Monday, January 28, 2008



Mike Patton make’s his debut as a film composer for the film noir short, “A Perfect Place”.

“A Perfect Place” is the 25 minute comedy short of Fantoma Films co-founder, Derrick Scocchera. Being Scocchera’s directorial debut as well as Patton’s film score debut, the team works well together in setting the tone for the movie. Ingeniously recreating a cinematic genre popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s, this shadowy, pessimistic movie filmed in anamorphic

black and white will leave you wanting more like it from Scocchera. Although cynical in outlook, the short is actually quite funny when you are forced to watch these two knuckleheads accidentally kill a guy with a bass guitar, and fumble around trying to figure out where to dispose of the body. The constant arguing of the crooks and the interesting cast of characters gives you a chuckle, but what really makes you crack up is when the guys go into their neighbors house; an elderly woman with a enthusiastic display of a bowtie collection. Between the bowties and Mike Patton’s crooning on the 1930’s ragtime ballad “A Dream of Roses”, you can’t help but laugh out loud.

What’s interesting about this movie is that they almost make the music its own character in the film. There is an overshadowing presence of the score in the film, as if it’s done like that on purpose. And you know that the music is an important theme in the short when the main characters mention it often. For instance, in the opening scene Bill Moseley (Eddie) says “Would you turn down the radio please?”, and then there’s the blast of Italian ballad “Il Cupo Delore” from Mike Patton’s booming crescendo when Mrs. Newburg goes into the bedroom to get her keys, not to mention the fight over the radio stations in the car scene.

Which leads me into the CD. This original motion picture soundtrack really is a work of art and again shows Mike Patton’s stroke of genius. Although Patton never ceases to amaze me, I have anxiously been awaiting him to do a big band, swing or 1940’s jazz project for sometime now. In the past Patton has always given us a sneak preview of his jazz excerpts with Mr. Bungle, John Zorn and even a little bit of Mondo Cane, yet he never quite jumps off the ledge into a big band mambo jazz project. However, in “A Perfect Place” soundtrack he shows that he may be ready to take that plunge.

Although the soundtrack is primarily a modern rendition of mystery big band and 40’s jazz, Mike Patton plays around with different versions of the songs in tunes like “A Perfect Twist” and “Batucada” and even admits to squeezing in a Rudy Valle piece. By far one of my favorite tunes on the soundtrack, “A Perfect Twist” is literally a “twist” 50’s version of the main theme, sung only how Mike Patton can sing it and “Batucada” is modeled more after the cult classic Bond themes.

For hardcore Mike Patton fans there is still a hint of his “Pattonage” in the soundtrack. Mike successfully finds ways to sneak in his muffled screams and cartoon-like coos while wooing us with his charming smooth vocals.

Again, Mike also shows off his string of talents with “Car Radio (AM and FM) – streamlining a slew of vocal and digital effects to lead you to believe you are actually listening to a car radio dial being fumbled with.

I highly recommend the purchase of “A Perfect Place” for any die hard Patton fan, any die hard Fantoma fan or just film and music fans in general. It will go down in history as another cult classic and should definitely be added to one’s priceless collection.

“A Perfect Place” will be packaged as a dual disc DVD/CD Soundtrack distributed together via Ipecac Recordings with a release date of March 11, 2008. You may purchase the two disc combo at once released.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Scum Of The Earth

Sleaze Freak
Eclipse Records

You know all those tribute bands that you can go see when you can't see the real thing? Former Rob Zombie guitarist Rigg's solo project Scum Of The Earth should have been one of those. It's great that he started something on his own after leaving Zombie's crew, but it's about as close as you can get to Rob's old stuff with White Zombie and his first album "Hellbilly Deluxe" without Rob (if that makes any sense.) As a matter of fact, if you told someone this was the new Rob Zombie album they probably would believe it. No joke. RIggs has got the same vocal style, music and lyrics down to near perfection. It's so close it's damn near plagiarism. I gave him a break on his first record figuring that he is just starting out and needs time to hone his own style. Nope. He is taking his former bosses skit and running with it all the way. Honestly though, Riggs does Rob better than any of the last two Zombie albums that have been released. It's what Rob should be doing, but he is to interested in film to be as hungry for music as once was. And, it's still a fun album to listen to and it rocks pretty damn hard. I have to give it that. So, it you want a new Rob Zombie album look no further than Scum Of The Earth.

