Gotta love a group claiming Don Knotts as a member. Gotta listen beyond "The Stadium Moves," which sounds like other disillusioned musicians...but these reference T. Rex and the Merseys, so leave the CD in the drive...through the been-done progressions but startling lyrics of "Oakland 2008" ("Saw you bleeding from the hip...bleeding from the shoulder"). Engagement grows with the piano-and-bass-anchored majesty of "The Miserablists."

On "(Nobody Cries for the) Missing-Hearted," David Williams shares the cracked semi-mumble of King of the Hill's cartoon teen Bobby. I open the digipak to see a picture by Derek Erdman that could have been drawn by Mike Judge. Since the Supermachines are based in Austin, things are starting to make a warped sort of sense.

Then there's this explosion -- "Carolyn Says" -- which offers (1) affirmation that everyone in the band has gone off his medication and (2) the furious catharsis I've craved since Pere Ubu, Thinking Fellers, and Polvo shoved their needles in my arm. While nothing else meets the heat of "Carolyn Says," "Local Honey" mixes some of that "hurting people hurt" juice with stimulating interplay. This is a project to watch -- or if you prefer tidy categories -- to watch out for, at least until it's been herded back into the psych ward, from which it may still emit the Teenage Fanclub/Stones-ish riffing of "Diagnosis = Permission."

  • Album title: Shut Up
  • Artist: Beautiful Supermachines
  • Label: Chicken Ranch Records
  • Songs: (1) The Stadium Moves (2) Black Metal (3) Carolyn Says (4) Consumed (5) Diagnosis = Permission (6) Diamonds Grow Under Pressure (7) Flowers Under Shit (8) and You... (9) Local Honey (10) The Miserablists (11) (Nobody Cries for the) Missing-Hearted (12) Oakland 2008 (13) The War Against Cliche

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