Vegas Throat

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Barkmarket's third album (but their first to gain wide release, thanks to Rick Rubin's American Recordings) is where it all comes together. Singer/guitarist David Sardy and company pack a mighty art grunge punch on this disc, mixing the clunking riffs of the aptly named opener, "Grinder" (imagine Black Sabbath on espresso instead of sweet leaf), with a greater interest in Butthole Surfers-style noise rock interludes, like the one that opens the pulverizing "Hydrox God." The group also displays a sly sense of humor in their choice of covers, especially on the withering reconstruction of the O'Jays' Philly soul classic, "Backstabbers," reinterpreted in a manner that recalls the anguished howls of the Birthday Party. (By comparison, the acid-refreshed cover of Jimi Hendrix's "I Don't Live Today" sounds downright normal.) Later albums like 1994's Lardroom would put the pieces together a little better, but the rough edges of this album add to its charm. Jesus Lizard and Cop Shoot Cop fans in particular should take note.

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