IN A BOLD assault on the CD mindset, L.A. metal-punks Jane's Addiction have made an album with two discrete sides. The first half of "Ritual de lo Habitual" is composed of jumping, stripped-down, almost-convincing rockers like "Stop!," "Been Caught Stealing" and "Ain't No Right," while the second -- well, the second you probably won't want to hear much. Though not the least inventive of dirges, such lengthy tracks as "Three Days" and "Then She Did . . ." are pretty enervating, and singer/songwriter/sculptor Perry Farrell's "white dread" posturing is easier to take when it gets in -- and out of -- your face as quickly as it does on the snappier material.
The opening "Moon Goddess (R. T. Cocaine Blues)" thuds like just another product of the heavy-metal foundry, but by the time the Buck Pets' "Mercurotones" ends with the acoustic-guitar ballad "Hey Sunshine," the quartet has earned some points for eclecticism -- if not originality. Produced by the arty Michael Beinhorn, a surprising but effective choice, "Mercurotones" is semi-raw, semi-catchy hard rock that reveals itself on "Ave. F Blues," the Mercurotune that most wants to be a Replacements song (and almost makes it).
JANE'S ADDICTION -- "Ritual de lo Habitual" (Warner Bros.).
THE BUCK PETS -- "Mercurotones" (Island). Appearing together Friday at University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum.