The Dandy Warhols- Why Are You So Crazy (2019)

Posted by KB on 2/13/2019 to Reviews In Brief
"Why Are You So Crazy" requires a little effort. I'm a fan, finally seeing them live after 25 years in the spring, but my first listen left me perplexed. As any band that has longevity, you expect there to be some evolution and the Dandy's sure followed that expectation over the years. Subsequent listens were more palatable but not fully sating. The Dandy's continue to be trippy but not as 3 chord guitar driven with synth accessorizing as they were when they started out in '94. They have relied more on vocal effects, electronics and 'sounds'. On WAYSC the first side (for you LP buyers or songs 2 through 7 on CD/download) is the stronger with songs that sound like the Dandy's when they are in a psyche-country tinged-groove. Not as funky as their hey day but enough to be fun. The remainder sounds like unfinished ideas or noodling culminating the sprawling, self indulgent Ondine- that I still haven't gotten to the end of. Tread carefully on this one and lets dream the Dandy's find their original roots.

Favorite Songs: Terrorform, Highlife, Be Alright, Sins Are Forgiven

almost free

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The Dandy Warhols- Why Are You So Crazy

Fidlar- Almost Free (2019)

Posted by KB on 2/12/2019 to Reviews In Brief
There are few surprises on Fidlar's third release. The boys are still yelling about partying, sex and being just plain stupid, with a slight nod to social indignities. While the majority of "Almost Free" is unabashedly loud, messy and screechy, Fidlar tosses in some polish (Scam Likely) and funkiness (Can't You See, By Myself). They are a band you will either get the joke or be annoyed beyond belief. That will of course be dictated by your tolerance of noisy garage punk. Purging the too short and useless Nuke and the opener, a Beastie Boys rip-off Get Off My Rock, would have increased the overall utility of "Almost Free". Still worth some attention for those beer soaked sex nights, or dreams of.

Favorite Songs: Can't You See, Alcohol, Almost Free, Kick, Thought. Mouth.

almost free

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Fidlar- Almost Free

Maggie Rogers- Heard In a Past Life (2019)

Posted by KB on 2/8/2019
Female dance pop is rarely in my radar unless it's smart, not deliberately trying to be hip or gimmicky. Ms Rogers ticks the boxes for me, and I say it proud expecting a rebuke or two from my cronies. I find most pop divas all sound the same. Its hard decipher one twenty-something from the next, but this 24 year old's delivery and tone is natural and uncomplicated. There are no over the top histrionics, goofy effects or language or ear-worm tedium. Just simple, breezy singing over loping, uplifting beats about relationships. Some treading close to R&B. She does sound older than her years, and that could also be an allure for me. For those of us who normally have two feet planted firmly in the Indie Rock scene, it would be easy to dismiss "Heard In A Past Life" as just another of the many indistinct young pop lasses battling for Spotify or radio play-on-repeat. Give it the chance and I think you may look upon it differently.

Favorite Songs: Give A Little, Overnight, Light On, Fallingwater, Retrograde, Back In My Body

Heard In a Past Life

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Maggie Rogers- Heard In a Past Life

Kasey Chambers- Campfire (2018)

Posted by KB on 2/7/2019 to Reviews In Brief
Full disclosure, Kasey Chambers is my favorite female country singer- albeit from Australia. She has comfortably snugged her way into the John Hiatt, Richard Thompson, Willie Nelson club of always putting out a good album. Not always great but always decent. "Campfire" fits into the good realm. It's acoustic, harmonious, churchy (not preachy) and nostalgic. Mostly quiet and pretty without the grimy backwoods riffs that normally pepper her songs. It doesn't mean there isn't a bit of romp on "Campfire" (Goliath is Dead, This Little Chicken, Junkyard Man) but the majority of songs here are socially or personally thoughtful. What is commendable is that Chambers doesn't remain stagnant putting out the same template album. She is always morphing and brimming with new ideas. Less a couple of draggers near the end (Now That You've Gone, Fox & the Bird) this is another good release from KC keeping this guy still interested.

Favorite Songs: Goliath is Dead, Early Grave, Big Fish, This Little Chicken, Happy


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Kasey Chambers- Campfire
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