Title:High As Hell
Band:Nashville Pussy
Label:TVT Records
Festival Records
Highlights:Struttin' Cock
She?s Got The Drugs
Wrong Side Of A Gun
High As Hell
Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand the appeal of Nashville Pussy. The back cover says it all; sex, drugs and ass kicking rock 'n' roll! I mean they even manage to rhyme cock with rock in the first song, Struttin' Cock. The sound on High As Hell is big, dumb and loud, which perfectly suits the band's ball busting, fist pumping anthems. In fact, High As hell could well be the finest AC/DC album in the last twenty years. And whilst this might not sound like anything particularly interesting, High As Hell actually works because Nashville Pussy know that rock 'n' roll is not always supposed to be taken seriously and they play their role to perfection.

Title:Scared Straight
Album:New Bomb Turks
Label:Epitaph Records (America)
Highlights:Bachelors High
Professional Againster
Look Alive Jive
Telephone Numbrrr
Wrest Your Hands

The New Bomb Turks aren't your average Epitaph skate-punk band. These guys actually know how to rock and roll, something it seems most American bands have forgotten how to do. They sound strongly influenced by such bands as Iggy & The Stooges, The Saints, The Ramones and the Monomen. Scared Straight, the bands debut for Epitaph, is actually a collection of demos that the band hadn't planned to release in this form but really the songs are that good that there is no way that you would really know. Powerful arrangements matched with intelligent lyrics and the bands willingness to use additional instruments such as pianos, synthesisers and horns all help give the New Bomb Turks an edge over many of their contemporaries. Highlights include Professional Againster, Look Alive Jive, Telephone Numbrrr and Wrest Your Hands. Scared Straight ranks the New Bomb Turks as one of the best punk rock bands currently going around.

Title:Born Out Of Time
Band:The New Christs
Label:Lance Rock Records
Highlights:Circus Of Sour
No Next Time
Like A Curse
Another Curse

Quite simply, you should own everything that The New Christs have ever released. Failing that, this compilation is the next best thing. Best viewed as an introduction to the band, Born Out Of Time contains the band's first two classic 7 Inch singles (Born Out Of Time b/w No Next Time and Like A Curse b/w Sun God) as well as almost all of their equally brilliant first album, Distemper. Musically, this compilation is indispensable. Every song is a highlight. The playing throughout is nothing short of enthralling while lead singer Rob Younger sings with real emotion and passion without ever overdoing it. The liner notes by Frank "Oz" Mills are also excellent and give a good overview of the history of the band.

Title:Lower Yourself
Band:The New Christs
Label:Citadel Records
Highlights:We Have Landed
Annalise I Come Cheap

Nearly 20 years after forming the New Christs, Rob Younger is still making the same dark, uncompromising and compelling music that he has become renown for. Over the years he may have mellowed just an inch but he remains as intense as ever. Lower Yourself is only the New Christs second full length album (not including compilations) and like with every New Christs record, Younger has assembled an experienced and dynamic line-up to help realise his resolute vision of rock 'n' roll. In particular, guitarist Mark Wilkinson's playing is excellent and is complemented well by bassist Christian Houllermare and drummer Peter Kelly. Highlights include the straight ahead Detroit sounds of We Have Landed and When while Asphalt is particularly dark and intense. It is also worth adding that the sound on Lower Yourself is excellent, although noticeably more produced than previous releases. Listening to this record is like lowering yourself into the dark depths of Rob Younger's soul. Be prepared.

Title:Darkside Of The Spoon
Band:The Nitwitz
Label:Get Hip Records
Highlights:Landmine Heart
Bad Chemistry

I first heard about The Nitwitz through guitarist Tony Slug's and bassist Thumpin' Theo's involvement in The Hydromatics; one of my favourite bands. Dark Side Of The Spoon is the band's comeback album as it turns out that The Nitwitz formed way back in 1978. Unfortunately I find this album to be a disappointment as not only is it a touch too hardcore for my liking but I also have to admit that I was expecting something a little more rock 'n' roll, especially knowing what Tony Slug is capable of. However, when The Nitwitz do decide to play straight ahead rock 'n' roll, such as in songs like Landmine Heart, Bad Chemistry and N.V.S., the results are impressive. I just wish that there were more songs in this vein instead of the more hardcore tracks like Fruitcakes and Superslob , which are pretty unpleasant and displeasing. Despite all this, one has to conclude that Dark Side Of The Moon still is an impressive album due to its uncompromising nature and powerful sound. It is sure to appeal to lovers of hard hitting punk rock or as The Nitwitz say, the mean spirit of downstroke-only chainsaw slug rock.

Band:The Knack
Label:Rhino Records
Highlights:Pop Is Dead
Love Is All There Is
You Gotta Be There

I know it sounds corny but the Knack are back with their latest album, Zoom, which contains fourteen new recordings. Opening with the energetic, effervescent and tongue in cheek Pop Is Dead, Zoom is nothing but classic power pop, full of memorable songs and catchy melodies. Other highlights include Can I Borrow A Kiss (with the great lyrics "Can I borrow a kiss/No cost incurred/And I'll pay you back with interest/If you'll only say the word"), the Who-like power chords of Ambition, the beautiful You Gotta Be There and the rockin' upbeat Tomorrow. Along with contemporaries The Rubinoos and The Plimsouls, The Knack prove it is possible to make a credible comeback after all these years. Zoom is a great album that sees the band taking a slightly more mature and less serious attitude than on their original albums and should win them back many new fans.