Play Cell

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Kicking off their long and somewhat marginal pop-punk recording career, Bay Area punkers Tilt released their full-length Lookout Records debut, Play Cell. Other local punk revivalists like (Lookout labelmates) Green Day and Rancid had already begun to make a big impression outside of their Northern California stomping grounds, so the window of opportunity was wide open when the disc hit record-store shelves in 1993. A key difference between Tilt and their new-breed punk brethren is the distinctive talent of vocalist Cinder Block. There are no choked, faux-Brit-accented overtones in Block's delivery. Although a woman playing what is an almost uniformly male role, Block had more than novelty going for her. Not only was her voice more accomplished, her lyrics covered broader issues with more subtlety than many of her contemporaries. On numbers like "Locust" and "Small Bills," these lyrical musings get a little too elliptical, but Block's powerful voice and her bandmates' taut material sparks Play Cell, making this a notable first offering.

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