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Courtney Love – America’s Sweetheart (Rock): With a history that extends beyond the years of most listeners, she is an artist with a story to tell. Making her musical debut in 1994 with the group Hole, she became most famous for her marriage to grunge alternative legend Kurt Cobain. However, when he committed suicide in 1994 Courtney Love was forced to make a stance of her own and that she did, releasing some of the most emotionally charged rock music of the time.

Her long awaited and eagerly anticipated solo debut is finally here. After a six-year hiatus Love's "America's Sweetheart" brings the same raw rock that listeners fell in love with from Hole. Again writing her own music, with minor assistance from 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry, whose lyricism is rapidly becoming legendary, the tracks are filled with Love's characteristic angst. However, this time the songs are telling us a little more, and opening a window into life on the edge in Los Angeles. From "All the drugs" and "Sunset Strip" we are given a chance to understand the, as of yet unshared, secrets of the troubled life of Courtney Love.

This disc receives my highest ranking, it has been recommended to my friends and family and now I am recommending it to you. If you ever wanted to know what real unabridged rock was, here is your chance. And of course if you were ever a Hole fan then you probably already own this CD and agree that it could be one of the best of 2004.

Track Listing:
01. Mono
02. But Julian, I’m a Little Older Than You
03. Hold On To Me
04. Sunset Strip
05. All The Drugs
06. Almost Golden
07. I’ll Do Anything
08. Uncool
09. Life Despite God
10. Hello
11. Zeplin Song
12. Never Gonna Be The Same

Review By: Melissa B.

!!!: Louden Up Now (Punk-Funk) “And you can tell the President to suck my fucking dick. Does that sound intelligent? Like I give a fu*king frick”.Chatting to Skrufff recently !!! guitarist Mario Andreone admitted the 7 piece punk-funk pioneers now wished they’d named checked President Reagan on their reactionary latest single Pardon My Freedom, though any band that can rhyme dick with ‘frick’ is clearly already aware that the devil’s in the detail.

And it’s the detail, or rather the 10 songs included here, which will carry them beyond being ‘the trendiest of New York hipsters’ (NME) after a year in which they’ve already effortlessly surpassed erstwhile contemporaries like DFA and The Rapture.

Essentially a collection of loosely structured jam-style punk-funk workouts, the record is both surprisingly listenable as well as cheerfully upbeat, its serious political messages offset with humour and intelligence that compares favourably with the wit of their spiritual 80s forefathers; namely Talking Heads and original agit-pop provocateurs Gang Of Four.

Breakthrough single Me and Giuliani Down By The School Yard remains a highlight as does live favourite Shitscheissemerde though the whole album trundles along happily, reflecting the band’s chemistry which they’ve clearly now got hold of.

Another reason !!! are set for great things is the sheer brilliance of their live shows (all 7 players are superb musicians as well as clearly great mates) and while Louden Up Now doesn’t quite capture that magic, it’s nevertheless a worthy musical snap shot of a band clearly going places. Louden Up Now is out now on Warp.

Genre: Punk-funk

Rating: 7/10


Track listing:

01. When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Crazee
02. Pardon My Freedom
03. Dear Can
04. The Kings Weed
05. Hello, Is This Thing On?
06. Shit Scheisse
07. Merde pt. 2
08. Me and Giuliani Down By The School Yard
09. Space Island
10. Shitscheissemerde

Review by: Jonty Skrufff (

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