Elaborate Devices for Filtering Crisis



The press sheet refers to Portland's Nudge as "indietronica," but don't expect twee, Postal Service-like blandness on the band's second album, Elaborate Devices for Filtering Crisis. For Nudge--whose core members include Honey Owens and Fontanelle's Brian Foote and Paul Dickow (aka Strategy)--resides in deeper, headier realms. Whereas Nudge's first disc, 2002's Trick Doubt, sounded like a sugared-up Tortoise splashing vivid colors onto cool jazz's charcoal-hued canvas, Crisis brings in more IDM-ish software manipulations to the mix. But the modulations between the organic and electronic elements are subtle, so the music retains that crucial (to some) human factor. Nudge's deft players acknowledge funk's pleasure principle, but they aren't too blatant about it. Further enhancing the collective's appeal is their affinity for Mille Plateaux-like ice-floe ambience and the ~scape label's postmodern dub tropes. Nudge executes inner-space exploration with scientific thoroughness and surgical precision. DAVE SEGAL


A Drug Problem That Never Existed



Proving that getting the best people involved doesn't always lead to great results, Mondo Generator takes from the top of the desert-rock crop and drops the ball in a mess of unfocused material. Generator has been the side project of Queens of the Stone Age bassist/singer Nick Oliveri since 1997, and for the band's second release he reunites with drummer Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu), guitarist Dave Catching (QOTSA, earthlings?), and bassist Molly Maguire (earthlings?, Yellow #5), a topnotch crew that fumbles through a mix of thundering desert rock, psychedelic garage, and testosterone-on-overdrive hard rock. While the disc definitely has its moments, the caveman bravado of "Like You Want" dumbs things down beneath even the worst AC/DC wannabe garage band. Overall, though, A Drug Problem That Never Existed sounds like Oliveri and friends fucking around on a bunch of demos. JENNIFER MAERZ


Self-Titled EP

(Momentum Studios)


With an underlying spirituality and depth, the first EP by Siren's Echo is extremely sober, yet beautifully proffered. Of course, this has everything to do with its purveyors: Syndel and Toni Hill--essentially, the first ladies of Portland hiphop--with production by Oldominion's Pale Soul and Mako. Syndel's low-throated raps counter Hill's buttery, soulful singing--both ladies rap in a low, contemplative timbre, covering depressive ground from a unique perspective. While at points the dark, dramatic production slightly bogs down the record's overall feel--Syndel and Hill's serious delivery would do well with more upbeat samples and beats for contrast's sake--this seven-song EP showcases two great talents in local hiphop. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

**** MC Paul Barman

*** Necro

** Beastie Boys

* 2 Live Jews