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13 April 2004

Monster-0, Entertainment System (Omega Point)
Beware of albums bearing cover shots of Ninja Gaiden on the front and a Nintendo controller on the back. Given those images, one would think the sound of the band would be equitable to a video game. Monster-0 certainly doesn't land far from that idea. The "band" is a Daemon Hatfield, who's doing it all himself here. It's a bit too retro-'80s overall. Once the listener gets past the kitsch quality here, this album is nothing more than a second-rate novelty. The covers of "Love Is on the Way" and "The Politics of Dancing" are as weak as you might assume. Hatfield does manage to turn out one good song, though. "Jesus Christ (I'm Having a Good Time)" is as enjoyable as any of the one-hit wonders that Monster-0 is trying to emulate.
      — Jason Thompson

Run Run Run, Drizzle EP (TFT)
A nice, dark-sounding piece of work that has that perfect element of hooj to it. Singer/guitarist Xander Smith manages to coax out a little My Bloody Valentine from his instrument without paying over-the-top homage to Kevin Shields. The title track is a mini-masterpiece in itself, all gloomy melodies, swirling guitars, and hypnotic beats. "Song and Dance" threatens to tip the whole thing over in an ecstatic wash of despair, but snatches the show away from the precipice at just the right moment. High drama at its finest. Run Run Run have already been tapped by The Osbournes, so it would seem the big time has been clutched already. The five-song EP includes a bonus disc housing the video for the song "Skyscraper". An excellent release for those blue-gray days.
      — Jason Thompson

Tryst, Kids of Big Stars (MH)
Tryst are a nice little band making nice little songs and sounds. Tim Cohan and Ellen Highstone's voices blend perfectly and add an extra layer of dreaminess to the already floaty songs. There seems to be something a bit sinister going on underneath the grooves on songs like "Spin My Wheels", but the French horn and tasty guitars tell another tale. "Jayne Wright" and "Dirty Trick" should turn anyone into an instant fan if they aren't after the first two songs. Kids of Big Stars is a quiet masterpiece that borrows elements from '70s pop and blends them ecstatically with the best indie pop flavors around. A sneak attack in the best way imaginable, Tryst and Kids of Big Stars should go a long way in satisfying anyone with a taste for wonderful pop rock.
      — Jason Thompson

.: posted by Editor 7:20 PM


In bold are PopMatters Picks, the best in new music.
Abe Duque
be your own PET
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
The Bottle Rockets
The Brand New Heavies
Johnny Cash
Slaid Cleaves
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Cut Chemist
Miles Davis
Dinosaur Jr.
Dr. Octagon
Alejandro Escovedo
Fatboy Slim
Four Tet
The Handsome Family
Matthew Herbert
Ise Lyfe
Jefferson Airplane
Lord Jamar
Mission of Burma
Mr. Lif
Mojave 3
Allison Moorer
Paul Oakenfold
Grant-Lee Phillips
The Procussions
Corinne Bailey Rae
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Julie Roberts
Diana Ross
7L & Esoteric
Alice Smith
Snow Patrol
Sonic Youth
Soul Asylum
Sound Team
Regina Spektor
Sufjan Stevens
Matthew Sweet
Rhonda Vincent
Thom Yorke

Baby Dayliner
The BellRays
Cat Power
The Clientele + Great Lakes
The Coup + T-Kash
Mike Doughty Band
Download Festival 2006
Fiery Furnaces + Man Man
The Futureheads
The Handsome Family
High Sierra Music Festival
Billy Idol
Bettye Lavette
Love Parade
Nine Inch Nails + Bauhaus
Sonic Youth
Splendour in the Grass 2006
The Streets
Sunset Rubdown

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