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We're all refugees and we're all drifting like leaves

Perusing through Eric 's year-end list , I came upon this write-up for Bloc Party's A Weekend in the City : Back in January of 2007 I posted a Bloc Party track from this record and was swiftly asked to remove from my blog by someone in the band's camp. While I was cool with the request, it may have negatively colored my perception of this record that I've only recently begun to get into. This got me thinking about something I've never understood, but have written about before. However, there's a new perspective on this. Hence why I'm revisiting the subject. I'm very well aware of the uphill rig-a-ma-roll it takes to get people to pay attention to anything. Be it a record, movie, book, or show, it usually takes an amount of money and a lot of time trying to get the word out there. (The process of getting a song on the radio alone is a doozy.) In the case of a record, if a blogger wanted to share a song from it as an MP3, who would be hurt by the expos

Feliz Navidad

Regular blogging will resume after Christmas. Hope everybody has a good holiday. For now, here are some links to check out. Former Buzz DJ (who got me into a number of incredible bands back in high school/college) David Sadof now has a blog with the Houston Chronicle . Eric 's music-year end list is split up into four parts, complete with an MP3 from each album. The AV Club was asked about a certain movie that a reader didn't know its name, but this time, it was the one and only, Midnight Madness . Please, hold your applause, as Leo says. And finally, here's a repost of that DBU student playing Dragonforce's "Through the Fire and Flames" on Expert.

Why Did We Ever Meet?

Kudos to Jess at Idolator for posting the Promise Ring's video for "Why Did We Ever Meet?" as part of the "12 Days of 90s Emo." It's funny with the timing as I was editing (what I hope to be the final edit of) the Promise Ring chapter last night and the video was mentioned. Of course, when the video debuted on 120 Minutes has very special significance for me. I was a loyal 120 Minutes watcher my senior year of high school/freshman year of college. I'd tape it whether or not I stayed up and watched the whole thing. If I remember correctly, most of the show's playlist was dominated by British acts at the time. There was great stuff from Suede, Belle and Sebastian, Radiohead and the Verve, but the Promise Ring video really stuck out. And I really liked what I heard. Just a few weeks prior, I heard the word "emo" for the first time. I asked a couple of friends what emo was and they just grumbled at the mere mention of the word. These guys

Before I forget

Unlike previous year-end lists, I spent pretty much one afternoon thinking about all the records that rocked my world in 2007. In previous years, I spent a few days listing everything, whittled down the list, and then posted it. I don't think I left out any glaring omissions with this year's list, but I wanted to post a few things that have come to light since I posted my year-end list and read other people's lists. -------- Decent debut album where fanboys disassociated themselves from the band after it leaked online, thus putting the "fan" part into question Voxtrot - Voxtrot I dug Voxtrot's two self-released EPs and found their debut LP to be a logical step-up. Sounding like they had a little more time to work on the record, Voxtrot doesn't sound over-produced nor does it sound rushed. There are plenty of good tunes here, like "Firecracker," "Kid Gloves" and "Real Life Version." Strangely, hardcore fans seemed to j

Well, not really. After all, she did get together with George Peppard. I mean, Fred.

Enjoying Tasha's Book vs. Film co m par is ons for the AV Club and randomly reading the Wikipedia page for Moonraker last week, I was reminded of a fact of life: it's rare when a film adaptation of a book sticks closely to the book's story. I think it's very understandable when a movie tweaks certain things to work in a movie form, but when major tweaks are done -- tweaks to where the movie is almost nothing like the book -- I can't help but be annoyed. Far more insulting is when a new printing of a book carries a large circle or single-line header that says, "Now a major motion picture!" I understand this is just plain ol' marketing, but it's a kind of marketing that can create strange bedfellows. Moreover, two different stories that may contain certain similarities, but are both sold under the same name. A very timely case in point: I Am Legend . Richard Matheson's book has been credited as the source for such films as The Last Man On E

Movie favorites (and not-so-favorites) of 2007

Now for a similar look back at the movies I really enjoyed this year. Including movies released and not released this year, I watched a lot of stuff, mostly on DVD. Unlike the music list, I also included movies that frustrated the hell out of me. ------- Movies I actually saw in a movie theater Grindhouse Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Into the Wild Southland Tales American Fork Grindhouse was totally worth seeing in the theater. Two great mini-movies with hilarious fake trailers made for a kick-ass experience. And it only cost $8. Yet praising it now seems to knocked aside by pundits because it didn't do so well at the box office. Tis an annoying shame by people who have been brainwashed by how box office receipts equate quality of film. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , Into the Wild and Southland Tales were movies meant to be first experienced on the big screen. I enjoyed them overall and took something positive away from them. I couldn't

