Widowspeak- Plum (2020)

Posted by KB on 9/28/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Widowspeak's vibe is simply cool. A laid back groove, subdued and aloof vocals reminiscent of Mazzy Star and subtle build that is straight out of the Luna playbook. The musicianship is spot on which is required to make this work and remain interesting. You feel Widowspeak meld and grow into each song and you'll feel yourself sway as the songs' energy levels increase. This is impossible if a group is not completely cued in. The songs are crafted around realistic thoughts that are refreshingly a glass half full and supportive. "Plum" is a nice glass of wine while sitting with headphones on.

Favorite Songs: Plum, The Good Ones, Money, Even True Love


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Naked Giants- The Shadow (2020)

Posted by KB on 9/17/2020 to Reviews In Brief
Occasionally there is a release that confounds you, not necessarily in a bad way. Once you you think you have it figured out the music slips into a different direction. Naked Giants' "The Shadow" accomplishes this by being ever so slightly schizophrenic. At one point they resemble the punk of The Briefs to the minimalist crunch of Royal Blood or White Stripes to the eccentricities of the pop side of Purling Hiss. Naked Giants can thrash and wail into a cacophony of bliss while sprinkling an empathetic softer side (Turning Blue, The Ripper). The guitar work is inventive, the bass lines walk and the drumming is explosive. Whether "The Shadow" rears its metal, rock, punk- or whatever- head, it is one time schizophrenia should not be feared but instead be nourished.

Favorite Songs: I dare you to find a song you would skip


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The Lawrence Arms- Skeleton Coast (2020)

Posted by KB on 9/2/2020 to Reviews In Brief
90's thrashy rock, edging on punk is the first thoughts that come to mind when listening to "Skeleton Coast". To be more specific The Lawrence Arms resemble the Goo Goo Dolls way before Iris, when they were a straight up punk rock band. Lawrence Arms has the motorboat drums, rapid power chords, the screechy vocals for the speed bangers and the fluid vocals for the melodic, more accessible songs. Not that the accessible ones are any less energetic just less abrasive and honestly this can get to be too much after awhile if you are not in that mosh pit mood. Anyone nostalgic for some whip fast rocking will enjoy these 14 to the point songs. For those who are lean towards Iris, "Skeleton Coast" will probably provide you a blazing headache.

Favorite Songs: Belly of the Whale, Lose Control


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The Beths- Jump Rope Gazers (2020)

Posted by KB on 9/1/2020 to Reviews In Brief
The Beths sophomore effort, "Jump Rope Gazers" follows closely to their debut "Future Me Hates Me" with their debut being a bit rawer and muscular. JRG still showcases excellent songwriting with thumping melodies and hooks abound with the biggest difference being a bit more polish and a dabbling into slower tempos, dare I say, ballad territory (You Are a Beam of Light). Following up a strong, popular pop-punk rock release is difficult. If a band sticks to the original formula they could be seen as a one lane highway. If they venture too far they could be dismissed. I feel JRG tweaks the recipe just enough to show that they are still a rock band but with new ideas. The third release will the telltale and I'm confident it will be a pretty good tale.

Favorite Songs: Acrid, I'm Not Getting Excited, Do You Want Me Now


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