Checking 'em Out * * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty : : Rock, Rap & Remakes

* * VARIOUS ARTISTS. "Less Than Zero" sound track. Def Jam. The sound-track music from the recent film of the semi-acclaimed cult novella about L.A. upper-class teen alienation is a mixed bag of rock, rap and remakes, paced by the Bangles' Day-Glo visions of sugar cubes dancing in their heads (their well-deserved hit version of "Hazy Shade of Winter"), a beautiful, neo-classic Roy Orbison number ("Life Fades Away"), Aerosmith's raunchy reworking of "Rockin' Pneumonia . . . " and two wildly creative scratch attacks: Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise"--which lives up to its title--and L.L. Cool J's appropriately deadpan "Going Back to Cali."

On the other foot, Poison and Slayer, respectively, commit the unpardonable sin of re-recording straight-faced renditions of Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Nite" and Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (!), and the title track is NOT the Elvis Costello tune from which this multimedia assault springs forth like Minerva from the brow of Jove. Or should that be jive?

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