F-Minus
Won't Bleed Me/ Failed Society
Black Noise/ Alternative Tentacles
Street: 11.08
F-Minus = Black Flag + Circle Jerks + Discharge
In the world of underground punk rock, very few bands have had the tenacity that Brad Logan and F-Minus have had. While their aggression and coarse delivery are the obvious characteristics that stand out, there is a lot more than that to F-Minus. I spoke with Brad Logan not too long ago when he was on tour with The Unseen, and he told me that this could be the last F-Minus release, and that he'd be happy to leave the band's legacy where it is. Although I am saddened by the thought of no more F-Minus records, this collection of two 7" and two classic hardcore covers will help get me through. It's fitting that this release should be put out on Brad Logan's new record label Black Noise, an offshoot of Alternative Tentacles. These 20 tracks blast by in less than 15 minutes; music like this just isn't made anymore. This record harkens back to a time when punk rock was dangerous. This shit will do a hell of a lot more than just piss off your parents – it'll piss off everyone. –James Orme

Falkenbach
Heralding – The Fireblade
Napalm Records
Street: 01.31
Falkenbach = Bathory + Enslaved
If you like epic shit, this is for you. Viking/pagan metal veterans Falkenbach have returned with their fourth album, and this reviewer's first dabbling into the band's musical catalogue. Everything on this album is tight as fuck; guitars compliment the sweeping keyboard movements. One minute you have a heavy-metal folk hymn, the next you get a blazing dose of insanely clean screaming metal. If you dream of rowing to a steady beat on a Viking boat, sailing to some far away land to rape and pillage the countryside, hop on board with Falkenbach. –Bryer Wharton

Filthy Thieving Bastards
My Pappy was a Pistol
BYO records
Street: 11.08
Filthy Thieving Bastards = Joe Strummer and Mescaleros + Swinging Utters + Glen Campbell + The Pogues
Like Rancid's Life Won't Wait, Spike, Darius and Johnny of the Swinging Utters found a way to utilize their more obscure influences and not alienate the Utters' fans by creating another band. All sorts of different genres are represented here. Folk and country stand out, but so much more is here. Songs like "Crutches and Blow" and "The Back of His Hand" display an eccentric wit that few can get away with. It's too bad that in punk rock, creativity and originality are rarely rewarded, and even though this record will be lost on the ears of most of the spiky hair, mohawk and leather jacket breed; anyone smart enough to enjoy roots-inspired punk will be glad this record is here. –James Orme

The Flakes
Back To School
Dollar Record Records
Street: 10.18
The Flakes = Flamin' Groovies + Mooney Suzuki
The "garage-rock" image: get a group of long-haired dudes, give them some shitty amps and a copy of Nuggets and make sure they get themselves some sort of plural-noun name like "The Weeds," "The Groovies," or "The Assholes." Then, record a plethora of songs with poor production quality (because it just sounds so real, man) and their label puts out press releases with lame made-up words (i.e. "Flakestravaganza"), overused 60s catchphrases that were only cool in the 60s and lots of multiple exclamation marks!!! The Flakes seem to think they're the only band that sounds like they do, when I wouldn't be able to differentiate them from any garage-rock band out there. Back To School offers the listener not much else but what sounds like one old Rolling Stones song, poorly covered over and over. You'll roll your eyes at how formulaic it all is: the paint-by-numbers chords, Ramones haircuts and faux-British-humor website, which all bespeak style over substance. –Jamila Roehrig

Fort Minor
The Rising Tide
Machine Shop Records/Warner
Street: 11.22
FM = Styles of Beyond + Crystal Method + Shinoda
Mike Shinoda's brainchild, The Rising Tide, has many shining points, even though I was apprehensive to listen to the album from the beginning. Diaphragmatic diatribes, vocal firepower, and slaved over/detailed instrumentals make this record a wholly unique hip-hop album. The lyrical talents of Common, Chester Bennington, the Roots' own Black Thought, and the amazing Styles of Beyond are all added to reflect dynamics between opposites. This album definitely tackles a new theme outside of the normal subject matter of hip-hop by mixing so many elements of rap cliché, ego-driven, angst-ridden, and self-indulgent themes of Shinoda's previous band (Linkin Park). The Rising Tide is very organic in its nature, using every instrument Shinoda could find in a live-recorded performance, he then added the components to fit in the last piece of the puzzle. The result is a collection of songs that sound warm and human. I was surprisingly impressed. –Lance Saunders