As a fan of Guster since the late ‘90s, I’ve got a special place in my heart for the band. Their album Lost and Gone Forever remains their standout for me even as I have found gems on newer albums, like this year’s Evermotion the group’s first for Nettwerk. So when I they came around New York to perform at Summerstage in Central Park, I figured it would be an enjoyable show. And, despite the heat, it was.
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No one pours new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins. “Restless” takes me back to Club Paradiso in Amsterdam, a church converted into a dance club. There is a reason why New Order never grow old or fade. Their sound has become archetypal of not only an era, but also of specific nighttime emotions. New Order has become synonymous with that eloquent longing that only comes at 3am after several glasses of champagne cognac and hours of dancing under the multicolored spotlights of a club. The world turns and we turn with it and in that dizzying waltz we grow reverent and speechless. “Restless” is the sound of sanctus bells calling the faithful to worship.—DYLAN FREMONT [8/10]
Berlin trio Kadavar started off innocuously enough, first attracting attention from the stoner/retro-heavy rock crowd, but in 2013 their second album Abra Kadavar, followed by a series of revelatory performances in North America and Europe, established them as a true force to be reckoned with in hard rock and heavy metal. Their follow-up, the aptly-titled Berlin, places more emphasis on the rock ‘n’ roll side of their sound (as opposed to stoner metal) than ever before, echoing the filthy, gritty sounds of Detroit’s Stooges and MC5.
I’m not necessarily entirely huge on the electronic funk that Silicon seems to be bringing to the table, but I can definitely appreciate it for what it is from a technical standpoint. He’s being remarkably clean-cut with their mastering for a debut release, and that’s something that I think will carry them far within their respective lane. A bit too calculated to be quite sensual to me, which seems to be what the song is trying to evoke, though I know there’ll be plenty who’ll dig it all the same.—JONATHAN FRAHM [6/10]
No longer one half of country duo Steel Magnolia, and coming off a run on The Voice that saw here place second, Meghan Linsey has undergone a transformation from mainstream country chanteuse to pop/soul belter. And judging by what you hear on her new EP Believer below, the new sound suits the Louisiana-raised, Nashville-based singer to a tee. Produced by Ashley Monroe collaborator Tyler Cain, Believer retains enough country influence to attract listeners from that side, but make no mistake, this is one assertive, sassy little pop record with strong crossover appeal, highlighted by the Southern-tinged rocker “Counterfeit” and thunderous ballad “Best of Me”.