Agony and Opium
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Fronted by the Marianne Faithfull-like throatiness of Christine Davis, the most powerful female hard rock singer to emerge from the Pacific Northwest since Heart's Ann Wilson, this Olympia, Wash. foursome stretches their debut's six songs to about 28 minutes, tumbling forward at high speed but never sticking to one tempo long. The tracks meander some -- or at least seem to, lost beneath thin demo-tape-quality sound -- but their energy is never in doubt. "Desert Rose" gets expansive on the burning sand; "Poison Path" is open-road biker metal. Closer "Omega Stone" opens ethereal, then explodes.