World B. Free
On their third album World B. Free, Muamin Collective focus on the beats. It's as if the guys aspire to a new-age, newfangled hip-hop reworking of Phil Spector's legendary Wall of Sound. Like a symphonic Picasso, beat-maker aLive painstakingly layers sonic touches, taking a Mavis Staples sample here and a snippet from an Obama speech there. These disparate sounds sometimes blend into a harmonious concoction, but the production is often muddled and obscures the vocals. You wonder why this Afro-futuristic group would bury its well-written narratives. On "Ponzi Scheme," however, the odd verbal sequence breaks through the cacophony long enough to display the lyrical talents of aLive and Zion. — Michael Oatman
It takes a bit to adjust to the mind-melting time signatures on "Opponens Pollicis," the opening tune on the new album by local noisemakers Self-Destruct Button. But it's a good icebreaker for an album that's a difficult listen. Available on vinyl with a digital download card so you can put the tunes on your computer or iPod, Juice Tiger recalls the abrasive side of Touch and Go's '90s roster, though it's more inspired by Shellac than the Jesus Lizard. Guitars slash and crash with abandon on "A Corpse in the Mouth," and "Quintessence NOW!" lurches like an epileptic in slow-mo. Easily the album's best track, "Vision, Filled With Miles of Air" has an epic quality, and almost ventures into post-rock territory. Heady stuff. — Jeff Niesel
Self-Destruct Button perform with Terminal Lovers, Ghandi SS, Michael Pultz and DJ Mikey Machine at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, at Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Ave., 216.221.8576, myspace.com/nowthatsclass).
Hear new music from Self Destruct Button on our new online streaming jukebox: clevescene.com/kicking_and_streaming