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Reviews in chronological order of publishing top to bottom

Katie Pearlman Band - Dreaming Again
Soul/Rock/Jam Band

Katie Pearlman gets four out of five skulls for her debut solo album Dreaming Again.
Katie's lyrics are straightforward and waste no time getting to the heart of any situation, whether its keeping dreams alive or reaching out to a parent. Dreaming Again plays like a road map of Katie's life, every Singer/Songwriter should aim for that and Ms. Pearlman has hit the target dead center.

Standout tracks that held my ear just a little longer include "Listening To You", "Little Demons", "Holding On", and "Don't Let Them Go". The honesty of the songs pull you in and take you back through your own life experiences with a new appreciation.
And Katie's band keeps the sound rolling without a hitting a bump, Katie on vocals, drums, and acoustic guitar; husband Jeff on keys and backing vocals; Tom Bowler on bass; and Ken Teich on electric guitar make quite a team.

Definately some of indie/folk's finest!

If Katie and her band keep their sound as tight live as in the studio then I truly look forward to seeing them play out.

For a listen stop over to The Katie Pearlman Band's myspace page: www.myspace.com/katiepearlmanmusic

- Michael Meade

Suns of Freedom - DEMOLISTEN
NorthEastsector Records
"Mommy! The box says Suns of Freedom but it tastes like refried Metallica!"
In this case though, "refried Metallica" is a compliment because the Metallica flavor you get in their sound is what made the good stuff in Metallica's library good. Suns of Freedom's lyrics are all their own thankfully, straight too; no overthought, drawn out similies, just hard rock and belted lyrics. "DEMOLISTEN" contains four tracks: "Demand More", "Cut Loose", "Weekend Warrior", and "Scream Bloody Murder". Out of the four "Scream Bloody Murder" is probably my favorite.
Bear in mind that's the four tracks on the demo, I like the newer songs they have up on their myspace page right now a little better.
Suns of Freedom your demo DEMOLISTEN gets three out of five skulls.
Check out www.sunsoffreedom.com and www.myspace.com/sunsoffreedom to listen for yourselves and get dates the Brooklyn based quartet of Shawno - bass, Big Dirty Willis - drums, Refugee - vox, and Chris9 - guitars are playing.
- Michael Meade

Scenic Route - City on Fire
"Hard Rock, Guitar Solos, Jack Daniel's and Beer." The opening line of the press letter Scenic Route sent to us, along with City on Fire, really says all there is to say about Scenic Route's ass-kicking debut album better than I could.
The guitars are hard as steel, just like they should be, drums have a real presence too. Bass could be a little more in your face, but that's personal bias from a would-be bass player. Vocals are hard and gritty making as much of the band's attitude as the guitars do, Bremner's voice is remeniscent of Godsmack's Sully Erna, which adds much to Scenic Route's badass sound.
Scenic Route's City on Fire gets a solid four outta five skulls. "Stand Alone", "Sipapu", and "UniversalSwitch" are tracks I recommend.
The four piece based outside Chicago is Jeremy Bremner on rhythm guitar and vocals, Ryan Distel on bass, Mike Anderson on lead guitar, and Pete Marx on drums.
- Michael Meade

Odd Zero
Odd Zero Records
There are two ways to look at Odd Zero, their sound is either metal tainted punk or punk tainted metal... whichever way you cut it though, Odd Zero is pretty damn good. There's more than a little Black Flag to their pacing and arrangements on some tracks but it's fully forgivable.
Odd Zero has solid beats, solid guitars, a heavy bass, hard and fast vocals, and party lyrics with some depth. This is ending up a short review but these guys are turning into a new favorite of mine. Dig "Libido Suicide", "Sleep Deprived", "The Likes of You", and "Karma Boomerang". Unfortunately only "Libido Suicide" is still on their myspace out my favorites, give "Dirty Electricity" a listen while at their myspace though; good song.

Definately a band I recommend checking out, Odd Zero gets a full five out of five!
Odd Zero is a four man punk/metal band out of New York City featuring Mike Friedman on vocals, Tay Malloy on bass, Milton Hernandez on drums, and Mike Fujii on guitars.
You can check out Odd Zero at www.myspace.com/oddzerony to listen and enjoy for yourselves.
- Michael Meade

Astronaut Academy
Astronaut Academy's self-titled album is a jammin' listen, hard rock to grunge to some party riffs they deliver, and head bobbing drum beats come at no extra charge with every song.
A little melancholy finds its way onto this CD in "Back To Then", but certainly not enough to call it "emo" thankfully; in fact just enough to make you aware of its presence but not bring you down past the end of the track.
"American Values" and "Monkey Man 956" are this writer's picks for favorite tracks. "American Values" for its punk edged lyrics and "Monkey Man 956" for... well really I just liked the name when I saw it on the track list, and it turned out to be a good song with a hard sound.
All in all Astronaut Academy gets three out of five for their self-titled album.
But as always check them out at www.myspace.com/astronautacademy and judge for yourselves.
Astronaut Academy is Jeff Dunham on guitar, bass, vocals, and writing detail; and Darin Kuntupis on drums. Joining them live are D. Troy Castro on guitar and backing vocals, and John Stone on drums.
- Michael Meade

