Volume – 20.1

Pig Destroyer
Prowler In The Yard
Relapse Records

I love the name of this band. Pig Destroyer has a double meaning. It can either mean destruction of dirty farm animals or your city’s finest-you know, peace officers. I personally don’t give a shit what it means, because this is the best grind-core I’ve heard since Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Pig Destroyer guitarist Scott Hull is also the mastermind behind A.N., so that must be why the sound is equally as brutal. The music of Pig Destroyer is harsh, abrasive, gutteral, and not for everyone, but hey, isn’t that what people thought of punk rock when it first came out?-A.S.

Cuda
Hellfire
12th Records

Cooter Brown, Spanky, Nuge, and Gunner from the rock group Cuda (short for the 1970s Plymouth Barracuda muscle car) are here to ride riff-rock into eternity. These boys are dishin’ out a heavy heapin’ of some good ol’ fashioned swamp-fuzz. Spanky plays chunky lead guitar with Green Amps, so you know the shit sounds Sabbathy as f-k. This is perfect music to listen to while driving down a backwoods dirt road at dusk with nothin’ but wind and smoke in your eyes. Real nice.-A.S.

Neurosis
A Sun That Never Sets
Relapse

They’re back, and they brought the wrath of Thor’s hammer to split your head open. On this new album, Neurosis breaks its mold and adds some vocal harmonies to its meat-grinding guitar explosions. If you don’t have a Neurosis CD, you should. If you like bands like Black Sabbath or The Melvins, you’ll rock deeply to Neurosis. Slow, loud, and devastating, go buy Neurosis and grind your brain.-C.C.

The Beta Band
Hot Shots 2
Astralwerks

This is some good European easy-listening that you may just want around to impress your wannabe Euro-trash friends. The Beta Band sounds kind of like that other French band, Air, but with more harmonies and more complete songs. You could say the Beta Band’s harmonies are so good that they could be compared to The Beach Boys or The Mamas And The Papas. Get into some of this Euro-style electro-pop and you’ll be a little bit Frenchier than you were before. And if you want, don’t use deodorant or brush your teeth, and you’ll fit in even better.-C.C.

Pullman
Viewfinder
Thrill Jockey

Early this summer, a friend dragged me to an 8:00 a.m. yoga class. I used to think yoga was stupid hippie shit, but it’s not stupid-although a lot of stupid hippies seem to do it. At the end of class you lie on the floor, on your back, and just chill to whatever chill-sounding music the yoga instructor puts on. Some of it’s hippie shit-but some of it’s not bad. Usually when I want to chill I listen to Billie Holiday, but sometimes I’m in the mood for Tortoise.

Well, if you like any Tortoise, you’ll probably like Pullman. And if you really like Tortoise, then you probably already know that both a current and former member are in Pullman. The band has been around since 1997, and its latest album Viewfinder is, well, interesting. It doesn’t sound like any of the group’s earlier stuff, and includes electric instruments along with some rather melancholy soundscapes. When I can afford yoga classes again, I’m taking this CD with me.-Saba

John Frusciante
To Record Only Water For Ten Days
Warner Brothers

Most of us in the skateboard community know the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the band in the cult-classic, late-80s movie Thrashin’. Since then, John Frusciante left the band at the height of its success, battled an over five-year heroin addiction that nearly killed him, and recorded two solo albums. Not to mention that he watched one of his best friends, River Phoenix, die on the curb outside the Roxy one night after he finished playing a set. This newly released album was recorded and produced in its entirety by John Frusciante, and all of the drumming is done by drum machines, not unlike the Folk Implosion and Lou Barlow recordings you may have heard. On most of the songs the microphone has been distorted to give John a deeper voice-a far cry from his real high-pitched voice, but it’s mixed well. In all, this album has been getting a workout in my car CD player, so much so that I bought John Frusciante’s first solo album (with two tracks where River Phoenix plays backup guitar and sings), but that’s another review in itself.-Greg Harris

Two Man Advantage
Don’t Label Us
Go Kart

These New York punks must have lived at an ice rink for the vast majority of their youth. They’ve converted the angry energy of smashing someone’s face into the boards at Madison Square Garden into pressure pulses streaming from guitars, drums, and bass. The first line consisting of Drunk Bastard on vocals, Skate and Captain on guitars, Teemu on bass, and Amstel on drums is definitely the goon line-the squad that can barely handle the puck, but can rough the f-k out of the opposing team. That’s why they’re called goons. Don’t skate with your head down because Two Man’s Don’t Label Us will hit you hard, knocking your ass to the ice.-Chuck Knuckles

Slayer
God Hates Us All
Def American

On the initial test run of God Hates Us All, I thought Slayer’s latest work was its weakest. Not only did I not like it, but Slayer didn’t seem to be as pissed as they were on Reign In Blood or South Of Heaven. After feeling like I was cheated with the new album, I decided to have another listen-maybe I’d missed something the first time around.

Round two opened the doors to Slayer’s hell. They really are just as pissed, if not even more so. The album’s opener is eerie with Latin chants and screams in the distant background. Paul Bostaph’s drumming on God Hates Us All is insane-his double bass pounds the heartbeat of the album at a rapid pace-complementing the brash and ever-so-diabolical lyric hailing of Tom Araya.

God Hates Us All is the culmination of twenty years of anger for Slayer-fans across the globe will love this album.-E.S.

The Strokes
Is This It
BMG

Are you in need of some good rock ‘n’ roll? Well, that’s what you get with The Strokes. The band’s sound isn’t ground-breaking, but that’s what’s good about it. Is This It might take a bit before really starting to grow on you, but it will-listen to catchy tracks like “New York City Cops” and “Last Nite,” and you’ll be hooked. Pick up any music magazine around these days and The Strokes are probably in there someplace-hype would be an understatement, but at the end of the day it’s just good music. Check out Is This It if you like good shit.-N.W.