review Archive

Album Review: The Scenics — In the Summer

In early 2013 I reviewed Dead Man Walks Down Bayview, a then-new album from Toronto-based band The Scenics. In that review, I made clear both my nearly nonexistent knowledge of the Toronto punk scene of the 1970s (or any era, for that matter) as well as my appreciation for the music on the contemporary album.

Album Mini-review: The Turnback — Are We There Yet?

File Next to: Greenberry Woods, Foo Fighters, Green Day Big, roaring guitars that recalls Foo Fighters as much as Cheap Trick are the calling card of the supremely melodic sophomore release from this New York City-based trio. Highly charged close harmonies are supported by muscular, no-frills backing that is catchy without making any obvious concessions

Album Mini-review: The Roaring 420s – You Can’t Get Out Alive

File next to: Elephant Stone, Allah-Las, Fuzztones For The Roaring 420s, everything old is new again. Across the twelve songs on *You Can’t Get Out Alive – their second full-length – this Dresden, Germany based quintet crafts original songs that bear more than a whiff (or a toke if you like) of late 1960s psychedelia.

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Compilations

This week-long run of quick reviews wraps up today with looks at five excellent compilation albums. King Curtis – The Complete Atco Singles Real Gone Music swings for the fences with this, a three-CD set that collects all of the saxophonist’s 64 a- and b-sides released on the Atlantic subsidiary (plus two unreleased tracks). Randy

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Prog

Today I’m serving up five more hundred-word reviews; today’s five all fit more or less into the progressive rock category, and they’re sourced from across this globe of ours. Mekaal Hasan Band – Andholan Talk about genre labels: I have some issues with the term “world music.” While often well-intentioned, it marginalizes most anything outside

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Blues and Jazz

My week-long march through my backlog continues today with quick looks at five new albums in the jazz and/or blues idioms. No! Wait! Come back! Seriously, these are way cool. Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet Finland: Home of the blues. Right? Well, of course not. But this Finnish group – led

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Reissues

Today’s collection of hundred-word reviews focuses on recent reissues of note. Uriah Heep – Totally Driven I’m not going to try to tell you that the turn of the 21st century was Uriah Heep‘s finest hour. Their high point was in the early 1970s, around the time of Demons and Wizards and The Magician’s Birthday

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Archival Live Albums

It’s time once again to take a stab at clearing out the massive backlog of worthy CDs clogging my inbox. Today, it’s quick reviews of five archival live albums, all previously unreleased. Cheap Trick – Auld Lang Syne By the tail-end of the 1970s (this show was recorded at Los Angeles’ Forum on New Year’s

Album Review: Love — Reel to Real

In the community of pop music critics and historians, it’s common to find Love‘s Forever Changes cited as one of the great lost albums of the 1960s. Under-recognized at the time of its release, Forever Changes has in recent years taken its rightful place among musical treasures of its era. There it joins The Beach

Album Review: Sonny Sharrock — Ask the Ages

Outside the relatively small population that appreciates jazz, Sonny Sharrock is little-known. And that’s quite a shame, because the guitarist (who died in 1994) had a lot to offer musically, even to those whose tastes don’t extend far beyond the confines of rock’n’roll. The first widely-heard example of Sharrock’s boundary-pushing style was in perhaps the