Archives for January 2003

Canyon – Empty Rooms

CanyonEmpty RoomsFrom the opening moments of Empty Rooms, the second long-player from Canyon, the band gives off the distinct impression that they are not going to make things easy for their listeners. They sound as if they're in a peculiar mood, one compelling enough that they need to force it on the world whether it wants it or not. That mood, … [Read more...]

David Gray – A New Day at Midnight

David GrayA New Day at Midnight Four years after the release of White Ladder and being hailed as one of the most critically acclaimed artists in recent years, David Gray is back with his third full-length release, A New Day at Midnight. After the success of White Ladder, it seems that Gray has done it again. A New Day at Midnight is not White … [Read more...]

Crooked Fingers – Red Devil Dawn

Crooked FingersRed Devil DawnEric Bachmann sounds a lot like Tom Waits. That is, he sounds a lot like Tom Waits, were Tom Waits a criminally under appreciated post-punk legend. Way back in the mid-90's, Bachmann's first outfit, the shit-kicking Archers of Loaf, released a couple of albums and got a little play from the college radio stations. Their … [Read more...]

Strawberry – S/T

StrawberryS/T Don't you listen to the music of the underground because you can't stand the music of the mainstream? I know I do. However, a group of underground musicians from Chicago have formed what I assume to be a joke band, but the band seems to have taken the joke too far and maybe even actually takes this stuff seriously. Formers members … [Read more...]

Steve Almaas & Ali Smith – S/T

Steve Almaas & Ali SmithS/T Singer/songwriter Steve Almaas (previously a member of late-'70s punkers Suicide Commandos and roots rockers Beat Rodeo) has teamed up with his girlfriend Ali Smith (former bassist in Speedball Baby) to create a beautiful rootsy, country-tinged collection of songs that include a couple of clever covers to go with … [Read more...]

Sugar Daddie – Hell or High Water

Sugar DaddieHell or High Water Sugar Daddie are one of the latest bands to join the hardcore ranks of Ohio's Thorp Records alongside label mates Edgewise, The Boils, and The Young and The Useless. Their first full-length CD, Hell or High Water, is slated to be released at the end of January, and let me tell you, it's a blistering album. Having seen … [Read more...]

U.S. Rail – Who Am I Today?

U.S. RailWho Am I Today? Don't blink. You might miss the 10-song, 18-minute album from US Rail, a self-proclaimed six-piece lo-fi antifolk band from suburban New Jersey that is still learning their instruments. This is lo-fi indie rock in its truest sense, perhaps the first real lo-fi rock you'll have the pleasure of hearing since early Beat … [Read more...]

Rumah Sakit – Live September 9th, 2000

Rumah SakitLive September 9th, 2000Recorded at the Bottom of the Hill club in San Francisco, this double CD features about 40 minutes from both of these bands, each performing flawless, energetic, and impressively tight sets before what had to be a very excited audience. The idea of releasing two live CDs like this, representing probably these … [Read more...]

Signal to Trust – Folklore

Signal to TrustFolklore At only 21 minutes, Folklore is probably an EP, but it has the feel of a full-length album and thus the length is deceiving. So is the album art, which shows forest animals in bright colors; one would almost imagine an album of bright, cheery pop music. Instead, Signal to Trust is a brilliant rock band from the Minneapolis … [Read more...]

Lovetron – All Across the Grand Charade

LovetronAll Across the Grand Charade In my books, originality will get you big-time bonus points, and Lovetron is nothing if not original. Defining this band is nearly impossible, although it is possible to track their influences and cite the various genres the band fuses together on their debut, All Across the Grand Charade. The music here seems … [Read more...]