The guys in Rye Coalition are some dumb motherfuckers. Veterans of the early-'90s post-hardcore scene, they've witnessed tons of their contemporaries try to milk the major-label bull, only to get gored in the groin. But after a decade of humble independence, Rye signed to DreamWorks in 2003 and subsequently suffered the fate that afflicts most would-be sellouts: They got shuffled around, neglected and ultimately dumped. Three years later, they find themselves right back where they started, on respected indie imprint Gern Blandsten. But the band didn't come out of the ordeal empty-handed. Curses!, its fourth full-length, is the major-label debut that never was; produced by fan and champion Dave Grohl, it's an absolutely flawless slab of rock and roll that fattens up Thin Lizzy with a little Jesus Lizard, continuing Rye's long slide from sardonic angst to cocksure swagger. Leave it to Rye Coalition to turn a stupid mistake into a balls-out victory.