Sound Impressions

If consistency augmented by growth is the mark of long-term artists, Souls Of Mischief is off to a good start. On their second effort, Tajai, Opio, Phesto, and A-Plus bring with them the same thing that set them apart two years ago: unparalleled verbal gymnastics. Tajai on "Bumps**t": If I didn't have hits/I'd persist to pump/My mind to capacity/'Till the shit just dump/ Out on the sidewalk/ And only then would I squawk and babble nonsense/ Rippin' this shit long as I'm conscious." Whew! But even though they're still rambunctious as hell, you can tell by the edge in their voices that these are some grown-ass men on the mike. The greatest improvement is Phesto's flow, which is more controlled and tighter. He now understands he doesn't have to rhyme at mach 7 every time up.

The gem is definitely "Fa Sho', Fo Real," which will make you swear you heard Michael Witwer's original melody in a Curtis Mayfield song. Opio sets it off like Robo-M.C., warning all who want to test: "I can't escape my thoughts/ My mind spirals until the vinyl stops/ You can't survive the rock/ I lock onto the mike/ Inspired by the biters who try us on for size/ Disguised as rappers/ But the lyrics are too massive/ My style has E-las-ti-city/ I bounce back and take a new shape/ You can't get with me/ A true writer / My brain has the capacity / To outlast M.C.s/ They reach inside of themselves / A vast empty space/ They'll never taste victory. . . "

The members of SOM take time with their lyrics, and it shows. With the imagery they create, it's not hard to believe that they are one rhyme mechanism, running full-bore 24-7, their life being one continuous cipher. On the down side, there is some inconsistency, like the intro to the B-side, which logically should have been on the A-side. The little skits, too, become boring after the first time (like all skits do).

Their knack for flippin' styles isn't hurt by their expansive vocabs (they're all in college). That makes listening to a Souls joint just as much an intellectual exercise as a leisure activity, with the constant wordplay, alliteration, internal rhyme, double and treble rhyme, and outrageous metaphors. If your walkman doesn't have "Rewind," you're going to be strugglin', kid. T.H.

It isn't too hard to figure out Bloodlet's roots they aren't the first kids to grow up on a steady diet of Slayer before discovering hardcore. The result? Metallic straight edge. Big surprise.

Cynicism aside, Bloodlet does it better than most. They have all the goofy metal trappings weird album art, death metal imagery in the lyrics, bad hair but Eclectic, a collection of the band's previous singles, is really pretty good.

It's unrelentingly grim. This album will appeal to the diehard power fan, since there isn't really much else other than steady, grinding heaviness here.

There is room for improvement. The weird effect on the vocals (at least, I think it's an effect. Maybe the guy just has a weird voice) gets irritating at times, particularly in the most recently-recorded stuff. The songs also need an identity not one stands out. I couldn't separate the songs here if my life depended on it.

Still, this is a pretty hot number overall. The off-kilter bass lines separate Bloodlet from the masses of metal bands. The nastiness of the album goes above and beyond most other things on the market this is the kind of music that makes parents worry about their teenagers.

Good stuff here. Not the most original thing in the world, but still good. G.D.

For those of you holed up in your dark bedrooms mourning the end of Teengenerate's reign as Japan's trashiest punk rock emperors, they've released a brand spankin' new single for you to add to your pathetic collection.

If you left the recent Phoenix show without their "Flying Over You" single in your measly little hand, start praying that there's still some copies left in Tucson, or else go out and buy yourself a new box of Kleenex.

Although as disappointing as it is knowing that Teengenerate will probably never tour again, at least their albums are true representations of their fine live performances. After listening to your wimpy wanna-be retro albums, put on any Teengenerate record, including this new single, and find out what it's all really about.

A perfect fusion of punk, garage rock and fine vocals . show me a person who doesn't like Teengenerate and I'll show you someone in need of a good kick in the butt.

And, as and added bonus, the B-side to "Flying Over You" is a cover of Supercharger's "Buzz Off." Being that Supercharger is only one of the best bands in the whole universe, I'm inclined to believe Teengenerate knew what they were doing when they put this choice cover on this single.

Also, the good picture of Teengenerate guitarist, Fifi, on the cover of the single is quite the added incentive to swipe this right up.F.H.

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