The Divorce, the Apes, and the Isley Brothers

THE DIVORCE

There Will Be Blood Tonight

(Fugitive)

Fizzy lifting drinks for good, sweet little children.

With no apologies to those goofs in Cracker, what the world needs now is another caffeinated guitarmy with one guy who quacks the choral "call" and one soprano drill instructor who bleats a cadence "response" like I need a hole in my head. OK, doesn't exactly flow like the original, but honestly, it shouldn't. Seattle's the Divorce are rock bioterrorists, only toting the chemical catalysts for screamo as collateral to ensure our attention. In execution, they're a boisterous, cute, run-and-gun pop trio. The "cute" side is repped via "Redcoats" (culled from their debut EP), all lurching bass and frontman Shane Berry's pirate ranting, an infectious DNA marriage of Fred Schneider and Gibby Haynes. The newborns on this full-length largely veer toward "boisterous," expounding noisily on radio-friendly alt-rock fluff. Berry slams out staccato chords and squalls in the verses, letting his sheep baa push the songs upcourt with the hyperactive rhythm section. This approach slays in "The Academy" and in standout, ska-meets-Hot-Hot-Heat stutter "The Force of the Iron Cobra." Bassist Jimmy Curran unleashes the dread "blarrrggghhhh!" occasionally, but it's never too self-serious. Blood's second half equals potentially gigantic hits, and not just for KEXP. Like many divorces, major dough will change hands. ANDREW BONAZELLI

The Divorce play Crocodile Cafe at 4 p.m. (all ages) and 9 p.m. Fri., May 23, with Dolour, the Pale, and the Catch. $7.

THE APES

Oddeyesee

(FrenchKiss)

Homer Simpson meets Homer the Greek.

Have I ever told you how much I hate cute spellings like "e-z cheez" and "handi-wipe"? Doesn't everyone hate cute spellings like "e-z cheez" and "handi-wipe"? Apparently, the Apes are not only not averse to cute spellings, they're obsessed with them. Kewl. What's more, Oddeyesee is a concept record. Leadoff track "Imagik" sets things up with an aggressively bottom-heavy dirge that limps and leaps by turns; "Get on board/let's ride," sings Jackie Magik, and the beat steps up to carry his weight. "Roll Call" puts the four guitarless neo-hunchbacks in line to board some sort of spaceship as a modulated voice-over calls their names. And then the adventure really begins. "Aboard the Ark" shambles on like Noah fronting labelmates Les Savy Fav on a Sabbath cover night, "Children of the Brainbow N Brainbro" is a caveman march, and "How You Like Me Know" unfolds a slow, loopy noise jam with a lounge groove. The Apes make several attempts to vary their musical palate during this sonic journey, but because they're without a six-stringed instrument and, therefore, heavily reliant on either the four-stringed one or the vintage keyboards of Ms. Amanda Kleinman, the wide breadth of styles they attempt is all but negated by a pervasive (and maddening) sameness. That said, if you can't seem to get enough bass-heavy, keyboard-driven Neanderthal Fugazi/FrenchKiss fusion, Oddeyesee has more than 45 minutes of the stuff. LAURA CASSIDY

THE ISLEY BROTHERS FEATURING RONALD ISLEY, A.K.A. MR. BIGGS

Body Kiss

(T-Neck/Dreamworks)

It's still their thang. . . .

The Isleys simply shouldn't sound this good after 44 years of hits. Granted, a raftload of R. Kelly's best songs help, but still, it's hard not to be awed by Ronald Isley's pure, high tenorthe voice a man half his 62 years would kill to possess. It remains a lovely, supple instrument, capable of sounding like Curtis Mayfield on "Superstar" or Marvin Gaye on "Keep On Flowin'." His Mr. Biggs persona, first introduced in 1996, might be a rich OG, but he's also a mack daddy who's often cuckolded, as on "Showdown Vol. 1" and the brilliant "Busted" (which boasts one of the tightest vocal arrangements in recent memory). In addition to writing virtually the whole album, Kelly also contributes production and vocals as the Pied Piper, making this collection a tour de force. He's not the only guest: Snoop Dogg drops some rhymes on "I Like," while Lil' Kim gets suitably freaky on the title cut. They're just the icing though; the Isleys (at least the two of them still together) are the cake. They might have past glories aplenty, but one thing Body Kiss proves is that the brothers are never going to rest on their laurels. CHRIS NICKSON

music@seattleweekly.com

 
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