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Not Hot
Party Rock Vol. 1
Scary Records

This local seven-piece party rock band is an eccentric, eclectic bunch. Featuring Michelle Mello, Dave Miller, John Cummings, Craig Yamato, Ronny Bauer, Gary and Bryant, Not Hot offers quirky, lighthearted songs about getting wasted ("Downtown"), the band's old studio in the Rock Garden ("Studio 29") and riding their bicycles ("Mistakes"). Not Hot's wacky shtick is definitely an acquired taste, and there's a certain degree of chaos to its upbeat blend of surf-rock, beach-party and pop-punk tunes--which is exactly the point. This group knows how to have a good time. But while most of the songs feature novelty lyrics like "I have a truck, but I never drive, 'cause I have a Schwinn, and I'd rather ride" ("Mistakes"), songs like "Mom Song," "In My Dreams" and "Get Over You" take on a slightly more serious tone. But only slightly. Party Rock Vol. 1 successfully captures the essence of Not Hot's outrageous live shows, which never fail to find its oddball characters in kooky costumes. (Sarah Quelland)

I:AND:I Recordings

With Korn and Rage Against the Machine leading the way, the underground metal scene is sporadically crossing over into the commercial arena with bands like Static-X and Powerman 5000 getting more and more airplay. San Jose-based metal trio Stitch falls in line with that scene with its ultra-aggressive vocals and chunky guitars, but it's the percussion-driven band's tribal spine that gives Stitch its own potential for distinction within that market. With nine assaulting songs on its in-your-face self-titled release, the band comes across fast and furious with heavy grooves, atmospheric distortion and angry, sometimes political lyrics. The band appears to be pushing "Oldworld Underground" for single status, although I think "Liar" is a stronger song and a catchier bet with its machinelike riffs and repeating chorus. (SQ)

Teen Dream
Fryin' Records

Delivering summery pop-punk, Moodfrye takes punk in a different direction than normally expected by incorporating everything from techno to swing to the bossa nova into its upbeat tunes. The short seven-track disc kicks off with any band's dream: a slick A&R guy promising them screaming fans, free-flowing booze, expensive cigars and international stardom. Playing something like a soundtrack, the album continues with youthful songs aimed at an adolescent audience with titles like "Teen Dream" ("Maybe this time, we'll get somebody new to watch us be big rock stars up on stage"), "Work" ("Maybe someday I'll get what I want and not work/Just watch TV and drink beer all day/ Maybe someday I'll do what I want all day") and "Poor Starving Kid" ("Is there something I can do to help you out in that store of yours?/I'm not bad, no really I'm not, I just don't want to work at McDonald's, dude!"). Fast-paced and melodic, the songs on the disc are clear and well-produced. (SQ)

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From the January 20-26, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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