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F-Minus
WAKE UP SCREAMING
BY SEAN RICHARDSON
Stars graphics

Given the glut of fierce female vocals on their first two albums, SoCal punks F-Minus often sounded like a harder, faster version of former Hellcat labelmates the Distillers. Lead screamers Brad Logan and Erica Daking are back on the bandís third disc, which is their first without singer/bassist Jen Johnson. But the biggest change is new producer Steve Albini, whose legendary penchant for noise leads them in darker and thornier directions.

Daking starts things off with a bang on the nihilistic "Sweating Blood," which is also available as a single on the Boston punk label Bridge Nine. On "Wake Up," she and Logan react to a world at war with seething paranoia and a high-speed guitar train wreck. When they slow down on "Mother of Suffering," the chaos gets even uglier. Albini makes his presence felt on "Paid To Listen," a feedback-laced dirge that recalls the Melvins, and Gabba from Chaos U.K. shows up to spit some venom on the breakneck closer, "Barking Dog." Their lyrics could use a little more clarity, but for now F-Minus are getting their point across on attitude alone.


Issue Date: August 1 - August 7, 2003
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