URBAN LEGENDS Soak and Drown / The World is Strange!
(No Karma)

I don't give a shit what you kids call 'em; to me, "7-inches" are still "45's"! And the only way to truly experience a 45 is on an authentic GE Wildcat portable stereo from 1975. However! Some songs sound naturally better on the GE Wildcat and are, therefore, superior. Like... Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog." But, if you're looking for music from this century, I can heartily recommend the new Urban Legends 45, with the songs "Soak and Drown" and "The World is Strange!" While definitely lo-fi, the Legends perfectly capture that Herman's Hermits snap-pop groove, without the dumbass lyrics. Kathy Foster's precision snare-work is happily present, along with the jingle-jangle-ness of guitarists Hutch Harris and Brian Grant. Plus, both tunes are perfectly danceable and work great for jumping up and down on the bed, spinning and flapping your arms. Urban Legends and the GE Wildcat: They bring out the best in each other... and you! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

(Mirex Records)

There's industrial music, and then there's industrial music--you know, the kind that is made of a bunch of weird bleeps and screeches and loud machine noises. It's the kind that just abandons melody altogether. I can't say I'm a real geek about this kind of industrial music, though I can definitely appreciate its sophistication, even if I can't like, get all emotional about lovers past while listening to it. That's why this 7-inch is perfect--two very short sides, good for the duration of making a grilled cheese, or maybe having a quick douche right before you have to go to dinner with your parents. The members of SR don't make any attempts at disguising the extremely synthesized sound of the music, which is a little distancing. The sound is echoing and cryptic, and unlike a lot of industrial, not really very angry. Just extremely geeky. KATIA DUNN

Illin' Technology 7"

Portland's Jonny X and the Groadies are some fun shit. They ride a couple different lines, between rock music and instru-metal, and sometimes go goth/industrial on our asses--which gives them a strikingly different sound. They have a vocalist, but he's really just a sqwaker--Jonny X's lyrics are so indecipherable, he might as well be reminding me to sign up for salsa dancing lessons. I suppose that means they're also tossing in a little hardcore influence to their rock/metal/industrial blend, which gives their sound a shrieky, yet not-too-heavy edge. Their guitar chords are dark and repetitive (is that punk I smell?) and their drummer is fast and, dare I say, inhuman. This seven-inch is a blend of all the harder stuff I love, without being a giant, headache-causing explosion. Another sign from the almighty that metal is returning. HA HA HA. KATIE SHIMER