Sonic Reducer: Rebekkah Dreskin, Dead Wretch, Rue Badly

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Full disclosure: I listened to this album being fully aware that, back in the day, there was a folk rock ensemble in this town called Blame It On Rachel that featured then-Alibi Calendars Editor Rachel Heisler on guitar and vocals. They were pretty decent. And Rachel wasn’t just some hippie girl with a guitar and sheaf full of Stones transcriptions tagging along after. This album on the other hand, is much more frenetic and eclectic than all that stuff from the past. With a panache for quirky belted effervescently to her style, Dreskin nails novelty pop on a record that features tasty oddities like “Dim Sum in Albuquerque.” Glitchy, shimmering pieces like “Pretty Dirty Face” and “Come The Night” set this collection apart from the normative though, providing listeners with a glimpse inside a singing soul.

Dead Wretch Hug Division Dead Wretch (Ipos Music)

Dead Wretch is the project of Daniel Jackson and all profits from this recording benefit the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico. That said, dear listener, wouldn’t you like to grab a hold of and rock an album that features OG hardcore barn-burners like “Eat Shit,” “Unfuckable,” “Have You Guys Heard Witchery?” and “Peter, This is Fucked Up.” Of course you would, and who wouldn’t? This kind of music never grows old and when it’s done right—like here for instance—pressing the play button is like losing your virginity all over, again and again. The 11 tracks comprising this surprisingly rocked out collection of tumbling, twisted and ultimately tuneful tit-bits of transgression made for a perfect Monday morning in my world.

Rue Badly WE (Eagle Sound)

There are some sumptuously searching melodies on this record, some guitar playing that will give you the feels when mixed up with the Mellotron, all Elliott Smith style. Cuts like “Heaven” feel like something Peter Gabriel might have unloaded on an off day, while the title track rumbles mysteriously through the story of a love gone wrong, maybe in the way Lamar might have spoken of such tragedies. Here though, the ideas are grand but the execution still needs some work. Vocals seemed to be undermixed and trebly conceits shine while their low-end counterparts seem to get shamefully left behind. I can’t wait to hear what’s next from this promising project.

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