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Fred Prellberg, Herod, Bancroft, Glassine, Bullets and Octane, Saunter, Blush and The Vacation 

with Zane Ewton

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Fred Prellberg - Last of the Rock Stars

Fred Prellberg mixes humor, romance, nostalgia and a little darkness into a love of classic rock, rhythm and blues and the sunny melodies they just don't write the same anymore. Last of the Rock Stars is a glossy little record on the surface but repeated listens open a much deeper record. Not all of the blood has been cleansed from the tracks; examples include "Mankind Dies at Sulfur City" and the album closer "False Claims."

More than anything, Last of the Rock Stars is an album through the eyes of a rock star too old for the excess and trappings of success, now all that is let is family and the music. Released on Prellberg's own Denmark Street Records, the album feels homegrown, not at all homemade.

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Herod - Rich Man's War…Poor Man's Fight

While Iron Maiden blazed a trail of metal madness across the world in the early eighties, they seemed to have blazed a trail of illegitimate children as well. Following up their acclaimed For Whom the Gods Would Destroy, Herod returns with another slab of damaging riffs and wailing vocals.

Metal fans chomping at the bit for bands returning to that gloried sound of yesteryear will be overjoyed with Herod. Vocalist Jason Russo screams with gusto and the twin "lead" guitars of Jesse Benker and Greg DiPasquale thrash and smash in unison. The band gives in to the metal cliché's too frequently though and songs begin to sound too similar to sustain extended listening. Of course that wasn't much of an issue in the eighties and why should it matter now. Grow your hair, throw on the leather and studs and turn up your stereo.

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Bancroft - The Melophobic Solution

All information pertaining to Bancroft describes them as a cross between the Foo Fighters and Weezer. This comparison doesn't bode well for Bancroft who will immediately be seen as "Foo Lite."

The Melophobic Solution is a much better record that what gets attached under the Weezer/pop-rock underbelly these days. Songs like "American Psycho" hearken back to the more popular moments of early nineties alternative rock, a rusty riff that breaks into a loud and memorable chorus. Then a song like "Worst Mistake" strips down the formula into a pleasing pop-rock exercise. Ultimately, Bancroft owes more to the bands that were the forefathers of the aforementioned current hit makers.

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Glassine - Neat Spirits

review removed by request of the band. (an antiMusic 1st!)  For the record, if you have a CD and send it to us for a REVIEW, that is what you will get. The reviewer will call it as he or she sees it. If you want a self-promoting fluff-piece for your media kit, write it yourself and don't ask publications for REVIEWS of your material if you might not like what they have to say. - ed 

PS a subjective opinion is not slanderous if Zane accused you of having sex with puppies that would be slanderous. Best of luck to your band and hope your skin gets a little bit thicker because you will need it in this business. 

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Bullets and Octane - In the Mouth of the Young

Bullets and Octane drafted Helmet main man Page Hamilton to produce their sophomore effort. The band muscles up with In the Mouth of the Young, blending punk and greasy L.A. rock into a pleasing concoction. It is Motley Crue meets Social Distortion. While none of the 12 tracks stand out as highlights; none of them are embarrassing failures.

Some bands make records that are great in a live setting. In the Mouth of the Young is such an album. The riffs will snarl louder, the vocals will reach higher and the crowds will eat up every minute.

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Saunter - Excuses

Elements of jazz, funk and a little country pickin' float under the quirky vocals of Mathew Davis to make Excuses a smooth and enjoyable record. Most of the album bounces through light jazzy tracks and fairly mindless lyrics. Not until the next to last song, "Dead Man Walkin'," does the tone deepen to something meaningful. This album highlight is inflected with an organ and some bluegrass inspired leads.

The humor is the main attraction here and lines like, "I can see your bosom when you bend over" and song titles "Smelling like a Rose" and "Hottie" keep a one-track mind focused on the overall lack of substance.

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Blush - From the Falls to the Path

Blush is another band stuck on the same two riffs and one vocal melody. One song of From the Falls to the Path is indistinguishable from the next. Like a leftover from the nu-metal age with a woman singer, Blush falls into the trap of being a one trick pony, failing to even try another horse. Kind of like Evanescence without the radio-friendly hooks.

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The Vacation - The Vacation

The Vacation fall directly in line behind the other "the" bands of the past few years. With a debt to Iggy Pop, The Vacation crackle and pop with energy through 11 respectable songs but fail to ever really get cooking.

A few riffs and hooks show promise of a better band. This is precisely what a debut album should be. The Vacation could be good, but they are not there yet.

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