Sounds 15.8

Brother’s Keeper
Fantasy Killer
Trustkill Records
You should always stick to your roots, and that’s just what the Erie, Pennsylvania-based hardcore band Brother’s Keeper has done on its latest opus, Fantasy Killer. This band has never claimed to be something it’s not, instead touring heavily and leaving people positively charged after hearing live shows. Fantasy Killer is refined and powerful. With the musical composition of Scott Emhoff on guitar, Eric Schauffele on bass, and the witty yet charismatic vocals of lead singer Mikeski, this album delivers a heart-punching sound from beginning to end. The opening track on any album has to get me stoked, and “I Shot JFK” did just that. Another great song is “Two Week Notice,” about getting beat down by the normalcy of day-to-day routines. This album is Brother’s Keepers’ finest work yet, and just proves the group’s dedication to its own musical progression as a band.-Chad Perrin

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Virgin Records
A few years ago, someone broke into my car. The thief was a real dummy and couldn’t figure out how to steal my stereo, instead only managing to break off the faceplate. They did get their greasy, undeserving mits on a few CDs, though, before skittering off into the night. One of them was The Verve’s A Northern Soul, a really good bit of music I never replaced. What I’m really trying to say is that after all this time, I’ve finally found something to fill the void in my Brit-rock collection. B.R.M.C. takes cues from space-rockers like The Verve, My Bloody Valentine, and Spiritualized, creating an expansive sound with buzzing background reverb-a mellow burn of echoes and feedback. Just when you start sensing a digression into lava-lamp psychedelia, the drumbeat kicks things back on track. Ironically, the band members are from a destination far west of England-i.e., Los Angeles-but you’d never know it by listening to this record.-J.S.

Superdrag/The Anniversary
Split EP
Vagrant Records
Split releases have become kind of weird with the advent of the compact disc. The concept made sense on vinyl-songs from one band on side A and from another on side B. But there’s only one “side” on a CD … maybe I’m the only one who thinks that’s odd. Nevertheless, the idea is cool, and this new Superdrag/The Anniversary record proves it-a sampling from two quality indie-rock groups in one tight package. The Anniversary has somehow escaped pigeonholing themselves into a particular sound-the group’s music is always different. This time around the songs have a psych-rock feel, like The Beatles meets Pink Floyd in an Olympia-area bar. Superdrag delivers classic lines about the fragmented obsessions of males in their twenties, with emotionally indulgent lines like, “If I come on agnostic, she makes me believe.” You will laugh, cry, and definitely rock out.-J.S.

De La Soul
Tommy Boy Records
Plug One, Two, and Three have emerged from the basement with another futuristic-classic hip-hop release. AOI: BIONIX is the underground all-star’s fifth record since they broke out with Three Feet High And Rising back in ’89. Following its formula of irreverent, funked-out tracks and infectious in-joke jams, De La’s done it again. The bumping beats are fleshed out with guest appearances from artists such as Slick Rick, B Real, and Devin The Dude. Samples and loops from The Fat Boys and Stevie Wonder, as well as organs, lyrics in Spanish, and jazzy horns create an amalgam of soulful sounds. The tracks “Baby Phat,” “Peer Pressure,” and “Pawn Star” are classic De La that will have you turning up the bass and easing your seat back for the ride.-J.M.

Hydra Head Records
Explaining that something is good because it sucks isn’t easy, but in the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Harkonen, it’s worth a try. This electrifying EP release, Grizz, is raw and insidious; it’s ugly, loud and unapologetic. Because categorizing musicc is so critical to our little minds, comparisons to metal and hardcore can be made-minus the macho of metal and the conscience of hardcore. There is an overlying negativity and desperation to the sound, from the guitar tuning to the guttural vocal pleadings. It’s bad that feels good. Screaming harmonics and distortion drag it into the dirt. Grizz features five tracks that range from dense, hyper-charged aggression to loose, meandering sludge. Sickening, erratic, and vile, yet somehow inviting. Harkonen sucks in the best possible sense of the word.-J.M.

Repeat Offender:

Al Green
Greatest Hits
The Right Stuff Records
Okay, you finally got up the guts to ask out that person you’ve had a crush on for the last year. The date’s going good-it’s time to set the mood. What, are you going to put on a Limp Bizkit CD? Hell no. That’s were Al comes in. His songs what I like to call the smooth cuts-pure makeout music. I’ve heard of women propositioning men from just the sight of the CD case. I’ll tell you what-the second your date hears some “Tired Of Being Alone,” they’re gonna be thinking, “I’m so tired of being clothed.” Back that up with “Here I Am (Come And Take Me)” and you’ll be wishing you oiled the springs in your mattress. A couple of times when I was listening to “Let’s Stay Together” alone, I started feeling so damn sexy I began “making out” with myself. Oh yeah-make sure to hit the skip button on “Lets Get Married,” or there’s a good chance Al might just get you more than “lucky.”-Chris Coyle

The Dionne Delesalle Collection

Favorite Albums Of All Time:
1. The Notorious B.I.G.: Born Again
2. Dr. Dre: The Chronic
3. Nelly Furtado: Whoa, Nelly
4. Mobb Deep: The Infamous
5. Wu-Tang Clan: Enter The Wu-Tang

In His Stereo Now?
1. Ja Rule: Pain Is Love
2. Capone-N-Noreaga: Reunion
3. DMX: The Great Depression
4. Swollen Members: Bad Dreams
5. Bobby Digital

Editors’ Picks: The higher-ups have promised us real offices with closing doors as part of a remodel being dangled like a phantom carrot in front of our muzzles. For now, we’re stuck in a purgatory of badly lit, not-at-all-soundproof cubicles, and you can only imagine the work that doesn’t get done in them. It’s okay, though. Instead of getting frustrated with the constant din of gossip and shady sales pitches issuing from other departments, we happily add to the chaos by turning up our stereos.-J.S. The Muzzey Collection
Favorite Albums Of All Time:
1. Slayer: Reign In Blood
2. Government Issue: You
3. Black Sabbath: Never Say Die
4. D.O.A.: War On 45
5. Fear: The Record

In His Stereo Now?
1. Reagan Youth: Best Of
2. Nas: Illmatic
3. Cannibal Corpse: The Bleeding
4. Defcon 4: Brazleton
5. Suicide Contest: Hammer Of The Tards

The Jen Collection
Favorite Albums Of All Time:
1. Pavement: Slanted And Enchanted
2. Joy Division: Substance
3. The Pixies: Surfer Rosa
4. Rites Of Spring: End On End
5. Built To Spill: There’s Nothing Wrong With Love

In Her Stereo Now?
1. A-Dog: Vegas Sessions
2. Modest Mouse: The Moon And Antarctica
3. … And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
4. Blonde Redhead: La Mia Vita Violenta
5. Jets To Brazil: Orange Rhyming Dictionary

The Cody Collection
Top Five Albums Of All Time:
1. Crass: Feeding Of The Five Thousand
2. Social Distortion: Mommy’s Little Monster
3. Sick Of It All: Just Look Around
4. Jawbreaker: Unfun
5. Swingin’ Utters: Streets Of San Francisco

In His Stereo Now:
1. Ramones: Mania
2. Madball: Ball Of Destruction
3. Too Short: Shorty The Pimp
4. D.R.I.: Crossover
5. H2O: Go