Alibi V.17 No.29 • July 17-23, 2008 

Sonic Reducer

Unit 7 Drain LoveCraft (Socyermom Records)

Albuquerque’s new wave, post-punk fivesome Unit 7 Drain keeps catching lightning in a bottle. The band can do a catchy tune and give it a hint of dark bravado like no one else in the Duke City, but where LoveCraft is most pleasantly surprising is in its instrumental space-outs. The synths creep across the floor like organic ooze; drummer Chris Newman goes savage, beating his kit to a pulp; and the guitars fuss and fight like a hungry child. Harry Redus-Brown has been heavily praised for his marvelous voice, and rightly so, but just as important to the band’s aesthetic are the dual-lead vocals of Redus-Brown and Ella Vader, which give Unit 7 a hearthy warmth. (SM)

Fast Heart Mart Cheap & Sunny (Mutant Mariachi Records)

It's easy to take Fast Heart Mart for granted. You might stop to watch him and his double-necked acoustic on any corner in the city. Listening to an album by the sidewalk rocker and his comrades serves as a reminder of how lucky Albuquerque is to have Martin Stamper (the Mart) and Roblyn Crawford (the heart?) around. Stamper's lyrics have to be among the best in the region, honest but not too earnest, finding significance in easy phrases. The addition of Tanya Nunez on upright bass is only a plus. Impressively self-recorded and engineered, buy it at fastheartmart.com. (MD)

The Dirty Hearts Pigs (Socyermom Records)

The Dirty Hearts represents Austin with damn good tone, but let's not forget where this whole thing started: Lead singers and co-writers Frankie Medina and Calida met up in Santa Fe. The two moved out to the Lone Star State, and since 2005, they've managed to stir up the Austin music scene with their live shows and stripped-down style. Pigs bounces around naturally, and every attention-grabbing song is another reason to seek out The Dirty Hearts at its New Mexico CD release party Friday, Aug. 1, at Atomic Cantina. (JH)

(SM) Simon McCormack, (MD) Marisa Demarco, (JH) Justin Hood