Testa Rosa — Testa Rosa (Latest Flame) :: If I could crank out thunder crunge like this FMM trio does on the way-too-brief "Hollow Arm," I’d lay off the wispy Melanie melodies and record an album full of similar sonic enlargers.
Melanie & the Dominoes — Brand New Key to the Highway (Polydor) :: Donovan used Led Zeppelin and the Jeff Beck Group as his backing band, so don’t laugh.
Ziggy & the Stooges — Low Power (RCA) :: Includes the hit single "Your Pretty Face is Going to Warsawa."
The Stooges — The Weirdness (Virgin) :: Album of the year.
Valerian — Guerilla Fighting Method (City Canyons) :: I’m not saying that someone should drop these camouflage-clad sissies into a real war zone and see how long they last, I’m typing it.
Oxbow — The Narcotic Story (Hydra Head) :: Just say blow.
Brothers of a Feather featuring Chris & Rich Robinson — Live at the Roxy (Eagle Rock) :: The Black Crowes sure do got their Blind Lemon Gumball voices down cold, they sho ’nuff do.
The Undesirables — Doghouse Dreams (self-released) :: Even better, spin this acoustic set from a group that — unlike the Robinsons — doesn’t feel the need to imitate dead Delta bloozemen. Plus, they write better songs.
Zonaria — Infamy and the Breed (Pivotal) :: And in the deaf, as the last few eardrums lay bleeding in the slimy headphones, black mutant metal shrieked out from Screamo City, some more schlemiels. Swedes the size of rats sucked.
SIZZLING PLATTERS OF THE WEEK: Robyn Hitchcock — Storefront Hitchcock and Jewels For Sophia (Noble Rot) :: Don’t miss these reissues from one of rock’s most oddball auteurs. Storefront is a sparse live set that alternates Francis Bacon monologues with time travelogues like "1974" while Jewels is a full-band blast that features "Viva! Sea-Tac" with its immortal lines: "People flock like cattle to Seattle after Kurt Cobain. They got the best computers, coffee and smack."