Leeroy Stagger — Depression River (Boompa) :: Stagger Lee serves up another haunting slab of country rock. "The forest is burnin’ from a half-lit cigarette; take what you can, go as far as you can get" is the kind of line Busta "Nursery Rhyme" Dylan wishes he could still write.
Ad Astra Per Aspera — Catapult Calypso (Sonic Unyon) :: Smart enough to be good musicians but stupid enough to let a mental retard scream their vocals on Track 1, thus ensuring that I never got to Track 2.
Blinded Colony — Bedtime Prayers (Pivotal) :: Meet the new dross. Same as the old dross.
The Blue Van — Dear Independence (TVT) :: Pseudo-sloppy and portentously pretentious in a rote Romantics wannabe way.
New Year’s Day — New Year’s Day (TVT) :: Chirpy perky femme-inflected pouty power pop with a breathy dash of Mercurial punkette posturing.
The Nein — Luxury (Sonic Unyon) :: Dissipated and disjointed, this ambitious aural collage evokes Beatle John at his most experimentally nonracist wasted.
Royal Wood — A Good Enough Day (Dead Daisy) :: Piano-driven gospel-fuelled melodies merge with soulful singing and Claptonesque guitar playing. Mucho recomendado.
Various Artists — The Family Values Tour 2006 (Firm) :: Thrashasaurs Korn and the Deftones defer their extinction with this dynamic album of caustic rock songs. Bonus points for not including Fred Durst.
Shaw/Blades — Influence (VH1) :: Mellosaurs Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades extend their distinction with this delightful album of classic rock songs. Bonus points for not including Rod Stewart.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Of Montreal — Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? (Polyvinyl) :: Robin Scott’s M meets Bill Nelson’s Red Noise via Ron and Russell’s Sparks on this Eurofried synth-pop art rock album. Miss it at your own risk.
Ten Second Epic — Count Yourself In (Black Box) :: Until these guys listen to the Diodes and hear how professionals do it, count me out.
Next Week: Meet the Diodes