**** Arby-Q
*** Battered Chicken Plank
** Manwhich
* McRib

Betty Davis
Betty Davis
(MPC Ltd.)

This is not a new CD. In fact, it was originally released in 1975-ish. I know it's technically against the rules to review something so old, but I've already listened to no less than 15 horrible records today, and would rather review this old thing than any of the other lifeless, mediocre crap I've subjected myself to. (My conclusion is that 98% of all label people are deaf and/or have too much money and not enough musical knowledge.) Anyhow, in addition to being a badass, freak-nasty, spitfire-y soul sistah and ex-wife of Miles Davis, Betty Davis is OUT OF HAND. She was a tough lady's hero--sassy and funky as shit and a total sexual revolutionary, singing in scratchy, sexy coos and growls: "Take me home with you/...I'm wigglin' my fanny," or Game is my middle name/whatever you want, I'll play it with ya now." The way her voice is so lumpy and commanding atop the slappiest, most booty-licious basslines is absolutely mind-blowing. I think it's a miracle she didn't screw Miles to death. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

Early Humans
(Wäntage USA)

Even if you consider yourself a nice person, you have to admit there are times when you want to punch somebody in the face. Of course you never would, because that would be immature and wouldn't solve any of your problems. But you cannot deny that deep-down, burning, primitive desire to just sock somebody. I swear I'm not going for a punny analogy when I say that Early Humans are a good remedy for that instinct. Their guitars spit discontent in manic spurts, and their vocalists scream ruddily over forceful bass. Their composition is dynamic and elaborately timed, and it's based in Gravity-style hardcore--the press release says Antioch Arrow, and it's not a bad comparison, but it's not particularly derivative or stuck in the '90s. (I am going to be obnoxious and call it "New-Millennium Smartcore." HA!) I especially like this record because it doesn't stay at one volume or speed, with many unpredictable twists, like neat guitar solos where typical hardcore bands would just hit the pedal and wail. JS

Cry Baby Cry
Jesus Loves Stacy

Cry Baby Cry employs every rock cliché you can imagine, blending chord progressions you have heard a thousand times with fairly obnoxious harmonies (and annoyingly misplaced vibrato) that have glam, Beatles, and pop-punk influences. Others have stated this implies diversity, but the band's pastiche is not fully blended, and their sound is a muddled mess. It reminds me of some bad late-'80s Nickelodeon musical that can't decide if it wants to be campy or not. The real question is, would my mom like it? I'm going to go out on a limb and say, no, I don't even think my mom would like it. JS