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The Hype Factory introduces a whole new way of reviewing albums! It's like sitting in a room with a bunch of jaded music critics and getting a snapshot of how they feel about an album.

Anadivine - Zoo

- Solid effort. Nothing special but worth owning.
Rocky - They've got something. Now they need to break out of the mold and push some boundaries.
Boris - Musically crisp, good production, stylistically varied. I like it.
Natasha - Uninspired as pop-punk, but much better when it runs in its own direction.

The Atlantic Manor - Special Is Dead

Bullwinkle: Lo-Fi Neil Young-style Americana. Great songs for staring out windows on rainy days.
Rocky: Intriguing, brooding country folk, like 16 Horsepower. Simple and respectably amateurish.
Boris: Residing in this manor would be highly annoying. Faux Neil Youngs would haunt your dreams.
Natasha: A very bad impression of Neil Young. There won't be any rocking in the free world tonight

The Blackouts - Living In Blue

Bullwinkle: Excellent garage rock filled with late 60's fuzztones, cool tremolos, and vocal attitude. Highly recommended.
Rocky: Real exciting garage rock overruns with enthusiasm, blues, and a little psych-out. Solid.
Boris: Garage rock done right. The more you listen, the more you hear.
Natasha: Sweet, sweet garage rock, baby!

Karl Broadie - Nowhere Now Here

: Beautiful, well-written, downbeat folk songs. Strong emotional lyrics. Very introspective and moody. Awesome!
Rocky: J. Mascis folk so unengaging we talked through the whole damned thing. Not too bad.
Boris: In one ear, out the other. Sounds like it was made for themselves only.

Brookfield - …Maybe This Time

Bullwinkle: Jam/groove rock that's very good, but also very derivative. Green Day meets 311.
Rocky: Useless light funk - 311 off-key and misdirected. Smoke less chiba, practice more.
Boris: Die-cast music, replete with off beat and off pitch wonders.
Natasha: Pop punk jam band. So Very Wrong!

The Cars Are The Stars - Fragments

: Electronic ambient soundscapes one moment, indie pop goodness the next. Engaging, original and always changing.
Rocky: Pleasant sounds to unsettling rhythms that never catch on. Atonal vocals. Overwhelms the senses.
Boris: Europop has incestuous relations with trance in the French way.
Natasha: Crazy avant garde Frenchy stuff. It sounds like bubbles.

Caustic Soul - An Absence of Warmth

- Dark, haunting, Type-O-like. A+
Rocky - I would compare them to Sisters of Mercy, but more depressing. Songs way too long.
Boris - It's deep and dark. Not bad, but tries to hold you too long.
Natasha - Exceedingly dreary as war-themed concept albums go. Almost as depressing as WWI itself.

Choo Choo La Rouge - I'll Be Out All Night

: Geek-style college rock. Fun and musically interesting, great lyrics, very interesting singer. Almost Material Issue.
Rocky: Americans trying to make British pop. Space, Bunnymen. A likeable voice, but can't stay on pitch.
Boris: Tired, off key vocals and predictable. But still sort of listenable.
Natasha: The really poor man's Guadalcanal Diary.

Cowboys International - The Backwards Life of Romeo

- Ahhh! Stop the pain!! Break all copies of this CD now!!!
Rocky - Way too gay to be listened to.
Boris - Yikes! Bad lyrics, bad synthesizers; just bad.
Natasha - Other monsters no-like New-Wave pioneers. Natasha think Cowboys not just cashing in on New-New-Wave craze.

The Drop Scene - Black Heart

: Garage-country-rock-punk with tons of attitude. Great energy, excellent production, cool songs. This drummer rocks!
Rocky: Manic and full of unreleased anger. Like Peter Murphy fronting a biker surf-band.
Boris: Awfully Wall Of Voodoo. Not mind blowing, but a blast anyway.
Natasha: For once, the cover art isn't the best thing. This band stomps ass!

Evenout - Drown Inside

- Who said the last song on every album has to be an introspective acoustic ballad?
Rocky - Not much to say, blasé, but better than a lot of the crap out there.
Boris - Radio-friendly melodic rock. Bleargh.
Natasha - Sort of Monster-Magnety, but sticks to the "Modern Rock" formula too closely and too often.

