Sonic Reducer

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It’s a neat idea. The Section Quartet takes rock ballads and transforms them into classical ones. But, with a couple of exceptions, I couldn’t help wishing I was listening to the original versions of songs like David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” or the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Phenomena.” When the band takes on tunes with sweeping melodies, like Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” or Muse’s “Time is Running Out,” the results are more promising, but despite all of its “classical music with a lip ring” attitude, the bold experiment largely fails. (SM)

Good Times Crisis Band Select a Gather Point (Australian Cattle God)

Austin, Texas, is homestead to diverse gangs of musicians with styles ranging far and wide—but, hell, let’s keep it simple and revive that good old early ‘90s post-punk vibe. With a few tweaks and turns, the Good Times Crisis Band does just that. The only problem is all 13 songs on Select a Gather Point have a similar formula, which isolates the band’s overall potential. The production is outstanding, but the vocals prompted me to put in another CD. This trio definitely has the capacity to be a great band, but they’ll have to refocus on their own gather point first. (JH)

Horrorpops Kiss Kiss Kill Kill (Hellcat Records)

Are these Horrorpops growing a little mold? We took them out of the icebox, a brand-new bag of gothic rockabilly with bassist/frontwoman Patricia Day’s mug on the packaging. But the pops smelled flat, a little freezer-burned. Kiss Kiss Kill Kill is more of the same—more posturing, more overdone antique hooks—except with less enthusiasm. These are not "12 tales about love and murder" as the cover promises. These are "eight mediocre tracks, one or two really bad ones and a couple of sweet spots." (MD)

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