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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Summer Jams:
Rounding up the latest in local releases

IT'S TIME again for another roundup of new product from local bands--for better or worse. If you'd like a shot, send your cassette, CD or vinyl to me at Metro, 550 S. First St., San Jose, 95113. If you've got questions about how to get reviewed, email me.

Drivin' Like Buddha
It's All in the Reflexes/DLB
I'm not sure where Buddha fits into the DLB equation, but I can tell where the "drivin' " comes from. Vocalist Liz Kok has rock & roll pipes strong enough to send a floor full of dancers into a two-stepping frenzy. The instrumental backup, however, lacks the inspiration to propel Buddha to the next level. The guitar solos depend more on studio trickery than on chops. I hate long songs, but I did like "Not Really Sure," which fills almost seven minutes with moody, reflective moments and Kok's expressive voice. Contact: 408/457-7737.

Dreamstation
Dreamstation/Iron Fist
Good snowboarding music for rock fans who don't connect with all that rebellion and tuneless yelling so fashionable now. Dreamstation delivers solid, heartfelt hard rock with no apologies. Very good low-end guitar sounds and intricate solos remind me of old San Jose bands like the Riverthings and Shovelhead. "Georgetown" pulls all the discursive elements together in a mix that's as freeing as a well-executed 180-
degree backside air. The band observes the four-minute rule that good hard rock need not enter into belly-gazing meandering. Contact: 415/591-3634.

Indestructible Beat of Palo Alto
Brutiful/Will It Burn?
There's a carousel in Hell, and IBOPA is the house band. The mysterious, crazed crew with the long, involved name recently made its music available for mass consumption. Dance, lounge, disco and ska collide in a wreckage that matches Red Asphalt in horror. Wretched favorites like "The Holy Dance," "Sex So Evil," "Leopard Coat" and "Lovechild Theme" are presented without irony or shame. Two new tracks, "No No Boy" and the throwaway "Bad Ass Mutha," add to the danceable confusion. "No No Boy," in particular, would be dismissed as the rantings of a lunatic if the music wasn't so catchy. Contact: James Stewart. 415/967-9225.

Soda
Pencil Fight/Binge
Soda's furious live performances prove that there isn't a weak link at any position. Pencil Fight drives home one more element that fans may overlook--songwriting. Onstage, the words can't compete with the garrulous Fat Wreck Chords­style punk-pop the band churns up. Thankfully, the handy lyric sheet gives Meegan Goad's poignant song construction its due. Goad must have lived through heartbreak and back to pen "Old Things Haunt" or "Worth It," but her powerful vocals reveal that she's resilient enough to recover. And with the talents of drummer Todd Jackson, bassist Matt Ramirez, and guitarists Steve Caballero and Jim Leonard, Goad's messages land square in the lap--alive and quivering. Contact: Soda, P.O. Box 111282, Campbell, 95011.

Snap Crack Punk Pop

Hey, radio station KSCU (103.3FM) is throwing an all-ager at Elmore Hall, near Santa Clara University, with the Mr. T. Experience, the Odd Numbers and the Bomb Bassetts. The show is Aug. 9 at 8pm. ... Pooberty Blues: Crack is set to record a follow-up to Pooberty. According to guitarist Fred Sablan, the band promises lots of tracks--14 at least--to counter the ugly trend of bands spending all that dough to release four-song CDs. True indeed. ... Agenda's "Acoustic Alternative" Tuesday nights continue to heat up with Statue Man, Capsule and Ryan Downe performing Tuesday (Aug. 6). ... Though a tad out of date, the City Revolt Web site is up and running for attentive surfers.

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From the August 1-7, 1996 issue of Metro

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