**** Brownie Earthquake
*** Dipped Cone (with Jimmies!)
** Pecan Mudslide
* Peanut Buster Parfait


DAMIEN JURADO & GATHERED IN SONG

I Break Chairs
(Sub Pop)
*1/2

While by no means a poor record, I Break Chairs is the epitome of a contract-fulfillment album. Word on the street is that the once-troubadour Jurado wants out of his Sub Pop contract, so this, his last record for the label, is a hastily assembled collection of half-assed rock songs performed with a full backing band. Sure, there are a couple winners here, but it's a far cry from his tape-hiss acoustic records, the best being 1999's Rehearsals For Departure. The irony here is that, in his previous albums, the softer Jurado sang, the more effect it had upon the listener. Further proof that it's what you say, not how loud you say it. On I Break Chairs, it's painfully clear that Jurado isn't saying much. CARMELO MARTINEZ

THE PRIDS
Glide, Screamer
(This-A-Way Records)
***1/2

For those still scratching their chins in wonderment over the return of new wave/goth, and in particular, The Prids, Portland's prime purveyors of the genre, it's time to give up and fall in. Happily swinging the mallet left behind by The Smiths, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and The Cure, The Prids take the music of the ancients and propel it out of the doomy-gloomy dark corners of mopeyness into ass-shaking rock. For those who have been following their progress over the last year, their newest EP will play like a mini-greatest hits album, featuring such fan faves as "Glide, Screamer," a live version of the club-burning "Duracraft," and, for my money, the best song to come out of this burg in 2001, "Persona Solara." All build and improve on the new wave/goth empire without a wink or a hint of irony, and are guaranteed to melt that cold, austere heart. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

THE REAL PILLS Nine Long Years
(Mortville Records)
***1/2

This reminds me of a story about a friend... I'll call him... Adam, who went fishing one frosty morn and, on relieving his bowels in a public outhouse, ended up with a hundred other people's shit spattered on his wiener, testicles, and buttocks. Wait... no... it don't remind me of that story, not at all. Hmmmmm, anyhoo... them Real Pills, well, they '60s style "garage" rock. However, (ahem) unlike MOST contemporary "garage" they, and Nine Long Years, stand above lame-ass "Dude, we like, LOVE, the Standells," of the farfisa-driven, power pop "garage" typical of the '80s, while thoughtfully avoiding the very, VERY tired '90s garage "Thunders" pretense. That is not to say it ain't of the "now"...like, NLY sounds BIG and clean, but like... say, the Makers of yore, these RPs got songs that don't make you embarrassed to wiggle awhile wif 'em workin' on some rave ups. Bling. Bling. MIKE NIPPER