(Island Records)
0 stars

The trend in tired rocker comebacks is this: mushy, seemingly guitarless songs (or guitars overproduced beyond recognition), drum machines that could be on a Janet Jackson record, and songs called “Love Don’t Lie” instead of “Love Bites” and “Four Letter Word” instead of “Armegeddon It.” Drunken emotion has been replaced with canister after canister of Easy Cheese; the plunge into sappy mediocrity digging deeper than even Michael Bolton could sink. While I expected nothing from this album, it was much worse than I could even imagine. Listening to X is a lot like finding a mouse head in your pantry or discovering you have lice. One use for this album however, besides using the case to cut coke, is to put it in the CD player and make your friends guess who it is. Give me a call, I’ll let you borrow my copy. KATIE SHIMER

Tigerbeat6 Houseparty Series Vol. 1
In 1981, Robert Yannes invented the Sound Interface Device (SID): a three-tone sound oscillator designed specifically for the Commodore 64 computer. More importantly, SID made the squelchy soundtracks for most C64 video games, such as Magnetron, California Games, and Afterburner. This CD compiles slammin’ party favorites made by 25 musicians composing with SID, and its amazing videogame-like steez will make you bounce in a strangely robotic manner. Remixed by Brotha P Touch (aka J Lesser), Houseparty flips from complex, weirdly futuristic, and well written dance music, to hilarious yet magical covers of the hits (Van Halen’s “Jump,” Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit”). This record is how well it illustrates that you don’t need a legitimate beat to create a beat—the spazzy low end of the SID makes for some hot hardcore/house/electro/glitch, sans drum machine. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

The C.O.C.O. Sound
(K Records)

Two years ago, the reissue of recordings by early ‘80s post-punk icons ESG came as good news to an emerging flood of no-wave and art rock enthusiasts... or perhaps not. A great deal of draw to this brand of music comes from the rarity of the source. And when the availability of a hard-to-find band like ESG is deregulated, suddenly “everybody owns that record,” and the kids move on to something else. This comes as especially bad news to C.O.C.O., who, at their very pinnacle, come off as a lame ESG rip-off. Formed by Dub Narcotic bassist Chris Sutton and drummer Olivia Ness, C.O.C.O. seems to be some sort of half-assed, Caucasoid funk side project meant to inspire the mouth-breathing hipster teens to dance. And certainly, with the K records stamp, this crap will sell. But for anyone who really enjoyed that sound, it serves only as a scrape near the end of a timeline for the no-wave revival. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY