Thank you for riding The Mole !

Atlantic Records

To say that Sugar Ray's hit single "Fly" was a fluke is an immense understatement. Floored is a mainly punk, hard album. Then, suddenly, the smoothness and tranquility of an island beat interrupts and you have "Fly." But in Sugar Ray's ultimate wisdom and foresight, the song appears not once, but twice on Floored, one being an extension of the radio version and the other omitting Super Cat. They also do quite the cover of Adam And The Ants' "Stand and Deliver." What is frightening about their cover is that great lengths were gone through in an attempt to sound exactly like the original. I like Sugar Ray, but there is only one Dandy Highwayman. "Cash" is easily the theme song of a generation, stating "I need some fucking cash/You need some fucking cash/We all need some fucking cash." Um, yeah, I could definitely use some myself. Where does the line form? "RPM" is another strong track, also released as a single. Floored, although not what I expected, is actually quite good. Check it out. - Dayna Cramer

Frozen Hound

Music has become so diverse these days that it is not the least bit surprising to find bands combining that diversity and making it their own. L.A.'s Insulated have done just that. Their debut, Fence, is a culminated package of industrial drum beats, low, distorted vocals and singing guitars. The songs maintain a slow, hypnotic tempo, yet there is an element of funk that shines through loud and clear. The first track on the CD, "Find Your Sugar," stands out the strongest due to its intense drum parts while "Frozen Over" takes it down a notch to almost ballad proportions. Insulated's sound is indicative of their geography, very Los Angeles. Fence is an excellent debut, strong and creative. - Dayna Cramer

Galore - The Singles 1987-1997

The Cure are truly an amazing band. Over the last 20 years they have consistently reinvented their sound and grown as a group. Vocalist Robert Smith is the only stable member of the group, others coming and going (and occassionally lingering, ie. Simon Gallup). Their reinvention is made ever-so apparent as you listen to their latest release Galore. It is a follow-up to 1986's Staring At The Sea- The Singles; Galore being the singles they've released since that album. It starts with the singles from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me which include the silly "Why Can't I Be You," the dreamy "Catch," the one EVERYONE knows "Just Like Heaven," and the jazzy "Hot Hot Hot." It then moves on to Disintegration with the sexy yet ghoulish "Lullaby," the dark "Fascination Street," the sappy "Love Song" and the heart melter, "Pictures of You." "Never Enough" was the only new track released on Mixed Up, their remix album and "Close To Me" was redone on that same release. It then continues with "High," "Friday I'm In Love" and "A Letter To Elise" from Wish before getting to last year's Wild Mood Swings which contained "The 13th," "Mint Car," Strange Attraction" and "Gone." The real bonus here is the one obligatory new track, the vivid "Wrong Number" which is an incredible song! It has been awhile since The Cure have released a track quite as good. It is reminiscent of "Throw Your Foot" and "Close To Me." I for one am glad to see (hear) that The Cure are still able to come up with songs that make you not only hear, but feel. They truly are one of the greatest bands ever. Listening to Galore will serve as a reminder to that greatness! - Dayna Cramer

Disassembly Required
Crisis Records

The talent of Beta Minus Mechanic is in the voice of Ina Jeffress. Although the first couple of tracks are less than impressive, "Memories" starts the turn around, dealing with the betrayal of a close friend while "August Moon" is hugely reminescent of early Scandal. The tracks that follow truly spotlight Jeffress' vocals with the music itself staying low and taking a back seat to her voice. Disassembly Required is surely worth a listen. - Dayna Cramer

Concert Review:


   Finally someone has made 10 louder. A week of convalescence with a few Mac Davis records and I may be able to get the ringing out of my ears after last night's Swervedriver show at San Francisco's Slims. As they plugged in their guitars a hard cackle shuddered the small room leaving no doubt that my ears were in jeopardy. Half the packed room cringed (no ear plugs), but then cheered as the first chords pushed them back a step from the stage. With no relief other than the street the crowd surged back toward the hyper-amplified guitars and dug in. Just an hour before Quagmire had tore through an impressive set which had the early arrivals abuzz. Their suberb drummer leads a grand rummble over which their guitar and eery vocals soar. Crank it up and float, they seem to ask as if Pink Floyd and Failure had made an odd alliance.

    In anticipation of Swervedriver Quagmire's engineer joked "we''ll see who's the loudest." During their first tune his concession to Swervedriver was easily drowned out. The remainder of the show demonstrated Swervedriver's mastery of the multilayered wall of sound assault. Despite the din, distinct ebbs and flows of guitars, bass and drums washed over the crowd. I left felt feeling engulfed by a melifluous noise and a bit scared that I'll be a deaf by 40. Whatever.

- Johnny PirAnt

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