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Bonk 

Unfortunate Inspiration (www.bonk826.com)

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Akron's Bonk does the angst-ridden, rhythmically inclined nü-rock thing, like a Linkin Park stripped of overt hip-hop influences, unafraid to drop the F-Bomb, and deeply infected with the screamo virus.

Disc opener "Channel 58" is Bonk in high schizophrenic mode, going multi-polar like they've been off their meds for a week. The song begins all riffs and screams, like a machine badly in need of oil. The discord immediately evaporates into a melodic modern-rock chorus, followed by screeching guitar outbursts and more I-am-now-experiencing-unbearable-pain hollering. The jerky gear-shifting is a bit much to take. So is "Forgiveness," but in a better way. Pushed to the edge by unrelenting parent issues, the band bears down for three tense minutes of jackhammer pop. The power ballads "We Fall" and "Conversation With a Friend" confirm that there's nothing wrong with the band that a good producer -- or a Ritalin prescription -- can't fix.

Speaking of Regional Beat

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