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Drowningman Still Loves You EP
The keepers of the flame of hardcore in Vermont return with yet another vicious dose of barbed wire riffs and guerrilla warfare vocals. Revelation granted a reprieve to the band from their contract to release this record on Equal Vision and I'm writing a 'Thank You' letter tomorrow as these five songs are among the band's strongest.

The album kicks off with the explosive "The More I Get to Know You the Less I Like You" which begins as a scream fest until the chorus, which nicely showcases Simon Brody's underutilized singing voice, and then follows up with the more melodic "Unbearable Burden of Always Being Right."

The Burlington boys have included a re-recording of "Weighted and Weighted Down," which appeared on their first release, a 1997 7" for Boston label Hydrahead (whose prez contributed the artwork and design to this new EP).

"Living with the Awful Truth That We're Not As Cool as We'd Like Other People to Think We Are," with its thudding drums, is not only one of Drowningman's best, it also ranks up there among the best hardcore tunes of 2001. "Surveillance Footlight Highlights" is a successful combination of shouted parts, a brief spoken section, and the speak/song of "Tonight this world is ours" which closes the album.

The EP is similar to their other EP, the masterful How They Light Cigarettes in Prison than to, in that the vocals feature a greater mixture of singing and screaming than on their last album, the brutal Rock and Roll Killing Machine. Which is to say that this should prompt the immediate attention of both hardcore, metal, and punk fans. (www.drowningmanhatesyou.com; Equal Vision Records PO Box 14 Hudson, NY 12534 www.equalvision.com)

Drums & Tuba Water-Damage Re-Issues Volume 1 and 2
Drums & Tuba: Making the Tuba Cool Again. Well...here you have re-releases of the early work of the nations foremost drums-tuba-guitar trio. Incredibly entertaining and not nearly as annoying as one might assume. (drumsandtuba@hotmail.com www.drumsandtuba.com; My Pal God Records 47 Hardy Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540 www.mypalgodrecords.com)

Enemymine The Ice in Me
This is probably the last thing you would expect from Up Records. This album delivers a brutal pummelling to Modest Mouse as some of this borders a bit of Unwound-y goodness while other parts border the Iceburn of yore. I think it was all the low end riffin and palm-mutin. Congrats to Mike (ex-Godheadsilo), Danny (ex-Mocket), and Ryan (ex-Some Velvet Sidewalk for making my head hurt. (Up Records Box 21328 Seattle,WA 9811 206-320-9004 www.uprecords.com)
Enkindels Can't Stop the Enkindels
I'm really sad to see this band ("Louisville, Kentucky's longest running rock band") go. Especially considering the fact that I never got to see them. When I first heard Enkindel, I thought "Okay, fine." And then I heard the re-vamped Enkindels when Buzzclip 2000 came into the radio station. I was sold. Those that have that record count it as one of the best rock records of the 1990s and I do too.

They should have taken off from there, but instead they dropped off the planeet - resurfacing with this one shortly before breaking up. And while songs like "Life of a Kansas Strip Queen" and "Days of the New" rank up there, this is not their finest hour. It's sad to see a band that obviously loved playing straight-up rock-and-roll bite the dust. But thankfully, Rocket from the Crypt is back!!! (Initial Records PO Box 17131 Louisville, KY 40217 www.initialrecords.com)

Explosion Steal This!
This was the Explosion's third release of the year 2000 and either they're burning out already or they sent Revelation the musical equivalent of a flaming shit bag to get out of their contractual agreement. I'm tending to go with the latter.

Don't know the story? Here's the short version. (For the Explosion's side of the long version, check out Punk Planet #39.) So Damian from the Explosion used to be in In My Eyes, who broke up still owing Revelation a record. Fine, right? It happens. Well, Revelation said sure, it happens, but you still owe us a record, Damian and since you're in a new bandthat band (the Explosion) can give us a record.

I won't take sides because I like the Explosion and I like what Revelation's been putting out on their label recently, but this is one of those conflicts that really should have been settled beyond closed doors because now fans of the Explosion are going to pick this thing up thinking they're getting more of the same quality up-tempo '77-style rock that they heard on their previous releases and this just sounds tired and forced. See the band live and you'll know that this isn't a great reflection of what they can do. And certainly don't get caught for shoplifting this one -- it's just not worth it. (Revelation Records PO Box 5232 Huntington beach, CA 92615-5232 www.revelationrecords.com)

Face to Face Standards and Practices
This album is all rock/punk versions of tunes by their favorite bands. Attempts to over achieve and tackle The Pogues, The Pixies, and Sugar tunes fall short, but you can find good versions of "Merchandise" (Fugazi), "Chesterfield King" (Jawbreaker), and "The KKK Took My Baby Away" (The Ramones). (www.facetoface1.com; Lady Luck/Vagrant Records 2118 Wilshire Blvd. #361 Santa Monica, CA 90403 www.vagrant.net)
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