By Marisa Demarco
Marilyn Manson Eat Me, Drink Me (Nothing)
If you gave a bunch of musicians a crash course on “What Rock Should Sound Like” and then let them make a record, soulless junk like this would result. Eat Me is an unintentional mockery of rock heritage. Eat and drink Manson's record and receive only horrid gas in return. I like a cartoony Marilyn that creeps around on stilts wearing a diaper and declaring himself some kind of deity. That's what I want from my antichrist superstar. If I'm looking for introspection—you know, like how real people do—I'll rustle up a folk singer.
Brimstone Howl Guts of Steel (Alive Records)
Even if you're sick of garage rock, Brimstone Howl's toting enough punk and blues along to keep things interesting. Perfectly crummy and lo-fi, you know these players serve it up drunk and sweaty in Nebraska's bars and house parties. Still, their raw sound is awfully tight. It's a well-rehearsed crudeness, but never too practiced or careful. What's the saying? Make a song. Work your song. Don't let your song work you. The lyrics are great, too. Find yourself shouting along, “Touch down, touch down, touch down, cyclone!” or “I am a man, I am a man, M-A, M-A, M-A-N woo!”
Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris (Interscope)
Josh Holme is probably never going to make another Songs for the Deaf. Get comfortable with that. He's not one to repeat himself. Era Vulgaris is taking a lot of flak from fans for being so damned odd. I'm enamored with this disc—by its ability to be so bizarre while still weaving what I can only call pop hooks over and under and through. If you like the other stuff, buy this one. It won't spark immediate rocking, but in a couple of months, Era Vulgaris will be in your stack of faves, worn from all that eventual cuddling.
Jeddy Grant & Super Nixon • singer-songwriter, variety at Tractor Brewery Wells Park
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