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Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout 

I can’t drive MB55! • Sammy HagarStanding Hampton (Geffen) :: [Insert suitably snide Van Halen remark here] • VailcodeVailcode (Times Beach) :: This lean and lanky new album by Motor City guitar legend Slammin’ Sammy Vail is easily as thoughtful as Elliott Aquashow Murphy at his “Diamonds by the Yard” best. And that’s definitely saying something. • Marcos HernandezC About Me (TVT) :: Y’know, back in 1986 they would’ve used “If You Were Mine” during one of Tubbs’ hot make-out scenes on Miami Vice. • The PathwaysBoat of Confidence (RIYL) :: They set sail with a loose wandering intro before checking the chart and drifting into a Captain Sensible mode that I quite like. • God DethronedThe Lair of the White Worm (Metal Blade) :: I’m not too crazy about the band’s name, but that doesn’t stop me from digging their savage sound which, the guttural glotteral vocals aside, is about as close to classic double-time Metallica as you can find these days. • The GunshySouls (Latest Flame) :: Head Gunner Matt Arbogast gets nailed for aping Tom Waits so much, but that misses the whole point because he does it so well. When you do it as long and as well as he does, the purloined style eventually becomes all your own. And on this album, it finally does. • SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: BaleenFollow Me Blind (Liquilab) :: Now here’s one worth listening to that’s all over the audio map. It starts out being on some kind of soul trip only to swerve into a herky-jerky Angletrax vein — albeit a little more mellow and melodic. And since I know you don’t know who Angletrax are, don’t you be making the same mistake twice. • Be seeing you!

Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to

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