CD reviews

This week: > Bad Religion > Capelton > Darwin’s Waiting Room > Death Cub For Cutie > Natalie Imbruglia > The Six Parts Seven > sub.bionic Bad Religion The Process of Belief (Epitaph) Full of

This week:
> Bad Religion
> Capelton
> Darwin’s Waiting Room
> Death Cub For Cutie
> Natalie Imbruglia
> The Six Parts Seven
> sub.bionic

Bad Religion
The Process of Belief
Full of fast buzzsaw guitars and pounding drums gunning hair pin turns into melodic and upbeat harmonies, The Process of Belief comes through as a well executed and realized work. And why shouldn’t it? The entity of Bad Religion has been doing this for 20 years now.

The reunion of Greg Graffin and Epitaph Records founder Mr. Brett marks a new beginning for the seminal LA punk veterans. Often touted as the intelligent punk rock band, Bad Religion continues to feature paleontologist Graffin’s ability to rhyme with a seemingly endless lexicon of big words.

The Process of Belief is a far cry from the band’s major label debut, Recipe For Hate. Farther still from their earliest work recorded in the middle of hot LA nights to save money. It’s hard to tell whether Bad Religion has gotten any better, or just safer. At any rate, the question remains, “How could hell be any worse?”
-Richard Charles

Bad Religion will play the Electric Factory on Monday, March 11.

Still Blazin
As one of reggae music’s well-established stars, Capelton has a style similar to Wyclef Jean, Beanie Man and Buju Banton. Still Blazin offers a mix of both dancehall and old-school reggae, complete with heavy beats.

Most of the album features the old school/Bob Marley type of reggae, while four of the tracks, such as “Cooyah Cooyah” crossover to the dancehall/hiphop side.

On “Pure Woman,” Capelton discusses how his woman is like a queen and he worships her since she does a lot for him. On “Mashing Up The Earth,” he rhymes rapidly, but still manages to sing the chorus and keep the tempo.

Despite the mix of different styles, Still Blazin has many tracks worth the listen as Capleton shows his struggle with society and women.
-Alan Gung

Darwin’s Waiting Room
Explosive, emotional and explorative, Darwin’s Waiting Room’s debut is packed with a sound that’s 100 percent forward-looking. But from a band hell bent on an intelligent and aggressive insurrection against today’s pop music standards, as well as evolving above a stagnant layer of rapcore, what more would you expect?

Unlike Crazy Town’s undecipherable rants on using women, DWR effectively employs the use of an emcee and singer for a dual vocal attack balanced by back-and-forth outbursts of anger and long dramatic melodies.

The disc itself is a major reflection of problems facing the alienated population in high schools across America: pain, stress, relationships and the loss thereof.

“Sometimes It Happens Like This,” looks introspectively into the loss of a father-and-son relationship. For those who lacked this relationship growing up, this song is a lifetime of therapy sessions packed into an aggressive three-minute outburst.

“Feel So Stupid” deals with loss of romantic relationships, while “Live For The Moment” acknowledges the fragility of life itself. Differing from its trackmates by a slower pace, “All I Have Is Me,” is the disc’s hidden gem that packs the lost romance’s final punch of pain and the resulting steps toward recovery.

It’s raw and pulsing, infused with meaning, and at times indecent, but Orphan’s always to the point.
– Chris Powell

Death Cub For Cutie
The Stability EP
If Death Cab For Cutie was a place and time it would be a Canadian winter. The Bellingham, Wash. quartet’s new EP contains just three songs but accentuates an icy pop parallel to the triumphant indie rock found on its first three albums.

“20th Century Towers” mirrors Low’s sparse crawl, but even Ben Gibbard’s touching vocals can’t counteract the song’s overall normalcy. Fortunately, the band’s tactful cover of Bjork’s “All is Full of Love” bridges the gap between Iceland and Washington State.

No Death Cab song is as glacial as the 12-plus minute “Stability.” Some may have preferred a resolution after the initial three-minute thrill, but this epic thinks outside the conventions of the usual pop song.

Still, with the absence of ornateness and the quick disappearing act of the haunting piano that introduces “Stability”, one wonders if this band’s snapshot couldn’t have been a little more in focus.
-Neal Ramirez

Death Cab For Cutie play with The Dismemberment Plan at the Trocadero on March 13.

Natalie Imbruglia
White Lilies Island
(RCA/BMG Records)
Five years after her hit, the oft-played “Torn,” Natalie Imbruglia’s sophomore effort has many elements of such but not necessarily in a bad way. In Left of the Middle Imbruglia came across like a wannabe Aussie Alanis, while White Lilies Island is more relaxed and she seems more independent and assured of herself. Most of the songs on White tend to meander in a non-conformist fashion. “Satellite” and “Everything Goes,” on the other hand, are tight with lovely hooks. While this album has become a bit of a favorite overseas with adult-alternative lovers, the U.S. will likely have a difficult time (as it usually does) of grasping the idea of a former Top 10 wunderkind trying to get herself to be taken seriously. If you’re looking for another catchy, girl-power soundtrack-to-your-life-type album, this isn’t the one. However, if you want a subtle and quiet, yet self-affirming work, you just might enjoy this Island.
-Maureen Walsh

The Six Parts Seven
Things Shaped in Passing
(Suicide Squeeze)
Ideally, an instrumental band can awaken a listener with pure music and sound. Lyrics and words would distract from the force of the composition. The music works to express or create something that can’t be contained in language. Things Shaped in Passing, the third full length by The Six Parts Seven, fails to do anything like this; the music is simply there.

While technically proficient, the band just meanders along, one song indistinguishable from the next, through eight dreamy tracks of uniformly paced experiments without ever reaching a destination. They can play their instruments just fine, but they never hone their skills into creating a challenging or even a very interesting work. Things Shaped in Passing plays fine as background music, but it cannot seem to make the impact that Godspeed, You Black Emperor! or The Fucking Champs can.
-Richard Charles

you i lov///
(Extasy Records International)
When I first read that the members of sub.bionic met at a drum circle, I figured they would be either like Da Lata or they would have a sort of Dave Matthews-type world music slant. Instead, the band is a rock group influenced mainly by Led Zepplin and the Beatles. This seems pretty accurate especially when one gives the song “Plum & the Outro” a listen; it sounds like “Dear Prudence” if Robert Plant had given Lennon and McCartney some writing tips. While at times, the album isn’t that bad – almost catchy, even – the fact is that sub.bionic is yet another modern rawk group. I really can’t recommend you i lov/// because I’m hoping that many of you are as sick as I am of this neverending post-grunge, we-owe-it-all-to-the-hair-bands trend. However, if you still can’t get enough of the combo of power chords and machismo misery, be my guest.
-Maureen Walsh

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