Dog of Love Jo Carol Pierce (Austin) Jo Carol Pierce combines folk, country, blues and easy-listening synth parts to create music that screams “Mom.” She’s got the raspy voice of a middle-aged smoker and sings about romantic obsession and booze. The subject matter and gravel-voice are not complemented by her affected, oddly child-like singing style. I made it to: Track 3.
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Try This On For Size Spark is a Diamond (Philadelphia) Screamo vocals, hardcore guitars and dance-punk beats are blended into one awful package. Like so many other screamo bands, they have two vocalists, one throat-shredding screamer and one singer who handles the melodic vocal parts. But there is some novelty here: It’s a chick who does the screaming and a dude who does the singing. Ever wanted to hear Salt ‘n’ Pepa’s “Push It” performed with buzzsaw guitars, pick slides and demonic screaming? Me neither. I made it to: About 2:00 into Track 2, then skipped to “Push It” out of morbid curiosity.
The Trumpet Child Over the Rhine (Cincinnati) A woman sings and growls over cabaret jazz accompaniment from piano, sax, upright bass and gentle drums. Some tracks feature jazzy or bossa nova nylon-string guitar parts. They’d be the perfect accompaniment for cocktails at an expensive restaurant with a dinner-jacket dress code. I made it to: Track 5. Which isn't really a ringing endorsement, but somewhat of an endorsement nonetheless.
60 Watt Avenue The Whipsaws (Anchorage) Dumb lyrics (“You broke my heart, dear, and you blew my mind / Oh Jessi Jane, come love me one more time”) over Americana as played by an average bar band. Snore. I made it to: halfway through Track 2.
Anathema Keratoma (Cleveland) Passionate shouted vocals over industrial metal with buzzing, screaming, hog-squealing guitars, electronic noise and even the occasional vibraphone. Their top four friends on MySpace are Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Pantera and Slayer, which is appropriate--they sound equally influenced by each band. Not my thing, but open-minded metalheads might dig it. I made it to: Track 3. --Jesse Hughey