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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Gary Hoey
Riding the Wave: Gary Hoey surfs into the Usual on Saturday.

Photo by F. Scott Schafer

Spring Hopes Eternal:
More local music to shake your Benadryl at

SPRING'S HERE, and thick pollen mixes with the buzzing of creative resurgence. Many local artists have emerged from hibernation with new tapes in their paws. Some of the more noteworthy are noted below:

Concerning Eye's tape Spelling Trouble is the most impressive new punk-pop release of the year. The well-constructed melodic punk-pop songs come with elements of skate, emo and hardcore. The twin guitars blend well, adding more flavor to the stock-car rumble. Youthful blood pressure pumps through "Hung Out to Dry," "Behind the Neck" and "Creeper." Echoes of Bob Mould ring through "Vacant" and "Not Enough to Save." Spelling Trouble is an exhaustive effort and the best thing to come from Sunnyvale since C.J. Olson cherries.

H.B.A. isn't the most original hardcore metal act out there. Josh Nicholson's vocals contain a strain of niceness. "Should Must Have To" battles internal demons, while "Punching Bag" takes on external ones, and "White Lands" warns against self-destructive tendencies. H.B.A. is a good band with positive mental attitude and some great guitar work, but that's where it ends. I started tiring of the amplified cymbal crashes, and the lyrics must have been written during lunch breaks.

For some serious ear-bleeding guitar-nerd metal, one should peep into Bralalalala, a spandex-wearing cross-dresser who promised the hardest metal album out there--and s/he delivers! Every song on Well Come to the Galaxy has a ripping solo and that good heavy-metal guitar tone. He's looking for band members, too.

Things are hectic again on the hip-hop frontier. Plado of Twisted Mind Kids is a San Joaquin native who moved to San Jose to make a name for himself. There's deep philosophy on in "Nada" and "Try to Read My Mind." "Michelle" uses "Nadia's Theme" and a Porno for Pyros sample to spin a tale of familial negligence. Plado's voice isn't hard--it's soft and pliable like the molding clay. Look for Plado's upcoming release, Immortal.

Dave Dub's tape, Endlessness in Machinery: An Experimentation in Herb, Word and Sound, is a realized dream sequence. "The Tribulation" and "Upside Down Lineage" float on a puffy cloud with queasy creativity and apoplectic rhymes. Dub makes suitable Muzak for hip-hop hash bars in Amsterdam. Don't bother operating heavy machinery after listening to this one.

From the Living Legends crew, Murs has a tape--Comurshul--that attempts to out the Murstian as a freestyle master. Side one is a cave drawing (created by his old unit, the Melancholy Gypsys) compared to side two. Murs brings the drama on "Red Dots" and "Speed Bumps" with special appearances by PSC, Eligh and the Grouch.

You've Got Mail

Spearhead's Michael Franti included his email address in the liner notes of the group's latest LP, Chocolate Supa Highway. Is his mailbox blowing up? "Hell, yeah," he confides. "People email me all the time: 'This is dope. This song is awful.' I try to write everybody back. Sometimes people want to write me long pieces, and I have to say, 'Not to be rude, if you keep letters short I can get back to you much more promptly.' " To see Spearhead live, visit Palookaville on Friday (May 2).

High School High

Gary Hoey brings his high-cresting surf sound to the Usual in San Jose Saturday (May 3). ... Blend #3, a benefit for the homeless, jumps off at Santa Teresa High School on May 17. The show will feature 14 bands, including Salmon, Tribal Disco Noise, Crumb, Soda and Ascension. ... Check back here in a few days for pictures of the Hi-Fives, Sacred Hoop, the Aquamen and Korea Girl taken at SFMX3.

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From the May 1-7, 1997 issue of Metro

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