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S.L.-bound Dambuilders reach for stars

The freshness from the Dambuilders' music lies in its calculated rawness. The band's most recent album, "Against the Stars," tries to capture the sound of the band's rehearsal tapes.

For the most part it works. The crunchy guitars and echo-busting drums sound very in-your-face. And there's a thread of surprise with the use of a violin. And by the time the album ends, the listener wants to hear it all again to find where they've been had.Still, there are some extremely catchy tunes such as "Break Up With Your Boyfriend"and "Herstory."

One could say the Dambuilders and Smashing Pumpkins are compatriots, but in reality, the Dambuilders have the potential to take their sound to greater concepts, and not just bigger media play.