LKN, PALO VERDE, THE TYRANTS
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Most Portlanders are—or at least damn well better be—aware of the shredtastic guitar skills of one Lauren K. Newman (that's LKN to you and me). LKN's latest is a split 12-inch where she crams a half dozen songs onto her side, including one of the strongest offerings to her catalog, "July 5, 2008." That song in particular takes full advantage of LKN's abilities, with its frantic drumming, existential lyrical freakout of spoken-word vocals, and a tightly wound, complex guitar hook that no amateur should dare attempt to emulate. Her splitmates, Cincinnati's Knife the Symphony, travel a different path, with squealing guitars and a yelped urgency that channels the precision and fury of Drive Like Jehu. This split is a piece of wax that you need in your collection. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
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