Virus Nine Blastin' Away

Although good at what they do, Virus Nine fail to carve any real identity for themselves on, Blastin’ Away. With Rancid’s rumbling bass lines and songs and vocals sounding awfully like the US Bombs, it’s regrettable that a band that sounds so good can’t achieve its own honour. It probably didn’t help Virus Nine’s overall sound when Duane Peters of the US Bombs produced the album, even if the production is second to none. Hopefully with time the band will grow into its own shoes, but for the time being the 12 songs that serve this recording won’t stand out in the punk rock hall of fame. And "Bound for Glory,” a Woody Guthrie cover, "Red Blood Mutiny” and "Chaotic Pace” will remain the true highlights of this session. (A-F)