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Quick Hits! by antiGUY and friends.

Rating Guide

Drop everything and Buy this CD
Great Stuff, get it soon.
Worth a listen
Only for the most Die-Hard fans
A waist of packing material

Welcome to the Second Edition of Quick Hits for June 2000! Due to the number of new releases we have received lately, we decided to roll out reviews every ten days. If things keep up this way, we'll start bringing them to you every week. antiGUY

The Nixons - Latest Thing
Koch Entertainment
Rating

Why aren’t these guys huge stars? Since MCA made Blink-182 a household name, why couldn't they do the same with a band that has better music? It boggles the mind. It no longer matters because The Nixons are now on a label that believe in them and will put everything in their arsenal to help put this band where they belong - At the top of the charts. 

The Latest Thing contains 13 solid modern rock songs. After over 2 dozen listens I have yet to hit the skip button for any of the tracks. In other words, you won't find a filler track in the bunch. "The One" is the perfect album opener with funky drums, crunchy distorted guitars and melodic vocals that get the toes tapping. "Drama Queen" has all the hooks of a modern rock chart topper. "First Trip", co-written with Jack Blades, has an additive chorus that has magahit written all over it. Fans of Matchbox Twenty will feel right at home with the Nixon's.  Tracks like the ballad "Don't Cry" and mid tempo rocker "Calling Yesterday" sound like they belong on a Rob Thomas fronted release. However, it must be pointed out that The Nixons formed four years before Matchbox Twenty. 

MCA really dropped the ball with The Nixons. The move over to Koch seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. The Latest Thing is their finest work to date. If Matchbox Twenty's debut could sell over 10 million copies, with The Nixons superior songs and musicianship, The Latest Thing could easily sell 15! 

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Naughty Platinum Rock - Various Artist
Portrait Records
Rating - "This one goes to 11!"

YES! To all of those people who are accused of being stuck in the 80's, you can now tell the critics, SO WHAT! Listen to this disc and you will understand. There are no whiners and no complaining, just good time rock n roll! The Aerosmith classic - Dude (Looks like a Lady) gets things started. Then KISS kicks it in to high gear with "Lick it Up". Motley Crue sings about their favorite subject, "Girls, Girls, Girls". Danger, Danger gets "Naughty, Naughty" and Skid Row comes along with the song that broke them into the hard rock scene in 1989, "Youth Gone Wild". 

This disc also includes the Whitesnake classic "Slide it In". One of Great White's best songs "Rock Me" is here as well. Then if things weren't already over the top, Judas Priest, Zebra, Ted Nugent and Quiet Riot steal the show with some of their most memorable songs. 

Sure this album makes us children of the 80's nostalgic. It also reminds us of why we miss those days so much. Hats off to Portrait/Legacy/Columbia Records for creating one of the finest collections of 80's hard rock to ever hit the streets! - motleySTU 

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The Drowners - Is There Something on your Mind?
Wind-Up Records
Rating

Britpop returns! It comes from a Scandinavian band none the less. The Drowners U.S. debut on Wind-Up Records just goes to prove that power-pop never goes out of style. The album contains 13 stylish tracks with rich harmonies, mod-rock riffs with an alt-pop feel reminiscent of the Posies, the Szuters or the more melodic side of Eve 6. "Think of Me," "Is there something on your mind?," "One Star" and "Bittersweet" showcase the power-pop side of the band.  The songs "Bellingham" and "Seasonal Affective Disorder" show the harder side of the band, taking them beyond the realms of power-pop while not escaping the band's overall melodic sound. "Postello" takes the ballad route with a beautiful melody and a virtual "wall of sound". Listen to this one with headphones on, it's multi-textured sound is a real credit to producer Matt Hyde and the songwriting and musicianship of The Drowners. 

This CD is a well rounded collection of radio hit friendly songs. A fine debut from a band that has it in them to deliver the Platinum goods!

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Paul Rodgers: Electric
CMC International
Rating 

Paul Rodgers has been a mainstay of rock since he was a teenager. First with the band Free and their FM radio hit, "All Right Now". Then with the platinum selling Bad Company that has too many hits to list. No we are not forgetting about his supergroup with Jimmy Page, The Firm. 

Paul is doing things solo these days, but fans of his past projects should feel right at home with the new music. Paul's love of the blues shines here more than it ever did with Bad Company with songs like "China Blue" and "Walkin Tall." An excellent backing band on all ten of the album tracks finely complements Paul's rich voice.  This is a rock album in the classic sense, although not as hard as some of the Paul's best known songs with Bad Company, Electric is none the less an album worthy of his name. 

