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What If?

The Lonely Kings
What If?
Fearless Records

If San Jose is known for its rap-metal hybrids and hip-hop/rock acts, then Santa Cruz is notorious for its successful punk scene. One of Santa Cruz's finer exports is the Lonely Kings. This distinctive trio creates emo and hardcore punk full of powerful melodies and catchy riffs. Guitarist and vocalist Jake Desrochers' gravelly voice yields well to the well-crafted lyrics that have a gentle, modern poetic quality to them (from "UFO": "True compassion isn't easy/ When someone needs your empathy"). Bassist Jesse Darling and drummer Jason Wilkinson (whose father is Jonathan Richman of the Modern Lovers, most recently spotlighted in There's Something About Mary) round out the band with a bright confidence. Compared with bands like Jawbreaker and Samiam, the Lonely Kings have a friendly ease onstage that comes through on their debut disc (which was produced by Jim Goodwin). Not every song is a hit song, but every song is, in essence, a good one. Standouts include "Run Away to Spain," "Money," "What If?" and "Wish." (Sarah Quelland)

Title of Record

Title of Record
Reprise Records

"Huge": a rather complimentary four-letter word and one that aptly sums up Filter's sophomore effort, Title of Record. Richard Patrick, one-shot guitarist with Nine Inch Nails, has covered his ass with huge guitars and gigantic melodies dripping with one infectious hook after another. "Captain Bligh" possesses that driving beat and drop-D-tuned guitars that kick the listener where it counts and never look back. "It's Gonna Kill Me" begins with an homage to the tune that put Filter on the map, "Hey Man, Nice Shot," but 30 seconds later the audio spectrum has been taken over with screams, swirling guitars and the sickest drumming this side of Jimmy Chamberlain. It's nice to see Filter being and sounding more like a band rather than the Richard Patrick Experience. Part Jane's Addiction, part techno-goth love-to-be-dumped-on and, yes, part Nine Inch Nails, Title of Record picks up where Short Bus dropped us off four years ago--only this time driving with reckless abandon. (Andrew Shriver)


Cameltoe Records

With almost every bit of press OuttaLine receives reminding readers that the band features former members of Soda, it's been hard to separate the two. Now, with its own whopping 17-track disc out, OuttaLine should be able to make a name for itself and stand on its own merit. Featuring Matt on bass and vocals, Todd on drums and Paul and Jim on guitars, this extremely energetic group delivers speedy skate-punk without forsaking melody. OuttaLine's main drawback is that its songs tend to have the same overall sound, but the fast-paced music and honest, down-to-earth lyrics are appetizing. Writing about the anxiety of performing onstage, Matt sings, "I'll try to be what you wanna see, but I don't wanna be a star/Everyone stares at me, my insecurities/I'm just the guy at the end of the bar." Opening up on "All About You," he declares, "All the words in the world still can't be enough for what I want to say." With user-friendly lyrics like that, OuttaLine should definitely appeal to a youthful crowd. (SQ)

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From the September 23-29, 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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