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Random Stabbings 20b

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Entrance "Prayer of Death" (Tee Pee Records)
Picture Ministry’s Al Jourgensen gone hopelessly hippie and you have Guy Blakeslee, teamed up here with A Perfect Circle’s Paz Lenchantin in a “visionary” blues experiment whose visions seem fixated on lava lamps, old Mountain albums, and psilocybin a la carte. As Tee Pee 70s-mush goes, it’s much better than J. Mascis’ Witch album, not leastly because Blakeslee is obviously more whacked out than Anton Newcombe could ever hope to be; the man’s blood is probably about as street-legal as a Mentos-sized hit of microdot, he leans close enough into the studio microphone to smell the breath of the last three hacks to abuse it, and… well, he dragged Paz in there not just to “co-produce” but to help the songs “become realized through her wisdom.” The Pitchfork reviewer gushed like a stoned clue-mosquito in his review, meaning they’re still – still – beholden to Tee Pee for press passes, but “wowww maaan” does about sum this up if you’ve never spun “Flowers of Evil” all the way through before. Order from

I Killed the Prom Queen "Music For the Recently Deceased"
(Stomp/Metal Blade)
While American kiddies remain busily occupied stress-testing their neck-bolts to those wacky guitar-solo-less Papa Roach dudes, the rest of the planet is actively encouraging the direction In Flames done took, in this album’s case anointing it with the #1 position in the Australian indie charts. IKTPQ’s sound meets federal mosh guidelines but is quite well-behaved when compared to the Overkills and such of old, let alone today’s bottomless pit of Mastodon Mini-Mes; it’s somehow more catchy than your basic Black Dahlia Murder without drowning itself in emo. In fact, what’s needed here is a subgenre category on which they could hang their hats, since the de facto “post-metalcore” could mean anything from Avenged Sevenfold to this month’s Red Scare clone. Such a term would require a phonetic “emo” at the end since it denotes music that’s dozens of hooky refrains short of a Taking Back Sunday, but way too Taking Back Sunday for misogynistic pancake-makeup Satanoids. How about “fleamo” to mark the scruffy Cujo-barking lead vocals without ignoring the Styx-ness of the backing gimp-choir? Order from

Bowling for Soup "The Great Burrito Extortion Case" (Jive/Sony)
The floor shakes – not necessarily from this band’s greatness but indubitably from the Supersize Me diet they follow so religiously – and in lumbers emo’s last possible hope. Music-wise what you have here is an intentionally (and successfully) amusing realization of a Harvey Danger-vs-Sloppy Seconds dolt-punk idea, four chumps waddling around flaunting their ADD and poetically indulging their hatred for the cool kids. Through such vehicles as “Why Don’t I Miss You,” the Soupsters present an alternate reality where soap opera extras like My Chemical Romance realize en masse that the babes who dump them are mere stepping stones on the way to that final Ms. Wrong and her trusty rolling pin, so why not pretend that nobody’s ever heard Black Flag’s “TV Party” and toss Sony some rep?  As for little miss Muffy and her Four Heathers of the Peroxide-Foil Apocalypse, weh-hell, missy, your days are numbered, because these guys are gonna… well, just you wait. Order from

The Residents "Tweedles" (Mute Records)
Those in the audience young enough to find purpose in guzzling overpriced Bud and driving home stag Saturday night after Saturday night may need a little Residents 101, a course that can never contain 100% accurate material. Weeding through the legends, including the one about the Residents actually being the Beatles, the best-held belief is that the band in fact consists solely of Homer Flynn and Hardy Fox, two parts of the band’s Cryptic Corporation management team. For their 2006 effort, the “band” has mashed together street-artist clatter, industrial heaviness, piano-rock and the Bucharest Film Orchestra to tell the musical story of “a vampire who eats broken hearts.” As deconstructionist as that reads, it’s even eerier in practice, sort of a cross between Jim Thirlwell’s Drano-gulping and the soundtrack to Bram Stoker’s Dracula – the listener becomes a lost traveler in a Fellini-esque city where there’s a choice between salvation and self-destruction around every corner, and the latter wins out every time. Order from

Copeland "Eat Sleep Repeat" (Militia Group)
Copeland’s sophomore release, In Motion, Billboarded in the Top 200 and hit #1 on the Alternative New Artist Chart, but keep reading, because it’s testament to the band’s and (certified indie) label’s perseverance, not the work of a cloaked Sony tentacle. Relentless touring preceded ESR, and you’d expect that with all the bands they hung out with along the way they’d have converted to ProTools religion, but instead they’ve gone even more DIY, adding (of all things) vibraphone here and there to their Radiohead-vs-Dashboard Confessional mall-alt. Stunts like that may not rope in indie geeks by the herd, particularly when the tunes make Queen’s News of the World seem like Tom Waits, but they do appear interested in keeping themselves honest for one more go, what with throwing down non-computerized breakbeats in “Where’s My Head,” the obligato Thom Yorke weird-o-matic intro. Well-behaved corporate glossies will use adjectives like “sweeping” and “epic” to describe Copeland’s strings-and-falsetto pincer attack, but realistically if this doesn’t go wide there’s always the possibility of Bread getting back together. Order from

Outraged ranting, indie label release news and spaghetti sauce recipes are always welcome. Email

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