Being a life-long resident of the fine state of Minnesota, home of the Twins baseball team, I probably sprouted an intestinal polyp or two when I opened the jewel case of this split CD and laid eyes on the old Milwaukee Brewers logo. Visions of my state’s own bin Laden, one Bud Selig, filled my mind. That cadaverous Mortimer Snerd fell just a few bad wig hairs short of turning my beloved Twins into nothing more than a bunch of bobble-head dolls you buy on Ebay. Reviewing this would be tough. I could feel my journalistic objectivity bunching up on me like a pair of ill-fitting underpants. So I decided to venture into the belly of the beast, so to speak, and I went up into the northwoods of Wisconsin to listen to this CD and jot down my impressions, hoping to counterbalance any biases I might have regarding my neighboring state. Here’s what I came up with: The Fragments sound like a blue-light special Social Distortion to me. Fast, energetic, solid. The Modern Machines come across as just another mealy-mouthed, anemic pop punk band that writes songs to gain brownie points with their period tantruming girlfriends. But here again my Minn. bias is coming back into play: living in the home city of Dillinger Four – arguably the finest pop punk unit in this galaxy – I am spoiled on the intoxicating blend of poppy melodies and brick shithouse walls of guitar that D4 produces on such a consistent basis. I also have to toss in a few negative Reading Is Fundamental points on the Modern Machines side of the score card for crediting William Burroughs for the line “Nothing is true, Everything is permitted” when the actual author of that line is Hassan i Sabbah. I bet Jim Carroll knows that. Anyway, I give the Fragments a win by TKO.
–aphid (New Disorder)