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Week of December 6, 1999

[best of]
Bitesize / The Best of Bitesize / Packing Heat

The Best of Bitesize is only twenty minutes long. It looks like it's thirty minutes, but that's because of some sneaky hidden-track action. Naughty Bitesize. It is, however, twenty of the best minutes of music I've heard all year. Bitesize makes brashy, noisy, skewed retro-punk-pop of the Pixies-on-crank variety -- they pack more hooks and more energy into ninety seconds than many bands can fit on an entire album... more»
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[conquering the throne]
Hate Eternal / Conquering the Throne / Wicked World

Former Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan, along with Suffocation’s fret burner, Doug Cerrito, have fashioned Hate Eternal with one goal in mind: brutal extremity. Indeed, a vicious, thrashing monster has been born from these prominent death metal bands, rearing its head with a burning desire to consume its immediate musical surroundings... more»
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[6633]
Toog / 6633 / Le Grand Magistery

First off, let me say that as a general rule, one should buy any recording whose cover features a skinny, shirtless French guy singing to an orange. It's just good sense. And in fact, Noah Wane and I actually had to leg wrestle to determine who would get to review this one. Luckily I was all jacked up on Dr Pepper at the time, so I won...more»
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[devotion]
6FG / Devotion / Squish Me Down

Will someone please send Kolchak to investigate the water treatment plants in Washington State and ask what the heck is being put in the drinking water? Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden and now 6FG are all Washington bands which have been hit with the angry, hard rockin' stick. Devotion is feedback filled, amplified rock made to be played loud... more»

[so, were they in some sort of fight?]
A Minor Forest / So, Were They In Some Sort Of Fight? / My Pal God

A Minor Forest weren't the sort of band to wear out their welcome. Now, following the band's dissolution, AMF purists are naturally eager to get their mitts on as much of the band's recorded output as humanly possible. For everyone who wants a complete AMF collection but doesn't want to spend lots of time and money hunting stuff down in record shops and on E-Bay, My Pal God offers So, Were They in Some Sort of Fight? It's big, it's thorough and it's swollen with double-CD goodness... more»

[fly pan am]
Fly Pan Am / Fly Pan Am / Constellation

It's a strange musical creature, this Fly Pan Am, an ever expanding musical mosaic that leaves you uncertain where the music will take you...and even less sure whether or not you want to follow it there. Fly Pan Am mine the same musical territory as fellow Montréal natives Godspeed You Black Emperor, if that gives you any insight into their sound. But Fly Pan Am is much more horrifying than anything GYBE has ever committed to tape... more»

[american landscape]
Mak Wolven / American Landscape / Pinecone Productions

There's obviously been some terrible mistake here. A few bars of the opening track, "Back to Texas," had this Texan-born writer convinced that he was listening to one of his brothers boast a few country tales and sing some soulful folk tunes. After scanning through the bio to find out which part of the Lone Star State Mak inhabited, I was hit with the shocking discovery that this Hawaiian-born, Maine-based singer was a Yankee... more»

[i'll take care of you]
Mark Lanegan / I'll Take Care of You / Sub Pop

Lanegan is back with I'll Take Care of You, an album covering songs by the likes of Brooke Benton, Overton Vertis Wright and Buck Owens. Mr Lanegan retains his fondness for tackling darker subjects -- murderers on the run, alienation or seeking redemption through love. Stripped down roots and blues tinged songs give I'll Take Care of You a melancholic languidness... more»

[international pop modulations]
Micromars / International Pop Modulations / AudioInformationPhenomena

With an album title like International Pop Modulations, it's pretty much impossible for Micromars to sidestep the inevitable Stereolab comparisons. Not that it's necessarily bad to be compared to Stereolab. If you like Stereolab, there's a very, very good chance that you're going to like Micromars...more»

[trance states in tongues]
Zen Guerrilla / Trance States in Tongues / Sub Pop

Trance States In Tongues is the type of album you listen to when you've just had a fight with your Mom over your long hair and punk-ass attitude and you're fuming in your bedroom while wearing a pair of cumbersome headphones. It's pure rock 'n' roll catharsis and very air-guitar friendly -- just ask my wife...more»

[at a glance]
And this week in At A Glance...:
The Wicked Farleys/The Vehicle Birth, Mallik Family, Shivaree, 100 Watt Smile, Vulgaria, The Church, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Reggie and the Full Effect, Takako Minekawa, Situation at 1200, Music for Listening To, Easy Tempo, Rick Rizzo and Tara Key, Slow-Wave Sleep, King Fly, The Renovators, Gessy, John Linnell

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