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July 12, 1999 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1999-07-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Parka Kings -
Where's The After Party?
ump Up! Records
Detroit ska albums seem to have one
thing in common: They get better with
each additional listen. "Where's the
Afterparty?" is the recording of last
April's final performance of the Parka
Kings. That show marked the end of an
era for the Detroit ska scene.
This live album recalls a time when
ska show in a legitimate venue
seemed like contraband. The Parka
Kings helped introduce ska to the
Motor City and were at the center of
the scene for six years.
Hundreds of fans crowded into
Detroit's Magic Stick for this unforget-
table event. The Parka Kings played
two sets of their best songs. The fren-
zied dancing crowd pounded the floor,
sending the speaker stacks swaying on
either side of the stage and pushing the
emperatuire into the '90s.
"Where's the Afterparty?" is a far
from perfect album, but the band
bleeds soul and emotion into their
often mechanical sounding songs.
Highlights include "Radio Song," an
up-tempo rhythm and blues version of
their reggae ballad "Slow Me Down"
and final blowout of their punk inflect-
ed anthem "Casino City."
Jonah Victor
Us and Them
The haunted soul machine music of
Godflesh feels overwhelmingly person-
al and alienating. The labors of dark
poetic genius Justin Broadrick, "Us and
Them" weaves together beautiful dis-
torted layers of detuned guitars, meticu-
Sously programmed drum machine

beats, mechanically processed vocal
confessions and plenty of gloom.
Broadrick's brave move away from
industrial heavy metal towards electron-
ica differentiates "Us and Them" from
the seven preceding Godflesh albums.
The programming of his beats has
become amazingly complex, drifting
towards the breakbeat sounds of drum
'n' bass and hip-hop.
The opening track, "I, Me, Mine," for
example, utilizes frantic whirlwind
breakbeats with growling guitar riffs
while "Witchunt" distorts and mutates
the bassline and beats of Digital
Underground's "The liumpty Dance"
beyond recognition.
The use of more free-form song
structuring rates as another improve-
ment on the sound of Godflesh. Unlike
many of the previous albums, "Us and
Them" finds Broadrick employing less
verse-chorus-verse formatting.
"Us and Them" is Broadrick's most
courageous and artistic album yet, fus-
ing together various genres to create a
totally original sound. The sounds of
Godflesh can be a bit dissonant at times
and isn't uplifting, but it's some of the
most innovative, artistic and original
sounds available at the moment.
Jason Birchmneier

Pixie Anne Pennwright
Spokescritic . Hand Mfodel . Independent Filmmakera
like the
of the choirgirl
slipping into the
black vinyl catsuit,
tip-toeing down the trellis.

Continued from Page 10
bass player, Steve DiGorgio and
respected guitar maestro, James
Murphy rounding up the group,
Testament's "The Gathering" is
impressive by credentials alone.
Fortunately, there is plenty of sub-
stance to "The Gathering." Songs
such as "Down For Life," "Eyes of
Wrath" and "Allegiance" rate among
the catchiest and heaviest songs the
group has ever recorded.
While songs such as "True

Believer" and "Careful What You
Wish For" shows the group experi-
menting with dynamics and exotic
time signatures.
Peterson insists that "The
Gathering" will please new and older
fans alike. "Chuck has gone back to
doing his trademark singing which a
lot of our fans missed from the most-
ly death metal bellows he did on
'Demonic.' Dave Lombardo busted
out all these crazy drum chops which
made him a legend to begin with;
DiGorgio just brought his immense
talent to the table and made every-
thing sound heavier and James came
to do solos in a couple of places I sug-
gested and found himself a couple of
spots outside of that too."
Peterson admits that he enjoys the
fact that Testament is now a lean two-
man machine with a revolving open
door for other musicians to enter.
"I've had the experience of
Testament being a full band for a
long time and after it finally just
came down to me and Chuck, it was
actually easier," Peterson said.
He continued saying, "with just
hiring musicians to come and work
with you there's less conflict of how
to split the royalties, who's ego is big-
ger and who's going to show up late
or something like that. Doing things
the way we do now keeps things more
focused and more professional"

fna~ us

We Rock Hard
Features "Here We Go"

I Erik Peterson of Testament and guitar.

/ l i " ViYlVY " v" wve + vs. w " + --

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