The Phantom Tollbooth
Moms Like Us Too
Artists: Various Artists
Label: BEC Records
Length: 22 tracks/72:33 minutes

Brandon Ebel and BEC records recently released a compilation record featuring eleven different artists plus a cut from a CD of swing-style praise songs. Featured bands generally get about two songs in a row starting off with "In Between" by the Supertones from their new Chase the Sun release on BEC. These ska superstars played for the Pope when he visited St Louis recently, and this is a good taste of their new project. Moms... has previously unreleased material from several bands including Joy Electric, the Dingees, Pep Squad, Fold Zandora, and Rage-Against-the-Machine-sound-alike, Project 86. The "unreleased" song from Project 86 can actually be found on another older demo from the band that isn't on their BEC debut. It is a kickin' song called "Numb," one of the CD's highlights. "Pipe Dream," the other Project 86 song, has a Stavesacre-like sound and is available on their new album.

Other highlights include one from Plankeye, two Pep Squad songs, and a couple of cute songs from ska-swing-girl-punk band One-Eighty. The two songs in the middle of the CD from Fold Zandura, including the previously unreleased "Serena," followed by a couple of tunes by Bon Voyage from their first CD comprise my favorite part of the record.

Value Pac has their energetic "Yesterdays" included from the band's fine record, Jalepeno. Moms... wraps up with a couple of songs for the kids, "Amazing Grace" done in a jazzy, guitar driven swing style, from a collection of swing style praise songs and hymns from BEC, then Not for the Crowd toots out "Gain Back Lost Youth." A big, fast ska song from this big, fast up-and-coming eight member band.

Do not expect this record to flow. The styles are too varied, although there is a lot of ska influence. Do expect lots of subliminal advertising. The packaging is big and bold with band pictures on every page, plus information on when to expect their next record, and an order form for stickers, buttons, video, and t-shirts on the last page. But hey, that's pretty much what making these kinds of compilation CD's is all about--to familiarize potential customers with the artists on the label. Collectors that simply must have every song by Fold Zandura, or Project 86, need to get this, otherwise, you do not need this record.

Cuts in order are:
The O.C. Supertones  1."In Between" 
2."Louder than the Mob"
Joy Electric  3."Sugar Rush" 
4."Girl from Rosewood Lane" 
5."Electric Car"
Project 86 6."Pipe Dream" 
The Dingees  8."Bullet Proof"
9."Calm Down"
Plankeye 10."Playground" 
11."Away in a Manger"
Pep Squad  12."Angel"
13."I Love You"
One Eighty  14."When We First Dated" 
15."405 (radio edit)"
Fold Zandura  16."Please Believe"
Bon Voyage  18."West Coast Friendship" 
Value Pac  20."Yesterdays"
Swing Praise 21."Amazing Grace"
Not for the Crowd  22."Gain Back Lost Youth"

By Tony LaFianza (2/22/99)