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Rachel's Secret Stache and Nick Wolff get graded

Rachel's Secret Stache

The Brown Bag

(self-released)

myspace.com/rachelssecretstache

Rachel Roberts is a woman you can't get out of your head. Her smoldering, torchy croon winds serpentine around a retro-'70s blend ranging from foot-tapping folk that channels Joni Mitchell ("Bloody Knees") to sultry, wah-drenched rock rave-ups ("Skelebones"), shoulder-shimmying cocktail soul ("Modest Affair") and bouncy, rock-tinged Americana ("Gotta Go [Get My Dancin Shoes]"). The music's familiar styles are a lulling Trojan horse disguising a real "grower." Roberts' versatile, winsome vocals and the catchy, synapse-sticking hooks overwhelm attempts to dismiss their debut's reliance on time-tested sonic glyphs. — Chris Parker

Rachel's Secret Stache perform with Sewing Machine War and Good Morning Valentine at 9 p.m. Saturday, September 26, at Musica (51 E Market St., Akron, 330.374.1114, akronmusica.com). Tickets: $12.

Nick Wolff

(State of Intoxication)

NickWolff.com

Depending on your tastes, punk rocker Nick Wolff's second album is either low-rent garbage (it's not) or no-collar brilliance (it is). Album opener "Sollozzo" recaps the first Godfather movie. "McNulty" sings praises of the hard-headed, anti-authoritarian character from The Wire. In "Nobody Likes the Hulk," the crew of underdogs find a kindred spirit in Marvel Comics' surly, formidable outsider. The Subtones' Holly Berry lends backing vocals to "Meat in Her Mouth," which skewers pierced vegans. "Army of Morons" flips off shitty bands and shifty promoters. We'll drink to that. — D.X. Ferris

The Nick Wolff Band performs with Criminal Menacing and Steve & Julies at 10 p.m. Saturday, September 26, at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com). Tickets: $5.

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