The Addictions, Back Porch Vipers, Los Hispanos U.K., Shrapnel, and Zero Skills Inc

The Addictions, Light Up (We Never Have Too Much Fun), Borracho at 3 in the Morning, Revolution in Progress, and Cornstalked Her Tractor Down Andy Kilter (Electric Factory)

Phases and Stages

Bonus Tracks

The Addictions

(Electric Factory)

Opener "Candy" is a perfect description for the local fivepiece: hard, sweet, and sticky. Not as ballsy as the typical 710 crew nor as edgy as Beerland, the Addictions are out there on their own, rockin' without politicking. Just fun, nasty, fist raisers with a pop gleam, leaning heavily on the husband-and-wife vocals of Beth and Jason Richard. ***end story

Back Porch Vipers

Light Up (We Never Have Too Much Fun) (Flying High)

Slim Richey is the wily man with the white beard who's never without a guitar and a smile. With his Dream Band, Richey plays jazz standards with a twist, but with the Back Porch Vipers, he lets crooner Karen Abrahams take the spotlight. Her raspy sass, Richard Bowden's fiddle, and Francie Meauxjeaux's thumping bass add a country tinge to a varied selection of Thirties standouts like Ella Fitzgerald's "When I Get Low, I Get High" and Cab Calloway's "Reefer Man," all of which concentrate on the green stuff. ***

Los Hispanos U.K.

Borracho at 3 in the Morning (Ztv)

Kickass El Guapo rock & roll ... until Orestes Perez starts to sing. The vox rarely lives front and center in the punk rock arena, but Perez screeches like a weasel, making Los Hispanos sound like a high school band practicing in daddy's garage. Still, the local quartet's having a helluva lotta fun talking about the "Pink Curse" and "Intoxication in Mars." South Park humor for the NOFX set. **

Shrapnel

Revolution in Progress

The first minute of opener "Damaged Goods" is as metal as it comes: crunchy riffage, deep kick drums, and lots of thrust. Then the Shrapnel hits. This is not metal! Imagine Linkin' Park decked out in leather, wearing lots of smudged black eyeliner, and doused in Axl Rose undertones. Not even Zakk Wylde guitar solos can justify "Temporary Sanity." At least the production is clean. *

Zero Skills Inc.

Cornstalked Her Tractor Down Andy Kilter (Pecan Crazy)

Local fivepiece Zero Skills Inc. blend punk rock, bluegrass, Southern rock, truck-stop rock, and trad country into foot-stompin', Jäger-swiggin', do-si-doin' fun. Whittlin' rock, you might say. NASCAR lovers, farmers, addicts, and gamblers, pull your rocking chairs up to the bar and order a tall Jack Daniels. ***

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