Meatbodies- 333 (2021)

Posted by KB on 11/19/2021 to Reviews In Brief
"333" will not be for everyone. It's trippy, heavy at times, psychedelica. It's apparent that the use of mind adjustments may have been applied during creation with the songs exhibiting headphone swirls, body slaps, wah wahs, echoes, droning, raga beats and tons of fuzz. Hell the band name is Meatbodies. In the proper, may I say, frame of mind, this album could comfortably be slipped on as a perfect soundtrack. The music is simple but deftly played and the bass is the star and driving force. Think Primal Scream that stays in jam mode and was recorded with George Martin around the time of "Revolver". Intrigued- then give it a listen..

Favorite Songs: Cancer, Hybrid Feelings, The Hero


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Sam Fender- Seventeen Going Under (2021)

Posted by KB on 11/16/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Spoiler ahead... Seventeen Going Under, the title track, is one of my favorite songs of the year, and it kicks off an excellent introspective, but upbeat, personal album by Sam Fender. Actually if the first fours songs don't hook you, then I think you need to question your taste in music. All kidding aside, "Seventeen Going Under", written and performed mostly by UK born Fender, is big, clear and well crafted not to mention superbly engineered. He sees his mistakes and the wrongs of the world but he has a fairly positive outlook and sees how he (and we) can overcome them and move on. It's not half-full, it's pragmatic and thoughtful. Why the earlier spoiler alert? This is most likely in my 2021 top 20.

Favorite Songs: Seventeen Going Under, Getting Started, Aye, Last to Make it Home


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Breeze- Only Up (2021)

Posted by KB on 11/10/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Breeze's "Only Up" would have fit nicely in the 80's German club scene with its synths, robotic beats and dramatically monotone vocals. Peppered in are Primal Scream dance-able grooves and guitars that give each song its own a vibe. It's not an all out party but played at the right time "Only Up" can sate that appetite for something dour but upbeat (yes it can be a thing). This album is a grower and my bet if you give it a try you add it to your rotation.

Favorite Songs: Ecstasy On Keele Street, Come Around, Don't Cry, Only Up


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The Record Company- Play Loud (2021)

Posted by KB on 11/9/2021 to Reviews In Brief
The Record Company vacillates between sounding like The Black Keys, Royal Blood and Maroon 5. Might appear to be a head scratching mixture, and it is, but on a whole it works. Once you think they are a grittier blues rock outfit, then they go a little blue eyed pop-soul or they delve into heavy beat rock. Depending on the song's design they go all in so if you stumble upon them on a Spotify shuffle song list don't make a judgement on "Play Loud" based on that first song. It has to be heard as a whole. It makes for an interesting, well paced listen, and probably a pretty good live show.

Favorite Songs: Get Up and Dance!, Ain't Going Home, Never Leave You


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Lord Huron- Long Lost (2021)

Posted by KB on 10/8/2021 to Reviews In Brief
"Long Lost" is exactly what you would think a Lord Huron album would sound like; lush, subdued and nuanced. "Long Lost" is sleepier than past releases almost in easy listening territory. It's a mix of vintage western movie soundtrack meets Peter Nero. The music is gorgeous as is Ben Schneider's vocal but overall it leaves you expecting more vibrancy and life. There is also too much filler for my taste with short "oldie-like" radio snippets and the 14 minute Time's Blur, which could have gotten it's ambient point through at the same length as the snippets. Fans will take to most of the songs here but casual fans may be unmoved.

Favorite Songs: Not Dead Yet, Meet Me in the City, The Moon Doesn't Mind


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Amyl and the Sniffers- Comfort To Me (2021)

Posted by KB on 10/5/2021 to Reviews In Brief
By the third bass note you know that punk isn't dead. Building off their debut self-titled release from 2019 the Sniffers pound out a relentless onslaught of mosh-friendly energy. While aggressive, their message is quite upbeat. It's about enjoying each other and what's around us, with a couple slight detours down the path of self deprecation. Another rarity they toss in, that isn't heard in most punk bands, are the ferocious guitar solos peppered throughout. The songs are succinct leaving the listener gasping to catch a breath but also abrupt as side two has tunes that stop making you wish for more. Excellent sophomore release and worthy for any of you punkers to give it a go.

Favorite Songs: Guided By Angels, Security, Hertz, No More Tears, Maggot


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The Horses and the Hounds- James McMurtry (2021)

Posted by KB on 10/4/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Few can write as intelligent songs as McMurtry. Sardonic while being honest with stories that feel real with zero bull-shit and full of wisdom. There is nothing crazy about his Americana cum alt-country cum rock song structure (you know a McMurtry song immediately) but it is full and warm. Arrow straight with his patented speak sing delivery. Why change what has worked for him over the decades because it still sounds fresh. It's what the modern "country" fan should listen to but don't. Put down the red solo cup grown ups and put on one of the best albums of the year with...."you can't be young and do that"..

