Mark B. - Things Marb (Agent Records)
Even though this cd sounds like Pee Wee Herman singing for Dag Nasty (not much different from regular Dag Nasty - I never realized how similar Mssrs. Smalley and Ruebens sounded), and the lyrics are literally about the wonderfulness of a mall-punk life, I like it. Wait, I've revised my opinion slightly. Replace "Even though" with "Maybe because" and you can quote me on that.
-- Reviewer: mike owens (wichita falls,tx usa) - See all my reviews
Switchblade - Switchblade (Icarus Records / Trust No One Recordings)
"Scary" cover art, no song titles, and unintentionally hilarious lyrics printed on the cd case (ex: "Bring your needles and glasspipes for meditation in contempt / Stone yourself to heaven as another pitstop to Hell") made putting this one a dicey proposition, especially with all those unheard Cheap Trick bootlegs to listen to, but duty called. Not bad at all. I was expecting some pitiful nu-style-metal, but instead, Switchblade brings it heavy and droney with the mathematical, mostly instrumental spider-metal. Nice! Turns out they're from Sweden, which goes a long way toward explaining the lack of ironic b.s. posturing.
-- Rick Pencilman, Rock and Roll Dad
Underminded - Hail Unamerican! (Kung Fu Records)
Once again, I assumed when I shouldn't've, and made an ass out of u and me. I was expecting - I don't know, what I think Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday and all that bullshit sounds like, even though I've never heard any of it. Instead I got whay Metallica should probably be doing these days. Which is what Metallic a used to do. Excellent, precision guided stop-start, boomboom, wheedley-wheedley feats of inhuman crunch and crush. The tunes are nice and short, and boy oh boy do these gents have the chops. My only complaint is that the singers throat-shredding howl sounds a little thin. Guys: promise me next album you'll put a little reverb on the vox. That'd be great.
-- S.B. Sweaty