Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beware the CD Reviews of March

 Wetdog, "Frauhaus!," Captured Tracks

From "Lower Leg," the first song off their second album, you might think London's Wetdog are trying to pick up where Switzerland's Kleenex/LiLiPUT left off in 1983. On that track, in which tribal rhythms meet call-and-response vocals, you can also hear the Slits and the Raincoats (and on their MySpace Page, I spotted a picture of Ari Up, indicating that they're either fans, former bill-mates, or both). As compelling as those reference points may be, you could always listen to the original artists to scratch the same post-punk itch.


Fortunately, Wetdog reveals their own unique personality as this tinny 14-track disc continues to spinnot that "Lower Leg" isn't a completely persuasive song (it is!). The more you listen, the harder their rickety ruckus becomes to describe. On some numbers, they make a noirish noise; on others, they're all sunshine and sweet harmonies. 

On "Snapper," they come on like a lounge band in space. Short on years, long on ideas, the trio appears to be trying things out; seeing what sticks and what doesn't, which means that "Frauhaus!" isn't as cohesive as the Vivian Girls debut, another reference point, but it's just as appealing for those who like girl-group sounds with extra kick.    

All Leather, When I Grow Up, I Wanna Fuck Like a Girl, Dim Mak  

More irony, more distortion, more annoying tones.--band press notes  

From the title, you'd expect loud and irritating. On their follow-up to Hung like a Horseyes, that was fun to type All Leather delivers volume and attitude, but it's hard to tell what they're going on about. Songs include "I Do it with My Prick Out" and "Babe, Does This Band Make My Butt Look Big," but as in the works of Locust and early Ministry, the noise rolls right over the vocals. It does little for me, but your mileage may vary. If anything, they're less irritating than expected...for what that's worth.   

The River Raid, In a Forest, Sunset/Above the Sky 

On the successor to their self-titled debut, this three-guitar Brazilian quartet offers generic modern rock that's virtually indistinguishable from the UK/US variant (especially Oasis). That doesn't make it bad—but I've heard it before. So have you. Click here to play "Alright."   

Endnote: For more info about Wetdog, who play SXSW on 3/18, please click here or here; for All Leather, here or here (the River Raid also play this year's fest). Wetdog image from batteryinmycamera.

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