By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 25, 2004 at 5:28 AM

{image1}If you think the new split CD featuring The Wrens and The Five Mod Four looks familiar, you're not experiencing a deja vu.

That's because Contraphonic, a Milwaukee and Chicago-based label, is reissuing the disc, sort of. Originally released by Milwaukee's No Karma, most of the discs were destroyed in a fire. The bands' popularity has led Contraphonic to release it in a similar -- though somewhat reversed -- cover.

"This release fits the Contraphonic ethos much more than it did into the NK fold," says Ben Schulman, who has been instrumental in both labels.

But there's more different than just the sleeve, according to Schulman.

Although the tracklisting looks the same, tunes by Milwaukee band The Five Mod Four have been re-recorded, he says.

"For all intensive purposes, it's new," Schulman says. "It doesn't even really resemble those recordings at all. The previous recordings had a murky feeling throughout, as the production was quite, well, non-existent.

"Plus, the band wasn't quite the pop machine it is now. We knew the release was going to garner attention, and that being the case, wanted to showcase the band as we knew we could. (The new recordings) far surpass the originals."

That attention comes thanks, in part to a higher profile for New Jersey's The Wrens, who have had success with their latest disc, "Meadowlands." There are some hidden goodies on the new disc for Wrens fans, says Schulman.

Upon its initial release, OnMilwaukee said this of the disc:

"The wry and quirky sounding recordings, with contain clever titles like "I'm The Funniest Person You Know" and "I Am a Commercial Kiss Of Death," perfectly display the group's Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook-esque humor, the efficiency of The Minutemen, and a welcome lack to studio trickery."

And we're sticking to it.

Five Mod Four plays with Ten Words for Snow at Onopa Brewing in Riverwest on Friday, Aug. 27.

The Contraphonic Web site is contraphonic.com.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.