Category Archives: 7

Review: Girl in a Coma – Both Before I Die

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Label: Blackheart Records Released: May 15, 2007 Being a female band on Blackheart Records, the expectation would be that Girl in a Coma would follow in Joan Jett’s footsteps. Unlike so many of Jett’s followers though, Girl in a Coma didn’t forget that attitude and hooks aren’t mutually exclusive. Besides, they’re a lot closer to Blondie’s edgey punkish pop than… Read more »

Review: Flatfoot 56 – Jungle of the Midwest Sea

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Label: Flicker Records Released: May 15, 2007 When a band merges punk and Irish folk, the first influence that comes to mind is the Pogues, but Shane McGowan and company were more a folk band with punk attitude. The real origin of the more punk-leaning mixture is the Stiff Little Fingers. While the bands today tend to wear their Irish… Read more »

Review: The Dark Romantics – Heartbreaker

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Label: Lujo Records Released: September 9, 2008 In the early 80s, Wall of Voodoo made some dark, moody and strangely captivating music out of a peculiar meeting of post-punk, synth pop and the roots of rock n roll. On Heartbreaker, the Dark Romantics find themselves at the same point where these influences flow together and they make music that is… Read more »

Review: The Treat – Phonography

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Label: Rockular Recordings Released: 2007 On Phonography, the Treat not only incorporate a lot of British rock styles from the late 60s and early 70s, but they manage to do it seamlessly and make it fresh. They draw on everything from the raw bluesiness of Led Zeppelin to the grandiose prog of Genesis. Starting off an album with as much… Read more »

Review: Play – s/t

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Label: self-released Released: November 18, 2008 Anyone who thinks the head is more important than the heart in rock n roll pretty much misses the point. It’s the reason that the MC5 were better than Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the Ramones were better than Steely Dan and the Replacements were better than Def Leppard. Sure, there are bands that give… Read more »

Review: Billy Joel – The Stranger (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Label: Sony Legacy Released: July 8, 2008 Billy Joel is a top-notch songwriter, but there’s always been something that I just didn’t like. Maybe it’s the showtune quality of many of his songs, maybe it’s that many are geared toward adults, maybe it’s because he often tells the stories of characters I just can’t bring myself to care about. Anyway… Read more »

Review: Annabel – Now That We’re Alive

Label: self-released Released: Summer 2008 My wife is a great cook. When she makes something, it tastes great, but it also looks great. She tells me that the appearance is important, that the appearance shows that she cares about what she’s prepared for us to eat. I may never have thought of that had she not brought it to my… Read more »

Review: New Found Glory – Tip of the Iceberg / International Superheroes of Hardcore – Takin’ It Ova

Label: Bridge Nine Released: April 29, 2008 This release finds the latest EP from pop-punks New Found Glory and a full-length from NFG side-project International Superheroes of Hardcore. Without a doubt, NFG are a band that could use a fresh start and a return to writing meaningful songs rather than the sap that made up their major label years. ISHC… Read more »

Review: Protest the Hero – Fortress

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Label: Vagrant Records Released: February 11, 2008 There is a musical gray area that exists between good bands that live within their limitations and great bands that have no limitations. Bands in that gray area are clearly very, very good and deserve credit for their willingness to push the envelope of their sound. At the same time, they get dinged… Read more »

Review: War of Ages – Arise & Conquer

Label: Facedown Records Released: July 22, 2008 Over the past decade or so, the old notion that Christian rock was just a watered-down attempt to infiltrate youth culture has been dispelled by a new breed of Christian band. Not one that’s trying to evangelize by tapping into the latest thing, but one who’s intensity is the very expression of their… Read more »