Category Archives: 4

Review: The Family Curse – White Medicine

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Label: Fainting Room Collective Released: October 2009 There’s no doubt that the Family Curse really like noise in general and the Butthole Surfers in particular. The opening track certainly makes no bones about it, but also shows that they don’t quite get it. It’s random and pointless and they miss that even the wild abandon of the Buttholes and the… Read more »

Review: Anarbor – Free Your Mind and The Bigger Lights – Fiction Fever

Label: Hopeless Records Released: March 10, 2009 Label: Doghouse Records Released: April 7, 2009 Thirty years ago, a subgenre of rock that had been building for a few years was just about ready to explode. AOR took the best elements of 70s rock, dummied it down, made it safe and sold millions of records whose broad appeal was based on… Read more »

Review: Mötley Crüe – Saints of Los Angeles

Label: Motley RecordsReleased: June 24, 2008 What should we expect from Mötley Crüe at this point? They’re 25 years past their prime and they certainly didn’t continue to release material worthy of their recent resurgence over the years. On the other hand, they did manage to bounce back once and make a decent album with 1989’s Dr Feelgood after a… Read more »

Review: Hit the Lights – Skip School, Start Fights

Label: Triple Crown Records Released: July 8, 2008 From the piano pop of the opening track, it’s clear that rock n roll isn’t high on the agenda for Hit the Lights. Somewhere in the last decade or so, pop punk and emo took a wrong turn and Skip School, Start Fights finds itself pretty far down that unfortunate detour. There’s… Read more »

Review: Switches – Lay Down the Law

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Label: Interscope Records Released: March 18, 2008 Lay Down the Law is a collection of songs that is perfectly good in the moment. Their catchy 80s power-pop (filtered through more recent times via the Strokes) is pleasant enough, but it can’t hold on to what it’s caught. Even after multiple listens, there isn’t a single melody here that sticks with… Read more »

Review: Bushwhack – s/t

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Label: self-released Released: 2007 These kids can play. There’s no doubt about that. They’re outstanding technicians and, at their age (all 18 and 19 years old), almost unparalleled. Beyond the technical though, they really struggle. Their sound eases its layers back and forth between airy and heavy, but neither conveys anything meaningful other than that they’ve practiced. Hints of life… Read more »

Review: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe – An Evening of Yes Music Plus

Label: MVD Entertainment Group Released: February 19, 2008 After a brief introductory piece, this live recording from the 1989 ABWH tour moves into solo medleys by Anderson, Howe and Wakeman. While these clearly demonstrate things we already know (Wakeman and Howe are top notch technicians and Anderson is likely the not-so-distant descendant of an elf), there is little of real… Read more »

Review: Lead Belly Sings for Children

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Label: Smithsonian Folkways Released: March 23, 1999 Lead Belly is widely considered one of the greatest influences on modern American music, yet I know few who actually listen to him. That doesn’t diminish his influence, but it does call into question whether he is directly relevant today or a generation or two removed. The follow-up question would then be, if… Read more »

Review: Ringo Starr – Liverpool 8

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Label: Capitol/EMI Released: January 15, 2008 Can Ringo Starr do anything without seeming like a goof? He was the comic relief for the Beatles and he’s continued in that role during his solo career, including his latest release, Liverpool 8. It’s a bit of a sentimental journey for Ringo it seems, but not one with a lot of depth. It… Read more »