Clearing Out the Mailroom: Wednesday, October 15, 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. The plan: to take four or five at a time and play each CD for as long as I can stand it.

This War Is Ours Escape the Fate (Las Vegas) The band is probably better known for the drama between the band and imprisoned former singer Ronnie Radke than for its music. That's perfectly appropriate, as the story of Radke's drug addiction, involvement in a fatal gunfight and jumping parole is far more intriguing than the completely generic post-hardcore alt-rawk the band creates. That's as true now with replacement singer Craig Mabbitt (formerly of blessthefall) as it was when Radke was still in the band. I made it to: 2:00 into opening track "We Won't Back Down."

She Ain't Me Carrie Rodriguez (Brooklyn) The Austin-born Carrie Rodriguez has a drawling, breathy vocal style that's pretty unexceptional, but it works for her style of rootsy folk rock. She plays a pretty mean fiddle, though, which is nicely complemented by nuanced guitar and pedal steel work from Hans Holzen and Greg Leisz. Lucinda Williams provides backing vocals on "Mask of Moses." Fans of Jewel or Sheryl Crow might want to check the CD out, or catch her at when she opens for Sarah Bettens at The Granada Theater Sunday, October 26. I made it to: Track 7.

Eisemann Sampler Smooth Jazz Forever For some reason Smooth Jazz Forever sent us several copies of a sampler CD featuring Chuck Anderson, Phillip Martin and Jeffery Smith to promote a November 9 show at the Eisemann Center. So if you want to feel like you're in a dentist's waiting room for an evening, mark your calendar. I made it to: Track 3

"Nitty Gritty" promotional single Kimberly Cole (Los Angeles) Roller skating, dancing, hosting MTV shows: What can't Kimberly Cole do? Hold my interest. "Nitty Gritty" is girly teen pop a la Jessica and Britney, distinguished by a catchy guitar lick and soulful drum sample. The next track, "Pounding My Heart," is such a jumbled mess of stop-start rhythms, funk guitar and slow-jam piano that I thought something was wrong with my CD player. I made it to: 30 seconds into Track 2 --Jesse Hughey

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman