Local Licks  

This week we review Dublin, Company Car, the Slow Poisoner, and Cast of Thousands.

Dublin, Ease the Pain. Irish-American rapper Dublin has some serious talent. Not only is he a credible rapper, he's damn funny. Songs like "My Dog Is Smarter Than Me" and "DJ's Drunk" are hilarious masterpieces, tributes to one's own stupidity. With elements of smooth jazz and reggae mixed in, this is a great album. (Jazz Mafia Recordings)

At Coda (1710 Mission St., San Francisco) on February 16, 9:30 pm, $7

Company Car, The English Eye. Classic indie-pop with a light punk influence is what The English Eye is all about. The songs would fit easily into just about any alt-rock station's playlist. It would be nice to see something longer from Company Car, but for now this is a good taster. The band isn't hugely original, but definitely shows promise. (self-released)

At Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St., San Francisco) on February 12. 10 p.m., $10

The Slow Poisoner, Magic Casket. Did the B52s have a baby? Magick Casket starts off with "Rock Lobster"-like weirdness, then transforms into something that sounds like T. Rex. "Wood Full O' Witches" starts off sounding like the theme to The Munsters; "Thundering Fists O' the Lord" sounds like a church revival meeting. This album is all over the place stylistically, but competently played. (Rocktopus! Records)

At the Stork Club (2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on February 12. 9p.m., $5

Cast of Thousands, Applied Mythology. Cast of Thousands makes lovely, post-hardcore-inflected indie music. Male and female vocals blend seamlessly, guitar work is pleasantly jangly, bassist Jennifer Yee is excellent — it even manages to integrate a harmonica withoutit sounding too folksy. There's a dark vibe to Applied Mythology that's very appealing. (self-released)

At Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St., San Francisco) on February 12. 10 p.m., $10

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