By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
25 Pool Party Sensational Hits (self-released)
The best way to describe the legendary Pool Party is by stealing the description from the band's MySpace page: "Slade giving the Ramones head inside of Kraftwerks' robot factory, while watching themselves in the mirror!" This is some creepy disco-influenced power pop-punk with nods to Seventies arena rock, played by a trio of highly dysfunctional musicians. Through snail mail, this band became a minor charting hit on Icelandic college radio, thanks to comparisons to that country's revered Kukl (Björk's first band). German guitarist Creep Guirdo, Clevelander Richard "Dick" Dumbass, and feral boy drummer Hand Gloveless recorded more than 100 songs and promptly lost 75 percent of them in a haze of drugs, alcohol, and Asian call girls. Still, party faves such as "Pool Party Time," "Spy Girl," "Scissor Attack," "Touch," and "Like a Warrior" show up here. Strangely absent is my favorite PP track of all time, "Publix Deli Anorexic Bitch." Oh well.
Five Heartaches in Stereo (self-released)
Rimsky Pons has been a fixture on the South Florida scene since I had hair covering my shiny dome. That means a long time. Anyway, fans of Humbert will recognize the self-described working man's power pop he brings to this record. Flanked by Orestis Bardoutsos on drums, Joseph Larrea on guitar and backup vocals, and Jorge Ubieta on bass, Pons delivers an extremely satisfying five-track EP sure to please anyone with a taste for sugar. Delicious. But don't be fooled, because an Iron Maiden influence somehow fits into this Beatles-esque soup. "The Sting" is an excellent choice to open these 18 minutes of quirky lyricism and jangle-pop guitars. The rhythm section does a great job of anchoring it all in danceable reality. Either another EP or full-length is en route (I don't remember very well because the vino was flowing the last time I checked them out), but either way, pick it all up.
Run Like Hell
Run Like Hell (Destroy Records)
Run Like Hell is a three-piece outfit comprising Tyler Bronis and Joey Wesserman on guitars, with Bronis doing the vocal work and Eddie Garcia on the skins doing some of that posthardcore stuff. For an outfit playing hard-edged music, the trio provides lush landscapes during the breakdowns and angry hardcore during those moments of requisite energy. Fans of good bands such as Poison the Well and the like should notice, and fans of crappy bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and the like should ditch those records in favor of this one. The 10 tracks are well done; the sole annoyance is a little throwaway intro that could have been combined with another track. I especially liked "Crude Awakening," which for some reason reminded me of Young Livers. Every copy of this limited edition of 100 is handmade, so no two are alike. Collector time!