**** Colonel Sanders
*** Carl Jr.'s Cheese Paper
** Ronald McDonald
* Bad Andy

Pure Rock Fury
(Atlantic Records)

My friend Dave told me that back when he toured with Clutch in the early '90s he always figured they'd never really get anywhere. He said they were one of many "New Yawk hardcore bands with one-syllable names that were getting signed all over the place." I see what he's saying, since their early stuff is shite, and their later stuff is cleaned-up early stuff. Nevertheless, I dig them. Their latest album is gritty and bass-heavy, with their signature "too high for hardcore" vocals. The guitar is either sloppy as hell, or fucking righteous. "American Sleep" is by far the best song on the album, but the rest has some head-banging gems as well. KATIE SHIMER

Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe & his Nigerian Soundmakers
Sound Time

(IndigeDisc Records)

Osita Osadebe's Sound Time, the first release on IndigeDisc Records ("[dedicated] to bring you significant sounds from around the world"), is highlife at its very best. Although well known in the West, Osadebe is a wildly successful artist in his native Nigeria. The self-proclaimed "Doctor of Hypertension," his brand of highlife is typical of the form--guitar-based dance music that features a fantastic horn section and powerful, keening vocals. Sound Time is a collection of Osadebe's best tracks recorded between 1970 and 1985. This is definitely for Those Inclined To Get Their Groove On, as Osadebe's rhythm section is as funky as they come in this style of music. Highlife is to afro-beat as R&B is to funk. So if you're familiar with Fela's trance and dance-inducing sounds, you owe it to yourself to check out its forebear. Sound Time is a great place to start. MURRAY CIZON

To Rococo Rot and I-Sound
Music is a Hungry Ghost

When I played this for the first time, my friend/co-worker Katia said, "I don't like it." "You don't like it?" "I think it's boring. Maybe I'm just not experimental enough." Maybe it is an aesthetic difference, like the way some people decorate their houses with layers of cluttered kitsch, and others use minimalist chairs and lighting to achieve a languid effect. (I've seen Katia's house, though, and it's pretty sparse.) To Rococo Rot are undeniably minimalists, and much of this record is characterized by extreme restraint. Music is a Hungry Ghost is the control group in a cold future of synthesizer static and computer rumblings--like that Ray Bradbury story where everyone on earth has been annihilated by nuclear war, but the computer mechanisms inside the house go on living. Where some people capture soul in ambience, To Rococo Rot singularly captures its plutonium skeleton. If you are planning on buying some Swedish furniture and think that knick-knacks are evil incarnate, get this album now. JULIANNE SHEPHERD