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(Epic)

F-MINUS Wake Up Screaming ****


A wall of scalding lava is flooding down the mountainside to eat away your greedy, deceitful, conformist flesh with blazing heat, leaving only clean bone. F-Minus’ über-furious brand of raw, authentic ’80s hardcore punk is royally pissed, and thanks to Steve Albini, that vivid lividness is preserved and amplified in production. Erica Daking, shredding her vocal cords to bloody hamburger over corporate brainwashing and labor exploitation, makes Brody Dalle sound like Britney Spears. Must-listens include “Here Lies Jessica,” “Wake Up” and especially “Paid to Listen.” (Hellcat)


NELLY FURTADO Folklore ***


It’s great when musicians stand up for their ethnicity/sexual orientation/gender/political orientation, but that doesn’t necessarily make for jaw-dropping music. Still, Nelly Furtado is able to hold her own with Folklore’s catchy, layered, earthy pop, adding eclectic elements like banjo in “Powerless (Say What You Want),” sub-woofer bass in “Fresh Off the Boat” and “One-Trick Pony,” and Latin grooves to “The Grass is Green.” F.Y.I: “Picture Perfect” is the best track. (DreamWorks)


40 BELOW SUMMER The Mourning After *


Maybe the idea of mixing nü-metal, screamo and a bit o’ trad metal looks good on paper. Wait—no, it doesn’t. So why Incubus clones 40 Below Summer thought it would sound good in reality is a riddle you can contemplate during the 25-minute trailer session before Lord of the Rings 3 this holiday season. Faux anger never sounded funnier or more hollow—check especially “Rain” and “F.E.” (Razor & Tie)


AVANT Private Room *


True or false: Offering a girl you think is fine “Tickets first-class for two,” “penthouse with ocean views,” “dinner by candlelight,” “fulfilling all of your desires” and make-out sessions while “in the limo, listening to your demo” in exchange for sex is a fancy way of buying yerself a ’ho. Full of more lines than a pinstripe suit, Avant’s R& is indeed sexy, but leaves one smelling fish. (Geffen)


SPACE CADET Greatest Hits *


Are you ashamed to live in a nation of dumbed-down plebeians who listen to and buy “product” like Space Cadet? No? Well, let these lyrics, paired with insipid pop-punk, speak for themselves: “Girls fall in love/Guys just want the sex.” “She’s moving to Australia/Where a million guys could nail her.” “You slayed me like Jackie Chan.” “I’m just so horny/It really gets me down.” (Satellite/Trauma)

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Rebecca Vernon

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