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Clovenhoof

THERE'S A DEFINING moment midway through "Staggered," the second track on this six-song offering from local metal mistresses Clovenhoof. After a series of appropriately 'luded-out passages, the gals suddenly erupt into one of those dueling solo bits that, depending on your frame of reference, sound like (a) that dude from Boston making it with the stereo guitar shtick; (b) an errant member of ELO who stepped up to "do it," cello style; or (c) something Thin Lizzy would have ripped off back in the day.

When good riffs turn very, very bad: Oh, the shame. Clovenhoof instinctively understands that there are only so many riffs in the world, so why not appropriate the best ones, lock 'em up for a while to teach 'em who's boss, then unleash 'em in a suitably remade/remodeled fashion. Here, on this exceedingly entertaining set, our heroines transmogrify "Wild Thing" into a Melvins dirge ("Cobre Verde"), get all glammy 'n' sticky with some Sweet-meets-Sabbath crunch ("Murky Blue"), and, in a masterstroke, reclaim the Nuge's misogynistic "Stranglehold" and turn the dang thing on its head in an echoey orgy of squalling femme-noise ("Sinking"). And don't miss the title cut, a sludge-riffer par excellence, spiced by a subtly Burundi-flavored rhythm and more than a hint of S&M delights lurking in the wings. Tie me up, tie me down, ladies!

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