Sunday, May 15, 2005

MUSIC: More Mixed Bag

Continuing* my reviews of the CDs received via Chris "Lefty" Brown's Mixed Bag CD exchange project:

Ken Lowery's Ringwood Ragemix is up next. This is more my speed: loud and angry. "Will You Smile Again?", by ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, begins the disc with a minute and a half of driving power, but then the song goes on for five more minutes which can't live up to the opening guitar assault. Perhaps a seven-minute song was not the best opener for the mix. But then we go into Queens of the Stone Age (which I need to get some more of), Garbage, and Monster Magnet, who kick ass. Even the more mellow or humorous songs in the lineup I found enjoyable, such as the laidback "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" by Desert Sessions, the Reverend Horton Heat's "Baby I'm Drunk," or the scathingly vitriolic comedy of Bill Hicks (taking on Rush Limbaugh). There were a couple I didn't care for (Tomahawks' "Harelip," "Brecon Beacons" by Supergrass), but overall, this is probably my favorite of the Mixed Bag discs I've listened to so far. Just edging out...

Larry Young's CousCous Express Soundtrack. Lots of similarly loud and angry music, as on the Ragemix, but with a greater emphasis on straight-up punk than alterna-metal, with some ska and reggae to take the edge off. The first track, "How To Start a Fight" by Murphy's Law, is a great tone-setter. I've never heard of the next band, Sick of It All, but they seem to be very upset about something. Next is Judge Dread's "Bring Back the Skins," and I have to admit here I've never particularly cared for reggae. But I love ska (such as the next band, Mighty Mighty Bosstones), which is a direct offshoot of reggae, so... there you go. There are a couple of songs which don't really grab me (like the two by Desmond Dekker, or the tediously repetitive instrumental "Full Clip" by Gang Starr), but there are many more high points, such as The Offspring, Circle Jerks, Dropkick Murphys (one of whose songs I put on my own mix), and the punk cover of "Still the One" (by an unnamed band), which is a nifty finish to the CD. Good stuff.

More music reviews later, if I get around to it.

*Part One.

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