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click to enlarge Black Rebel Motorcycle Club  -  - Howl  - RCA/Red Ink The title Howl, especially - when taken with the band's name, insinuates dirty, - animalistic rock that will make you shake your pants off. - Not so, my friends, not so. After releasing a string of - hard-hitting albums, BRMC decides to completely upend - things and make a '60s throwback disc infused with - excessive psychadelic, folky influences. The dreamy, - Jesus and Mary Chain-inspired title track drones on - hypnotically before launching into "Devil's Waiting," a - decidedly non-rocking song that you would expect to - hear at the nearest Renaissance Festival. Bitching aside, - Howl is a decent album, just one that would - have benefited a far different band. Watch out, boys. - Rock 'n roll sideburns are a privelege, not a right. Make - sure you earn 'em. -- Kara Luger
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

    Howl
    RCA/Red Ink

    The title Howl, especially when taken with the band's name, insinuates dirty, animalistic rock that will make you shake your pants off. Not so, my friends, not so. After releasing a string of hard-hitting albums, BRMC decides to completely upend things and make a '60s throwback disc infused with excessive psychadelic, folky influences. The dreamy, Jesus and Mary Chain-inspired title track drones on hypnotically before launching into "Devil's Waiting," a decidedly non-rocking song that you would expect to hear at the nearest Renaissance Festival. Bitching aside, Howl is a decent album, just one that would have benefited a far different band. Watch out, boys. Rock 'n roll sideburns are a privelege, not a right. Make sure you earn 'em. -- Kara Luger

click to enlarge Ohmega Watts  -  - The Find  - Ubiquity While it's quite a rarity to find the - artist who grasps each discipline with ease, Brooklyn's - Ohmega Watts (Milton Campbell) does it all. The - Find feels like a trip back to a time before crack and - guns got out of control in urban America, when rappers - still were wearing smiles. Campbell displays an earnest - versatility through a variety of old-school, hip-hop- - flavored, feel-good jams and well-defined ventures into - reggae ("Treasure Hunt") and deep-rock guitar (Check - the solo on "Move!"). There's no obvious gimmick/shtick - to pigeonhole him just yet. Watts prefers to create his - own samples, and he eschews obvious cash-in guests in - favor of up-and-coming MCs. "Full Swing" even takes a - crack at Kanye's blingin', Jesus piece-wearin' brethren as - he passes on the ice ("I'm with Jesus, peace!"). It's that - unadorned, early hip-hop spirit that will draw listeners - into this one. -- Tamara Palmer
  • Ohmega Watts

    The Find
    Ubiquity

    While it's quite a rarity to find the artist who grasps each discipline with ease, Brooklyn's Ohmega Watts (Milton Campbell) does it all. The Find feels like a trip back to a time before crack and guns got out of control in urban America, when rappers still were wearing smiles. Campbell displays an earnest versatility through a variety of old-school, hip-hop- flavored, feel-good jams and well-defined ventures into reggae ("Treasure Hunt") and deep-rock guitar (Check the solo on "Move!"). There's no obvious gimmick/shtick to pigeonhole him just yet. Watts prefers to create his own samples, and he eschews obvious cash-in guests in favor of up-and-coming MCs. "Full Swing" even takes a crack at Kanye's blingin', Jesus piece-wearin' brethren as he passes on the ice ("I'm with Jesus, peace!"). It's that unadorned, early hip-hop spirit that will draw listeners into this one. -- Tamara Palmer

click to enlarge Shannon McNally  -  - Geronimo  - Back Porch Long Island-bred Shannon McNally - sounds like she lived in the Deep South for her formative - years. When she actually moved to New Orleans, as a - young woman, it colored in any philosophical and - cultural gaps. On this, her sophomore release, she basks - in the heat, swamp and mystery of the Southern - experience. McNally connects the often-disparate dots of - American culture and history in her own fashion, - dedicating Geronimo to the spirit of its title - subject and "the disenchanted hope of Hunter S. - Thompson." There's lots of musical Americana rolling - around Geronimo, too. Unfussy production from - ex-Dylan band member Charlie Sexton keeps the guitar- - based album raw, yet clean. McNally's literate, evocative - lyrics and black-coffee voice examine matters of the - heart from a fresh, intelligent perspective that renders all - geographical references insignificant. -- Hal - Harowitz
  • Shannon McNally

    Geronimo
    Back Porch

    Long Island-bred Shannon McNally sounds like she lived in the Deep South for her formative years. When she actually moved to New Orleans, as a young woman, it colored in any philosophical and cultural gaps. On this, her sophomore release, she basks in the heat, swamp and mystery of the Southern experience. McNally connects the often-disparate dots of American culture and history in her own fashion, dedicating Geronimo to the spirit of its title subject and "the disenchanted hope of Hunter S. Thompson." There's lots of musical Americana rolling around Geronimo, too. Unfussy production from ex-Dylan band member Charlie Sexton keeps the guitar- based album raw, yet clean. McNally's literate, evocative lyrics and black-coffee voice examine matters of the heart from a fresh, intelligent perspective that renders all geographical references insignificant. -- Hal Harowitz

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