rawk Archive

Album Reviews: Marc Bonilla — EE Ticket and American Matador

Guitar “shredding” is one of those things that as a listener one either gets or doesn’t get. For those in the latter category, the style is a showoff-y example of technique over content, the sort of thing that brings people to cluck, “I bet he gets paid by the note.” For those who appreciate that

Album Reviews: Toy Matinee — s/t and 3rd Matinee — Meanwhile

Toy Matinee was a short-lived pop-prog/art-pop group that released a single eponymous album in 1990. With a sound halfway between Mr. Mister and Jellyfish, Toy Matinee balanced the former’s chart-oriented arrangements with the ambitious approach of the latter. The album kicks off with “Last Plane Out,” a topical (Gulf War I) tune featuring busy instrumentation

DVD Review: TCT — Concerts for Teenage Cancer Trust

TCT is a British non-profit (one of those “registered charities” Paul McCartney sang about in “Band on the Run”) to improve the lives of young people in cancer hospitals. Once a year, a star-studded benefit concert is organized to support the charity, and the organization’s high-profile spokesperson is Roger Daltrey of The Who. But you’d

DVD Review: MC5 — Kick Out the Jams

On one hand, it’s necessary to give credit where it’s due: little moving picture footage of the MC5 exists, and Kick Out the Jams co-producers Leni Sinclair and Cary Loren have done a commendable job of synching clips of that footage to (often bootleg-quality) audio of the band. Vocalist Rob Tyner did them an unintentional

Album Review: Los Lobos – Wolf Tracks: The Best of Los Lobos

Reviewing best-ofs is a dodgy proposition; if the artist in question is good, then by definition the disc is good…generally. It’s simple enough to point out a shoddy compilation, taking issue with any number of issues (song selection, poor remastering, lack of bonus/rarities, clumsy sequencing, lousy packaging, etc.). With all that in mind, then, how

Album Review: Lemonheads — s/t

The opening of The Lemonheads — ambience and a solemn piano — portends a listening experience akin to The Who’s Quadrophenia. But it’s a red herring. Squealing, crashing power chords kick in, sending the album a different place entirely. Evan Dando has opted for less-direct melodies than on some of has past work, in the

Album Review: Jackson United – Harmony and Dissidence

Jackson United is a spinoff project for Chris Shiflett, guitarist for Foo Fighters. In short, if you like Foo Fighters, you will like this. In fact, if you like the Smithereens, if you love the Clash…you’ll like this. Jackson United’s Harmony and Dissidence is rock of the no-nonsense variety: big guitars, big drums (courtesy of

Album Review: The Fuzztones – Horny as Hell

Now there’s a concept: take classic garage-punk songs from the 1960s (plus a fistful of Fuzztones originals) and put together new arrangements that add…wait for it…a horn section. No kidding. The Fuzztones have been at it for a long time, keeping the flames of 60s punk going. The hallmarks of that genre — snotty vocals,

Concert Review: Japanese Motors, Raleigh NC 03/11/09

A quick listen — heck, even a careful, critical series of listens — to “Single Fins & Safety Pins,” the latest single from Japanese Motors, would give most people the clear impression that the band owns a well-worn copy of the (apocryphal) Noo Yawk Song and Stylebook authored by members of The Strokes and the

Pete Yorn: A Singer/songwriter for All Seasons

Pete Yorn collaborates because he wants to, not because he has to. A jack of all trades, Yorn–who got his start as a drummer–is proficient on all manner of instruments. So while he’s quite capable of doing a one-man show in the studio, like a select few others (Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Lindsey Buckingham, Todd