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Music Reviews

Lettuce: Crush

Lettuce: Crush

Lettuce Crush (Lettuce Records) Brooklyn-based funk outfit Lettuce returns with its fourth LP, Crush. Hitting listeners with heavy bass and deep and […]

The Heavy Eyes: He Dreams of Lions

The Heavy Eyes: He Dreams of Lions

The Heavy Eyes He Dreams of Lions (Kozmik Artifactz) He Dreams of Lions is the third release by Memphis-based iron giants, The […]

The Libertines: Anthems for Doomed Youth

The Libertines: Anthems for Doomed Youth

The Libertines Anthems for Doomed Youth (Harvest Records) This is the one we’ve been waiting for, folks. This is the answer to […]

The Flaming Lips: Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994-1997

The Flaming Lips: Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994-1997

The Flaming Lips Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994 – 1997 (Warner Bros.) Listening to the new Flaming Lips’ Heady […]

Joseph Sant: Sea White Salt

Joseph Sant: Sea White Salt

Joseph Sant’s airy high-warble-of-a-vocal sails over an upfront snare and wiggly electric guitar sweeps on the opener “Horse At The Beach” on his new EP CD Sea White Salt.

Stormy Mondays: The Lay of the Land / Wading the River

Stormy Mondays: The Lay of the Land / Wading the River

Spain’s Stormy Mondays have just released a double EP, Wading the River and The Lay of the Land.

Plastic Yellow Band: Above Gravity

Plastic Yellow Band: Above Gravity

Plastic Yellow Band’s new CD Above Gravity begins with “a 21 minute musical journey dedicated to all who have lost someone they deeply loved”. This opener “Starlight,” with its tinkling piano opening by Gerry thrusts us deep into stark sadness some subtle harmony and slowly growing string effects, then Karl Derrick slips in with some solid drumming and we are on our way. As to be expected (and thankfully for a tune this long) things do switch up, there’s as much heavy band jamming (with Joe Hurt on bass, Derrick and second guitarist Joe Smith)…intercut with moments of that beginning piano vibe and acoustic guitar with light electric guitar touches and vocal harmonies and even some neato prog rock jazz stuff rolling on up an organ leading and guitar. The whole concoction ends back with lilting guitar intertwined lines to the “I stand alone” lyric with piano and vocal then a soaring lead and full band climax.

Chris Beyer: Distances

Chris Beyer: Distances

A drum machine takes over for Michael Delillo for an interesting high-tuned percussion bed running round Beyer’s acoustic quick picking on “I’ve Had Enough.” I like this one very much, the plunk-y percussion bed, the well-placed harmonic sounds, Beyer’s slightly effected vocal running as fast as the playing. It’s a soft slip-of-a-song with a sing-able chorus that stays exactly where it should with mature restraint. “Bad Luck” with Delillo’s simple but subtle snare, bassist Nick Zinnanti’s soft playing that at times runs just as kinetic as Beyer’s riffing is another great song; from those Sade-like verses with the band laying back, to over-driven choruses where the players break out, a robot-voiced bridge, and a pure rock lead.

Midwest Soul Xchange: New American Century

Midwest Soul Xchange: New American Century

Hailing from the midwest, the Midwest Soul Xchange-songwriters/singers/ instrumentalists/producers Ryan Summers and Nate Cherrier-create a rich 11-song collection on their new CD New American Century.

Opener “Set A Course For Common Worlds” has got breezy mid-tempo guitar/big snare hits ala America with CSN harmonies and Nate Cherrier’s harmonica over the top; a great sing-able opener. I like the Pink Floydian instrumental opening (single guitar note picking and atmosphere piano plucking) of “Truth Attention” so much I feel the duo could have continued into a full instrumental, though the Alan Parsons-like vibe works and again Cherrier and Summers harmonize sweetly and Cherrier’s drumming abilities are subtle but move things along expertly.

A Folk Set Apart – Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, ETC: Cass McCombs

A Folk Set Apart – Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, ETC: Cass McCombs

A Folk Set Apart Cass McCombs (Domino Recording Co.) You can hear the real and metaphorical dust that has collected on the […]

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