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click to enlarge The Eternals  - High Anxiety   -  -  - Aesthetics  -  - Toward the end of their career, Chicago art-funk-punk - group Trenchmouth started to delve into dub. Singer/ - keyboardist Damon Locks, flanked by fellow - Trenchmouth expat bassist and guitarist Wayne - Montana, soldiered on, creating the addictively bizarre - dub troupe The Eternals, with Dan Fliegel on percussion - and guitar. Much like Trenchmouth, however, The - Eternals infuse plenty of noise, jazz and rock elements to - keep rock critics scratching their heads and audiences - dancing.  High Anxiety is a remix EP, snagging - songs from their two previous full-length releases and - handing them over to the likes of DJs Prefuse 73, A - Grape Dope and Exercise Tiger. The only tragedy is the - sacrifice of Locks' vocals for beats; but for trippy fun like - this, that can be overlooked. Kara Luger
  • The Eternals

    High Anxiety

    Aesthetics

    Toward the end of their career, Chicago art-funk-punk group Trenchmouth started to delve into dub. Singer/ keyboardist Damon Locks, flanked by fellow Trenchmouth expat bassist and guitarist Wayne Montana, soldiered on, creating the addictively bizarre dub troupe The Eternals, with Dan Fliegel on percussion and guitar. Much like Trenchmouth, however, The Eternals infuse plenty of noise, jazz and rock elements to keep rock critics scratching their heads and audiences dancing. High Anxiety is a remix EP, snagging songs from their two previous full-length releases and handing them over to the likes of DJs Prefuse 73, A Grape Dope and Exercise Tiger. The only tragedy is the sacrifice of Locks' vocals for beats; but for trippy fun like this, that can be overlooked. Kara Luger

click to enlarge Robert Pollard  - From a Compound Eye   -  -  - Merge  -  - I'm not sure I can tell the difference between a Robert - Pollard solo album and any of his discs done under the - legendary moniker Guided by Voices. Lord knows Pollard - is an accomplished songwriter, and GBV's beer-soaked - indie rock influenced scores of bands currently touring - smoky clubs in questionable vans. Many GBV albums - would have upward of 20 short dirges, offering a - plethora of sounds and sensations  more like a label - sampler than a cohesive album. Compound Eye stays the path, shuttling listeners through 26 short- - players, most of which clock in at under two minutes. - The common thread connecting the songs isn't always - apparent, but I'm not sure it needs to be. All in all, a - gorgeous collection of Pollard's sonic weirdness, and a - reason to hope that although GBV may be finished, - Pollard plans on holding the flag for at least a few more - years.  Jesse Stanek
  • Robert Pollard

    From a Compound Eye

    Merge

    I'm not sure I can tell the difference between a Robert Pollard solo album and any of his discs done under the legendary moniker Guided by Voices. Lord knows Pollard is an accomplished songwriter, and GBV's beer-soaked indie rock influenced scores of bands currently touring smoky clubs in questionable vans. Many GBV albums would have upward of 20 short dirges, offering a plethora of sounds and sensations more like a label sampler than a cohesive album. Compound Eye stays the path, shuttling listeners through 26 short- players, most of which clock in at under two minutes. The common thread connecting the songs isn't always apparent, but I'm not sure it needs to be. All in all, a gorgeous collection of Pollard's sonic weirdness, and a reason to hope that although GBV may be finished, Pollard plans on holding the flag for at least a few more years. Jesse Stanek

click to enlarge Ben Harper   - Both Sides of the Gun  -  -  - Virgin  -  - Dear Mr. Harper: It's very cool that you have not only the - confidence but the songwriting prowess to release a - double-disc album. But after a few spins of your new - 18-track (one disc acoustic, the other electric), Both - Sides of the Gun, a few things come to mind. First, - there's your internal fire to comment on what you - perceive as injustice in the world; disc two is dominated - by songs of protest that would make Woody Guthrie - proud. As for your unplugged disc one, well, um, no - offense, but conflict is your game. Yeah, it's great that - you're in love and have a tender side, but if we learned - anything from your brief mainstream flirtation with "Steal - My Kisses," it's just not your bag. We need our Harper - pissed off, taking out his aggression one guitar chord at - a time.  John Benson
  • Ben Harper

    Both Sides of the Gun

    Virgin

    Dear Mr. Harper: It's very cool that you have not only the confidence but the songwriting prowess to release a double-disc album. But after a few spins of your new 18-track (one disc acoustic, the other electric), Both Sides of the Gun, a few things come to mind. First, there's your internal fire to comment on what you perceive as injustice in the world; disc two is dominated by songs of protest that would make Woody Guthrie proud. As for your unplugged disc one, well, um, no offense, but conflict is your game. Yeah, it's great that you're in love and have a tender side, but if we learned anything from your brief mainstream flirtation with "Steal My Kisses," it's just not your bag. We need our Harper pissed off, taking out his aggression one guitar chord at a time. John Benson

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