In the Red / Genrevolta
Charleston label Tick Tock's second release — a "split" CD — ain't your average guitar-rock stuff. California quartet In the Red kick things off with three powerful and dynamic songs — "Forever Falling," "Here Will We All Die," and "Cut Your Eyes." They pound hard with a swirling mix of metallic, chugging guitars, raspy hollering, and syncho drum patterns. Genrevolta's "Ploughed," "Daughter," and the mistakenly-labeled "Cubes" sound drier and more shrill ... perhaps a bit more along the lines of the Minutemen and early Jesus Lizard. With distorted bass chords, military snare drum patterns, and syncopated verse/chorus stuff, bassist Richard Weld and drummer Pete Rivas dictate the dynamic of the songs, allowing singer/guitarist Philip Estes to find his own way over the chugging brusqueness. —T. Ballard Lesemann
Genrevolta perform at Cumberland's on Fri. May 18.
Their fourth album in as many years, the five-song EP Stereotype keeps up Athens band Dubconscious' tradition of message-driven, multi-layered reggae. Shelley Olin's sultry vocals complement the harmonies on opening track "Stereotype," crying, "Don't want to be no stereotypical." The band succeeds, writing songs with breakdowns and time changes that have the listener checking the track number, only to drop back into the tune's familiar hook. It's a far cry from a simple, repetitive reggae riff. They spread their environmental and social messages in songs like "Trinity." Grooving horns, perfectly compressed guitar solos, and Kwaito-style South African beats make Stereotype a succinct take-home example of Dubconscious' pure danceability. —Stratton Lawrence
Dubconcious play at the Pour House on Wed. April 25.