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Be Here Now: New Album Reviews 4-7-15



The American Dream Is Dead – Agnostic Front – 16 songs, 27 minutes, in which the lengendary hardcore band  make their point and leave – B+

Future Hearts – All Time Low – It’s amazing emo rock is still a thing but here we go, 20 years in and this is the poster boy of emo rock. Mark Hoppos doesn’t help on one song – C

Blow Up The Moon – Blues Travellers – Hand John Popper this, he is a gorgeous harp player. Even here, where he gets some youngsters(ish) peers to join him and his jam band but really, how is 3oh!3 gomma help your crebility? – C

No Pier Pressure – Brian Wilson “The Last Day” is such a stunning and heartbreaking closing  -it seems to commune with “Surfer Girl” through the decades, it lifts this fair album into important statement status, “You never have time for the ones that you love”, Brian claims, a hard won piece of wisdom. Nothing else here is as great as that song, but some of it is very good,,, the peers singing with him (not that Brian has any) doesn’t do much – A-

Coming Forth By Day – Cassandra Wilson – No slouch in her own right, here WIlson pays tribute to Billie Holiday on her 100th birthday. Not bad, not Billie – B

Alfter It All – Delta Rae – This is a very good folk band, smart and uplifting, all sweep and moment. Hey, maybe they are Christian Contemporary? – C+

Wiggle Room – Drug Cabin – Forrner emo star releases pretty indie pop album – B-

Culture Of Volume – East India Youth – Much better when he doesn’t sing, this is pretty darn good electronic mood music which keeps on insisting on your attention – B+

Beautiful Scars – Lee Harvey Osmond – Psycehdelic folk rock with a blues edge – C+

Strange Trails – Lord Huron – The first single off the second album was Huge, the second less so, but the second was the weakest link on this very beautiful folk rock -though not folk rock like Roger McGuinn, no country eye winking, it is an indie folk with  rural sweep and uplift  and some of the strongest songs of the year  – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

New Glow – Matt & Kim – They needed to come up with the goods and they did, this is more of the same lively but somewhat bland indie pop dance etc duo. Hey, lighning could strike twice – C+

Beat The Champ – The Mountain Goat – Steve Crawford is our resident wrestling expert and he has already given John Darnielle’s “The Legend Of Chavo Guerroro” his seal of approval. “I need justice,” Darnielle sings “Now here it comes”. The rest of the album trace the story of a wrestler becoming what he is. A rock opera, yeah, but also songs  – B+

The Ruffian’s Misfortune – Ray Wylie Hubbard – Starts off like a heavy duty blues album, but soon moves into country mode with “Too Young Ripe, Too Young  Rotten” and then “Chick Singer, Bad Ass Rockin'” is more mainstream rock and roller. So, yeah more of the same from Ray but who am I to complain? – B+

What For? – Toro Y Moi – This is pretty indie pop, oddly anoynymous – C+

The London Sessions – Umphrey McGee – Recorded in a day at Abbey Road -which is really impressive because they sound stoned off their asses – C+

Modern BLues – The Waterboys – “I Can See Elvis” finds long term rock and roll journeyman Mike Scott in heaven and if it was a little better, the conceit might be awesome. But isn’t that always the case with the Waterboys? – B-

Ivy Tripp – Waxahatchee – Once you get past the ambient opening track, you have an old school folk track and then she goes electric. In other words, signing to Merge and recording rock? This is a career move . It pays off with “Poison” though not always elsewhere – B

White Men Are Black Men Too – Young Fathers – Actually, there is a sometimes in the line as sung on the world beater “Old Rock And Roll”, on this wonderful modern rock, soul, rap, world album. “Shame” you know, right? And “Rain Or Shine” (with that wonderful keyboard hook) but that is just part of these Nigerian Glaswegians. Pop Matters compared this to TVOTR’s Dear Science, it is that sort of game changng big sound  – A


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