Stereophonics – Live From Dakota (Vox Populi) :: I never realized how much the lead singer sounds like Marilyn Manson and the band like INXS until I heard this twofer. Which means they sound alright. Wholly unoriginal, but alright.
Jesu – Silver (Hydra Head) :: The marathon melodrama of "Purple Rain" fused with the claustrosonic soundscapes of "Closer."
Tagaq – Sinaa (Jericho Beach) :: Sparse challenging repetitive primitive chants by a woman who can use her voice much in the same way that Philip Glass can use a keyboard. Only the sellout Cutty Sark salesman was never aided and abetted by the ice queen Bjorkasaurus.
Thee More Shallows – Monkey vs. Shark (Turn) :: These seven somber songs aren’t bad but the laughably wretched amateur album cover art will deep-six this disc before it ever gets a chance to be heard. Helen Keller with an empty box of crayons could do better. Remember kids: You’re supposed to be independent, not incompetent.
An Albatross – Blessphemy (Of The Peace Beast Feastgiver And The Bear Warp Kumite) (Ace Fu) :: King Crimson meets screamo.
David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (RCA) :: Well, there goes my word count.
Marc Bolan & T. Rex – Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow (Or a Creamed Cage in August) (T. Rex Wax Company) :: I give up.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: SSM – SSM (Alive) :: Why do these guys rate a SPotW? Well, first they have a short album title that doesn’t chew up my valuable word count. Second, they have an equally brief band moniker that stands for Szymanski (cheesy Farfisa) Shettler (snappin’ traps) Morris (guttural guitar) — three rock star names if I ever heard them. Third, they have a "96 beers" sound that consists of swirling, mind-bending psychedelics that are so charmingly primitive they make Grand Funk Railroad sound like Emerson Lake & Palmer. Fourth, "Sick" is the catchiest punk song Todd Rundgren never recorded. Fifth, "2012" is the best sci-fi masterpiece The Doors never recorded.
Be seeing you! Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to email@example.com