The Laysan Rail - Dearest Regrets
The Momentum Label
If Dearest Regrets is any indication of The Laysan Rail's (formerly The Specs) musical talent then they deserve their list of accomplishments; including being named Alternative Press' Unsigned Band of the Month in November of 2006, and sharing he stage with Flogging Molly and The Rx Bandits among others.
Dearest Regrets is ten tracks of powerful vocals, tight hooks, hard riffs, and keys that actually sound good; and even more astonishing is that they add to the compositions rather than just trying to sound cool. Screaming is kept to where it serves the emotion of the song instead of a singer's desire to project a hardcore or emo image of themselves.
Bottom Line: The Laysan Rail delivers. I can listen to Dearest Regrets straight through without skipping to my favorite tracks!
Said favorites include "Sirens", "Third Rule In A Crisis Situation", "Note To Self", and "A Scam For All Seasons".
The Laysan Rail's Dearest Regrets gets a well deserved four and a half out of five.
The Laysan Rail is William Disana on vocals, Jared Laskin on keys and guitar, Mike Pisano on bass and vocals, Pail Pisano on guitar, and Anthony DeCarlo on drums.
Check them out at www.thelaysanrail.com and on myspace at www.myspace.com/thelaysanrail.
- Michael Meade

Holding Higher
I saw Holding Higher a few weeks ago play NEPA Original Music's Original Night at Lippy's Extreme Sports Bar in Marshall's Creek PA and their merch guy was decent enough to throw me a demo. Keep that in mind while reading what I'm about to say: SEE THEM LIVE!
The demo is solid though they were much better live, but I digress, Holding Higher's four track demo is definately worth picking up at one of their shows; tracks are all original and include "The Game", "Blurred and Shaky", "Too Far Gone", and "Fall".
"The Game" and "Fall" are the best tracks, "The Game" is a great "go to hell" song for any pissed off occasion. And "Fall" takes you on a bittersweet jaunt through memories of lost love new or old, while managing to keep the sweet nostalgia outweighing the bitter.
Holding Higher's self-titled demo gets three out of five, as I said see them live to be really impressed, their presence is stronger on stage; that's strictly going by the demo. I'm looking forward to more live performances.
Holding Higher is Christopher Lee on vocals, Kyle Pett on lead guitar, Logan Post on rhythm guitar, Sean Bandle on drums, and Jeff Hasz on bass.
- Michael Meade

Chris Hludzik - Yours in Rock
Yours in Rock is an interesting mash up of indie rock themes from not living your life around an indecisive possible lover to the mental state of the planet's populace to insomnia. Chris's musical career has run alot of ground (performing, writing, engineering, mixing, and producing) explaining the album's diverse subject matter perfectly. But best of all, Chris's songs sound and feel like they were written from living life not just watching it pass by.
Yours in Rock is ten tracks of originality: "Live", "Leave It At Home", "Insomnia", "Negative Space", "Friend", "Sleep Forever", "Big Damn Deal", "What Good", "Grain of Sand", and "All Amped Up" respectively.
There is an underlying melancholic quality to most of the tracks, a very "tired of living, but the music keeps me going" feeling even in the rather funny "Insomnia". Which incidently is my favorite track being a regular sufferer of the sleep disorder; along with the added bonus of my good friend Sarah Yzkanin, of Dealer in Wares, singing harmony.
"What Good" is another track I enjoyed a good bit, an almost Reagen-Era punk level disgust with society.
Yours in Rock earns its three out of five with indie style that few others can match.
Yours in Rock was written, arranged, and produced by Chris Hludzik. Chris also pulled lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitars, bass, lead guitar, and keyboards on Yours in Rock.
Joined by Bryan Brophy on drums and percussion, Cyde Rosencrance on lead and rhythm guitars on "Live", "Insomnia", "Friend", and "Big Damn Deal", Sarah Yzkanin on harmony and backing vocals on "Insomnia" and "Big Damn Deal", Lenny Mecca on bass on "Grain of Sand" and "All Amped Up", Tom Borthwick on keys on "All Amped Up", and Chris Condel on drums and percussion on "All Amped Up".
Check Chris Hludzik out at www.myspace.com/chrishludzik.
- Michael Meade

