vinyl Archive

Album Review: The Orb — No Sounds Are Out of Bounds

Whether it was an association they originally wished for or not, the Orb were pegged early on as a sort of modern-day answer to Pink Floyd. Though the project (Alex Paterson and collaborators) has always been about more than ambient, dance-oriented space music — hey, they’ve worked extensively with reggae icon Lee” Scratch” Perry —

Album Review: Brother Reverend — The Tables Turn Too Often

I think the publicist – however well-meaning he may be – was having a bit of fun when writing the one-sheet that accompanies promo copies of The Tables Turn Too Often. Sure, it’s useful to provide potential reviewers with some musical signposts, occasionally dropping of names in a RIYL (“promo-speak for “review if you like…”)

Album Review: Iceberg Slim — Reflections

If I told you that a key inspiration for the slice-of-street hip-hop of Ice-T was an earlier recording artist going by the name of Iceberg Slim, you’d likely develop some immediate preconceptions as to what the earlier iceman sounded like. But I’m here to tell you that you’d probably be way off base. Iceberg Slim

Album Review: The Fall — 45 84 89 A Sides

The Fall are one of those groups that somehow largely escaped my notice, until now. I think I first heard a song by the Fall sometime in the late 1980s. All I can recall about the song is that I found it fairly unlistenable, mostly because of what I considered Mark E. Smith’s grating, declamatory

Album Review: Nick Ingman — Big Beat

Cratediggers and/or musical Anglophiles of a certain stripe will recognize the name DeWolfe Music. Established over a century ago, the British music production company carved out a unique and important niche in the music business, creating what is today known as library music. No, not something you’d listen to in your local library, but sort

Album Review: Redd Kross — Third Eye

Redd Kross’ Third Eye was released mid-September 1990. Notwithstanding the pop singles charts (then topped by a Latin dance pop ditty called “If Wishes Came True”), the rock scene was dominated then by acts like Jane’s Addiction, Gene Loves Jezebel and the ubiquitous and gruesome “Joey” from Concrete Blonde. Into that relatively dour and joyless

Album Review: The Eyebrows — Volume

Here’s the thing about powerpop: it’s either very good or hopelessly bland. There’s seemingly no middle ground; artists working in the idiom either knock it out of the park – see Badfinger, Gladhands, Greenberry Woods – or the results are faceless and shamelessly imitative. Happily, Charlotte N.C.-based trio the Eyebrows succeed on Volume, their debut

Album Review: Craig Smith — Love is Our Existence

This is a fascinating release. Singer-songwriter Craig Smith got his early professional start as a member of the Good Time Singers, a folk ensemble in the mold of the New Christy Minstrels. He later formed a folk-rock due with band mate Lee Montgomery. Meanwhile he had an acting career; liner notes author (and album curator)

Album Review: Klaus Schulze — La Vie Electronique Vols 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2

Over the years, there have been a number of massive archival releases that all but define the phrase “for the completist.” In 2011, the Grateful Dead went back to the source tapes for one of the band’s best (or least-tedious, depending on one’s perspective) live albums, the 3LP Europe ‘72, and released a 73-disc set

Album Review: The Last Poets – Understand What Black Is

One lens through which one can view hip-hop/rap is as spoken word with musical accompaniment. Though there are myriad exceptions to the rule-as-such, lyrics are often the primary focus of hip-hop, while the beats and melodies (if any) are secondary. Of course that’s not to say that plenty of care and effort don’t go into