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Smash mouth
Fush Yu Mang

Listening to a KOME interview with Smash mouth (now two words, apparently) recently, I was struck by how overly comfortable the San Jose band was on the air. This carefree attitude carries over into the band's brash, ska-influenced brand of punk. The group's debut album, Fush Yu Mang, has a loud, raw sound. Drummer Kevin Coleman and bassist Paul DeLisle put together relentless backing while guitarist Greg Camp is versatile enough to play both pleasant ska rhythms and thrashing punk. The songs are catchy, funny and totally suitable for frequent airplay, as demonstrated by the overkill of "Walkin' on the Sun" and "Nervous in the Alley." Meanwhile, "Pet Names" exhibits the band's sense of humor, and "Pedrino," with a nice Spanish guitar line, shows that Smash mouth can make its scream-the-chorus style work. (Bernice Yeung)

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Dismemberment Plan
The Dismemberment Plan Is Terrified

Dismemberment Plan sidesteps facile categorization, although the most obvious niche would be guitar rock. This album is wonderfully varied; no two tunes sound alike. "Tonight We Mean It" features lurching rhythms, vocals from the planet helium and crystalline shards of guitar noise. "The Ice of Boston" is a tweeky, spoken-word rant reminiscent of Jonathan Richman; no accident, then, that singer/guitarist Travis Morrison slips in a reference to the songwriter. Giving it up to a rock cult hero is one thing, but in the same breath, Morrison manages a tip of the hat to Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train to Georgia." "Bra" is pushed up by some rubbery bass thrump, an evil twin-guitar attack and dada-daffy lyrics. It's a mess that's had to resist. (Nicky Baxter)

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Various Artists
Do the Math
Tribal Music Inc.

Seventeen-plus hip-hop crews from Seattle didn't wait for an A&R man to make their town famous; they did it themselves. Do the Math runs on palpable hunger and a pure ebb and flow dictated by heart rather than bank account. While similar compilations lack diversity, Do the Math works hard to represent different rhyme stylists. B-Self has a mellow, down-tempo inflection that belies his mental complexity, while Phat Mob and Sho Nuff create sheer excitement. The title track assembles 10 emcees on the board. You might not have heard of Phat Mob, Sho Nuff, Sinsemilla, B-Self, Ghetto Children, Chile, Vitamin D, Infinite, T-Dog & D-Uneek, Crew Clockwise, Union of Opposites, Samson, THC, Narcotik, Shahrazad, Wordsayer and Blah, H-Bomb, but you will soon. Who knew Seattle was more than Griffey and Sir Mix-a-Lot? (Todd S. Inoue)

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From the August 7-13, 1997 issue of Metro.

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