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03 March 2006

Vervein, The Weather Inside (Scenery) Rating: 7
This all-lady band creates rich rock sounds with harmonies from Jess Congdon and Esther Reyes that are near divine. The opening "Code Orange" is downplayed but still brings to mind Mazzy Star after listening to some harder rock bands and riffs from Congdon and Reyes that are buried in the mix. The Cure also seems to be a logical comparison with a darker, murky "Walkie Talkie" that rides the bass groove from the onset before the chorus reaches a fantastic crescendo. And it just continues to build off that. Brilliant! Unfortunately, the drop off comes with "Overlook", an okay song that you could probably overlook if not for the swaying melody. The first great tune is the whispered, eerie but slow building "Conquer" with Reyes on cello and playing off Emily Marsh on drums. The album is very cohesive, playing off the different soft and hard moments effortlessly, particularly with the dreamy "Bully" that again has strings running through it while "Ghost Outside" turns into this wall of guitar halfway through. Vervein also manages to shine on "Nothing" despite the lyrics and arrangement being nothing special. The group kicks things up a notch for the poppy closer "I Will Say", making the album end on a high point. While there's a light, airy thread, there is a lot of verve in this record. — Jason MacNeil [Insound]
"Code Orange": [MP3]
"Walkie Talkie": [MP3]
"Bully": [MP3]
"Nothing": [MP3]
multiple tracks: [Myspace]

Wanda Jackson, I Remember Elvis (Goldenlane) Rating: 6
One of the grande dames of rockabilly (there aren't many in that macho world), the "first lady of rock and roll" Wanda Jackson left the music in 1971 to play gospel music with her husband. In the past decade, though, she has crossed back over the sacred-secular line thanks to the alt-country revival. On this album, she celebrates her connection to Elvis Presley, who she met on the concert circuit of the mid-1950s, dated for a brief spell, and continued to be in touch with until his death. The music is solid, with Danny Harvey's rockabilly-guitar trills, rolls, and riffs circling over the well-primed rhythm section. But it's Jackson's voice that makes the record a thrill. No amount of singing for the lord has quite taken the tinge of naughtiness out of her phrasing. Songs such as "Baby, Let's Play House," "Trying To Get to You," and "Give Me the Right" growl and purr with carnal urges just barely covered up by the sepia-toned veneer of nostalgia. The old and new photographs reprinted in the CD booklet tell a similar story. The old ones, in black-and-white, explode with the energy of young lovers: Elvis playing guitar, his hair slicked back and make-up around his eyes, with Jackson looking on lovingly, hands-folded in front of her plain dress; Elvis in cowboy hat, cuddling with Jackson by a car; Elvis in sailor's cap and Jackson excitedly looking at posters for their concert with Webb Pierce. Then there is one of the new photographs, in color yet steeped in the past. It's a close-up of the ring that Elvis gave Jackson, from his finger to hers, now a momento mori that she includes for an album that itself is a kind of ring: bringing Wanda Jackson full circle to the start of her career, at once dazzling and earthly in the glow of her rockabilly past. — Michael Kramer [Insound]

Valina, Epode (54-40 Or Fight) Rating: 4
First impressions are a tricky thing. Epode is Austrian band Valina's first North American release. Signed on the strength of two prior full-lengths and a touring stint in Europe with the almighty Shellac, these ears were primed for some taut, wire balancing art-rock. Unfortunately, the five songs on the group's EP head out in a dozen different directions, none of them compelling. To be sure, the first two songs, "Entel Echo" and "Eriny" deliver some moderately complex jams, but have the fun sucked out of them by lead singer / guitarist Anatol Bogendorfer's monotonous drone of a singing voice. The acoustic guitar and contrabass driven "81 Men Without Memory" switches gears entirely (and borders on "More Than Words" style Extreme hilarity), while "Escort Of Soda" mixes European folk traditions, free jazz and math rock in an unconvincing stew. Epode is a varied menu that simply fails to come together into any kind of unifying statement. — Kevin Jagernauth [Insound]
MP3s from Vagabond (Trost/Conspiracy, 2003)
"Dance Your Job": [MP3]
"Ship to Escape": [MP3]
"The Akrobat": [MP3]

Struck Down, Revolution (Indianola) Rating: 5
This Erie, Pennsylvania band is a group composed of former members of hardcore bands like Blood On The Martyr and Restoration. And the lead singer sounds as if he's had one too many Red Bulls judging by the opening hysterics of "Education." With thick slabs of guitar, singer Gabriel Poland softens up his image briefly, but it's generally the sort of tune that's been done to death. "Action" is better with more of a rapidfire, punk-ish feel pushing it around in the same way that fat bald guy routinely does the smaller people in the mosh pit. And speaking of which, "Moshpit" is the ensuing song that resembles Metallica to some extent with its short, crisp but powerful guitars. As the album goes along, Struck Down don't seem happy playing metal for long nor are they happy with punk, so they blend the two for some rather ordinary tracks, especially "Tom Welch Is the Living Dead" and tedious "Your Disease" despite some fine playing from drummer Raymond Morton. And when the hell did you hear a Dylan like harmonica used during such music, but Struck Down do it here with "Purity". The band says in their press kit they want people to think about their music. Maybe people will be asking what Struck Down was thinking when they made some of these tracks. — Jason MacNeil [Insound]
multiple tracks: [Myspace]

