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Music Reviews 6/2002

NOFX / Rancid - BYO Split Series Vol. III
BYO
     BYO Records has done an excellent job putting together the BYO Split Series, and Vol. II does not disappoint.  It's pretty safe to say that this CD is going to go over huge with the punk kids.  Rancid and NOFX are two of the biggest punk bands around today, and putting them together on one CD was a great idea.  NOFX start out blasting through six of Rancid's best songs, starting with "I'm the One" and ending with a brilliant reggae version of "Radio".  Three of the six songs NOFX covered came from Rancid's
Let's Go CD.  Next Rancid kicks in with their version of "Moron Bros." and proceeds to blast out "Bob", "The Brews", "Vanilla Sex" and "Don't Call Me White".  My favorite track that Rancid covers would have to be "Moron Bros." or "Bob".  I had high hopes for their version of "The Brews", but for some reason, it just fell flat.  Rancid bassist Matt Freeman, proves once again that he is the master of the bass guitar on this CD.  Over all I liked NOFX's half better, because I think they had better songs to work with.  This is a very enjoyable CD for fans of either band.  (db)

River City High - Won't Turn Down
Doghouse
     Have you have had one of those times where you pick up a CD by a band that you have never heard of, because the cover looks promising?  Only to be left with a feeling of disappointment once you get the disc home and listen to it?  Enter Rebel City High.  I picked up this CD and judging from the cover, these cats looked like a younger, prettier Supersuckers, only to discover that they sound like a revved up version of Toto and Men at Work.  This CD is not good, but on the flip side it's not really bad either.  It's just there, bland, boring, and lifeless.  There are two basic explanations to the turn out of this CD:  1) this recording did not capture the band's sound or their performance ability, or 2) they suck.  I'm hoping for the first reason, but the verdict is out until I have a chance to see them play live.  Some people might really like this CD, but those people also probably really like Blink 182.  (db)

The Unseen - The Anger and The Truth
BYO
     One look at the cover of this CD, and you can pretty much sum it up - mohawked, snot nosed, screaming, and semi-political punk rock.  The biggest problem with this band is the vocalist…he sucks.  The music isn't bad, but it's nothing we haven't heard many, many times before.  The lyrics are you basic political punk rock, ie down with the man, the system sucks, blah, blah, blah.  That's nice and all, but how do you propose we change things?  I'm sure this group is over with the gutter and crusty punks.  They kind of remind me of Anit-Flag, and that is not a good thing.  (db)

Reverend Horton Heat - Lucky 7
Artemis
     The good Reverend returns with a pure blast of stripped down psychobilly/punk/surf madness and does not disappoint. 
Luck 7 takes a step back to the Rev's heyday and basically picks up where Liquor in the Front left off.  With classics like "Galaxy 500", "Suicide Doors", and "Like a Rocket", Lucky 7 reestablishes the Reverend as rock 'n' roll monster.  (db)

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