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The Dead Science, ‘Villainaire’ (Constellation)

This Seattle indie-punk trio’s Wu-Tang-referencing third album is sinister and melodramatic enough to evoke thecollective spirit of comic-book bad guys. But their rock operatics more closely recall Hexxus, the smoggy antagonist of ’90s eco-adventure FernGully. Like Tim Curry’s amorphous pollution monster, vocalist Sam Mickens seems to waft around, moaning and spitting evil lines with little discernible purpose. Sharply written, jazz-tinged arrangements bring soft-loud dynamism to the gloom, but Villainaire’s music and message rarely condense into more than a puff of malaise.

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Tags: Albums