7even Inches

Boris the Sprinkler

(I Been Hittin’ On A) Russian Robot

Lookout!

Stupid but very well-done punk rock that’s big on melodic guitars. Their cover of “Got the Time,” though, made me grimace. Some things are too stupid. Lookout! Records, P.O. Box 11374, Berkeley, CA 94701

Bride Just Died

We Are the Hungry

Neat Damned Noise

Very Damned, and very good. English horror punks from Birmingham, land of perennial Halloween… Reminds me of 45 Grave, Misfits, and, of course, the Damned. Four excellent songs with Hammer-esque titles like “The House that Bleeds.” Neat Damned Noise, P.O. Box 42850-123, Houston, TX 77242-2850

Electric Frankenstein/L.E.S. Stitches

Electric Frankenstein vs. L.E.S. Stitches 7″

Devil Doll

Nicely done NYC punk rock sampler. Electric Frankenstein covers Mötörhead ‘s “We Are the Roadcrew” and L.E.S. Stitches does “Id.” A great little punk 7″ that makes me yearn for the days when I was in high school and felt trapped… Devil Doll Records, P.O. Box 30727, Long Beach, CA

Engine Down

Hold All Applause

Lovitt

The A-side starts fluid and smooth, weaving subtle melodies with the emotion building to a crescendo that doesn’t reflect much of the Sleepytime Trio in their family tree. “Castalia” brings more of the thick, jagged melodies I was expecting, but still, the Sleepytime comparison seems unfair until the end. Good stuff. I like how these songs unfold. Lovitt Records, P.O. Box 248, Arlington, VA 22210

Far Apart

Hazel

Crank!

Sweden represents once again with three songs of soaring, powerful emo-rock melodies with enough hooks to lodge these songs instantly in my head. Very good. Crank! A Record Company, 1223 Wilshire Blvd. #173, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Garage Rats

Fuck Everything

Skanking Skull

Upbeat, boot-wearing kick-ass punk rock, yet it’s strangely poignant. Sort of a ghostly Oi! feel to it. “Boot ‘Em In” sounds like it was, in fact, recorded by rats in a garage. Skanking Skull Records, 40101 Sherydan Glenn, Lady Lake, FL 32159

Hasidic New Wave

Guiliani über Alles

Knitting Factory

Five crazy Klezmer-punk versions of the classic Dead Kennedys’ “California über Alles,” updated for New York City mayor, Rudolph Guiliani. It’s quite insane. Knitting Factory Works, 74 Leonard St., New York, NY 10013

The Inwoods

The Inwoods

Hot Sauce

Fast hardcore-influenced catchy punk rock with plenty of good breakdowns and singalong lyrics. Some of their crazy live energy bleeds into this, too. Room to grow, but a good first step. Hot Sauce Records, P.O. Box 372116, Satellite Beach, FL 32937

Kritter

Kritter

Excellent five-song EP full of angry, melodic hardcore and swift metal. Great power metal guitars and fantastic vocals put this little band up there with the NYC heavyweights and I expect to see them raise a few eyebrows with the release of a CD in early 1999. Top songs: “Undermination” and the brutal “Mendacious.” Kritter, 214 Eckford St., Top Apartment, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Monotract

traffican’t

Spy-Fi

Sounds like someone playing tapes loops of loosely-strung guitars with egg beaters. Maybe it’s Flipper unplugged on a really bad trip. Or it may be your retarded cousin playing a cigar box rubber-band banjo on Ritalin. Spy-Fi Records, P.O. Box 59-2641, Miami, FL 33159

Texas is the Reason

If It’s Here When We Get Back, It’s Ours

Revelation

Three-year old recording of really depressing, sad punk rock. Good for the terminally depressed and unhappy. Revelation Records, P.O. Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615; http://www.RevHQ.com

Too Bad

Lay the Smack Down

Too Bad Muthas

Twin brothers transplanted from whoknowswhere in Wisconsin decided to take the local metal scene by storm. And they do on this excellent, power-mad four-song EP. Great vocals matched by great metal guitars. Check it out! Too Bad Muthas, P.O. Box 5172, Palm Harbor, FL 34684; tntinc69@hotmail.com

War Dance

A War Music Compilation

War/Relapse

Good bunch of extreme death and extreme goth music to chill the night. This self-proclaimed “celebration of death and aggression” includes tunes from Naglfar, Carnel Voice, Cryptopsy, Arch Enemy, In Flames, and Darkane. Very evil and very extreme. Relapse, P.O. Box 251, Millersville, PA 17751; http://www.relapse.com

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