Mail to: The Hack / Band Links
1321 East Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203


The Science Fiction Idols
Spooky Sugar

The Science Fiction Idols are a rock n roll band that likes to party. With a loose sound and an infectious fun vibe, these guys understand two of the fundamental rules of rock n roll. The first one is to relax. The second is to have fun; if you’re not having a good time, you’re not doing it right.

Musically, I found them to be old school, with a sound at times reminiscent of early Alice Cooper, especially “Phantom Channel”, though Bobby LaMondes’ voice is his own, surly but smoother than Coopers’. Guitarist Gary Strutt, on the other hand, sounds like the second coming of Steven Tyler doing lead vocals on “Cats Galore”, but it sounds natural. The most impressive song on this disc was the radio friendly “Ballad of the New Young Creeps” which bonded the old school chops to a modern approach.

Too many bands these days can’t play for shit; they confuse being loose (good) with unskilled (bad). Sci Fi Idols are skilled yet with a sound as comfortable as old blue jeans. Which brings up our last important fundamental: Be yourself. If you’re cool enough almost anything you do will float with your fans (Aerosmith, Frank Zappa, Madonna, Eminem), but if you sound like you’re just frontin’ (Tommy Lee, Roger Waters solo project, Vanilla Ice), well...


The Terror State
Fat WreckChords

A friend of mine once said that punk rock was the greatest revolution in the history of music. "Prior to punk," he said, "you had to be able to play." While most musicians would not consider this a compliment, my friend meant it that way. He was talking about punk attitude; the fact that it doesn't have to sound pretty or complex or well arranged or have "depth", it just has to sound good.

By and large Anti-Flag meets this standard. Fast paced and in your face pretty well describes their sound. This does not mean they are without polish. In fact they sounded very tight and well rehearsed, like they were comfortable in the studio. Nor were they without depth, tackling a range of serious topics like the environment, so called "free trade" organizations like the WTO and of course, war. All in all, a very good offering from a group of talented musicians.

I can just hear the bands' reaction to my comments. "Polish! Well rehearsed?! Talented musicians?! FUCK YOU you capitalistic, journalistic hosebag! We don't need you or your fucking establishmentarian web-zine! Piss off!" That's tellin' me!



Barely Breathing

Take four talented, veteran performers, add a large helping of crunchy,
grungy metal. Stir in a touch of influence from various contemporary artists.
Add a natural & well versed song writing aptitude and blend on high. What you get is Barely Breathing, a unique and at once recognizable collection of songs from Shatterpak.

From the opening title track, it becomes clear that these guys like to rock out and are most comfortable with the aggression set on "high". The tracks "Up to Me" & "Dirty Rotten" also represent this band at their best, although "Rose Colored Rainbow" closes this disc with a gentler sound which the players pull off very well.

New bands are a lot like a new recipe. It all starts with establishing a
sound that works. Shatterpak has done that. Now they can go on to the next stage: experimentation and refinement. This is a band whose members have been around the block and should be able to avoid the mistakes so many inexperienced performers make. If they can, their talent should open doors for them.




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