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Oleander

Unwind

Republic/Universal

Damned if these radio-weary ears haven't been charmed on more than one occasion recently by the Deftones-lite of Oleander's "Are You There?" single, so the quartet's sophomore album, Unwind, comes as something of a simultaneous surprise and disappointment. See, half the album rocks equally hard as that single, the other half far less so, altogether like The Foo Fighters' more anthemic moments unfathomably rendered limp on life support. Some might argue that this bespeaks a firm grasp of dynamics on Oleander's part, others may say a wimp-out – me, I'd more accurately say it's not even gonna register as a mild(ly interesting) footnote in alt-rock history, let alone the history of "Choice Delete-Bin Finds." Are you there? Sorry, but nope.

Universal, 1755 Broadway, New York, NY 10019; http://www.oleander.net