new release Archive

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: 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…”)

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

Album Review: River Whyless — Kindness, A Rebel

On the group’s 2016 album We All the Light, Asheville-based group River Whyless pushed the boundaries of indie folk, its supposed genre. In doing so, the quartet could serve as Exhibit A for the relative meaningless of genre labels: to be sure, what River Whyless does draw from Americana and folk, but neither of those

Album Review: All India Radio — Space

From the outset, All India Radio is all over the map. The name suggests a group from the Indian subcontinent, and the music draws clear inspiration from British late-period psychedelic/space rock (most notably Pink Floyd) and late-late-period American psych revival (specifically Flaming Lips). After all that, All India Radio is actually an ambient/chillwave group from

Album Review: Taylor James — Insane

For me, the use of numbers and capital letters in place of, y’know, actual words is a red flag: it was kinda dumb when Prince did it, and it’s wholly unoriginal now, a generation later. So the discovery of the opening track “Back 2 U” caused me to lower my expectations in regard to finding

Album Review: DDLO – Sueños de Luna y Mar

The title of this EP from DDLO translates as “Dreams of Moon and Sea,” and there’s an evocative, windswept feel to the collection’s four tracks. Subtle, gurgling synthesizers give a modern feel to the more traditional Latin flavors of “El Mundo Fosforescente” (“The Phosphorescent World”), and a wonderfully distorted lead guitar figure carries the song

EP Review: Poet Radio – Horseflesh

On the band’s website, Asheville-based Poet Radio describes itself as “a dark psych rock band with occultist undertones.” New listeners shouldn’t be warned off by that description; the trio’s new Horseflesh EP starts off accessibly enough and gets more even listenable as it goes along. “I’m Clean” begins abruptly, almost as if the band had