- Craig Harvey


The End Is Begun
Metal Blade Records

If you took Rush, Dream Theater and Coheed & Cambria and blended them together, you might get and idea how Three sounds. Actually at times, I could swear that Coheed's vocalist Claudio was doing the singing! This progressive rock band from New York has a great sound that takes the best of the aforementioned bands and makes it all their own. There is a lot of acoustic guitar blended in with the electric and there is also a percussionist along with a drummer as well. The band steers clear of being too heavy, instead opting for a nice middle ground between the early prog rock styles of yesteryear and modern metal voicings. Don't get me wrong, there is some seriously heavy guitar on this release, but it has it's softer side as well. I heard about Three because they will touring with Dream Theater, Opeth, and Between The Buried and Me on the "Progressive Nation Tour". As a matter of fact Dream Theater's drummer Mike Portnoy hand picked Three for this very tour, so you know they have got to be good. "The End Is Begun" is definitely worth checking out if your a prog fan.

- Craig Harvey


Bury Them Deep
Zoviet Records

I heard two songs from Ghoultown on a Zoviet Records sampler and man I was hooked! These bad boys from the lone star state have a cool style that combines rockabilly/gothabilly, a little metal, and every spaghetti western soundtrack you can think of. The guitars move from twangy reverb tones to grinding heavy grooves throughout and the gruff vocals of Count Lyle, (yeah they all have cool stage names) are raw and tough. Hell, they even have a trumpet player! (You can hear him paying homage to Ennio Morricone on several songs). You just gotta love these guys! The entire album is just great, but my favorite track is the last one "Walking Through The Desert With A Crow." It's sums up the bands sound perfectly. Actually, this is the song that made me want to get this album in the first place. With music this good, I have got to catch their live show. I can't recommend this release enough! You hear me partner?

- Craig Harvey


Captain Morgans Revenge
Napalm Records

Metal has been categorized into every genre and sub genre you can think of. There's death metal, doom metal, black metal, power metal, hair metal, thrash metal etc, etc.... Now another brand new genre of metal has arrived. Pirate metal. Yes you heard me correctly, Pirate metal. From Scotland no doubt. I almost started laughing when I saw the cover of a skeletal Captain Morgan, Sword raised on the deck of his ship in a storm. However, as we have all been told, never judge a book (or Cd) buy it's cover. Alestorm plays with serious conviction. The musicianship is excellent and the tales of pirates, curses and legends of the seven seas will have you headbanging in no time. I mean, black metal bands talk about satan almost every album, death and gore metal bands write about murder and horror and so forth. So why not about pirates? At least it's something other than what we normally hear. If your looking for a new metal experience, Alestrom is definitely the band to check out. Buy this cd or walk the plank!

- Craig Harvey


Pathology Of Murder
Napalm Records

Catastrophic sound like Nu metal on steroids meets death metal. Honestly I have heard this style till I am sick of it. Nothing original stands out here. Same growling/screaming vocals, downtuned guitars, evil lyrics etc, etc..... Granted every style of music has the same problem, one band sounds original and then the copycat syndrome starts. However, this style was never really a favorite of mine to begin with, so that also doesn't really help in the band's favor anyway. Yeah, it's heavy, but being heavy is easy. Being creative, unique and heavy is much harder, something Catastrophic is severely lacking.

- Craig Harvey


Bliss Of Solitude
Napalm Records

Ahhhh....doom metal. I love doom metal. The dark foreboding atmospheres, massive guitar riffs and haunting lyrics really appeal to my blackened heart. Only a handful of bands know how to do this style correctly and Isole rank as one of them. The vocals are clear and sorrowful and the music reminds me of early Candlemass (which after looking at their myspace page was obvious) who were major godfathers of doom. So yes, you could say I liked this album quite a bit. Ironically enough they are from Sweden, where it seems many of the best doom and black metal bands hail from. The songs keep the slow to medium tempos as should all doom metal and the guitars are thick but discernable. There are only seven songs on this release but quality over quantity is always better I say. Isole are the perfect companion for grey days and dark nights when the hours of loneliness and despair fill your soul.

