THE FORTY-FIVES

Fight Dirty

(Yep Roc)

Meet the garage rockers that should be America's favorite new band.

In all the fuss over the Hives, Vines,

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CD Reviews

THE FORTY-FIVES

Fight Dirty

(Yep Roc)

Meet the garage rockers that should be America's favorite new band.

In all the fuss over the Hives, Vines, and other current (according to Rolling Stone) rock saviors, there's been practically no mention of the raw-rockin' garage-punk bands that paved the way. I defy anyone to find a name check of, say, the Cynics, the Mono Men, or Thee Headcoats—or, for that matter, the many indie labels that've faithfully carried the torch. The reason? Promotional money talks, extant quality walks in the major-label co-opted music magazine business. What will be the fate, then, of Atlanta's Forty-Fives, whose second album resides on a small, if established, North Carolina indie? It's a motherfucker of a record, one whose budget-conscious origins can't belie its visceral power. As produced by Southern Culture on the Skids' main man Rick Miller, it latches onto a slew of reference hooks all at once, including soul-infused frat- rock, Beatles-in-Hamburg amphetamine R&B, raw 'n' ragged Motor City garage, Nuggets-informed rave-up boogie—the works. Leather-lunged guitarist Bryan Malone's tumescent desire's on display in every cut (song titles tell the story: "My Kind of Girl," "Lost Track of You," "Out of My Mind," etc.), and his band skillfully nicks riffs from all the right sources (Yardbirds, Kinks, MC5, Mitch Ryder, and the Who —whose version of "Shakin' All Over" gets mined twice) while serving up a Hammond B3-drenched, trash/surf- chord feast. If nothing else, the cut "Hanging by a Thread" is at least as sexy, streamlined-feeling, and dynamically explosive as the Hives' breakthrough "Hate to Say I Told You So." Put all your marketing muscle into that song, Yep Roc—it'll make the Forty-Fives America's new favorite band. FRED MILLS

The Forty-Fives play the Showbox at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, with Southern Culture on the Skids and Throwrag. $15/$13 adv.

PETER GABRIEL

Up

(Geffen)

Surprisingly stunning comeback effort from former Genesis leader and world-music maven.

After a 10-year break between studio discs, the pressure was on Peter Gabriel to deliver something special. Amazingly, he's managed to not only live up to all of the high expectations but top them. Excluding a single track (the bland and unfunny throwaway "The Barry Williams Show"), Up is the most accomplished and cohesive album of a long career, and the epic "Signal to Noise," with its stunning Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan vocal filigree, might just be the best thing Gabriel's ever recorded—no mean achievement. Like most artists, he harks back occasionally to his older work ("Darkness" has echoes of "Moribund the Burgermeister," for example), but they're only signposts of where he's been, not where he is now, which is somewhere closer to the edge, intense, and still taking chances. Whether it's on the disconnected, Lennon-ish "My Head Sounds Like That" or the carefully buoyant "Sky Blue," he creates complex, entrancing rhythms and arrangements that wind out like deep thoughts before vanishing into the simple, fleeting melody of "The Drop." Emotionally powerful and mature, Up is the work of a man far from over the hill; instead it's the sound of an artist just reaching the height of his powers. CHRIS NICKSON

SONIC YOUTH + I.C.P. + THE EX

In the Fishtank

(Konkurrent/Touch and Go)

This is what they mean by "stream of consciousness."

Amsterdam is a cool place. Not just because you can smoke pot there, but because they've got this label called Konkurrent, and Konkurrent has this joint called the Fishtank, and there, touring bands like Low, Dirty Three, and Tortoise get a couple days of studio time and 20 or 30 minutes' worth of 24-track tape to toy with while in town. (The time frame is the one constant in all of Konkurrent's nine In the Fishtank releases, but this particular batch of material was completed in a single day.) At the behest of Sonic Youth, poli-sci punks the Ex joined in on the eight tracks here, as did three members of the Dutch avant-garde jazz collective known as I.C.P. The "songs," titled with Roman numerals in lieu of names, sound like a bunch of troublemakers having a party at Thelonius Monk's house—and since the straight-and-narrow, introverted Monk didn't really give too many parties, you can just imagine what kind of wreck would ensue if someone threw one for him. Havoc is audibly approaching as the first cut begins; the opening notes sound like shattered glass followed by a cat burglar's victorious yelp. The incongruent sound collages go on from there with arches, adagios, allegros, and noise. Guitar feedback battles trombone blasts, tonal shifts abound, and drums beat dryly around rhythms reminiscent of PiL, jazz great Elvin Jones, and your upstairs neighbor with the heavy clogs. Given the odd time constraints and the on-the-fly, experimental format, Fishtank No. 9 may be most adequately described as "stimulating." LAURA CASSIDY

 
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