Ratboys- Printer's Devil (2020)

Posted by KB on 3/31/2020 to Reviews In Brief
When Ratboys, on "Printer's Devil", play their upbeat, easy gait indie rock (what used to be college rock) they are a pleasant, though slightly indistinguishable, listen. The semi-jangle guitars and double kick rhythms are straight out of the indie DIY manual. It's when they soften it up and lean toward Mazzy Star brooding they lose steam and it's easy to drift off. Blend Giant Drag with Charly Bliss and a dash of Juliana Hatfield and you have Ratboys' general vibe. A vibe that can be totally enjoyable within the right environment and with the right pacing.

Favorite Songs: Alien With a Mask On, Looks Too

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An Invitation For Musical Discourse

Posted by KB on 3/26/2020 to General Stuff
For awhile now I have been doing YKEEP's Reviews in Brief to offer my thoughts on releases, both new and older, but mostly newer. I normally post about albums I like, or that I feel need to be heard and given a chance. A means to offer up something a little different for a few. Most of my reviews are positive. Why trash and artist or bands' creativity just because I may not like it. I will occasionally list albums I think are subpar, but they are usually from artists I have historically liked, or respected, on some level. The 'younger' me would have said "that sucks and you are inferior by listening to it"; the 'older' me now says "I'm glad that brings you pleasure but I still think it sucks and this is why". There is truly no such thing as bad music. Only bad music to our individual ears.

So, in a long winded, roundabout way, I am looking for those of you opinionated music freaks to provide input on my thoughts- in a positive, fun way. A little noodling- sure, but no crass holier than thou bitching. No using the word stupid-head.

Hopefully a few of you took the time to read this and a few of you will join me with this discourse. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for new posts.

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from some of you soon.

Chime in now at YBLOG- Reviews in Brief.

Soccer Mommy- Color Theory (2020)

Posted by KB on 3/25/2020 to Reviews In Brief
This is the first Soccer Mommy release that completely grabbed me. Maybe it's the sadness that is betrayed by a light bounding backing track. Maybe it's the forlorn lyrics and melancholy vocals. Maybe it's the personal desperation that is delivered honestly. The common thread is the fact that this is brutal introspection and I believe we have all been there. Sophie Allison isn't playing these songs to sell to Gen Zs with faux pain in staged videos. She's truly feeling what she is singing and she is asking you to listen to her and take the journey with her. As noted, musically, with the lush arrangements, swirling guitars and drums front and center, you might miss the sadness but I think that is by design to serve as a mask. A mask you should take a peek under. Time I revisit their past discography again.

Favorite Songs: Bloodstream, Royal Screw Up, Crawling in My Skin

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Holy Fuck- Deleter (2020)

Posted by KB on 3/24/2020 to Reviews In Brief
The band name is probably something you might exclaim after listening to "Deleter", an album that meshes EDM, 80s rock, alternative DIY, psychedelia and sips and nips of jazz. Many bands have tried this amalgamation but most don't execute it half as well as HF. Each song has it's own genetic design and leaves one in anticipation as to what the next species may be. The opener Luxe slowly builds using all the aforementioned styles, Deleters a modern dance romp, Endless an early Tame Impala like psyche-mantra... you get the idea. Not every song will resonate with every listener, but if you disregard "Deleter" over one particular entry you are most likely missing out on the good of the whole. Give this a spin if you are looking for something unique and adventurous with good meat on its bones.

Favorite Songs: Deleters, Moment, Luxe, Near Mint

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Green Day- Father of All... (2020)

Posted by KB on 3/23/2020 to Reviews In Brief
This is a polarizing release. There is the faction that wanted a more serious album with acerbic social commentary and then there is the other side (moi included) who is quite enjoying the no frills, straightforward, dumb-fun "Father Of All" is. I personally thought "American Idiot" was brilliant and "21st Century Breakdown" was just a rehash of the AI and then the "Uno", "Dos" and "Tre" releases were self indulgently dull. So having the boys get elbow deep into the nitty-gritty was fine by me. Think Foxboro Hot Tubs with more cursing. Embrace the garage rock fun or go sit in the corner and come out when we are done.

Favorite Songs: Fire Ready Aim, Meet Me On the Roof, I Was a Teenage Teenager, Sugar Youth, Take the Money and Crawl

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Supersuckers- Play That Rock N Roll (2020)

Posted by KB on 3/20/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Sometimes an album's appeal is in it's simplicity. "Play That Rock N Roll" fits that mold by being unapologetically bottom-of-your-boot crude, loud and brash. The Supersuckers reach 11 and never let up from the second you place the needle to vinyl. The guitars crunch, the drums timpani grade boom and the vocals drip with American twang 'tude. PTRNR is pure testosterone, not that there aren't a few ladies who will bang heads to this, but my guess that this is mostly a sausage hang release. And, they do a dynamite version of Warren Zevon's A Certain Girl. We all need a little shit kickin' in our lives and the Supersuckers have released 2020's edition.

Favorite Songs: Unless you are looking for cuddle music, nothing will disappoint

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Gladie - Safe Sins (2020)

Posted by KB on 3/19/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Gladie is essentially 90's female fronted alt-rock. Augusta Koch (formally of Cayetana) is that front, and main song writer of existential and internal inspection indie songs. Her pleading warble straddles emphatic and whining but she always get your attention. The simple familiarity of the songs create earworms that rattle in your brain for days for their catchy-ness and/or in you trying to figure out what the familiarity is. Though they have a distinct sound, Gladie is pliable and has a freshness from song to song. I think live they would be similar to Luna where songs build tremendously. "Safe Sins" won't immediately knock your socks off. It will demand that you play it again and again and then it will knock your socks off.

Favorite Songs: A Place Far Different, Twenty Twenty, Paper Bags, Cosmic Joke

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Beach Bunny- Honeymoon (2020)

Posted by KB on 3/2/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Beach Bunny starts off sounding like the typical millenial, female voiced, singer songwriter fodder- for about 8 seconds- then they flex their pop-punk muscle. Sure they sing about the usual young angst about self doubt, love, jealousy and the possibility of being perpetually solo, but it's done with melodic interest and strong hooks. It's a sunny, optimistic melancholy where the music betrays the message and gives you hope that all will be perfectly fine. "Honeymoon" is what you should be spinning when you're feeling down. It will make everything perfectly fine.

Favorite Songs: Cuffing Season, Rearview, Colorblind, Dream Boy,Cloud 9

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