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Top Five New CD Releases

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The Bellrays Have a Little Faith (Cheap Lullaby) – Local rock band with a powerful female soul singer. Catch them live at Sea Level Records on 5/2 at 7:00 PM and Safari Sam’s on 5/12. Listen to some tracks on their Myspace page.

Pearl Jam Pearl Jam (J Records) – Critics are saying that this is Pearl Jam’s best record since Vitalogy. They even eponymously titled it. It seems like Clive Davis has once again earned his reputation as a great record man - but is Pearl Jam still relevant (or were they ever)? Appearing live at the Forum on 7/9 & 7/10 with Sonic Youth as support. Preview the full album on AOL.

Tool 10,000 Days (Volcano) – This is their first album in five years and only their fourth in sixteen. Many critics complain that there are too many long, moody songs and/or that it sounds too much like A Perfect Circle record. They headlined Coachella but did anybody care? Madonna and Kanye managed to capture most of the headlines.

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Wolfmother Wolfmother (Interscope) – If you love heavy music like Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and don’t care much about soul, then this is for you. They write songs about unicorns, pyramids and witchcraft that come off as threatening as a businessman driving his SUV to the golf course. Almost all the critics admit that the album is a lot of fun to listen to, but some complain that it’s just too derivative. See them live at Tower Sunset tonight at 7:30 PM or at the Henry Fonda on 6/14. Preview the full album on AOL.

Year Future First World Fever (GSL) – This is the first full-length release from these heavy noise-rockers. If you’re into other local bands like 400 Blows and the Mae Shi, then check it out. The lead singer founded GSL which is a well-respected label co-owned by Omar from The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In. Appearing live at the Smell on 7/7. Hear some tracks on Myspace.