"The World’s Most Beautiful Melodies"

CD Reviews by Bill Hanstock

The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart

And so will this album. Back before, there were genres and sub-genres, before there was emo or even “alternative”, there was just good music. Well, the Stills make great music, and Vice was smart enough to sign them and put out this disc. On the first listen, I thought it was good (“for fans of the Cure, Jimmy Eat World”), but after having it sit in the “to be reviewed” stack for a bit, I popped it back in before writing this, and dang. I wish I had a Stills button so I could put it on my jacket next to my Vanilla the plastic snowman button. I love when I get a CD in the mail to review and it actually turns me into a fan of the band. This is good, heartfelt stuff that’s closer to rock as the Cure knew it than to any other genre. From the opening strains of “Lola Stars and Stripes” all the way to the end, The Stills know what it takes to write and execute a great song and aren’t afraid to show it. Good for them. You know when you discover a band that you love and then some huge label comes in and snatches them up immediately and then you start seeing their shirts in Hot Topic and seeing them start touring in stadiums? I hope that happens to the Stills, because they deserve to do this for a living. Highly recommended.

The Streets – All Got Our Runnin's

British underground DJ The Streets has released this web-exclusive EP, and it’s really cool stuff. Fat bouncy beats with great cockney ramblings on top. The 8-song EP is mostly remixes and a couple of instrumentals, but it’s still definitely worth checking out. I for one am interested in hearing more. This goes beyond white-boy rap (what’s whiter than some British dude? I had to check the website just now to make sure that he is, in fact, white), to the point where you’re not sure if it’s funny on purpose but you’re enjoying it all the same. Recommended.

Something Corporate – S/T

Irony: a piano-based band called Something Corporate on a marginally underground pop-punk label (Drive-Thru) signs to a major label (Geffen(!)), puts out the same album again, and everyone realizes hey, these guys were always this close to being Five For Fighting. It’s not a bad album by any stretch, and it’s not like SC sold out or anything. It’s just kind of shocking when you realize that you like something that your average Clay Aiken fan would be all over. That, my friends, is a wake-up call. If your mom likes to listen to light rock at work, get her this for Christmas. Only nine bucks at Target. (Oh, this should have gone in the December issue. Sorry. – GM) If you don’t have their first album, get one or the other. It really doesn’t matter. If you’re a fan you’ll already have it. Otherwise, I unveil a brand new rating: Indifference.

The Network – Money Money 2020

So The Network is a new Devo-core band comprised of the bemasked Fink, Z, Captain Underpants, Van Gough, and the Snoo. They play really great Moog-heavy New Wave. It’s 1985 all over again. They even have the keyboard guitar! Dynasty, pay attention: this is how it’s done. The Network has come out of nowhere to take the world by storm. They hail from the darkest depths of…oh, all right, it’s Green Day wearing masks. No, seriously. And like seemingly everything Green Day touches, this is great, catchy stuff. This is for everyone who ever pretended he was Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club. Or Anthony Michael Hall. Enjoy their tribute to the East Bay in “I Need A Fix”. Highly Recommended.

Against Me! – As The Eternal Cowboy

Against Me! along with Less Than Jake are the only good things to ever have come out of Florida. (And Dashboard Confessional, but shhhh….) They fully embrace the punk aesthetic while playing a mix of country, blues, folk and rock. And boy, do they have a following. They’ve built a rabid and loyal fan base with some small-label and independent releases and a blistering live performance, and now they’ve got a new album out on Fat Wreck Chords. Twelve songs in about twenty-five minutes, and not a second wasted. Against Me! is a band that manages to do what few others can: they capture their passion and intensity in their recordings. Perhaps this is why people have been able to latch onto them so strongly: every song is your own private sing-along. You will move. Highly Recommended.