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Various Artists
Thunderbolt: A Tribute to AC/DC
DeRock Records

Thunderbolt is as much a tribute to original vocalist Bon Scott as it is a tribute to AC/DC. Scott died in 1980 and was replaced by Brian Johnson. Only two songs from Johnson's era are included, both from Back in Black (1980). Old metal bands cross-pollinate to perform the legendary group's classics as well as less famous works like "Sin City" and "Ride On." Members of Quiet Riot reunite for "Highway to Hell," Skid Row's Sebastian Bach teams up with members of RATT and Yes for "Little Lover" and former Twisted Sister Dee Snider joins members of Anthrax for "Walk All Over You." The union of musicians is fun, but together the performers lack their distinctive styles, and end up sounding like AC/DC wannabes. However, if imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, AC/DC should be overwhelmed. (Sarah Quelland)

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The Project
The Project

A family affair--all three members share the last name Flandez--but the Project is nothing like the Partridge Family. The Project makes groove-oriented shimmy-shake pop with a jones for the Knack ("I Like You") and Juliana Hatfield ("I'm Human"). Unfortunately, the self-titled CD is tainted with that non-descript, L.A.-band aesthetic. "633" and "I'm Human" embody Sunset Strip rock and roll, with big guitars, big percussion, big hair, feeble guitar solos and a foxy voice all competing for attention. The lyrics reflect this leaning. "On the Beach (All Day)" and "10 O'Clock Show" address going to the beach and a show (guess what time) at a Los Angeles nightclub. The Project might make some hipsters at the Troubadour look up from their drinks, but to me, they sound awfully provincial and played out. (Todd S. Inoue)

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The Warner Western Instrumental Series, Vol. 1
The Greatest Cowboy Songs Ever
Warner Brothers

Anyone with a fondness for classic cowboy songs like "Happy Trails," "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds," "Cattle Call" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas," should enjoy this instrumental compilation. After hearing the canine version of "Home On the Range," the song could easily have been ruined forever; in fact, many of these classics have been repeatedly abused. Warner Brothers attempts to restore their beauty with this frisky, but humble, wordless collection. It's good background music for a Southwestern-themed dinner party or for kicking up your heels afterwards. Unfortunately, there's very little grit here and not quite enough heart. These songs are so cleanly produced they may be too sanitary for some people's taste. (SQ)

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Various Artists
Six on a Disc
G.I. Productions

When Brian McGuinness isn't berating used record stores about their reselling practices, he puts out pretty darn good Ramones-y pop music. On Six on a Disc, McGuinness collects songs from his label's seven-inch single releases. "Hypnotizer" by the Hi-Fives, "All Worked Up" by the Odd Numbers, "Well Worth Talking About" by the Pee Chees, "Radio" by the Decibels, "Take a Trip" by the Bomb Bassets--all stand out. The talent thins out somewhat with McGuinness relying on the Decibels and Kindred to fill out the CD. Both bands are good, but not so good they warrant four tracks each. (TSI)

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From the April 23-29, 1998 issue of Metro.

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