Favorite Songs: If It Don't Bleed, Jackie, The Horses and the Hounds, Ft. Walton Wake-Up Call



The Horses and the Hounds






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The Flatlanders- Treasure of Love (2021)

Posted by KB on 9/24/2021 to General Stuff
The Flatlanders (Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock) are as authentic as Americana can get. Each are established solo artists but as a band they blend the perfect olio of twang, country western, folk, rock(abilly) and blues into one well paced package with walking bass lines, guitar pickin', steel pedal guitar and boom-shacka drums. The majority of the songs are covers that the boys give fresh paint to making them their own. Rarely do predictable renditions of songs feel so lively. To me it's an accomplishment. "Treasure of Love" is fun and feels like an upbeat beer fueled hootenanny.

Favorite Songs: Treasure of Love, She Belongs to Me, Mama Does the Kangaroo



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The Offspring- Let the Bad Times Roll (2021)

Posted by KB on 9/14/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Shortest review ever in Review in Brief. Anyone who likes The Offspring will like this. Anyone who doesn't won't. Simple. Proceed as it suits you.

Favorite Songs: Let the Bad Times Roll, We Never Have Sex Anymore



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GHLOW- Slash and Burn (2021)

Posted by KB on 9/9/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Fans of The Kills pining for a new release can now just get GHLOW's "Slash and Burn" and feel sated. GHLOW has the industrial fuzz and cacophany of The Kills, probably more if I was to be honest. The songs are aggressive and edgy, bordering on dark angst. One could visualize a SAW movie airing with this as the soundtrack. GHLOW'sstructure is molded around simple melodies and chord patterns but with buzz saw graininess and electronic embellishments that create a poly-rhythmic groove. "Slash and Burn" exudes black and deep purple with countless curtains of static. Listen alone and in the dark.

Favorite Songs: Not Fit For This, Take It, Hold On



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A Place To Bury Strangers- Hologram (2021)

Posted by KB on 8/24/2021 to Reviews In Brief
A Place To Bury Strangers' EP "Hologram" expands on their sonic, dissonant drone rock with their most defined recording. They don't lose their noisiness but you can decipher more clearly the drums, bass and vocals. Their songs still whip into a swirling jet engine frenzy in an almost (loosely almost) pop sensible fashion. There is structure within the clamor. Picture Joy Division with louder amps, more fuzz and new technology. This will not digestible for some unless you like music that pushes the acceptable musical boundaries.

Favorite Songs: All five songs are quite interesting



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Billy F Gibbons- Hardware (2021)

Posted by KB on 8/19/2021 to Reviews In Brief
One could just cut and paste my thoughts on Gibbons' 2018 release "Big Bad Blues" here and it would be pretty accurate. All styles of rocking, and I mean rocking, blues. Huge sound with every nook filled with booming drums, heavy, full riffs and agile solos. There is a wisp of ZZ Top throughout the album with the immediately recognizable ZZ Top guitar sound and throaty growled vocals. The loss of Dusty Hill earlier this summer should make us all appreciate Gibbons' brilliance more and embrace his recordings. Take the time give Gibbon's a good listen.

Favorite Songs: She's On Fire, Stackin' Bones, Vagabond Man, My Lucky Card



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Imelda May- 11 Past the Hour (2021)

Posted by KB on 8/18/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Imelda May's latest release into her excellent discography is a bit of a departure from her retro, roller-girl rebel, take-it-or-leave style and persona of the past. "11 Past the Hour" portrays May as a sexy chanteuse with visions of her front and center in a smoky back room club with a weathered, tight band enveloping her strong, fantastic voice. She doesn't totally abandon her rock roots (Made To Love, What We Did In the Dark) but she leans toward songs that are uncomplicated and personal, with a taste of the poetry she is now delving into. The album's pacing is fluid and May sounds like the veteran she is with impeccable phrasing. It's a grown up album that feels cool.

Favorite Songs: Made To Love, What We Did In the Dark, Just One Kiss, Never Look Back, Breathe


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Royal Blood- Typhoons (2021)

Posted by KB on 8/13/2021 to Reviews In Brief
"Typhoons", Royal Blood's third LP sounds like multiple typhoons. Heavy thunder beats, swirling buzzed bass and driving faux guitar (he plays bass with pedals and amps that sound as if there is a guitar being played). The duo from Brighton, England create a big pounding energy that is emphatic that borders on being metal. "Typhoons" may be their most complete, crisp release to date. It's impossible to catch your breath from one song to the next since they are relentless with their hammering- until the last song, All We Have is Now, which is a little respite. They sing about anxiety and pressure but, with some optimism, that with support it is surmountable. Put this on and crank it up. Piss off the neighbors.

