Hundred-word Reviews for September 2018

Time once again for some 100-word reviews. Please note that I receive many albums each day for review consideration; even when allowing for the fact that 80-90% of them don’t make the cut for coverage/review, there are still far too many to cover. What that means in practical terms is twofold: (1) the only way

Album Review: Guadalcanal Diary – At Your Birthday Party

Signed to DB Recs at or near the local label’s commercial high point, Guadalcanal Diary released its debut EP, Watusi Rodeo in 1983. The disc’s catchy yet slightly off-kilter songs (mostly by guitarist Murray Attaway) attracted the attention of Elektra, who soon signed the band. Released in 1984, the Don Dixon-produced Walking in the Shadow

Album Review: John Wesley Harding – Greatest Other People’s Hits

Nearly everything one first learns about John Wesley Harding suggests the man is a smart-aleck. A folky troubadour transplanted long ago from Hastings, England to the U.S., the man born Wesley Stace adopted a stage name taken from one of Bob Dylan’s most celebrated releases. (Some years ago he also released an album that waggishly

Album Review: The Orb — No Sounds Are Out of Bounds

Whether it was an association they originally wished for or not, the Orb were pegged early on as a sort of modern-day answer to Pink Floyd. Though the project (Alex Paterson and collaborators) has always been about more than ambient, dance-oriented space music — hey, they’ve worked extensively with reggae icon Lee” Scratch” Perry —

Album Review: Brother Reverend — The Tables Turn Too Often

I think the publicist – however well-meaning he may be – was having a bit of fun when writing the one-sheet that accompanies promo copies of The Tables Turn Too Often. Sure, it’s useful to provide potential reviewers with some musical signposts, occasionally dropping of names in a RIYL (“promo-speak for “review if you like…”)

Album Review: Iceberg Slim — Reflections

If I told you that a key inspiration for the slice-of-street hip-hop of Ice-T was an earlier recording artist going by the name of Iceberg Slim, you’d likely develop some immediate preconceptions as to what the earlier iceman sounded like. But I’m here to tell you that you’d probably be way off base. Iceberg Slim

Album Review: The Fall — 45 84 89 A Sides

The Fall are one of those groups that somehow largely escaped my notice, until now. I think I first heard a song by the Fall sometime in the late 1980s. All I can recall about the song is that I found it fairly unlistenable, mostly because of what I considered Mark E. Smith’s grating, declamatory

Album Review: Nick Ingman — Big Beat

Cratediggers and/or musical Anglophiles of a certain stripe will recognize the name DeWolfe Music. Established over a century ago, the British music production company carved out a unique and important niche in the music business, creating what is today known as library music. No, not something you’d listen to in your local library, but sort

EP Review: Deb Montgomery — All the Water

A moody, contemplative vibe is on display within the title track of Pacific Northwest folk rocker Deb Montgomery’s latest EP, All the Water. There’s a gothic storytelling feel to the song, and the instrumentation builds as the song unfolds. Starting out quietly and with sparse accompaniment, Montgomery builds the arrangement with more instruments, punctuated by

David LaMotte: So Much to Do, So Little Time

For many Asheville-based musicians, making music is just one of the things they do. Cobbling together a financially sustainable lifestyle means taking on one or more part-time “side hustles.” In a sense, that’s what singer-songwriter David LaMotte does. But the nature of his involvement in myriad pursuits takes the form of multiple full-time gigs. Somehow