jueves, 11 de agosto de 2016

STRANGE BOYS - Be Brave [USA 2010]

A jaunty harmonica is the first thing you hear on Be Brave, suggesting that not much has changed in the Strange Boys’ world, and not much needs to. The Austin, TX band still serves up plenty of prime down-home swagger and twang on their second album, especially on irresistible rockers like “Night Might.” However, the Strange Boys get a little moodier and more expansive on these songs, enlisting friends like Mika Miko’s Jenna Thornhill and Darker My Love’s Tim Presley to help them go deeper into the swampy grooves that popped up from time to time on Strange Boys and Girls Club. “Dare I Say” dabbles in folk-rock with acoustic guitars and hand drums, “Fridays in Paris” reveals the band’s roots rock underpinnings, and though “A Walk on the Bleach” eventually turns into a rave-up, its drunken philosophizing at the start recalls the Walkmen as much as it does Bob Dylan. And though songs like “Between Us” show that ‘60s British blues and psych-rock are still strong influences on the Strange Boys’ music, their Lone Star heritage peeks out too, with shades of Doug Sahm and the 13th Floor Elevators popping up on the old-school vibe of “Be Brave.” At times, the Strange Boys’ exploration of their slower, thoughtful side gets a bit meandering, as on “Da Da” and “The Unsent Letter,” but more often than not, it’s refreshing to hear them open up their nostalgic melodies and make them less naïve; on “Laugh at Sex, Not Her,” singer Ryan Sambol muses about his friends having sex in the room next to him, “they love each other and for some reason that pleases me” over a rumbling groove. With songs like “All You Can Hide Inside” revealing a flair for rough-around-the-edges ballads, Be Brave shows that the Strange Boys are growing -- not in a self-consciously “mature” way, but enough to make them more than just purveyors of raffish garage rock.


martes, 9 de agosto de 2016

THE BLOW POPS - American Beauties [USA 1994]

One of the great indie power pop albums of the '90s, the Blow Pops' second and final album is a bit harder rocking than their psych-influenced debut. Produced by Jeff Murphy of the diehard Illinois power poppers Shoes, American Beauties turns up the distortion pedals just a hair, while also refining the Raspberries-style harmonies of guitarists Mike Jarvis and Tim Buckley and bassist Jack Rice. The results are similar to early Posies, without the production gloss that some felt marred that band's albums. 


LEFT LANE CRUISER - Beck In Black [USA 2016]

"Beck In Black" is a collection of songs from their first albums for Alive, hand picked by original drummer Brenn "Sausage Paw" Beck (now replaced by Pete Dio), lovingly remastered.

Trashed-out punk/blues duo Left Lane Cruiser has been making records for over a decade, and along with their music being featured in many hit television series such as Banshee, Breaking Bad, and Nashville, they have been receiving critical acclaim across the globe.

The perfect introduction to Left Lane Cruiser early years with drummer Brenn "Sausage Paw" Beck.

1. The Pusher (previously unreleased - cd only)
2. Circus
3. G Bob
4. Bloodhound
(previously unreleased)
5. Chevrolet w/ Jim Diamond
6. Zombie Blocked
7. Sausage Paw
(previously unreleased - cd only)
8. Crackalacka
9. Hip Hop w/ James Leg
10. Heavy
11. Maybe
(previously unreleased)
12. Amy's In The Kitchen
13. Chicken
(previously unreleased)
14. Juice To Get Loose – instrumental version
(previously unreleased - cd only)


miércoles, 3 de agosto de 2016

REIGNING SOUND - Live At Goner Records [USA 2005]

Who can argue that Memphis, TN is truly one of America's greatest cities? Imagine living in a town where you can not only still go to a fine record store on a Saturday afternoon (you know, those places where you used to buy music before downloads, but while looking for that elusive Compulsive Gamblers 7" or Andre Williams reissue, you can sometimes hear actual musicians perform for your pleasure! And when the artists in question happen to be Reigning Sound, you have clearly hit the jackpot of rock & roll cool. Greg Cartwright and his latest rhythm section dropped by Goner Records in Memphis on June 26, 2005 to play a few tunes, and thankfully someone had the good sense to record the show; for someone playing a free gig for a handful of shoppers, Cartwright isn't afraid to work up a sweat, and both his guitar work and his vocals are rough, sweet, and full of soul on this disc. Live at Goner Records features selections from Reigning Sound's first three studio albums as well as a few well-chosen covers (including Sam the Sham's "Black Sheep" and Dan Penn's "Do Something"), and while this isn't Greg Cartwright's strongest or tightest performance (he forgets the ending to "Do Something" and he has to abandon "Two Thieves" due to faulty grounding), the spirit was clearly with him -- unlike most folks on the garage punk nexus, he clearly understands that the history of this music goes back farther than Lenny Kaye assembling the Nuggets compilations, and he weaves country, soul, and blues into raw, no-frills rock & roll with an unforced intelligence and passion whenever he steps in front of a mike. Like most live albums, Live at Goner Records is for serious fans rather than the uninitiated, but anyone who understands what makes Reigning Sound a great band will have a blast reliving this afternoon in their career. 