- Craig Harvey

Tankfarm Presents

Future Sounds (artist compilation)
Various Record Lables - The Music Box @ Fonda

Future Sounds sprang from one man’s passion for music and the pleasure he received from sharing newfound bands with friends. A manager and DJ in the San Francisco scene, and the guy that was always giving friends a never-ending supply of mix tapes, Larry Little (co-manager of The Killers) had a bigger vision in mind.
While Little found success via the The Killers’ mainstream status, he realized there was also a community of amazing new bands that were rarely given the chance to be heard through traditional media outlets. Thus the inspiration of the mix tapes began and started another form of networking for underground recording artists.
More as an artistic release for Little than a strategic promotion, these mixtapes transformed into what has become FutureSounds; a compilation CD of nu wave, alternative and indie rock bands from a variety of record labels.
There is spirited quality with this CD from songs such as "Patricia The Stripper (The Wombats)", "Land of the Brain Damaged (Hong Kong Six)", "Blue Honey (Pop Levi)" "Suite Life (Kudu)" and "Lintwalk (The Blakes)".
Future Sounds is full of reinvented flavor as well as originality and is definitely my top pick for all of the CD’s I have reviewed so far.
Although the compilation is not available in stores you may purchase it online at

- Mia Carlin

One Little Indian

Presents… (artist compilation)
One Little Indian Records

One Little Indian’s Presents is a compilation CD of the various artists on the record label One Little Indian. The promotional CD includes songs by Bjork, Rose Kemp, Astrid Williamson, and Twilight singers, among other greats.
This is a very impressive down-tempo collection of seemingly talented artists who, in my opinion, are highly underrated.
Primarily a mellow CD, songs such as "Violence (Rose Kemp)"," Colours (2 Bit Pie)" and "White Widow (Afterhours)" increase the energy of the anthology.
Definitely a rare find, this CD compilation is unfortunately for promotional use only and is not for sale. However, if you log onto the record labels website
There is a long list of artists (including the ones on this CD) and MP3 downloads to sample the music.

- Mia Carlin

Champion Kickboxer

54° 40’ or Fight!

Being a fan of British Indie Rock, this England based band threw me for a loop.
It’s very clear that Champion Kickboxer does not follow any kind of traditional tablature or songwriter’s rulebook (if there really was such a thing).
What’s not clear is the direction these songs are taking.
It’s usually an unspoken conformity between the listener and the artist that gives you an idea that a chorus is coming, a hook’s about to drop, a crescendo is about to swell or damn, at least give us an interlude, please! But with Perforations there is nothing of the sort; just a slew of harmonies (that sound like the Mamma’s & the Pappa’s) and layers of broken rhythm compounded by erratic drum beats; hence CD title Perforations.
In Perforations, you are forced to follow along each note with apt scrutiny, carefully listening, awaiting for an actually melody to form.
The professional artwork of the CD itself is great but pair that up with the actual music and well, it leaves something to be desired. While I do appreciate what Champion Kickboxer is trying to do, I have to say, I wasn’t all that impressed.
If anything, they should market the CD as "experimental" and leave it at that, so at least you know what you are getting yourself into.

- Mia Carlin


Fameseeker and the Mono

This psychedelic indie rock band from Ashville, NC describes their music as "sweetly sleeping faeries nestled in the dewy grass of a magical land while drooling creatures lurk nearby". I guess you can say that listening to their latest CD Fameseeker and the Mono.
Reclaiming the sounds of 1970’s jam bands, Fameseeker and the Mono depicts the hippy world of psychedelic creation with driving bass lines, finger picking chords, flute sounds, tuba and layers of vocal harmony.
The calming nature sounds of the first track "Thimble" sets the tone for the CD, leading you into the feel good melodies of chord progression and bohemic drum beats. By far, the most appealing of the songs, "Life is Great" is one you can’t help but sing along to. Cascading harmonies and gentle guitar licks create a mood for the CD that continues as the tracks roll on.
Although a very chill CD indeed, I’d have to say it does drag on a bit.
I do highly recommend it for a camping trip or a rainy day indoors, though.

- Mia Carlin

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Miss Derringer

Black Tears
Stay Gold Records

While the cover art for Miss Derringer’s Black Tears intrigued me (think albino Bambi meets a gothic Alice in Wonderland), the music itself caught me off guard.
With surf guitar and a 1950’s melody of lovers lament, Black Tears takes you back to a time where holding hands & sharing a chocolate malt was all a date consisted of.
I applaud Miss Derringer’s gutsy attempt to bring back 1950’s pop culture in this 2 track teaser. Her voice is sweet enough to pull off the yearning innocence of American girl groups from the doo-wop era and the hint of indie rock keeps it a tad modern enough to maintain an interest from this generations alterna-hipsters.
A good find if you are in the mood for a change of pace from the usual punk hype, emo, hip hop, black metal or top 40 disappointments.
Besides, it always gives you something to play when your parents (or grandparents) are visiting.

