Simple Minds
Neon Lights
EMI

When did these dudes get it back together? Apparently feeding off the reunion cash-ins of the past five years, Simple Minds believe that someone actually wants to hear them cover other people’s songs. Either that, or they realized that they only did have one hit and can’t write songs for shit. Lessee here…we’ve got a popped-up 80s synthesized version of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” which is complacent and entirely painful, a complacent, poppy 80s synthesized version of Bowie’s “Man Who Sold The World,” a cheesy, popped-up 80s synthesized version of “Hello, I Love You,” get the idea? This is probably the most boring, outdated collection I’ve ever heard. I’m supposing that if you were actually a teenager when The Breakfast Club came out, this might be vaguely interesting. For like, two seconds as you pick it up in the store and laugh at the concept of paying almost 20 bucks for this utter shit. What a fucking joke.

Rating:V
Keith Carman

Training Day Soundtrack
Priority

What is the deal with rap music? When I was little, I loved rap music. RUN-DMC, EPMD, Public Enemy—I still love this shit. Besides the superior beats, rap’s golden age (which lasted the length of the 80’s) also boasted a whole plethora of topics to rap about. Sometime in the last ten years the focus of rap has shifted to killing, bitches and weed to the exclusion of all else. Why? I don’t know, but frankly it’s pretty goddamn boring. I mean, how many times am I supposed to listen to rhymes about thug life or bitches and hos before I’m asking “ok, what else do you guys have to say?” But all of this is beside the point. Fact is, Training Day soundtrack boasts some rather inventive material, in particular Cypress Hill’s Santana-influenced “Greed” and the always insightful Gang Starr’s contribution “The Squeeze.” The silliest track, as usual belongs to Puff Daddy, or as he now known, P. Diddy (or as Letterman refers to him P. Doodle-Dandy) who teams up with David Bowie (!) here to deliver “This is Not America,” which is even sillier and more cliched than it sounds. In the end, the best piece of music here is the three-minute snippet of Mark Mancina’s evocative score which comes across as darker and more threatening than all the posturing on this disc put together. Give it a VVVV rating if V=vulgarity.

Rating:VVV
Noel Nickol

The (International) Noise Conspiracy
A New Morning
Epitaph

Gone are the mod suits and in their place army fatigues. What remains for the Swedish punk outfit is most important, a full-on assault of the senses. The INC continues to provide a much needed party and danceable sound to the Anarchist punk scene. With such catchy names as “Capitalism stole my virginity,” the INC should more than ever become the group to lead the revolution. It was anarchist hero Emma Goldman who said that if there wasn’t dancing at the revolution, she wasn’t going, and the INC hold true to this belief. There are few bands who sing with such moral conviction that they make you want to shake your ass and smash the state with such style and ease.

Rating: VVVVV
Steve Servos

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