Felix Culpa - Commitment

: Well-produced poetry heavy rock edging towards Tool-style metal. Excellent musicianship, excellent lyrics, solid band.
Rocky: Top notch lyrics. Extremely rhythmic music. Very bleak, adequate vocals. Quasi-metal? If Tool weren't angry.
Boris: Imagine a slower, less angry NIN. Good instrumentality and lyrics, harmony vocals need work.

Feverdream - Freeze! Don't Buy It

Bullwinkle - Certainly the lack of talent makes it difficult to endure "freeze".
Rocky - I liked it; maybe Bullwinkle is showing his age. Experimental and fascinating.
Boris - One word: monotonous.
Natasha - So, you hate America. Well, that's original. Are we as insufferable as your music?

Free Verse - Generator

: Excellent new punk/metal musicianship. Vocals a bit screamy, but the songs are solid.
Rocky: Like a steady diet of bran. Rough, tasteless, crunchy and results in a lot of shit.
Boris:Less screaming, more singing. Very reminiscent of Rush, but need more bass chops.
Natasha: If she sang renaissance ballads, it would be nice. But balladier and renaissancier.

The Get-outs - Get the Message

- OK tunes, not much talent - you're not missing much without it.
Rocky - If you can get past his voice, it is an awesome experience. "Enemy Inside" completely worth it.
Boris - Sounds like Billy Corgan fronting a pop/punk band. Entertaining and enjoyable.
Natasha - Has developed its own formula and successfully "gets it out." Damn, Bullwinkle IS old.

The Haywards - Scene Missing

: Brilliantly sonic indie rock. Velvet underground influenced, but thoroughly modern, captivating and original.
Rocky: Nicely busy but uncomplicated smart music by the Church, brilliant lyrics by Kierkegaard.
Boris: Rather British Invasion-esque, with interesting progressions and time changes thrown in.
Natasha: I don't know how to describe it, but I think I like it.

Kane Hodder - The Pleasure to Remain so Heartless

- Flamer angst comes through loud and clear with decent quality.
Rocky - Brash, uneven and chaotic with seemingly no point, but other than that okay.
Boris - The music rocks. Too bad the vocals and lyrics suck.
Natasha - System of a Down: sometimes. Emo: sometimes. Deranged: the entire time.

Liquid Blue - Supernova

: Instrumentally brilliant complex modern R'N'B electro-ethnic dance music with heavy socio-political conscience. Very listenable.
Rocky: Up, up with people! International crew with false positive message. Midi, Maxi & Efti.
Boris: One worlder mental masturbation mixed with overdone Europop & Asian/Middle Eastern touches. And hot chicks.
Natasha: Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern R&B, Hip Hop stuff and Hot Chicks!

Mandarin - Fast>Future>Present

- An eclectic compilation of … stuff. Not sure which side of pop to associate this trash with.
Rocky - Moments of clarity, ruined by some personnal vendetta against making sense.
Boris - Well done, but not my cup of tea.
Natasha - A mixed bag of indie-folk rock. Some great songs followed by others very average.

The Marble Tea - I'm Batman

: Uber-clever inventive indie pop. This is what Barenaked Ladies wish they could still do. Ultra-cool.
Rocky: Unhateable innocent gentle pop. Perfect tunes and drive. Like Miracle Legion. Makes me giddy.
Boris: XTC run over by the lo-fi folk bandwagon. Predictable until it isn't.
Natasha: I am laughing, but I am also enthralled. I want more of this good stuff!

Moments in Grace - Moonlight Survived

- Very well produced with a sound reminiscent of Queensrÿche.
Rocky - Well thought out, sounds like an evolved Rush, needs to vary more across the album.
Boris - Solid prog rock, but nothing new here.
Natasha - Well-produced and technically competent but not terribly engaging. Instantly forgettable.

Montoya - S/T

- Garage band rock of the worst kind.
Rocky - A 2-piece not worth mentioning, add some other members, man.
Boris - Stripped down rock. Makes me want to sit in the desert and drink tequila.
Natasha - Was really hoping this was the Mexican Gene and Dean Ween. Sadly, they are not.
(Note: The fly mask that came with the press kit was pretty sweet; like, with a Bo staff.)

