Win, Lose, or Drawer

Every unopened promotional CD contains a promise. Maybe this is the album that will change us, you, forever. Sadly, the massive amount of promos the Washington City Paper receives every week necessitates a brutal weeding-out process. We can’t possibly listen to every smooth-jazz crooner with dreams of playing Wolf Trap. Nor will we review any album by an ex-Doors member. Ever. So over the past year, we created a “Drawer of Death”—a repository for unopened albums we suspect contain zero promise of greatness. A week ago, we decided to open the drawer, give these albums a listen, and see if we were right.

Corn Demon
Hickoids
Sauste

Description: The girl from The Wizard grows up to be in Rilo Kiley. The kids from Children of the Corn grow up to play campy hayseed rock.

Drawer-worthy? Yes

Reason: You’re stuck at a party you don’t want to be at. You have a headache instead of a buzz. You don’t know how to get home. This is the band that’s playing.

Breaking Down the Silence
Jeff Tuohy
Self-released

Description: coffeeshop pop with relatively inoffensive smooth-jazz textures

Drawer-worthy? No

Reason: Guy closes his eyes and dreams of the day he opens for Rusted Root. Dream seems not so unrealistic. Why crush this dream?

Heavy Metal Spoken Word
Duncan Wilder Johnson
Wonderdrug

Description: Jack Black without the subtlety

Drawer-worthy? Yes

Reason: Recites an “e-mail” to more famous spoken-word artist Henry Rollins: “How could you rip me off like that?”

Love Her Madly
Ray Manzarek
Oglio

Description: New Ageny tunes worthy of the Discovery Store’s CD racks made even worse with turgid organ work

Drawer-worthy? Yes

Reason: Every time you pass Jordan Kitts Music at Montgomery Mall, you hear this.

Tarzan: The Broadway Musical
Phil Collins
Disney
Disney’s digital rights management policy does not allow for listening to music snippets online.

Description: Imagine “We Didn’t Start the Fire” with djembe drums.

Drawer-worthy? No

Reason: Some NYU performing-arts grad is gonna be able to pay off a third of her student loans by appearing on this record.

Be Still
Darrell
Gold Leaf

Description: You might hear this at the Foggy Bottom Metro stop on Mondays at 2 p.m.

Drawer-worthy? Yes

Reason: You can’t even fuck to this.

Mojo Priest
Steven Seagal & Thunderbox
Steamroller/CIA

Description: Former action star plays and sings Chicago-style blues. One song is called “Talk to My Ass.”

Drawer-worthy? Oh, yes

Reason: Is it better than your average South Suburbs bar band’s version of “Sweet Home Chicago”? Probably, but it still makes Jim Belushi seem like Howlin’ Wolf.

Hog Nuts
Bullcock
Static

Description: stoopid punk rawk

Drawer-worthy? Yes

Reason: For all its thrashiness and white-trash jokes, still the most depressing record in entire death drawer.

Barbie Hit Mix 2
Various Artists
Kid Rhino

Description: kid-safe versions of overplayed pop songs

Drawer-worthy? Yes

Reason: Liner notes include a game where you can name your band by choosing from a series of multiple-choice questions. Liner notes tell us our band must be called Cool Diva Power because our favorite color is blue, we like cats, and we like hip-hop. But who is Barbie to call us divas?

Loco Gringos
Loco Gringos
Sauste

Description: Pixies battling the Refreshments. It’s sort of promising before the singer takes to the mic.

Drawer-worthy? Yes

Reason: Album cover depicts a chili pepper wearing a sombrero.