Reviews: EP and Covers Edition

Here’s a twist, howzabout some EP’s to whet your palette, and then an onslaught of incredible covers? How does that hit ya, grandpa?????

Ash
Little Infinity

Always good to hear new music by Ash, even if it is covers! They bring their unique sound to some classic songs, some familiar, others not as much. It is a fun departure and worth the price of admission!


The Mavericks
Suited Up and Ready EP

Ah yes, the Mavericks are back, and as good as ever. Their signature sound is all present here, and this preview of the new album bodes very well for that. I for one am very excited to hear that later this year!


Bobgoblin
Love Lost For Blood Lust (Part I)

Another great return! I thought Bobgoblin was all but gone, leaving the path open for Adventures of Jet to take over, but it turns our Bobgoblin was bubbling along all the while, lying in wait for the attack! And what an attack, the first of a couple EP’s, this had me remembering back to when I first heard about these crazy kids!


The 88
Actors

The 88 have been kind of staying under the radar, but always deliver fantastic music. It is imaginative, engaging and powerful music. This EP highlights the best of what they do, driving rhythms, telling stories, and singing in that weird but wonderful way. Keep it up!


Michael Carpenter
S.O.O.P. #5 – Songs of Other People

More great covers from Michael Carpenter and friends. Each track features another great singer from all over the world. This international affair makes for a varied and fun album. Gotta love the Hollies cover, and really any of them are great songs you will want to play again and again.

Does it really take that long? A primer for beginners.

Hi. I’ve got a couple of things to say to you right now in this very moment of which we are speaking. It takes a hundred years for me to say one word so get ready to wait. Alright, here goes … … … … … … …

Beach Boys
That’s Why God Made the Radio

While I didn’t absolutely love this album, it was a lot better than it might have been. Essentially, it falls in right alongside the recent Brian solo work, only with the addition of the other surviving Beach Boys singing harmonies. It is worth checking out for completists, but certainly not required listening.


Ryan Darton
I Am A Moth

Very good stuff for an indie artist. Well produced and has a distinct style. He has a good vocal delivery and performs the songs well. Ultimately it doesn’t really offer much as far as song structure, but a good listen for a rainy day.


Motion City Soundtrack
Go

The always solid Motion City Soundtrack delivers another fast paced, engaging album. Though nothing really stands out on first listen.


The dB’s
Falling off the Sky

Wow, this is fantastic! They got back together and sound as good if not better than ever before. This one is going straight to the top of my charts!


The Sheila Divine
The Things That Once Were

This band is alright for the most part. I have liked their previous albums, but this one didn’t really do much for me.

An explosion of awesome – music reviews the old-fashioned way

Here’s some incredible new music for you to read about and check out on all the best sites that sell music and junk!!

The High Water Marks
Pretending To Be Loud
The album title pretty much sums up this band, which is a splinter off of the Apples In Stereo, without all the catchiness, while good indie rock, it lacks a certain oomph that would make it wonderful. But it’s FREE! at http://thehighwatermarks.bandcamp.com/


Brandi Carlile
Bear Creek
She has a great voice, but this album is missing some of the powerful songs I am used to. It seems to be a more contented Brandi Carlile, which is all goodness, but I don’t hear the passion and drive that makes her older records strike a chord for me.


Kelly Hogan
I Like to Keep Myself in Pain
I liked this album a lot, Kelly has that unique style and point of view that is all her own, and engages the listener. I loved the song Sleeper Awake a bunch!


Rhett Miller
The Dreamer
Rhett’s previous solo outings were very polished poppy alternatives to the Old 97’s. This album takes off much of the polish for a more almost lo-fi sound. It is very interesting to see this change in style, but I’m not sure yet if it is a successful transition.


Air Traffic Controller
NORDO
The long awaited second album by Air Traffic Controller is here, and really great. I love this band’s style, it is very unique, and yet poppy and familiar. Check out “The Work” a great rollicking number that gets you moving!

Review: “Spin a little gold” by Budokan

When this album dropped on the doormat for review I saw the opening track of ‘Queen’s English’ and my mind told me it was as label compilation featuring Mark Bacino’s last album but then I noticed the apostrophe.  Turns out they’re a band from Canada.  I assume their name is a nod to the venue of  the great Cheap Trick album but I would assume so as their music has a similar feel (and of course that can only be a good thing).