Favorite Songs: Trouble's Coming, Million and One, Boilermaker, Mad Visions, Who Needs Friends


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Nick Waterhouse- Promenade Blue (2021)

Posted by KB on 7/26/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Nick Waterhouse has a finger snappin' signature retro 60's R&B sound. Reverb, echo chamber, punchy background vocals and brass, hi-hats and brushes, mono-like mixing and even his album covers. Promenade Blue prominently encompasses these traits except this time it's not the all out twist-a-thon we've grown to expect. More ballads, spoken word embellishments and it just feels like he's holding back just a tad. He waits until the last two songs to unleash the party (B. Santa Ana 1986, To Tell ). It's still a solid release and has all the cool, but probably the weakest of his library. I'll blame Covid.

Favorite Songs: Vincentine, B. Santa Ana 1986, To Tell


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Silver Synthetic- S/T (2021)

Posted by KB on 6/2/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Silver Synthetic are arriving at the forefront of a new trend of easy loping, 70's inspired airy AOR. When spinning Silver Synthetic the experience will feel short as the songs take on the feel of a Grateful Dead jam with less length, leaving you feeling that there is more to uncover in their songs, which I'll bet they do expand live. The guitar work is crisp and the vocals breezy as Seals and Croft or America. All tracks are expertly layered creating a full, fill all the channels, sound. Silver Synthetic is the soundtrack for Frisbee in the park or a BBQ on the patio.

Favorite Songs: Unchain Your Heart, Around the Bend, Out of the Darkness


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Remember Sports- Like A Stone (2021)

Posted by KB on 5/18/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Remember Sports has a distinctive indie sound. Carmen Perry's warbling vocals, crunchy guitars with edgy, bordering out of tune solos (in a cool proto punk way) and rock that can fluctuate from lamenting to almost all out pop-punk. They have perfected it. RS songs are primarily about maybe-good-maybe-not relationships. The kind that you are constantly questioning whether you are right to stay with them. The Philly quartet has matured without losing millennial credibility, both musically and lyrically, to solidify that it appears they will be around for some time.

Favorite Songs: Pinky Ring, Sentimentality, Like A Stone, Odds Are


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Special Friend- Ennemi Commun (2021)

Posted by KB on 5/17/2021 to Reviews In Brief
There is nothing outlandishly special about Special Friend's "Ennemi Commun". It is basically an easy to swallow lo-fi indie release from a French-American duo with a White Stripes organization -she on drums, he on guitar (not in sound mind you). Metronomic beats pushing fuzzed guitar strumming with earnest lyrics about simple subjects. To my ears they remind of of Yuck with a uniqueness of tempo and song structure between tracks, which keeps "Ennemi Commun" from being pedantic. It proves that a band doesn't have to 'wow' you to be an enjoyable and distinctive listen.

Favorite Songs: Hazard, Forest, Ennemi Commun


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Mythic Sunship- Wildfire (2021)

Posted by KB on 5/12/2021 to Reviews In Brief
Mythic Sunship's "Wildfire" starts like a blaze burning completely out of control within a controlled burn. Part hard rock jam and part free form jazz-rock, "Wildfire" is an instrumental journey that you will either strap in and enjoy the cacophony or you will run frantically from. MS is accessible one moment and then they wind their way into complex zones that can feel like world music being noisily thrashed. What makes "Wildfire" compelling is the unexpected groove that is embedded within the looseness of the music. While they ramble unfettered there is still structure. There is a lot to chew on on each song and the euphoria that is created definitely channels their band name.

Favorite Songs: Olympia, Redwood Grove


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A.A. Williams- Songs From Isolation (2021)

Posted by KB on 5/10/2021 to Reviews In Brief
A.A Williams release of covers, that span from the 60's to now provides completely unique takes on songs that we all know. Stark is an understatement when describing "Songs From Isolation". It's just her and a piano or guitar. So stark that you can hear the ambient sounds from her recording enviroment. The pedals being pressed, shifting on the bench, hum of the amplifier and so forth. This is personal music. An album to listen to alone to allow yourself to decide what Williams' interpretation is for you. For example Lovesong is no longer the profession of love from Robert Smith to his wife but instead a longing for someone that may not be near or receptive to your feelings. "Songs From Isolation" will take you minimally one listen to erase the originals from your ears before you can determine if her renditions will resonate with you or not. We all need sit-in-the-dark music now and then and "Songs From Isolation" could just be that album

Favorite Songs: Lovesong, Where Is My Mind, Nights In White Satin


Songs From Isolation






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