M-Boogie
V
Ill Boogie Records
Although MCs usually get the credit for coming out with a new cut, it’s actually the DJ and/or producer who is responsible for making us move. Producers are starting to receive more attention, and hip-hop artists around the world seek people like Dan The Automator, The Alchemist, and DJ Premier to produce their hits. Another producer who’s been diggin’ in the crates for over five years is finally starting to emerge as one of the most talented beatmakers in the game. M-Boogie is the man behind Ill Boogie Records-an independent label he established in 1996. M-Boogie is yet another example of the unbelievable flood of talent that has come out of the West to dispel the notion that L.A. was just about pimps and thugs, Crips and Bloods. Now M-Boogie is continuing the progression with the help of artists like Planet Asia, Rasco, and DJ Revolution. Ill Boogie Records’ latest release, V, is a collection of greatest hits over the last five years. The twelve-inch singles on this record are now available in convenient VD format for those of us who can’t afford the 1200s just yet. Highlights include Mykill Meirs and Freddie Foxxx’s “Wanna Be An MC” and Akbar’s “Hip-Hop Is” off his new album Big Bang Boogie. All these songs are filled with certified head-nodders and rhymes to ponder for days. Check ‘em out.-Larry Nu§ez

Pinback
Blue Screen Life
Ace Fu Records
San Diego’s Pinback is creeping out of West Coast indie circles and into a realm of sorta-fame with appearances on the soundtrack of Mike Hatchett’s new movie Optigrab and the TransWorld SKATEboarding’s Videoradio. Not to mention that the band enjoyed the number-one spot on the Top Ten Albums Of The Week stack last time I was down at Lou’s, our local record store. Pinback is mainly comprised of Armisted Burwell Smith IV from Three Mile Pilot and Rob Crow, with several other ambient rockers rotating in and out of the lineup. The result-muted shades of rock sound with both Beatles-esque and indie-electronica moments. Check this record out for something calm, limitless, and completely deserving of all the recognition it has received.-J.S.

Fugazi
The Argument
Dischord Records
When I get a new record, I usually pick a couple of songs and listen to them constantly-pushing buttons like a maniac to skip through all of the tracks between, say, two and eleven. Eventually, I get sick of these two and will listen to the rest of the CD again. It generally stinks, and I’ll just put on the shelf until I feel like listening to those two particular songs again. But in the case of this new Fugazi album, it may as well be all one song. Jump to any track, because the whole thing is great. If you like Fugazi, or just wish you had the foresight to like them before, you should go out and buy The Argument immediately. Don’t like Fugazi for some reason? You should still give it a shot. If you buy it and don’t like it-just blame me. You can tell all of your friends I made you waste your money. But that definitely won’t happen.-Chris Owen

Scissorfight
Mantrapping For Sport And Profit
Tortuga Records
From deep in the bowels of New England come redneck-rockers Scissorfight. The band’s name just about says it all. These good ol’ New Hampshire boys make Sabbath look like a bunch of little girls. Their fourth and latest album, Mantrapping For Sport And Profit, is an ass-kicking ensemble about fighting, rats, Yankees, and Granite State destruction. The first few songs get the energy flowing-especially “Acid For Blood” and “Rat USA.” Then it rolls into more catchy melodies that make you want to punch your dog. Every song on Mantrapping is a surge of hard-rocking, incestuous metal that will give your mom an ulcer. But if you listen to the words closely, you might just learn a little bit about New England. TransWorld’s very own Joel Muzzey used to play drums for Scissorfight, but he got kicked out for being “unreliable and unpredictable.”-Hly Anderson

Death Cab For Cutie
The Photo Album
Barsuk Records
What’s a death cab? And who’s Cutie? I really couldn’t say. What I do know is that DCFC is a band from the Pacific Northwest-Bellingham, Washington to be exact-with a unique method of rocking out that is both quiet and meaningful. I probably wouldn’t crank The Photo Album around the office for fear of being insulted with words like “sensitive” and “emotional,” but I completely defend this record as mellow and all things not Slayer while still being completely good. It combines the fragmented dissonance of The Dismemberment Plan with the lyrical sensitivity of Belle And Sebastian for a completely rare orchestration of indie pop. If comparing Death Cab to a couple groups you may or may not have heard of doesn’t do it for you, the music will-I mean it.-J.S.

