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Generation Six-Pack

Pure is something you find on the bargain CD racks at Streetlight for $1.99. If we played the band-labeling game, Pure would be Oasis with Gin Blossoms tendencies, a sloppy Better Than Ezra, Collective Soul plugged into higher voltage. The band's name certainly isn't indicative of its music; there's nothing unadulterated or real about it. Generation Six-pack is just another in a huge stack of sterile, unauthentic alterna-whatever records. Jordy's mellifluous voice sugarcoats Todd's grating guitars, while Leigh makes excessive use of cymbals and pounds out simple rock beats. The only two songs that work are "Denial" and "Lemonade." Both are catchy but hardly brilliant--likely candidates for radio singles. Pure is best compared to Dada: capable of penning two decent songs per album before slowly fading into obscurity. (Bernice Yeung)

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The Gales Brothers
Left Hand Brand
House of Blues

The Gales--Eric, Manuel (a.k.a. Little Jimmy King) and Eugene--prove that white guys aren't the only ones who can make the blues rock. The spirits of Robert Cray, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix inhabit most of these tracks; the group also draws inspiration from blues-rockers like Cream, ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers. The influence of the last is evident on "You Don't Love Me," a Willie Cobbs number. As rendered by the Gales, the tune is more rhythm and bluesier, thanks to a butt-kickin' bass figure. Still, Eric Gales' slithery guitar outro is pure rock adrenaline. Of the three guitarists, Eric and Manuel are the most gifted; both are fluent and fluid players, whether stepping out to solo or riffing away in the background. Eugene, who contributes most of the songs, is far from a weak link, as his playing on "This Deck Is Stacked" demonstrates. (Nicky Baxter)

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Lucy's Crush
Individually Twisted

The CD caught my eye because of a track called "Leland High." Like the South San Jose magnet of academia, "Leland High" is about jocks checking each other out in the shower and nerds memorizing famous chess moves while celebrating National Library Week. A good start, then it sappily proclaims that "we're all freaks playing the parts" and snaps the middle finger out to the world. Oooh. Like Jason Priestly, these guys are out of their element portraying high-school angst. "Five Weighs" and "Finish Line" go for the teen audience by using the f-word liberally and copping Trent Reznor's woe and moan. The acoustic "Mistaken" and "Limahuli" are potent sleep-inducers. The best songs are the super-poppy ones: "Truth," "Private Room" and "Sweating Bricks." (Todd S. Inoue)

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Horace Silver
32 Records

These live 1965­66 performances by Horace Silver quintets--including Silver, piano; Carmell Jones or Woody Shaw, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Teddy Smith or Larry Ridley, bass; and Roger Humphries, drums--were issued on Silver's Silveto label but remain virtually unknown to jazz fans. Silver turns in typically energetic solo work, but Henderson's atypical playing deserves the most attention. He experiments with varied tone colors and vocal effects, using multiphonics, screams and honks. He did not continue to emphasize these effects later in his career, but they enrich his playing. Also impressive, Shaw's work is influenced by Freddie Hubbard's but already has a distinctive quality. Shaw's unusual choice of intervals gives his lines a unique contour, and he performs with about as much power as he's ever displayed on record. (Harvey Pekar)

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From the January 23-29, 1997 issue of Metro

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