Category Archives: alternative

Nirvana – Nevermind: Is It a Great Album?

Album cover for Nirvana "Nevermind"

We were restless. We were young and passionate and starving for great music, music with an edge, music that expressed the turmoil of how we felt. It was 1991 and it was a difficult time to love rock. Hard rock was dominated by bands like Warrant and Extreme and Tesla, bands who could sell out arenas but were devoid of… Read more »

Loney Dear – Loney Dear

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Album cover for "Loney Dear"

I am rooted in songs filled with drive and urgency and yearning. I stray into other worlds—worlds filled with opera singers and dub basslines and experimental noises—but inevitably I hear an album filled with driving rhythms and urgent melodies and yearning lyrics, and I am drawn in and taken back to my roots. Loney Dear’s songs have drawn me in… Read more »

Low – “Days Like These”

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Low’s first release from their upcoming Hey What, due out in September, is simple and sparse, relying mostly on subtlety to convey its voice. The a capella opening descends at the end of each line with chorus effect that sounds as much like organ as a human voice, yet remains very organic. Around the minute mark, the chorus of voice… Read more »

Review: Secret Space – Secret Space EP

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Label: Equal Vision Released: September 25, 2015 Just when I thought I had the review for this EP done, I woke up with one of their songs in my head (“Pit of My Stomach”). To be honest, I don’t necessarily think that it’s a good thing, because sometimes you also get some songs that you didn’t like stuck all day… Read more »

Review: Big Audio Dynamite – This Is Big Audio Dynamite (Legacy Edition)

Released: April 27, 2010 Label: Legacy/Sony The downside of a “deluxe” re-issue of an album is that it forces the hand of completists, pushing the purchase of yet another version of an album they already likely have on more than one format. The upside is that it offers more bang for the buck of first time buyer and often puts… Read more »

Review: Girl in a Coma – Trio BC

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Label: Blackheart Records Released: June 2, 2009 Coming two years after their promising debut, Trio BC shows a young band that has done some significant maturing as musicians. The album maintains their early punkish edge, but expands the sound well beyond that. Nina Diaz elevates herself to a rough-around-the-edges Patsy Cline, particularly on the yearning, tender melancholy of “El Monte.”… Read more »

Review: Saint Bernadette – Word to the Lourdes

Label: Exotic Records Released: April 14, 2009 The band name and album title here present a question. Is this band serious or tongue-in-cheek? After all, they’ve named themselves after the saint whose visions of the Blessed Mother continue to provide awe and inspiration to the faithful 150 years later. While their name could clearly be taken seriously, the title’s less-than-reverent… Read more »

Review: Shirock – Everything Burns

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Label: self-released Released: February 3, 2009 Everything Burns kicks off as a fairly typical post-emo mainstream rock album. There are bits of alt rock and emo tidied up in a nice, easily digestible package and yet…there’s something else, something deeper going on with this record. Underneath what seems at first to be a solid, but uneventful set of songs, there’s… Read more »

DVD: Smashing Pumpkins – If All Goes Wrong

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Label: Coming Home Media Released: November 11, 2008 In June of 2007, the reunited Smashing Pumpkins (or Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlain and some new members) decided to forgo a US tour and instead do two residencies, one in Asheville, NC and the other at the vaunted Fillmore in San Francisco. This was, as Jimmy Chamberlain said in the documentary portion… Read more »

Review: Lindsey Buckingham – Gift of Screws

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Label: Reprise Records Released: September 16, 2008 A few years back, a friend and I made our list of the top 20 rock guitarists. At the time, I thought it was as close to perfect as such a list could be. It was however, deeply flawed and Gift of Screws reminds me why: Lindsey Buckingham wasn’t on it. I’m not… Read more »