The Coup
Party Music
75 Ark Records
The original art on this hip-hop record showed The Coup members-Boots Riley (the son of a Black Panther party lawyer) and DJ Pam The Funkstress-blowing up the World Trade Center. For obvious reasons, it was changed at the last minute. Nevertheless, that image pretty well sums up their anti male-corporate-white-oppressor stance. I first heard this group during Tarquin Robbins’ part in the 1992 video Big Jean Fantasy. I went out and bought Kill My Landlord, playing it over and over-even though I knew my white ass was “part of the problem.” Nine years later, Party Music is just as great, dropping bombs on global capitalism while other rappers rhyme about hos and limos. Buy this album-you’ll be twelve bucks closer to fighting the power.-J.S.

Cruevo/Brainoil
Split CD
Boredom Noise/Berserker Records
There’s nothing better than a grotesque, brutal fugue to separate real metal from the pile of perverse, melodic dogshit that clogs up my mailbox (since when do heavy bands have a keyboardist?). This split disc featuring two of the Bay Area’s most commanding underground bands, Cruevo and Brainoil, blasts like a sawed-off bazooka. Cruevo cranks out thundering, dense sludge-the perfect soundtrack for a train wreck. The sound of Brainoil is like an M-80 explosion-a sloppy, hot, splattered mess. Musicianship and delivery from both bands is solid-look for these guys at a rock club near you.-J.M.

Vulgar Pigeons
Summary Execution
Deathvomit Records
It takes a torture-trained ear to hear the fine-line sounds that distinguish grind ‘core from death metal-but who cares? If you’ve got nothing left to lose and feed off ultra-ferocious, sickening noise, Vulgar Pigeons will break your bones and burn you alive-finally ending your meaningless existence. It seems that the scene in San Francisco’s Bay Area is setting the standard ever lower for extreme aggression. Once the filthy Vulgar Pigeons descend from above, nothing can stop them from pecking your eyes out.-J.M.

Repeat Offender: Eazy! Enough said.

Eazy-EEazy-Duz-ItPriority/Ruthless Records“Easily I approach/ the microphone, because I ain’t no joke/ tell your momma to get off of my tip/ I have no time to give her my d-k.” Oh Eazy, how I miss you. This debut album from N.W.A.-frontman Eric “Eazy-E” Wright is nothing short of perfection. Previous to N.W.A., most hip-hop was pretty tame. The occasional gun, weed, or sex reference-but nothing that was going to piss your parents off too badly. Enter Eazy-E, with lyrical content so graphic we can’t even talk about it in the pages of this magazine. “Boyz-N-The-Hood” is the original story rhyme that had us all believing firefights, 40s, and ’64 Impalas were par for the course in the daily life of a gangsta. Nowadays, everyone from Li’l Bow Wow to Mariah Carey is singing about the same stuff, but they wouldn’t be able to pull it off if it weren’t for Eazy paving the way. With rhymes that are pure genius over beats that will still make your head bob, as well as cameos by Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and Ice Cube, you can’t go wrong. Now go out and buy a Raiders hat, some locs, this CD, and rock the lot.-Chris CoyleZ

The Chad Otterstrom Collection
Top Five Bands Of All Time:
1. Steve Miller Band
2. 36 Chambers
3. Nas
4. Johnny Cash
5. DMX
xIn His Stereo Now:
1. Nelly Furtado
2. Moby
3. Snoop Dogg
4. Method Man
5. DMX
some locs, this CD, and rock the lot.-Chris CoyleZ

The Chad Otterstrom Collection
Top Five Bands Of All Time:
1. Steve Miller Band
2. 36 Chambers
3. Nas
4. Johnny Cash
5. DMX
xIn His Stereo Now:
1. Nelly Furtado
2. Moby
3. Snoop Dogg
4. Method Man
5. DMX