Various Artists | MUSIC: Homebrew | Indy Week

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The perfect foil to all those plastic boy bands and their ilk is a bit of grit to counter the goo, and diehards like Clif Mann continue to safeguard rough-hewn rock and roll in the Triangle. The Demonbeach imprint documents the Triangle's resilient punk-inspired scene with this new compilation that provides a fresh look at some familiar faces and introduces us to some new ones. Mann, guitarist for Pipe, knows the prevalent aesthetic here: charged, immediate, and unfettered. And he would, as he plays in three of the bands--Bad Checks, Butchwax and TGOR--on this vinyl-only release. The Bad Checks' two muscular numbers are standouts, including "Voodoo Doll/Gingerbread Man," where singer Hunter Landen leads a venomous tirade worthy of the band's long heritage. Butchwax, bridging the gender gap for this primarily machismo comp, contributes two quick ones with "Deadmen" featuring vocals from Molly Winner. Noisy and loose, Raleigh group Daddy contributes two metal-tinged cuts. Despite a long-finished demo CDR, this is the first salvo from the Ghost of Rock, with Mann's frenzied guitar and Ron Liberti's pipes (and gusto) packing two minute-and-a-half blasts to the bursting point. With The Loners' purist garage punk, Proof's solid instrumental foray and the tweaked-out crackle of The Clones' "Allright" (imagine Ron Asheton backed by a theremin), the new school glows. Dexter Romweber, perhaps the scene's ragged patron saint, is the centerpiece here. He growlingly takes back the old Slim Harpo blues side, "Got Love (If You Want It)," returning it from rock bombast (a la The Yardbirds or The Kinks) to a slow burn. Dex's signature Silvertone guitar adorns the rear sleeve.

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