The opening track doesn’t open the door with a knock but with a boot.  I love to travel and after a day on the road if I pull into a town I don’t know then this is the kind of music I want to be playing as I enter.  It’s high energy with enough mix of raucous, crunchy guitars and melody.

Right, kick of your boots, get the beers in because the band is coming on.

You can download a copy over a their BandCamp page.

Review: “Senator!” by Sam Winch

A good many years ago I was taking a holiday in New York and was shuffling through albums in a basement somewhere in the East Village and came across an album by a Sam Winch.  I didn’t get a chance to listen until a few months after I got back to the UK.  Man I played the arse out of that album.  Just really loved it.  I Googled the name and there really wasn’t anything about the artist.  He became this mythical figure in my head.  I’d imagine walking  into a smoke filled, dive of a bar and in the corner would be Sam Winch.  A Tom Waits figure attracting the patrons to his music and playing to all around him for drinks and the chance of hearing a new tall tale.

So, cut to earlier this year and I heard he was making a new album and enquired of a friend of his (via Facebook) as to how I could get a copy.  Yesterday a copy duly arrived and i’ve been playing it all morning.  The album is a thing of beauty with a great and TWO booklets.  One containing great illustrations and fragments of lyrics and another containing a full set of lyrics and details of the musicians.

The second album is very much in the same vein as the first and brings to mind a minstrel roaming from town to town leaving behind puzzled residents who speak in hushed tones of the man who came to play.

I don’t want to attempt to pigeon-hole the album by comparing it to something else.  The new album is called “Senator! ” and I thoroughly recommend you go grab a copy and decide for yourself.

I never did find out any more information on Sam Winch.  Perhaps it’s an individual or perhaps it’s a band name.  But you do you know what?  I like it that way.  It’s nice to have a mystery.

The Anti-Puff Piece

Hey people. Here are some reviews… I really hope they aren’t too harsh. Sometimes I can get a tad judgmental, I just want everybody to be the best they can be! Anyway, have a great time listening to music no matter what!

Winterpills – All My Lovely Goners – I really liked the last EP by this band, but I think I need this band in smaller doses. While the songs are quite beautiful and haunting, they are a bit too stark and a bit morose.


Edward Guglielmino & The Show – Sunshine State – I like basically one song by this dude. This album offers nothing much better.


The Walkmen – Heaven – this band always sounds pretty much the same. I commend them for finding a formula and sticking with it, but I’m not sure I can stand another album of rhythmic songs sung disinterestedly.


Sara Bareilles – Once Upon Another Time – I’m not really familiar with Sara Bareilles apart from the love song, but this was produced by Ben Folds, so I checked it out. The only stamp from Folds is left on a break up song with lots of swearing (who knew Ben Folds could do that??), otherwise pretty bland piano music.


Jon McLaughlin – Promising Promises – Pretty standard major label singer-songwriter stuff. Some good catchy songs, and well produced, but I don’t really feel any major artistic stamp or ownership.

It’s like this, see, music reviews, got it?

Good day my fellow music fans. Wanna hear about some albums I listened to? Well, you’re in luck, I have 5 fresh new reviews to read. Good luck you sillies!

James Iha – Look To The Sky – I’m no Smashing Pumpkins fan, but I do like James Iha, mostly through his association with Adam Schlesinger. This record is a bit darker than his first, but is pretty good. James’ light vocal fits well with the music, and has a good sound.


Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts – I have like Norah Jones a little over the years, but when I heard Danger Mouse produced this I had to check it out, since I loved Broken Bells so much. This follows in very much the same vein as that, and Norah’s vocals fit in nicely, but it feels kind of forced in parts, and I’m not sure we’re getting everything Norah has to offer, or if she even has anything to offer.


Soundtrack of our Lives – Throw It To The Universe – While TSOOL have a bunch of good songs to their name, they are also saddled with tons of just OK songs. I have grown tired of their endless records, I think they would benefit from an editor, but keep it up anyway dudes.


Spinto Band – Shy Pursuit – I like the Spinto Band because they deliver fun, light songs, in a good way. I like this album a lot, very engaging and unique.


Wiretree – Make Up – A bit rockier than their other albums, but highlights this band’s ability to make good, rocking music, that is smart and catchy. It is a pretty good album.

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