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Fall Roundup

September 19, 1993|KATHERINE TURMAN

GRETA

"No Biting"

Stardog/Mercury

* * *

From the savage, staccato bashing of "Fathom" to the gentle vulnerability of "Jesus Crux," "No Biting" is a noisy, visceral outing, easily delivering on the L.A.-based quartet's early promise.

On this debut album, Greta flows smoothly between Beatles-tinged pop melodies and a punkish, heavy-riffing onslaught--often within the same song, fusing eclectic influences for an original, sometimes quirky approach. There's a liberating sense of barely controlled chaos on many cuts, but the manic shifts of mood and tempo never sound forced.

The lyrics match Greta's aggressive, Angst -filled attack. Singer Paul Plagens seems to be seeking catharsis by working out his self-absorption and anger on compositions that are alternately brutal, introspective and wry. Even the heavy-mellow "Nature" and the sweet "Sleepyhead" are decidedly edgy.

With adventurous juxtapositions and Kyle Baer's varied guitar stylings, the album bridges the blurry chasm between alternative and metal.

Categorizations aside, it's also a strong start for a promising young band.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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