Stasis - Lost in a Nightmare
Where should I begin? From Stasis' solid songwriting (all music by Stasis, lyrics by vocalist Julia Glenn, except "Until I Die" lyrics written by Damian Gessel), Jules' excellent vocals, Aaron's fast paced and intricate guitar work, Josh's always present and powerful basslines, and Sean's slamming drum beats are a good start I think.
But as I said in a joke to Jules, "now I have to compose my thoughts beyond 'they're awesome'".
Stasis has delivered everytime I've seen them live and this album is no different, but I knew they weren't a band that'd shell out anything less from the first time I saw them at East Stroudsburg University's Wessapalooza event hosted by their radio station 90.3 WESS.
Since that show Stasis has been one of my favorite bands on the local scene, live shows aside Lost in a Nightmare has only cemented their place on my favorite list.
Lost in a Nightmare is twelve tracks of excellence! From the first chord of the instrumental "Intro" to the last chord of "LBE" you're going to want to hit repeat all and listen all day!
Stasis gets five out of five for Lost in a Nightmare featuring "Intro", "The Life", "Outside In", "Counterfeit", "Your Eyes", "Relentless", "Promises", "Until I Die", "Lost in a Nightmare", "A Place Apart", "Lady Elaine", and "LBE".
Hard as it was to pick favorite tracks from a great set "The Life", "Outside In", "Counterfeit", "Relentless", and "LBE" all keep me rocking a little more; as I said it's hard for any of Stasis' songs to be considered above another.
And for a laugh listen to "LBE" until 3:52...
Once again Stasis is Julia Glenn on vocals, Sean Montross on drums, "Sexy" Josh Guerrero on bass, and Aaron Hallet on guitar. Stasis is based out of Bangor PA.
Check Stasis out on myspace at www.myspace.com/stasisrocks and www.stasisrocks.net for upcoming shows (which I highly recommend everyone get out to see them live), where you can pick up a copy of Lost in a Nightmare other than at a gig, and more!
- Michael Meade

Absolutely Perfect - Live To Be...
"Absolutely Perfect" may seem a presumptious name, but this Chi-Town band doesn't fall too far short from the mark. As promised AP delivers rock guitars, hip hop drums, heavy basslines, and melodic vocals.
Live To Be... is six tracks of diverse originality. AP mixes styles nicely, rock to hard rock with a ska melody on the bridge of "57", a metal beat and hard bass on "American Eyes", a little R&B and hip hop fusion on "Ca$h Flow"; funk, hip hop, and rock mix for "Tiger", and some alternative ballad style on Nova.
AP definately reminds us that diversity is a very good thing.
"57", "American Eyes", and "Nova" would be my choice tracks off Live To Be... but the whole thing gets a four out of five.
Absolutely Perfect is Tim on bass, Randy on vocals, Guy on guitar, and J on drums.
Check AP out for yourself on www.uareperfect.com and at www.myspace.com/absolutelyperfect.
 - Michael Meade

Skullshifter -  Inner Demons
BFD Records
Inner Demons is nine tracks of headbanging greatness! Tasty guitar riffs and tight drums aside, Nolz has written some of the best lyrics in metal, calling society out on it's lies and self-serving rationalizations, this side of Disturbed and Rage Against The Machine.
When we received Inner Demons I was expecting another run-of-the-mill metal band trying to scream their way to the top, but Skullshifter has proven me wrong. And I am damn glad they did!
Through all nine tracks Skullshifter keeps their guitars hot and hard, drums tighter than any dirty euphemism you can think of, and vocals hitting you like a ton of gravel. Basslines could be a little harder, but I'm a big fan of the heavy drop tuning that many goth, goth metal, and industrial bands use to achieve their super deep bass sound.
Other than that Skullshifter gets a well deserved four out of five for Inner Demons, with most of that score going to my choice songs; "The New Conspiracy", "Strain", "Breaking Point", and "Etched in Sand".
Skullshifter is Tom Nolz on guitar and vocals, Dan Davie on drums, CJ Scioscia on lead guitar, and J McCafery on bass.
Check Skullshifter out on www.skullshifter.com and on myspace at www.myspace.com/skullshifter for a calendar of gigs and to give them a listen for yourself.
- Michael Meade

Skullshifter - Here in Hell
BFD Records
A follow up in reverse, Skullshifter liked what we had to say about Inner Demons so much that they sent us a copy of their first CD, Here in Hell.
For only being three tracks long Here in Hell is just as good as Inner Demons!
"I, Punishment", "Engines", and "Here in Hell" compose the whole of the CD, and all three rock mighty hard!
"I, Punishment" lands choice track this go, but Here in Hell gets a 3.5 in total.
Skullshifter is Tom Nolz on guitar and vocals, CJ Sciossa on lead guitar, J. McCaffrey on bass, and Dan Davie on drums.
- Michael Meade