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The Suede Brothers' new single has turned into the band's second EP. Formerly the Black Diamonds, the throwback band entered Painesville's Suma Recording in September to record three tracks with James Gang/Pere Ubu producer Paul Hamann. Four months and nine songs later, Ill New You is scheduled for April release and looks like a worthy addition to Cleveland's classic-rock tradition.

"The whole thing snowballed," says frontman-guitarist Dylan Francis. "If you have that creative energy and flow, there's no reason to hold yourself back."

Only one track, "Heart & Affection," is less than five minutes long. On cuts like the title track, the power trio still plays together like a brute squad that's out to riff you down to your knees. The tasty "Charlotte Rose" sounds like the offspring of Wolfmother and Radiohead. But more than ever, the band sounds less likes its influences and more like itself.

"The album, it's a good representation of us as we were - but always in transition," says Francis, who harmonizes with himself on several cuts. "I'm still figuring out who I am as a singer."

Ill New You will be independently distributed to digital outlets via CDBaby. Three rough mixes are posted on

Cleveland rawk duo Mr. Gnome will record its second full-length album this April at Pink Duck Studios in Los Angeles, which is owned by Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. Studio manager Justin Smith (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal, Arctic Monkeys) will record the sessions.

"The material is shaping up to be quite bipolar - surprise - as our music tends to be," says singer-guitarist Nicole Barille. "We seem to be extending and experimenting on elements we only touched upon on [2008's full-length debut] Deliver This Creature. We're really excited to work with Justin. He's Josh Homme's right-hand man, and with experience, he'll be able to bring a lot to the table."

Eastlake roots crew Church of the Lazy Bastards and one-woman band Miss Firecracker will host a dual CD-release party at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd.) on Friday, March 13. Firecracker - also known as Queen LaTata of alt-burlesque crew the Pussyfoot Girls - sings and plays guitar, triangle and kazoo. "It's 13 songs, most of them ribald, double-entendre humor," says Firecracker. "Like 'I'm Sweet for Your Pickle' [and] "Hard Lead Pencil," sort of country-style."

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