Savoy Motel- Savoy Motel (2016)

Posted by KB on 3/27/2017 to Reviews In Brief
Complete time warp to the late 60s early 70s. Savoy Motel is a stripped down psycho-funk rock outfit that at first sounds like they are just learning their instruments.... but upon further listening find the deliberate brilliance. Like the deliberate use of dated home keyboard synth, guitar effects and robotic snare drums to create a pre-disco dance beat. But I must say there are some pretty solid guitar chops throughout. Think T-Rex backed by Herbie Hancock funk and your Uncle Bob who fancies himself a musician. It's American Bandstand with chunky soles, fros and crazy earth tones. Dig it man.

Favorite Songs: Sorry People, Everyone Wants to Win, International Language, Souvenir Shop Rock

Archers of Loaf- Icky Mettle (1993)

Posted by KB on 3/24/2017 to Reviews In Brief
There is alt rock and there is ALT ROCK. Archers were the latter. They were aggressive, abrasive, loud, pounding but with melody and kick in guts lyrics. FU songs with both middle fingers up, sometimes pointing right back at themselves. "Icky Mettle" is arguably their best release. It's layers, angry and will give you rock neck if you let yourself go when listening. The guitars interchange like jet engines, the drums smash you in the forehead and the voice is pure angst. It's hard to believe Eric Bachmann, who's self titled introspective  release last year was fantastic, was they lyricist and founding member. This is a must anyone calling themselves an alt rock fan. In music there is good noise and there is bad noise. It is very subjective, but "Icky Mettle" is excellent noise and what should be played to blow off steam.

Favorite Songs: whole damn album!

Aaron Lee Tasjan- Silver Tears (2016)

Posted by KB on 3/23/2017 to Reviews In Brief
This one snuck by me.. it probably would have landed in my top 20. "Silver Tears" is an album that defies being categorized. It's folk, blues, rock, country, Todd Snider, Elliott Smith, Blitzen Trappen, John Hiatt...etc... Whatever hat he's wearing for a particular song Tasjan pours himself into it. Morphing his voice to the chosen style and emotion singing his simple but not trite lyrics. It's a warm blanket but not a wet one. A pleasurable listen from start to finish- and the vinyl is well engineered. Listen for yourself

Favorite Songs: Little Movies, Ready To Die, Memphis Rain, 12 Bar Blues

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever- French Press (2017)

Posted by KB on 3/22/2017 to Reviews In Brief
Those pining for early to mid 80s jangly, indie, REM"ish" pop rock, look no further. RBCF song float along at a high mid tempo pace with rat-a-tat drums and echoed vocals. Those of us of a certain age will feel like we are back in our dorm rooms shooting the shit while this is blaring in the background. If you are familiar with the Go-Betweens, you'll definitely note a strong hint of them here, which makes sense since these boys are from Melbourne. "French Press" is an EP with only six songs making you wanting more.  Check them out

Magnetic Fields- 50 Song Memoir (2017)

Posted by KB on 3/20/2017 to Reviews In Brief
"50 Song Memoir" is not "69 Love Songs" but it warrants being acknowledged. Writing 50 songs, year by year you've been alive is not a cake walk. Fifty songs is daunting but making them pertinent and personal seems impossible.

Chuck Berry

Posted by KB on 3/20/2017 to Shout Outs
There is little I can add to the adjectives poured out about the contribution Chuck Berry provided rock n' roll, so I won't. But I don't believe that many of those who consider themselves music fans truly understand the importance of what he did.

Dude York- Sincerely (2017)

Posted by KB on 3/17/2017 to Reviews In Brief
Dude York is your typical indie band. They reside in the indie Valhalla of Seattle and have a sound you are familiar with, in a good way. With that said, they are slightly schizophrenic and generate varied songs in different styles. One minute Ultimate Fakebook the next The Men and then Veruca Salt. It creates a entertaining listen and makes it hard to accurately pin a genre on them- but they do sound familiar. Part of their varied sound is due to the use of both male and female vocals (female vocals are stronger) and that not only changes the obvious but also the songs approach and structure. Indie fans can check it out at

Favorite Songs: Tonight, Love Is, Black Jack

Metz- II (2015)

Posted by KB on 3/6/2017 to Reviews In Brief
Fans of singer/songwriters or pretty melodies should stop right here. METZ is a sledgehammer onslaught bludgeoning your frontal lobes. While that may not sound pleasant, METZ does noisy, distorted, abrasive guitars and pummeling drums well. It's aggressive and perfect for any non-passive activity (snuggling not suggested). It's Sonic Youth on a serious speed ball. It sounds as if the guitars and a drums are fighting against each other for supremacy while getting yelled at by the vocals. It'll get your blood pumping. METZ III is in the works and hopefully out soon. Listen to their single Erasure in preparation.

Favorite Songs: Acetate, Spit You Out, Wait In Line

The New Pornographers- Mass Romantic (2000)

Posted by KB on 3/6/2017 to Reviews In Brief
Magnet Magazine February issue had "Mass Romantic" as it's classic album revisited so I decided to dust it off and give it a spin. TNP are polarizing either you like them or you don't. I am more in the like camp. "Mass Romantic", in my opinion, is not their best release. It does portend as to what TNP is and would become; a bouncy 60ish pop group with interesting instrumentation and good harmonies. It contains a couple pop gems and a few go nowhere duds. None of it is ground breaking but they tend to toss in enough oddball sounds to differentiate themselves from the pack. The vocal star is without question Neko Case, and her lead songs are the strongest. Her voice has power, but not too much, quality to it. She is well in the forefront without the yelling many leading vocals tend to do. If you are in the like camp this will fun revisit for you, if you don't know much about TNP it's not a bad start, but you may want to skip to "Electric Version" or "Twin Cinema".

Favorite Songs: Mass Romantic, Letter From An Occupant, The Body Says No
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