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American Werewolves And The Thrifters Get Graded

American Werewolves

The Lonely Ones

(Robot Monster)

myspace.com/aw

After nearly a decade and three records, this furry and furious Cleveland horrorcore band is now headed down its own dark path through the underworld. The Lonely Ones is ferocious, hardcore-indebted, oldies-style rock 'n' roll that's more Dion than Danzig. On "Never Seen by Waking Eyes," sandpaper harmonies by singer Trevor Moment and the band prove that punk plus melody doesn't have to equal soft screamo bobby-sox gang-wail. Moment gets morbid and romantic on "If We Were Dead," like a gentle shape-shifter turned bloodthirsty in the thrall of a full moon: "If we were dead / We could be together / And the night would last forever / If we were dead we would never be alone." If the rockabilly cats ever get hip to the 'Wolves, they could shake the ghouly ghetto and become a full-on phenomenon. - D.X. Ferris

The Thrifters

It's Goin' Down!

(self-released)

myspace.com/thethrifters

If this record had come out, say, five years ago, when emo acts like Jimmy Eat World were pairing call-and-response vocals with meaty guitars riffs, I'd say these boys were onto something. But these days, this stuff just sounds derivative. Not sure what inspired the vocal effects on the opening track, "Cabin Fever Killer," but it sounds like it was recorded underwater. "And They Call Her Miss Leading," which has elements of 311, fares better, though its references to a potential threesome are fairly insipid. "6" features some dynamic guitar riffage, and there's a great solo in "In Dreams They Come." But too often, cliché lyrics about break-ups and heartache take away from the solid musicianship. - Jeff Niesel The Thrifters perform with the Brain Brothers, Everything Zen, Eyes Wide Shut and the Modern Electric at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, October 18, at the American Legion Hall (570 E. 328th St., Willowick). Tickets: $10.

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