CEX - "Maryland Mansions"
Jade Tree Records

Equal parts Aphex Twin and Eminem, CEX (aka Rjyan Kidwell) is the epitome of deeply disturbing, self-hating music. If you have anxiety or self-image issues, this may or may not be the music for you. It has the possibility of either providing a comforting reassurance of your worldview, or leading you to grab a razor blade and make for the bathroom.

Maryland Mansions is a phenomenally dark album, no doubt about it. But the fact that Kidwell manages to make such lyrical statements work as well as they do without falling into whiney Dashboard Confessional territory is a testiment to his lyrical abilities.

The beats have bounce, as well. "The Strongest Suit" induces a head-knodding fit that Dr. Dre would envy. "Stop Eating" had me jumping up and down in my truck, scaring the hell out of passing motorists.

CEX is on the upswing of his career. He just got done playing All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK, alongside such big names as Mogwai and Turbonegro. It's the next big thing, kids. Jump on the bus so you can say you heard hime before he got big.