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Music Reviews 1/2002

Bombshell Rocks - Cityrats & Alleycats
Burning Heart Records
     The Bombshell Rocks are easily Europe's best kept secret.  Blazing with hooks, heart, and power,
Cityrats & Alleycats is a must for all punk rock 'n' roll fans.  If you liked And Out Come the Wolves... era Rancid, you will love the Bombshell Rocks.  Songs like "Embraced" and "20 Days" touch the heart, while "Unstopable", "21st Century Riot", and "Rollercoasterride" will make you want to run and dance like crazy.  This is a fantastic CD. 

The Donnas - Turn 21
Lookout Records
     The Donnas break loose with their fourth album
Turn 21.  Picking up where 1999's Get Skintight left off, The Donnas pound out 14 tracks of glam punk pleasure (imagine The Ramones and Ratt having a kid).  Don't miss the instant classics "Drivin' Through My Heart", "Little Boy", and the killer cover of Judist Priest's "Living After Midnight". 

Dropkick Murphys - Sing Loud, Sing Proud
Hellcat Records
     The Dropkick Murphys return with their third (and argueably best) CD,
Sing Loud, Sing Proud.  Living true to the title, this album is a barroom brawl filled with emotional highs and lows, hooks, and mug toting sing-a-long choruses.  Combining punk, folk, oi, celtic, and good old Chuck Berry style rock 'n' roll, DKM create a unique sound and atmosphere singing along with fists in the air ("The Gauntlet" & "Ramble and Roll"), reminiscing on childhood hopes and dreams ("Caps & Bottles"), holding back tears ("Forever" and "The Tourch"), and dancing a hardy jig ("A Few Good Men" and "The Spicy McHaggis Jig").  Sing Loud, Sing Proud will take you through the good times and the bad.  Well done. 

The Bouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Epitaph Records
     The Bouncing Souls return with their fifth full length CD and deliver yet another anthem filled kicker, beautifully mixing punk, pop, rock, hardcore, and oi.  For anyone that grew up in the 1980's, this is the band for you.  While not quite as good as
Hopeless Romantic or their self-titled Epitaph debut, How I Spent My Summer Vacation still rocks.

Brassknuckle Boys - American Bastard
Haunted Town Records
     The liner notes of
American Bastard say it all -- "no coast working class street rock 'n' roll."  Like all great punk rock, BB call on pure rock 'n' roll roots and hooks to produce one of this years best CD's.  What sets BB apart from the others, aside from the fantastic musicianship (especially the buzzsaw guitar work of Billy Blitz of Riot Squad/Staggers fame), is the intensely personal and thought provoking lyrics.  Mark Dacey and company tackle the decline of America ("Vet Named Ted"), the working man's struggle ("Fighting Poor"), and prison ("From My Heart") in an entirely new way.  My favorite lyric has got to be "You're about as innocent as OJ was, Or maybe it was the guy that planted the glove" from "Murder or Manslaughter".

Fabulous Disaster - Put Out or Get Out
Pink & Black Records
     Fabulous Disaster play straight up, snot nosed, punk rock.  Probably most often compared to The Donnas, but they remind me more of The Muffs or Tilt. 

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