Birdman, Club Mix (Universal) Rating: 6
Birdman a.k.a. Baby, the former Hot Boys member and other half of the Big Tymers, has never been the standout of the Cash Money clique, but he made a name with the street drama excess of his solo record Baby a.k.a. #1 Stunna. The pay-off has been healthy, as evidenced in his 2005 follow-up Fast Money. With a clear headspace and a free spirit, the record indulges in yesteryear's street drama selectively, as opposed to being overwhelmed by it. Club Mix, a selection of cuts from this record, summarizes this newfound sensibility. Fantasy abounds on "Smoke Out", where Baby and the gang laundry list exotic herbals while on an island getaway. "Out the Ghetto" and "Get It All Together" revive familiar hood tales of solidarity, but bounce more than mug. Coupled with the dependable presence of Cash Money brethren like Lil' Wayne (delivering service, "Like a Russian I roulette the bullet / Yeah, straight to your head / Give a nigga a mullet"), Birdman earns his way back into the club for another round. Rounded out by "Solid Chick" and "Cash Money Niggaz." — Dan Nishimoto [Insound]

.: posted by Editor 9:54 AM

02 March 2006

Midstates, Boxing Twilight (Mental Monkey/Reincarnate) Rating: 7
Just as another great buzz-rock-and-electronics band, Grandaddy, announces they'll be calling it quits after their upcoming release, here's a potential successor. Sharing that other band's unassuming approach and ability to naturally fuse keyboards into satisfyingly noisy guitar work, Chicago five-piece Midstates puts together intricate, pop songs with warm vocals wrapped in a gauzy shoegaze sheen. The album opens strong with their catchiest and fastest, insistent live drums racing beneath, but even when they later slow down and afford the vocals more space and an intimate closeness to the listener, the songs hold up beautifully. There may still be some rough edges to work out here, but for the moment this only adds to the charm. A great album from an exciting new band poised (I would hope) on the edge of breaking out to a wider audience. — Nate Dorr [Insound]
"Till Dead": [M4A]
"Under There": [MP3]

Future Tips, Girls on Wheels (Extra-Curricular) Rating: 7
This Philadelphia band has seen its members in several bands previously, but this new ensemble breathes new life into well-crafted but not too slick or overly produced radio pop. Part Beach Boys and part Gin Blossoms, the group seems to hit a song like "Flavors" out of the park. There's certain sweetness in the music that isn't found that often, particularly on tight nuggets like "Cold Bliss" as drummer Mike Kennedy tends to propel things along. Toning the record down with "Chins Up", the group never quite gets a grasp of this track despite a light, lullaby feel. But "Hideout" turns the album around again with a punchy electro-sprinkled pop rocker resembling like Tom Petty with the Attractions subbing for the Heartbreakers. Other efforts resemble The Click Five, which might not be a bad thing to some people. "No Sympathy" is such an example as they move from bubble gum pop into some quasi-ska rock groove. Unfortunately "Hairclub" loses something the more it goes along, and it's not any follicles. "I Know..." is a strong rocker with a bigger, fuller '60s style melody and chorus. The highlight is the winding "True Plans" that gives itself enough time to flesh things out. Ditto for the military drumbeat during some portions of "Downside"! — Jason MacNeil [Insound]

Mynah, Preface E.P. (self-released) Rating: 4
Preface bills itself as "An informal brunch served as a preface to a three day conference". Pretentious or tongue-in-cheek? You'll know when you hear the songs. Any time a rock band describes its sound as "lush" and praises its "organic instrumentation" in its press kit, something is up. Plus, Mynah keep calling themselves pop and there's frankly not an ounce of that here. Apparently it's trendy for dark, brooding indie rock bands to don the pop label nowadays. But Mynah's bio does get one thing right: they "never [hide] behind over-production". On this debut EP, Mynah's histrionics may be overwrought, and their rock may contain far too much art, but at least the production is restrained. The five tracks almost sound as if they were recorded live -- Holland Kemp's piercing vocals; Erik Guldbech's straight-outta-the-garage-amp guitar, Steve Formel's muffled drum kit. But if the best thing about Preface is its lack of major-label sheen, that's because it's the work of a very young group of five NYC kids self-releasing their first songs. Mynah's songwriting shows some promise, but still needs to develop. Most importantly, Mynah must shun their Radiohead tendencies. That's a black hole no young band should get caught up in. — Nate Seltenrich [Insound]
"Richness": [MP3]

