Who here loves nasally delivered girl power? Pop-punk straight outta Hot Topic and girls who look great in belly tees? Hands still raised? You're going to love this album. But if you want to poke out your eyes when you hear No Doubt's greatest hits, and think sweet harmonies have no place in punk, forget it -- buy Huggy Bear's Taking the Rough With the Smooch instead. The three gals of The Eyeliners, signed to Joan Jett's Blackheart label, certainly rock and keep a superfast beat, but that's about all. Ms. Jett shows up on "Destroy," but to no real interesting effect. She did much better with Bikini Kill on "This is New Radio," when she helped Kathleen Hanna scream, "C'mon baby, lemme kiss you like a boy does." Now that's punk rock, ladies and gentlemen.
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Iron Flowers Sugar Hill
Ow, my achin' head. The artwork for Grey DeLisle's Iron Flowers is sorta pretty and trippy, in a Jimi Hendrix-circa-Electric Ladyland sort of way. By trippy, I mean weird -- and, brother, that extends throughout the album. DeLisle plays the freakin' autoharp and sings high and hushed. "Right Now" actually almost rocks, in a strange alt-country way, while other songs wander into heady blues territory. Still, her rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" is not the way to start an album, especially if you're going to stop after the ballad part, without even attempting the high theatrics that make the song. C'mon, even Garth knew that.
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"Army of Me" Remixes and Covers One Little Indian
Bjrk, the world's token electro-nymph, always has run along the edge of downright koo-koo, but listening to other musicians cover her is even more odd. After all, who can out- Bjrk Bjrk? (And when did Bjrk become a verb?) With a charity album for UNICEF in mind, the Icelander put a call out for folks to play with her hit song "Army of Me." She received 600 entries from across the globe, which she whittled down to a mere 20. How many times can you listen to the same damn song? Quite a bit, it turns out. Although the lyrics are the same, the songs differ in every other possible way. French group Grisbi's quiet samba sizzles next to Interzone's aggro roar; the Swedish take proves just goofy, and The Messengers of God, from the U.S., add a teary honky- tonk element to the mix. While you die-hard groupies might become irritated, at the very least you'll be introduced to many new bands, and for a cause.