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Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 4-15-16 – 4-21-16


ALBUM OF THE WEEK: 4-15-16 – 4-21-16


Origins Vol 1 – Ace Frehley – Before we throw this on the slagheap of history, it is a bar band cover quality fun at Chauncey’s at 1am if you are very very drunk sound with  Lita Ford sounding  pretty good on one song – C

Aladdin – Mark Green – The soundtrack to an indie movie featuring the former Moldy Peach Adam Green, this is so precious and twee it makes the Moldy Peaches sound like the Moldy Peaches – C

Ashley Shadow – Ashley Shadow – Another modern chick whiner, thinks she is Angel Olsen when she is really Sarah McLachlan – C

Material –  Blaque Audio – Welcome to the 80s, all bleep blap bloop from half of AFI – C-

Penitentiary Chances – Boosie Badazz, C-Murder – Boosie is well beyond badass on these doom laden songs, his fourth album of 2016. Boosie went to prison in 2004, C-Murder is currently incarcerated and this has all the immediacy of a body blow in a prison courtyard rumble. The duo were in the same dorm at one point and this has veracity to spare,from “Dear Supreme Court” to “Black Babies Don’t Mourn”. the rapping is hard as nails, the sentiments snapshots of a life many of us can’t, or don’t want to imagine, and on track after track they use fine if straight lace words to a life as lived – B+

Become Alive – Dave Harrington Group – Awful ambient music, more organic than we’re used to from the jazz guitarist. Improvised? Not surprised – C-

The King Of Styles EP – Tech meets raps and we saw it coming and this Harlem DJ does a pretty good job of keeping em together sometimes, separated other times – B

PersonA – Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes – So I put on the album and went back to writing and around halfway through the first song, “Hot Coals” I couldn’t believe it was still playing, the seven minute song felt like twenty. This is a terrible bunch of self-indulgent crap,  it is the sort of band Father John Misty used to play with… he didn’t, but you think he must have at some point. Heavy Gospel goes psychedelic dross – D

Year Of The Rabbit EP – Eskimeaux – Hot on the heels of her buddy Frankie Cosmos album, this sublime four songs of lo-fi smart singer songwriterly beauties, adds a pop veneer on her first rate confessionals. A hidden gem – B+

Letters From The Dead – Evans Blue – Mainstream rock metal and beyond bad riffalogy – D

Talking Quietly Of  Anything With You – Free Cake For Every Creature – An out of left field contender for album of the year, Katie Bennett has released a flawless collection of self-realizing lo fi art pop strum and dream pop strokes. Astounding stuff with not a bad moment in the entire collection and the lick which doubles as a hook on the single is only beaten by the literally atmospheric “First Storm Of The Summer” . Plus best band name ever – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

This Path Tonight – Graham Nash – Shut up and sing “On A Carousel” – C

Greater Pyrenees – Greater Pyrenees – Sean Kirkpatrick sounds fully formed on this well written though bland rock and soft tracks – C+

Best Summer Ever – Har Mar Superstar – The often naked singer songwriter would be so much better if only he was so much better. This is pleasantly unassuming rock singer songwriter and nothing wrong with it – C+

Inceste EP – Imperial Triumphant – Black metal plus wild noise, a terrific 20 minutes of headbanging crunch and industrial strength everything – B+

Gravity – Javier Colon – The former Derek Trucks Band singer has a flavorful voice, and his pop MOR soul songs are ok, but the band sounds bland and it amounts to MOR midriff waist – C+

Lost Themes – John Carpenter – Joined by his son and Godson, the great horror movie maker releases another collection of sounds without a movie to make em interesting – C

Live – That Hot Pink Blues Album – Keb Mo’ – Somebody shouts for “Freebird”, “I’m gonna learn that song to shut ya mouth”, he quips on this double liver from the 2015 tour. Not my scene, but consider it prejudice because when I listen, it is boring but attractive – C+

Singing Saw – Kevin Morby – It sounds like Americana but in a good way, which isn’t a surprise because I’ve liked everything I’ve heard him from both his previous bands the Babies and especially Woods (my token Brooklyn indie band). This is a terrific collection of Americana soul songs – B+

