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Various Artists
Halloween Hootenanny
Zombie A Go-Go

The infamous Rob Zombie, late of the newly deceased White Zombie, pulls together a ghoulishly groovy Halloween compilation featuring some of the finest in psychobilly and psycho-surf rock. Chiller Theater host Zacherle introduces the campy monster madness before Rob Zombie and the Ghastly Ones break into "Halloween (She Get So Mean)." Reverend Horton Heat reveals the steps to "The Halloween Dance," incorporating the theme from The Munsters, and Los Straitjackets offer a twangy full-length version of the spooky family's theme. Other standouts include Deadbolt's tricky "Psychic Voodoo Doll" and the Dead Elvis' spirited "The Creature Stole My Surfboard." With songs by Rocket from the Crypt, the Bomboras and Swingin' Neckbreakers, this musical creature feature is delightfully frightful. (Sarah Quelland)

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Judy Wright
Kiss Me Alot
Starbaby Records

With an invigorating voice reminiscent of Crystal Gayle's--but with a modern edge--singer/songwriter Judy Wright delivers emotionally charged lyrics that explore accessible, real-world themes. Fusing country, jazz, blues and rock, her music moves with a dynamic grace that's immediately appealing. On the gutsy "It's All Over," for instance, she sings in typically direct fashion, "I don't know if I can talk to you anymore/I don't know if I can kiss your lips/the way I did before/I don't think, don't know, don't care,/don't even wonder how/I used to live with you, but it's all over now." The sexy title track and "I Wish" encourage living in the moment, while the touching "No Fear" contemplates childhood innocence. Wright's knowing and luxurious voice and haunting musical accompaniment make Kiss Me Alot an especially enjoyable album. (Sarah Quelland)

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China Records

All the hype and the fawning Face magazine covers that have surrounded Britpop are worth it if once in a while we get a band like Rialto. Falling somewhere between Pulp and St. Etienne, Rialto's thrilling debut mixes easy-listening atmospherics with grandiose hooks, luscious orchestrations, cinephile slinkiness and supersaturated emotion. The music on Rialto is unabashedly beautiful, so sexy and beguiling that even the creepy obsessive lyrics--"If you were an angel, I would cut off your wings/To keep you with me I would do anything"--sound electrifyingly romantic. (Michelle Goldberg)

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From the October 29-November 4, 1998 issue of Metro.

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