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Bettye LaVette: Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

[Anti Records]

0 Comments · Friday, June 25, 2010
If one needs proof of the existence of a cosmic overmind or benevolent deity, the recent re-emergence of Bettye LaVette should be all the evidence required. On her new album, classics of British Rock expand into simmering Soul gems of indescribable power and emotion.  

Widespread Panic: Dirty Side Down

[ATO Records]

0 Comments · Friday, June 25, 2010
In theory, Widespread Panic's new album shouldn't be the one to break the mold, and yet the band's 11th album just happens to have notched the best first week chart position in their long recording history. So does that make 'Dirty Side Down' the best album in their catalog? Maybe so and maybe no.  

The Melvins: The Bride Screamed Murder

[Ipecac Records]

0 Comments · Friday, June 25, 2010
Certainly no one could accuse The Melvins of subtlety, but on their latest album guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne and the current iteration of the 25-year-old band opt for an interesting experimentalism. Their blistering riffmongering often gives way to oddly structured interludes or little sonic asides.  

Hawthorne Heights: Skeletons

[Wind-Up Records]

0 Comments · Friday, June 18, 2010
For Hawthorne Heights' Wind-Up Records debut, the foursome has added an Electronic element to at least some of their Power Pop Punk repertoire. But HH's evolution might further alienate some of the band's rabid fan base who view any departure from their Screamo roots as a capitulation to Modern Rock trends.  

Stone Temple Pilots: Stone Temple Pilots

[Atlantic Records]

0 Comments · Friday, June 18, 2010
Just when Courtney Love resurrects Hole and you think the comeback story of the year has been written, along comes Scott Weiland and the DeLeo brothers to give a seminar on exactly how this reunion business should be managed. Their new eponymous album not only represents STP's personal best but could very well be one of this year's defining releases.  

Smashing Pumpkins: Songs for a Sailor

[Rocket Science Records]

0 Comments · Friday, June 18, 2010
The long and almost ridiculously documented journey of the Smashing Pumpkins has gotten stranger and more convoluted in recent years, if such a state is even possible. Billy Corgan and whoever passes for a band member these days have been releasing songs over the Internet in intervals; every fourth song will result in the release of a limited edition physical CD, the first of which is 'Songs for a Sailor.'  

Kris Kristofferson: Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends (The Publishing Demos 1968-72)

[Light in the Attic Records]

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 26, 2010
It's hard to remember a time when Kris Kristofferson wasn't a singing/songwriting icon and ubiquitous entertainment presence. But long before his work as both a songwriter and performer was recognized for its inherent greatnes, his songs were translated by some of the most potent voices in musical achievement.  

The National: High Violet

[4AD Records]

0 Comments · Monday, May 24, 2010
After the almost excruciating emotional impact of 'Boxer,' The National's 2007 breakthrough hit, the stakes for its follow-up couldn't be higher if they were bundled with a science experiment bound for the next shuttle flight to the International Space Station. With 'High Violet,' though, the ex-Cincinnatians have proven more than their maturity, musicality and stamina — they've produced a work of lasting impact.  

Hoodoo Gurus: Purity of Essence


0 Comments · Monday, May 24, 2010
For well over a quarter of a century, Hoodoo Gurus have been one of Australia's most revered Rock bands, playing a visceral mix of Power Pop, Garage and Surf Rock. They've never sounded as fresh, relevant and energized as they do on their ninth studio album, 'Purity of Essence.'  

The New Pornographers: Together

[Matador Records]

0 Comments · Saturday, May 15, 2010
The Porns' fifth album continues their unparalleled string of studio excellence while furthering the concrete-instrument- and-arrangement approach of 2007's baroque Pop and inexplicably misunderstood 'Challengers.' The sound here is more moodily reflective and less frenetically adrenalized, an atmosphere reinforced by a sonorous cello; even Neko Case's normally exuberant appearances are more restrained.  

Josh Ritter: So Runs the World Away

[Pytheas Records]

1 Comment · Saturday, May 15, 2010
Perhaps because he caught his childhood love of music at least in part from 'Nashville Skyline,' Josh Ritter has been subjected to Bob Dylan comparisons for most of his career. But on his sixth album, Ritter expands his palette in every conceivable direction.   

The Dead Weather: Horehound

[Third Man Records]

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Q: How many minor supergroups can Jack White assemble? A: All of them, apparently. The Dead Weather is merely the latest installment of "What Will Jack Do Next?," the novelty this time being that the vaunted frontman of The White Stripes and co-frontman of The Raconteurs is taking his place behind the drumkit, the most stereotypically invisible role within most bands except for those timekeepers blessed with outsized personalities (Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, John Bonham).  

Maylene and The Sons of Disaster: III

[Ferret Music]

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Since the release of their previous album in 2007, the winds of change have swept over MATSOD like an F-4 tornado, resulting in a new lineup and sound on their latest album. Composed of four new members, including Matt Clark and Kelly Scott Nunn (ex-Underoath), the Alabama-based Metalcore outfit expresses its Southern roots more than ever with banjo tracks, guitar slides and hand claps to compliment the down-tuned, fist-pounding sound that fans have come to expect from the band's previous albums.  

Poison the Well: The Tropic Rot

[Ferret Music]

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Like drinking tall boys of Steel Reserve, listening to Poison the Well's new album requires either an acquired taste or an extreme apathy in order to endure it. This fifth installment of the band's discography maintains the Post Hardcore brutality, speed and intensity of its former albums, which is likely to please long-time fans but unlikely to draw a new crowd.  

Cage the Elephant: Cage the Elephant

[Jive Records]

1 Comment · Friday, June 5, 2009
Coolness is an indispensable character trait for bands pursuing real success in today's world, because if you don't sound cool enough, the TV-viewing public won’t pay any attention to your crap.