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Fast reviews of recent releases

Angels & Airwaves, We Don't Need to Whisper (Suretone/Geffen). Ex-blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge is the rare musician who appears to have told the truth when he said he separated from his previous band over artistic differences. Problem is, he replaces blink's pop punk with bloated arrangements, pretentious lyrics and guitar showboating ripe for ridicule on I Love the 80s. Ambitious and different, it is. Original and successful, it's not. -- Roberts

Andy Caldwell, Universal Truth (Om Records). There's no doubting Andy Caldwell's skills as a dance-music producer, and his debut as an artist (as opposed to a mixologist) sounds every bit as stylish as his best work. Unfortunately, tunes such as the faux-rockin' "Runaway" and the mildly soulful "Brand New Day" aren't as strong as the settings. And the need for good material is a Universal Truth. -- Roberts

Micah P. Hinson, The Baby & the Satellite (Jade Tree). Abilene, Texas-based Micah P. Hinson turns his own hard times into blackened blues with acoustic guitars, drum machines and samples, as well as a raw baritone reminiscent of Smog's Bill Callahan. The result is spare, gritty, lo-fi downer folk that should be avoided by those prone to clinical depression, self-mutilation or drunken dialing. -- Eryc Eyl

The Legendary Pink Dots, Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves(Roir). A wascally wabbit fond of wordy-words, Edward Ka-Spel presents an appropriately hopeless long-player to ring in the 25th anniversary of the Legendary Pink Dots (due at the Bluebird Theater, Saturday, June 10). Along with space indulgence, dub dirge and a cynical prayer or two is enough dark Freudian material to keep the couch warm for ages. -- John La Briola

The Presets, Beams (Modular Records). Australia's Presets sound like Depeche Mode pitch-blacked enough to soundtrack a sex club. Singer Julian Hamilton pant-sings like he's got crotchless underwear ringing his lips. The standout tracks take tight, metallic beat cores and layer them in a loose, Happy Mondays haze of bleeps, dub thumps and distortion. -- Terry Sawyer

Priestess, Hello Master(Indica). Not the freshest chicken at the market, Priestess (who'll drop by the Larimer Lounge on Tuesday, June 13) resurrects stoner drone that recalls Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and sings about death, blackness and feeling like a dog. More hard rock than metal, this exceedingly loud Montreal export gets back to the basics -- that is, if "the basics" means a sound stuck somewhere in '70s FM radio. -- La Briola

Widespread Panic, Earth to America (Sanctuary Records). Imagine an album that mates Skynyrd's brash Southern-fried blues and AC/DC's crunch with smatterings of R&B and jazz rock. Earth to America,Panic's latest effort, is exactly that album. Although at times Earth drones and drowns in the group's jam-band aesthetic, as a whole the songs just plain kick ass. -- Tracy M. Rogers

 
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