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October 13, 1995 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-13

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 13, 1995

$e EP
CA
1000 Mona Lisas are a pretty good
Runk band lost in a crowd ofpretty good
Gunk bands. They have a decent guitar
'dund, tolerable lyrics, heartfelt, emo-
Ainal vocals, and some rockin' tunes
Aoing for them, but at this point, with
cord companies shoving punk rock
down our throats like stale tater-tots,
vho really wants to hear another pretty
' od punk band?
: These guys actually have a really
-eod scheme to combat this problem.
They do a hilarious cover of Alanis
Morrisette's "You Oughta Know" and
stick it at the end of the disc as a bonus
track. The song starts out just as stale
and emotionless as Morrisette's melo-
dramatic radio hit, and then charges
into a fun and furious punk rockthrasher.
Sure, the song doesn't make the rest of
the disc any better, but it will raise
enough of a buzz to get people go out
and buy it. Actually, the cover is so

much fun, it might actually be worth
buying the disc just for that one track.
Of course, the rest of the album isn't
all bad. From the opening rocker "How
Would You Know" to the last original,
"Instilled And Lost," the band rocks
hard in the tradition of fellow west
coast punkers NOFX and Bad Reli-
gion. There's even a bit of the Descen-
dants influence to be heard. The ep's
slowest (and probably best) track, "My
Embarrassing Suicide," trudges through
some great heavy riffing and some re-
ally cool bass lines.
1000 Mona Lisas have made a mar-
keting gamble with this release. Al-
though the cover may get more people
to notice them, it might also cause them
to be remembered only as "that band
that did that Alanis Morrisette song."
That would be a shame, because, again,
they really are a pretty good punk band.
- Mark Carlson
Blue Vinyl
9:03
Silver Toroise Sound Labs

Local bands on local labels usually
conjure up a particular sound is people's
minds. Raspy, fuzzy sound quality
coupled with amateurish song writing
and mediocre playing tends to be the
standard fare. They're usually albums
put out so the band can say, "Hey, we
put out an album."
Not Blue Vinyl. Recorded when
three of the members were seniors at
Ann Arbor's Community High School
(the drummer was a junior), "9:03" has
style, skill and balls.
The first track "Sugar Me," in a Bruce
Springsteen rock-funk vein, displays
qualities rarely seen in high school
bands. The song, an original composi-
tion, has arranged horn parts, excellent
solos and above all an amazing voice.
Laith al-Saadi, vocals and guitar, has a
set of pipes uncommon to men twice his
age. Much like Howlin' Wolf and John
Fogerty, Laith's voice has a gravelly
intensity that makes punk-pop weenies
like Green Day and Jawbreaker sound
like Tiny Tim (the guy with the ukulele,
not the crutches).
"Rich Man's Son," the second track,
is beholden to the acoustic groove of
the Doobie Brothers, with Laith's voice
and guitar (as well as Chris Traugott on
guitar) adding a smooth pulse.
Although the band's specialty is the
blues, they opened for Buddy Guy on
one of his dates in Michigan, blue tune
make up only about half of the tracks.
The most notable of these being "Open
Arms" a minor blues and "Georgia"
recorded live at Cava Java. On the live
recording you can hear just how well
the band can stroke an audience's audio
g-spot, Laith's voice simulating the
exact timbre of a two by four sliding
across a dirt road.
Tracks like "Ridin' My Tail" and
"Look Out!" definitely have a Chicago
jump feel, with Green Hills junior (a
junior, a junior for Christ's sake) Dan
"The Man" Zimmerman blowing some
fat harp.
In addition to the fine vocal work, the
guitar offerings of Laith and Traugott
are exemplary, for guys of any age.
Laith is definitely of the blues-rock,
drawing technically blinding influences
from Rush and Santana. Traugott is
rooted more in the urban blues sound,
sounding heavily like Buddy Guy and
Eric Clapton.
"9:03" is an album worth picking up.
Twice. Give it to a friend. Send the
band a check. Available at Schoolkids
Records and other local stores, Blue
Vinyl puts together a hard-core blues
show that could peel the skin off the
skull of the most jaded college rock
dipsticks.
- James Miller

Check out these
Babes
Babes In Toyland is In the house
tonight at St. Andrew's with an aN
ages show. A ballsy trio, Babes In
Toyland has been stirring independent
music watchers' souls for a whole
mess of years now. With their newest
album, "Nemesister," the Babe.
continue their tradition of loud rock
with an especially harsh edge, harsh
specifically In the department of singer.
Kat Belland's voice. The single "Sweet
'69" tore up the coaxial cables with its
brilliant retroastyled video full of
bouffants and a disconcerting melange
of colors well suited to the ripped up
energy of the song. And the recent
release of several dance remixes of the
song "We Are Family" is certainly
bizarre enough to warrant some
attention. And who can possibly forget
Beavis yelling "Fire!" along with thel
song "Bruise Violet?" No one who saw
it, that's who. Well, doors to this
worthwhile event open at 6:30 and
tickets are $12. Lustre and Dumpster
Juice open, but the Babes will still
undoubtedly be hitting the stage eady
In the evening. Get down.

