A dense brew of smarmy soul, hip-hop bravado, funky beats, R&B horns and bluesy rock, the New York trio's second album salutes everything from neighborhood landmarks to Barry White with laid-back wit. Though the raucous punk of "10th Street" tempers all the grooviness, some lightweight introspection and the creepy funk-noir tale of "Southside" serve only to dampen the party mood.
* 1/2 Silverchair, "Neon Ballroom," Epic.
Put away those dancing shoes. Australia's veteran teen trio channels the angst and bombast of Nirvana, without the tedium-alleviating hooks that made Kurt Cobain and company more than a blip on the pop radar. Dirges and grinding anthems are further dulled by overblown string arrangements and singer-guitarist Daniel Johns' constipated howling, which remains unaffecting even in more galvanizing moments such as "Anthem for the Year 2000." Whatever, never mind.--N.N.