HOLLIS BROWN - Ride On The Train [USA 2013]

New York City's Hollis Brown (a band, not a person) have a tight, sparse classic rock sound that incorporates melodic pop, slight country touches, and, underneath it all, a kind of bedrock blues sensibility, and when they're at their best, they sound like all of those things at once, a bit like hearing Steve Earle fronting a stripped-down version of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers. Ride on the Train is the group's debut full-length album, and it's a gem, full of memorable songs and a sharp, taut sound that only includes what is necessary to put the song over. There's so much to like here, including the title track and opener "Ride on the Train," which lopes joyously and features a can't-miss, hooky chorus, as does the wonderful and grand "Faith & Love," while "Gypsy Black Cat" and "Down on Your Luck" sound a bit like Tom Petty gone country, only without losing a whisper of Petty's spunk and attitude. This is a band that knows rock roots and history, and knows exactly what it's doing, and the arrangements here have no unneeded embellishments: the guitars are whip sharp and appropriate, the drum sound is tight, spare, and perfect, and the harmonies don't overdo. This is a band with a bright future. 


martes, 2 de agosto de 2016

STRYCHNINE - Amour Dehors 1976-1981 [France 2006] Bordeaux Rock

Formé en 1976, Strychnine est le premier groupe rock bordelais digne de ce nom. Sauvage et authentique, il incarne la quintessence du rock français underground des années punk.

Le festival de Mont-de-Marsan ouvre la brèche pour tous ces groupes bordelais issus de la nouvelle vague rock, dont les initiales, à l’instar de celles de Strychnine, commencent presque toutes par ST, écot local aux Stooges.
Au mois d’août 1977, les cinq Strychnine montent sur scène juste avant The Clash et enflamment les arènes. La moyenne d'age du groupe est alors de dix-huit ans !

Agressifs et maniérés, les cinq vivent alors pleinement leurs excès rock. Tout semble possible. « Va jusqu’au bout de l’ennui, va jusqu’au bout de ta nuit » entend-on sur Ex-Bx, aux allures d’adieux au Port de la Lune (…)
Grâce à ces fulgurances et ces concerts intenses, le groupe entre instantanément dans la légende du rock français, laissant derrière lui un héritage flamboyant.

Vingt-cinq ans après ces faits d’armes exemplaires, Amours dehors offre un instantané saisissant sur les années 1976 à 1981, lorsque Strychnine était le plus grand groupe français de sa génération. Aujourd’hui, la réédition des exploits soniques du groupe n’est plus un vœu pieux.


lunes, 1 de agosto de 2016

ANGIE PEPPER - THE PASSENGERS - It's Just That I Miss You [2001] & Res Ipsa Loquitor [2003]

The Angie Pepper Band was a band formed in Sydney, Australia, which centralised around the artist Angie Pepper. Angie Pepper first came to notice as vocalist for the post punk independent Sydney band the Passengers, who produced one single ("Face With No Name") on the Phantom label. She married Radio Birdman co-founder Deniz Tek, and they played together in the short lived Angie Pepper Band whose ranks included a future Hoodoo Guru in Clyde Bramley and a former Saints drummer in Ivor Hay.

The band was short lived but in its time recorded a single called "Frozen World". Tracks that were recorded by the Passengers (in 1982) and the Angie Pepper Band (in 1984) were compiled on an LP and CD called It's Just that I Miss You that was issued on Citadel Records in 2001. In 2003 Angie Pepper released Res Ipsa Loquitor on Career Records, her first album of newly recorded material in years, which signals a powerful renaissance for this great singer. She has been described by Aretha Franklin's producer Arif Mardin as having a "most special voice".

It's Just That I Miss You

Res Ipsa Loquitor