Praises & Blazes
by Kristen Spielkamp
Mike, Jason &
Bingo: The Roofies
In a recent episode of Beverly Hills 90210,
we all learned the danger of Roofies, the date- rape drug. But carelessly mocking
the important lessons taught by the 90210 gang, The Roofies have cast off
all social responsibility and blatantly taken the drug name as their own.
Starting off with one of the more amusing band names in recent months, adding some
clever musicianship and a flair for the flamboyant, The Roofies are definitely on
the right track.
The Roofies, it seems, have taken
lessons from the masters. Just listen to any track on the new six song release to
uncover bits of Queen and The Archies, or maybe hints of Slade and The Partridge
Family. Without a doubt, The Roofies are ready for the spotlight.
surprising from a band featuring former Celebrity Skin (the band, not the
magazine, for those unfamiliar) guitarist, Jason Shapiro. And like the infamous
Celebrity Skin, The Roofies have concocted a soon to be trademark musical potion.
It's sticky-sweet pop with regular doses of campy keyboards and catchy, hook-laden
choruses. There's also plenty of big, glam rock guitars and melodramatic vocals.
The Roofies, it seems, have taken lessons from the masters. Just listen to any track
on the new six song release to uncover bits of Queen and The Archies,
or maybe hints of Slade and The Partridge Family. Without a doubt,
The Roofies are ready for the spotlight. The Roofies Homepage
World Domination Recordings
They're called the Coen Brothers of pop. And much like
the Coen Brothers, you're not always certain exactly where NJ's Lizard Music is
about to take you. Luckily, the music on Dear Champ is intriguing enough to keep
you around for the ride.Dear Champ, Lizard Music's latest effort is 14 songs (plus
a hidden 15th track) of sometimes puzzling, sometimes bizarre but always strangely
In fact, just
about everything this band does is a bit confusing. They hail from Redbank, but their
sound has nothing in common with the Jersey Shore scene. In the past, the band employed
master producer Steve Albini. On this release, Lizard Music choose to work
with The Henry Hudson High School Horns.
things even further, everything here sounds strangely familiar. Like something you
know you've heard some where before. But then, just when you think you've figured
it out, the song meanders off course and takes a direction all its own. "Variations
on a Hallucination" begins as a perfectly crafted Beatles song and disintegrates
into a noisy, sonic drone. Bits of early Elvis Costello come through
on "Hate You Too", only to be constantly interrupted by smarmy high-pitched
Champ, frequent nods to 70's A.M. radio stars like Wings and Bread are
matched with a darker, twisted influence from the realm of Zappa. And maybe
it's all the piano, but listen to "Sketchy Angel" and you'll even hear
touches of Barry Manilow.
Welcome To Woop Woop
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Known for their work on "The Adventures of Priscilla,
Queen of the Desert" and "Backbeat" respectively, director Stephan
Elliot and producer Finola Dwyer have combined forces for a new adventure
comedy, Welcome To Woop Woop. The film is a dark comedy documenting life in the remote
town of Woop Woop, Australia, a twisted place where the town's cinema and radio station
are prevented from playing anything except Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Chumbawamba contributes the
album's best track "Time Bomb". Nothing like their current hit, the song
borrows lyrics from Stephen Stills and keyboard tricks from a slew of New Wave synth-pop
heroes. The result is a perfect theme song for the current 80's revival.
It's no surprise
then that five of the ten selections found on the resulting soundtrack are classic
Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes. Remixed and revamped by a variety of current chart-toppers,
the classic songs take on a surprisingly modern feel. Reel Big Fish deliver
a hyper-active, ska influenced version of "There Is Nothin' Like A Dame".
Club legend Junior Vasquez lends his talents to "You'll Never Walk Alone"
performed by Robin S and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" by Peggy Wood.
Within seconds he's turned the two traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes into
dance tracks certain to be a hit with every aerobics instructor in town. Other selections
include "Bali Ha'i" and Poe's version of "I Cain't Say No".
the R&H theme, the album's first single resurrects "I Got You Babe"
with the unlikely paring of Merril Bainbridge and Shaggy. Together
the duo give the Sonny & Cher duet an updated reggae groove, marred only
by Bainbridge's too candy-coated vocals.
contributes the album's best track "Time Bomb". Nothing like their current
hit, the song borrows lyrics from Stephen Stills and keyboard tricks from
a slew of New Wave synth-pop heroes. The result is a perfect theme song for the current
the selections, Cake offers a loungy "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps",
the eels are typically hypnotic with their contribution, "Dog's Life"
and the always fabulous Boy George contributes "Welcome to Your Life
Tossing A Friend
(Deep Elm Records)
After several 7-inches on Edelstein Records, Muckafurgason
have recently joined the Deep Elm roster. Working with producer John Kimbrough,
the trio of Andy, Chris and John have just released their first
full length album entitled Tossing A Friend. Over the album's 14 tracks, the band
ventures into nearly every musical genre imaginable. The tracks range from mock country
to pseudo hip-hop with everything in between.
There's not much point in
trying to showcase your diversity and varied musical background unless you're actually
proficient in each of the styles.
Fly", the band tries their hand at goofball pop with a South-of-the-Border flair.
A Pistols-esque parody cleverly titled "Punk Rock", is packed with all
the dreaded piss and spit punk cliches while "Crying" and "Sweethearts"
are painful attempts at twangy country tunes. Throw in a nod to current indie sensibility
with the cringe inducing ode to an Atari game of the band's youth, "Atari"
and you should have the idea.
There's not much
point in trying to showcase your diversity and varied musical background unless you're
actually proficient in each of the styles.According to their bio, "You'll either
like Muckafurgason, or you'll kind of like Muckafurgason." Sadly, I can think
of a third option ...
Plus, I've never
liked wacky rock that much, and Muckafurgason strikes me as some sort of joke frat-rock.
Except the rock just isn't very good, and the jokes aren't very funny. My guess is
that this would go over big with the same crowd that digs The Refreshments and
The Presidents of the USA. So unless you've just polished off a keg of Coors
Lite with your frat brothers, this is one disk to avoid.
Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Magazine: July 98
to TransAction Magazine: Front Page