Musical favorites of 2007

Once again this year, my list of musical favorites is not solely restricted to material released in this year. That said, I listened to a lot of stuff released this year. So, let's get right to it and then talk about non-2007 releases. --------- Albums that feature some killer songs, but I just didn't find the whole albums to be killer Fountains of Wayne - Traffic and Weather Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank Modest Mouse's Good News for People Who Love Bad News and Bloc Party's Silent Alarm were my utmost favorite releases of 2004 and 2005, respectively. I wasn't expecting their follow-ups to really blow me away and well, they didn't. However, I'm glad I have songs like "Florida," "Dashboard," "I Still Remember," "Waiting for the 7.18" and "Sunday" in my iTunes. In regards to Fountains of Wayne's fourth proper album, the band sticks to th

12 Reasons

Before I divulge my favorite music and movies of the year, I figured I'd do an inventory of my year. Taking a cue from Py 's and J 's memes on Christmas, I'll do twelve entries here, mostly in regards to taking the good with the not-so-good. 1. The arrival of my nieces. Surrounded by love from their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, they truly are a blessing. On a side note, I look forward to introducing them to music as they grow up. No Dillinger Escape Plan just yet, but they won't have to endure any Raffi from me. 2. My first visit to see these nieces coincided with two major events: the completion of my first full draft of Post and probably one of the worst allergy attacks in recent memory. Literally as I finished up the draft, I came down with something. Oh, the timing of these sorts of things. 3. Hitting up South by Southwest for eight hours and having a ball. I couldn't argue with finding a $7 parking space right across the street from Emo'

A Marshmallow World

I don't know if I've had a different experience than you this holiday season, but I haven't been bombarded by Christmas music everywhere I go. Be it at the mall, big-box store or one of my favorite places to eat, not every song is of the yuletide variety. All of the Christmas gifts I purchased were bought in stores, but alas, the number of Christmas/holiday-centric songs seems less. I'm not complaining here; I'm just making an observation. I wonder though: has a backlash against wall-to-wall Christmas music been the reason for this? I'm not bringing all this up in fear that people hate Christmas or Christmas music; rather, I think it's how certain people don't want to hear Christmas music all the time. Personally, I like Christmas music, but prefer it to not hijack my regular playlist on my iPod or CD player. I think the key difference between being stuck in rush hour traffic listening to a radio station that's all Christmas music and being stuck i

Be Good to Yourself

Well, the rumors are no longer rumors: Journey now has a new lead singer. It's Arnel Pineda, the man rumored to be the one for a few weeks now, and not Patti Smyth, as previously rumored. Believe it or not, but Pineda is the seventh lead vocalist in the band's tenure. Supposedly the many , many live clips of him singing Journey covers helped him catch their attention.

Take your time, take your time, think, think, think

Stumbling upon this clip of future Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Gil Sharone guest-starring on Full House , I couldn't help but cringe. Not for Sharone or his scene partners John Stamos or Lori Loughlin; rather, the show itself. As someone who watched the show from the beginning almost to the end in its first run, I wonder why I watched this show in the first place. When I see it now, I find it incredibly unfunny and forced. Plus, I feel like Alvy Singer in that part in Annie Hall where he watches his friend put laugh tracks down on his hit show. He asks, "is there booing on there?" Instead of blocking out my reasons why, I think about an experience I had with some of my younger cousins earlier in the year. Watching a certain channel devoted to kids aged post-toddler to tween, I sat with them one afternoon watching unfunny show after unfunny show. That said, it kept my cousins from bouncing off the walls, so my aunt and uncle could get things done uninterrupted. Under

When Acting as a Particle

Though this policy has been in effect for the past six months, word came down today that all Universal artists may only have 90-second clips of their songs on their MySpace pages. Why MySpace is being singled out, I'm not sure, but "[t]he policy applies to any site where music can be embedded, except for Universal's own official sites, which still offer free on-demand streaming of certain complete songs." I don't know about you, but clips instead of full songs are a mixed-bag for me. Sometimes a 30-second clip can pique my interest. Sometimes they don't and I need to hear the full song. I say it depends on what's on the clip itself. If it was an epic Coheed and Cambria tune, I probably wouldn't be excited if the clip just had sound effects and feedback. If it was a short Ben Folds tune, I'd probably have an idea about whether I'd want to hear more. So, this all depends on the artist and the song. I recently took a listen to 30-second iTunes

