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April 2003 Bangs, Juju Queens, Add n to (X,)...

Bangs : Call and Response.( Kill Rock Stars)

Somewhere in the north west of the now very unpopular union of states of the upper part of the American continent (you can boycott 7/11, but support non-commercial scenes, including the US and UK, or choke on your propaganda fueled self), on an imaginary line drawn from Seattle to Portland, bands live and help us survive. Bangs is one of those. Sarah Utter, Peter David Connelly and Maggie Vail were joined by ex-Bikini Kill, Frumpie, and so on Tobi Vail for screams (check out Dirty Knives, if you do not believe me), back-up vocals, hand claps, and PDC plays electric piano on Kinda Good. The result is a fun, fast, furious 6 tracks with an attitude. OK, five, because Kinda Good is almost like a ballad sometimes (Bangs' style, but still...). The cd opens on a feminist song, Call and Response (which is also the title of the album, for those not following). Fast, straight forward teenage style spontaneous frustration: "To disappear against cement you couldn't understand/It's years of names and disrespect I won't shut up anymore/It's everyday and everywhere so loud you can't ignore." New Scars, I want More ("She's such a tramp he's such a whore/It's packaged so perfect yeah I want more") and Dirty Knives will convince you of the quality of the band, even if they surely do not invent anything musicwise... But it is ok for music not to be trendy sometimes, or I am totally off here?

Juju Queens demo cd., (2003)

Sometimes, when I feel dizzy watching music giving in to the shallowness of the Muzak industry, when I wonder whether all I ever believed in was more than an illusion, I feel a hand grab my shoulder and hold me back from the cliff. The last time it happened to me, the hand had a voice, and it was called Juju Queens. Just in case you are not aware of this yet, either because you do not live in Oslo, Norway, earth, or because you are lazy, or maybe unlucky: this band is literally breathtaking. I saw them perform for the first time at LOUD! for the women's international day extravaganza. What a night, and what a band! Your mission is now to hunt down this little demo jewel of theirs: three powerful tracks to set the tone, wrapped in what seems to be spray-painted milk cardboard, this is true art. Duties open on a spinning guitar as a vertical take off for the band storm. The sudden breaks of pure silence to let the vocal's echo die out, the screams will leave you on your toes. No landing possible, do not complain we did not warn you. Overthrow follows in the same trend, with a bit more of a Sleater-Kinney twist (with bass). Before you press play again to listen to the record for the ten billionth time, you have to exercice your favourite pogo choreography full speed, for Feed the Dogs is fast, very fast with only a short break in the middle to have a sip of your beer. The Queens sure have something to say and, let me tell you, they'll say it their way, and I thank them for that.

Add n to (X): Loud Like Nature (Mute).

Somehow some people always amaze me and I catch my mean, jealous, envious little self trying to figure out where they are going to fail. It is not quite like shooting angels, it's more like waiting for them to fall (told you I was an asshole). The xn angels are still flying high on this album from outer-space. No doubt, it is pure Add N to X distillation device, which would be made more illegal than absinthe by the church if they knew about the boundless freedom of their paganism. Punkrawk with keyboards and noise, lyrics about hate and love and fucking the wrong person. About doing it again. You have to hear this album if you have never been introduced to the band. If you have, you probably have the album already (and yes, you read that shit for nuts), so you too, add Noise to Xylophone.

The REPUTATION : The Reputation (Initial Records).

10 tracks did not convince me, sorry... This record was a bit too clean to my ears. Some songs start ok, english near-power pop style (the band is American, though, so do not start saying that you lost the pop quizz because of my false info!), especially on Either Coast, The stars of Amateur Hour and Misery Design, but unfortunately they turn to soup. Elizabeth Elmore's voice is very nice (she used to vocalist in Sarge), the band is tight, the breaks clear, but it did not work on me, sorry... Maybe I should try to like more bands played regularly on MTv's alternative nation.... Or buy a Cardigans' t-shirt, this might help, who knows?


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