By Dr. Abner Mality

Listen, even I cannot vomit black bile and vivisect young girls while listening to skull-crushing metal all the time. Every now and then...not too often, mind you...I can relax just a little with something not quite so damaging. And for those times, there are bands like Recovery Council.

This interesting 3-piece has an unusual lyrical approach that revolves around the scientific method. Each of the 7 songs here have to do with the inspiration, frustration and methodology of scientific research...this is where the album title comes from. They didn't just pull this concept out of a Bunsen burner, either...lead singer/guitarist Rebecca Qualls is also a full time science engineer. Hmmm, a scientist into hard music...I can relate. Some might consider the lyrics odd, but I sure prefer them to some emo schmuck whining about his relationships or yet another tribute to goats and marijuana.

Musically, the album is composed of crunchy, jangly tunes that kind of straddle the barrier between hard alternative rock and power pop. No, it isn't metal or even standard hard rock, but there are no sappy ballads and the guitar sound is good and firm. Also appealing are Qualls' smoky, sultry vocals, kinda like a lower-toned Chrissy Hinde. She is pleasant to listen to and an antidote to Gothic diva types. Some of the vocal lines here are quite awkward, though. The bass playing is unusually active and in your face as well.

First tune "Bromide" is my favorite, starting in almost mid-80's Rush fashion before settling into catchy riffs and vocals. The rest of the tunes follow in similar fashion but not so similar that it becomes monotone.

It kind of tires me by the end because my bloodlust starts kicking in, but your mileage might vary significantly. If you like music that's crunchy but not metal and like nice female vocals, Recovery Council is worth checking out to soothe your savage beast.

Science marches on!