**** Thin Mints
*** Peanut Butter Patties
** Caramel deLites
* Upside-Downs

(Virgin Records)

This is Gorillaz' debut album, in which Blur's Damon Albarn bumps into hiphop genius Dan the Automator, and promptly sticks his chocolate in Dan's peanut butter. Before anyone knows it, they've bumped into mad-as-monkeys comics artist Jamie Hewlett, who adds a mackerel to the concoction, and something frighteningly exciting is born. It shouldn't work, but it does. Rap and rock hybrids have been novelties, but Gorillaz is an ingenious piece of work, interlocking pop, rock, hiphop, dub, and just about any goddamn thing these freaks see fit. Hiding their public personas behind cleverly cool cartoon characters, and enlisting folks like Del the Funkee Homosapien and Miho Hatori for added flavor, this indescribably excellent full-length is the new face of 900-lb. entertainment. And where does 900-lb. entertainment sit? Anywhere it wants! JAMIE S. RICH

(Elastic Records)
** 1/2

Portland's own Diesto are a 10-car pileup pounded out of guitar, drums, and bass. But while rock music's favored instruments are the tools of Diesto's craft, anger and desperation are the muses that tell them where to strike. Outland is a pounding, eight-song highlight film of lonely battles won over paranoia and frustration. A lot of music aims at leaving the listener enlightened and inspired--an attempted group hug letting you know you're not the only one who's pissed off at the world. Outland rolls right over you, unconcerned if you're having an enriching experience or not. Drawing breath almost exclusively in the low end, these songs sub out gimmick and atmospherics for sustained intensity, leaving few breaches in the wall of noise. That's a good thing if you're not looking for therapy in your CD collection. JOSH HOOTEN

Charm Soundtrack
(5 Rue Christine)

The Fucking Champs' Tim Green (AKA GOD) figures prominently on a soundtrack to a horror film made by The Lies' Sadie Shaw and Sarah Reed: Should be loaded with metal riffs, correct? Mais, non! Green (who, since he is brilliant at metal, obviously listens to a lot of classical music, as well) actually gets kind of ambient on this comp. Overall, this record is For Collectors Only, with treats for fans of The Need, Thrones, Deerhoof, Replikants, and Aislers Set. Portland entries include The Juanita Family's heartbreak-tavern Hank Williams cover, in which Lana Rebel's voice could drive you to alcoholism; and Unwound's Sara Lund and the Mercury's own Aaron Beam playing a haunting piano melody that sounds like a musty basement. The kindersurprise, however, is in a get-down, '80s dance anthem by 27 Faces (Audrey Marrs and Jon Nikki). The Charm soundtrack is half-poppy, half-experiment, and only about one-sixteenth shitty! JULIANNE SHEPHERD