By Michael Henningsen
Elf Power Walking with the Beggar Boys (Orange Twin)
Forgive me for weighing in rather late on this one, but I honestly thought it would grow on me. It didn't. As one of the last vestiges of the infamous (and quite infamously overrated save for Neutral Milk Hotel) Elephant 6 collective, Elf Power's seventh record is about as average as they come. If the whole Elephant 6 phenomenon isn't completely out of gas at this point, then Elf Power have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's running on fumes at best. Walking ... isn't a bad record, but it's lackluster and boring to say the least.
Cradle of Filth Nymphetamine (Roadrunner)
England's Cradle of Filth open their latest disc with the requisite campiness of Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil—“In the beginning ...” blah, blah, blah—but from there, the corpsepainted sextet delve into a seriously sinister amalgamation of Iron Maiden riffage and Carcass-inspired melodic assault. Taken in that context, Nymphetamine is a solid “extreme metal” record, replete with Phantom of the Opera keyboard passages and oh-so-dramatic interludes. Lyrically, most of the songs border on the kind of ridiculousness that made Type O Negative a household name for about 13 minutes back in the day, but you can't have everything I guess.
Bill Janovitz & Crown Victoria Fireworks on TV (Q Division)
It would be cooler of me to claim that early Buffalo Tom—SST days through the Birdbrain LP—was one of the great musical loves of my life than to tell the truth and admit that it was actually later, pop-ier Buffalo Tom that I truly fell in love with, but fuck it. Bill Janovitz came into his own as a songwriter on later BT albums, even though they weren't representative of the edgy, punkishness that brought the band much of its early acclaim. Janovitz' latest continues on-track with his late-model BT work, and I'm in love all over again.
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Jenna Dunlap • singer-