Thee Fine, Thee Shams, Brotherhood of Electricity, Gutshot & Thirsty, Ethan Azarian, and Bavu Blakes

7 & 7 Is

Texas Platters

By this time next year, CDs will be tiny chips implanted in our teeth. Until then, it remains an honor to chomp on some delicious vinyl. Local garage peddlers Licorice Tree Records offer two slabs of fresh flesh. Thee Fine Lines are a trio of average-looking dudes from Springfield, Mo., and Looking Everywhere is their 7-inch suburban middle finger. "You're for Me" is punchy Detroit-greased garage, the title track chops bluesy chunks out of horny Sixties rock & roll, and B-side "One Thing Will Always Be" brings out their inner Billy Childish. Thee Shams are another group of average-looking dudes, but with sideburns and mop-tops. The Cincinnati quartet lives and breaths a Stones-meets-Sonics freebase and exudes I-got-your-girl swagger on "Go On Livin'." Another meaty hunk comes from the amped-up Austin lair of Super Secret Records. The Brotherhood of Electricity features Alyse Mervosh of Manikin on drums and Dave Bessenhoffer and Alex Cuervo on guitars and vocals. The Tim Kerr-produced white vinyl is three blasts of fast, fuzzy punk, the kind bar fights happen to. "The Hearse" throws a fit with screams of "I'm being followed by a hearse!" and the manic, off-balance "Invisible" lands a three-chord punch right in the kisser. The first 12-inch release from local Southern Love Records lays out Gutshot & Thirsty's Songs About Women and Dying. The Athens, Ga., duo of Paul Stuffel and Jason McClellan has orchestrated a country death opera with titles like "The Grave out Back Is Unburied" and the slightly euphoric carnival feel adds to the somber, sleepy strumming and picking. Even their slurred cover of Dinosaur Jr.'s "Freak Scene" seems somewhat good-natured. Then there's the mysterious appearance of an Ethan Azarian/Bavu Blakes live split from KVRX, pitting the folkie quirk of "Aliens" with Mr. Blakes' low-down dirty jam "Too Selfish." Duet, perhaps?

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Manikin, Brotherhood of Electricity, Thee Fine Lines, Thee Shams, Gutshot and Thirsty

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