Archives for August 2006

Tim Barry – Laurel St. Demo 2005

Tim BarryLaurel St. Demo 2005You cannot help but notice that punk-rock frontmen often try solo opportunities. Greg Gaffin from Bad Religion is just one of many recent examples. Avail singer Tim Barry is another new recruit to the club. Bluntly titled Laurel St. Demo 2005, it's an acoustic endeavor with a narrative point of view. The combination … [Read more...]

Those Transatlantics – Knocked Out

Those TransatlanticsKnocked OutKnocked Out is as apt a title as you could ask for, and I expect to see it lead a majority of the accounts of Those Transatlantics’ soaring debut full-length. Easily in a league with other current pop savants such as the New Pornographers and the sublime Young and Sexy, though working a few hundred miles south of … [Read more...]

Helvetia – The Clever North Wind

HelvetiaThe Clever North WindFor the most part, Helvetia’s debut album, The Clever North Wind, seems like a tripped-out exploration of guitar effects and tweaked sounds that was discovered almost four decades after its recording. But no, the LP was not conceived and recorded while Love committed Forever Changes to vinyl. The Clever North Wind … [Read more...]

The Goslings – Spaceheater/Perfect Interior

The GoslingsSpaceheater/Perfect InteriorBeautiful is a word that does not come to mind when one mentions drone/doom giants Sunn 0))). Ugly, harsh, abrasive, monolithic, perhaps, but certainly not beautiful. Beauty is all in the eye of the beholder, however, and to some, sustained low-end amplifier noise is it. The Goslings go a long way to … [Read more...]

M Ward – Post-War

M WardPost-WarOver the last few years M(att) Ward has built himself a niche role as a benevolent backroom svengali figure after only a relatively short period of time spent refining his own remarkable talents. Almost in the same way that Ward’s own early champions – namely Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb and Jason Lytle of Grandaddy – gave him the … [Read more...]

Track a Tiger – Woke up Early the Day I Died

Track a TigerWoke up Early the Day I DiedThe opening track of Track a Tiger’s Woke up Early the Day I Died is “Glad to Be Scattered,” a boring, repetitive, yet upbeat number that pairs Tiger’s mastermind Jim Vallent with backing vocalist Kristina Castañeda. The second track is the first track only slower. The third track’s the second track … [Read more...]

Blood Meridian – Kick up the Dust

Blood MeridianKick up the Dust“Country and blues music by way of people who learned to play guitar from listening to Ramones records,” says Matthew Camirand of his latest masterwork, Kick up the Dust. “Referential wannabe bullshit?” wonders the skeptical throng. Thankfully, not quite. Temporarily trading the drugged-out malaise of Black Mountain … [Read more...]

Bury Your Dead – Beauty and the Breakdown

Bury Your DeadBeauty and the BreakdownJ.G. Ballard – possibly one of the last personalities I would have expected myself to utilize in a review of a band such as Bury Your Dead – wrote an exquisite short story titled “The Drowned Giant” about a city shaken up by the washing up of a deceased behemoth on a local beach. Understandably, the people are … [Read more...]

Pure Reason Revolution – The Dark Third

Pure Reason RevolutionThe Dark ThirdOthers listening to Pure Reason Revolution’s The Dark Third have referenced Pink Floyd. True, The Dark Third occasionally invokes or outright imitates selections from Dark Side of the Moon, but comparisons to the legendary Floyd are unfair and, more importantly, inaccurate. PRR is a different animal. PRR earns … [Read more...]

What Made Milwaukee Famous – Trying to Never Catch Up

What Made Milwaukee FamousTrying to Never Catch UpAfter listening to Trying to Never Catch Up, it's no surprise that esteemed independent record label Barsuk has re-released this Austin band's previously self-released debut, re-mastered with four new tracks and slightly altered artwork. Yes, these guys are from Austin, not Milwaukee, but what … [Read more...]