Second Rekoning
Kill Rock Stars

C Average sound like the Fucking Champs. If you love the Champs, then C Average rule. They are two dudes from Olympia embracing their obsession with '80s prog-metal and morphing it into an indie-digestable music genre I like to call "post-metal." My question: When did the Guitar Center power riff become cool? If I hear one more distorted metal scale come out of an indie rocker I'm going to vomit--on them. Now, this album does have its fun moments, in a "pass the Doritos while I roll this 10-sided di and simultaneously watch Excalibur for the 50th time," kind of way. It's possible that I'm missing something that dudes from the age of 18-27 totally dig about bands in the post-metal vein, but really it seems pretty simple... Here's the equation: metal + post rock + D&D + dudes - mullets = C Average. A.J. ROSE


(Mr. Lady Records)

As guitarist and co-vocalist of Team Dresch, Kaia Wilson was a baby-dyke foremother of the queercore movement that inspired and agitated indie and underground rock in equal measures. When Team Dresch imploded, Wilson formed the Butchies with bassist Allison Martlew and drummer Melissa York. 3 finds the Butchies at the top of their game. The songs have become more hook-laden while remaining raw and textured. York and Martlew anchor the songs and Wilson burns wild magma and cleverness across her guitar lines. The unevenness of the Butchies' first two albums has been smoothed out without any loss of velocity, and didacticism has burned off like a fog, leaving behind a bone-deep fury and rueful humanity that offers subtlety in its tough and righteous worldview. NATE LIPPENS

CORRINA REPP I Take On Your Days
(Hush Records)

The name Hush says it all, because the label continually releases records by some of Portland's best-kept secrets. Case in point; the chanteuse with the Lauren Bacall voice, Corrina Repp. This is Corrina's third Hush release, so why is it that we don't hear about her as often as, say, Rick Bain? Well, probably because Corrina is quiet, and her sounds of silence take time to appreciate, going as they do for the heart and not the crotch (rawk!). I Take On Your Days sees her stepping away from the simple guitar-and-voice formula and getting experimental. The background drones of "Did You Say You Were Grown?" and "Gone" remind me of a more focused Cat Power, and her refined vocals on "Opinion" and "Undertow" out-Vega Suzanne. But the charm of this record is how it gives the listener a sense of clandestine importance, as if Corrina is letting you in on a secret, voicing the unspoken thoughts of the quiet, coffee-shop girl who boys like me are too scared to talk to. It's a powerful mastery of songcraft--no frills, all feeling. JAMIE S. RICH