Label British band Rolo Tomassi however you'd like: mathcore, Nintendo-core, blip-prog-screamo. Whatever the subgenre, it's all on display with the group's latest, Astraea. “The Scales of Balance” sounds as if the Loc-Nar from Heavy Metal decided to violate Princess Peach before Mario could rescue her. The first minute and 40 seconds of “Empiresk” smacks of bargain basement goth-metal, with flutish female vocals wafting over a reverb-heavy wall of sound. Vocalist Eva Spence can shriek (and sing) with the best of ’em. Her brother, keyboardist James Spence, is adept at cranking out all those 8-bit NES tones interspersed throughout the rawk. But, overall, the album is just too conflicted. Kudos to the group for its versatility; would that it translated into a cohesive work instead of chaos. (M. Brianna Stallings)
Joe Martinez More More Rock'N'Roll (Twilight Records)
This Joe Martinez compilation is a long-playing feast of lo-fi that will appeal to garage rock fans and anyone who likes the Velvet Underground. Local music enthusiasts will want to pick this up as a Big Hits & Fazed Cookies-type of collection chronicling a few decades of the prolific Albuquerque rocker's work. Tunes from The Dons, The Ashes and The Seeing Things all capture the gentle weirdness that reverberates 24-7 from Scott Meyers, Ben Adams, Brian Keith and other musicians who have joined Martinez on his lengthy quest for “peace, love and rock and roll forever.” It's available at local music stores and La Montañita Co-op. (Geoffrey Plant)
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