I

Campfire Girls
Mood Enhancer E.P.
Interscope Records
If you're hip to that whole "alterna-
tive" scene, then the Campfire Girls are
for you. They've got all the cliches
down to a science. The weird little gui-
tar ditties, the disenchanted singer, the
lack of ability - its all there. It's like
Stone Temple Pilots without Weiland
and with less songwriting ability.
But the 'Girls actually tread near the
waters of respectability at points on the
album. The guitar sounds in "Upon"
and "p.f.a.m.g." are at the least interest-
ing. "Upon" has a dissonant, clashing
sensibility and "p.f.a.m.g." is an essay
on gritty acoustic guitar
sound."Homework" is something you
can actually tap your foot to. Unfortu-
nately every point that grabs your atten-
tion is immediately followed by dis-
torted vocal lines or other various stu-
dio tricks that have no place at that
moment in time.
The high point of the album is easily
"quick phone call." It's got a distinct
groove that drags the tiniest bit -just
enough to make you say "Hey my
brother, that's cool." The lyrics actu-
ally convey some sense of desperation
and the singer's languid vocal style
seems to fit for once. The song shows
you how much you can get out of so
little.
Yet don't be fooled, overall this is
not - I repeat is not - a good album.
The vocals for the most part are down-
right terrible. They've got all the flavor

of distilled water. The singer's range
encompasses three, maybe four notes
max. The guitar seems to follow the
same trend. They must figure they've
got continuity, if nothing else. Add
lyrics like "I am pink on the inside" and
here comes trouble.
So maybe they'll never put out an
album that'll turn the musical world on
its ear, but given some time and a little
self-introspection, maybe they can
someday put out something at least
worthy of the name "Mood Enhancer
E.P."
- Tyler Brubaker
0. Love and Special
Sauce
Coast to Coast Motel
Okeh/Epic
Fans of G. Love and Special Sauce
know that the last thing the group wants
to do is stick to convention. Their self-
titled first album could be found in an
unprecedented number of places in a
record store -blues, rap, alternative or
even rock. After finding moderate suc-
cess with the rap single "Baby's Got
Sauce," and anchoring their perfor-
mances at H.O.R.D.E. with it, one might
assume that the rap would be well rep-
resented on "Coast to Coast Motel."
Well, not a chance. This album is all
about summertime street-corner laid-
back blues, as can be heard on their first
single, "Kiss and Tell." G. Love's ram-
bling, sloppy vocal style again bridges
the gap between spoken word and sing-
ing, sometimes to the point of threaten-

ing the form of the songs, but rhythm
section members Jeffrey Clemens and
Jimmy Prescott unfailingly hold the
grooves together.
G. Love will never be mistaken for a
great guitarist, but his personal style is
clear, and he does have the chops to rip
off some great lines. On the second to
last tune, "Small Fish," the group takes
a break from the lazy blues feel of the
rest ofthe album to turn out a crazy funk
jam, anchored by an angular, totally
unexpected introductory guitar riff.
Love then lays back and lets the power-
house bass and drums do the grooving,
but the point is made that he can cover
more genres than just the blues. This
one song, while not indicative of the
rest of the album as far as style, is
nevertheless worthy oflisteningto again
and again.
It's hard not to get caught up in how
much fun G. Love & Special Sauce are
having on this album, just'like it was on
their first. "Coastto Coast Motel"elimi-
nated at least one category (rap) that
they might have been thrown into be-
fore, but maybe this album has more of
the kind ofmusic that they've wanted to
play all along. These guys are playing
whatever the hell they want to - instead
of aiming for a particular market and
the result is record that sounds as loose
and fun-loving 'as it gets.
- David Cook

See Seaweed rock
Tacoma, Washington rockers Seaweed will be playing St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit
tonight with their Hollywood Records labelmates Into Another. The punk-rooted
hard rock band's latest release "Spanaway" is a great slice of the band's six year
history pie. Seaweed's good songwriting combined with their biting lyrics make
their music utterly addictive. Be sure not to miss this all ages show with openers
Fitz of Depression. Tickets are only $8, and worth every penny! Don't make me
beg and plead any more. Seaweed. Into Another. Fitz of Depression. Be there,, or
don't be there. Call (313) 961-MELT

K

I

Winter commencement Sdent
5t'
The Office of University Relations is making a Call for
Sentries for a Student Speaker for Winter Commencement
Sunday, December 17, 1995
2:00 p.m.
Crisler Arena
CRTRIA
- Must be receiving a degree during Summer Term 1995 or
Fall Term 1995
SuBMIT
- Cover sheet with name, local address, and phone number
- Typed draft of speech (no more than 5 minutes in length)
- Audio cassette tape of yourself reading speech

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El WEYlIhlC

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