Areola 51

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Areola 51

Neither their bad pun of a name nor the cheap porn nature of their self-titled debut's artwork reconcile themselves with the fact that Areola 51 is actually pretty sweet. Sangre de Toro picadores Brett Bradford (ex-Scratch Acid) and Max Brody (present-Ministry) get in ring with Honky skronk bassist Jeff ("J.D.") Pinkus and out spills the skin-crawling sounds of Air Force base alien detainees being given their own anal probe. Beginning with the Unsane-ly jailbreak mayhem of "Sheets of Sand in Crisco," the mostly dormant Austin trio -- SXSW 02 sums up their current live schedule -- sledgehammers its ungainly way through 13 extreme exercises in post-hardcore acid metal. Bradford's kraut-rawkian guitar on the banging "Indestructable Man," with its early Butthole Puppets vocal glower, and the menacing insinuation of both "Frat Boy" and X-rated "Jerk Mag" match the pummelling "Purple Helmet" and runny "Can't Shit Still" in heart-pounding clamor. Bradford's shrieks are blunted by Pinkus taking the mic on pounders "As Dumb as I Look" and "Evil Eye." Going down with the tanker on "Dewey" and slathering more "Crisco" on closer "Fruit of Excuse," Areola 51 even manages a sense of closure. Scary. Never judge a boob by its cover.

***

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