review Archive

Album Review: Dopapod – s/t

Interactivity is what you make it. And for their latest album, Dopapod has devised a way for listeners to immerse themselves even more deeply into the band’s unique world. The vinyl pressing of the Boston group’s self-titled (and seventh) studio album features a board game. “Building a Time Machine” uses the gatefold’s inner sleeve as

Album Review: Bill Evans – You Must Believe in Spring

Bill Evans was a prolific as he was gifted. In the course of his short life, Evans released more than 50 albums, and contributed his piano talents to at least as many releases by other artists. He died in September 1980, and shortly after his passing, a new album appeared. Recorded in 1977, You Must

EP Review The Fuzztones – Encore

For forever now, The Fuzztones have been bringing their trademark version of garage punk to enthusiastic listeners. In recent years, main Fuzztone Rudi Protrudi has turned his focus toward tributes, books and films, all of which have helped to cement the group’s place in rock’n’roll firmament. What there hasn’t been a lot of is new

EP Review: Diplomats of Solid Sound – The Live EP

This nine-person ensemble released a fine album, A Higher Place, in 2019. That was my first exposure to the Iowa group, but I soon discovered that they have been together more than two decades. So any suggestion that they’re following on or bandwagon jumping is egregiously wrong. The group’s latest release is a five-song collection,

Album Review: SVT — Always Comes Back

As I’ve mentioned before, SVT is the band most often named among those interviewed for my latest book as the Bay Area band most deserving of greater success than they found. With a sound that touched on new wave, punk and power pop and featured the extraordinarily talented Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) on

Hundred-word Reviews for May 2022, Part 2

I present five more reviews, in capsule form. Three of these are new releases; two are archival titles. All are deserving of deeper investigation. Alice Austin – Goodnight Euphoria Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Austin has crafted a supremely satisfying slab of rock with Goodnight Euphoria. Her innate sense of pop songwriting is combined with expertly textured

Hundred-word Reviews for May 2022, Part 1

It’s time for some more hundred-word reviews. These quick capsule reviews get to the point quickly, and readers should note that all come recommended. Don’t be misled by the lack of a longer treatment of these releases; all are worth your time. Amoeba Teen – Amoeba Teen This band’s 2018 compilation Selection Box Vol. 1

Album Review: Brian Jonestown Massacre — Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees

One might say that there are two very different sides to the Brian Jonestown Massacre. In person, live and onstage, the band defines erratic. At its best, a BJM concert is transcendent, life affirming and deeply engaging. At its worst, it’s a mess, with concertgoers witness to onstage arguments, endless technical problems, interminable guitar tuning

Album Review: Teeth of England — Serrated Cuts

Dave Sinclair is a North Carolina musician, but he’s teamed up with Memphis players as Teeth of England. With a band that includes Bluff City mainstay Jack Oblivian on drums, Serrated Cuts is ten tracks of rough-and-ready rock’n’roll. If your tastes run toward early r’n’r crossed with an aesthetic familiar to fans of Like Flies

Album Review: Louis Armstrong — The Nightclubs

A new compilation from Dot Time Records brings together an assortment of live performances by Luis Armstrong. Dating from the first half of the 1950s, these nine tracks (seven more on the CD version not reviewed here) document Satchmo playing with small ensembles in New York City and San Francisco clubs. The playing is spirited,