THE HAPPY HOLLOWS
A very merry bunch, these fresh-faced Californians ramble on, stream-of-consciousness like, about an unrequited crush on "this young Republican/Just because he looked like Billy Corgan/But he didn't dress the same" as its power-pop bop escalates into a car-crash alt-metal slugfest, Pumpkins-style.
FACING NEW YORK
"Cops on Bikes"
"Cops on bikes, in them little shorts/How you gonna bust me, in them little shorts?" Something tells me these Bay Area funk-rock smart-asses have spent at least some of their spare time snickering at Pacific Blue reruns. But then again, who hasn't?
"Number Our Days"
How, I ask, is this guy able to crank out such delectable, electronically enabled pop about such depressing subject matter? This one's about, I think, the unbearable futility of being. Or maybe just how awesome his console is. Either way, I vote "yep."
These Connecticut no-wavers cut a disc of sanded-down, noise/blues exercises, then title it Gucci Rapidshare Download in honor of the Mediafire/Megaupload gremlins they've spent so much time thwarting. The joke's really that Download sounds nothing like the spiky, in-yr-face mess these Markers usually make. "Smnth Fx," for example, scans as out-and-out purgatorial gloom, minor-chord ivory doldrums melting into floaty vocals, distracted, stretching guitar sighs, and incidental electronic twitters. How cute.
"Broken Order (Demo)"
Almost sounds like this Michigan noise crew's digging for oil at the beginning—with a rusty pickax, naturally—but the fruit of their labor isn't precious, sweet crude. Rather, vampiric feedback bats—irate, fangs glistening—come pouring forth, desperate for blood.