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Black Crowes: 1990-99-Greatest Hits
Columbia Records
Rating

What's not to love? All the hits are here. The first five tracks - "Jealous Again," T"wice As Hard,"" Hard To Handle,"" She Talks To Angels" and "Remedy" - justify the purchase of this album. If you don't own any Black Crowes CD's this would be a good one to get you started. Chances are it will compel you to buy the entire catalog. If you are looking for some good solid rock, picking this CD up is a no brainer.

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Bon Jovi - Crush
Rating

Fans of this band will find it filled with the classic Bon Jovi sound. However, there are some pleasant surprises here. Two songs really stand out on this album, the irony of the situation is they are about as far removed from the classic Bon Jovi sound as you can get. "Captain Crush…" and "Say It Isn't So" both sound like they belong on an Enuff Z'nuff album not Bon Jovi's. Both songs show a heavy influence from the Beatles with a modern rock flavor that would make Donnie Vie of EZN proud. Alas, if all the songs on this album sounded like these two, those of us who found the overly polished sounds of "Slippery When Wet" a bit too much might just give Bon Jovi a second chance. These guys are smart, they know they have a winning formula and a loyal audience. So why change their tune now to attract new fans? Bottom line, if you like Bon Jovi's previous work, then by all means check this album out. For those who don't fall into that category, there are some interesting modern rockers here like "One Fine Night" and" I Got the Girl" plus the two EZN'esq tunes that do break some new ground for this group. 

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Duran Duran - Pop Trash
Hollywood Records
Rating

Fans of 1993's "Wedding Album" will be overjoyed that Duran Duran has returned to the sound that launched their surprising comeback. Slick production, the "big" almost symphonic sound of songs like "Pop Trash Movie" and "Starting to Remember" and Simon Le Bon's excellent and distinctive vocals carry the day here. The low points come with dance tunes like "Hallucinating Elvis" and "Mars Meets Venus" that would sink this album if it weren't for quality of the rest of the songs. The song "Pop Trash Movie" has smash hit written all over it. Another great release from a great band. 

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Fleetwood Mac - The Originals
Rating

Forget Rumours or the self-titled album that proceeded it that made Fleetwood Mac a household name. Take a trip back in time to the days when Fleetwood Mac meant the blues and Peter Green was considered a guitar God. Heralded as one of the best Blues guitarist, Peter Green helped define the British Blues as much as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck or Jimmy Page. This remastered reissue showcases some of the early Fleetwood Mac's finest moments with Mick Fleetwood's before the beat drumming and John McVie's after the beat bass lines providing a perfect rhythm section to Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer's blues guitars. Sadly, some of early Fleetwood Mac's finest songs don't appear here. "Rattlesnake shake"," Albatross", and "Black Magic Women" (yes the same song that Santana made a huge hit) are mysteriously absent. 

Dave Davies - Rock Bottom: Live at the Bottom Line 
Koch Entertainment
Rating

The Kinks were one of the original hard rock bands. Sure their albums weren't too heavy, but their live shows were explosive. The man behind that explosive sound was guitarist and founding member Dave Davies. In 1998 he performed two shows at New York's legendary Bottom Line which were recorded for posterity. The result is the 27-track album that showcases Davies crowd-pleasing talents. His guitar playing is as fresh today as when the Kinks recorded classics like "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of The Night". In fact, Davies has matured as a guitarist as he continues as one of the most under-rated players of his generation. Davies also provided the lead vocals. Although a little a rough at points, his vocals complement the live, heavy feel of the music perfectly on the two Kinks mega-hits "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of The Night" as well as the sixties classic "Money". 

Davies pays tribute to the music that influenced him and an entire generation of English guitarist with the smoking blues of "Milk Cow Blues". Another high point of the album is "Living on a Thin Line" with it's beautifully melodic harmonies. Davies hit single from the British charts "Death of A Clown" also is a standout. 

Very few live albums live up to the experience of actually being at the show. Rock Bottom doesn't fall into that trap. Baby boomers who grew up with Davies will enjoy this live collection. The overall sound is powerful enough to capture the attention of younger listeners as well.  On the Live album scale this CD earns a 5 out of 5. 

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Previous Quick Hits
June 2000 - Round One - Angie Aparo, Don Henley, Eminem, Commodores, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Nickelback, The Step Kings, and Nashville Pussy

May 2000 Mindless Self Indulgence, 
3 Doors Down, Britney Spears, Bad Religion, Departure Lounge, and
Primal Scream

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