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Be Here Now: New Album Releases Reviewed 3-11-16 – 3-17-11


Album Of The Week: 3-11-16 – 3-17-11



Us and the Night – 3 Doors Down – To put this into some form of perspective, it is not a cardinal  sin to write  a generic rocker whose hook is “she likes to do it in the dark”. Though, “likes”? I like to sing in the shower. So, no not a cardinal sin – D+

Episodes – ALLOISE – Some of the faceless charm of 70s disco but not enough to recommend it – C

All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend – AURORA – Norway chanteuse much like all the rest on this blondely bland electronic singer-songwriter collection. If you can call “I’m hunting with the wolves tonight” writing  – C

Beau – That Thing Reality – New York duo too loud for folk, too slow for rock, who never quite feel comfortable – C+

Wolves of Want – Bent Shapes –  Boston indie rockers, with a post-punk feel and a way with a song, actually quite a few songs, this is a straightforward beauty of an album. Simply but effective rock pop and “Realisation Hits” is as good as it gets – B+

Painkillers – Brian Fallon – The Gaslight Anthem think they’re the E Street Band when they are  in fact 3 Doors Down, and their lead singer thinks he’s Bruce Springsteen when he is Alfred E Neuman. “Steve McQueen” is the worst song ever written about “Steve McQueen” but to be honest only Prefab Sprout and the Stones come to mind as competition. And while it is really not very good, I get the feel that if the guy wasn’t such a dick and if he rearranged them and calmed down on the vocals, some could stand up to scrutiny – C+

Portrait – Cardiknox – electronic pop duo, I can’t hear the hit but it might be here somewhere – C

The Composite Moods Collection Vol​.​1: House Number 44 – Dalhous – Not so much house as corridor, this is echoey moog muse stuff – C+

Either That or the Moon –  Desert Mountain Tribe – Post punk rock and roll walls of guitar sounds which jam out but without any blues in the mix – B

Second Love – Emmy the Great – When the song is there, Emma has a sweet but touchy feely voice that keeps your attention, but when the track is blah, most of the time, you drift away – B-

3001: A Laced Odyssey – Flatbush Zombies – Flatbush Zombies is Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick “The Architect” Elliott, all three are excellent nyc rappers, and at their best, even at their second best, they are all handle the chores with efficiency, and the long one that ends the album is one of their best. Not crazy about their backing tracks – B+

Freaks of Nurture –  Holy Wave – Talented psychedelic band have been studying their my bloody valentine, while keeping the volume down and the reverb up, pays dividends on “You Should Lie” – B

The Past Is Not a Flood – Hospital Ships –  I don’t necessarily blame these guys for loving the Flaming Lips, but I don’t see how it helps their cause, it is sort of a twee psychedelic experimental album that fails to catch fire – C

Standards – Into It. Over It. –  Emo singer songwriter Evan Weiss may have been this good all along and I missed it, or this may be a personal best, but either way the quality of songwriting here, even the more angular “No EQ”, the bluesier “Who You Are Does Not Equal What You Are”,   and definitely  the Elvis Depressedly all grow up ish “Closing Arguments”, are good enough for me to assume he hasn’t done it before – B+

You and I – Jeff Buckley – Sure, the archivist appreciates the effort in these too soon gone demos of mainstream(ish) songs and a coupla originals. If you can’t hear Morrissey in Buckley, you can after “How Soon Is Now” and “I Know It’s Over”. And if that wasn’t enough, “Everyday People” is fun and ”Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’” is an odd if minor rewrite. But most of this is a very very small addition to the legend. It feels gnomic complaining about the tracks, like writing how JFK Jr wasn’t much of an editor, and there isn’t any reason to take out your scalpel, and less reason to commend – C+

Limn – Jeremy Gara – Industrial instrumental clutter for, well, for absolutely nobody but Arcade Fire fans – C

Incarnate – Killswitch Engage – There will always be am audience for metal for metalcore played this tightly. Unexceptional except in its consistent exceptional tight, rigorous grooves, this is masterclass for those who love it. For the rest? The rest of us will admire it from a distance. The early “Hate By Design” is very good  – B-

Ephemera – Little Green Cars – Imagine if Paul Simon, and not just any Paul Simon but Paul Simon (1972) Paul Simon was from Dublin, and was sometimes a woman, and you will have a feel for this truly lovely indie pop album – B+

Good Grief – Lucius – I trashed this album last week but Alyson Camus told me to give it another listen, which she very seldom does, and after reading her live review here, I did so… and the harmonies are as good as she claims, and the sound is unique, but the songs drag me and the production too clever clogs  – C+

Telluric – Matt Corby – Australian Idol winner with a nice voice and crap songs – C

Mind Spiders – Prosthesis – Here are words people don’t write too often anymore, the lead singer Mark Ryan has the same snivel as the young Johnny Rotten -luckily this is an old time punk album sound and it fits – B+

A Year With No Summer – Obsidian Kingdom – There is a lot of weight to this band, guitar weight and drums weight, but it isn’t metal, it is like wall of sound classic rock meets mbv with melodies poking all the way through. And they bury the vocals – B

Wide Awake – Parachute – If you think the slow ones are dodgy just wait till you hear “Everything” – D+

Arranging Time – Pete Yorn – Do you know why this middlebrow singer songwriter doesn’t deserve a career? He has had one all century, and his songs are pleasant but dull uber confessionals, so he does deserve one. And this is more of the same – C+

Renaissance-  Polyphia –I guess the title refers to the band not the era…. instrumental prog rock – C

Fired Up – Randy Houser – This is the “How Country Feels” guy, fourth album in, feeling his oats while still convincing us he is still a bad boy… I think they call it a mid-life crises – C-

Vigils – Richard J Birkin –  “Magnificent, dazzling and emotionally involving” claims the Arts Desk. Quite which emotion this instrumental incidental music is being involved I really couldn’t say. Still, it isn’t wallpaper, it does get you even if it doesn’t keep you – C+

Rita Wilson – Rita WIlson – Sure, she is an actress first and this is a bit dilettantish. BUT, Rita co-wrote all the songs and she has a lovely voice… and the songs are pretty good in a So-Cal singer songwriter MOR sort of way. Plus she is cute, the same age as me, and married to good guy Tom Hanks so…  – B+

Countach (For Giorgio) – Shooter Jennings – That Bowie cover with Marilyn Manson? Look, sure, not Bowie’s greatest moment, still they mean it, man. But for eight minutes? The rest of the album is worse – C

The Elektra Years: 1977 – 1987 – The Cars – Mathematically attuned new wave beats and disembodied singer ready to drive you home and this is all you needed and much much more than you will bother listening to  – B

Of Desire – The KVB – Man, shoegaze bores me to death. There is nothing morally reprehensible about this business as usual album, but nothing good enough to warrant a closer listen – C+

Lonely Is a Lifetime – The Wild Feathers –  Dull Nashville classic rockers – C

Vices et Mensonges –  Violence Conjugale –  French post punks who when they buckle down makes the language sound as vicious as the beats, a true rarity. A true rarity as well? It sounds like it is good enough to be from the US or the UK.  French  EDM we know, even French rap, but French industrial post punk rock? Well, well! Mais ca plane pour moi – ALBUM OF THE WEEK –  B+


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