Punk Rock Joe
Poetry on Acid 23
Self-Released
Street: 2011
Poetry on Acid 23 is a stream-of-consciousness collection of short ditties, expressive but simple, about everything from Wal-Mart to suicide. Deep thoughts prevail, such as “fuck a duck, the duck is fucked, fucking duck, mother fuck,” found on Track 16. Profound concepts are also prevalent, such as “if not for hangovers there would be many, many more alcoholics,” on Track 17, or Track 21, where the voice proclaims “Hell is a Wal-Mart—and it’s packed!” It’s easy to understand this kind of poetry, because well, fuck a duck! Admittedly, I prefer my own voice in my head when I’m, um, reading … I’m just not a book-on-tape kinda girl. For what it’s worth, the awkward reading to the odd and usually not-quite-appropriate background music has its charm—pop it in and get ready for some cringe-tastic easy listening!

Wesly
Framed Views of Surrender
Self-Released
Street: 03.30.10
Wesly = Nickelback + Clover + 1994 heroin-grunge-rock
Brainchild of lead singer Wesly Lapioli, this album is neat and complete. The songwriting is clear and specific, and for local bands and debut albums, that is an admirable feat. Not having to compromise content with other band members has surely lent itself to a more definitive direction and style, and Lapioli’s inspirations have led to an album that seems to revisit the sounds of the mid-1990s grunge era. The mildly eerie, sometimes monotonous nature of the vocals over the melodies of the guitar riffs leaves you with the same desire to hook up some junk, or at least some Ben & Jerry’s if chasing the dragon is just not an option. Lots of songs, a clear overall theme and a pretty good execution means you will probably enjoy at least some aspects of the album, so what the fuck? Give it a listen, why don’tcha?

The Direction
From VII & IV

Spy Hop Records
Street: 07.20.10
The Direction = Bjork + Paramore + Burlesque

Man, I love chicks who rock. And this chick totally rocks—lead singer Felicia Anderton ties up this pack – age most delightfully, with a vintage voice that is somehow exactly what this rock n’ roll outfit wants. The musicians are totally together, the recording quality is good, and the sound is specific and has direction. Go figure. Influences vary widely, which I love, and from undeniable rock to beautiful ballads, the talent on this album is heartwarming. A reasonable release for a seasoned band, the fact that it is the product of teenagers working with Spy Hop is astounding on several levels. I look forward to hearing much more from all of these talented musicians, in this band and in their future endeavors. –P. Buchanan

Spoken For
A Life in Flames

Self-Released
Street: 08.13.10
Spoken For = Tool + The Police + angst

These boys definitely have some very recognizable influences from Tool to, perhaps unintentionally, The Police (tell me you don’t hear it on the opening riff of “No More Blood on my Guitar”). They are taking their cue from some great musicians. It’s young and it’s pained—they are certainly taking advantage of all the pent-up frustration that comes along with being an adolescent group of boys becoming men. This album is a great starting point for them. The recording quality isn’t bad—the production emphasizes some of the characteristics I would have wanted played down, like scratchy guitar distortion and other yet-to-be-refined techniques. But those are the ingredients for metal, so really, they are on the right track to where they’re trying to go. Overall, I am impressed with what these guys are putting out. As a new band just starting out, they have plenty of time to finish piecing together their own identity.