Auto-Pirates
Ousted
Self-released
Street: 03.29
Auto-Pirates= Gogol Bordello + Jimi Hendrix licks + Local Flavoring
A local band making the decision to utilize what sounds like Russian lyrics on an opening track= balls. Some members of the Utah community would be miffed if an intro track didn’t have some entirely English reference to how much they love God and/or how much they love their country. Auto-Pirates do the opposite with a great line: “You want me to pledge allegiance to a country on crack and tanks in Iraq.” The wordplay doesn’t end there. The last song is a ballad to the miners lost in the Murray mine collapse. EPs don’t need to be very long; this, however, is six tracks long, but it would be much tighter if the fourth and fifth tracks were omitted. Stylistically speaking, the Pirates don’t continue the bluesy-Baltic-rock flow established in the first three tracks. The last track picks the energy back up to finish the disc off with a resonant, issue-based song.

Gripp
As Knowledge Kills Beauty
Self-Released
Street: 02.11
Gripp = Del tha Funkee Homosapien + Early Blackalicious (minus a DJ) + weird electronic shit
Gripp does his own production. If he had some quality producers and an actual DJ backing him, his future rhymes could find a place in my album rotation. If I were a big fan of computer-produced rap, then this album would already be there. The 20-year-old’s release displays potential, but unfortunately, Gripp’s album could easily be written off as semi-bullshit. Thirty seconds in, he raps about loving “hip-hop” over a synthesizer. I searched for a vinyl scratch or obvious sample on As Knowledge Kills Beauty and there were none. I believe at least two elements of the hip-hop four (MCs, DJs, B-boys and graffiti) need to be present to call it that. In this case, it’s just a rap album trading in on the name of the institution.

Danger Hailstorm
One
Pop Sweatshop
Street: 09.16
Danger Hailstorm = Motorhead + Magstatic
I wish I could say that all local bands suck and that Utah doesn’t have any talent (you know, for national “street cred”), but when bands like Danger Hailstorm drop in my lap I can’t pretend anymore. This three-piece can gnash its teeth. Terrance D.H. of Magstatic (among other local groups), certainly shows his range and depth on this release. The songs evoke a primal instinct to bang your head and concisely crafted structure without extraneous filler scores additional points. Refreshing lyrics and balls-to-the-floor beats make it basically a straight-up party. Check this album the fuck out if you want something to think devious thoughts to (overthrowing the government, for example). The song “We Shoot Idiots” is an example of one of the great antisocial ideas you can come up with. However, the album could use three or four more songs to round it out.