CRAOW “Last Stand in Dead City” (MORE Records)

Before the last pinball manufacturer closes their door in Chicago, Craow ought to be invited to score a machine or two. “I just want to be lost / Over and over again” states Sean Halpin, the master behind Craow who’s organized a rare band formation on this short but stout tape. Hey Stern, humor his wish and get him lost in extra balls and replays, bumpers and drains, flippers and flashing lights. Craow would pull off a slick score, as spiced up as the hot stereo mix of Data East’s “Robocop,” or the mach speed mania of Williams’ “F-14 Tomcat,” a game so thrilling it makes you hemorrhage TILT. Better yet, Halpin ought to install a row of pinball battlefields during his performances, people going absolutely batty on the flippers while Halpin navigates a tangle of wires and sharpened sequencing. All hell will break loose during the tape’s closing track, “Dark,” when that guitar solo worthy of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 soundtrack kicks in.

-- Rick Weaver