- Mia Carlin

The Busy Signals

The Busy Signals
Dirtnap Records

The Busy Signals are a power pop / melodic punk band originated from Atlanta, GA who relocated to Chicago, IL. With ballsy female vocals, vigorous guitar rips and catchy beats the Busy Signals reinvent the late 70’s and early 80’s cult punk scene. Admitting there is no rush for stardom, the Busy Signals’ primary influences are from bands that were only popular by just a few songs. With that being said, every song on their self titled cd seems to be mastered after B-sides or one hit wonders from the power pop genre. Songs such as "Got it All Wrong" or "Uh-Oh" bring flashbacks of dirty punk clubs, black jeans, thick eyeliner and dusty 1980’s records.
Although The Busy Signals don’t quite live up to the success of modern day pop punk, they do retaliate with one force to be reckoned with – old school originality.

- Mia Carlin

Alice in VideoLand

Maiden Voyage Plus
Artoffact Records

Alice in Videoland – the name says it all. Put the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Madonna (the early years), Gwen Stefani and Cyndi Lauper in a sample machine, mix it up, throw it into an Atari game and bam, you’ve got Alice in Videoland.
Although the repetitive videogame like loops can get a bit irritating, it can also be useful when you want to increase the energy of your day. Wanna do some cardio? Listen to Maiden Voyage Plus. Need some energy before going to the club? Fuck a Redbull, listen to Maiden Voyage Plus. Don’t listen to Maiden Voyage Plus on a road-trip; you may be tempted to have a led foot (although the light show from the cop sirens could add cool effects with the music).
Though I’ve never been one for synthesizer powered music, I’d have to say songs like "Red", "Sweet Thing" and "Lay Me Down" persuaded me to listen to the cd more often than not.
Sexy cute vocals from lead singer Toril Lindqvist definitely accompany the music with certain spunk; however, briefly during the song Panic you actually hear a more organic sound from her. She shows in the first verse who she really is, or rather, what she really sounds like, then jumps right back into Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Gwen again -like a singer with multiple personality disorder.
While I enjoy a good electronica cd every now and again, I would like to see Toril show us a little more of her original vocal talents. She has a very pretty voice and shouldn’t cover it up with all of the extra effects of electropop.
Over all I would say it’s a decent cd & should definitely be considered one to listen to for a good Saturday night out.

- Mia Carlin


Ultra Records

Jes Brieden, well known as the voice for Motorcycle on the rock inspired trance track "As the Rush Comes" with Gabriel & Dresden, has branched off on to her own with her solo debut Disconnect.
Disconnect is a best described as part downtempo part dance trance with creative combinations of electronica, house, and pop mixes swimming throughout the cd.
Songs like "People Will Go" and "Around You", gives off a familiar mesh of Bjork and possibly Sarah Mclachlan, yet the sound is so fleeting that you’re not quite sure what you’ve just heard.
By far my favorite piece, "Stronger" introduces you to a more percussive beat of lifting trip hop melodies and organ progression; again making you wonder "Wait, Bjork? Fiona Apple?" Nope, it’s Jes. The song stands alone on the album, completely different than all of the other songs – like it’s a sneak preview from another project Jes is working on.
Personally, I wish Jes had more songs like this on the cd. If more of her songs were like this one, she would be in my top 5 albums this year for sure.
With soothing vocals and soaring melodies, you can’t help but want to put on some big ass headphones, sit outside in the moonlight & completely submerge yourself deep in Electroland. Songs like "In Ohm", "Imagination" and "My Blue Heart" start to work on relieving the tension of your daily routine.
Jes succeeds in plucking you out of your hum drum stressful workday and planting you right into a world full of galaxies, glowing waterfalls and twilight singing nymphs.
Call me silly, but this world sounds much better than the one that awaits us when 7am comes around.
Just listen to the self titled track "Disconnect" and you’ll catch my drift; Jes gets it – that’s for sure.

- Mia Carlin