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The continuing saga of a wholly irreverent 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. Honesty and first impressions are the key to the Bargain Basement.

This Month: "stupid name, great music w/ steel guitar night"

(opinions expressed may not hold true after repeated listenings to albums)
Dig it! If you think you know who the reviewer's names represent, send an email to basement at hybridmagazine dot com with your guess and mailing address. At the end of each month, we'll pick a winner and send them some great new CDs!

The Alternate Routes - Good And Reckless And True

- Great, solid alterna-rock with brilliant arrangements and great guitars. Poppy, yet complex & a little Britty.
Dennis - Soaring, scrubbing, encouraging. Would be inspirational, if I weren't too damned old to change.
Mike - Like a lot of indie rock, only with richer harmonies, better production. Cool.
Glen - Pretty folkish stuff. This year's flavor. Innocuous, no teeth.

David Ball - Heartaches By The Number

- Dwight Yoakam-style honky-tonk, only a bit smoother and missing the ripping Pete Anderson Telecaster. Sweet.
Dennis - Opryland country with a Lawrence Welk palor. Nothing interesting added to the covers.
Mike - Solid, clean, honky-tonk. Would have liked to hear more songs by Ball himself.
Glen - This isn't Megadeth… but that's great steel guitar playing… best on his own songs.

Betika - Halflove

- Human League-style pop, with some crazy non-beep-beep instruments, too. Really catchy tunes and robot art.
Dennis - They have a pop genius that makes me not want to kill. Pure joy.
Mike - Polyphonic Spree, but not as polyphonic or as spreeful.
Glen - Casio, gross English accents, Rentals, Madness.

BlackHeart WhiteNoise - BlackHeart WhiteNoise

- Somewhere between Fury And The Slaughterhouse and Marilyn Manson. Creepy pop with tons of menace.
Dennis - Self-confident glamarama with sweet basslines, big production, Bowie goodness.
Mike - Dark goth rock that isn't totally stupid.
Glen - Makes me want to hop a bus to LA and proposition the first John I see.

Various Artists - Black Snake Moan: music from the motion picture

- Samuel L. Jackson sure seems to rip it up on blues guit-fiddle. Cool soundtrack, lots of great songs.
Dennis - I am sick of these motherfucking black snakes on this motherfucking black plane.
Mike - Dirty, gritty blues. Hell of a lot better than you'd expect from a soundtrack.
Glen - Great modern blues music with dark edges… makes me miss Big Sugar a whole lot.

The Defectors - Bruised And Satisfied

- The Nordic garage rock beauty continues. Darkest, most haunting band yet on Bad Afro. Brilliant!
Dennis - Funny, hard-hitting B-movie garage. Like Pete Steely doing The Damned. Fuck Nekromantix.
Mike - On the cover it says "Excellent music for driving" - Driving Mad Max maybe! God bless BadAfro!
Glen - Garage music. Adequate. Obvious.

The Dollyrots - Because I'm Awesome

- Magnapop. Girl-lead pop rock with crispy guitars and pseudo-empowering lyrics… not exactly Magnapop… but similar.
Dennis - Clever lyrics about being naturally deodorized, but it's far too cute. Radio Dinney.
Mike - Dirty teeny-bopper rock - ya ya ya ya
Glen - Formulaic, but good formula. Straight-ahead rock, professionally produced, coquettish vocals. Bland at moments.

Dora Flood - We Live Now

- Juxtaposing 60's psychedelia with 90's shoegaze, this band does it all right. Must be Swedish.
Dennis - You can't pigeon-hole us, we're too non-descript. Afghan Whigs VS. The Church.
Mike - If I was Spiderman, I would never pay for dental floss.

Eastern Conference Champions - Eastern Conference Champions EP

- Radiohead-like indie rock, very brilliant musicianship and poor vocals, but catchy songs. Excellent drumming.
Dennis - We're driving, we're driving, we're walking. I'm digging it, but change the name.
Mike - Indie rock sung with a mouthful of rocks.
Glen - Pick up and go with organs, piano, talent, Yorke-ish vocals.

