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Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 7-27-18 – 8-2-18

Testament – All Saints – The UK girl group who were Spice Girl competition without the pop genius, broke up twice, and this is the second album on the second return. It’s OK but a sort of pop r&b that is a little out of time. Should do well in the old sod, it won’t happen here… though stuff like “Don’t Look Over Your Shoulder” is as good as we could hope for – B-

5 Covers & A Song – Andrew Combs – Is this guy a rock critic in another life? The Americanaish singer songwriter covers Radiohead, the Strokes, Lucinda Williams and more. You gotta wonder what he has against alt-j? Luckily, he covers the crit faves quite well, changes genres on them, and feels his way through em, the one original fits right in with some heavy hitters – B

Wasted Time – Beach Rats – Formed by members of Dag Nasty, Minor Threat and The Bouncing Souls, they sound young, loud, and snotty, but they are actually old, loud, and snotty – B

Out Of The Blues – Boz Scaggs – The ever overrated 70s one hit wonder sings the blues yet again – C

Boys (Side B) – Caamp – Folk trio from Ohio, when they get lively on the wondrous “Just Wonderin” they blow your house down, unfortunately they are a bore the rest of the time – C+

Channel Tres – Channel Tres – Man, this guys voice rumbles like a freight train over funky disco dance stuff… less songs than hooks – C+

The Morning Star – Daniel Bachman – That is a six string lap guitar? It sounds like a wall of sitars on “Invocation”. The 28 year old instrumentalist is pretty out there and that’s for sure – B-

Cage To Rattle – Daughtry – In which the American Idol superstar comes of age, his grunge rock and roll has always sounded like amateur hour to me but this doesn’t, quieter and more intense it aims for an older market. It isn’t actually good, the songs are wasteful bores and he still over sings, but the performances are strong – C+

For The Love Of Metal – Dee Snider – In theory I have nothing against this guys hair metal 70s style, brutal but not brutalizing. In practice, it is boring as hell – C+

TA13OO – Denzel Curry – Underground rapper takes on all comers with a statement album about how difficult life can be when you have a top flow, try “Percs”, the best of a great lot – A-

Location 13 – Dispatch – Maybe ten years ago I was walking past MSG and noticed a sold out sign for a band I’d never even heard of, Dispatch. So I checked em out, figuring I could scalp a ticket if they were any good. They weren’t and they still aren’t, tedious,  somewhat proggy, somewhat folk rocky, somewhat world sound… – C-

God Only Knows EP – for KING & COUNTRY – Not that GOK, chance would be a fine thing. This one: blazingly awful anthem rock – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Songs for the Saints – Kenny Chesney – Kenny concocts a  country kinda folky sound to go with his songs for his home, the hurricane torn Virgin Islands. “Ends Of The earth” is lovely and addictive, everything else is lovely but boring, including the Jimmy Buffet duet – C+

The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol.1 – Rise Against – Acoustic and symphonic rearrangements of some truly terrible songs – C-

Phantastic Ferniture – Phantastic Ferniture – New indie rockers add folkie sounds to a good backbeat and it still sounds down… try the brilliantly named “Fuckin ‘n’ Rollin” – B

NOVA – RL Grime – Heavy duty house – B

Family Portrait – Ross from Friends- A British producer, on Flying Lotus’s label no less, has some really odd sounds here but they work their way into songs more often than they have any right… try “Thank God I’m A Lizard”  which goes amphibian before your eyes- B

I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions – Santigold – One of the three  best albums of the week.  Santigold  is more comfortable with sound, a bemused subgenre hopping soulful playfulness with a heart of iron and a rhythm all over the place, if 99 cents was a lunge for pop supremacy, the Gold Fire Sessions is a much calmer affair but still very good – A-

Sorry To Bother You: The Soundtrack – The Coup -Boots Reily’s  soundtrack to his well hyped movie of the same name would be great if only for the doubtless greatest Prince steal, homage, ever “Whathegirlmuthafuckinwannadoo” -a song so great only “Crazy, Classic Life” is better -the Janelle Monae song… Janelle is on “Over And Over/Sticky Sunrise” as well as “Girl”. Tune-Yards joins Boots on the calypso dream song “Hey Saturday Night,” and Killer Mike is on the most Coup-ish song on the album “monsoon”. But there isn’t anything approaching a weak track on this brilliant pop album. A modern masterpiece – A-

Side Boy… Side Effects – The Chainsmokers – Six songs, all good, none great – B

Chosen Family – Thin Lips – Very smart pop punk, melodic, sharp, and relentlessly witty – B

Rhea Sylvia  EP – Thou – Hard as fuck sledge metal sinks you down and you can’t get up for air, a mind bending pull and a great singer who sounds nothing quite like the bowels of hell though that’s what it is – B+

Children of Paradise – Willie Nile – “The seeds of revolution are planted in my heart”  Willie sings, channeling Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen at the same time, and so it continues with a brilliant collection of punk-folk attitude songs, politically astute and sweet and sour at the same time as he adds the subjective to the objective  – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Silk Canvas – VanJess – Gorgeous soul jams from a first rate girl duo performing bangerz with a disco bottom – B+

Absolutes – Yoke Lore – Impressive and lovely pop as ambient landscape symphonic and electronic arrangements – B


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