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The disc "Diversions," from an artist called Azwel, arrived

in a clear plastic jewel case, with song titles scrawled in ballpoint pen on

the label. You never know with stuff like this: If the guy can't be bothered to

make his disc look half-way professional, what will the music sound like? Then

again, the music is what matters, not the packaging. So I put the disc in my


It turned out to contain 11 wonderfully pretty, sad, evocative songs.

Azwel, otherwise known as Jason Perrillo, a 24-year-old living in Dix Hills,

sings and plays every instrument on these mostly keyboard-based tracks, which

were produced in his home. But you wouldn't know it: The tracks are full of

gorgeous harmonies, resonant piano lines and romantic strings. Occasional

xylophones and odd sound effects help create a melancholy atmosphere, like a

sunny day cut by a cold wind.

The opening track, "mm," skips along on a lilting piano while Perrillo

sings in an earnest, gentle voice about fighting a mysterious battle: "We will

need everything that it takes to fight them over." He switches to old-fashioned

organ for "This Works Out Like a Charm," recalling the off-kilter cabaret of

Kurt Weill. He even fashions an odd kind of dinner jazz on "Taking Notice,"

with its swinging rhythm and groovy bass.

But "There's Got to Be Some Proof" is the album's standout track, a

five-minute ballad that dips and rises beautifully. It even hides an entire

sub-melody in its dramatic middle section. A close second is "A Ship Called

Who," a chilly mood piece with new-wave keyboards and weirdly revved-up vocal


Perrillo calls his music "interesting melodic pop," an understatement to

say the least. That's like calling Jimi Hendrix's music "unusual rock." Then

again, Perrillo isn't much concerned with marketing: Drop him a line at

braindoll@, and he'll send you a disc, free of charge.

Anterrabae's first on Triple Crown. On the other end of the sonic spectrum

comes Anterrabae, a five-piece punk band that's been kicking around Long Island

for a few years. The group recently signed to Brooklyn's Triple Crown Records,

and its first album for the label, "Shakedown Tonight," is a terrific slice of

post-hardcore with horror-movie vocals, metallic guitars and even little

shards of melody here and there.

Anterrabae is angry but still having fun: The first track, "How Joey Got

His Groove Back," begins with a gleeful, collective "Whoo!" from the band, then

shifts gears repeatedly, from galumphing metal to speedy hardcore. On

"Curfews, Alcohol and Other Jealousy Related Incidents," Neal Carter interrupts

the plaintive verses with bursts of ragged screaming. Other songs throw in

tuneful hooks and tricky rhythms; there's even an old-fashioned, Oi-style chant

on "Etcetera."

Since the album was recorded, the band's lineup has shifted: Guitarist Matt

Gorton has left, replaced by bassist Ryan Polker. New bassist Mike

Dellasperanzo comes from the Long Island band Regarding I. Anterrabae is

touring with From Autumn To Ashes and Atreyu; they come back home May 27 to

play Irving Plaza.

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