CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDs

Salt? Fat? Excess? You’ll get none of that from the women of Pork. On their second album, Slop (Emperor Jones/Trance Syndicate), the Austin trio gets maximum results from a minimalist approach. Like a modern-day Modern Lovers, the band has a simple, timeless garage-rock sound that thrives on a patchwork of bold guitars, sugary vocals, and melodic rough edges, with a rhythmic attack—half incompetent and half unyielding—that’s a definition of rock and roll all its own. JASON COHEN

All these alternative-country groups with their heartland gothic songs: They’re so earnest, so mournful. That’s what makes Dem’s Good Beeble (Munich America) by the Austin quartet The Gourds so welcome. Sure, Kevin Russell’s voice creaks like a staircase in a haunted house, and his harmonies with

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