The Very Knees
(Gravity Place Art & Commerce)
The sonic excess of this 7-inch perfectly captures the Very Knees' aggressive style of rusty-kitchen-sink rock, offering a dissident dishwater mix of Mudhoney and Guitar Wolf. You'll want to spin this two-song garage-punk set every time you need your noise-bliss fix. David Petrovich directs the two-piece on guitar, now screeching in front of new drummer Cindy Ciulla. But this is no White Stripes tribute — more like a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. "Anthony Rogan Cross" and "Hidden O(h)ms" ignite into frantic guitar funk, crumbling drum kits and barked vocals, reminiscent of the band's ear-splitting live sets. This pyrotechnic lo-fi punk is a frenzied sort of fun. If you like the feel of vinyl between your fingers, this 7-inch package — with its cascading gold tinsel cover and insert with lyrics and photos — is the bee's knees indeed. — Keith Gribbins
Oliver Buck and the New Madrids
Singer-songwriter Oliver Buck has lived in Montana, New York and Kansas, and songs like "Prairie Girl" and "Road to Nowhere" reflect his wanderlust. In fact, he's on the move again, making his new CD, Prairie Girl, the New Madrids' swan song. At least he's going out with a bang. "Coming Home To You" is a jangly tune with heavy, strumming guitar and Buck singing eloquently about his longing for a familiar person or place. The ballad "Gina From Tulsa," about a New York prostitute, is more somber than the other tunes. Recorded live at the Beachland, it's about a woman who moves to the city to become a dancer and ends up "turning tricks" to pay rent. Prairie Girl paints a picture of the simple life and the characters Buck's met on his travels. He's got a remarkable ability to tell their stories. — Amy Booker
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