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Fast reviews of recent releases

Beatallica, Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band (Oglio Entertainment). Ever since the Beatles broke up, the act's music has been repackaged and reimagined in numerous ways. Here its most mind-bending opus, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, is spliced together with the riffs and imagery of Metallica, resulting in a parody album that's more novelty than substance. — Brandon Daviet Electrelane, No Shouts No Calls (Too Pure). Electrelane's debut was playful, contoured and extremely rocking, but it also effused vulnerability. This followup has most of the same attributes in spades, although the four ladies involved seem to have shed whatever uncertainties haunted them, yielding an assured and powerful record that lacks only the brittle undercurrent that made their first one so immediately engrossing. Josh Tyson

Dublin Death Patrol, DDP 4 Life (Godfodder Records). Although Dublin Death Patrol sounds like a nefarious political faction, it's really a loosely organized group of Bay Area thrash veterans, helmed by Testament singer Chuck Billy, that plays like a pale knockoff of Ice T's Body Count. The act's debut, DDP 4 Life, is simple, vicious, and strangely poignant. — Daviet

Kenna, Make Sure They See My Face (Star Trak/Interscope). A lot of '80s synth-pop sounds silly today — and that's not such a bad thing. But in the hands of revivalist Kenna Zemedkun (assisted by Neptunes Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, overproducing for all they're worth), the glorious cheesiness of the genre turns moldy. Too tacky to take seriously, too sincere to be much fun. — Roberts

Rush, Snakes & Arrows (Atlantic). The legendary Canadian trio continues with its three-part concoction of melody, complexity and testosterone. While this thirteen-song disc won't elicit a rousing chorus of "O, Canada!" from the general populace — women, in particular, will most likely hate it — existing fans and musical elitists will rejoice. — Chris CallawayRufus Wainwright, Release the Stars (Geffen). Wainwright is far too eccentric to achieve the global-entertainment domination to which he clearly aspires — and that's one of the best things about him. Introduced by an insanely ornate, overstuffed epic cheekily titled "Do I Disappoint You," Stars is Wainwright's biggest, boldest statement to date. In this case, too much is just enough. — Roberts

 
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