Sammy Brue- Crash Test Kid (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/28/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Sammy Brue has a unique and distinct voice. Part nasally Dylan and part Tallest Man on Earth but after the initial jolt of hearing him, his voice becomes quite welcoming. Stylistically he also resembles mid-60's Dylan as well with a bluesy folk with foot stompin' back woods thump while throwing in masterful pop-rock. On "Crash Test Kid" Brue sounds older in the tooth than his 20 years. Articulate and incisive his message is delivered without snotty whining and offers optimism with all the crazy things that go on- personally and in and the world. Oh, and his songwriting is better than most 20 years older than he. Sadly most of his age won't find or hear CTK because it will never be the hot Spotify list of regurgitated pseudo EDM pop. In any case, any of you who read this please give this a spin. Most of you won't hate it.

Favorite Songs: Teenage Mayhem, Megawatt, Fishfoot, Gravity, Die Before You Live, Crash Test Kid (basically whole album folks)

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Courtney Marie Andrews- Old Flowers (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/24/2020 to Reviews In Brief
There are voices that are so striking and clean that they amicably force you to listen. Andrews has that voice which is quite similar to Jenny Lewis'. "Old Flowers" is a collection of songs that would be the consummate background for an afternoon of doing solo activities; gardening, chores, cooking or a hobby. It's contemplative and pensive and allows you to mentally drift off while you are actually comprehending her songs. The guitar, piano and percussion are intricately arranged to fit her delivery and message. The more stark songs are I think resonate strongest. "Old Flowers" can be considered slow, and even if you like it, there will be times when it just won't cut it. But there will be times that it will be what you reach for during some decompressing me-time.

Favorite Songs: Burlap String, Guilty, If I Told You, Together Or Alone, Old Flowers, How You Get Hurt

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Fire In the Radio- Moments (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/20/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Fire In the Radio's "Monuments" is a full, big guitar, booming drum rock album. Arena big. They are listed as a punk band but I wouldn't place them in that category. I would compare FITR to The Menzingers with a glaze of Psychedelic Furs. The drumming is straight out the 80's, every nook is filled with power chords and the delivery deserves a large stage for them to run rampant. Even on the first listen the songs sound familiar and its easy to get hooked on their chorus driven formula. This is my entry into Philly's FITR, "Monuments" being their third release, and I will be most definitely catching up the first two.

Favorite Songs: I Said, Ex-SF, Sing Sang Sung, Let's Get To the Start.


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Terror Reid- Hot Vodka (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/19/2020 to Reviews In Brief
When comes to rap I am quite particular. I latch onto a good cadence with rhyming that can be fun but makes sense. And the beat is crucial. Terror Reid (EDM's Getter rap persona), on "Hot Vodka" has that crucial beat. It's old school heavy with understandable elocution. Sure there are some of the less attractive topic areas gleamed but the boasting feels authentic- if that is a thing- and the more attractive topic areas are interestingly offered. "Hot Vodka" is infectious and uses everything from street beats to lounge music as foundations for their pounded out vocals. Non rap fans may steer clear but this is fine for those of us who aren't connoisseurs but like to dabble.

Favorite Songs: When It's All Gone, Krylon, Kill the Rich

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Bad Moves- Untenable (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/12/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Bad Moves is a part of the new wave of punky indie pop rock that gloriously is infiltrating the alt scene. "Untenable" might be a self defamation slight to themselves but I will say that their songs are definitely tenable. While bass driven, their songs are a hook crammed rush that's both danc-eable and mosh-able, drenched with sweaty energy. They sing-chant about the life of being a twenty something with vocals that interchange and weave in and out of each other. You will sing along whether you know the lyrics or not. In the running for blast of the year.

Favorite Songs: Party With Kids Who Wanna Party, Working For Free, Fog Is a Funny Thing, Local Radio, Cape Henlopen


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BDRMM- Bedroom (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/11/2020 to Reviews In Brief
The band with a trick spelling of their self title album delivers subdued, dreamy alt-rock songs that are dynamic while being easy on the ear. You could play "Bedroom" in the forefront of a gathering or in the background for ambience. BDRMM uses a lot of echo and reverb that creates layers adding to their dream-pop, bordering shoe-gaze, aura. BDRMM's sound blends the cool of Ambulance with the ramp up of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. And they take their songs in both directions; some start easy and build into a catharsis while others will build to only drift softly back to Earth with some of the hushed tones lingering a little too long. Still a good solid debut release from these UK lads.

Favorite Songs: Gush, Happy, If...


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Sports Team- Deep Down Happy (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/10/2020 to Reviews In Brief
"Deep Down Happy" is a tight, energetic, Brit-pop-punk outfit that almost sounds like a feral David Bowie meets Tim Curry, edgier Blur and a crunchier Buzzcocks were sauteed together. The delivery is sassy but inviting with hooks that make it dance-able and keep it out of being considered pure punk attitude. Their songs are well structured and lyrically snotty with wink-wink. Sports Team isn't a bar band. They sound like they need to be, and want to be seen. I would envision them in a small rock club with cool vibe and lots of spotlights and big amp stacks. "Deep Down Happy" is simply a good, noisy, a tad impudent and downright fun.

Favorite Songs: Camel Crew, The Races, Going Soft, Here's the Thing

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Gum Country- Somewhere (2020)

Posted by KB on 8/9/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Trippy, indie rock that would have nestled nicely in the college radio format of years gone by. To some of us it is retro, requiring a quick look up to ensure that it is truly a new release. The dead give away is that the production is much better than similar bands back in late 80s and 90s. The duo Gum Country employs laid back, echo-layered vocals, electro high-trebled drums, amplified distorted guitars and just enough synths for quirkiness. Think of an edgier version of the Cocteau Twins. Their songs are simple but they do expand and become something different by the end, as in There's A Crumb that goes from a monotone melody to a full out pop jam. "Somewhere" is one of those albums that become a go to and you don't realize you are placing that responsibility on it.

Favorite Songs: Somewhere, There's A Crumb, Pills, Brain Song, Whoa Oh


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