THE ELLIS ISLAND RENDEZVOUS - Dirt Bike Annie and The Popsters (Stardumb)
This 16-track split CD gives New York's Dike Bike Annie and Italy's The Popsters eight songs each and a varied effort it is.

Dirt Bike Annie opens up with "Do Whatcha Wanna (not Whatcha Gotta)" and their use of dual male and female vocals from Adam (vocals, guitar) and Jeanie L (guitar/vocals) almost instantly draws comparison to Australia's (now defunct) The Hummingbirds crossed with SoCal punk acts like NOFX, Bad Religion and Offspring without the political or angst-riddled lyrics. Dirt Bike Annie certainly matches them for energy as Dan P (bass/vocals) and Mike (drums) provide energetic and solid rhythm backing.

"Halter Top" and "Hype" are opportunities to pull back the pace and display musicality and a grasp of dynamics, while retaining the intriguing dual male-female lead vocals. "Aloha Indiana" is a (close to) pure pop departure, being a bright, catchy and bouncy pop tune."'Hurricane Shane" is a return to the energetic SoCal punk and closes Dike Bike Annie's contribution.

The Popsters tackle the Cali punk sound without the interesting vocal approach of Dike Bike Annie. As to be expected, the rhythm section of Ciaccio (bass/vocals) and Ezio (drums) is energetic and solid and the twin buzzsaw guitars of Stefano (vocals/guitar) and Ernesto (guitar/vocals) are snappy and sharp. Highlights from The Popsters are "Beer After Beer" and "I Quit" as Stefano laments time wasted on a girl at a bar - and makes his resolution to leave her for good - all done within five minutes.

More energetic So Cal punk from non-Southern Californian skate punk kids.- Simon Li