**** Moist, Milky
*** Hot, Wet
** Pasty, Crumbly
* Pregnant

UGLY CASANOVA
Sharpen Your Teeth

(Sub Pop)
****

The best Modest Mouse songs are the ones where the inner and outer demons wrestle, and the listener is never quite sure which is truly meant to be dominant. Sharpen Your Teeth, Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock's full-length debut as Ugly Casanova, contains songs that require careful listening in order to hear all the souls fighting to be heard at once. The first track, "Barnacles," pits the need to be isolated against the pull of connecting with someone forever; "Parasites" blends death, decay, and joyous-sounding keyboards before "Hotcha Girls" breaks your heart with a violin-laden layer cake of dusty neglect and the sweet bloom of youth. Time flows and returns and bearings are never quite found, making Sharpen Your Teeth an album worth the dedicated attention it demands, if only to show the listener that it's in that loose footing that the truest route lies. KATHLEEN WILSON

PLAYGROUP
S/T
(Astralwerks)
***

[arts ed. note: the following CD review was sent via email from Milwaukee, WI, at 2:40 AM (CST) by Joe Faustin Kelly, while he was bro'in' down with his old friends from high school. We think he was drunk.]

If you don't mind havung your intelligence insulted, and you also love to dance, and you are not very smart, listen to PLaYGROUP then you will thyink that aren you a very smaryt persons . `ythat ids somr fiuckin shit man threir ys is a potrioricasn and he has we have bboooxe here and ytou can make some blended drinks andm it tastes klikem oiene treeese and ricyhire has some coke so ileft anfd she kept looking at me anfd dudre sheos loooking at me and what did nfrench and american scientittsm science ,to dioscover and you can have that onw noqw AND SHE IS TRYHE BESTY AND i NWILLL LOVE HER FOREGVER. joe fayustin kekllliuy

SIGHTINGS
S/T
(Load Records)
****

Like noise purveyors then and now (Merzbow, Wolf Eyes, Portland's Def Yellow Swans) NYC's Sightings drop anvil-heavy static and disorienting chaos on the listener, and squashes them like a tomatillo. The great part about Sightings--other than the fact that the only electronics they use are the amps attached to their bass, guitar, and drums--is that their noise bomb is sorta melodic, buried in 15 layers of monster white noise, and colliding with thoughtful time signatures. Sightings is clearly not just dudes venting their angst/rebellion by being as loud and harsh as possible--they probably see noise music as art, and craft their abrasions accordingly. Like, on track "Cuckoo," the tinfoil noise of high-pitched, kinetic distortion cuts out to raw-throated vocals that are half-belched and half-cried; extremely intelligent, noise-fuck insanity. JULIANNE SHEPHERD