Title:And Just Constantly Rotating
BandA-Bombs (Sweden)
Label:Outside Society Productions
Highlights:Just Like You
Leave The Best Behind
Playing God
Step Inside

The A-Bombs are yet another excellent Scandinavian rock band who are more than capable of holding their own against some of the regions more well known bands like The Hellacopters and Gluecifer. However, unlike these bands, the A-Bombs' sound is much more bleaker, metallic and solemn. Their approach relies much more on changes in tempo than over the top bombast and bravado. It probably won't be much of a surprise to learn that they sound strongly influenced by bands like The Stooges and Sonic's Rendezvous Band but the A-Bombs also manage to enter similar territory previously explored by such bands as Joy Division and The New Christs. Their songs may take a couple of listens to fully appreciate but they prove that you don't have to play faster and louder to make intense music. The A-Bombs may not be that well known out of Sweden but I wouldn't be surprised if they command a lot of respect back at home, such is the quality of this album.

Title:Not Meant For This World
Band:Asteroid B-612
Label:Au Go-Go Records
Highlights:True Romance
Emotional Tattoo
Straight Back To You
Believe It's True
Always Got Something To Lose

In the liner notes to Asteroid B-612's third album, Not Meant For This World, the band thank Roky Erikson and the Flamin' Groovies for spiritual guidance. No doubt the Stooges, MC5 and New Christs are also high up on the alter.

The opening track is the Funhouse-like Destination Blues with its snarling saxophone and mean wah-wah. The rest of the album then alternates between faster, more down-to-earth rock 'n' roll songs, such as Straight Back To You and slower, more intense songs like Thanks For Nuthin'. The highlight of the album, however, is Believe Its True, with its Eastern-styled riff, foxy keyboards and cranking harmonica. The basic production also suits the bands style well giving the album a 'live' and distinctly Australian feel.

Whilst they have always had the guitar firepower, Asteroid B-612 thankfully now finally have the songs to match. Not Meant For This World, is the bands best album to date and justifies their reputation as perhaps the best punk rock band in Australia.

Title:Reading Between The Lines
Band:Asteroid B-612
Label:Full Toss Records
Highlights:On Your Way On Down
Am I The Problem
September Crush
Gimme Little Something
I Won't Be Behind You

It's time to put on a show. Just in case people had forgotten that Asteroid B-612 were one of Australia's best rock and roll bands during the 90's, they have returned with a new lineup and released their fourth and arguably best album to date. Reading Between The Lines is quite simply an inspired record. At times uplifting, sometimes depressing, one thing you can say is that this is total heartfelt music made with passion and attitude. Formidable guitarist and band centrepiece Johnny Spittles' playing verges on the subliminal at times. The production, courtesy of Celibate Rifles' Kent Steedman, is also excellent and for the first time captures the band's true power in the studio.

Heavily influenced by later period MC5, early 70's Flamin' Groovies, The Saints, Celibate Rifles and The New Christs, Johnny Spittles may admit to borrowing riffs and ideas but this comes across as an seamless record, too good to be a mere collection of borrowed riffs and ideas. Put simply a classic.

Title:King Richard's Collectibles
Label:The Asteroid No.4 (USA)
Label:Laughing Outlaw / Rainbow Quartz Records
Highlights:Apple Street
Poor Man's Falls
Monday Morning Gloom
Mercenary Man

On their third album, King Richard's Collectibles, The Asteroid No.4 play a combination of classic pop and psychedelia that brings to mind bands like Ride, Beachwood Sparks, and even a more low key Dandy Warhols. While King Richard's Collectibles is an interesting album, it fails to really get under my skin, unlike the similar inclined Cotton Mather album, The Big Picture (reviewed elsewhere) Not only aren't the songs quite as good but neither is the production, which is decidedly basic. For whatever reason, the songs just don't connect the way they should. However, there's no doubt the band have potential, seeing as they all appear quite young in the photos and this is already their third album.