DISTORT & EXPLODE - Trigger (Nicotine)
In just slightly over four years, I'll be 50, and while many of my closest friends are listening to things like this new overnight sensation Carlos Santana, the always-bitter Alannis Morissette, and a pajama-wearing Dave Matthews, all the while sipping a double latte, half-caf/de-caf mocha delight, I appear to be regressing, spinning my tires in a polydecible world of rumbling drums, humming amps, and filthy, distorted guitars, inhabited by scruffy street urchins no one's even heard of, and swilling luke-warm Molson.

Like Trigger, fer instance, a Swedish band on an Italian label who, for all the attention they're likely to get, may as well be from Saturn. Shame, really because while their vision of a three-chord crusade which works without trying to save the world certainly isn't novel (what is anymore?), "Distort & Explode" certainly deserves a place on God's own jukebox. Trigger careen from one power-packed squall of electrical overload to the next, burning attitude and probably more than a few fuses, wallowing in feedback, wah-wah-ed guitars, and the vigorous, chaotic drumming of Glenn K-G Halvarsson.

To these tin ears, "Tonight" sounds like a hit, although clocking in at under two minutes, it's over much too soon. "Distort & Explode," Trigger's second album (the first being 2001's "Fortysevenhours"), is a noisy guitar lover's wet dream, with Olle Netzler's nicotine-laced growl matched only by the wallop he generates with only six strings and some effects pedals, power chording and soloing his merry way through 12 tunes filled with brutal fuzztone and punishing volume. The title track, "Sister," and "Unforced Peace" all fairly explode with Netzler's menacing and downright lethal assault and he only comes up for air once, on the oddly out-of-place "Understand."

When all is said and done, what Trigger have managed to do is create a devastatingly harsh sonic slab of Detroit rock that grabs your neck and shakes. Netzler, Halvarsson, and bassist Robert Holmqvist are three brutes who seem intent on rocking out and damaging a few eardrums along the way. Every record collection deserves a rocket-fueled musical blast like this in it. - Clark Paull