Bribery Review #4

Ravage EP - Homemade 2000.
Rating = 5

I don't know if it is even humanly possible to sound more like Nirvana than this band does. Why don't you call me up on the telephone and let me play you "Drained"? You will say, "Why, that's a little-known rarity by Kurt Cobain and his Niravar!" But you will be wrong! The guitar sound is the same as early Nirvana. The riff sounds straight off of a Nirvana b-side. Vocals? My lord almighty - it's like the guy ("Joe H." and I don't know the rest of his last name because he scribbled it out on the piece of paper he sent me, because he knows that I cannot be trusted with such information and would immediately farm it out to thousands of telemarketing firms) doesn't even have to TRY to sound like Kurt Cobain. He was just born with the same voice! But - and here's the rupadupdup -- Nirvana don't exist anymore. Kurt Cobain is dead. So there's not going to be any more Nirvana songs. So if the closest we can get is a demo by a band called Seminoma, let's take it!

Of course there are two acoustic songs at the beginning and who the hell needs another acoustic band when we've got the perfection that is Hootie and the Blowfish? Not to mention, the drummer (a man by the improbable name of "Pat L.") hasn't quite mastered the concept of "coming in on the correct beat." But it gives the music character! CHARACTER! And once he finds the beat, he keeps it niftily and economically so I would appreciate it if you would quit hurting his feelings, you son of a bitch.

That's right - I mean YOU, Ron Riker!!!!

Oh okay, I don't really mean Ron Riker. But while we're on the topic, can somebody please send bassist Mike P. a stripper-o-gram asking why there doesn't appear to be any actual bass guitar on this recording? Was he out in the front yard shoving shit up his ass?

I hope not! Shit's supposed to come OUT your ass! I read it in a church pamphlet!

Reader Comments
heh, yeah those full band songs were done in one take at some local studio a few years ago, and i was really big into Nirvana when i wrote those songs. Its funny that you thought we actually sounded like Nirvana, but also helps me realize those songs arent as creative as what i probably could do (as evident by the song "Evergreen" on there, which i dont think you liked). But thanks for the review. Glad you liked it enough for a grade of a 5 at least. And about Mike P. and the bass, he didnt actually do any bass on any of the songs. We dont have a bassist actually, but he did co-write "Without" with me, so i decided to credit him with bass anyway.

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Demo 2001 - Electric Records Inc. 2001.
Rating = 8

This fellow Joe H. can write a darn song. Nirvana comparisons are impossible to avoid (at least if you're me), but it's not one of those cases where you say, "Hey! These guys are like a weak Nirvana!" like you would if it sounded like Bush or something. I know you're just going to laugh and snort at me for saying this, but Joe's songs are every bit as good as most of Kurt's. The overriding mood is one of noisy, beautiful sorrow -- best exemplified in Nirvana's catalog by songs like "Heart-Shaped Box," "About A Girl" and "Something In The Way."

Actually, you know what? Fuck the Nirvana comparisons. Musically, this sounds a lot more like Neil Young's really loud stuff -- which, now that I think about it, may be exactly what Kurt was going for in songs like the ones I just mentioned! But forget the comparisons. I'm just going to say that most of these songs are loud, arpeggiated monsters of frazzled emotion. The kinds of songs that teenage kids should adopt as their personal alienation anthems because they're so very much better than most of the stuff on the radio. It still seems like Joe is gonna have a really hard time developing a vocal style that doesn't sound just like Kurt's, if only because his voice is so similar. It sounds great though! Why should he growl like a Napalm Death guy just because his cool voice happens to sound just like an early '90s rebellious hero?

And they do a Ramones cover! A RAMONES COVER!!!!!!!!

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