Clearing Out The Mailroom: Friday, May 16, 2008

We’ve got quite a backlog of CDs we've never gotten around to, so we’re going to try to chip away at the pile with this regular feature. Some are left over from previous music editors, others fell by the wayside because they were trumped week after week by albums that looked more promising. The plan: to take five at a time and play each CD for as long as I can stand it.

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.

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