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New Generation of Aggression

True to Form
New Generation of Aggression

Delivering brutal bass and furious rhythms, this heavy Bay Area quartet generates harsh, aggressive, up-tempo metal with death and thrash influences. Following its skilled self-titled debut, the band's second release is short but well produced. Featuring Ron Taniguchi on vocals and guitar, Dave Fabris on guitar, Kevin Jackson on drums and Eugene Meydbray on bass, the band has a tremendously clean sound that comes across live as well as recorded. Though it's the dynamic, high-powered music that's most notable, Taniguchi's abrupt vocals and sparse, pain-ridden lyrics also contribute. Thematically, the songs flow together. On "Release," Taniguchi vows, "I can release you from your pain/Let me take it away," and on "No Escape," he barks, "You can't take it away/The pain is here to stay." Keeping true to the core elements of the metal genre without sounding dated, this straightforward band should appeal to even the most steadfast metal purists. (Sarah Quelland)

Honey to the B

Honey to the B

Only 16, Billie's cutesy appearance belies her skilled voice, which is sexy, sprightly and soulful. Her R&B-inspired brand of dance pop is amazingly catchy, and her single "Because We Want To" debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. pop chart, making her the first British female artist to claim that honor. Though influenced by Madonna, Billie is more reminiscent of a young Paula Abdul. Opening with "Honey to the Bee," with its soothing bird calls and daydreamy lyrics, the album offers a bevy of hits, including the pumping "She Wants You," the effervescent "Party on the Phone," the tinkly "Girlfriend (Radio Mix)" and the super-sassy "Because We Want To." Shifting through hip-hop, dance beats, modern pop and smooth soul, Honey to the B is absolutely yummy. (SQ)

Comedian Harmonists

Comedian Harmonists
Comedian Harmonists

This album is much, much better than the movie of the same name. Certainly, this collection serves as a proper introduction to a jolly sextet beloved of German grannies and rock critic Lester Bangs alike. Minister of Propaganda Goebbels, irked by the Comedian Harmonists' "Judeo-Marxist caterwauling" (everyone's a critic) helped break up this once wildly popular choral group of the 1930s. In today's America, where anything German beside Volkswagens is considered sinister, the reissued tunes of these tuxedoed warblers retrieves pre-WWII visions of beer gardens and Berlin boulevards. The five guys (and one pianist) burble out "Night and Day" in English and "Happy Days Are Here Again" in German; they also cover one of Betty Boop's favorite tunes, which they translate as "Hallo, was machst du heut', Daisy" ("You're Driving Me Crazy.") (Richard von Busack)

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From the September 2-8, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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

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