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Archive for March, 2009

CD Review – Sweet Water

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Clear the Tarmac

Golden City Records

So, you are looking for some new guitar-driven pop-rock that’s not Nickelback. Look no further than the latest from Sweet Water, Clear the Tarmac. Although this is their first album in nine years, they prove that they haven’t lost anything.

The album opens with the straight-ahead rocker “Grass is Green,” which would be perfect on modern rock radio stations. They get their Brit-pop on with the mid-tempo “Stereo,” while they transform quite well to hard rockers on the album’s best track, the blazing “Tonight.”

Whether it’s the blistering guitar solos (especially on “Tonight”), Adam Czeisler’s reel-you-in vocals (that sound like Muse’s Matthew Bellamy by way of 80’s hair bands) or the thumping bass line that keeps everything together, Sweet Water have proven that they’re best is getting better.

http://www.sweetwaterrocks.com

CD Review: Stoley P.T.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Stoley P.T. – winter-summer-winter-summer

Self-Released

Raw power-pop that sounds like it was made in the 70’s. That’s what Stoley P.T.’s new album sounds like. Eight tracks of penned-up energy that barely last 24 minutes, Stoley P.T (which stands for “power trio”) know how to make music that will blitz by you and leave you wondering what just happened. So you have to play it again and by then, they have you hooked.

CD Review – Two Cow Garage

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Two Cow Garage – Speaking in Cursive

Suburban Home Records

Take the Kurt Cobain’s voice and mash it with Michael Dean Damron’s and you get main vocalist Micah Schnabel’s voice. That raspiness mixed with a punkish classic rock sound makes for a sound that you either love or hate. For me, I really don’t like it. His voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. He sounds like he has a permanent case of laryngitis. Thankfully, Shane Sweeney takes the lead on the tracks “Swallowed by the Sea” and the beautifully sparse “The Heart and the Crown.” With the exception of these two songs, this album is quite forgettable.

CD Review: BoDeans – Still

Friday, March 6th, 2009

BoDeans – Still

Resolution Records

The BoDeans come back with another roots-rock album that isn’t any better or worse than anything else that they’ve done. Primary songwriters Kurt Neumann and Sammy Llanas have been forging this sound for over two decades. On this album, they appear to be on cruise control, not making anything groundbreaking, but also pleasing their fans along the way.

Five albums that deserve another listen: Part IV

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Better Than Ezra – Closer

This is the best pure pop/rock album of the millenium, hands down.

Five albums that deserve another listen: Part III

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

P.O.D. Satellite

Yeah, you read right. An album from the prime of the rap/rock black hole of music from the late 90’s. And by a Christian band? You bet. Virtually nothing good came out of this era of rock, except this album. It is intense and even arrogant, but not in a Limp Bizkit way. They will make your ears bleed, but the lyrics will continue to ring in your head longer than the actual ringing. From the line “Why do cowards talk the loudest?” from the opener “Set It Off” to the depressingly uplifting “Youth of the Nation,” P.O.D. set themselves apart with an album that rocks heavier and better than almost anything being played on mainstream rock radio. It was released back in 2001 and I am still listening to it like it just came out last week.

Five albums that deserve another listen: Part II

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Elliott Smith Figure 8

Most people reference Either/Or as his best album, and it is certainly stellar, but take a listen to this one and you’ll find that same depressed soul-searching Smith that we knew and loved, but expanded to include more than just his voice and guitar. “Son of Sam” and “Junkbond Trader” are prime examples of Smith trying to break away from the “a man and his guitar” tag, although he plays right into that tag with tracks like “Somebody That I Used to Know.” I like Smith’s earlier albums a lot as well, but I think this one gets passed over because it is not as intimate, which is what he did best. But this is still a fantastic album and one that should be revisited.

Five albums that deserve another listen: Part I

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Jeff Buckley – Grace

If you have never heard this album, then you must listen to it ASAP. His voice is angelic and the album has not aged a day since its release in 1994. It’s a shame that this was the only real album he released before his tragic drowning in 1997. “Hallelujah” will forever live in the pantheon of greatest songs ever written.