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Acidic- Godsticks- Vidunder

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Acidic
Creatures

(Self-released)

When Acidic sing about "The creatures in the sky" on the album's title cut they do so with a prog rock flair that recalls the Alan Parsons Project, both musically and through the use of smoothly layered lead vocals. The fast, driving rock of songs like "Rad (Standing in the Rain)" is more typical of what fans expect from these L.A. rockers and Warped Tour vets though. The garage-y, guitar rocking "My Town" is a highlight but the band also sounds good in a subdued mode as with the acoustic album closer "Miles from Home" which is also an excellent showcase for singer Michael Gossard.

Godsticks
Emergence

(Self-released)

Emergence opens with the radio-ready guitar chug and bass/drums thump of "Below the Belt," a cut likely custom made to score with hard rock programmers. But the band actually has a serious prog side that's not so obvious in "Below the Belt;" songs like "Ruin" play out with a wooziness that reminds of Primus and fans of bands like Mastodon will find lots to like in tunes like "One Percent." The album is produced by James Loughrey who has worked with everyone from Def Leppard to Skindred.

Vidunder
Oracles and Prophets

Crusher

This band is from Sweden but they've got the New York punk-tinged rock sound down pat. Take a bit of Johnny Thunders, mix in some D Generation and a pinch of Mink DeVille and you've got an idea of how these guys rock. Highlights include "Gone with Dawn," a cut that surely would have blown the roof off of CBGB's, the psych-tinged "In and Out of Mind" and the Stones-like "Twisted Faces." Well worth seeking out.

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