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Adam Sandler
What the Hell Happened to Me?
EMI

Steve Martin once noted that by the third comedy album, a comic has said everything he's going to say. Sandler is only on record number two, and he shows little sign of running out of blatant, sometimes bizarre material. On What the Hell ... Sandler abandons subtlety, going for gags about a goat with human tendencies, joining a religious cult and portraying a confused Southerner. Among the funniest bits are Sandler visiting a gaseous hypnotist (Kevin Nealon), a road trip peppered with all-too-familiar dialogue and a great kiddie song about Chanukah. Like Eddie Murphy, much of this album isn't suitable for sensitive friends expecting the silly guy on SNL. Bring 'em anyway; What the Hell Happened to Me only gets funnier with other people around. (Todd S. Inoue)


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Pennywise
About Time
Epitaph

For skateboarders bored with Green Day's and Offspring's brazen Anglophilia, Pennywise's homegrown punk just might be the sonic solution. Strongly influenced by L.A.'s early-'80s aggro-rock brigade (Black Flag, X, the Descendants), the foursome joined forces in 1989, eventually signing on with Epitaph. Despite the seeming nihilism of Pennywise's music--worried vocals, slashing guitar and detonating drums--the group is pragmatic rather than pessimistic. Pennywise knows that shit happens but refuses to give in to fatalism. About Time continues the confrontational stance spelled out on Unknown Road with less success. Antireligion rants like "Waste of Time" are hardly original, and the "us vs. them" theme of "Same Old Story" is precisely that. But on occasion, Pennywise manages to skirt triteness through sheer force of will. "Every Single Day," for instance, finds the surf & skate boys scrutinizing their innards and coming away all the stronger for it. (Nicky Baxter)


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The Pee Chees
Do The Math
Kill Rock Stars

Pure punk preserved in a 1977 garage, not concocted in a company boardroom. The first 30 seconds of "Pepper" take off like any other crappy punk demo, but then explode into glorious Technicolor. Throughout Do the Math, Carlos Cañedo's guitar-skronk chugs with sputtering insistence, helped along by a bass and drum that kick harder than Pele. Vocalist Christopher Appelgren is a tightly wound coil with a drop of schoolboy innocence. He wails about loss in "I Could Have Loved You" and "Cloud Frenzy." Don't wait for the Sex Pistols' 1996 cachet (heck, don't even pay attention to the old farts); the Pee Chees are here and ready to rock. (TSI)

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From the Mar. 14-20, 1996 issue of Metro

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