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Record Review

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Soft-pedaling some of the bone-crushing brutality on the band's second album, Leave No Ashes, Philly power trio Burning Brides arrives at a rugged garage-rock-based sound that still bears the imprint of its metal and punk predilections. The new sound trades the prickly barbed riffs of the Brides' first album, Fall of the Plastic Empire, for mid-tempo, hook-heavy numbers much like Nirvana's transition between its first two albums. While fans may be a little disappointed, it's difficult to argue with the result, which often sounds like a heftier Dead Boys, particularly on the rumbling surf-guitar driven "Alternative Teenage Suicide."

The Brides' metal roots show up on tracks such as "Century Song," an AC/DC-riffing rave-up, and the grimy, slow-throbbing Sabbath-y "King of the Demimonde." But by and large this is a crunchy, straightforward rock album that refines the Brides' approach on first album gems such as "If I'm a Man." Better production brings singer/guitarist Dmitri Coats' vocals more to the fore, and the improved sonic definition helps the fuzzed-out roar sound even fuller. Led by opening tracks "Heart Full of Black" and "Come Alive," the first half is a chest-thumping good time that's at least as interesting as anything released by the Von Bondies or the Vines.

Burning Brides play the Echo Lounge Tues., Aug. 31, 8 p.m. $8

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