Book update 12.03.07

With the spreading of the word of POST via its MySpace page , I'm not really surprised that a message board thread on it has now surfaced. The board is Viva La Vinyl, a place I had heard about, but had never checked out before. I had heard it was a prime location for whiners wishing I wrote the book they thought it should be, but so far, the complaints have been scarce. Even if complaints dominated the thread, I wouldn't care all that much. Since I liked it when Kevin Smith hopped onto his board to answer questions, I wanted to continue that kind of interaction. I've already logged on to answer questions and comments, no matter how ugly they may or may not get. It's all in the process of telling people about the project rather than keeping it a guarded secret. The current status of the book is this: -I've begun the final edit of the 220-page manuscript. That might sound like a short book, but it's not. One page in Word equals 1.5 pages in book form. So two

"If you could've found out what Rosebud meant, I bet that would've explained everything."

I accept the fact that writing a biography is bound to have some debate about portrayal. Even stating in Post 's prologue that this is an in-depth peek at certain bands and an underground style of music going mainstream, I'm sure I'll hear about how I'm missing something or there's stuff I forgot. It's not because I'm a lazy researcher; I argue it's because I cannot fully replicate a complete experience in book form. No one can. A book offers a window into life, and can show a very balanced view of it. But experiencing life only comes with living life. That said, I can't think of anything worse than a significant period in rock music going undocumented. Debate all you want about who or what was more influential, but at least trying to put some sort of thoughtful perspective is better than doing nothing. I've taken much time and concern for the past four years to make sure my findings are as accurate as possible. I didn't set out to be a &

This is not a charade. We need total concentration.

Anybody else have trouble reading and/or editing while listening to a podcast? As much as I'd like to listen to the latest Sound Opinions or SModcast episode while I edit a blog post or another Post chapter, I can't. I can listen to music in another room while I read or edit, but when it comes to listening to people talking, I'd rather be doing something lighter, like cruising through MySpace or playing on the drumpad. I figure it's a concentration matter. I tend to slightly tune certain sentences out from the podcast and then think, "What are they talking about?" So, I rewind and realize I've missed something. I find this all odd since I can play a drumset and listen to others, but I'm not coordinated enough to do this.

Over and over

From time to time, I tend to look over at my DVD shelf and stare. There are plenty of movies up there, but what takes up some precious shelf space are TV shows split up by season. Seinfeld and Dinner for Five take up a quarter of a shelf while LOST and Chappelle's Show take up about one-fifth. As I've watched the entire Twin Peaks series, I've wondered about how often I've actually re-watched entire seasons on DVD. The answer is none. Keep in mind, I love all the shows I own on DVD, but I have to work up a strong desire to rewatch entire seasons start to finish. Since I like to watch an entire season in one blast (ie, one or two episodes a day), that tends to put other things awaiting to be watched on the backburner. Plus, watching an entire season is mainly for catching-up purposes for me. In the case of LOST , since I got into the show a couple of episodes into the second season, I had a lot of catching up to do. But have I rewatched the entire series so far to

I practice daily in my room

In regards to the previous post (and Py's post on the same topic), I figured I'd share some more thoughts on the subject. Py mentioned how drum instructional videos "let you see superstar drummers break down complicated beats so you can feel like a talentless idiot." And I agree. But I think I've reached a point where my attitude about drumming has changed for the better. Back when I was in middle school and high school, I had a desire for being a virtuoso on either guitar or drums. I chalk it up to getting into more technically proficient bands like Metallica, Rush and Dream Theater. Playing a lot of notes means you're a virtuoso, right? Well, that's one way of looking at it. When I realized I didn't have the patience to learn guitar solos or complicated drumbeats, I forged ahead with a style that has been the style I like: simple, but not too simple or too unorthodox. Play for the song and don't over- or under-play. What all does that entail?

