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The Mook 

Augustine (self-released)

Mooks are the legion of fans who follow Limp Bizkit and other rap-metal outfits. They're a scary bunch of guys who wear their baseball caps backwards and grope (and sometimes rape) women who crowd-surf. The Mook has nothing to do with them. Instead, the Mook is a band of "good Cleveland folks," as their press kit puts it. Notably, it consists of ex-Phantom Redemption singer-guitarist Pat Sullivan and drummer Tom Eddy. They're joined by guitarist Tim Askin, bassist Dave Blackerby, percussionist Bill Brockway, percussionist Tim Lane, and keyboardist Steve Masek, as well as guests such as trumpeter Mike Wade and Ekoostik Hookah guitarist Steve Sweeny. Yep, the Mook is a jam band with an ill-conceived and misleading name. Who knows what havoc the real mooks will wreak when they check out the mediocre Augustine, expecting it to be produced by Swizz Beats and feature a cameo by their leader, Fred Durst? When the mooks get ahold of this hippie nonsense from a band that uses their name in vain, there's gonna be trouble.

And there's nothing subtle about the hippie dippie, Grateful Dead nature of this album. It comes to the fore immediately on the opening track, "These Very Things," which clocks in at nearly six minutes before fading out. It's characterized by a snappy drumbeat and stop-and-go rhythms that could meander on for an eternity. At his best, Sullivan sounds more like Bowie than Jerry on the song "Sorrow." Too bad the noodling guitars and piano jams ruin the great vocals. The faux jazz of "Wiser," the refried Neil Young of "August," and the sappy, untitled ballad that's included as a hidden track make us think that the mooks would do well to apply their destructive ways to this disc.

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