Theory of a Deadman, Theory of a Deadman; Roadrunner Records

Theory of a Deadman is the next in line of post-grunge bands trying to pave a path for themselves in the painfully boring rock world. With a handful of power chords and a groaning vocalist, Theory of a Deadman puts forth an acceptable debut album. Chad Kroeger of Nickelback helped produce the debut and wrote over half of the songs, leaving an obvious mark in the music. Traces of early Soundgarden and Alice In Chains can also be heard throughout the 10 tracks. What’s good about this album are the catchy chord progressions and choruses begging for the listener to hum or scream along. What’s lacking is anything original, but that seems okay when one considers Theory of a Deadman’s peers. Just making a decent rock album is enough for celebration these days, and this band has earned a reason to party. HHH

— Graham Kelly

Eyes Adrift, Eyes Adrift; Spinart Records

Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Sublime’s Bud Gaugh and The Meat Puppets’ Curt Kirkwood have united in the quest for a musical afterlife. While there is some debate as to whether said members should burn out or fade away, the band members seem to ignore any pressure to relate to any of their former musical identities. This self-titled debut sounds refreshingly mellow but still rocks and allows the band to try new things. Novoselic contributes vocals to three tracks, his first appearance as a singer on any album. This record is a must have for those who miss real alternative rock. HHHH

— Mary Fitzpatrick

Yo La Tengo, Nuclear War; Matador Records

Hoboken’s finest middle-aged indie-rock trio churns out four funky versions of Sun Ra’s “Nuclear War” on their latest EP. The band flies solo on one version, is joined by a pack of wild children on the next (how cute!), and invite a buncha horn-playing friends to help out on a third. Jazz-rapper Mike Ladd provides a remix to round out the disc. Overall, ‘s pretty standard YLT, but the wee ones steal the show with their backing vocals on version two. Answering bassist James McNew’s lead vocal, the kids sing “It’s a motherfucker!” Hilarious! HHH

— Joel Hoard

Fat Joe, Loyalty; Atlantic Records

Fat Joe fucking sucks. Maybe I shouldn’t say that, even though it is true. Like the name implies, Fat Joe is an enormous dude and he could probably kick my ass. Now I’m a pretty big guy and I run with a tough crew, but I don’t think we could match Fat Joe and his mob (even if I got reinforcements!). Get this: In the liner notes, there’s a picture of two cops coming down hard on Joe and he’s sitting there with his shades on like “Fuck all y’all muthafuckas.” Damn! What a badass! HH

– J.H.

Rasputina, My Fever Broke; Instinct Records

Rasputina’s latest effort, My Fever Broke, may corner the market of goth techno rock with a cellist. The vocals on the album have the same range as those of the goth rock group Mindless Self Indulgence and many of the instrumental moves in the remixes of the songs make the two bands sound very similar. The high point of this short release is the track “AntiqueHighHeelRedDollShoes,” beginning with a catchy melodic cello intro that repeats through the song. However, this track also appeared on the previously released, full-length album Cabin Fever. Some of the high pitches in the vocals on “Fox in the Snow,” the only track on the album not remixed, show possible intentional, raw imperfections in lead singer/cellist Melora Creager’s voice, however, the melody and idea of the song show promise for the band. While breaking new ground in the mixing of musical genres always represents a commendable courage in music writing, as a band that has been around a while, Rasputina has yet to evolve their sound to its full potential. HH

– M.F.

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