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Karma Police

After years of struggling, things are finally starting to go Jerry Joseph’s way.

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Karma can sometimes just kick you in the ass. It’s something Jerry Joseph is well aware of. He’s had his fair share of bruises. The musical version of a Timex—he takes a lickin’ but keeps on tickin’—Joseph has spent the last 15 years just inches from the brass ring. Every time he’d almost grab it, something would go wrong: the band would split up, the record deal would cave, the world tour would turn into a rehab tour-of-duty.

CD RevueTHE GREAT KAT Rossini’s Rape (GreatKat.com) *

Classical-speed-metal psycho-skank The Great Kat (a.k.a. Julliard honors graduate Katherine Thomas) is back! Why?! This time around, Kat’s Yngwie-on-meth-and-S&M guitar shredding violates Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” as well as two delightful little ditties of her own, “Sodomize” and “Castration.” All are hysterically unlistenable, but no more so than anything by Christina Aguilera. Who wants to see The Great Kat on the Medals Plaza? C’mon, get those hands (but nothing else) up!

WU-TANG CLAN Iron Flag (Loud) ****

Ol’ Dirty Bastard may still be behind bars, but the rest of Wu-Tang have crafted a hip-hop “comeback” that actually lives up to the played-out term, nearly replicating the visceral rush of hearing Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions for the first time in ’89. Trackmaster RZA’s thumping beds are pure ’70s funk-soul, but everything on top is apocalypse right damn now when Ghostface Killah declares, “Mr. Bush, sit down, I’m in charge of the war.”

STARSAILOR Love Is Here (Capitol) ***

On the surface, Britain’s Starsailor is just another slump-shouldered contender strumming away behind Coldplay, Travis and the rest under Radiohead’s balcony. On closer inspection, well, they strum a little harder and blacker. Thankfully, singer James Walsh (who’s more Jeff Buckley than Thom Yorke) injects some moments of epic glam-rock swagger into the proceedings while designating himself the saddest bastard on this cruel, cruel planet.

SOUNDTRACK Orange County (Columbia) **

The Offspring have been putting out novelty-punk crap for so long, it’s jarring to hear something as powerfully ballsy as “Defy You,” possibly the best tune they’ve ever tossed off—what up? The Foo Fighters also swing for the cheap seats with a hot new “The One,” but major demerits must be dealt for including Crazy Town’s flash-in-last-year’s-pan “Butterfly” (do these mooks have another song?) instead of a Jack Black cut.

BILL FROST

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