The Jonbenét

Ugly/Heartless

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Although you'd never know it by the mainstream rock artists of the early 21st century, good old-fashioned noise was bubbling over in the underground, as evidenced by such bands as Lightning Bolt and the Dillinger Escape Plan. Another outfit that joined the pack around this time was Houston's the Jonbenet. With two indie EPs to their credit (combined together as The Plot Thickens in 2005), the gentlemen offered their debut major-label full-length a year later, Ugly/Heartless. Although only a quartet, the Jonbenet have a knack for sounding like a herd of stomping gorillas armed with rock instruments, especially on such standouts as the album-opening "Devils" and "We Eat Our Young." Elsewhere, the group plays possum from time to time, as on "Love Is a Dog from Hell," which begins with some glassy-sounding guitar, and the meandering "Zeppelin" -- both of which eventually collapse into noise assaults. Good music to listen to at your next demolition derby driving lesson.

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