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US Maple, "Acre Thrills"

Any band that sets out to deconstruct rock on its releases isimmediately going to turn off some listeners. US Maple don'tnecessarily turn off listners, they lambast them with their loud guitarattack and, sometimes, annoyance, and yet dare them to listen more. Itstill turns some listeners off. I'm still on the fence. Don't get mewrong: this is the best US Maple release yet. If you were going to buyone, make it this one. Previous releases have seemed disjointed, tooimprovisational, even, with moments of brilliance. "Acre Thrills" islike the band's mission statement. They are here to break the rules ofrock. They are here to lead the way. And every moment is well executed.The start of the album with "Ma Digital" shows us the familiar twoguitar whine assault and what Spin magazine once called the "UnholyWheeze" -- Al Johnson's voice. It really is original in its completedisregard for a unifying structure, and the collective band members areproficient, even deadly with their respective instruments. And it'sheavy, menacing as all get out on some tracks. The Wheeze even soundssexy, if you can believe that, going from low growl to CraigWedren-like vocal magic. One song even features the most fascinating ofscientific myseteries: real cat purrs. And Brian Paulson, that indierock king of clean, loud sound, does a great job bringing the band'ssound out to play. It's just not all that thrilling to me. It's a goodthing that the lyrics are in the book, too, because I sure as hellcouldn't tell what was being said on some songs. But it works on manylevels, creating a soundscape that is worth listening to, even if itdoesn't grab you all that hard. US Maple succeed in deconstructingrock. But if it's deconstructed rock, what is it, exactly? And will youlike it? Give it a try, especially "Acre Thrills," their best effort todate.