MORE TAPES IN THE MAIL

There's a reason there aren't any R.E.M. tribute bands--there're enough facsimiles out there already. Tempe's Postvale Road sounds like a young group just starting down that often-traveled road. Yes, the Ghost of College Alternative Music's Past (re: that darn jangly-guitar sound) tries to assert itself again, but the songs have choruses rousing enough to help you forget that. And mysterious titles such as "Song V" and "Kirf the Mirf" promise interesting lyrics, even if you're not sure what they are. Though there's nothing earthshaking here, there isn't anything really bad to say about the tape, either.

Who'd be foolish enough to say anything bad about local rap group Brothers Grimm? On "3D," the Brothers give New Times contributor David Koen a high-five for his favorable write-up, so I'm not about to piss them off and blow my only chance for hip-hop immortality. Besides, the same song extols the virtues of handgun shot practice and the riddling of holes in R.E.M. and Clapton albums that don't have any good sampling possibilities. Flex-All, No-Doz and Piehead keep their inventive raps under three and a half minutes, ensuring you'll be left wanting more. Check out Brothers Grimm. You'll live happily ever after if you do. Call 892-4330.

There are no storybook endings for the Subterraneans and their excruciatingly unlistenable tape, unless you value music by how fast it can clear a room. If you need a worst common denominator, picture Alex Chilton reading first-draft sophomoric poetry over crappy performance-art music. It sounds as if the biggest artistic decision being made is whether to scrape the guitar strings for five minutes or eight, just to see if the listener can stand it. Saturday Night Live's Leonard Pinth-Garnell would have no problem throwing this "Bad Avant-Garde" tape in the Dumpster, but smart reviewers will just tape better stuff over it. Call 968-7459.

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