Like This

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It has been said countless times but bears repeating: everyone knew that Generation X had really taken over the rock world when Nirvana and Pearl Jam exploded commercially in 1992-1993 and major arena rockers of the 1970s and 1980s suddenly found that they couldn't get arrested on MTV. But the more things change and evolve, the more they stay the same. Just as modal and avant-garde jazzmen of the 1960s could easily explain why their parents' old Fletcher Henderson and King Oliver 78s were great -- and just as Mary J. Blige is quick to sing the praises of Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin -- alternative rockers don't necessarily listen to post-'90 bands exclusively. Take, for example, Crushdown, whose first MCA album, Like This, came out in October 2000. Based in South Florida, Crushdown is an alternative rock outfit that could easily be compared to Soundgarden, Bush, Pearl Jam, Lit, etc. But if you listen to the CD carefully -- and if you're knowledgeable about '70s and '80s rock -- you will hear how baby boomer bands can still affect alternative rock. You will hear traces of Cheap Trick and Led Zeppelin at times, and you will hear plenty of arena rock bravado in singer Justin Raymond's forceful, raspy belting -- not to mention a snarling punk edge. One of the album's best tracks, in fact, is an interesting cover of Iggy Pop's 1973 classic "Loose." Like This isn't perfect; some of crushdown's songs are more memorable than others. But more often than not, crushdown shows promise on this aggressive and hard-rocking yet melodic release.

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