Alibi V.16 No.43 • Oct 25-31, 2007 

Sonic Reducer

Tiny Masters of Today Bang Bang Boom Cake (World's Fair)

If you can grit your teeth through lyrics like “all my friends agree with me, you're the worst president Bush-ey,” there's something very reassuring and pure about Tiny Masters of Today's debut LP. Thirteen-year-old guitarist/vocalist Ivan and 11-year-old bassist/vocalist Ada enlisted the support of drummer Russell Simins (The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), who adds a needed element of musical professionalism to the punchy power-chord-based sound. The punk/garage duo also benefits from cameos by Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fred Schneider of The B-52's, and Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches, who help keep the album afloat despite lyrics that smack of being parentally ghost written. [SM]

Cult with No Name Paper Wraps Rock (Trakwerx)

Somewhere between synthpop and Elton John idolization lies the English piano duo Cult with No Name. Erik Stein isn't much of a singer no matter how many effects he puts on his voice, but he and fellow pianist Jon Boux have a strong chemistry with one another, and there's a continuous pleasantness that pervades the record. Sometimes the album can feel like comforting background noise, but in its more powerful moments it has an unshakable presence and the ability to create a mood instantaneously through warm, melodic ballads. [SM]

Scum of the Earth Sleaze Freak (Eclipse)

Man, if I were Riggs, Rob Zombie's former guitarist, I might be a little embarrassed that my sound so closely resembled what White Zombie codified. Yeah, I'd probably blush all the way to the bank. (No one said behorned, blood-covered metalheads weren't money-minded businessmen.) Lyrics are focused more on porny sex than on monsters and cars, but those who miss Zombie's sample-fused glory days need look no further than the self-acronymed SOTE. Churning guitars, vox just like ol' Rob's and that familiar pop-metal sound mean this one will be on your radio (edited, probably) in no time. [MD]

[SM] Simon McCormack, [MD] Marisa Demarco