Quick Spins

Steriogram Schmack! (Capitol/EMI) Take your average alterno-rock band and
tack on some Ugly Kid Joe rap swagger and you’ve got Steriogram,
hyperactive kids who talk a whole lot without saying very much. Iain Archer
Flood the Tanks (PIAS) Archer hits the bullseye with… oh Jesus! Ha ha, did
you catch my witty, witty playful witticism there! Hoo-boy, aren’t I
clever? Well, not as clever as Archer’s new disc, which is full of
delightfully mellow and pensive pop charmers. Nifty orchestrations in the
same vein as (albeit much more stripped-down than) the symphonic pop bombast
of Archer’s previous Reindeer Section endeavours. Sevendust Southside
Double-Wide Acoustic Live (TVT) More fuel for the anti-acoustic album
fire—or any fire, for that matter. This nugget comes with a pack of
Sevendust trading cards for you and your imaginary friend to swap. Various
Artists Cougar Cuts (Universal) There’s been a rash of these
major-label theme compilations lately. Frosh Tunes, The Mullet Years and
Campfire Hootenanny have all done an admirable job of recycling
yesterday’s rock ’n’ roll grist, but nobody’s going
to want to pay money to hear Extreme or the Rembrandts! No one! In fact, the
music industry could eliminate all Internet downloading overnight by renaming
every track “More Than Words.” Anyway, here are our suggestions
for future compilations: Stripper Blanket Songs, Themes From a Shortbus
Walkman, Songs Inspired by Drunk Uncle at Family Reunion and Anal Frat
Initiation Soundtrack. Brian Wilson Gettin’ in Over My Head (Rhino) TB:
“Hands on the buzzer, Whitey.” [Puts in the new Brian Wilson
disc.] Whitey: [Listens for a minute before venturing a guess.] “Hmm, I
dunno. Is this Mike Love’s Beach Boys?” Ouch. Low blow. Here we
have the genius behind the Beach Boys, the man who single-handedly perfected
a genre of music, the man whom the Beatles considered their greatest rival,
sounding like a third-rate knockoff of himself. Occasional glimpses of
brilliance are marred by crappy boogie-woogie and embarrassing adult
contemporary lyrics. It’s a sad day indeed. Marc Anthony Amar Sin
Mentiras (Sony) Apparently Marc got married to J-Lo on Saturday. So what do
we refer to them as now? Marcifer? Jerc? Anthonopez? Better figure it out
fast, ’cuz the U.K. bookies are giving 3-1 odds that they won’t
last until the end of the year. She also appears on a song called
“Escapémonos.” What does that mean? I haven’t got a
clue. Those crazy Spanish have a different word for everything. V

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