Nude Party- Nude Party (2018)

Posted by KB on 7/20/2018 to Reviews In Brief
It appears that we in the midst of a retro renaissance and the Nude Party are right in the thick of it. Nude Party meander throughout the 60's musical alt-culture. At once sounding like the Velvet Underground, but with tighter musicians, to rough strewn garage jam to psychedelia freak outs to Dylanesque stream of conscious rockabilly. There is even some country rock sing-a-long chuggers. All with funky, minimalist farfisa organ riffs, slight echo chamber and twist (or watusi) worthy grooves. Even their name screams 60s (think Hair). Totally fun, but not listen to once fun. Keep this one nearby for the remainder of the summer. Easily one of the best "sunny day, hanging out on the patio while throwing back a few" releases in quite some time.

Favorite Songs: Chevrolet Van, Live Like Me, Gringo Che, Water On Mars, Feels Alright

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever- Hope Downs (2018)

Posted by KB on 7/18/2018 to Reviews In Brief
Technically this is their first LP, after releasing 2 EPs, but in my opinion it's essentially their third release. Actually, "Hope Downs" could be their first, second or third release. Little separates the three from each other. The up tempo 80's beat, reverb jangly guitars, fast spoken lyrics about daily life in Australia, chorus hooks supported by roaming riffs in airy songs that increase in energy culminating in rousing guitar solos. Is it a problem? Not really because RBCF are quite good within this formula. The drawback is that you feel like you you've heard this one before. Nothing juts out as a wow moment. But upon multiple listens of this RBCF incarnation their formula still grows on you. If this is your first foray in RBCF, go back and get the other two, if you have the other two just get this one. Remember they are interchangeable.

Favorite Songs: Talking Straight, Mainland, Bellarine, Exclusive Grave

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Pinegrove- Cardinal (2016)

Posted by KB on 7/5/2018 to Reviews In Brief
A couple of years ago "Cardinal" came out and basically landed on every best of list. It was in my consideration too but fell just short. Having just purchased the vinyl, I revisited the album and found it's wistful, back porch delivery endearing and refreshing. It slides in and out of alt-country, Americana, alt-folk with moments of rock. The songs build around their simple hooks and faraway drums with banjo hints. Evan Stephens Hall (main architect) sings his songs as if they were music standards with a loose-who-cares-if-I-crack confidence. Though from 2016 it is worth your effort to find. Best listened and dusk thinking about old and new friends.

Favorite Songs: Old Friends, Aphasia, Waveform, Size of the Moon, New Friends

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Ruen Brothers- All My Shades of Blues (2018)

Posted by KB on 7/2/2018 to Reviews In Brief
It's 1969 and you got your favorite AM station blaring and you're listening to the latest hit by the Ruen Brothers, that duo filling the K-Tel compilations every year.... If it was 1969 this wouldn't be too out there except the Ruen's weren't born yet. "All My Shades of Blues" is the best AM pop rock released in 2018, maybe in the 21st century. The songs are big, poppy, dramatic, melodic, catchy and so deliciously retro. The lyrics and the arrangements are perfectly simple, and you just wait for the Roy Orbison high notes to crackle and fail- but they never do. The Ruens utilize every late 60's and early 70's summer pop hook trick without it feeling retreaded. This is a hard release not to like, if not love. Get this. Play it. Sing along.

Favorite Songs: Walk Like a Man, All My Shades of Blue, Finer Things, Motor City, Aces

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