Playing catch up with music releases seems to never end. Obviously you can all tell that my releases (for the most part) have been on time and usually rather consistent. Due to day job duties, personal life, and other endeavours, I have been lacking...and for that I apologize.
(Artwork by AFGM. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
However, the selection of music for last week was pretty decent. Even if you're not a fan of the older generations of music, you HAVE to give credit to artists like Randy Bachman or Reba McEntire who are still pumping out quality music that would rival the best of newcomers.
(Reba - Love Somebody)
(Randy Bachman - Heavy Blues)
Don’t expect a slightly louder Elmore James though, the album title is accurate (particularly the “Heavy” bit). The opener is – probably deliberately – a little reminiscent of The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ and almost as anthemic as a BTO hit.
Most interest will probably be due to the guests on this set – Joe Bonamassa (inevitably!), Peter Frampton, pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, the aforementioned Neil Young and younger guitarists Scott Holiday and Luke Doucet, who all make one appearance each. -Blues In The Northwest
We also see the return of a few notable artists such as Gallows, Dance Gavin Dance, Halestorm, and Local H. It has been some time since a few of these artists have graced us with some new music, so it will be an enjoyable few weeks playing catch up.
(Halestorm - Into The Wild Life)
Into the Wild Life travels the breadth of rock, whether it’s the dirty riffs of “Amen,” the country-metal leanings of “New Modern Love” or the ’80s rock sound of “Bad Girls World.” That latter song is perhaps the biggest departure on the album, with a Foreigner vibe that works far better than you would expect. In-between “New Modern Love” and “Bad Girls World,” the band speeds things up with the edgy, punk-flavored “Mayhem.” This song is aggressive rock that leaves it all out there and is sure to be a favorite of the band’s touring set. -411 Mania
(Dance Gavin Dance - Instant Gratification)
This album reminds us just how much fun music can be. Whether it’s the impromptu dance beat part-way through “Shark Dad,” Mess’ random finale for “On the Run” or Swan’s rap cameo on “Eagle vs. Crows,” this album is full of moments that make you smile. This tongue-in-cheek quirkiness makes Instant Gratification a fun, infectious listen, but when you also consider the stellar musicianship that runs through its core, it becomes one of the best overall packages I’ve heard for some time. This is certainly the most cohesive album Dance Gavin Dance has produced since Happiness and it might just be the most accomplished since break-through record Downtown Battle Mountain put this band on the map almost ten years ago. -FDRMX
(Gallows - Desolation Sounds)
The title Desolation Sounds stems from a large body of water (called Desolation Sound) west of Vancouver in MacNeil’s home country. It’s a far flung corner of North America (although everywhere there’s pretty far flung by European standards), but it’s by no means the ends of the Earth suggested by its name. That’s where we find Gallows here. They’ve grown a lot, their songwriting’s improved, and the loss of both Carters has only sharpened their sound.
Either way, after several years and albums of adding and removing this and that from their sound, Gallows are undoubtedly at their prime on Desolation Sounds. The Southern gothic touches strewn throughout the album help make this their best set of angry anthems to date. -Drowned In Sound
(Local H - Hey Killer)
Local H isn’t one of those bands. Where most of those 90s acts are lamenting over the good old days of cd sales, low budget music videos, and 120 Minutes, Local H spits on the sidewalk, shrug their shoulders and continue playing the angst ridden rock they mastered years before as if no time has passed.
Hey, Killer is the eighth LP from the Zion, Illinois natives and despite being twenty years older since the last time they had a ‘Buzz Clip’ on MTV, the album sounds as fresh and unrelenting as a debut record. In fact, I may go as far as saying that Hey, Killer is lean, hungry, and has a lot to prove much like any new band on the scene trying earn credibility or make a name for themselves. -Bearded Gentlemen Music
That being said, make sure you are visiting your local record store (shortly after Record Store Day 2015), and online retailer, or a trusted digital source. Music is fueled by us, and by us alone. Cheers!
(Various Artists - The Everlasting Songs: An All Star Tribute To Pink Floyd)
*No reviews as of yet
(NEEDTOBREATHE - Live From The Woods At Fontanel)
But the first real hint that Live From The Woods is going to be a special concert recording is in the next song, "Wanted Man," from 2011's The Reckoning. Stretched to almost eight minutes and incorporating a new organ line that adds a bit of oomph to the song, "Wanted Man" goes through a few iterations over those eight minutes; from the rocking opening to an acoustic interlude that sees guitarist Bo Rinehart taking a soulful turn on vocals before the band abruptly stops playing, pauses for a dramatic few seconds, then launches back into the chorus with a renewed, manic thunder. -Jesus Freak Hideout
(Now And On Earth - Blacked Out)
Blacked Out, besides “Interlude” and the opening of “All On You,” seemingly never slows down. Intertwined within the songs are breakdowns, dark guitars with haunting melodies, and even an occasional shred worthy solo. The drums hold everything together but at times show off with a tricky pattern, like the chorus of “No Way Out,” which really showcases how tight the band plays together, blasting through groove after groove with ease. -Yell Magazine