November, 2004       



JERSEY BEAT, Fall, 2004

LAST BURNING EMBERS - Lessons in Redemption (Big Takeover/Pink Frost Records, 249 Eldridge St. #14 NY, NY 10002)

Featuring indie magazine icon Jack Rabid on drums, Last Burning Embers needs no hype about credibility.  Rabid's ageless Big Takeover fanzine is only one of the band's many achievements; bassist Tom Burke did time in Slambook, while vocalist and guitarist Dave Burokas teaches music and Latin, of all things.  With such a diverse and creative combination of personalities and talents, it is no surprise that  Lessons in Redemption is such a multilayered release.  While some tracks have a tangible punk influence ("Distress Call" being among the best), others are stunningly passionate in their ethereal beauty, most noticeably the piano-accented "Someone I Used to Know." The band also includes a rare cover in the form of The Wipers' "Nothing Left To Lose". They take this song and do what any truly skilled band does with someone else's material: they alter it enough to breathe new life into the track without completely abandoning what made the song so great in the first place. There is a tangible nod toward late 80's/ early 90's guitar rock, long before "alternative" even entered the lexicon of mainstream thinking and was truly a fitting adjective for music being created by otherwise under-appreciated outcasts. The guys understand that melody and the occasional textured harmony can bolster the sound of a record from good to really memorable and they achieve that throughout the disc.  For proof, just listen to "Charmed Existence" or the personally gripping "Open Letter".  Last Burning Embers are for those who like it when punk bands remember the importance of rock. - Rich Quinlan





         November, 2004


We love music here at the IRT, perhaps more than most. But it¹s safe to say there have been more than a few occasions where we¹ve been caught dozin¹ on dope sounds. Here are a few albums from this past year that flew by right under our noses while we were compiling our Top 25 of 2004 that could¹ve easily knocked some of our choicest titles right out of contention. And while we will easily admit turning an unjustified deaf ear on these amazing releases upon their initial street dates, there is no excuse for our more prolific competitors who left these albums to rot away in their throwaway bins. ­Ed.
1. BETA BAND Heroes To Zeroes (Astralwerks)
2. FREE MORAL AGENTS Everybody¹s Favorite Weapon (GSL)
3. SWEETBACK Stage 2 (Epic)
4. GONGA Gonga (Tee Pee Records)
5. LAST BURNING EMBERS Lessons in Redemption (Pink Frost)
If there is anything that the artistic musings of Lester Bangs and Benzino has taught you people, it¹s that one should steer way clear of an album created by someone in the magazine industry. But the official CD release of NYC¹s Last Burning Embers, which features Big Takeover publisher Jack Rabid on the drum kit, is quite the contrary. Lessons in Redemption is an engaging fusion of Ride-style shoegazer pop and Mission of Burma-esque post punk fury that was ranks amongst New York¹s most sorely overlooked gems of 2004 while all you hipsters drooled over that gay-ass Scissors Sisters album. (Personal note to Jack Rabid: Thanks for turning me on to For Against, man! -ed.)

6. CONNIE PRICE AND THE KEYSTONES Wildflowers (Now Again-Stones Throw)
7. SHOCK-G Fear of a Mixed Planet (33rd Street)
9. BLOCKHEAD Music by Cavelight (Ninja Tune)
10. GLENN JONES This Is The Wind That Blows It Out (Strange Attractors) 

   March 2005

DAGGER, April 10, 2005

December 30, 2004


By Sean Palmerston

No doubt about it, 2004 has been a great year for music.  There have been a number of breakthrough groups—
including Scotland’s Franz Ferdinand and Montreal’s The Arcade Fire—that have received an obscene
amount of attention in the past 12 months. So instead of preaching the gospel once again, let’s look back at
some of the past year’s overlooked albums that deserve mention. Some of these are way off the mainstream map,
others just fell through the cracks, but all of them are definitely worth tracking down...

...New York zinester Jack Rabid has been documenting that city’s underground music scene in his own
publication, The Big Takeover, for more than 25 years.  Not only is he an avid music enthusiast, he’s also a
damn good drummer to boot. Over the years he has played backstop for a number of different bands; his
most recent outfit to release an album is the post–punk trio Last Burning Embers. Their album, Lessons In
Redemption, released recently on Pink Frost/Big Takeover Records, brings to mind another great post–
punk trio, The Wipers, who they pay the ultimate tribute to by recording a version of their “Nothing Left To Lose.”
If you’ve ever seen the zine and enjoyed it, you should give this a spin too.

      Webmaster/ Pyrotechnician