Search for the Hidden Gem (2010 – vol# 6)

Written by on June 24, 2010 in June 24, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2010 – vol# 6)

Hallelujah, summer is almost here! It’s time to swap out the old fishing line for new, sharpen up the rusty treble hooks, put some gallon size ziplock bags in the tackle box, and it’s finally time to wear the summer camo that makes me virtually invisible to those skittish fish hiding in rock holes. Look out trout, here I come!

The Thrashers

Style (metal)

I’ve written before I only review EP’s if something strikes a chord. This four song EP garnered my attention because all five members are 9 years old. To be expected, the music is rough around the edges, the singing a little off key, the chords on the minimal side, but I like the intent these five metal inspired skater musicians have put forth. Sure there are plenty of internet YouTube singing sensations involving little kids, but not many metal groups, and for that I toss up the horns. I’m also impressed that in April these tikes played the legendary Whiskey on the Sunset Strip, making them the youngest group to ever play at the club, which is really awesome. And I must give kudos to the photographer responsible for stylizing the black and white bio picture, which is really well done. There are too many seasoned musicians who aren’t smart enough to figure this part of the packaging out.

Rating 2 (with time, practice, and continued music lessons these five will only get better)


“No Guts, No Glory”
Style (Rock)

I get really jacked up when I come across such a killer brand of nitro fueled, smash your skull against the steering wheel, shake that ass girl, burn the barn down, rock and roll. These four lads hailing from the land down under display a style closely resembling their legendary countrymen. But regardless who they may sound like, Airbourne’s music gets it done. Musically these guys bring the muscle to the party, along with some killer anthems like “Raise The Flag.” The vocals are scratchy, aggressive, loud in the mid to high range much like Bon Scott and Brian Johnson only with more octane. The guitar rhythms are electrifying with rippin’ solos that ravage the cochlear nerve. As for the bass and drums, all they do is thunder through the speakers like dueling 600 HP Mach trucks bent on destroying anything that dares cross their path. With this release Airbourne should have included a check list: case of whisky (check), roadhouse (check, or at least what’s left of it), struttin’stripper (check, and more at the next stop), Kilroy Was Here (check; hopeful he’s got gas money and smokes), and of course aspirin for the hangover. Hypothesizing nostalgically, if Bonnie and Clyde had had this blasting through some Alpines I’m betting they would never have gotten caught.

Rating 4 ½ (Hidden Gem – 13 songs that never let up and sound great in my truck)


“Antique Mechanic”
Style (Metal)

By way of the biggest little city in the world, Reno, Nevada, dirtCommunion hits the mix with a style that reminds me of the 1997 release from Corrosion of Conformity. Standing out the most musically are the guitar rhythms, the concrete of this band’s foundation. The guitars are heavy and thick, with consistent “workman” pacing, and an emotional darkness and forlornness persisting either intentionally or by accident in each of these 11 songs. I’ve honestly given this disc quite a few listens and I’m not quite sure where on the fence I truly sit. However, if I came across this band live in a club I’d stick around to hear their set.

Rating 2 ½ (middle of the road)

Miss Kristin

Style (Indie / Folk / New Age)

As the old saying goes, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash. This being Ms. Kristin’s 11th musical release, it’s time to implement tone theory, auto-song writing, and the much needed auto-tune. This collection of new age curmudgeon no-hit wonders is an absolutely abominable nightmare on the cochlear nerve. If it’s true that music calms the savage beast, I’m 100% positive I wouldn’t last long in my African survival class with a bunch of lions and gorillas vying to rip my carcass to shreds with this musical ensemble my only weapon of defense. However, these songs may be useful for defending the pod against zombie attacks. The CD title has me wondering if that’s the target selling cost because I can’t see paying anymore than a wooden nickel for such nonsensical song writing. Comically in play are the sections where Miss Kristin breaks into spoken word phrases sounding a bit like Debra Harry with her deep voice but possessing about as much poetic artistry as Glenn Beck.

Rating 1 (when is enough, enough?)

More Than Planes

“Right Idea, Wrong Note”
Style (indie)

Exactly what is this dribble drabble? Where’s the passion, the love, the energy, the reason for writing music? This can’t be the best this band can do, can it? I’ll agree this is definitely the wrong note, as the title indicates, but clearly the wrong idea too. These 14 monotonous, monotone, insipid, lifeless, trite, unpoetic masterpieces, each one carved from the same slate of cardboard, elicit as much excitement as does a Christmas card from the oncologist. The band’s MySpace bio indicates influences all over the place and ironically it shows, because More Than Planes sounds like a hodgepodge of nothing. The song writing, musicianship, and production are uniquely boring and unequivocally non-mainstream, incorporating essential unimaginative rapture that’s about as artistic as combining the low level hum coming from fluorescent lights and a riveting reading of “Goodnight Moon” by Christopher Walken. More Than Planes desperately needs time to develop and figure out who they are and what musical direction to pursue.

Rating 1 (if at first you don’t succeed)