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Only a Story

The Mollys
Only a Story
Apolkalips Now (PO Box 40940, Tuscon, AZ 85717 or www.mollys.com)

This intensely likable, highly talented minimalist folk/bluegrass quintet comes from the Sonoran desert. Lead singer-songwriter Nancy McCallion has a voice with that been-around-the-block quality you can hear in Marianne Faithfull. Her band's "tangled roots" music could be performed in any good-sized living room, but the Mollys' superior handling of different modes (ballads, norteño, Irish folk) deserves a bigger stage. McCallion is a first-rate writer of half-smiling, half-scowling lyrics. "Don't Want to Outlive That Man Too Long" executes a gentle task: it makes a love song to a slobby guy sound like an exercise in wise personal choice instead of the hopeless pick of a woman's foolish heart. "Yer Drunk Again/Polka Del Diablo" is about the ghost of a battered woman giving her killer a good scare. The Mollys have what every living-room-type band needs: a brilliant multi-instrumentalist (Kevin Schramm on everything from accordion to bouzouki). Catherine Zavala, who has since left the group, also lends some limpid harmonies. (Richard von Busack)


Le Cock Sportif

Brougham
Le Cock Sportif
Warner Bros. Records

Without Jason Slater's affiliation with Third Eye Blind (and the newer buzz band Snake River Conspiracy), no major label would have given Brougham the time of day. As it is, this shoddy Palo Alto-based rap-rock team--which also features Luke Sick--just released its debut on Warner Bros. Brougham professes to be the voice of alienated residents of Palo Alto, a city with a sharp dividing line between rich and poor neighborhoods. But the amateur-sounding music and juvenile stream-of-conscious lyrics come across as a bad joke, especially on "Hubba Rock," with the mind-numbing chorus "Hubba rock, hubba rock, hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba rock." "Bong Hits," a failed attempt to be profound, features lyrics like "The mornings are all melting in the bowl of my abyss/While a baby's brain is burning from a politician's kiss." In Brougham's official media kit, Slater states, "In three days, we had six songs. It was pretty effortless." The lack of effort shows; if I were Brougham, I wouldn't brag about it. (Sarah Quelland)


The History of Rock

Kid Rock
The History of Rock
Lava/Atlantic

Never one to shy away from blowing his own horn, Kid Rock shines the spotlight on his career with this collection of music from out-of-print releases (1993's The Polyfuze Method and 1996's Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp), old demos and new songs. The highlight is the current single, "American Bad Ass," a heavy-metal anthem built around Metallica's "Sad but True." With self-referential lyrics, Kid Rock gloats, "I'm goin' platinum sellin' rhymes/I went platinum seven times," and boasts "I know it stinks in here, 'cause I'm the shit." With street-savvy rhymes, crunching old-school metal assaults and country-fringed classic-rock nuances, Kid Rock's loud, obnoxious, abrasive style is unmistakable. This commercial culmination of 10 years of work stands as a self-erected marker for his credibility, prospective longevity and his sizable achievements. (SQ)


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From the June 8-14, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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