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Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 4-29-16 – 5-5-16


ALBUM OF THE WEEK: 4-29-16 – 5-5-16



The Impossible Kid – Aesop Rock – In which the multi-polysyllabic white boy rapper has a nervous break and this 50 minute horror story should have your pimply teenage virgin son staring in the mirror and studying the dark  rings under his eyes, well before that  – C+

American Hi Fi Acoustic – If this was Jeopardy the answer would be What is worse than American Hi-Fi Electric? – D

LIve 1977 And 1979 – Bad Company  – The difference between the two? They had “Can’t Get Enough Of Your” in 1979 – B

The Ships – Brian Eno – The man who defines pretension and has been running on fumes for twenty years, continues to define pretension and run on fumes on this atrocious art meets ambient album – C-

Luck Or Magic – Britta Phillips – From the Luna singer, this is full throttle indie-symphonic power pop with a Cars cover to drive it home, both brittle  and lovely and, unfortunately, a little on the boring side – B

Ev Zepplin – Chuck Inglish – Chicago rapper, good one as well, even if he is a little ordinary. It takes the album forever to start sizzling but late on he gets you with an r&b sweetie called “What I Want” and follows it by justifying his Asher Roth addiction with the killer “Gun” – B

Total Time – Doomsquad – Sibling trio make electronic goth sounds, with songs like “Collective Insanity” (a good one) and “It’s The Nail That Counts, Not The Rope” (a less good one) – C+

Okay -Dowsing – They sound very fresh in their emo take on indie, but they’ve been around five years and the album  gets a little tiring. But not before they’ve knocked you out with “Grunge For Life” – C+

Views – Drake – Better than I initially thought, it takes awhile to sink in, and yes, it is a little boring, but the sound is very much what Drake does and after awhile you can hear it through the gloom – B+

Dreamless – Fallujah – Brainy prog metal electronica, the sort of stuff you might imagine from a band named after a battleground for the US in Iraq – B+

I Want To Know What Love Is: The Ballads – Foreigner – How big were these guys? I dunno, but only the title track left an impression, the rest of the songs are terrible rock ballads that would actually fit very well into the current MOR rock dross – D+

Free Will – Freeway – I never understood why this Philadelphian rapper never broke through, and this, if a touch old fashioned, is filled with really good tracks. I prefer it to the new Drake, with the outstanding “Addiction” leading the way, “Bennie And Stella” (with a truly remarkably catchy hook) bringing up the rear and everything else at least middling – ALBUM OF THE WEEK –  B+

Affinity – Hakem – Prog rockers right out of the 70s worldview but with a little more crunch, like they threw in some metal drummer in the mix – C

Better – Haley Reinhart – American Idol finalist has a very soulful voice but lousy material – C+

Blood Harvest EP – Haybaby – Sludge rockers with some core thrown in to keep em honest, via Brooklyn.  “Joke/Rope” is pretty darn good – B-

Crime Cutz – Holy Ghost! – One of the least appealing releases from one of my fave disco duos. It’s been three years since the terrific “Dumb Disco Ideas”, and this isn’t the right direction – B-

Westerner – John Doe – Rockabilly John, it doesn’t kick in till the third way mark, but then it steadies up nicely with the good “My Darling, Blue Skies” and especially “Go Baby Go”. Then it settles in nice with prime John Doe story song “Sweet Reward” and maintains an even see how we are grown up through to the end – B+

Celebration – Katherine Jenkins – The sorta Middle Of The Road, and did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green,  you can’t throw a brick without hitting in the UK – C-

Nonagon Infinity – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Well loved for their live act, this is a bombastic over played garage rock psychedelia  – C

Konono No. 1 Meets Barida – Konono No 1 – What happens when world music meets electronica, the harmonies and beats are smarter, the actual high tech not as strong – B-

Dolls Of Highland – Kyle Craft – I can envision a place and time (and not necessarily 1972) where this laughing gnome could break pop, but not here and now. This comes off as a genre exercise in search of a breakthrough song – C+

Resistor – Lera Lynn – A Lana Del Rey without a speck of originality- C

Balter/Saunier – Marcos Balter – Electronic jazz meets Astrud Gilberto with the Latin American elements mooted – B-

Reckless – Martina McBride – Less reckless and more obvious, this McBride by numbers and since I am a fan, I don’t mind more of the same. The Keith Urban duet is really good – B

Last Evenings On Earth – Melt Yourself Down – Hot damn jazz rock African fusion, exploding on track after track – B

Popcorn Fish Guinea Pig – Museum Mouth – First rate power pop punk tracks, filled with energy and explosions, hard to find a bad track, maybe “Riff From My Head” is a little obvious.Or a best track, maybe “Lacquer”. Somewhere in the middle lies the rest on this early Los Campesinos vocal sound alike rock out – B+

On Your Feet – Original Broadway Cast – I enjoyed the musical and I enjoy this Cast album more than “Hamilton” and “American Psycho” combined. Why? Because Gloria Estefan sang real songs so we get to hear real songs – B+

Ohana – Pepper – Like a Hawaiian Sublime only without the hardcore tude – C+

White Hot Moon – Pity Sex – Shoegaze? I guess, they remind me of all of those purity of something or the other from the early 00s. Fun for awhile but there was nowhere to go – B+

Waltzed In From The Rumbling – Plants And Animals – While I do appreciate their attempt to make music that is unique, their blend of Americana and indie rock plus prog with a cool yet passionate singer, it doesn’t work as songs for me, even “So Many Nights” is ruined by the arrangement – B-

Please EP – Plush – Another shoegaze band, from San Fran, and this EP does the gorgeous without being dozey trick at least once, on the epic “Sheer Power” – B

Desire’s Magic Theatre – Purson – If Iron Maiden had sex with Cream and the baby was not very talented… – C

Telling The Trees RM Hubbert – Have you ever had on an album and then suddenly realized it was on and you hated it and you wondered why it was on? Five notes into the first track here. But it gets better, sort of indie folk with sound effects and various chick singers… of course, it had nowhere to go but up – C-

The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser – Rob Zombie – “The Life And Times Of A Teenage Rock God” is the song Marilyn Manson hasn’t nailed down in twenty years,  and if nothing else is as good, all of it is world class Zombie metal blood and guts even the electronic workout. Plus, at 31 minutes in length you are only a rotation away from hearing “Teenage Rock God” again – B+

Prayers For The Damned -SIxx A.M. – Proforma old school metal – C

Ocean By Ocean – The Boxer Rebellion – Better than you’d think, it sounds like a noisy The National, and “Let’s Disappear” is as great a song as they’ll ever write – B-

Wasteland – The Greyhounds – If the Blasters didn’t have Hardcore exploding round em, they might have sounded like this – B

Paging Mr. Proust – The Jayhawks – It’s the Jayhawks so had bad will it be? It’s pretty good, the mix sounds a little muddy and too many slow ones, but with songs as powerful as “Lovers Of The Sun”, and Gary Louris in fine voice, I’m not complaining – B+

Everything At Once – Travis – They were always a good band in theory and a bore in practise, here they are still a little on the boring and tasteful UK rock side but not so much that the sheer wealth of material stops it from being a fine set of songs, boring but fine – B+

Wrong – Wrong – Heads down, no nonsense hardcore – B

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