Local Licks 

This week, we review Wild Buds, Bray, Adam Hancock and Family, and Trez Rek 500.

Wild Buds, Positive Voodoo. Despite its best intentions, opener "Run Wild" never recovers from its uneasy resemblance to a mash-up of the Steve Miller Band's "Wide River" and Rush's "Limelight." An impotent cover of Muddy Waters' "Baby, Please Don't Go" fails to cleanse the palate, and overabundant food metaphors burn innuendo to a crisp in blues-rock jam "Special Sauce." (Fault Line Surfer Records)

Bray, @mphibian. This San Francisco artist doesn't do anything that hasn't been done a hundred times before, but generally makes it work. His straightforward hard-rock style feels like a cross between Heart and Fuel, and what that approach lacks in edge Bray makes up for with confidence and attitude. The record sounds good, the songs feel good, and sometimes good is plenty good enough. (Sepia Tones)

Adam Hancock and Family, Adam Hancock and Family. Both pragmatic and sad-sacked, a line like I like to drink by myself, the alcohol lasts longer is quintessential country, even if Hancock's voice lacks twang. That's okay — Dave Zirbel's pedal steel fills in the gaps. Across two discs and seventeen songs, Hancock and friends' mastery of melancholy country-rock gets a little tired, unless of course you're down in the dumps, too. (self-released)

Trez Rek 500, Outside the Lines. Oakland musicians Carv Tefft (vocals) and Tony Morosini (guitar, drums, bass), awkwardly known as Trez Rek 500, rock like no one's watching — which is to say they give their all, but don't always pull it off. Thankfully, the rough patches don't fester, and the successful songs suggest at least a passing mastery of Cheap Trick, Queen, and Kiss. (self-released)

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