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Liner Notes: 3 new CDs

 published on Thursday, August 25, 2005

Every Time I Die<br><em>The Gutter Pheomenon</em><br>Ferret Music<br>5/5 Stars/issues/arts/693524
Every Time I Die
The Gutter Pheomenon
Ferret Music
5/5 Stars
M.I.A.<br><em>Arular</em><br>Interscope<br>4 /5 Stars/issues/arts/693524
4 /5 Stars
Satori<br><em>Savor Every Moment</em><br>Asian Man Records<br>3/5 Stars/issues/arts/693524
Savor Every Moment
Asian Man Records
3/5 Stars


Hardcore has become a very beaten and abused word. It gets thrown around too much. Fortunately, Every Time I Die saved slacking hardcore's jaw a little bit more and made a record that's 100 percent rock and roll. Every Time I Die is a pure, indulgent, gratuitous, satirical and satisfying mix of post-Converge cock-rock mixed with the caustic wit of Kurt Vonnegut. For those afraid that these guys have "jumped ship" be sure there are the patented breakdowns from Hot Damn and the quirky leads from Last Night in Town, but the feel of this record - from the postmodern collage cover art to the gritty but not grungy production - has definitely taken a few more hints from Moetley Cruee than Black Flag. The Gutter Phenomenon isn't safe or clean - but it's definitely more interesting than anything Three Doors Down or Linkin Park could fathom. - by

If Missy Elliot moved to Jamaica at the age of 10 and married Peaches, their genetically impossible lovechild's first record might sound something like M.I.A., whose debut album Arular has already caused an enormous buzz in the United Kingdom and United States alike. As a Sri Lankan refugee raised in England, M.I.A.'s lyrics describe the horrors of her war-torn country as everyday events, from the mouth of a warrior rather than a victim. Drawn from hip-hop, dancehall, reggae and electro, the beats on this album create an irresistible urge to dance despite the talk of violence, prostitution and infidelity. The first single, "Galang," is so infectious you'll wake up in the middle of the night screaming for it... and that's just the tip of the iceberg. - by

Satori is the brainchild of the members of Orange County ska band RX Bandits. Although a ska influence is present throughout their debut album, Savor Every Moment, Satori's sound is one healthy portion of dub-heavy reggae, served alongside tidbits of bluebeat and rocksteady. Sticking to its reggae influences, Satori's style is uplifting and positive, but with that comes the risk of creating lyrics and music filled with ire-inspired cliches. It sounds like in the band's attempt to sound like a fine-tuned reggae band, someone gave Satori a list of steps titled, "How to sound like you're from Kingston," which it followed too closely, ending up with an album that is too musically homogenous. - by

ONLINE EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was modified Aug. 25, 2005. The star ratings for the CDs were changed.

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