
Daily Arts Writer
One cold morning sometime last
year, Phish phreaks woke up to phat
bong tokes and the realization that the
long great trip was over. Jerry was still
dead, Phish's future was uncertain at
best and the kids soon discovered that
touring with Eric Clapton just wasn't the
same. For sorme reason, Clap'on's yup-
pie "blues" fans weren't buying the
phreaks' cooked-on-a-Volkswagen-
engine grilled cheese sandwiches in the
pre-show parking lot. And on top of it
all, Hemp necklace sales were way
down. Bummer, dude.
A few glimmers of hippie hope have
arisen since then. Moe's still truckin' on,
and Widespread Panic continues preach-
ing to the tye dyed choir. But nothing
compares to the hype or hunger for
phormer Phish phrontman Trey Anasta-
sio's new project Oysterhead. In this
effort, Anastasio resurrects ex-Police
drummer Stewart Copeland (whom Trey
found while shopping for has-beens
with Quentin Tarantino at the "Washed
Up Career Fair and Flea Market.") And
the other party to this project is every
bedroom bassist's favorite slapper, Les
Claypool, of Primus fame.
Not surprisingly, the music on The
Grand Pecking Order never coalesces.
Take three CD players - put a copy of
Teach Yourself How to Play Drums in
the first one, a copy of any Primus
album in the second and an early Phish
album in the third and then press all of
the play buttons at once. This accom-

plished, you would basically have your
own homemade copy the Oysterhead
album. One positive aspect of this col-
laboration is that Claypool and
Copeland reign in Anastasio's tendency
toward pointlessly drawn out guitar
noodling. It's still there of course, but at
least there is less of it. That said, this trio
is often technically remarkable, but
practically unfulfilling. If only they
would use their powers for good instead
of garbage.
And nothing short of intensive cre-
ative writing classes or a lot of acid
could help the lyrics on this album. If
they're not entirely obvious, they're sur-
realistically hideous. One typically hor-
rible little number is "Shadow of a
Man." While its "hard hitting" social
commentary on shell shocked soldiers
returning from Vietnam might have
been relevant 30 years agoi it comes
across as trying way too hard today. I
haven't been this politically un-moved
since BAMN's last rally.
This album is so boring it should
come with drugs.
Grade: C-

Soundtrack: Bones; Priority Records

Love and Kisses from the
Underground, Handsome Devil;
RCA
By Rob Brode
Daily Arts Writer
If Green Day and Blink 182 had
a child they would have Sum 41,
but if Green Day smoked crack
unremittingly and refused to put
down the bottle then their illegiti-
mate child would be Handsome
Devil. The band hails from Orange
County and the regional influence
is heavy. The Devil's debut, Love
and Kisses from the Underground
dishes out a west coast whine
accompanied by simplistic guitar
intros which give way to rotund
routine rhythms. Song structure
remain simple and will glide in and
out of the ear with their familiar
feel. The album is short on musical
substance but long on brat punk
humor. Danny Walker, Handsome
vocalist, shines on the asininely
amusing track "Samurai," which he
belts a chorus of "I'm a fuckin'
samurai/from the darkside."
The album's lack of originality is
bearable through the humorous
tracks but reeks of banality on the
band's attempts to create their own

punk rock anthems. The song
"Bring It On" with it's chorus of
"So you want a piece of me/Bring it
on" is hokey when it should be
hard. Get real, no one is afraid of
pop punk.
All the songs on tloe record are of
the everyday variety, every day
melodies based on every day events.
While they are real, in an indie rock
kind of way, they aren't necessarily
interesting. Bands with comparable
talent and similar music have paved
the way for these recycled, regurgi-
tated rockers and if they can't take
their derivative drudge to the top of
the charts the Warped Tour always
needs bands to fill the 10-11 slot.
Grade: C+

