Alibi V.13 No.22 • May 27-June 2, 2004 

Music to Your Ears

Man, if there's one thing El Paso's Lylah should never have done, is cover a Cure song, especially “Love Song.” But all's (mostly) forgiven, because the rest of their forthcoming album, New Religion, is solid and original. They'll be foisting said record upon the public on Saturday, May 29, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon or El Rey Theater (the press release was unclear). The record is also available at the angry teenager headquarters, Hot Topic, and Lylah will perform on the 2004 Vans Warped Tour. ... Speaking of new local records, The Mindyset (pictured above) releases theirs this week and the best band in the world called the Saddlesores have dropped their third release in 14 years on us. Titled Let it Suck, the album will be officially partied into existence on June 19 at the Atomic Cantina with Fast Heart Mart and the Rivet Gang in tow. Preview to follow in the coming weeks. ... Also on the new local album radar is Nels Andrews, who thus far has provided me with two copies of his new album that refuse to play on any CD player I own. However, if his live show is any indication, Andrews' record is one of the best local releases out there. ... Oddly, The Foxx still do not have a record deal. The world is stupid. ... Saw Dark Lotus last week (ridiculous, but funny) at the Sunshine. Also saw Unit 7 Drain (killer set plagued by early sound problems) open for the semi-acoustic New Model Army (boring!) at the Launchpad. Can't fucking wait for the Rage Against Martin Sheen show on Friday, May 28! Review forthcoming.

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Blue Note

Good God Almighty!

Outpost Ends its Spring Season with Gospel and Blues

As God and just about everyone in the Western world relish the seventh day as one of rest, televised sports, worship and/or yard work, brothers Chuck and Darick Campbell of the Campbell Brothers are hard at work. With the former on pedal steel and the latter on lap steel, the Campbell Brothers (also featuring brother Phil on guitar, his son Carlton on drums and gospel vocalists Denise Brown and Katie Jenkins) turn traditional African American gospel tunes into works of divinity—combining otherworldly energy and miracle talent to achieve a degree of spirituality through music few will ever achieve by any means. This is no average blues-gospel band. The Campbell Brothers, as the deeply religious occasionally say, are touched.

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Sonic Reducer

Darkest Hour Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation (Victory)

It's too bad that most of the lyrics on Darkest Hour's latest platter are indecipherable from guttural growling and low frequency shrieking, because the band have a whole lot of social commentary to get off their collective chest. The lyrics are printed on the J-card, but you'll need LASIK to read them. On Hidden Hands ... the band have reached a new pinnacle of intelligent, melodic brutality—a perfect balance of thrash, hardcore and death metal. You'll be hard-pressed to find a tighter, more complex set of songs than the nine here.

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Courtesy of the Artist

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Their Kindness is Charade

Crystal Castles • electropunk, synth pop, witch house

Remember the thing called Witch House? How about darkwave? The constant bifurcation of artistic paths in the field of electronic music can be damnably confusing and irritating, as well as rewarding and helluva lot of fun too—as long as you pick the right band. When adherents of these sorts of genres aren't busy sorting their rainbow-colored toe socks and looking for tubes of Vick's Vaporub to snatch up at the local Walmart, then it's a pretty fair bet that they are listening to the likes of Crystal Castles, a duo of Canuck electro-arhats who've made their mark in the music world with a febrile and spooky glitchiness that has outlasted any names critics might apply in favor of an honestly, intimidatingly pure exploration of sounds that make humans dance and rejoice as they swirl around the very noisy and icy maelstrom of life and death. Ethan Kath and Edith Frances, AKA Crystal Castles, perform live in Burque on Thursday, Oct. 19. Viewed as an opportunity to joyfully and ferociously embrace the void, this ought to be a damn good show, but don't blame me if you can't remember your name afterwards.
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Courtesy of the Artist

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Special Beat Service

The English Beat • ska

Here's a brief on a band with three names, but unlike Eliot's bunch, these dudes are not a coterie of cats. At home across the pond, they're known as the Beat. In the land down under, kindly refer to them as the British Beat. Here in 'Merica, we call them the English Beat. But no matter what you call them, this estimable ensemble that still includes founder and guitarist Dave Wakeling—but not vocalist Ranking Roger—was partially responsible for the upsurge in popularity that two-tone ska saw on both sides of the Atlantic during the '80s and '90s. With a retinue of classic, upbeat jams like “Monkey Murders,” “Spar Wid Me” and “Save It for Later”, the band's touring the states again, impressing OG ska lovers as well as the next generation of horn-crazy youth with their combination of crazy stage antics and terrific tuneage. You can catch the outfit live here the the Duke City on Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Historic El Rey Theatre, but don't worry you don't need checkerboard pants or a smart little hat to enjoy this gig—just make sure those great big feet of yours are rested and ready to dance.
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