Jan 9, 2008 at 4:00 am

A kind of super-group composed of St. Louis hard-rock lifers, LucaBrasi matches vocalist Matt McInerney (Ulcer Inc.) with the rhythm section from Adair and guitarist Jerry Jost, formerly of the Urge. Drummer Mike Jost was most recently in a later incarnation of post-hardcore heavyweights Helmet, and his authoritative beats are pushed to the front of the mix on LucaBrasi. And though much of this record works best when the volume is cranked to ten, the moments of subtlety (McInerney's double-tracked harmonies, hairpin rhythmic changes) help LucaBrasi stand out from the slew of heavy rock bands in town.

"People/Places" opens the album with a meaty, spindly riff that could have been stripped from the first Foo Fighters album. From there, the songs incorporate everything from relentless shredding ("Shedding Skin") to lightly psychedelic touches ("Two Passengers"), while the nimble percussion, jangly guitar and soft electric piano of "Never Know" give the song a mid-'90s alt-rock vibe that meshes well with the harder-edged material. Although at times McInerney's voice can be hard to hear above LucaBrasi's music — he is more a singer than a screamer — for the most part he settles in amid the instrumentation rather than rising above it.

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