Auf Der Maur Auf Der Maur

Whether it was by sheer luck or knowing the right people, Melissa Auf der Maur has managed to make a pretty formidable career as, essentially, a temporary bassist. She took over four-string duties when drug problems forced Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins to find a new bassist, but the auburn-maned Montrealer seems set to disprove her transience with a suitably eponymous debut LP. She wrangles the fretwork of Queens of the Stone Age front-man (and seemingly only man) Josh Homme as well as QOTSA’s producer Chris Goss — and you can tell by the dangerously heavy blend of metal and melody on the Kyuss-esque "Followed the Waves.” Elsewhere, she plays the ingénue on "I’ll Be Anything You Want” lustily howling the faux-Sabbath refrain "You finished with your woman cause... she’s not me.” Even by the end of the disc, when you get a sinking feeling of familiarity, tracks still maintain the ineluctable heavy edge and charming choruses, making you realise that MAdM’s managed to do what none of her former bands have: make an album that’s actually fun to listen to. (Capitol)