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Cadillac Steakhouse: Cadillac Steakhouse (Self-Released) 

For anyone who's witnessed one of Cadillac Steakhouse's manically over-the-top live shows, the question will be: Can they pull it off on a record? The answer, based on this full-length CD: Oh yeah. Give some credit to Mike Dunn, who recorded it at his Subspace Recording, and Kevin Dowling, who produced it. It may be akin to harnessing and riding a shark, but they managed to pull it off.

Cadillac Steakhouse always had a head start due to the exceptional quality of their players, especially guitarist Miles Bartlett. Miles seems to have a bottomless bag of riffs, tricks and effects, and can play smart, complex and brutal all at the same time. Erik Brown on bass and Aharon Lund on drums (since replaced by John Gimmler) more than hold their own, but, of course, it's über-vocalist Nikki Rosing who sets the pace with her fabulously in-your-face vocalizing and wild-child stage presence.

Inhabiting a space somewhere between the smart, turbo-charged punk rock of the Dead Kennedys ("Motorbread" even seems to echo "California Über Alles") and the more-complex but no-less-intense leanings of a post-post-punk bands (think early Liars), Cadillac Steakhouse can have their punk rock and eat it, too.

So, on 10 originals, Cadillac Steakhouse rage like their hair's on fire. Miles multitracks stupendous, effects-addled guitars on "We're Gonna Die," "Rapium," "Shitty Bitch" and "Savages," and basically rules like a murderous despot. Eric and Aharon match him lick for lick, and Nikki drives the stake (steak?) through your heart every time. Tucson doesn't get much better than this.

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