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Beat Angels' singer-songwriter Brian Smith and his bandmates -- guitarists Michael Brooks and Keith Jackson, bassist Tommy CaraDonna, and drummer Frankie Hanyak -- gleefully wallow in that mid-Eighties glam-metal sound on their second album, Red Badge of Discourage. With Smith behind the wheel, this Tempe, Arizona-based band careens from one splayed sing-along to the next: "My Glum Sugar-Plum," "Saturday Punks," "Go Your Way," "Cinnamon Says." The tracks are fairly interchangeable with the exception of the Gary Glitter-esque stomp "Keep It Up." But despite the songs' similarity, at a mere 34 minutes the album doesn't overstay its welcome. Throughout, producer Gilby Clarke applies just the right amount of compressed studio sheen to the proceedings -- no real surprise given his band Guns n' Roses' innate understanding of -- if not complete adherence to -- the glam-rock unities. Smith refers to the appropriate cultural touchstones (Marianne Faithfull, the Clash's Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, even Bebe Buell!) while thumbing his nose at anything that remotely gets in his way. Unbridled fun. (Epiphany Records, 1303 W. 21st St., Tempe, AZ 85285)

-- Michael Yockel

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Larry Getlen
Rafer Guzman
Curt Hopkins
Neal Weiss
Michael Yockel

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