Raw Power Records
Dodge Dart have been piddling around in local clubs for about five years now, so it's about time they put somethingout. Probably a good thing they waited, though—toned down on So American are the gratuitous Ramones guitar knicks, now splintered off into more of an Iggy/ Stooges approach, with some definite Modern Loversesque '70s-garage touches going on, too. Which is a roundabout, hoity-toity rock-critic way of saying that So American is a brilliant, balls-out rock record—no, not punk, but with all that music's oozy 'tude, from the opening junkie joke of "911 (Who Is Gonna Dial . . .)" and the cheeky title tune ("Chicks . . . cars . . . SO AMERICAN! . . . drugs and bars are . . . SO AMERICAN!") to their Lou Reed love sonnet (called—get this—"Lou Reed"), which tastes like a sloppily psychotic AM-radio oldie. Listen to: Dodge Dart
Real Audio Format Jesus Ain't My Friend 911 Gonna Fuck You Up Lou Reed So American
Download the RealPlayer FREE! Then—speaking of radio—there are the megahits that'll only garner airplay on the KROQ of your mind, like "Jesus Ain't My Friend," with its bratty, finger-flipping swipes ("Jesus ain't my friend . . . and you ain't either!Gotta lotta friends . . . and you ain't one of 'em!"), and "Gonna Fuck You Up," which might be the most perfect blast of angry, end-of-the-century, piss-taking, beer-swigging rock & fucking roll you're likely to hear, pounded out in just under two minutes (like almost every other song here; look for So American in the Attention Deficit Disorder section of finer indie record stores starting Tuesday). The Dart boys also cover drugs, death, random violence, sloth, mayhem, anarchy, uprising, laziness and rebellion —hey, sounds pretty American to us! (Rich Kane)
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Is Erik Rez a poet? A radical-liberal lefty? A coffeehouse guitar strummer? Or just some Fullerton guy with a voice that sounds like angry honeybees breaking into your eardrums? Yes, kids, he's all that. But you don't really mind his nasally pipes after a while—people thought the same of Dylan, anyway—and the dude can pen some smart, worldly, pointed lyrics about uncomfortable things nobody likes to hear about (and isn't that what a folkie is supposed to do?). Listen to: Erik Rez
Real Audio Format God Jail Inc. Product Victoria's Orgasm
Download the RealPlayer FREE! He's got a biting song about bands as marketing concepts ("Product") and another heartwarmer about having gooey oral sex with Queen Victoria ("Victoria's Orgasm," something particularly nauseating given that the queen has been dead for a hundred years or so). But we're more interested in Rez's weightier stuff: "God" is an anti-organized-religion rant that he masks in a gentle, Franciscan-choir-like hymn. And "Jail Inc." goes off against the California prison industry from an inmate's point of view ("Where would you be without this new corporate slavery?/Where would you be without us working for free?/ Where would you be without Pete Wilson's empathy?/Go on and build another jail"). Maybe that's why we like Rez: when it comes down to it, in the finest folksinger tradition, he's got something to say—and he wields a machine that kills fascists. (RK)
Livin' Every Day
Pardon me for not leaping on the Walter Trout bandwagon with all the other local media types, Listen to: Walter Trout
Real Audio Format I Thought I Heard the Devil Livin' Every Day Playing With a Losing Hand
Download the RealPlayer FREE! but I think this Huntington Beach blues guy's blues are waytoo slick and overproduced—the same kind of watered-down, made-safe-for-beer-commercials-and-white-people sounds being perpetrated by the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. Trout may indeed shred in concert, but this disc doesn't capture anyof that. But hey, if you believe the hype, he's hugein Europe—absolutely mega. Then again, so's David Hasselhoff. (RK)