Savages, Melvins, Joe Satriani 

Sound Advice

click to enlarge Silence Yourself CD


Silence Yourself


File next to: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Shilpa Ray and her Happy Hookers, the Slits

Their Situationist posturing, as well as the barring of smartphones from concerts, might lead you to see Savages as heirs to Gang of Four or The Pop Group. In reality, the band replicates 1979-80 era Siouxsie Sioux almost perfectly. And that's OK. In an era when too much indie rock has gone gauzy, Jehnny Beth's strident vocals deserve acclaim merely for defiance. But as one British reviewer suggested, Savages can't be called "ferocious" when every hair is in place. This album can accelerate a goth-retro party, but it is calculated. It works best in cleanly engineered cuts like "City's Full"; less so when fuzz tone is turned up. The fade-in of random voices at the start of the album, and the free-jazz saxophone fading out at the end, merely feign spontaneity. If you like Siouxsie, you'll enjoy Savages, even though the pseudo-rebellious packaging is self-evident. — Loring Wirbel

click to enlarge Everybody Loves Sausages CD


Everybody Loves Sausages


File next to: Mr. Bungle, Queens of the Stone Age

Metal is often considered an insular genre, in part because of the lack of levity (or humanity in general) that accompanies its "intense" music and themes. The Melvins, however, possess bizarre humor in spades, and take only one thing seriously: putting out great records. Both are obvious on Everybody Loves Sausages, a covers album where the band hangs its idiosyncratic, sludgy stylings on an eclectic array of songs. Mudhoney's Mark Arm guests on an incendiary rendition of the Scientists' "Set It On Fire." There's also the sugary reading of Queen's "You're My Best Friend," a thunderous "Black Betty," and the throaty wail of "Female Trouble." But perhaps none are as hilarious or inspired as Jello Biafra's appearance on Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home a Heartache." Sausages is rampantly strange, but the musicianship and humor are delightful. — Collin Estes

click to enlarge Unstoppable Momentum CD

Joe Satriani

Unstoppable Momentum


File next to: Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan

Guitar hero Joe Satriani's latest is an adventurous release, although it's unlikely to make many fans' Top Album lists. Yes, Unstoppable Momentum has its share of raucous songs — the title track and the operatic rock of "Lies and Truths" are pretty epic — but the album gets clunky when it wanders into the realms of funk and borderline '80s-era synth-rock. Piano flourishes and trumpet sections on tracks like "Three Sheets to the Wind" are surprising, but ultimately feel out of place. "Jumpin' In" sounds like it wants to be funkier than it knows how to be, and you'll swear Satch has gone Casio on us with some of the keyboards on "The Weight of the World." Satriani has never been afraid to try new things (see the techno-themed Engines of Creation album for proof), and he deserves credit for broadening his horizons. But Unstoppable Momentum is a complete misnomer. — Brian Palmer


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