rawk Archive

Album Review: The 81’s — 2 Things & 118 Others

The 81’s (that’s their punctuation, not mine) make a Crazy Horse-styled, shaggy rock that bears the influence of folk (in the lyrical approach) and punk (in the guitar textures). Music without artifice, 2 Things & 119 Others is sold rock with lots of impassioned (but not overwrought) guitar solos. The songs are more than mere

Album Review: Cupid’s Carnival — Color-blind

When it comes to certain substrains of powerpop (itself a subgenre), being derivative is a feature, not a bug. Do you sound like the Beatles, Badfinger, Raspberries? Success! And quote honestly, although the powerpop market is comparatively small, there’s a cottage industry for this kind of thing. So while the whole idea might put off

30 Days Out, July 2020 #2: Travers Brothership, Free Planet Radio, Up Jumped Three, Jeff Santiago & Los Gatos

Because of the manner in which the pandemic response has been criminally mismanaged by our federal “government,” and because of the contingent that digs in its heels and refuses to do what’s needed to help beat this thing back (hint: social distancing, masks, contact tracing … in other words, what civilized countries around the globe

Album Review: Coke Belda — 4

If Peter Noone was American, his singing voice might be all but indistinguishable from that of Coke Belda. And the music that Herman’s Hermits made isn’t miles away from the chiming, la-la-la of Belda’s original tunes. On his fourth album — cleverly titled 4 – Belda steps away from the tribute approach of his last

Album Review: Diamond Hands — III

Fans of hooks and high-energy, melodic rock should stop whatever they’re doing and make immediate purchase of this LP. Diamond Hands’ III is influenced by mid-period Beatles, but it also sounds a bit like Orgone Box crossed with Grip Weeds. Yes, there are derivative elements here and there: you’ve heard that “Tomorrow Can Wait” bass

Album Review: The Limits – Songs About Girls

Reunions are a common occurrence in rock music. 1960s garage rock band The Limits never achieved any notability outside their hometown, but a new group bearing that name came out in ‘79. With a sound that drew from garage rock, pub rock, new wave and hard rock, the new band wouldn’t really have much musical

Album Review: The Limits – Garage Nuggets ‘65-’68

It’s nice when an important figure in music says nice things about your music. Even if that person is something of a cult figure like Alex Chilton, it counts. And apparently Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star) thought highly of the music made by an Allentown, Pennsylvania garage rock band called The Limits. Like so many

Album Review: Holsapple & Stamey — Our Back Pages

As wonderful as the dBs were during their original run (featuring Peter Holsapple with and then without Chris Stamey), the more acoustic-flavored efforts by Holsapple and Stamey – 1991’s Mavericks and 2009’s hERE aND nOW – were truly special as well. Decidedly different in tone and energy, but simply superb they were, even for a

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Back in the ’70s and the early ’80s, did Arista Records ever put pressure on you to assemble a live band? Alan Parsons: No, I don’t think so. They knew my identity was in the studio, and that’s what I was. I was a producer and engineer, and

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part One)

Alan Parsons is a unique figure in popular music; very few people go from working as a recording engineer and producer to becoming an artist in their own right. After working behind the scenes with the Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons formed his own Project (not, he explains, a group). Between 1976 and 1987, the