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[whitespace] Picks by Brandon Barber and Andrew Shriver

Do the Collapse

Do the Collapse
Guided by Voices
TVT Records

Guided by Voices, perhaps the best band you've never heard of, has created an album brimming with catchy rock, clever lyrics and infectious melodies that's powerfully reminiscent of the Beatles. The latest from these indie godfathers, Do the Collapse, concentrates on the big-arena-rock side of the band's persona. In the past, GBV was branded with the less-than-radio-friendly "lo-fi" label. Now that GBV has former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek in the producer's chair and a superband to boot, devotees can't help but feel that this album will place the band properly among rock's elite. True to humbler beginnings, Do the Collapse is a killer album full of intelligent songs with big hooks and catchy melody lines. (AS)

Into the Pink

Into the Pink

There's been a hollow wind blowing through the streets of Seattle since the "suicide" of Kurt Cobain in 1994. Granted, it's a rich, latte-scented wind, but it's bereft of the chugging three-chord riffs and howling lament that made mosh pits swirl to the likes of Mudhoney and the Melvins back in the day. Fear not, because Verbena has come to defibrillate the flat-lining heart of grunge. With Into the Pink, the ripping power trio from Birmingham, Ala., joins Fu Manchu and Royal Trux as a preservationist of the Seattlesque slop-rock aesthetic. Scott Bondy's vocals careen through 13 jet-fueled tracks buoyed by his own massive guitar sound and by the mewling snarls of bassist/backup singer Anne Marie Griffin. (BB)


G. Love and Special Sauce
Okeh/Sony 550 Music

On Philadelphonic, G. Love and Special Sauce seem determined to regain the respect they rightly deserve as contributors to the folk/blues/rap style so abundant in modern pop. This powerful third album combines funkified drums, sloopy bass, scratchy guitar lines and soulful vocals in a way that's been missing on their past few CDs. From the high-hat shuffle and bass gone groovy of "No Turning Back" to the bluesy, folk-filled "Gimme Some Lovin'," Philadelphonic sounds more mature and confident than its predecessors. One love-soaked gem, "Relax," with its supermellow vocal line, shimmering guitar and black-licorice-sweet backing vocals, could be the song of choice for lovers the world over. (AS)

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From the August 16, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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