DEAD FRIENDS (s/t CD on Plan-it-X): Awesome melodic hardcore punk from Gainesville. The lyrics smack of desperation and resentment towards modern life. 14 quick songs with the occasional blast beat thrown in for good measure.

CHRONIC YOUTH Daschillin (self-released cassette): Andy from DEAD FRIENDS' other band. He calls it "noisy, drugged-out grunge" and that's about right. But emphasis on the "noisy". It's so noisy that you can't even make out the notes to a single riff. The vocals are buried in the background, which is a shame. Their singer is a scruffy dude who looks like he just woke up from a nap at 4pm after an intense bong sesh. Kinda sounds like Converge on Xanax without all the technicality.

PYGMY LUSH/TURBOSLUT (split 12" on Lovitt): A disclaimer: I had to listen to this on someone else's record player, and the record would not spin steadily. As a result, I heard everything with a subtle oscillation every couple seconds, and ended up with an undulation-induced nausea of sorts.

Two of my favorite bands, and probably TS's last release (let's hope not, though). The PYGMY LUSH side blends their acoustic and loud stuff pretty effectively. The opening riff on the first track is serious Good Rockin' Fun. The drumming is totally on point and the vocals fit in perfectly. The soft songs are catchy and lonesome, harkening me back to the Lush boys's backwoods palace in the Virginia woods, and towards the end a beautiful drone section begins to lull you sleep.

TURBOSLUT comes out strong with "Speed", which features a brutally droning Sabbath-esque riff, and from there there's pretty much no relief. Somehow the lyrical content is even MORE desperate and negative here than on Order of the Turboslut, which is something I personally enjoy. Disdain for sex, self-loathing, the hollowed-out insides of the used and abused. All the bases are covered and then told to fuck right off. Musically, the riffs are clearer and catchier. I wish Beck did more screaming on this one, but that's just me. Still noisy as hell, their side of this record cuts deep into corners of your brain you tried to forget about.

HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF It Don't Mean I Don't Love You (CD, self released?): Alynda Lee has one of the best voices in all of New Orleans. Yea, I said that. Subtle, haunting, and never overbearing. It's a voice you almost instantly have a rapport with. Every track on here makes me feel like I'm drinking in the Marigny on a Sunday morning, watching old-timey bike punks pass by with hard wrinkled smiles on their faces. Hangover music indeed. The songs are all solid, featuring banjo, some light drums, accordian, etc. The standout track is "Bricks", and it's where Alynda's voice truly shines. The lyrics dance along the lines of death, drinking, love, and any combination of the three. The morbid content and vocal delivery make me want to compare Alynda to Dax Riggs, though Dax's lyrics are much more morbid than hers. Still an excellent album, though.

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