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Be Here Early: New Album Releases Reviewed 5-26-17 – 6-1-17

No Grave But The Sea – Alestorm – I knew I loved this album of piracy and metal from the first drum roll and have seldom been so taken with an album in a genre I have no great love for. Piratecore needs no  excuses, it is tremendous hard rockin’ fun, let’s hope the new Johnny Depp movie is half as good – B+

Party – Aldous Huxley – Produced by John Parrish, this is a very strong, singer songwriter corollary to any form of joy via New Zealand – B+

More Than You Know EP – Axwell ^ Ingrosso – Two pop tracks that sounded beyond dated, two house tracks that fly right at you in glorious technicolor beat relief – B

Burnin Sky (Deluxe) – Bad Company – Maybe you were in the market for pub rockers as Zep fans in 1977, I sure wasn’t. Today, it sounds very very good, Paul Rodgers has never sounded better  -blame the Clash for missing it the first time – B+

Run With The Sky (Deluxe) – Bad Company – 1976 -not bad – B

Ayer Y Hoy – Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga – One of the biggest bands in Trad Mexican history, Cruz formed them in 1938 and they have continued ever since, even after his passing in 1995. If you want to hear traditional Mexican music, this is as good as it gets -all horns and accordion as it exemplifies Ranchero. Its pop ballads leave me a little cold, but the livelier it gets the better it becomes… “Conga Roja” is terrific – B+

True To Self – Bryson Tiller – His sophomore album is smart r&b moderns style, everything touched by an echo autotune, just like a slight hiccup. “Run Me Dry” is a terrific song – B-

Black Laden Crown – Danzig – Sounds like a bad Jim Morrison imitator leading a very bad metal blues band – D

40 – Foreigner – Really? “Cold As Ice” and…? – D

Bear Your Mind – Free Throw – Pretty good emo rockers from Nashville add in some quiet loud grunginess to the mix  on their sophomore effort, the lead singer has a better than average voice for the genre – B

Don’t Feed Da Animals 2 – Gorilla Zoe – He replaced Young Jeezy in Boyz N Da Hood, has had a mediocre solo career since then, and is signed to the hugely successful Flo Rida’s label. This is a fair to middling rap album secure in its old school skills – B-

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story Of The Grateful Dead – Grateful Dead – Sure I’m gonna watch at least the first half hour of the epic Amazon doc, meanwhile this takes you from ’69 to ’89 and they were better in ’69 – B

Droptopwop – Gucci Mane – A year after his release from prison and the superb Everybody Looking, this is his second disappointment in succession. Featuring 2 Chainz, Young Dolph, Migos’ Offset, and Rick Ross, he is still the top trap rapper but his pop jones is missing and nothing sticks like “No Sleep”. It still sounds good – B

3-D The Catalog – Kraftwerk – Four hours plus and eight albums performed live on stage. I saw em on this tour and loved em and this is as astounding piece of work. These guys changed pop more thoroughly than the Sex Pistols ever did – A

True Care – James Vincent McMorrow – The Cliff Notes read: ‘this is the electronic soul guy who isn’t James Blake” but he is more than that, he taps a similar but preserved well of disenchantment pitched towards disaffected youth willing to wallow it. His last album was a step backwards but a year later, this is a beautiful and solid piece of gorgeous misery – B

Motions – Jeremy Zucker – State of the art modern pop with a splash of hip hop and so much production it sweetens everything, maybe sweetens everything too much. But he has the goods to pull it off and “Heavy” should be a hit -so should much of the rest – B

Kids On The Street – Justin Townes Earle – I was trying to decide which song to put on a new releases playlist, and there were so many choices it paralyzed me. I finally chose one at random – A

Teenage Emotions – Lil Yachty – This is a lot livelier than the singles so far… The nineteen year old Yachty calls it bubblegum trap and the expansion from the Migos featured “Peek-A-Boo” to the personal best “Dirty Mouth” to the even the hooks have hooks “Harley” is so great it puts both the teenage and the emotions into the title. The autotune gets a little much, but otherwise this is one of the great debut albums – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

War Machine (Original Score From The Netflix Original Film) – Nick Cave And Warren Ellis – What Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross forged lo those many years ago for “The Social Network” now lives on everywhere. Electronic ambient music – C

Vision – Pet Symmetry – Into It. Over It are a real good band, these guys are smartasses who aren’t smart enough – C+

F.T.F.O.M.F. – Shaggy 2 Dope – One half of Insane Clown Posse, hi octane rap rebel, “mother fucker mother fucker fucker fucking mother mother fucker…”  and other such words of wisdom should bring a smile to your face – B

El Dorado – Shakira – If you wanna understand trap listen to “Trap,” Shakira has it down here, and if you want a dunk into modern Latin pop, listen to “Nada” and “Comme Moi,” a reggaeton break into the US charts on the terrific singers fine if slight state of the sound – B

Sufi La EP- Swet Shop Boys – Not bad but not Cashmere, it is too in your face and too busy and where’s “Losing My Religion”? Their best unreleased song- B

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band – The Beatles – Of the original 12 UK studio albums, I would put Pepper above For Sale and The Beatles and that’s it. So a great album, an A+ album, a cultural watershed, but not in the Beatles world. Lennon saves the entire enterprise from being considered a psychedelic relic. This deluxe version on streaming services, makes a lot of noise about the stereo mix but I don’t have the ears for it. The outtakes are excellent though not on a level of the Beach Boys seminal Beach Boys deluxe and I will write more when I receive my hard copy in the mail.  So why the grade… ? Like I said – A+

Live At The Agora, 1978 – The Cars – I saw these guys at the Rat in Boston around this time, and they were as boring as post-punk could possible get. But listening to em 40 years later, there is a preciseness to their pop,a an angular post-modernism cubist sound, that has aged quite well – B

Different Days – The Charlatans – energized shoegaze as strong as its strongest melodies which are pretty strong – B

Capture – Thunder Dreamer – Sweet guitar sounds and pleasant mood music from indie band, but it gets boring fast – C+

Cover Your Ass, Vol 1 (To Benefit Planned Parenthood) – You’ve heard of pop foes punk? This is indie goes classic rock. Like most of these things, it is hit and miss but let’s hear it for Deerhoof’s Public Enemy and Daddy Issues’ Don Henley…. oh and Speedy Ortiz cover TV On The Radio Upped a bit because, c’mon, it’s Planned Parenthood – B+

The Savory Collection Volume Three – Various Artists – “Created by recording engineer William Savory, the Savory Collection includes more than 100 hours of recordings made from live New York City radio broadcasts between 1935 and 1941 and never heard since their initial airing…” Fats Waller is over this one with the great Jack Teagarden on trombone – A


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