Category Archives: 9

Review: Marah – Angels of Destruction!

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Label: Yep Roc Records Released: January 8, 2008 I usually listen to music on the cheap stereo in my little Toyota. But as I’ve listened to Angels of Destruction! over the past few months, I’ve encountered a problem that I’ve never, ever had before. The sound is just too big. In my book, big sound is a good thing. I… Read more »

Review: The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath

Label: Universal Records Released: January 29, 2008 The Mars Volta really scaled things back for this one. Gone are the super-long songs (the longest here is comparatively radio-friendly at nine and a half minutes). All sarcasm aside, they run completely wild with music that’s almost impossible to follow, yet just as impossible to ignore. On previous efforts, their bold explorations… Read more »

Review: Avett Brothers – Emotionalism

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Label: Ramseur Records Released: March 15, 2007 Americana’s return to the distant roots of rock music can be both a strength and a limitation. The genre often taps into the stripped down honesty of early music, but is also limited in its influences. The Avett Brothers, however, capture the genre’s strengths without being held to its limitations. The band, Scott… Read more »

Review: Thrice – The Alchemy Index Vols I & II: Fire & Water

Label: Vagrant Records Released: October 16, 2007 Some bands seem to have potential, but early on, it’s unclear whether they’ll fulfill that. When I first heard Thrice open for Hot Water Music at the 9:30 Club back in 2002, that’s exactly the way I felt about them. The live show was dynamic and energetic, but the two studio albums were… Read more »

Review: De Novo Dahl – Shout

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Label: Roadrunner Records Released: 2007 I’m gonna cut to the chase here. “Shout” is the biggest slice of musical joy I’ve heard since U2 released “Beautiful Day” seven years ago. The song bursts with unadulterated happiness. It’s hooks and harmonies grab you right from the start. A tide of pop beauty rolls in on driving rhythms, infectious bass lines and… Read more »

DVD: U2 – Popmart: Live from Mexico City

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Label: Island Records Released: September 18, 2007 Popmart finds U2 at their most bloated. The set is absolutely huge and probably has enough lights to illuminate a mid-size town. The grand entrance with the band entering as a boxing entourage heading to the ring of a championship bout (with Bono as the fighter) all set to the tune of M’s… Read more »

DVD: Ramones – It’s Alive 1974-1996

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Label: Rhino Released: October 2, 2007 I have but one complaint about this DVD although I have no reasonable solution to remedy it: I wish the DVD was made up of complete concerts rather than songs culled from various shows over the years. Of course the sacrifice would be the variety of shows that a career overview should cover, so… Read more »

Review: Building the State – Faces in the Architecture

Label: Amnot Records Released: October 2, 2007 Both indie and math rock can easily degenerate into dispassion on their own. Combining the two should increase that possibility exponentially, making Building the State’s latest EP all the more remarkable. Ringing guitars, complex bass lines, precision drumming, indie rock vocals and ambient sound make up layer upon layer of distinct, yet intertwined… Read more »

Review: Sly and the Family Stone – Greatest Hits

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Label: Epic/Legacy Released: 1970 (reissued August 28, 2007) Released in 1970 to fill the gap between Stand! and There’s a Riot Goin’ On, Sly and the Family Stone’s Greatest Hits compiles many of the top tracks from the band’s early years. While every song on this album is also contained on the later Anthology release along with selections from their… Read more »