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Various Artists
Santa Cruz STILL Sucks!
Bad Monkey

Compared to other towns (you know where you are), Santa Cruz has got it pretty good. There's no shortage of good bands, and this compilation captures 28 of them. Lost Cause, Reliance and Good Riddance rock out in the Fat Wreck Chords way. Slow Gherkin and Soda Pop Fuck You give ska a seaside workout. P.A.W.N.S. out-politicizes Chumbawumba on "Body and Mined." My favorite cuts lean on the pop side of things: the Muggs ("An Army"), Peach Envy ("Perfect Girl") and the Huckstables ("Mail Lady") are definitely worth a second or third listen. (Todd S. Inoue)

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No Life Records

Bunnygrunt is an acquired taste at best. What more can be said about a band that lifts the theme of a song from an episode of Friends ("We Suspect He Was Trying to Spell Monkey")? The album delivers mostly fluffy and flighty songs with affectedly bored vocals. "Wild Summer, Wow!" and "Jenny Not Any Dots" come in perky Beach Blanket Bingo flavors; in fact, there's a swift '60s current of innocence that filters through the entire project. "Future Home of Planet Reptile" is a fun, musical space trip led by cheerleaders Karen and Jen. For the most part, however, the lightheaded trio from St. Louis just sounds like it's gotten too much sun. (Sarah Quelland)

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From the March 19-25, 1998 issue of Metro.

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