Robert Gomez - Brand New Towns

- Blithely atmospheric dream-pop. Perfect music for a sleepy summer night on opiates… in Nebraska.
Dennis - Sort of Love & Rockets, until the sedatives kick in. Some interesting counter-rhythms.
Mike - Pretty. Pretty. Pretty.
Glen - Gentle, easy-going, well-mastered dreamy stuff you play for girls so they'll think you're thoughtful and sensitive.

Emily Grogan - At Sea

- Somewhere between Lenny Kravitz's style and Linda Perry's lyric and vocal sensibilities lies greatness. Awesome.
Dennis - Lyrics, vocals & arrangements really grab you. Lifts lines so well that I can't place them.
Mike - Girl bar rock that probably plays well to the faux-Harley crowd.
Glen - Pat Benatar without the rock. Nice dynamics. Something we can all enjoy without estrogen.

The Inevitable Backlash - Sex For Safety EP
- Low Pop Suicide style punk rock. Plenty of attitude and ambiance and brilliant musicianship. Cool.
Dennis - Nice drive, the singer could use balls. Words are too well placed. Jim Carroll-ish.
Mike - Good, thick, heavy rock that doesn't leave you wanting.
Glen - I like this. It's edgy without making me want to fight.

Joseph Israel - Gone Are The Days

- Slow-down Reggae music with nice synthesizer vibes and cool grooves. Not sure I believe him.
Dennis - Why don't you ever hear any Arabic Reggae? Uplifting and funky.
Mike - Not really sure what he is saying, but the music is cool.
Glen - This mighty Reggae may be the olive branch to stop the barrage of Hezbollah's rockets.

Let's Go Sailing - The Chaos In Order

- Blissful sunny summertime pop music, great breathy female vocals and jangling music. New paisley underground.
Dennis - Quirky & cute indie rock, very enjoyable. Whispery & breathy, gentle & pleasant.
Mike - Solid, girl-fronted cello & piano rock that makes me think of a more serious Sarah Silverman.
Glen - Cello, piano, girl singing goodness that would be fitting music to contemplate the life and times of the bassist from Loverboy who is conspicuously absent from his own funeral after being washed overboard and lost at sea. Irony.

Lost In The Trees - Time Taunts Me

- Really slow orchestral Queen songs. Sometimes with a beat to which you cannot dance.
Dennis - Walk towards the string section. They're past the drum machine in the elms.
Mike - Kind of like them future operatic songs in The Fifth Element. Kinda. Almost. Cool.
Glen - Marc Almond, but less so. Should listen to more Radiohead, less Queen.

Louis - Freak Show Revenge

- A weird Say Hi To Your Mom covering slow Death Cab songs. Off-key but nice.
Dennis - Formerly known as Oliver. Sleepy pitiful low self-esteem rambling. Shut it, pipe dream.
Mike - A little better than average indie rock blandness. Not a fan of the off-key singing.
Glen - Shins-ish. Might change your life, if you suffer Grand Mal seizures.

Lynn Marie & The Boxhounds - Party Dress

- Can you say accordion rock? How about cool accordion honky-tonk swing? This is awesome!
Dennis - Vaudeville, country & Who covers by possible 90210 alum. Homogenated, but cute. Mostly yucky.
Mike - Well executed happy country polka covers that will have you singing along.
Glen - Party music, old country casio style. Well done.

The Mag Seven - The Future Is Ours, If You Can Count

- Punk-rock surf rock without the clean, catchy riffs, but with plenty of balls. Surf Descendents.
Dennis - Surf metal? Car Surfing? Really enjoyable listen, great drive, groovy organ. Traffic's up, dude!
Mike - Nu-surfer rock: high energy driven beats with a walking surf guitar.
Glen - Awesome, masterful production, bottom-heavy quick-stepping surf rock. Oh, and no vocals. None.

Andy Martinez - Race The Buzzard Home

- Down-tempo ambient alt-country Tom Waits… seriously. Some great songs, dark guitars, weirdly haunting lyrics.
Dennis - This is great music if you're drunk, which thankfully I am. I'll probably like it sober.
Mike - A voice that is good for one song, after song three it starts to hurt.
Glen - Gravelly voiced, sweet country. Obvious.

Miss Leslie & The Juke-Jointers - Honky Tonk Happy Hour

- Awesome live set of honky-tonk tunes from Texas' pride. Awesome twanging and sweet swing. Perfect!
Dennis - The band is top-notch, Miss Leslie is over the top… of the note… and down the other side.
Mike - Not usually a fan of live records, but this one ain't bad.
Glen - Harkens back to obvious. Spongebob Squaredance.

