rawk Archive

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

Veruca Salt: Rocking Out from a Centered Place

“People always told me that [former co-leader Nina Gordon] brought the pop and I brought the rock — I thought we both brought both — but clearly we were going in different directions, as clichéd as that sounds.” Louise Post believes that Gordon and she shared a musical vision, one that Louise continues with the

Joe Satriani: Pushing the Limits of the Human Experience

On his new disc, Super Colossal, the originator of the Pitch Axis Theory continues his tradition of combining mind-melting feats of guitar pyrotechnics with memorable riffs and ear-candy melodies. Yet Joe Satriani always tries to go somewhere new. “On this record, once I had the title track, it gave me — in my own mind

Radio Birdman: Bird is the Word

Some 32 years after bursting on the scene with the seminal Radios Appear, Radio Birdman has returned with Zeno Beach. Yet they deftly manage the trick of sounding fresh and new. Intentionally or not, Radio Birdman made their name as one of Australia’s original punk outfits. Vocalist Rob Younger puts this into context: “Well, we

The Polyphonic Spree: Fragile Army, Reinforcements of Hope

There are so, so many things out there that remind you: this is all good. –Tim DeLaughter Tim DeLaughter, leader and lyricist of Dallas-based The Polyphonic Spree, reflects on the underlying philosophy of his music: “I want to facilitate a little beacon of hope…” he pauses and gestures toward the stage, where the 21-person group