With all of the new rock and “nu-metal” bands trying to break out into the realm of superstardom, it is difficult for a band to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in terms of talent and style. With their latest release, “Worthless Smiles,” Sacramento-based Shortie has taken a big step in the right direction.

“Worthless Smiles” is a solid collection of high-energy rock music that showcases the musical abilities of Shortie’s members, led by front man Pogus.

This album combines aggressive melody lines with powerful and emotional lyrics, with more success than some of the other bands that have achieved more recognition than Shortie.

From the first track, “5 Seconds,” the fast pace of the CD is established, and never lets up. However, the sound never becomes oppressively hard, and the result is a collection that doesn’t give you a headache halfway through – although it is only 37 minutes in length.

Although Shortie may not be well-known, they have established themselves by appearing with such acts as Papa Roach, Staind, Limp Bizkit and Alien Ant Farm. I can’t say that I have seen them in concert, but judging by their first video – which is basically a tape of a live performance of “5 Seconds” – I would say that they rock pretty hard.

Take it from Pressure 4-5 band member Lyle, who extols Shortie as “one of the most energetic live bands” they have played with, according to their Web site.

As for the album, the tracks range musically from the rocking “Sour Times” to the hard rocking “Kill the World” and “David Bowie.”

Every song has a distinct sound, and each is strong in its own right, making the offering as a whole both dynamic and cohesive at the same time.

The result is an intense and entertaining CD, which anyone looking for a rock band that is different from most of what else is out there would enjoy.

“Worthless Smiles” is available on GoBig! Records. For more information on Shortie, visit their Web site, http://www.shortiemusic.com.

Rodano can be reached at mrodano@campustimes.org.

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