Reviews

Various Artists | The Classic Christmas Albums: Pop & Hard Rock (Legacy)

Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 23 November 2014 18:37

cd classic-xmas-pop“Carol of the Bells” is my favorite classic Christmas song, so although I have multiple renditions of it, adding another is a pleasure.

 

Sonny Vincent and the Spite | Spiteful (Ultramafic)

Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:11

cd sonny-vincentVincent’s announcement is simple: This ain’t history; this is rock and fucking roll.

   

Various Artists | Christmas at Downton Abbey (Warner Bros.)

Written by Jennifer Manjarez Sunday, 23 November 2014 13:55

cd downtown-abbeyOne could easily envision any one of these songs as the backdrop to the forthcoming Christmas episode.

 

Tears for Fears | Songs from the Big Chair Deluxe Edition (Island)

Written by Jim Ousley Sunday, 23 November 2014 13:52

cd tears-for-fearsThe band’s sophomore effort succeeded in replacing “me” with “us,” putting the listener into the world instead of orbiting outside of it.

   

Chris Brown | X (RCA)

Written by Ashley White Sunday, 23 November 2014 13:48

cd chris-brownBrown’s life to this point seems engulfed in the superficial and uncertainty of the twenties.

 

Xerxes | Collision Blonde (No Sleep)

Written by Marc Farr Sunday, 23 November 2014 13:44

cd xersesIt would be prudent for the band to define and hone in on its true sound, because if this is it, it leaves much to be desired.

   

Jason Derulo | Talk Dirty (Warner Bros.)

Written by Ashley White Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:54

talkdirtyderuloDerulo is one of those artists who is able to make music for everyone, using every genre, from hip-hop to pop and R&B.

 

The Funeral Portrait | For the Dearly Departed (Revival)

Written by Marc Farr Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:51

forthedearlydepartedWith everything from acoustic guitars to backing strings, The Funeral Portrait may just carve themselves a niche in the metal community.

   

Dark Blue | Pure Reality (Jade Tree)

Written by Marc Farr Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:40

darkblueThis is not a bad album; however, the overall sound of the album is schizophrenic and all over the map.

 

We Were Promised Jetpacks | Unravelling (Fatcat)

Written by Mike Koehler Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:08

unravellingThis is a wonderful album that further expands on WWPJ’s sound of guitar swells and pop hooks.

   

Marianne Faithfull | Give My Love to London (Dramatico/Naïve)

Written by Marc Farr Monday, 29 September 2014 21:38

live FaithfullVocally, Faithfull has aged like a fine wine.

 

Girl Talk | Broken Ankles EP (s/r)

Written by Bruce Matlock Monday, 29 September 2014 16:26

cd John-MellencampIn short bursts, you might go between hearing pieces and bits of Jimmy Eat World, Ray Charles, and the Ying Yang Twins.

   

John Mellencamp | Plain Spoken (MCA)

Written by Marc Farr Monday, 22 September 2014 18:31

cd John-MellencampThese songs bear a sound that lacks the harder, pop-oriented edge of past releases.

 

Night Club | Black Leather Heart (Gato Blanco)

Written by Marc Farr Monday, 22 September 2014 18:30

cd Night-ClubLusciously produced and mixed, Black Leather Heart is a nice trip down electronic memory lane.

   

Lenny Kravitz | Strut (Roxie/Kobalt Label)

Written by Marc Farr Monday, 22 September 2014 18:28

cd Lenny-KravitzWith rock, pop, neo-soul, psychedelia, and hard rock, Strut shines like a lighthouse through a foggy night.

 

Melted Toys | Melted Toys (Underwater Peoples)

Written by Alex Wilking Monday, 22 September 2014 12:17

Melted-Toys 75The instrumentation was what kept me coming back, but the vocals are going to turn away a lot of new listeners.

   

Gulp | Season Sun (Sonic Cathedral)

Written by Alex Wilking Monday, 22 September 2014 11:57

Gulp 75

I mean it when I say the bass is loud and fuzzy.

 

Young Rising Sons | s/t (Dirty Canvas/Interscope)

Written by Laura Hamlett Friday, 19 September 2014 12:42

cd youngrisingsonsYou can’t listen to Young Rising Sons and not feel happy; it’s impossible.

