Sleeper- The Modern Age (2019)

Posted by KB on 5/29/2019 to Reviews In Brief
I'll be honest, I didn't realize that this band had some success in the mid-90s taking a hiatus from 1998 until 2017. It doesn't take away from my thoughts on "The Modern Age", but it does redefine their sound from cool retro to authentic alt-rock. A mix tape (dating myself) could easily have Sleeper blended with Elastica, Veruca Salt and Lush, which would actually be a pretty damn good tape. TMA is pop guitar driven with mini synth/keyboard flourishes and solid vocals that are breathy but confident. Their songs have good bones, while a bit formulaic, they aren't mundane being catchy enough to hold a listener's interest. For those of you who were active at the time, this would have easily been a part of the original alt-rock scene, that has now become my kids' classic rock. It's nice to hear a band that took so much time off to do other activities get back together and appear to not miss a beat. I predict festival gigs for them in the future....

Favorite Songs: Paradise Waiting, The Sun Also Rises, The Modern Age, More That I Do

modern age

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Sleeper- The Modern Age

Martha- Love Keeps Kicking (2019)

Posted by KB on 5/15/2019 to Opinions & Thoughts
There are never any real surprises from north England's Martha. There is always high energy melodic punk-pop with upper range, bordering yelping, vocals about relationships and Gen Y/Z life problems. But they do it so well. Some bands sound stale when they stick to a formula and luckily Martha is not one of them. "Loves Keeps Kicking" clocks in at 38 minutes packing 11 frenetic songs with strong hooks and build-ups so there is little time to lose interest, but who could. If there is any deviation from the past it is that there appears to more guitar solo parts- other than that it is another banging solid release from Martha.

Favorite Songs: Into This, Mini Was A Preteen Arsonist Love Keeps Kicking

love keeps kicking

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Hayes Carll- What It Is (2019)

Posted by KB on 5/13/2019 to Reviews In Brief
"What It Is" is Carll's strongest release since KMAG YOYO, but since he takes his time between releases, that means only one requires skipping. WII is diverse and challenges his country folk classification. Yes there are shit-kickers (Times Like These) and Texas twang (If I May Be So Bold) along with some R&B (Things You Don't Want To Know) and straight on rockers (Beautiful Thing). Which mirrors the layout of KMAG. Carll has an easy to listen ever so slight drawl and is at his best when he's cleverly rattling off the cuff about day to day situations. And personally, I prefer his country thumpers, that to me, sound the most genuine but all of WII is honest and not faux country.

Favorite Songs: Times Like These, Beautiful Thing, What It Is

what it is

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Music Trend Gripes (Part 1)

Posted by KB on 5/8/2019 to Opinions & Thoughts
Lately there have been 'trends' eating at me in regards to the music industry. From recording, managing, marketing and the business that is the music industry. These 'trends' may or may not strike a nerve with anyone else but to me they are worth considering and in no way comprehensive. My Part 1 deals with the actual recording, engineering, mixing ...etc of an album. Note: not all bands and artists do the below but I've notice that these are poking their heads out more frequently. Curious if any other agree or disagree or have other gripes (Part 2 to come)... click read more below to continue

Nick Waterhouse- S/T (2019)

Posted by KB on 5/1/2019 to Reviews In Brief
Mr. Waterhouse has a sound that is way beyond his years. His fourth self titled release of retro-hip, early 60's rhythm and blues is just as strong as his 2012 debut "Times All Gone" without feeling passe or contrived. The sound is tight, sax punchy, the vocals cool, guitar bright, and mix straight out of the era he so loves. The songs lope, shuffle and shake just like you are moving while listening driven by the front loaded snare drum. Waterhouse's creates this past snap shot of sound with it feeling fresh and inventive. Get this. Put it on. Pump in some smoke, open a good bourbon, turn down the lights and groove.

Favorite Songs: By Heart, I Feel An Urge Coming On, Black Glass, Man Leaves Town, El Viv

nick waterhouse

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