Picks and Pans Review: Strays

updated 07/28/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/28/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jane's Addiction (Capitol)

Despite having released only two studio albums, this alt-metal L.A. group was enormously influential before it broke up in 1991, having merged slow-burning art-school intensity with West Coast speed punk. Fans won't be disappointed by this comeback; singer Perry Farrell is 44 but still sounds 14, while guitarist Dave Navarro, though at times predictable with his rapid-fire riffs, is an exciting force on tracks like "Just Because" and the anthemlike "To Match the Sun." Jane's does some of its best work when it slows things down, though. Possibly its best-loved track is the pretty 1988 acoustic-guitar and steel-drum ballad "Jane Says." More offbeat moments like that would have been welcome here, but if you take your rock so loud that you can't hear anyone who tells you to turn it down, blast away.

BOTTOM LINE: Mighty sounds for moshers

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