Utility – Kowton  – Electronic tinkle bell. Kowton claimed “What feels most prescient to me right now is writing concise music with purpose and direction – visceral music that’s uncluttered both sonically and theoretically.” Not uncluttered, no existent is the word he is looking for  – C

Reskinned – Larkin Poe – Knockout looking “Allman kid sisters” are not inherently better than grizzled veterans, it depends on the quality of their playing, here it is mediocre, and their songs, here they are boring – C

Music Is Medicine – Marie Osmond – Just because it would be nice to enjoy an Olivia Newton-John-Marie Osmond duet, doesn’t mean it is possible to do so. The songs here are terrible and the performances overcooked, and Olivia doesn’t help and neither does anyone else on this unlistenable MOR claptrap – C-

Don’t Look Down – Mr. Lif – He has flow but he isn’t good enough in other areas and social conscious while fun for all the family, can’t cover a sound that fails to ignite – C+

Life On Earth – Musiq Soulchild – I’ll give him this, the difficult, tedious, anti-hook, experimental, Musiq, always always always is a horror to listen to and “Who Really Loves You” is top of the too clever by half charts. “Loving You” is almost scary symphonic soul   – C-

Sentient – Nucleus – Loud, brash and vicious black metal with a sci fi hang up and prog-rock fillers  – C+

Generation Doom – Otep – Chick lead metal band, tip of the head to the drummer, who fills every hole and then fills every none hole as well – C+

Good Thing – Paul Young – Yes, the 80s blue eyed soul boy who hasn’t learnt a new trick ever, but if you like tuneful straight ahead white soul songs, he still delivers em – B-

The Hope Six Demolition Project – PJ Harvey – Take a trip around the world, take some snapshots, offer some opinions, play some roles, sell tickets to watch you  record an album based upon it, move on with your life. Got it. But I haven’t loved her this century and while this has its moments, intentions don’t count – B-

The Future Of Death – Primitive Weapons – No nonsense analog metalcore. “The Electric Drama” has the lick of the week – B-

Layers – Royce Da 5’9″ – Detroit gangster rapper is always worth checking out and while this is mid-career more of the same, sometimes it is even more than that, “Flesh” is very good rapping indeed, “Layers” itself features Pusha T and Rick Rose so you know how ya think it is a smackdown? It isn’t, it is a quietly disturbing nightmare. And while it would be nice if Eminem showed up, it wouldn’t be necessary – B

Love Letter For Fire – Sam Beam, Jesca Hoop – I’ve never much enjoyed Iron And Wine, they are a little too sincere for my tastes, and by little I mean a lot. But this album is quieter and smarter, a steady series of extremely skilful Americana which echoes The Civil Wars from a great distance – B+

Santana IV – Santana – Carlos gives the people exactly what they want and on one of his two song’s Ronald Isley sings the fuck out of what people want, by which I mean “Black Magic Woman” Latin American variant classic rock- B

Else EP – Solids – No, it isn’t emo. The song titles aren’t long enough. But the melodies are more emo than post-punk pop punk  – B

A Sailor’s Guide To The Universe – Sturgill Simpson – Written for his newly born daughter, this should be much much worse than it is. What it is is soulful Americana that sometimes lifts you higher and sometimes fails you – B

No Illusions – Sulk – As Chris Deville put it in Stereogum, Sulk ” imagines a world where the Stone Roses were a shoegaze band”. Yes, that good  – B+

Surgical Meth Machine – Surgical Meth Machine – Half, the still living half, of Ministry, offers up industrial strength, heart attack inducing, BPMs surrounded by attack of the cybernauts machines and screamo singing – B+

Hold/Still – Suuns – Electro drone and drear – C-

Nosebleed Weekend – The Coathangers – Post-riot grrrls, have always performed catchy, energetic power pop punk, but this time they miss the sweetspot too often. From the album name to the quirk rhythm Clash-y “Make It Right”, to the penultimate “Had Enough”,  it doesn’t deliver – B-

All The Luck EP – The Young Wild – “Not A One” is the breakthrough these San Diego poppers have been waiting for a long time – B

Dreamland – Wild Belle – Chicago siblings, but the band plods and the chick singer has an irritating voice -the arrangements are smart enough – C+

Love Songs – Winterpills – Excellent acoustic rockers, “Celia Johnson” is a song of the week, so is “A New England Deluge”  – B+


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