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CD Revue 

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REIGNING SOUND Too Much Guitar ****

The Reigning Sound’s performance at In the Venue last month was lackluster, even if the drummer had a wicked-cool Pleasantville vibe goin’ on. But their CD slays. Blues-based garage rock similar to this week’s Forty-Fives (but better) steals harmonica trembling with desire and scratchy, protesting guitar riffs from the Kinks and enough Rolling Stones/Bloody Hollies-vein passion to ignite an 18-wheeler full to the brim with firecrackers. The down-’n’-dirty, Mooney Suzuki-ish “Excedrin Headache” is a must-hear. Reigning Sound leave other so-called retro-garage outfits in the dust. (In the Red)

OLD 97’S Drag It Up ****

Usually, rockabilly-dyed alt-country smacks more of formulaic, shallow lifestyle-championing than any degree of focus on music. But Old 97’s smash that bitter expectation to a million bitty fragments, issuing forth a palatable, emotive melodic smorgasbord that quite as easily pulls its dynamism from Yo La Tengo, Magnetic Fields, Rilo Kiley and Counting Crows as Reverend Horton Heat and (the countrified) Hank Williams III. Southern Gothic ennui at its best. (New West)

THE FORTY-FIVES High Life High Volume ****

What do you get when you cross the Forty-Fives with the Old 97’s? One hundred forty-two skinny trailer-park tomcats caterwauling on the fence behind a 1950s juke joint, maybe. The Forty-Fives bash out the slickest of Buddy Holly-era licks with MC5 snottiness, capped off with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion soul. Wailing harmonica, wavery organ, sultry sax and honky-tonk piano complete the time warp/scene change to Naw ‘Lens circa 1954. (Yep Roc)

CHRONIC FUTURE Lines in My Face **

Chronic Future deserve kudos for going where maybe only Candiria has gone before, wedding Crazytown-style hip-hop emceeing with Taking Back Sunday-style emo. However, originality for originality’s sake wears thin when the novelty is skin-deep. The band’s efforts in both genres are unremarkable and dull, and putting them together comes off insincere, forced and even funny—like a horror film that makes you laugh when you’re supposed to scream. (Interscope)

TEEDRA MOSES Complex Simplicity *

Twinkies are good and tasty. But they’ll kill you and give you cancer. R& queen wannabe Teedra’s music tastes OK but is full of empty calories that leave you hungry and dissatisfied as soon as the stereo turns off. Her generic, over-sexual lyrics, like Janet Jackson’s, aren’t really sexy at all and leave a bad, starchy aftertaste. Some people deal with their hollow feelings by eating more Twinkies. Maybe they should discover the food pyramid instead. (TVT)

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About The Author

Rebecca Vernon

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