Sonic Reducer: The Scrams, Matterhorn, Putumayo’s World Christmas Party

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The Scrams single-handedly fill a long-gaping hole in our local scene: a trashy garage rock combo with frantic hooks and sonic mayhem. “La Llorona” is a far cry from the muy triste folk song of the same name. This original forsakes the sadness of the ghostly mother forlornly searching for the children she drowned when jilted by her lover. It depicts a tortured soul consumed with vengeful fury and indelibly marks the band as New Mexico home boys. The Scrams’ rock and roll is as hot as a bowl of straight green chile with no tortilla on the side. (CA)

Matterhorn ÒVol. 1. The World Began Without Man ... Ó (Thinker Thought Records)

Matterhorn’s "Vol. 1. The World Began Without Man … " is an instrumental concept album that explores the annihilation of man from the Earth. The apocalyptic theme is evident not from the dismal and dark metal sound emanating from the tracks, but from the EP’s jacket, which, after every title, contains scientific explanations of varying forms of doom, including solar wind and magnetosphere dwindles. Who says you can’t learn from metal music? (DEM)

Various artists World Christmas Party (Putumayo World Music)

By now I bet the employees of Cost Plus World Market have heard enough of Putumayo’s latest Christmas collection. This album, which contains a smooth variety of mostly acoustic-guitar driven, maraca-tinged easy listening, is designed to highlight Christmas traditions in warmer parts of the world. It’s still Christmas music, but these African, Latin, jazz and reggae versions of classics are far better than most of the tunage out there this time of year. Plus, the album comes with a recipe for coquito —a Puerto Rican-style eggnog. (JCC)

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