Watson 387

Big Dead City (MySpace.com/Watson387Music)

Watson 387 describes its sound as "crunkcore" and "scrap metal." But we'll call it damn fine midtempo metal. Named after a generic painkiller, Watson 387 is both arty and blue-collar on its debut EP. The band's ferocity is impressive. Frontman Matt Allen rages about betrayal and adversity as if he's determined to make the vein in his forehead burst. Melko Soric and Cougar Blandino, meanwhile, coax some white-hot tones out of their axes. But what sets this quintet apart are the hypnotic grooves. Tracks like "Senior Olympics" and "Melkonius" are so laid-back, they'll utterly mesmerize you.

Great metal either makes you kick ass or roll a fatty. But Big Dead City gives metalheads the itch to do both.