CD Review 

PARLOUR
Googler
(Temporary Residence Ltd.)
* * * 1/2
This exhilarating second release from Louisville's Parlour starts out with "Jololinine," a confetti of synths, propulsive rhythms, and guitars that expand in twinkling crescendos. From there, Googler unfurls confidently and with excellent posture, adding surprise elements to each track--delicately tough bass, scary swarms of electronics, hiphop rhythms, ambient twirls, twittering dramatic glitch, keyboards separated in chunks and hurled into funky piles. It takes a special group to play instrumentals without inducing the listener into a coma--and believe me, the thought of any more sluggish post-rock makes me wanna slice out my hypothalamus in self-defense. But with their procession of both organic and electronic instruments, Parlour twists and tweaks the right angles to make a compelling narrative structure. And they sound alive--an important aspect for any musical endeavor. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

THE PUNK GROUP
International Rock Stars
(Self-Released)
* *
Dressed in black duds, white shades, and sloppily synchronized dance dumbery, The Punk Group are gonna steal your girl. International Rock Stars is a polished album of primitive new wave and electro tunes that risks ass-kickings and lawsuits by taking on licensed properties ("Yoda") and property licensors ("Poirier Brothers?"). No one is safe from the black belt elbows of The Punk Group. If you're a fat girl on a bicycle, a homophobic sports fan, or are easily offended, steer clear. But if a bit of caustic humor that's good natured, stupid, and totally unapologetic can still get a rise out of you, there's plenty to laugh at here. Without the dance beats and Ramones riffs to provide a foundation, none of these songs would work so well. "Bone Down" delivered with a straight face could easily have won them a spot on the Electroclash tour, but then Peaches would have been dancing on broken eggs instead of skinny legs. NATHAN CARSON

LACRIMOSA
Echos
(Nuclear Blast)
* *
American symphony directors just can't seem to lure younger audiences. Perhaps the problem lies with the stodgy conductors, who lack a flamboyant, charismatic rock-star presence. Now, Switzerland's Tilo Wolff--there's a conductor. With a skunk-streaked Cruella DeVille hairstyle and goth-metal credentials, Wolff (whose band name Lacrimosa doubles as a Mozart requiem), gives new meaning to "rock me, Amadeus!" Alas, Lacrimosa's latest effort lags after a bombastic, button-pushing thirteen-minute overture. Echos' blend of programmed percussion, layered keyboards, and ethereal female vocals makes it feel like a mildly exotic Dido disc. Its power-ballad progressions might inspire lighter-lofting in the pit--the orchestra pit--but Lacrimosa's classical music/classic rock hybrid looks more amusing than it sounds. ANDREW MILLER


* * * * Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas
* * * A Walton Wedding
* * Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding
* An Eight Is Enough Wedding

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