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While Lost At Sea endeavors to write about a great deal of the music it receives, there are hundreds of releases that slip through the cracks - things too strange, too transient or (yes) too bad to earn a full review. EPs, CD singles and 7" records are particularly hard to deal with because there are so many of them - and they are so small - that they often get lost in the shuffle. This sometimes means that deserving music released in non-album form is not reaching the people who might enjoy it most.
In an attempt to rectify this situation and to save give some of this music its due, Lost At Sea occasionally dredges through the bins of EPs and singles to weed out a select few for comment.
Coffinberry - From Now On Now (Morpius Records)
An old friend of mine had an irrational hatred of Drew Carrey. Seriously, you would have thought that Big Drew had ran over his dog while fingering his mom in the car he stole from his dad. I couldn't even watch the family friendly comic improv of Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady on Whose Line Is It Anyway for two minutes without Greg launching a string of epithets at the portly and bespectacled host. In Drew Carrey's defense, Greg would also sit in the living room underneath a large cardboard box and smoke himself retarded. Such was his hatred that I'm sure Greg would agree that Coffinberry are a much better Cleveland export than Mr. Carrey. If Cleveland indie-rocks, then I'm sure these guys are a major reason why (even if their name sounds like technical jargon for tiny turd/hair balls nestled in the ass crack of a corpse).
Limbs - Limbs (Self Released)
Quality post-punk band with a cool name. Not as jarring or dynamic as the genre's extremes can get, Limbs instead take a quieter, moodier approach. Hushed vocals threaten to rise in intensity, while the music seems to be seconds away from a violent outbreak. The building tension dissipates at the last song, when a subdued voice barely carries over acoustic guitar strumming. I couldn't help but listen to it on repeat.
Reptoids - Park A Tiger (RRRecords)
I used to think Reptoids were going to take over the planet, but that was last year. Now I'm afraid of robots that have the ability to think for themselves. Which is scarier, a half-reptile, half-man creature that's pretty dumb and has cold blood or a robotic arm that can feel pain and decides it's sick of screwing bolts into Chevy Cavaliers all day? I imagine the end of the world will come about like it did in Terminator, but instead of Arnold Swarzenegger, I'd like my protector to be Mr. T, And I'm not talking about a robot that looks like Mr. T - I mean the real Mr. T. He's got to be, like, a thousand years old by now, but I'm pretty sure he'd still fuck up anything he wanted to, especially if it was made of liquid metal.
Dirty On Purpose - Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow (North Street Records)
It's nice to see that Brooklyn can produce a band that isn't all haircuts, tight jeans, and attitude. Dirty On Purpose bucks the hipster trend and instead delivers an EP of excellent pop music. Light and dreamy one moment, rocking and distorted the next, Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow is comprised of five songs that point the band in a very promising direction. If Dirty On Purpose continues to make music this good there is no doubt they are in store for bigger and better things.
Wydown - Message From The Yes Man (Tinderbox Music)
I wonder why I never get any hip-hop EPs to review. Does the rap community eschew the EP in favor of releasing the hot single or the dope mix tape? I can think of quite a few hip hop albums out right now that would be improved by cutting out all of the stupid skits and excessive bitches'n'bling songs, cutting them down to five or six blazing tracks. Instead, rap albums continue to be bloated and bore me and all I get is indie rock CD's like this one to review.
Cantankerous - Tommy Boy (self released)
I was pretty sure at some point while listening to this CD that my head was going to explode. I really have no fucking clue what was coming out of the speakers, but whatever it was - it certainly was not pleasant. After only a few minutes, I felt like I had glugged down fifteen red bull and vodkas, hit a preset beat on a Casio keyboard, and punched myself in the nuts. I really can't stress enough how disorientating of an experience listening to this CD was. I shall never speak of Cantankerous again.
Headquarters - Get Your Head On (Group 4 Music & Films)
This is pretty much the band my roommate in college was dying to start. The right mix of rock, pop, and psychedelica to sound all Sixties in the Nineties, this album would have had Justin fantasizing about bringing chicks in flowered print dresses back to his Stabbin' Cabin. Instead, he fronted a college jam band that sometimes let a dumbass harmonica player out on the stage. Not quite the black lit, disco ball-equipped VW Van of his dreams, the girls instead flocked to his Jetta that was filled with garbage from his sandwich delivery day job. Hey, anyone can dream the rock star dream, which today entails moving to NY and aping shitty music while looking good.
31 Knots - The Curse of The Longest Day (Polyvinyl Records)
One of the best bars I've ever been to is the Magic Garden in Portland, Oregon. For a one-drink minimum, you can seat yourself on a stool at the bar and watch girls dance naked to the newest indie-rock tunes. Not another scummy strip club, the Magic Garden is a run of the mill hipster dive bar that just happens to have strippers. Everyone is pretty friendly and for the most part, the drinkers ignore the girls dancing in the corner. How can you not like a place where you can get dollar fifty Budweisers, play a game of pool, and if you are so inclined, look at some naked boobies? Portland's fucking rad.
Sciflyer - The Age of Lovely, Intimate Things (Clairecords)
It doesn't get much more shoegazey than this. Quality stuff, especially if your name is Bobby, you have black-framed glasses, wear tight sweaters and slacks, stoop your shoulders and stare timidly at the ground.
Fivespeed - Bella (Equal Vision Records)
If these guys invented a time machine and went back to 2001 I'm sure they would be huge. Unfortunately, it is almost 2006 and Linkin Park and all of the Linkin Park imitators have come and gone. Actually, if they invented a time machine and managed to travel back to 2001, they would probably be way more famous for inventing a time machine than for being another angry/sensitive crunchy guitar band. Whatever, getting laid is getting laid.
I am an asshole.
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.
See other articles by Kevin Alfoldy.
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