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Regional Beat: Death of Samantha

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If Memory Serves Us Well (St. Valentine Records)

deathofsamantha.com

This veteran Cleveland post-punk group disbanded in 1990 but decided to revisit its old songs and re-record them live in the studio before a 2011 reunion show. That turned out to be a good decision. Album opener “Coca-Cola and Licorice” has the same fierceness as the original, but it also sounds a bit more polished (20 years of experience will do that). The simmering “Now It’s Your Turn (To Be a Martyr)” features a great blues guitar riff courtesy of guitarist Doug Gillard. John Petkovic’s gruff vocals evoke Goth rocker Nick Cave. The guys plan to record a new studio album this year. Given the energy that comes across on this 18-song album, it should be a doozy.

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