Leatherface Horsebox

The first studio album in seven years from these brawling Brits couldn't be more aptly titled. While vocalist Frankie Stubbs is notorious for having one of the gruffest voices in rock - think Motörhead's Lemmy after a night of gargling gravel and Jack Daniels, and chain smoking filterless cigarettes - his voice box has never sounded as hoarse as he does on this "comeback" disc, the band's sixth full-length. Following in the tracks of their 1999 split disc with Florida's Hot Water Music, Horsebox features not only Stubbs' trademark growl, but also the band's penchant for finding melody in a dense forest of cacophonous guitars and punk energy. The disc starts off sweetly enough with "Sour Grapes," before opening up with "Evo Pop," "Soundbites" and "Watching You Sleep," all of which sound like they could have been ripped straight from the studio sessions for the band's great 1990 record, Fill Your Boots. Things begin to slow down again with a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colours" and Nick Cave's "Ship Song." An odd mix of melody and mayhem that, for the most part, works because of some solid songwriting. (BYO)