. . . and most importantly, how to dominate a jam session

Major kudos to the AV Club for posting this interview with SNL 's Fred Armisen and his alter ego, Jens Hannemann. The YouTube clip is priceless as it spoofs a world I knew a lot about during my teenage drummer years: the instructional drum video. If you've ever looked up at one of the TVs in Guitar Center, chances are you've seen one of these instructional videos. In no disrespect to those that want to learn an instrument beyond the basics, there's a blurry line between playing and over-playing. Oftentimes people go a little overboard. In the spirit of great satire, Armisen's nailed another memorable character here, even if it's just for drummer nerds like myself.

The Aeroplane Flies High

Despite my suspicions about the resuscitation of the Smashing Pumpkins brand name, I must say seeing the reconfigured line-up last night was a good time. As a matter of fact, it was a really good time. And probably better than previous tours with previous line-ups. Yes, I'm probably out of line for thinking that, but let me explain. Maybe I'm not recalling the right performances, but I don't think I'd ever seen the Pumpkins perform where it didn't feel awkward. Be it tension between band members or the playing was sloppy, but something felt off. What I saw last night was a well-oiled show with a sense of spontaneity. This was a $70 ticket show for me and I didn't feel gypped. Aside from the not-so-appealing-to-me tunes from Zeitgeist , I enjoyed the mix of singles, album tracks and "Drown." Yes, "Drown." New members Ginger Reyes, Jeff Schroeder and Lisa Harriton fit well with Jimmy and Billy, coming across as valued members more than hired

Two Roads Diverge

The wait for Richard Kelly's Southland Tales has been long. Very long. I'd even say it's been too long. In development since Donnie Darko wrapped in 2001, along with other writing and directing projects, the six years saw expectations rising to monolithic proportions. With a negative buzz overshadowing it (and the flood of even more now that it is out), I just wanted to speak up about why I really liked this film. And I mean I really liked it. I'm not surprised Southland Tales has generated polarizing reviews. I could not tell you a clear-cut synopsis of the plot or what everything exactly means. I couldn't with Donnie Darko after my first viewing and it will take repeat viewings of Southland Tales to do the same. But that brings up an interesting question: is Southland Tales worth watching again and again? I say, by all means, yes. This is one of the few films I've seen where a short and simple review cannot justify its merits or faults. If Donnie Dark

Milk It

When I started writing Post , I didn't know of anyone else even attempting a book on post-hardcore/emo's history. Nothing Feels Good was on store shelves, but that only presented a superficial glance filled with typos. I always hoped more people would come out of the woodwork and write portrayals of how things were back in the proverbial day. As the years went on, I heard about Norm's book , Brian's book , Trevor and Leslie's book , and Ronen's book , and was relieved to find out we were all coming from different angles, writing distinctly different books. Still, there's been a fear of somebody putting out a book almost exactly like your book, at the almost exact same time. It takes thunder away and it can scare off readers. I know about this topic all too well as a reader myself. For me, I usually read only one definitive book on a band, mainly to know their basic story. In the case of Nirvana, I haven't read Heavier Than Heaven , Journals or Nirvana

This is beginning to hurt . . .

James Montgomery's latest Bigger Than the Sound piece hits on a topic that's been mulling around for years: how does Weezer remain popular despite being a pale version of themselves when they were with bassist Matt Sharp? For me, it's been a slow decline of receding interest. To put things in context, when Weezer's Blue Album came out, they were a rare, distinct band. Instead of hiding their geeky side, they embraced it in a very sincere way. Nobody else was doing that in a popular rock band and, with those ten snappy tunes, Weezer were kings for a couple of years. Yet when Pinkerton dropped, it seemed like the band was phoning it in and being really bitter about life. I still remember Tim telling me the day it came out that the record " suuuuuuccccccckks " and based on my viewings of the "El Scorcho" and "Good Life" videos, I wasn't that compelled to check Pinkerton out. I think a lot of people did the same since the record disap

John Congleton Punk Planet interview (extended)

The following interview ran in the final issue of Punk Planet , albeit slightly edited for space. Here's the full thing: Tackling macabre in rock music often involves dressing up in costumes and putting on make-up. It’s a surefire way to sell fantasy, but thankfully that’s not the way everyone does this. John Congleton, vocalist/guitarist/mastermind behind Dallas-based the Paper Chase , is not some gloomy guy who puts on an act for those who wish every day was Halloween. Congleton, with his blonde hair and slender physique, is a sharp, level-headed guy who draws more from what he learned as a pop-punk/post-hardcore fan in the Nineties than the movies he watched growing up. Since ’98, Congleton has done four albums, as well as a few split singles and EPs, with the Paper Chase. As evidenced by their material, including 2006’s Now You Are One of Us on Kill Rock Stars, their sound is filled with tonal and atonal melodies found on pianos, orchestral strings and samples from obscure

