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CD REVIEW: Grids' Kansas 

THE DEAL: Charlotte rockers Grids release latest eight-song effort.

THE GOOD: Some people refer to it as noise rock, but there's a lot more melody than meets the ear here. It's fuzzy and distorted, but if you listen closely, you can hear everything that's going on. It's the kind of rocked-out basement sludge that goes best in a dark club, drenched in energy and fused together with all the sweat you can muster up. My initial reaction was that it sounds a lot like the Butthole Surfers — not the Surfers that brought you "Pepper," but the old-school, acid-soaked group from the "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" days — mixed with a bit of Fugazi or hint of Helmet in that the vocals are clearer than the sonic wave crashing behind them. The music drives forth with a plug-it-in and turn-it-up relentless fury, but without the cookie monster vocals or cock-rocking "look what I can do on the guitar" bullshit.

THE BAD: Not a weak track on here.

THE VERDICT: It's grimy and gritty — like it should be. This isn't driving music. This isn't for romance. This is for one of two things — playing it loud and losing yourself in the moment; or seeing it live in a small, dark venue and hoping they blow the fuckin' doors off the place.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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