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CD Revue 

Muggs, White Stripes, Get Him Eat Him, Mon Frere, Tsar

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THE MUGGS The Muggs ****

The Muggs are pretty much sex personified, with plump Black Sabbath/T. Rex riffs, an overall classic-rock appeal sans squeaky-clean production, and Ozzy-ish/Robert Plant vocals, blues-swamp guitar solos, crisp, aggressive drumming and melodic bass. It sounds like that might result in a wet, stinking pile of ’70s cheese, but the Muggs manage to pull off the whole retro-future-rock thing not only without making you laugh, but with flying colors. “Should’ve Learned My Lesson” has a desert-rock vibe with a killer riff that seriously spans an octave'Erosion would be proud. (Times Beach)

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WHITE STRIPES Get Behind Me Satan ****

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White Stripes bust back with, weirdly, a Lenny Kravitz Let Love Rule buzz and Death from Above 1979 low-low fuzz! Tambourines, xylophones, piano, storyteller lyrics and songs about doorbells abound! Meg still desperately needs drum lessons, but Jack’s pouty, endearing whine needs no improvement. Is Get Behind Me Satan lording it over previous albums? Not really, but it’s slower and more melancholy … if you like that sort of thing. (V2)

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GET HIM EAT HIM Geography Cones ***.5

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Absolutely Kosher’s cool sometimes, and Get Him Eat Him’s pretty cool, even if their band name sucks. Can they rise above comparisons to the Coral, Pedro the Lion and the Lemonheads? That remains to be seen, but don’t hold your breath. They have whimsical keys, kazoos and jagged math riffs at opportune times'in short, GHEH is everything a cool indie band with mainstream potential should be. But they’re nothing more. (Absolutely Kosher)

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MON FRERE Real Vampires EP **.5

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Feel-good Casio keyboards make an unlikely combo with practically metal, super-bassy guitar riffs and adequate female vocals that unpleasantly dive from intense sadness within verses to semi-bright pop choruses. Mon Frere get an “A” for originality, but an “F” for being unable to make that originality convincing and beautiful and seamless. Real Vampires is like a cyanide pill coated with chocolate'tasty on the outside, but damage potential galore on the inside. (Cake)

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TSAR Band Girls Money **

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Tsar are a lot better than their photos might indicate. Imagine the Hives’ garage mixed with International Noise Conspiracy sex appeal and Slash’s guitar solos'and that’s only the first song. The second is the Cars licking the Von Bondies. But, what irredeemably ruins Tsar is their shallow, Duran Duran-y lyrics and their inability to hide their obvious marketability'TVT CEOs with dollar signs in their eyes is an unshakeable mental image. (TVT)

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About The Author

Rebecca Vernon

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