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Random Stabbings 17b

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Socialburn "The Beauty of Letting Go" (Iroc Entertainment)
Never mind that this album is nearly a year old and the cover is more hideous than a Queer Eye makeover of Ron Jeremy. After the lousy deal Socialburn was handed at this year's Locobazooka in Boston they're due for some silver lining - not only were they the only band marooned at the "Harder/Faster" oi-core stages that does grunge well (the event's headliner was all three corporeal members of Alice n Chains and a Staley clone, fer crissakes), but they were only given 4 songs to make their case after Burn In Silence hogged up most of their time working over the half-naked moshers with cockeyed rants about how girls are ugly and whatnot, which probably made Socialburn even more nervous than they must have been already, being that their tunes are slick enough to get Rosie O'Donnell into a pair of clear heels. "Be a Man" features a hooky plink-guitar ditty surfing over a fuzz-washed riff lifted from someone like Gin Blossoms, Nail Alday's Gavin Rossdale roar yin-yanned by bassist Dusty Price's Sevendust helium-drone.  Order from

Zombina and the Skeletones "Monsters on 45"
(ECT Records)
Art always leads the charge in matters critical to the collective consciousness, so here goes: Halloween's coming. This year's festivities couldn't be watched over with keener intent than by Zombina, a hidden nugget of MySpace cubic zirconium who's squished all three of her boombox-recorded rat-punk EPs into one place. If the DIY-ness of all this doesn't speak for itself, titles like "Punk Rock Vampires Destroy," "Astroboy" and "Staci Stasis" should: the Kills and the No-Nos in a three-way with Ed Wood, "Zombie Hop" leading things off with the Munsters' dee-dee-doo-doo organ line. The band's safety-pin ethics are as real as it gets, the mix often burying whatever's the most important instrument at the time. All these monkeyshines earned them a nod from NME, which led to Troma Pictures throwing "Red Planet" on the soundtrack to the forthcoming cinematic milestone "Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead."  Order from Zombina herself

Chrome Helmet "Full Circle" (Sin Klub Entertainment)
Imagine your typical bunch of kids from the rough side of the Bronx or someplace equally unthinkable, bored with lost weekends guzzling rotgut, vicking the occasional escort and taking it for a joyride. Suppose this crew tossing out the first post-Sabbath semi-thrash that popped into their heads and you’d have, well, Agnostic Front or Crumbsuckers, sure, but Michigan hicks Chrome Helmet act and play as if they’d never heard of such bands, taking an angry post-punk approach to all their seriousness that’s endearing after a fashion. Sounds like they’re Misfits and/or Ozzy fans, but Carl Wilson’s vocals are more comic-bookish, often bordering on what Powerman 5000’s Spider does these days. Production is big and fat, meaning it won’t earn indie rocker of the year, but if there’s one person left on earth in the ProTools age who honestly favors boombox production over professional quality, they should think about jumping off a very tall building. All that is to defend Chrome Helmet’s honest effort here, which demonstrates a strong capacity for growth if nothing jaw-droppingly new. Order from Musiclizard

Michele Dominguez Greene "Luna Roja" (Requinto Records)
It may not be overwhelmingly hipster to speak well of a TV actress – especially one whose hottie days peaked during a stint at LA Law – but Michele Greene’s heart is in the right place, donating proceeds from this CD to Amnesty International’s campaign for justice for abducted and murdered women in Ciudad Juarez. And besides, she’s a recurring cast member on David Mamet’s The Unit, so it’s antiestablishmentally okay to relax a bit here and see what she’s got to say musically. Singing mainly in Spanish, Greene’s work is an ultra-mild blend of romantic Spanish folk, mostly suited to the rumba owing to its slowness, so you can throw thoughts of Dancing With the Stars right out of your head. Her voice is nervously fragile on the surface but carries no small amount of inner strength, this obviously jibing with her activist sensibilities, with which she thankfully chooses not to club listeners over the head. Most surprisingly, all the material was written by Greene and producer Ciro Hurtado save for a cover of Springsteen’s “Across the Border” that’s as PBS as a documentary on bootmaking at Valley Forge. Order from Michele Greene

Danity Kane “Danity Kane” (Bad Boy Records)
Since it's all about fame nowadays and not substance or longevity, the Diddy/MTV-created Danity Kane sally forth blissfully unaware that nobody really wants to see one single Frankenhottie succeed as a serious artiste, let alone a Fox Force Five of them. Just ask, you know, Charlize Theron about her stock’s performance from Monster to Aeon Flux. And every-fricking-body – Storch, Diddy, Timbaland, Young Joc – had a hand in this, not an overwhelming show of confidence in the girls' talent, thus all requisite misogyny’s in place. Whether or not the chickies can actually knock two notes together isn't on the block, though, so they myna their routines dutifully, some sounding like Missy Elliott, some like Beyonce, etc. Lacy and ghetto fabby, it's appropriate background for browsing Kmart’s furniture section on a weekday afternoon, much of it quite tuneful if about as adventuresome as swapping out the coffee filter. Highlights, or what have you, of the jaw-droppingly generic titles include “Heartbreaker”’s mutilation of the whole idea of “Love Rollercoaster” and the smash-drum diva-smackdown “One Shot.” Coincidence that their name rhymes with “vanity vain” or alien plot
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Outraged ranting, indie label release news and spaghetti sauce recipes are always welcome. Email

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