A place for . . . potential readers

If you're on MySpace and don't have a very restricted privacy level, you've received more than your fair share of unwanted Friend Requests. I have received plenty from crappy bands and aspiring porn stars, but it's never gotten to a point where I couldn't handle it. Yet I've done something for my newly-created page for Post that could be misconstrued as committing a similar annoyance. I'd like to explain myself. Make no mistake, I want to get the word out on my book. This is not for fame or a feeling of warmth because I have a lot of friends on my list. The deal is, how I've spread the word (and will continue to) takes a lot of time and energy. I spent almost four years getting everything just right and I don't want this effort to go unnoticed outside of my friends, family and regular readers. Instead of trying to befriend those who might have a slim interest in reading the book, I decided to go for ones I think might be very interested in readin

Open the floor . . .

Ripped directly from a post on Donna's blog, I thought I'd do the same. With a 220-page manuscript needing another edit and the holidays coming up, the amount of time I have for blogging is a little uncertain. Even as a single guy with very little responsibility, it's becoming a little hard to juggle all the things I'm doing and want to do. Plus, I feel I've been running a little dry on ideas for blog posts as of late. So, I figured it was time to hear from you the reader. I'd like to find out what you want me to write about. Leave a question or topic in the comments or in an e-mail , and I'll do my best to address as many of them as possible. Don't be shy -- what have you always wanted to know about the enigma that is Eric? (Or about the faceless proprietor of the blogspace you happen to have wandered into by mistake.)

That's What (Music-Related Write-Ups) Often Do

Despite reading books that aren't on music (ie, Stephen King's Cell ) and watching DVDs that aren't centered around bands ( Twin Peaks , The Fog ), as well as beginning another full edit of the Post manuscript, I've been very active with reading articles and watching documentaries on bands. I might be wrong, but it's been a little more than usual. As a result, I've been going bonkers wanting to hear more music by these bands. I have to give full credit to Decibel 's cover story on the mighty Dillinger Escape Plan for this recent surge. Dissecting the last few years of the band into a coherent and non-tabloid-ish affair, I felt compelled to dig out my copy of their '04 barnburner, Miss Machine . With their next album Ire Works dropping next week, I'm pumped. But why get all excited about a band when I read about bands all the time? I say it's in the way the story is told. In the case of the Dillinger article, how Kevin Stewart-Panko details t

Knock-Down Drag-Out

While having a meaningful chat with Ryan at our favorite bar a few weeks ago, a track from Weezer's apparently-universally-abhorred Make Believe came on the sound system. The track was "The Damage in Your Heart" and I found it surprisingly charming. I had never heard the song before as friends of mine advised me to avoid the album and I didn't have much interest in the album anyway. Now, I understand the band may never cook up something as potent as The Blue Album or Pinkerton , but I got to thinking. Since bassist Matt Sharp departed from the band and they regrouped from a long hibernation, Weezer has released three albums: The Green Album , Maladroit and Make Believe . All three records have sold well, but longtime fans feel they don't hold a candle to the band's seminal material. If I remember correctly, my friend Matt felt Green was a decent pop rock record, Maladroit was embarrassing and Believe went back and damaged a few great songs in their bac

Blow out that cherry bomb

This past Friday night was my maiden visit to the slightly new House of Blues in Victory Plaza. There has been some negative hubub about the mere existence of this place on local blogs, so I figured I'd chip in with my experience. As always, albeit a few months late. I could be misunderstanding this, but it sounds a lot like criticism people have with the House of Blues is that it's just another big company gobbling local business up. It's considered the CVS, Starbucks, McDonald's, Blockbuster or Clear Channel of music venues. Yet an important note to clear up is that there is only one House of Blues in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton area. It's not like every single live venue has been taken over and rebranded. Nope. It's just one venue out of many venues. Based solely on my attendance of Friday's Spoon/New Pornographers/Emma Pollock show, I had zero problems with the place. I was even impressed with how there were options with where to park. I lucked out g

