review Archive

Album Mini-review: Melvins — Basses Loaded

File next to: The Sword, Black Sabbath, Sunn O))) Loosely – and really only geographically – associated with the Pacific Northwest grunge scene, The Melvins long have stood apart from Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the like. For awhile now they’ve played live gigs with two drummers, but in reality that has been all about locking

Album Mini-review: Band of Skulls — By Default

File next to: Led Zeppelin, Stone Roses, Siena Root Rock substyles come and go, but there’s always a place for catchy riff-centric rock of the kind made by this Southampton, England trio. They start from a position of building a song around a signature riff, and put solid emphasis on crafting a memorable tune to

Album Review: The Traveling Wilburys Collection

I’m not at all certain when the term supergroup first entered popular usage. I do know that it’s been badly misused more often than not: I recall seeing it used on magazine covers back when Duran Duran was all the rage: think of them what you will, but they were never a supergroup. One of

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 5

Today wraps up my week-long collection of new album reviews in concise (read: exactly 100 word) form. Rogue Wave – Delusions of Grand Fur While nothing on Delusions of Grand Fur sounds as if it’s lifted from other artists, I get the nagging feeling that I’ve heard it all before. The songs are melodic and

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 4

Genre-wise, I’m all over the map today with the next five of my quick reviews. Shannon Labrie – War & Peace On her second album, Labrie applies her strong and expressive vocals to quality material. The album title suggests something weighty and expansive, but unlike Leo Tolstoy‘s 1869 novel, it’s a warm and inviting collection

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 3

Five more quick reviews of new or recent album releases. Today features a couple of the best of the week’s bunch. Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town Nick Curran‘s Reform School Girl was one of the best albums of 2010. JD McPherson‘s Let the Good Times Roll was among the finest releases of 2015. If

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 2

More quick reviews. Some good’uns in this batch, including titles from the always-reliable Omnivore Recordings. Brian Cullman – The Opposite of Time Moody and atmospheric are the first two adjectives that come to mind when spinning The Opposite of Time, the second solo album from Cullman. His day job is as music journalist; that explains

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 1

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans. Today kicks off another of my occasional week-long extravaganzas in which I post five reviews each business day, each exactly 100 words. Some of the artists will be well-known; others obscure and/or bubbling under. All (save maybe one or two out of the total 25) are well worth

Album Reviews: Five LPs from Flying Nun Records

The New Zealand-based Flying Nun Records has a well-earned reputation for interesting, largely DIY sounds, all emanating from the small island country off Australia’s east coast. You won’t find any Hobbit-themed music here; what you will find is never less than intriguing. All of these reviewed albums were provided to me in my favorite format:

Album Mini-review: Anton Barbeau — Magic Act

Often swimming in the quirkier end of the power pop pool, the prolific Anton Barbeau most recently made a pair of albums fronting Three Minute Tease; there he applied his own personal spin to the music, bending the sound made by Robyn Hitchcock‘s former band mates (Andy Metcalfe, Morris Windsor) toward his own unique aesthetic.