Sound Tribe Sector 9 – “Peaceblaster”
(1320 Records) ***1/2
STS9 plays Amos' Southend at 8 p.m. Thursday. $22.50-$25. www.etix.com.
When Sound Tribe Sector 9 debuted in the late '90s, it was one of the first acts to seamlessly combine the rave and jam cultures, with breakbeat-infested instrumentals. A decade later, it's evolved to mood-creating soundtrack music that truly takes its listener on a trip.
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Close your eyes and imagine your own film rolling as “Peaceblaster” spins. These mellow yet movement-filled compositions inspire settings from an eerie carnival to an outer-space voyage to a James Bond-style adventure – as club beats, haunting synthesizers and rock guitars intertwine.
Surprisingly, “Peaceblaster” is light on repetition, moving fluidly to varying phrases and styles. And if it's not a creativity boost you're after, “Peaceblaster” fits on the dance floor or late-night drive.
Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm – “2 Man Wrecking Crew”
(Delta Groove Music) ***
The blues duo plays the Double Door Inn at 7 p.m. Thursday. $7. 704-376-1446.
Guitarist Lightnin' Malcolm and drummer Cedric Burnside bring youthful exuberance to the hill-country blues tradition.
The standout track is the autobiographical opening tribute to Burnside's grandfather, blues legend R.L. Burnside. None of the other tracks tap into either of the musicians' personalities so keenly. Instead, many of the lyrics are less-specific love songs – the best of which are “My Sweetheart” and “She's Got Somethin' On Me.”
Malcolm exhibits his chops on the groovin' shuffle “Fightin',” with harmonica and hearty female backing vocals adding texture. “Stay Here in Your Arms” rides a classic pop vocal melody that's simultaneously reminiscent of doo-wop and '70s rock.
The duo wisely sticks with gritty production, giving the disc a live, juke-joint feel that's true to its roots.