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Webb's "Quick Hit" Reviews
November 15, 2003
by Mike Webb

"Guilt" was the main inspiration behind Quick Hits. CDs from various artists have been piling up in my inbox, and I was beginning to feel lame for not writing about all the goodies that I've been receiving. So Quick Hits will be my place for shorter reviews about up-and-coming bands, as well as established artists on indie labels. Since we at 2Walls don't feel the need to trash baby bands, I'll be gentle if the music doesn't make my ears dance. But if you're rocking my world, I'll give you all the ink you deserve, so keep those party favors coming!

Sand (featuring Kim Fowley and Roy Swedeen)
The West is Best (2003)

West Is Best almost sounds like a novelty album, but Kim Fowley seems to be serious about his music making. Having co-written such classics as Kiss’ “Do You Love Me” and “King Of The Nighttime World”, Alice Cooper’s “Escape”, and many Runaway songs (including my favorite “Cherry Bomb”), these ears had to hear what Fowley could cook up. And while it’s not quite a meal, it’s certainly a pu-pu platter of surf-sounding, honky-tonk rock. Head west old man.
Links: Kim Fowley website, Zip Records
Living Colour
CollideOscope (2003)

The Living Colour brothers sound a little tired and don’t rock it like they used to. LC used to be a soulcore roar, but now Corey spends more time sloganeering than singing, and Vernon has just run out of gas. Explorations of futuristic techno-metal don’t really catch fire, and the band’s cover choices miss the simplicity of “Back In Black” and the head in the clouds psychedelia of “Tomorrow Never Knows”. It’s hard to tell if they’ve outgrown their funk-rock roots, or if every band they inspired caught up and passed them. The glammer boys aren’t so fierce any more and the colors are fading. Oh well.
Links: Living Colour website
Fun Lovin' Criminals
Welcome To Poppy’s (2003)

Poppy’s sounds like a good place to be. Feels like it should be a dark place with spinning lights, hot chicks, both kinds of bud, and side rooms to do the nasty in. Set up a stage for the Criminals to showoff on, and you got a rumpshaking, good-natured, bad-ass party happenin’. Welcome indeed. Be sure the check out their website as the music that greets you is a bigtop remix of Nas’ classic “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.”
Links: Fun Lovin' Criminals website
Jane's Addiction
Strays (2003)

The thing that always enthralled me about Jane’s Addiction was the fact that most of their songs were driven by Eric Avery’s slinky bass lines. Always hypnotic and sexy, his bass riffs were a strong foundation for Perry, Mr. Carmen Electra and Stephen Perkins to go crazy on. And since the band didn’t forget that fat bottom grooves make the rockin’ world go round, the first side of Strays is just more of their vintage freaky-funky, druggy monster rock. It’s when the guitar takes over during the second half that the album begins to lose steam. You’d think Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Kiss, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel) would be burned out by now, but he did a good job contributing to the music and getting that ‘peripheral’ dream-like atmosphere in the mix. Hardly their best effort, this ain’t no nostalgia trip either. Don’t stray away so long next time.
Links: Jane's Addiction website

(Mike Webb is a volunteer staff writer for 2 Walls Webzine)

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