rawk Archive

Album Review: Sluka – Colorful Radiation

I try not to be overly influenced by an album’s cover art: don’t judge a book, etc. But the gruesome artwork on this one nearly scared me off. The music deserves better. Multi-instrumentalist Christopher Sluka has a voice eerily reminiscent of David Bowie, and though he’s not an artist of the late Thin White Duke’s

Album Review: Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz – Of All These Things

If you’re one of the discerning fans who heard and appreciated the music Pete Yorn made in the first decade of this new century – musicforthemorningafter, Day I Forgot and especially Nightcrawler – then you owe it to yourself to seek out this new release. With breathy, close-miked vocals, swoonworthy vocal harmonies and keening, beautiful

A Teenager in Rock: The Regrettes’ Lydia Night (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Other than being signed, what was the Regrettes’ first big break? A really huge moment for us was when we played Conan [The Regrettes performed “Hey Now” on O’Brien’s late-night show on April 11, 2017].That was a really nerve-wracking thing to do, I think. And you played Coachella last month …

A Teenager in Rock: The Regrettes’ Lydia Night (Part One)

Los Angeles-based rockers the Regrettes came roaring out of the gate with their debut single, “Hey Now” in 2015. The song introduced the group’s template: hooky, catchy classic pop delivered in aggressive riot grrl style, a sound that draws equally from pre-Beatles Brill Building pop and razor-sharp 1970s punk. Onstage the young band – leader,

Fifty-word Reviews for July 2018, Part 2

Here’s ten more quick reviews of new music worth your time. Beth McKee — Dreamwood Acres This lovely clutch of original songs features the sultry, soulful vocals of McKee, and the rich instrumentation is built around McKee’s classic electric piano (Wurlitzer, Rhodes), which she plays in a straightforward, non-fussy manner. Imagine Bonnie Raitt playing keys

Album Review: Diamonds and Whiskey — Dark Country Voodoo

The band name suggests an alt.country/Americana act, and while those labels aren’t too wide of the mark, there’s a harder, edgier and slightly more sinister feel to this music. The southern drawl that characterizes Jenny Webb’s voice places the album firmly in the country and Americana realm, but there’s a rocking and bluesy feel to

Fifty-word Reviews for July 2018, Part 1

For years now, I’ve engaged in an occasional series of reviews in which I limit myself to 100 words. The point isn’t at all to give short shrift to these fine releases; instead, it’s to cover albums that would otherwise go unmentioned only for lack of time. Speaking of time, all of these releases are

Liner Notes News

I’ve been extraordinarily busy lately. After devoting a large chunk of 2017 to the writing of my first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, in 2018 I’ve been focusing on writing liner note essays for albums. Here’s a summary of recent and upcoming releases with which I’ve

Album Review: Gretchen’s Wheel — Black Box Theory

I’ve reviewed releases from Gretchen’s Wheel before. Gretchen’s Wheel is the professional name used by Lindsay Murray for her musical project. Largely a solo affair, Gretchen’s Wheel is Murray’s vehicle for her chiming, exquisitely melodic songwriting and wonderfully tuneful vocals. I’ve had no trouble categorizing previous Gretchen’s Wheel releases as power pop, and I use

The Fire Still Burns for the Animals’ Eric Burdon

Many of the bands considered part of the “British invasion” of the mid-sixties drew from American rhythm & blues or soul. Some, like the Beatles, filtered those influences through their own musical sensibilities, creating something completely new in the process. Others – the Rolling Stones, for example – built upon a r&b foundation, initially playing