Wild Colonials

Fruit of Life

Geffen

Violins are the trite instrument to add to a band recently. The Drovers, Sinead; bands are embracing their violins.

Even though violins are glutting a large portion of the market, The Wild Colonials pull it off.

The Wild Colonials from California, have Paul the violinist who subtly sneaks in with his violin like Bunson Beaker sneaks in a few words between the professor Honeydew’s explosions. And then disappears from the tracks for a while.

The highlight of the album comes with “Heavan and Hell.” Yeah, it’s a stupid name but it’s a really good song. Lead singer Angela McCluskey has a voice much like Natalie Merchant and and ex-Throwing Muse Kirstin Hersh. Just without the yawning throat that Merchant posseses.

For a first album, it’s abnormally good. The Wild Colonials blend together nicely. Instead of hearing each component of a band — guitar, sing, drum, separately, they cooperate into your ear and create the perfect midnight album.

Maggie Trinkle

Yes, decent live albums do exist, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to this.

In their heyday, Anthrax were a pretty good speed metal band, standing a bit apart from the rest of the herd because of their quirky sense of humor. Unfortunately, they apparently decided that humor isn’t marketable, and started churning out overlong, dull songs. They may or may not still exist. I doubt many people care.

Live: The Island Years doesn't use too much of the later stuff, but it’s still mind-bogglingly dull. The band generally sounds bored, the sound isn’t that great, and the whole experience is just sort of boring. Even the duet with Public Enemy on “Bring The Noise” is dull, dull, dull.

And time hasn’t been kind to Anthrax, sadly. Songs that sounded really cool in ninth grade — say, “Indians” or “Caught In A Mosh,” for example — just sound dumb now.

Overall, Live: The Island Years is far from good, but not bad enough to be interesting — it’s just destined for years and years of markdowns in records stores. Why, exactly, did this come out?

Greg D’Avis

Integrity

Den of Iniquity

Dark Empire Records

Over time, Integrity evolved into a pretty good metal/hardcore band — their debut full-lengther, Those Who Fear Tomorrow, was nothing short of amazing.

But Den of Iniquity, which collects the first Integrity release and various compilation tracks, shows that they weren’t always quite so good.

The first five tracks are remixed from the 1989 In Contrast Of Sin ep. The original recording was bad, the music was silly, moshy hardcore, and the whole thing was just an immature mess.

In order to disguise all that,the songs were given all sorts of nifty new effects — echoes on the vocals and all that. Now they sound really stupid.

The rest of the songs are a bit better. “Darkness” and “March Of the Damned,” both alternate versions of songs off of Those Who Fear Tomorrow, both come across well.

And "Eighteen" -- no, not the Alice Cooper song, sorry — is damn good, going for the slow and quiet approach before going loud and bringing the hammer down. More songs like this and the album would be worth the price.

Integrity is still a good band, and their new album is anxiously awaited, but much of Den Of Iniquity was better off staying hidden.

Greg D’Avis

Killdozer

Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Touch and Go Records

Killdozer plays sloooooow, murky hardcore. Vocalist/bassist Michael Gerald sounds like he’s looking for someone to kill.

You wouldn't expect a band like this to sing about “Knuckles the Dog (Who Helps People),” now would you?

Some sort of weird humor award has to go to these Wisconsin joes. The whole Uncompromising War album is a broad parody of Communism, with songs about the evils of Wal-Mart and such, and Soviet Army paper dolls in the packaging. The band plays it deadpan — the song explanations in the liner notes are along the lines of “This song tells of the love between two revolutionaries as they fight side by side in the Nicaraguan People’s Revolution.” Funny, funny stuff.

The album sometimes drags a little, but songs like the aforementioned “Knuckles” — the story of a dog who cheers up the oppressed before being gunned down — and “The Pig Was Cool,” about sharing a joint with a policeman at a Journey concert, are both good and hilarious.

Killdozer may rely on their sense of humor to get by sometimes, but hey — it’s pretty safe to say that there’s nothing like this band around right now.

Greg D’Avis Read Next Article