The Newbees - Songs From A Dilapidated Apartment

: Brilliant Nashville pop with a huge range. Well crafted songs played professionally and soulfully.
Rocky: The chick is warm and interesting. Lovin' Spoonful boy is mostly boring. Great low end.
Boris: All over the map. Good musically, good voices, but no glue to hold it together.
Natasha: Meet the newbees. Same as the old bees. Great acoustic tones. Tons of squeezed-in lyrics.

Odds Against Tomorrow - Nights. Not. End.

- Vocals actually take away from a decent sound - too bad.
Rocky - Emo in this case, stands for "Emotionally Challenged", stop, please.
Boris - Emo. Not. Good. I like the cover art, though.
Natasha - Good songwriting, decent execution, okay vocals. Really liked "It's True", but expect more from this talent-level.

Pistol for a Paycheck - Persona Non Grata

- Lyrics indicate a session with Dr. Ruth is in order for this band.
Rocky - Confused and chaotic, good inspiration, just needs a good producer to keep them in line.
Boris - Interesting melodies, talented musicians - vocals get pretty annoying after a few songs.
Natasha - Rhythm and bass shouldn't be that close in lock-step. Mixing levels need adjusting. Drowned out.

Josh Small - Josh Small

Bullwinkle: Indie bluegrass/folk with huge humor at times. Earnest songs full of life and strange stories.
Rocky: The swearingest banjo player in circulation. He can play bluegrass, but he doesn't have to play blue.
Boris: Banjo and Mandolin new folk. Very earthy and raw, from the heart. "Blue", but not bluegrass.
Natasha: When we say bluegrass, we mean BLUEGRASS.

Submersed - In Due Time

- Holds its own to newcomers like Alter Bridges and 12 Stones.
Rocky - Good, solid, excellent production. Nothing to set them apart though.
Boris - nu-Metal with more falsetto than is strictly necessary.
Natasha - Great voice hamstrung by a musical foundation that has become anachronistic. Invent, dammit, don't rehash!

Ten Words for Snow - Spit on Electrics

- My recommendation: Spit, don't swallow.
Rocky - Good movement, under-produced. Basic, with good guitar and vocal lines.
Boris - It's just kind of there. Didn't dislike it, but it never grabbed me.
Natasha - Josh Homme fronts Steve Miller Band. Iommi riffs. Needs Alan Parsons to run mixing board.

12 Stones - Potter's Field

- Excellent follow-up to their first album. Keeper.
Rocky - Beyond cliché, I'll be happy when this music phase passes.
Boris - Sounds like every other song on any rock station. Some good hooks gone bland.
Natasha - Cover art reminds me of Otto Dix's WWI masterpiece "Trench Warfare"; otherwise, ditto to Boris.

Valinha - Vagabond

- Carefully constructed and a little rigid - "Vagabond" is worth a try.
Rocky - Smart, with interesting interchange, ultimately inaccessible.
Boris - The lyrics make as little sense as the music.
Natasha - Steadfast effort to set these avant-gardists apart from convention, understanding and some potential listeners.

Tim Williams - 818/The Chelsea Sessions + B-sides

- Agonizing effort to get his overly simplistic folksy lyrics out - does this dude even breathe?
Rocky - Placid and benign, slowed my pulse down 20 beats/minute. Good, but too damn slow.
Boris - Can't review. Must… sleep… now.
Natasha - Not what I hoped for after his first EP. Man, step on the gas a little.

Wolf Eyes - Burned Mind

- Sweet song titles (e.g. Black Vomit) but static feedback is NOT music.
Rocky - I'm with Bullwinkle on this one; noise, noise, noise, not a semblance of music to be found.
Boris - Just terrible. Except for the… no, just terrible.
Natasha - The packaging promises musical terror as violent noise, but fails to deliver a coherent scare.

Xrayok - Reflex

: Ambitious, dark indie pop. Interesting sounds, excellent guitar work and drumming. Excellent rock music.
Rocky: Tense, dark British U2 pop with a drivetrain problem. Big build with little release.
Boris: Sparse, quixotic, melodic. Fresh and listenable. Proof that less can be more.
Natasha: Very textured, smooth flowing, almost a dreamy ethereal feeling to it… with some rock added in.

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