erasing clouds

TonyDoug's CD Reviews: Jus Allah, The Living Blue, The Village Green

by tonydoug wright

Jus Allah, All Fates Have Changed (Babygrande, 2005)

THE ARTIST: Jus Allah featuring Evil Dead, The GZA/Genius of Wu-Tang, Bomshot, Shabazz the Disciple, Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian, Agallah "The Don Bishop" and Chief Kamanchi

THE HISTORY: Jus Allah is a former member of Jedi Mind Tricks.

THE REVIEW: Jus Allah's album All Fates Have Changed is a violent and expletive-laden release that is all about shock value rather than production value. There is no love for Jus Allah's enemies because on the first track 'This Is For Y'all' he tells them "I hope your son is retarded and I hope you daughter is bucked-toothed. Hope your mom is hit by a truck too". Cold as ice, dude. Cold as ice. From there Jus Allah continues with his rhymes that show no mercy for anyone. Every person regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation is in Jus Allah's crosshairs and he refuses to back down with his violent and hate-filled material.

With a release like All Fates Have Changed you have to wonder if Jus Allah is an artist who is using hate and violence as a way to get more notoriety or is he someone trying to tap into the mindset of criminals?

THE BOTTOM LINE: A hip-hop horror album filled with tales of death and destruction. No sunshine and rainbows here.


The Living Blue, Fire, Blood, Water (Minty Fresh, 2005)

THE BAND: Joe Prokop, Andrew Davidson, Mark Schroder and Stephen Ucherk

THE HISTORY: Formerly known as the Bloody Knuckles and The Blackouts, this Illinois quartet found success by having their songs featured on the WB show One Tree Hill and on the radio program Little Steven's Underground Garage.

THE REVIEW: The cover of the album Fire, Blood, Water features all four members of The Living Blue standing inside and outside of an abandoned house. Lead singer Stephen Ucherk stands in the foreground with a red shirt that was attacked either by moths or a pair of scissors while a band members stands in the background glaring at Ucherk with eyes that ever so slightly say "You had to wear that God damn red shirt". But a fashion faux pas of that magnitude can be forgiven after a few listens to Fire, Blood, Water.

The Living Blue can be placed into the same musical category with the likes of Jet and The Strokes. Call it what you want (garage rock, modern rock, etc) but Fire, Blood, Water is an impressive effort with some remarkable tracks like 'Greenthumb' and 'State of Affairs'. The Living Blue is one of those bands that seem to have ingested the right amount of indie rock because these guys have something very good going on.

THE BOTTOM LINE: This album will do well and with their earnings the band can buy the lead singer a new shirt.


The Village Green, The Village Green EP, 2005

THE BAND: J. Nicholas Allard, Dave Depper, Nathan Junior and Jeremy Sherrer

THE HISTORY:The Village Green is a power-pop band from Portland, OR.

THE REVIEW: It's common knowledge that if an indie rock band is influenced by the music of the 1960s then there is a really good chance that they will sound something like The Beach Boys, The Kinks or The Velvet Underground. So The Village Green took their name from The Kinks album The Village Green Preservation Society but they are not a copycat band that continuously pumps out Kinks-inspired tunes. Instead, The Village Green has brought forth an impressive EP of six hip-shakin' tracks that definitely has the retro 1960s sound mixed with a modern feel. You can't go wrong with tracks like 'Get Up, Get Out, Get High' and 'Under The Covers'. The Village Green has delivered a good EP now let's see if they can deliver with a solid full-length album.

THE BOTTOM LINE:My boss did not complain when I played this CD at work so they must be good or my boss is going deaf.


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