BRAIDED VEINS: Future/Forever: 12″


Future/Forever cover art


The debut EP from Flint, MI’s BRAIDED VEINS featuring members of EMPTY ORCHESTRA, THE SWELLERS, KID BROTHER COLLECTIVE, THE CONQUEROR WORM and more. Seven tight, blistering songs that grab you by the throat and hammer you into submission with the devastating sound that comes ripping out of your speakers. EPs never last long, but this one seems to be over far too quickly. From the moment you start listening, the energy levels hit the roof without dropping for a second. The pounding drums, the wicked riffs, the pounding bass and the shouted vocals are all working together with the well written songs to create an EP that begs for a whole album to be delivered. “Watch Carefully” and its follow-up “How Did You Imagine the End?” are down-to-business post-hardcore rockers, “The Future Lasts Forever” is a short burst of pure energy, “The Nature of the Cruise Century” has a garage punk feel to it, “Some Fundamental Questions on the Nature of Being” and “On the Limits of Tomorrow” keep the high energy going and “To Whomever Finds This Document:” ends the album on a high note.

Get this one and tell them to get going on a full length album soon.


One year after her first album, Kim Wilde put out her second and it was a bit of a change in sound from the predecessor. This one was more electronic, but still retained the high energy and edge that was present on her first album.

Starting off with “Ego,” a fast-paced song that will get you up and dancing, it flows perfectly into “Words Fell Down,” another fast song with great synthesizer playing adding a very atmospheric feel to the song. This album could really fit in with the emerging new romantic sound at the time, lots of dancey synths, tons of bass and a general feel that the album would sound incredible in the club. The single “View From A Bridge” is every bit as exciting to hear now as it was when it first came out. “Action City,” “Chaos At The Airport,” “Can You Come Over,” and the other single “Cambodia” are all standouts on this album.

With remastered sound giving clarity and dynamics to the music, and the replica vinyl jacket all add to this great release that gives her one-two punch that started a career that is still going to this day. Great music that still stands up in this day and age, you can’t go wrong.

KIM WILDE: Self-titled: CD

Kim Wilde’s first and in my mind, best album remastered and in a copy of the original vinyl release. I still remember reading about her in Creem magazine and finally seeing the cassette in a record store downtown…I had to have this album right there and then. I purchased this and IRON MAIDEN’s Number Of The Beast and put Kim into my trusty walkman and had a huge smile on my face the whole way through the tape.

Every song was something new and exciting for me and being thirteen, I had a huge crush on her. No MTV in Canada and not too many outlets for videos at the time so I only had the magazine article and the tape for any kind of information about her or what the video was like. I played the damn thing over and over and learned these songs and after all these years, it still puts a smile on my face and I still love the album. The songs that really stand out for me are “Kids In America,” “Water On Glass,” “Our Town,” “Young Heroes,” “Chequered Love,” and “2-6-5-8-0.” Not a bad ratio, six out of ten songs that I love and four that I like…lol.

With the cleaned up sound, the cool little sleeve reproduction and the ton of classic tracks, this is a definite album to be put into your collection. New wave done well, with feeling, emotion, and energy all done before things got watered done in a few years by the proliferation of pop taking over the new wave scene.

SAVE ENDS: Warm Hearts, Cold Hands: LP

Warm Hearts, Cold Hands cover art

The Boston, MA five-piece band’s debut album has ten songs that will get in your head and grow until there is room for nothing except this album. The shared male and female vocals are such a treat on give the album nuances that are a pleasure to listen to.

This mix of pop punk and indie is a pleasure to hear from when the needle hits the vinyl right up until the last note has faded. The band plays their hearts out, and the vocals just grab you and sweep you off of your feet and take you on an exciting trip away from your troubles. This is the kind of album that when you’re listening to it, you can’t help break into a smile and feel good. This would fit perfectly into the scene of the mid ’90s, but don’t think of this as a retro album, no, it’s an album of energy and power that hits your soul and brings happiness into your day, kind of like a reminder of when things were easier or not so hectic before. The songs shimmer and they just make you want to listen to them over and over again.

This is the kind of band that I would drag everyone that I know to see live, and make them buy merch from them. This band deserves your attention and you need to do what you can to show them love.


Light On The Lake cover art

These guys from Cleveland, OH play a mix of punk, pop punk, and post hardcore that blends together very well. We have twelve songs that showcase the emotive vocals and energetic playing of people who really enjoy what they are doing and it shows so well on this album.

The pacing of the album gives you the ragers and the softer moments to give you a break, the sharp hooks come at you one after another, and the high level of musicianship gives this album a head up over other bands who struggle through their own albums. The vocals have a nice range of being smooth to becoming louder and more manic, the bass playing is a highlight, especially on “The Desert To Denver” which is a favorite of mine, the drumming is devastating and the guitar playing really shines as well.

This is an album that will shake up your expectations and worm its way into your head after one listen. This is one terrific album that just gets better the more that you listen to it.

SECRET SMOKER: Terminal Architecture: LP


These three guys from Baton Rouge, LA play emo…yes it’s emo, but it’s actually really good emo with a hint of screamo and a bit of hardcore in the mix giving this a better than most sound. Most times when you hear the term emo it makes people think of kids that are depressed with bad hair and ridiculous makeup, but this could change your mind about the music at least.

The sounds emanating from the grooves of the very cool see-through vinyl are heavy, full of emotions and will give you a kick in your pants…damn cool so far. These guys are like the link of what emo was in the old days and for that I’m glad. Well written songs with tight, yet not perfect playing made this one a real winner. Yes the vocals could get annoying on emo albums, but we get the whiny vocals, but also shouty, angry vocals that add so much to the diversity of the album. The songs range from being fast to slower and add in the fantastic playing, this makes for a very cool listening experience.

This was a surprise for me since I had long given emo a wide berth and hearing this makes me realize that there are a few people who can pull this off well.


I Hate It cover art

These four guys from Orlando, FL are not teenagers anymore, but that doesn’t stop them from spilling all the angst one has at that time in their life on their debut full length album. Ten high energy punk songs with just enough pop to smooth over the rough edges, but not make things too sugary sweet.

The band comes out ready to get you up out of your seat and get you rocking out, always a good way to start off your album with a killer tune. The band keeps the pace going through out the ten songs with a slight cool down in speed on the middle of the album, but not slow songs, just a tad slower, but still ass kicking all the same. Lots of manic riffage, throbbing bass lines, solid drumming and vocals with a hint of snottiness add up to a winning combination.

The clear production really lets the band shine and the songs are strong and stand up to repeated listening. Repeated listening seems to be what they were shooting for and it worked in spades.