Anais Mitchell - The Brightness

- Really beautiful songs and brilliant lyricism from a weird child-voiced girly. Great piano playing, too.
Dennis - Like hearing a preschool teacher sing you love songs. Creepy. Good folky songs though.
Mike - Quirky, sparse vocals of Bjork, but not as weird.
Glen - This girl's got a lot to say… she's wordy. And I like them wordy… brilliantly.

Nekromantix - Life Is A Grave & I Dig It

- Psychobilly, Setzer style. Great basslines & ripping guitars over throbbing drums… complete with horror film schtick.
Dennis - The mix is rotten in Denmark. They're regressing. I love the Nekros and I say yuck.
Mike - Now this sounds like skulls!
Glen - Psychobilly, no surprises. Obvious.

The October - Bye Bye Beautiful

- Retro-sounding art rock with great guitars and epic vocals. Over-simplified lyrical lines, but great music.
Dennis - The Church with really dumb rhymes. Like all those depressed 80's emo precursors. Exhausting.
Mike - A little flat - missing something exciting that would keep anyone interested. 1980's regurgitation.
Glen - Mid-eighties. The Fixx. Simple Minds.

Of God And Science - Of God And Science

- Shoegazey rock from Albuquerque that reminds of Elbow a lot… vocals miss, everything else rocks.
Dennis - Great lazy arrangements, melancholy, wandering, soothing, exciting, smart-ass stuff. Black Rebel Motorcycle Cure.
Mike - Catchy indie rock that reminds you of three other bands you just can't seem to name.
Glen - Well produced and touching.

The Old Ceremony - Our One Mistake

- Brilliantly kitschy orchestrated pop music with excellent lyrics and happy-making vibes. Song in Chinese, too!
Dennis - It wants to be The Thin Man, but tries too hard. Several flavors of pretension.
Mike - I heart the vibes, and so does the Old Ceremony.
Glen - Could easily be a musical… a GOOD musical. A-.

Pola - Pola

- kinda like a mash-up of Postal Service, Yum Yum and Looper. Nice mellow electronica… cool.
Dennis - Fake drums mixed way too bright. Mild acoustic guitar. Some whispering dude I hate.
Mike - Maybe I'm tired, but this is like sleepy Postal Service.
Glen -

Rainravens - Garden Rocket

- Wilco-ish country-rock, some great guitar playing, gritty electric and brightly brilliant acoustic. Bluesy, too.
Dennis - The Wallflowers with an even stupider name.
Mike - Lots of really, really nice songs.
Glen - Take off your shoes before listening to this. Trust me.

Ror-shak - Deep

- Massive Attack-style trip-hop collective with some great guest vocalists. The songs groove excellently…smokily.
Dennis - Laid-back electro-soul with misleading artwork and Julee Cruise. As not horrible as Sanjaya.
Mike - Deceptive cover art - I'm not hearing any skulls in this music.
Glen - Frankie Goes To Massive Attack. Warbley, hyper-produced.

Star - Devastator

- Lo-fidelity girl-gazer similar to early Lush, but without Emma's drive and without the fine guitarwork.
Dennis - Cocteau Twins & Lush. Intriguing cryptic lyrics, soothing and sensual. Want to spoon?
Mike - Thick muddy mellow music that makes you ask, "Is this shoegaze?" The answer: Yes.
Glen - My Bloody Enya.

Stemage - Strati

- Dude is kind of a wanker… but this artwork is simply amazing. Best artwork yet.
Dennis - Great guitarist, the form is awful. Brilliant lyrics, the delivery is awful. Talent mis-directed.
Mike - If you love Joe Satriani, this will make you cream your jeans. It's good.
Glen - I wonder what it looks like when these guys jam and won't budge.

Watermelon Slim & The Workers - The Wheel Man

- Some very excellent slide guitar blues with all the chops and great band. Darkly brilliant.
Dennis - Country blues like you never heard a white man sing afore. Toofless and real. Damn.
Mike - I love good blues, and this is that… awesome slide and harmonica… weird lisp.
Glen - My blues name is Buster "Peanut" Parfait.

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