   

Sixx:A.M. | Modern Vintage (Eleven Seven)

Written by Marc Farr Wednesday, 10 September 2014 15:59

SixxAMNo less than stellar, this disc rages with emotion from the opening chords.

 

Sebadoh | Defend Yourself (Joyful Noise)

Written by Marc Farr Wednesday, 10 September 2014 15:27

Sebadoh 75Good music from a band that may still hit their stride...if they stay together long enough.

   

Sebadoh | Defend Yourself (Joyful Noise)

Written by Marc Farr Wednesday, 10 September 2014 15:27

Sebadoh 75Good music from a band that may still hit their stride...if they stay together long enough.

 

Siftercide | “Self-Titled” (Nailjar)

Written by Nik Cameron Wednesday, 10 September 2014 15:13

SifterCideAs the tracks progress quickly, the listener hears more than the growling vocals, high gain guitars (and bass!)…there’s something else. 

   

Maroon 5 | V (Interscope/222)

Written by Laura Hamlett Friday, 05 September 2014 14:31

cd Maroon5VV pushes the band toward new ground, even as M5 sticks to the catchy pop sound on which it’s built a solid reputation.

 

Erasure | The Violet Flame (Mute)

Written by Marc Farr Wednesday, 03 September 2014 23:01

cd ErasureThis is an album of high-energy synth-pop, complete with undeniably catchy melodies.

   

Ace Frehley | Space Invader (eOne Metal)

Written by Nik Cameron Wednesday, 03 September 2014 22:21

cd Ace-FrehleyThere is no substitute for the Spaceman’s dangerous playing and subpar singing.

 

The Bad Things | After the Inferno (Silent City)

Written by Nik Cameron Friday, 29 August 2014 16:27

cd bad-thingsThe singer croons, the drummer swings, and the album delivers jazzy rockers and slow and methodical jazz style blues tunes.

   

Ausländer | s/t (Domestic Genocide)

Written by Nik Cameron Friday, 29 August 2014 16:25

cd AuslanderThese guys wrote a song about my favorite ballpark food. What’s not to love about that?

 

Sepultura | Sepultura and Les Tambours du Bronx (Eagle Rock)

Written by Nik Cameron Tuesday, 26 August 2014 18:15

cd SepulturaMetal Veins – Alive at Rock in Rio

   

SomeKindaWonderful | s/t (Downtown/White Clover)

Written by Laura Hamlett Tuesday, 26 August 2014 18:06

cd somekindawonderfulIf you’ve heard anything from this band it’s “Reverse,” and like the band’s other catchy material, it’s super inviting, yet not as good as it could (or should?) be.

 

The Griswolds | Be Impressive (Wind-Up)

Written by Laura Hamlett Tuesday, 26 August 2014 18:00

cd GriswoldsLike little evil cheerleaders, children shout out the title track, letter by letter.

   

Gemini Syndrome | Lux (Warner Brothers)

Written by Marc Farr Saturday, 23 August 2014 15:10

lux sqLux is a refreshing change from the normally bass-heavy production that haunts this type of music.

 

Midge Ure | Fragile (Hypertension)

Written by Marc Farr Saturday, 23 August 2014 14:41

ure fragileIn a genre in which it is quite easy to be grandiose and overdo things, this album does not go overboard.

   

The Glitch Mob | Love, Death, Immortality (Glass Art)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 15 August 2014 23:33

Glitch-Mob 75This is a mind-blowing opus of serious industrial pop.

 

Acrania | Totalitarnian Dystopia (Unique Leader)

Written by Nik Cameron Sunday, 10 August 2014 10:08

ArcaniaFrom the time this album begins, it’s clear that they are similar, and yet very different than their peers in the genre.

   

Cosmic Punch | FM Stereo (Tate Music Group)

Written by Marc Farr Wednesday, 23 July 2014 23:15

cd cosmic-punch_copyWith a sound rich in harmonies and melody, the album plays like a testament to the 1970s and early 1980s.

 

Amoreaux | Never Young as Tonight (Neurotic Yell)

Written by Marc Farr Wednesday, 23 July 2014 22:58

cd AmoreauxThe first single, “Lost the Plot,” is a syncopated piece with heavy percussion, which drowns out the melody at times.

   

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