003_09.htmlTEXTR*ch?mBIN ROCKIST: reviews
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Hefner Boxing Hefner
A compilation of singles and live tracks from this London pop trio. In the liner notes. Tje namd calls themselves a folk band. A favorite of John Peel, they sound like the Frank and Walters without the big guitars or a less quirky Jonathan Richman (they must be fans as they cover his To Hide a Little Thought). This is very entertaining. (Www.hefnet.com; Beggars Banquet 580 Broadway, Suite 1004 New York, NY 10012-3223 www.beggers.com)

Helms The Swimmer
The Boston band formerly named The Swimmer changes their name to Helms and names their album The Swimmer. Nearly spoken vocals and spare instrumentation. Music for people that believe music doesn't necessarily have to be uplifting. Pleasant throughout and a fairly interesting approach to music. (Kimchee Records www.kimcheerecords.com)

Her Flyaway Manner s/t
The standout tracks are "Fireside" and "Our Evolution" with begins with a big riff. Anchored by rumbling basslines of Adam2000 and off-kilter drums of Boz Hicks, the singer/guitarist Brendan McGinn (and brother of Caulfield Records head Bernie!) heads off on various tangents that nearly sound as if he's pontificating off the top of his noggin. (Interesting to note: this record was recorded for only $500 on a vintage 8-track. ) (Caulfield Records PO Box 84323 Lincoln, NE 68501 www.caulfieldrecords.com)

Hey Mercedes s/t EP
3/4 of Braid soldiers on, adding a new guy (that quite bizarrely looks like the love child of the other three members). And not that different. The loss of Chris Broach (who is now fronting The Firebird Band) means less back-up vocals and I kind-of miss the shouts ("Yeah"). But this is a strong debut with catchy mid-tempo rock songs and while I could probably do without the last two, the first two songs are as good as most of Braid's best. (PO Box 511806 Milwaukee, WI 53203 heymercedes@hotmail.com www.heymercedes.com; Polyvinyl Records PO Box 1885 Danville, IL 61834-1885 www.polyvinylrecords.com)
Hot Water Music A Flight and a Crash
Goddamn! What a way to begin an album! The title track is a doozie, a two-minute ball of fervor and determination driven by winding guitars and vocals at the very edge of breaking. It's also the song that fits in best with their first three albums. Anyone that was worried about whether the band would fall into a rut has to give this record a listen or two as it's clear, very clear that HWM has no intentions of letting their sound get stale. They seem to have a heightened sense of dynamics and melody that only serve to better their already tight sound. The increased guitar and vocal interplay between vocalists Chuck and Chris becomes more apparent with each listening, making this album as strong as any of their previous, even if it does require a few more listens than the others to sink in. I am overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of some of these songs and the amazing fluidity of this record. My cap is tipped to you, ye keepers of the flame! (116 NW 16th Street #141, Gainesville, FL 32601 hwm98@hotmail.com http://hwm.indiepress.com; Epitaph 2798 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 www.epitaph.com)

Hot Water Music Never Ender
This is a complation of HWMs singles and b-sides, including the powerful Never Ender" and "Alachua," the triumphant Bitter End, and the absolutely essential Elektra. The layout features their logo laid over artwork by Scott Sinclair, one of my favorites. Reproductions of seven more of his paintings are found within. If you order this through No Idea (versus buying it in a store), youll also receive an extra CD of demos of songs recorded through out the past 7 years. (116 NW 16th Street #141, Gainesville, FL 32601 hwm98@hotmail.com http://hwm.indiepress.com; No Idea PO Box 14636 Gainesville, FL 32604 www.noidearecords.com

Idlewild 100 Broken Windows
This is one of the best albums I've heard from a band east of Maine (or west of Hawaii) in a long time. The music made by these four Welsh lads come off as about a hundred times more sincere, more innovative, and more exciting than anything heard from those parts since Radiohead's OK Computer. Their blend of U.K. pop, R.E.M.-style melodies, and American "college rock" styled aggression-at-the-right-points ((think Jawbreaker) will no doubt strike a nerve in anyone willing to listen. A testament to this album's worth (or to my taste in friends) - everyone I've played it for so far has liked it. This band may just renew your faith in pop music. (PO Box 23069 Edinburgh EH1 1WT www.idlewild.co.uk)

Imbroco Are You My Lionkiller? EP
One of the most impressive albums to emerge from the emo breeding ground that is Deep Elm Records. Each song features at least part that sticks in your head after the stereo's turned off. The album is a mix of driving tunes and lullaby-rock that somehow succeeds. The songs are the ultimate product of the work these guys have put into their other bands (Mineral, Pop Unknown, The Impossibles). Artwork by Courtney from Slip Productions. (Deep Elm Post Box 36939 Charlotte, NC 28236 www.deepelm.com)
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