Stop the Future (Fat Wreck Chords)
ROXY EPOXY LEADS HER ARMY OF ELECTRICAL-TAPE-WEARING COMRADES IN A NEW WAVE THROWDOWN. SOUNDS EXCITING, HUH? IT AIN'T.Yodeling was never considered sexy until it came out of Roxy Epoxy's lips. Sure, Adam Ant tried, but it wasn't perfected until it was mixed with Roxy's pigtails, her black-tape costumes reminiscent of the Fifth Element, and her electrically possessed live stage energy. Unfortunately, the radioactive power from Portland's Epoxies' live performances doesn't fully explode in the recordings. Stop the Future is their first release on the Fat Wreck Chords label, and this time they're not so reliant upon yodeling (with the exception of the catchy track "No Interest," which has plenty of addictive "oh oh ah oh"s).
In many respects, this is the same old stuff. "Synthesized" is a rehashing of the same track heard on the Epoxies' debut EP under the name "Synthesised," while "It's You" sounds a lot like "You" from their self-titled first album. These songs do have heavier guitar riffs, but that's about all they have besides the same future and space-themed lyrics packaged in short bursts of synthesized rhythms. Yet Stop the Future proves the Epoxies as catchy and bright as ever. Sometimes it takes time for their New Wave punk style to sink in, but beware: The songs can stay in your head for days. The Epoxies could branch out from their current path and give us longer songs with better lyrics that blow up in a giant apex of radiant energy, but that just wouldn't fit their mold. They save the furious blasts for the live performances, and maybe that's where the verve should be kept. (Autumn DePoe)
THE SIDE PROJECT OF THE DEFTONES' FRONTMAN COULD HAVE BEEN SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, BUT SOMEBODY IS TOO AFRAID TO SHOW HIS SENSITIVE SIDE.
Chino Moreno, frontman of hard-rock outfit the Deftones, has a beautiful and unconventional voice. He also has a knack for melody that is unmatched by his screaming peers, and a gift for otherworldly songwriting that flirts with genius on a regular basis. Team Sleep was supposed to be the project that helped him prove that, giving the singer the freedom to make music unhindered by the masculine posturing of metal. But Chino Moreno is scared of looking like a pussy.
Leaked demo versions of Team Sleep songs got a lukewarm reception from Deftones fans, so Moreno, by his own admission, made Team Sleep "harder" and muddled the music with countless special guests. He sings only intermittently on the self-titled debut album, enlisting the help of Pinback's Rob Crowe to take care of the sissy parts. To top off the disappointment, Moreno's songwriting often takes a back seat to wacky electronic noise and weed-fueled, outdated drum loops. Torturously, there are glimpses of the project's potential. On "Ever," Moreno sings with the delicate power of a waking lion. Simple, subdued breakbeats roll lazily while bursts of distorted guitar punctuate his vocal delivery. "11/11" is flooring, wrapping up the album with spiraling, bright guitars and round-style vocals from Moreno and Crowe. But those highlights can't help Team Sleep from being an inconsistent mess of electro-prog songs that sound like the Deftones with their trademark balls cut off.
It's got to be tiring having to act "hard" all the time, but Moreno keeps doing it. Hopefully, for his own sanity, the gifted musician is sitting alone in a hotel room somewhere, unguarded, playing some of the most beautiful songs that you will never hear. (Casey Jarman)
The Epoxies play with Telephone and the Observers Saturday, May 14, at Sabala's at Mount Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 238-1646. 9:30 pm. Cover. 21+.