By Dustin Seibert
Daily Arts Writer
The descent from good taste continues.
Snoop Dogg's career continues to thrive after a
decade, despite numerous label changes and many lack-
luster records, none of which ever came close to the
quality of his 1993 magnum opus Doggystyle. He has
demonstrated a longevity that cannot possibly be a result
of his personal skills (read: Dr. Dre carrying his sorry
behind).,
This latest offering, a soundtrack based on his upcom-
ing cinematic thriller, is essentially a Snoop album pack-
aged and passed off as a compilation.
With appearances reading as a who's who of West
Coast hip-hop, the soundtrack should satisfy the tastes
of California mainstream fans. Tha Eastsidas, Xzibit and
Kurupt are among the list of artists rhyming over pro-
duction from the likes of Battlecat and "Fredwreck"
Nassar.
Cypress Hill fans have a little something-something
from their blunt-smoking regime with "Memories," and
for all the D-12 fans that have been itching for a taste of
the nutjobs since their album, check out Slim Shady and
the click in the gritty "These Drugs," surprisingly one of
the better tracks on the soundtrack.
And if all that is not enough to tickle your fancy, the
hordes of Outkast fans will find that the once under-
ground "Fresh and Clean" remix with Snoop has found a
home. The track lacks the flavor that made the original
mega-popular, but that Dirty South essence remains.
Not surprisingly, most of the record sounds like recy-
cled goods: It is packaged and presented as new, yet it's
been heard so many times before.
The embarrassing "Dogg Named Snoop" track is
nothing more than another variation of the many songs

Days of the New, Days of the New;
UNI/Outpost
By Taryn O'Leary
For the Daily
The twangy acoustics and musty,
masculine voice of Travis Meeks have at
long last returned, temporarily filling the
utterly endless and gaping void of quali-
ty modern rock. Musically drained by
the search for a genre to substitute the
passionate mastery they consistently
release, Days of the New's newest addi-
tion to their multiple, similar-sounding
album collection successfully settles the
minds and stomachs of fans who have
recently been attempting to satisfy their
desperate yearning by listening to the
less artistic and talented posers of
today's chart toppers.
The not so new, yet classically bold
sound of their latest self-titled album
continues to fulfill previously eclectic
standards, as well as create new fearless
territory for the group to dominate. As
apparent with their rivetingly powerful
new single, "Hang on to This," Meeks,
Inc. "Creed-ishly" moans about life,
love and their never-ending discovery of
anything but happiness. Although the
utter despair and universally pissed off
routine is fairly overplayed, with some
intensely creative back-up instrumen-
tals, and very respectable balls, Days
has nevertheless continued to establish
their rightful place in today's currently
discontented rock and roll society.
Without ever landing themselves a
solid spot in the "mainstream" conversa-
tion, the exquisitely spicy band has pro-
duced three immensely strong albums
since their birth in 1999. Donning
Metallica's semi-sadomasochistic
orchestra throughout their debut album,
Travis' not-so-Meek-ish vocals are rem-
iniscent of a fiery Eddie Vedder, circa
1993. Ditching an old-school tone of
grungy flannel over a whopping span of w
two years, their current release can be
easily confused with the lead vocal
stylings of one dashing Ed Kowalczyk.
Borrowing a multitude of sounds
from their plethora of inspirations, the
band is bravely beginning to promote
their own name. Although their sound
has been polished, and their vocals
slightly refined, the boys of Days of the
New have yet to completely abandon
their basement playing roots, an unset-
tling neighborhood edge sorely missing
from Billboard's Top 10.

Snoop has made concerning his own stage name. The
"Ballad of Jimmy Bones," by R&B singer LaToya
Williams, suffers from one significant problem ... bad
vocals.
"Jimmy's Revenge," by Snoop and Soopafly, features
an almost blasphemous rendition of the James Brown
classic "Payback," where the former calls himself trying
to sing. Nail rapping down first, and then we will see
about your career as a balladeer, pal.
Only if you are a die-hard West Coast fan without the
need for Dr. Dre's sound, or if you are one of the Couple
dozen loyal Snoop Dogg fans, will you appreciate this
soundtrack to its fullest. The talent involved provides it
with so much potential, but the end result is not exactly
sufficient.
Fight the system, along with Snoop's pocketbook, and
burn a friend's copy.

Grade: C

Grade: A-

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