First with Austin skronk-punk legends Scratch Acid and then with Chicago's abrasively heavy Jesus Lizard, David Yow had the perfect voice to channel his bands' caustic noise. Pitched between a sneer and a scream, it emanated anger and contempt — when you could tell what he was saying at all, that is — and live he often subjected himself to Iggy-like acts of self-torture that made even the strongest stomachs turn. On their first record since Yow joined, Love's Miracle, L.A. trio Qui eases off the throttle a little as their thick, plodding post-grunge threatens to devolve into total freak-out mode, but never quite does. (There's still plenty of bashing, though.) Besides, Yow may have mitigated the musical vitriol a bit — one might say Qui's cover of Pink Floyd's "Echoes" is downright sweet — but his lyrics retain plenty of bite: "You wag your tail, your skin is like scales," he sings on "Belt." "And you're always for sale." Ouch.

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