Dustin Ragucos: The repeated “phenomenal” and that random bit of singing right after Randall Park asks whether Eminem knows how to drive the car make the song feel like it’s a parody of a tame track by the rapper. It’s a song from a soundtrack (Southpaw), yes, but there’s nothing very special about “Phenomenal”. Enjoy the video for all its novelty. That John Malkovich part already has a room in my heart. [5/10]
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Indiana singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin is set to release his sixth album Like Us on 9 October. However, his pop music is so endearing it’s hard for some to wait that long, so he’s made available one more track to preview from the record to whet fans’ appetites. Cut from the same cloth as 1990s Ben Folds, the piano-driven “Don’t Mess With My Girl” combines wry humor with McLaughlin’s trademark charm and graceful hooks.
A year ago The Oregon Bootleg Tapes—Live, by Eugene, Oregon cult favorites Stick Against Stone turned many critics’ heads with its at times astonishing mix of taut punk rock and loose, groovy funk. Active throughout the 1980s, the band never made a proper full-length album despite their growing audience, but thanks to their old sound man (and MediaGroove founder) Will Kreth existing live tapes were dusted off an polished to make a universally acclaimed record.
Like Bob Dylan and the Band at Big Pink, Los Angeles band Moonsville Collective combine American traditional music, modern musical influences, and undeniable chemistry to create rustic Americana that’s made to be heard in person, where the beer is flowing and the energy is palpable. Their new album heavy Howl is set to be released 30 October on Rock Ridge Music, and in the meantime you can see the great new video for the track “Blue Money Grove”.
Steve Horowitz: How many white male athletes does it take to make a Panic! At the Disco video? Don’t forget to carry the light-skinned grey lady. Give up? That’s because the band is victorious. Pour the champagne over our bods and celebrate. Now I never expected profundity from this band, and though in the past I swore they seemed more ambitious than this. Still, we all need music to party and make merry with. If that’s all you need, it’s here. Woo hoo! [6/10]