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A Wilhelm Scream  -  - Ruiner  - Nitro Recorded at the Blasting Room studio in - Fort Collins, this album of intricate melodic punk - searches for originality but ultimately is bogged down in - overproduced dreariness. A Wilhelm Scream, hailing - from New Bedford, Mass., display a healthy appetite for - lacing their fast-paced melody-punk with pointilist - guitar work and speedy licks. The opening track, "The - King is Dead," shows a lot of promise. A catchy guitar - intro loops throughout the song, linking riffs and - languid-to-mosh breakdowns. But much of the album is - repetitious and boring, betraying an unwillingness to - climb above the heap of hundreds of similar punk bands. - The songs are polished to an uninspiring uniform gloss - that vaporizes all intended emotion. There's nothing - risky here, and that's a shame. -- Dan Wilcock -
  • A Wilhelm Scream

    Ruiner
    Nitro

    Recorded at the Blasting Room studio in Fort Collins, this album of intricate melodic punk searches for originality but ultimately is bogged down in overproduced dreariness. A Wilhelm Scream, hailing from New Bedford, Mass., display a healthy appetite for lacing their fast-paced melody-punk with pointilist guitar work and speedy licks. The opening track, "The King is Dead," shows a lot of promise. A catchy guitar intro loops throughout the song, linking riffs and languid-to-mosh breakdowns. But much of the album is repetitious and boring, betraying an unwillingness to climb above the heap of hundreds of similar punk bands. The songs are polished to an uninspiring uniform gloss that vaporizes all intended emotion. There's nothing risky here, and that's a shame. -- Dan Wilcock

Esthero  -  - Wikked Lil' Grrrls  - Reprise Like the dreaded buzz of an alarm - clock, Wikked Lil' Grrrls interrupts the blissful - trip-hop ecstasy Esthero's 1998 Breath from - Another welcomed me to. The beautiful voice that - once seduced me now makes me think pillow talk really - should stay in the bedroom -- or between the covers of - Penthouse. Set to pop mediocrity, "Fastlane" - lyrics like "Foreplay does nothing for me / But - commitment makes me wet" and "I'll lick you with - alliteration / and tie you up with similes" put me front - row at a discount Vegas cabaret show, not in the mood. - In "We R in Need of a Musical Revolution," our wannabe - bad girl bemoans "the shit on the radio," fingering MTV - and Ashanti, seemingly unaware that her latest creations - fall even further short. -- Vanessa Martinez
  • Esthero

    Wikked Lil' Grrrls
    Reprise

    Like the dreaded buzz of an alarm clock, Wikked Lil' Grrrls interrupts the blissful trip-hop ecstasy Esthero's 1998 Breath from Another welcomed me to. The beautiful voice that once seduced me now makes me think pillow talk really should stay in the bedroom -- or between the covers of Penthouse. Set to pop mediocrity, "Fastlane" lyrics like "Foreplay does nothing for me / But commitment makes me wet" and "I'll lick you with alliteration / and tie you up with similes" put me front row at a discount Vegas cabaret show, not in the mood. In "We R in Need of a Musical Revolution," our wannabe bad girl bemoans "the shit on the radio," fingering MTV and Ashanti, seemingly unaware that her latest creations fall even further short. -- Vanessa Martinez

Feist  -  - Let It Die  - Interscope Letting go of Esthero is all the - easier because of Feist. The formerly punk-rocking - Canadian gets "simple is better" in most cases, forgoing - decorum and even embracing covers. (Her rendition of - the Bee Gees' "Inside and Out" borrows a contemporary - DJ, but not until the very end.) Feist also recovers the - soul that once occupied Tori Amos and calls it "When I - Was a Young Girl." If "Gatekeeper" gently laments love's - brief lifeline, "Mushaboom" revels in its domestic peaks - ("I got a man to stick it out / Make a home from a rented - house"). The girl seems to have realized that previously - mythical "balance" everyone talks about, sustaining a - rather happy tone where most would lull depressively. I - nominate a new heroine.  -- Vanessa - Martinez
  • Feist

    Let It Die
    Interscope

    Letting go of Esthero is all the easier because of Feist. The formerly punk-rocking Canadian gets "simple is better" in most cases, forgoing decorum and even embracing covers. (Her rendition of the Bee Gees' "Inside and Out" borrows a contemporary DJ, but not until the very end.) Feist also recovers the soul that once occupied Tori Amos and calls it "When I Was a Young Girl." If "Gatekeeper" gently laments love's brief lifeline, "Mushaboom" revels in its domestic peaks ("I got a man to stick it out / Make a home from a rented house"). The girl seems to have realized that previously mythical "balance" everyone talks about, sustaining a rather happy tone where most would lull depressively. I nominate a new heroine. -- Vanessa Martinez

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