CD Shorts

Primate Fiasco
Wheels on the Bus
(independent)

Delicate listeners, be warned. On the Fiasco’s recent supposed children’s album, there should be a neon-bright sticker warning of the many instances of naked tuba playing on the album. I couldn’t say whether the musician was clothed, but it’s clear that the tuba is in nothing but its birthday suit. I’ve heard it argued that the electric bass is the sexiest of all instruments, but that person never listened to the Primates play “Doggy in the Window.” Far from meek, that sinfully seductive tuba steps up to the center stage, tassels all a-quivering, making all past perversions sound polite. Okay, there is some corndog behavior on a few tracks, but this band tells the heart-wrenching tale of an errant meatball better than anyone. When they demand you to shake it all about, hypnotized by the tuba, all you can do is obey.  —Mark Roessler

*

Monotonix
Not Yet
(Drag City)

Monotonix is an Israeli garage band that seems to have the punk/DIY motivation to have booked extensive U.S. tours and secured the production/engineering skills of grunge-punk guru Steve Albini on this, its second full-length release. True to Albini’s style, the recording is crisp but raw, with thick guitar run through octave pedals, and drums that sound huge; there seems to be no bass player. Lead vocalist “Ami” is generally more of a screamer than a singer, with a delivery somewhere between Lemmy Kilmister’s and Jello Biafra’s—passionate and unhinged, but not terribly melodic. Much of it borders on the infantile primal screaming that Albini likes to just leave tape rolling through (as evidenced on albums like Nirvana’s In Utero and The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa). This preserves some disturbingly honest emotion, though not necessarily for the betterment of the songs.  —Tom Sturm

*

Belle and Sebastian
Write About Love
(Matador)

Like a comfortable cardigan or a mug of hot chocolate, the eighth studio release by “Scotland’s greatest band” reassures and warms listeners. That reliability is well-earned. Despite the presence of high-profile guests like Norah Jones, there is still enough of a familiar sound to keep purists as well as new fans happy. The opening number, “I Didn’t See it Coming,” starts the album off well with an engaging duet by Stuart Murdoch and Sarah Martin over a simple drum beat and repeated guitar lines. Elsewhere, actress Carey Mulligan lends her talents to the bouncy title track and lead guitarist Stevie Jackson takes over vocal duties on the ’60s-inspired “I’m Not Living in the Real World.” Many fans will have no problem placing this newest set among the others in the band’s critically-lauded back catalogue, even though it doesn’t break new musical ground. —Michael Cimaomo

Author: Advocate Staff

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