Clearing Out the Mailroom: Wednesday, September 03, 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 four or five at a time and play each CD for as long as I can stand it.

If you were expecting this yesterday, as promised in the print product's "Seven Days Out," I apologize for the late delivery. Labor Day threw me; by “Tuesday,” I meant “The Second Workday of the Week.” Anyway, let’s get to it.

French Horn Rebellion French Horn Rebellion (Milwaukee) Here’s how hip and 21st Century Robert and David Perlick Molinari, the brothers who make up French Horn Rebellion, are: instead of listing track lengths in the CD’s liner notes, they list file size. The first two tracks are relentlessly cheery electro-pop before giving way to the thoughtful but no-less-cheesy “You’re Gonna Know.” It’s slick, unthreatening, unabashed pop. Not my thing, but the kids are gonna love it. Oh, and yes, they really do use French horn—really well, in fact. I made it to: Track 5, “French Horn Rebellion.”

Get Busy DJ Jester the Filipino Fist and Ernest Gonzales (San Antonio) Turntablist DJ Jester specializes in mash-ups that straddle the line between inspired and ridiculous. Kicking off a mixtape with the Texas Tornadoes’ “Que Paso (Hey Baby)” blending into Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is in the Heart” is a pretty bold move, foreshadowing the bizarre transitions to come. After that it settles into a few minutes of dance pop before putting the vocals of Rod Lee’s “Dance My Pain Away” over The Monkees’ “Stepping Stone.” I’m no mash-up connoisseur—for me, the novelty generally wears off in about as much time as it takes to explain the juxtaposition--but this one sounded especially gimmicky. I made it to: 9:30 Scars On Broadway Scars On Broadway (Los Angeles) Apparently System of a Down members Daron Malakian and John Dolmayan couldn’t convince Serj to let them drop the sense of humor and experimentation that distinguishes their better-known band, so they had to form their own shitty nu-metal project. I made it to: Track 3

Extra Plair Bavu Blakes (Austin by way of Garland) Dropping a new song every week for an entire year isn’t enough to keep Bahvoo busy. This EP is a preview of the wordsmith’s forthcoming sophomore album and features funky production and contributions from Symbolyc One, Picnic and Pikahsso. I made it to: the end Saudades de Rock Extreme (Boston, The ‘90s) Yeah, THAT Extreme, the “More Than Words” guys. They’re back. Nuno Bettencourt is still a hilariously over-the-top lead guitarist, and the band is still harmonizing behind Gary Cherone as if his lyrics made sense. Anyone who couldn’t bring themselves to trade in their Pornograffiti cassette for a Nevermind CD will find this a surprisingly strong return to form. I made it to: Track 2.--Jesse Hughey

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman