KCSU reviews new CDs

Nov 062002
Authors: KCSU Staff

Tegan & Sara- “If It Was You”

Abby Berendt- KCSU Asst. Music Director

Sibling rivalry brings out the best in everyone, right? Well maybe only for the two luscious sisters, Tegan and Sara. Sharing genes and swapping guitars allows these two to create a performance like no other. Wailing from Canada, these girls are all about the rock. A bit vague in their actual genre … poppy, punky, spunky, or edgy? It’s enjoyably confusing. “Time Running” gives a heavy and pulsating beat, and “Monday, Monday, Monday’s” vocal smoothness somehow ingeniously screams, “damn your mood swings!” They also provide the stereotypical girl rock on “City Girl:”

“I cried so hard that you pushed me further away/ screamed so loud you called the police on me/ I got so city girl on you.” It’s their aggressive warmth that gives a reflective yet confrontational and organic sound. It’s bittersweet and angelic. It’s intimate and theatrical. It’s stylish and cathartic. It’s an oxymoron and it works.

Rocket From The Crypt- “Live From Camp X-Ray”

Jeff Speckels- KCSU Volunteer

Don’t let the title fool you: this isn’t some posterity-riddled live album. No, it’s the seventh full-length from San Diego’s Rocket From the Crypt … and it should have been an EP. The first five songs on “Live From Camp X-Ray” are so strong and full of energy that the second half of the album is sewage by comparison. “I’m Not Invisible,” with its outstanding melody and spittle-laced vocals gets the set started, roaring by in two-and-a-half sweat-stained minutes. For ten more ticks, the fire is lit, as John Reis and company kick through the horn-soaked “Can You Hear It” and “I Wanna Know What- I Wanna Know” in no time flat. Then it ends. Just look at the upcoming song titles for evidence that RFTC has run out of things to say- “Bucket of Piss,” and “Too Many Balls!” Please, Reis’ vocals beg the listener; “make yourself useful/ like a bucket of piss.” So much inspiration never came from warm yellow liquid.

Cave In- “Tides of Tomorrow EP”

Peter Fryer- KCSU Metal Director

Cave In is a name that you should start getting used to. Let me bring you up to speed. Cave In is from Boston, their original inception was as a metalcore band, not unlike early Converge. However, around 1999 or so, Cave In threw in the metal towel for a mellower, spacier, and more developed sound. This all brings us to “Tides of Tomorrow,” a well crafted, but occasionally bland EP. Come Into Your Own rockets this CD into a space time rock warp that is one part “Lost in Space” and one part Led Zeppelin. The next two or three tracks are solid, but nothing special. The last two tracks are reason enough to get your hands on “Tides of Tomorrow.” Stephen Brodsky and the boys perform a cover of “The Callus” by Giant’s Chair, and it has plenty of rock for you musical mountain climbers. And then there is Everest, a combination of pounding drums, fleeting guitars, and craftsmanship that could satiate the appetite of even the toughest music critic. So, if you want to get a pretty good EP to get you salivating for Cave In’s major label debut in February, this may be for you.

UVR- “Plastic World”

Gabe Schirm- Primetime DJ Sivvy

Combine Goldfinger, UB40, a nameless ska band, a bit of rock and none of those annoying horns in a pot and you’ve got the head-bobbing recipe that is UVR. The band combines highly-energetic, brilliantly-fused drums with driving guitar licks and dashes of anything from the cleverly hilarious lyrics on the track “Got 2 Girlfriends:” “no I won’t try to pull any stunts/ except 2 girls in bed at once” to heartfelt songs about life that any college student who has ever left their house can relate to in the track “Not That Much.” My one and only criticism is that all of the tracks sound oddly the same. Still, it is a good flavor, so ingest this stuff and enjoy! UVR will get your head bobbin’ and send quivers of joy down your spine with their clever breaks and lyrical melodies that will promise hours of stimulating listening.

Jets to Brazil- “Perfecting Loneliness”

Erik Melander- KCSU DJ

The long-awaited third album from Jets to Brazil was an excruciating long two years, but well worth the wait. “Perfecting Loneliness” was released in October 2002 and it gave the world a different view of the New York-based band. New ideas of the album contain different instruments, including; piano, structured baselines and orchestrated timing. There’s still is resemblance from the Jets’ second album “Four Cornered Night,” with it’s angular rock tones and country style riffs, but the latest coming from the Jet’s can stand on its own. The tone reflects mellow and focused song writing with common themes of astronauts, writing literature, and teeth of all things. The best tracks are usually the longest of this disc: “The Frequency,” “Cat Heaven” and “Lucky Charm” all range over five minutes of medium crunchy rock. Bottom line: I think the Jets’ have made a winner and the music is quite awesome through its own type of genre. They have different tempos for different moods, and I totally praise Jets to Brazil for the direction that they’re heading.

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