Grant Hart, 'Hot Wax' (Con D'Or/MVD)

Critical Mass
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by Barry Walters

Hüsker Dü's former drummer has always bared his soul by peering into others'. What he finds on his first album in ten years isn't pretty: At nine songs and 34 minutes, Hot Wax feels more like a disillusioned collection of demos than a finessed and finished disc -- instrumental vamps ramble, choruses repeat past the point of diminishing returns, and lyrical throwaways abound. But when he's on, he's scary good: The imaginary-friend ode "Barbara," with help from members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, is a string-wrapped reminder of Hart's squandered gift for poignant punk pop.

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