Somebody mails you a CD wrapped in toilet paper, and you figure they're just begging for a critical bashing. In our less mature years, we would've responded with an appropriate (and completely obvious) turd joke, but the dilemma with Obsolete Heart is their music's actually pretty good. Good in a totally-derivative-of-Nirvana kind of way—there's the trio concept, and singer Sean's uncanny (well, maybe a littlecanny) Kurtish vocal drone and the wall of feedback that saturates several tracks—but still? Not bad. Then there's the singing of drummer Brittney, who weirdly does a dead-on Courtney Love with "Blueberry Shortcake" and "Southern Belle." If these kids had good marketing sense, they could eBay this album as TheLostRecordingsand make bank. Perhaps the larger aim here is to give the younger generation an idea of what they missed back in 1991, The Year Punk Broke (babies born that year will be starting high school this September—feel old yet?), which may also be the idea behind the CD's title—cute! Aside from grunge nostalgia, though, the band has much to offer: several cuts of sweet, gentle songs that sound as if they were recorded around 4:30 a.m., when Sean, Brittney and bassist Mike (no last names, please) were all just about to nod off after a four-day insomnia binge; slow-boil rockers good enough to make it to the Podcast of our mind. Redundant as all hell—that guitar on "Bag O' Bones" just howls "Breed"—but we like it like that.
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OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only, OCWeekly,1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417.