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It's true, Cub has disbanded, but that didn't dissuade Australian label Au-Go-Go from releasing this retrospective album. Mauler assembles cuts from various compilations, rare 7-inch singles and other sources. Standout tracks are Cub's slam dunk of Joan Jett's "Runaway," the shedding of naive fur in "The Day I Said Goodbye" and the realization of potential in the acoustic "Secret Nothing." Mauler is full of memories for the Vancouver punk-pop group; it's a shame the band has called it a day. To view Cub's handwritten farewell messages, tap into this web page. (Todd S. Inoue)

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Self-Titled LP
K. Records

Karp's noise-fest hits hard and heavy in the sound department but flops in the lyrics. The angry, driving guitar and screaming vocals wouldn't be so bad if not for the mind-numbing words that accompany them. "Bastard of Disguise" consists of little more than the phrase "Ding Dong! Fucking with your head," and it goes downhill from there. "Bacon Industry," "D & D Fantasy" and "Forget the Minions" sound like something a demented 12-year-old might conjure up to impress his friends. Someone who never listens to the lyrics might like the band's energetic rhythms, but everybody else, be forewarned. That Karp fails to credit its members on the CD cover implies that no one wants to take credit for this slop. Who could blame them? (Sarah Quelland)

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Serenade in Red

Oxbow's beautiful lyrics are pathetically obscured by the singing of Eugene Robinson, who sounds like Bobcat Goldthwait on a bad day. The words to the intelligently dark "Lucky" and "The Killer," the frenziedly sexual "The Last Good Time" and the disturbingly sadistic "Babydoll" are lost in the transition from the written page to the music. Oxbow's heavy, completely unstructured sound comes from a confusion of instruments, including piano, trombone, various drums, bass and organ. That, combined with Robinson's mournful and virtually incoherent voice, makes for one unpleasant listening experience. Serenade in Red offers little more than poorly constructed, ear-bleeding noise. (SQ)

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Various Artists
Show & Tell

Thirty-three punk and indie bands cover an array of TV theme songs. Easy targets such as Hawaii Five-0, The Monkees and The Jeffersons are mixed together with The Garry Shandling Show, The Dukes of Hazzard and even Friends. It's mostly a one-joke affair--bands spoof the song and spit out the lyrics with a smirk. Of local interest, No Use for a Name does Laverne and Shirley, the Hi-Fives do a spot-on Stingray and Tilt performs Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Perhaps most fulfilling, the real Todd Bridges resurfaces with the Wutchu Talkin' 'Bout Willis Experience on a one-minute punk cover of the Diff'rent Strokes theme. (TSI)

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From the Oct. 16-22, 1997 issue of Metro.

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