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Soundbite

Our critics' picks in new releases

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It's always a good sign in such a busy music region as the Triangle that folks are cranking out compilations and surveying things at a particular time.

New Frontiers covers a variety of styles, mostly rooted in the guitar-bass-drums school of melody, but some veer off that familiar course. Everyone here is from the (in this case, generalized) Chapel Hill area. Many are still in their infancy as bands, while others are more settled. Pop band Roman Candle starts things off with "Something Left To Say," a cut off their 2002 record Says Pop, that made some waves on college radio. It recently ended up as incidental music on an MTV show, planting its hummable notes in the subconscious minds of teenagers everywhere, or something like that. There is plenty more catchy pop rock here, from the harmonies of Eyes to Space's "One Minute Mile" to Velvet's naughty tale "My Friend Fur" ("Sometimes I like to touch her..."). Go Machine contributes a devotion to their home turf with "From Where I Come," with half-spoken lyrics darting around percussion and various background samples for a diverse change of pace. On a different plane altogether is the edgy guitar anthem by Alli with an I and Amish Jihad's math-rock instrumental. Sentinel has the most riveting entry here; metalloid punk that's all shredding guitar riffs set against bottom-heavy bulldozing rhythms. The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers evokes a nice mysterious feel and a big sound from synthesizers and electro beats. Nathan Asher and the Infantry issue a long political call, replete with anti-Bush sentiments. There's so much more here to check out; 21 tracks in all. Pick one up and take a peek into yet another tributary of this area's river of song.

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