We are pleased to premiere Shiny Wet Machine’s latest track, “Euphoria”. The track is the latest in a series of songs the duo, consisting of Sizzy Rocket and Alex Fitts (The Kickdrums), has rolled out in recent months. Blending elements of lo-fi and garage rock, Shiny Wet Machine provides listeners with short, fierce bursts of energy that are undeniably appealing.
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Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Left Lane Cruiser has built a solid reputation as an undeniable force of rhythm and raw energy over the last decade. You can hear the band in action on “Claw Machine Wizard”, the title track from the duo’s upcoming LP, due May 19 from Alive Records. A blast of pure, furnace-hot energy, the tune bridges the distance between hill country blues and Black Sabbath. Drummer Pete Dio’s playing recalls the powerful, responsive (and jazz-inflected) work of Sabbath’s Bill Ward. Meanwhile, guitarist/vocalist Freddy J Evans IV reminds us that both blues and heavy rock took long crawls from the back streets to the main street, tracking layers of soulful grit in along the way.
We are happy to premiere the Neal Morse Band’s rendition of Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park” from the massive new Morsefest 2015 set, out today via Radiant Records via Metal Blade/Sony. Morse, who helped renew interest in progressive rock as a founding member of Spock’s Beard, has always had wide-ranging tastes, as demonstrated by this rendition of a song that’s been performed by everyone from Richard Harris to Waylon Jennings to Donna Summer.
Today we reviewed New York ensemble Red Baraat‘s new album Bhangra Pirates and said “Bhangra Pirates is the most successful attempt to package that energy yet for Red Baraat, ecstatic and frenzied, turning each individual listening at home into a full audience.” In our book, that makes the record a PopMatters Pick as Red Baraat has finally managed to capture their astounding energy and virtuosity as performance artists on record.
Mike Schiller: Somehow, Greg Dulli can recruit Har Mar Superstar for his video, infuse his song with a full horn section and finish it with a straight-up dance beat and extended falsetto notes, and it still sounds like he wrote the song at midnight by candlelight. That’s to his credit, of course—Dulli’s ability to find darkness in unexpected places is one of his great strengths. “Demon in Profile” is both classic and brand new for Afghan Whigs, as its big instrumentation and soaring vocal lines signal a new direction for the band even as it reaffirms their ability to find comfort underground. [8/10]