Faceless Werewolves

Medium Freaky (Super Secret Records)

The Faceless Werewolves should -- if the gods of good taste have their way -- be the next Austin band whose hot, raw licks will get down the pants of America. Singer Baldomero Valdez has a certain Thurston Moore mumble in the way he has to fight for air underneath wave after wave of heavy, droning scuz that takes 13th Floor Elevators mantra chords and mixes them with Sonic Youth's tendency to make rock songs that disintegrate into wide-open noise. But Medium Freaky carries the chaos well on dirty-knotted riffs ("My Weakness," in particular) that dangerously bullet through the middle of the songs. When Erica Barton and Kelsey Wickliffe take the vocal reins, the result is far more snide and slashing, like the Slits in a rumble with L7. A fierce and seedy outfit, the Faceless Werewolves bring the rawk without the irony, slashing and thrashing their way through one-night stands and Unicorns on one of the year's most impressive debuts.

 
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