Ashamed

Earlier this week, Josh did a post devoted to Emmylou Harris after watching Knocked Up . What's the connection? Well, Knocked Up features "We Are Nowhere and It is Now," a Bright Eyes song where Ms. Harris contributes backing vocals. He also mentioned other songs on the soundtrack , namely Loudon Wainwright's contributions. I strongly agree about the greatness of the songs in the movie, but one song I was not familiar with really took to me. And it comes from a very un-hip source: Tommy Lee. I mean no offense to Josh, his blog or his readers, but a part of me felt like I had to be really brave to post the following comment: Great songs on this soundtrack, including the Tommy Lee song during the drive to the hospital. Why this feeling? I think it comes from the numerous times I've felt berated by people who think my taste in music is suspect. No matter how many times I've written about this general subject, the level of mean and callous statements I've

So far away, we wait for the day

If you've ever played any of the Guitar Hero games, you'll probably be amazed by this clip brought to us by Robert Wilonsky. It's funny, I told Jason last night about how DragonForce's "Through the Fire and Flames" was on Guitar Hero III . Now this afternoon he forwards me this post. Very cool. Happy Halloween!

The New Blood

As I read Noel's rundown of all eleven (!) films in the Friday the 13th series (including Freddy vs. Jason ), I thought about my days as a horror movie sequel fan. I never got to the point of seeing the Sleepaway Camp sequels, but there was a time when I wanted to see all of the movies in a series. Scream 2 had just come out and I loved it as much as the first Scream . So I figured this would be a worthwhile quest. Maybe my memory is hazy, but I think my quest began and ended with the Halloween series. To recap: I had seen bits and pieces of the TV-version of the original Halloween (you know, with the extra scenes included) before watching the sixth entry, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers . I figured I knew enough backstory from what I had seen in the first movie to get the gist of the sixth one. Turns out I was right even though I found the ending to be a big cliffhanger and a letdown because Donald Pleasance passed away before the film was released. Nevertheless, sin

Gonna Fly Now

Recently taking a listen to Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino's commentary track on Hostel Part II , a lightbulb went on in my head. Discussing how Hostel Part II begins exactly where Hostel ends, Tarantino describes how he'd combine two movies onto one VHS tape and show them to friends. In one instance, he took Rocky , cut out the end credits and had Rocky II begin right away. Not only did I find that to be a pretty cool and fun thing to do, but I found something deeper with Tarantino's mention of Rocky . If you're familiar with Tarantino, you've probably come to the conclusion he knows practically everything about almost every movie ever made. From the most obscure to the best known, he's probably seen them all (especially given his time working in video rental store). But what fascinates me is to hear a guy be so passionate about films in general, from the most commercial to the not-so commercial. And it's a good kind of fascination. Now, maybe voca

Punk Planet Reviewer Spotlights Part 3

from Punk Planet #77 Therapy?, Infernal Love Ireland’s Therapy? was like a secret handshake in my high school. The few fans that I knew would say their name with a deepening of the voice and a widening of the eyes. This trio had something special going on, but nobody could really explain what exactly it was. Upon hearing Hats Off to the Insane and Troublegum , I think I knew what was up. Up until that point, Therapy? had a string of singles, mini-albums, and records that were very melodic and punky but also sounded like Prong and Helmet records. Yet on ’95’s Infernal Love , the cold industrial sounds were replaced by smoother sounds coupled with a wider scope of songwriting. From barnburners like “Stories” and “Misery” to the Police-like “Bad Mother” to the stellar singles of “Jude the Obscene” and “Loose” to the peaceful “Moment of Clarity,” Infernal Love is probably the band’s finest album start to finish. Also special of note is their strings-and-vocals version of Hüsker Dü’s “

Punk Planet Reviewer Spotlights Part 2

from Punk Planet #73 Handsome – s/t In a time well after grunge had lost its bite and before nü-metal became moronic and contrived, anything could go in major label hard rock in 1997. Comprised of ex-members of Helmet, Quicksand, Iceburn, Murphy’s Law and Cro-Mags, Handsome had an incredible amount of potential in this vacuum. Mixing the moody, detuned heaviness of their older bands with poppy melodies, Handsome presents a band with a lot of bang. With a blow-out-your-eardrums kind of mix, Handsome sounds very modern by today’s standards. The notable exception is that instead of the standard, sing-through-the-nose vocal technique that so many bands embrace today, vocalist Jeremy Chatelain projects a clear and aggressive voice devoid of sap. Plus, thanks to Terry Date’s production, the band sounds incredibly heavy, but not sloppy, muddy or cheesy. Though the band’s career was doomed early on (various band members made no bones about not getting along with each other in interviews), t