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Music Reviews 1/2002

Hudson Falcons - For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True
GMM Records
     New Jersey's working class warriors, the Hudson Falcons return with their second full length CD that fulfills the promise left by their first CD
Desperation and Revolution.  From the open crash of "Different Breed" to the closing cover of Springsteen's "Open All Night", For Those…is a true rock 'n' roll classic.  The Falcons take the timeless rock 'n' roll equation and add lyrics that speak to the heart, mid, and soul.  With working class anthems like "I'm a Worker", "Scab", and "Loyalty" to party rockers like "Sweet Rock 'n' Roll Bas Ass Bitch", "Johnny Law", and "Sleep, Drive Rock 'n' Roll, Repeat" to timeless ballads like "Disciples of Soul", the CD never stops and never disappoints.  This CD is a must have for all true rock 'n' roll fans.  If you are new to the Falcons, imagine Bruce Springsteen fronting Stiff Little Fingers with The Devil Dogs playing back up. 

Rancid - Rancid
Hellcat Records
     After two years of touring and resting, Rancid returns with their fifth album, simply titled
Rancid, and their first official release for Tim Armstrong's Hellcat Records.  This CD is reminiscent of the band's first two releases (1993's Rancid and 1994's Let's Go), while still holding true to the maturity gained on 1995's And Out Come the Wolves… and 1998's Life Won't Wait.  This CD is backed with 22 punk rock speeding bullets (the loud and fast rule definitely applies here) while still holding on to what has always made Rancid great… catchy tunes ("It's Quite Alright" and "Let Me Go" are instant classics).  While this CD is not as good as the a for mentioned Life Won't Wait or And Out Come the Wolves…it is still an enjoyable ride, but does take two or three listens to get into.  Now comes my only real complaint… the title.  As a general rule, I hate when bands release a self-titled album for anything other than their first CD.  Now that having been said, I really hate it when a band releases a self-titled album after having already released a self-titled album!  There are plenty of songs on this CD that would have made fine album titles (or lines from those said songs), but instead the band opted to give their new CD the same name as their first CD.  Maybe there is a reason behind the title for the CD (most notably the fact that guitarist Lars Fredericksen did not play on their first record), but you never know.  This is an enjoyable CD and a excellent addition to any punk rock library. 

The Inciters - Doing Fine
Jump Up Records
     Hailing from San Francisco, CA, The Inciters are an 11-piece soul machine and
Doing Fine is a blast from the past on a straight line to the future.  Mixing beautiful harmonies with gruff energy (thanks to the four excellent vocalists), The Inciters harkens back to the great soul music of the 1960's, while adding their own touch for the 21st century. 

7 Seconds - Scream Real Loud
Side One Dummy Records
      Punk rock legends 7 Seconds return with their second live record
Scream Real Loud.  After returning to their hardcore roots in 1999 with Good To Go, Kevin, Troy, Steve, and Bobby decided to capture the band live and recorded a show in L.A. that covered the gambit of their 20 year career.  The album includes classics from The Crew and Walk Together, Rock Together as well as newer material from Good To Go and The Music, The Message along with their timeless renditions of Sham 69's "If the Kids are United" and Nena's "99 Red Balloons" (arguably the song they are known best for).  My favorite track is "Satyagraha" form 1987's Soulforce Revolution.  This is a great CD, especially for fans of 7 Seconds, I only wish all of their albums had been represented on this CD (New Wind, Ourselves, and Out the Shizzy were all left out of this collection). 

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Blow in the Wind
Fat Wreck Chords
     Me First and the Gimme Gimmes return with their third CD,
Blow in the Wind , to do yet again what they do best - punk rock renditions of timeless pop classics.  This time around the boys tackle the songs of the 1960's like only they can, with versions of "Wild World", "Sloop John B", "Who Put the Bomp" and "My Boyfriend's Back" just to name a few.  What on the outside sounds like something tired, worn out, and boring, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes make fun, rockin', and completely worth while.       

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