Archives for August 2003

Midwest Blue – Remembering to Forget

Midwest BlueRemembering to ForgetMidwest Blue is a four-piece band hailing from Illinois that is clearly rooted in the pop-punk style of the recent past. The songs are peppered with tight and catchy instrumentation that is played with a lot of feeling and emotion. The vocals of Sam Swanson are very strong and he covers a lot of range with his … [Read more...]

Bear vs. Shark – Right Now, You’re in the Best of Hands…

Bear vs. SharkRight Now, You’re in the Best of Hands... Let's talk about their name. Bear vs. Shark suggests an epic confrontation, a full-on, take-no-prisoners brawl between two formidable forces of nature. In one corner, you have the big, bruising strength of the mighty bear, and in the other you have the speed, agility, and sheer tenacity of the … [Read more...]

Gameface – Four to Go

GamefaceFour to Go Have you ever listened to an album for the first time and find that every track sounds familiar? Have you ever heard a band whose lack of originality astounds you and you find yourself guessing which bands the musicians ripped off or "modeled" themselves after? Well, if these are things you've never experienced, pick up a copy of … [Read more...]

Nan Turner – Leg Out

Nan TurnerLeg Out Formerly a go-word (or go-acronym, if you will) tied onto just about anything associated with independent music, the letters "D," "I," and "Y" have almost faded out of currency among today's indie rockers. Once a necessity for bands with nothing to offer but audacity, energy, and the willingness to express the convergence of these … [Read more...]

Cash Monies & the Jetsetter – Thinkin’ Out Loud

Cash Monies & the JetsetterThinkin’ Out Loud Some say that the Southern white male (you know, the mullet-headed, tank-top-sporting, Camero-tinkering, small-towner) is the last cultural demographic that can be stereotyped without incurring the wrath of the politically correct. For some, the land below the Mason Dixon line is terra non grata, a … [Read more...]

The Devils – Dark Circles

The DevilsDark CirclesI have something I need to push off my chest. I hated the 1980s. There, I said it. I absolutely hated that never-ending, god-awful decade. Sure, a good piece of the decade could be neatly classified as a textbook example of the D.I.Y. punk ethic: scores of incredible independent bands blazing trails and setting standards that … [Read more...]

Macrocosmica – Art of the Black Earth

MacrocosmicaArt of the Black Earth As a critic, I'm not supposed to compare bands to other bands. There are virtually a million reasons not to do so. For one, it's sort of unfair to anyone involved. It's also trite, lazy, indulgent, and boring. I'm not supposed to say, for instance, that Explosions in the Sky sounds like Mogwai, even though, well, … [Read more...]

The Mystic Underground – The Nameless and Faceless EP

The Mystic UndergroundThe Nameless and Faceless EP Every once in a while, we get a chance to review a band that feels like a discovery, that has an impact and seems destined for greatness. The Mystic Underground, with its technology-driven sound, is not one of those bands. Made up of Benedetto Socci (keyboards) and Vladimir Valette (vocals), The … [Read more...]

Deadstring Brothers – S/T

Deadstring BrothersS/TThe Deadstring Brothers struck a good note with me before I even listened to the disc, because I really dug the simple hand-stamped packaging that brings me back. The sticker on the back tells me to "think Gram Parsons meets Hank Williams at Nick Cave's house for a drink or three," and I know that I will like this album … [Read more...]

Growing – The Sky’s Run into the Sea

GrowingThe Sky’s Run into the Sea I'm not going to lie to anyone about my feelings for Kranky Records. This one-time label that gave birth to groundbreaking acts like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Windy & Carl, Labradford, and Low has simply lost its Midas touch. The majority of their current releases fall under the cookie-cutter ambient-rock … [Read more...]