rawk Archive

Album Review: The Pretty Things — S.F. Sorrow

The 1968 album S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things is an exemplar of a band, pushed to the wall, rising to the occasion and producing a classic. Prior to this, the Pretties were thought of as more-Stones-than-the-Stones, with their raw, r&b-based rock. S.F. Sorrow would change all that. The loose narrative is based on a

Album Review: Porcupine Tree — Lightbulb Sun

The 2008 reissue of Lightbulb Sun makes one of the rarest parts of the Porcupine Tree catalog readily available again. The group’s seventh album of studio material, Lightbulb Sun was originally released in 2000. Release was originally scheduled for 2007, in fact, as Steven Wilson told me during an interview. Porcupine Tree were selling Lightbulb

Album Review: Moby Grape – The Place and the Time

Moby Grape was (and remains) one of those unlucky star-crossed acts that never, ever seemed able to catch a break. From the beginning, things seemed to go wrong for them. They managed to survive the critically disastrous over-hyped debut: while the self-titled album was nearly perfect, the record company’s insisted on feting it with an

Album Review: Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool: 30th Anniversary Edition

Nick Lowe had a growing (if still somewhat underground) reputation in 1979. As a producer — mostly for Stiff Records — he had worked the boards on stunning a number of high-profile and successful albums, including ones for Graham Parker, The Damned and Elvis Costello. Lowe had already made a name for himself as bassist

Album Review: Jackdawg — s/t

Jackdawg is a heretofore unreleased one-off project from 1990. The group features Stu Cook from Creedence Clearwater Revival, plus John McFee and Keith Knudsen from the Doobie Brothers. The fifteen songs rock fairly hard in a late 80s/early 90s way. From anyone else, “Bayou Rebel” would be tarred with the too-close-to-CCR tag, but seeing as

Album Review: Robyn Hitchcock — I Wanna Go Backwards

Quirky Cambridge England singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock has always followed his own twisted muse. Like some bastard son of Bob Dylan and Syd Barrett, Hitchcock has made a career of memorable albums on his own, with the Egyptians and (before all that) with The Soft Boys. This new box set contains expanded versions of three of

Album Review: The Grip Weeds — House of Vibes Revisited

The 1980s and 90s saw the rise of a rock subgenre/movement dubbed the “paisley underground.” Populated by groups who bowed at the altar of mid-period Beatles and the other finer psych-rock of that era, many of these groups were called to task by critics for their (some said) too-slavish devotion to the sounds of old.

Album Review: Chris Darrow — Chris Darrow / Under My Own Disguise

In 1967 a west coast based group calling itself Kaleidoscope (no relation to the UK psych group of the same era) released their first album, Side Trips. That album is now thought of as something of an overlooked gem from the psychedelic era. But in retrospect it’s clear that the group’s music was proto-world music,

Album Review: Creedence Clearwater Revival — Covers the Classics

There’s something to be said for conceptual/thematic repackaging of selections from a music artist’s catalog. Hell, even 1970s cash-in packages like The Beatles’ Love Songs and Rock and Roll made some sense, even though they removed the songs therein from their intended contexts. Creedence Clearwater Revival is often referred to as the Great American Singles

Album Review: Brian Jonestown Massacre – Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request

Perhaps most people know of Anton Newcombe from Ondi Timoner’s 2003 questionable documentary Dig! than through his career itself; as leader of the neo-psychedelic Brian Jonestown Massacre, Newcombe and his cohorts have turned out a dozen discs showcasing his unique musical vision. In any event, there’s growing evidence that Newcombe’s got his act more together