Hot to French
(Central Command Center)
For years, hipsters from Lakewood to the Heights have coveted their turntables, but local label Central Command Center knows where's it's really at: cassettes. The label cut its teeth with a release by indie bruisers Coffinberry and is now in bed with lo-fi/lo-moral garage-dudes Death Sweats. From the first out-of-tune chord, we see how greasy things are going to get. "Sea Sick" is a burner of a start, with glimpses of the nastier King Kahn & BBQ stuff. Things get boozier with "Too Drunk" and "Stab." "Make Me Cry" is a moment of sentiment, as a raspy barroom howl sounds off, "You know you're gonna make me cry." Top it off with a spastic cover of Wire's "Mannequin," and you have the Cleveland cassette of the year - not that there's much competition. - Matthew Chernus
LAST STONE CAST
Power trio Last Stone Cast's full-length debut, Life Construed, plays like a live recording of a hot Saturday-night show where fans of Nickelback, Creed and Cinderella bask in a hard-rock communion of balls-out vocals, tasty shredding and lyrics about broken hearts and hard feelings. Singer-guitarist Scott McConnell's got the goods, high and low: He warbles, he shrieks, he growls melodies. Meanwhile, the guys lock into each other and stay there. Over-the-top rocker "No Rhyme" feels like they're showing off, precisely the kind of ambition missing from most contemporary rock. Ladies and gentlemen, the whammy-bar light is on - please throw your fists in the air. - D.X. Ferris Last Stone Cast play a CD-release party Friday, March 13, at Musica (51 E. Market St., Akron, 330.374.1114). Silent Theory opens at 9 p.m. Tickets: $8.