Volume 94, Issue 67

Tuesday, January 23, 2001


This is a Gift worth unwrapping

Penn's The Pledge breaks its promise

Disc of the Week

Gondoliers a whole lotta singing

Soundtrack a solid sampler - Six Feet Under sure does suck

Soundtrack a solid sampler - Six Feet Under sure does suck

Various Artists
You Can Count On Me Soundtrack
E Squared/Artemis

The days of soundtracks containing music that is related to the films they are compiled for, seem to be a thing of the past.

Instead, it is much more likely to find soundtrack albums that are merely a collection of tracks by hot performers or samplers for a particular label's rosters, as a way to give the artists some exposure. You Can Count On Me falls into this second category. The album is entirely made up of previously released selections by artists who are signed to alternative-country maven Steve Earle's label.

The record is dominated by Earle himself, with five of the record's 12 cuts being drawn from his collaboration with The Del McCoury Band in the 1999 bluegrass album, The Mountain. The best of these is his duet with Iris DeMent, "I'm Still In Love With You," which is a lovely waltz time number.

As for the rest of the contributors, Cheri Knight is wonderful on the acidic "White Lies," and newcomer Bap Kennedy weighs in with the sorrowful "Vampire." The now-defunct V-roys rock with serious abandon on three tracks, most notably during the paranoid blues charge "Strange."

Elsewhere, 6 String Drag provides the album's only real let-down, while Marah, currently the world's best rock and roll band, add the undisputed highlight. "Faraway You," from their brilliant album, Kids In Philly, is a stunning, rollicking banjo-and-harmonica-showcasing number that is utterly infectious.

As a companion to the film, You Can Count On Me may not live up to its job description, but as a collection of great music, it succeeds quite handily.

–Aaron St. John

Six Feet Under
Graveyard Classics
Metal Blade Records

The utmost amount of sympathy goes out to the drummer, guitar player and bassist for Six Feet Under, for they have to put up with vocalist Chris Barnes on a daily basis.

Barnes, once the growler for Cannibal Corpse, is able to accomplish the impressive feat of single-handedly ruining what could have been a nifty collection of tunes. Athough Graveyard Classics is nothing more than a cover album, the playing is inspired and effective. However, the predictable nature of the selections covered ("Sweet Leaf," "Purple Haze," "Smoke On The Water") is only one of the main problems.

The other problem lies in the fact that the aformentioned Barnes somehow fails to realize that while the death metal growl is fun in moderation, using the exact same bark on each track becomes monotonous. It quickly becomes apparent that this record is not only boring, but downright embarassing. AC/DC's "TNT" is morphed into an outright mess, the Sex Pistols' "Stepping Stone" loses the nihilistic fury the original version possesses, and the Scorpions' "Blackout" simply elicits laughter.

It is releases like this one that pigeon-hole metal music into the "pure shit" category.

–David Perri

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Copyright The Gazette 2000