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  Listen Up! 8/15/02 Listen Up!

Thursday, Aug. 15

The Mooney Suzuki, “Electric Sweat,” Gammon Records. Scariano tells me these guys are the latest saviors of rock’n’roll, according to some press or another. Well, they’re clearly the latest MC5 pastiche artists. As Scariano pointed out, they deserve points for aping all three periods of the MC5’s shape-shifting styles. I really like “Oh Sweet Susanna,” which is kinda their “Sister Ann” tribute. They can handle the harder rocking psychedelia of the first album, and the jambalicious tightness of the third, too. But, they don’t sound as organic as the 5 ever did, nor do they have any of the songs. This ain’t gonna save rock’n’roll, but I’m thinking if enough people keep dipping into the historical wellsprings (as they have been of late), somebody sooner or later is gonna figure out a new path into the heart of this music.

N.E.R.D., “In Search Of . . .,” Virgin Records. If you go to a strip club nowadays, the odds are about half the songs you hear are built on grooves supplied by these guys (known as the Neptunes when they produce records). They are perfectly attuned to the rhythms necessary for bumping and grinding in the new millennium. A bit of rock’n’roll, a bit of funk, a bit of electronica rifferama, and you’ve got a formula for making things hot enough in herre to take our clothes off. (Yeah, they did that one, too.) This album is all about sex, and it sounds like it should be.

--Steve Pick



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