Chamillionaire, "Turn It Up" f/ Lil' Flip [12-inch single] (Universal) Rating: 6
When I hear this song, I think of ping pong, R. Kelly and video games. Which is weird because I like all three, but don't really like this song. An odd amalgam of styles -- notably the cheap with the slick -- "Turn It Up" comes off as a misfired attempt to bridge the Houston rapper's past with his present-day stab at mainstream fame. Back when he rhymed with Paul Wall over cheap Casio beats, Chamillionaire used to sound hot and bothered -- although in the literal, completely unsexy ways. Perhaps producer Scott Storch approached the Koopa with the idea of revisiting that territory. Instead, they land in an awkward middle ground of overproduced cheese. Coupled with Killa Cham's excessive mean muggin', "Turn It Up" sputters pretty quickly. But that's if you've heard Cham's earlier work. And, quite frankly, most people who hear this on the radio haven't heard it. So, I present to you another club hit, radio-friendly conceiver of fiyah. Press rewind. At least twice. — Dan Nishimoto [Insound]
Chamillionaire: [multiple videos]

Airport Cathedral, Jetlag (Burning Building) Rating: 4
Slow need not mean boring; Codeine, Low, and an entire small movement adopted it as a guiding principle in the early 1990s, and later in the decade Mineral achieved a languid splendor without often accelerating past 60 beats per minute. In the hands of Airport Cathedral, however, the two terms too often blur together, as softly murmured vocals and incessantly midtempo rhythmic blandness lead one track into the next without much variation. Lyrical repetition doesn't help; the over-iterated pleas of "I only wanted to hear your voice" on one song give way to a mantra of "we were never so young" on the next, both striving for an emotional resonance neither achieves. Things pick up briefly at the halfway point, with Rentals-worthy keyboards bringing a cheesy charm to "Righteous". Closer "Another Day Another Week" rides out an effective chord progression about a minute too long, and then it's too little, too late: if the point of this album is to convey the feeling of jetlag it succeeds, but something tells me that was not the intent. — Whitney Strub [Insound]

.: posted by Editor 8:15 AM

01 March 2006

Paul Manousos, For Better Or Worse (Manousos Music) Rating: 8
Maybe it's because I just got the new Ray Davies album, but Paul Manousos seems to be educated in the same catchy British pop rock mould. But he's isn't British. Whether it's his timbre that would draw reasonable comparisons or his hook-filled chorus, songs such as "Another Day in the Life" and "It's Gonna Be Alright" immediately draw you in. With an ear for melody and a nifty way with words, Manousos nails "Beautiful Girl", a soft piano-tinted ballad that never gets too sappy. Think of the Stones circa "Angie" or "Waiting on a Friend" and this seems to be what Manousos has easily tapped into. He knows his strengths and plays to them often, as is the case with the mid-tempo "Flavor of the Month" and the equally pop-riddled "This Love" which namedrops the Stones. Even when he opts for a roots rock feeling as he does with the title track, he comes up smelling far from horse patties. And the soulful "Is It Ever Going to Change?" is worth the price of the album itself -- a gorgeous tune that again seems to channel Mick when he was half the age he is now. The lone, slight miscue could be "Broken" as Manousos opts for strings rather than a larger, well-rounded guitar. And if you're looking for an ambling kind of pop track, you could not find any better than "The Devil Within". — Jason MacNeil [Insound]
"Beautiful Girl": [MP3]
"Another Day in the Life": [MP3]
"This Love": [MP3]

The Flashbulb, Reunion (Sublight) Rating: 5
With this release, trading computer DSP effects for all-live instrumentation for the first time, the Flashbulb's Benn Jordan should finally be free of the perennial, apparently unavoidable comparisons to Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. Stripped of their usual rapid-fire drill 'n' bass backbones, however, Jordan's melodies are revealed to tend towards saccharine, albeit catchy, arrangements that could at times be more at home on a Windham Hill compilation. Which is a shame, as the last two years have seen Sublight Records release what is arguably the strongest Flashbulb material to date, and the highlights here -- sitar-and-strings-fueled breakbeat on "Sitari 7", the rolling "Walking Irrevocable", the unsettling guitar progressions of "Interior, So" -- are as good as ever. I, for one, am highly curious to see how the acoustic passages unveiled here are further incorporated into the Flashbulb sound on the next record. — Nate Dorr [Insound]
Lawn Funeral EP: [MP3]

Kill Me Tomorrow/Dance Disaster Movement s/t single (Art Fag) Rating: 4
Kill Me Tomorrow's 2004 full length, The Garbageman & The Prostitute was a fascinating piece of dystopian post-punk, making their collaboration with ironic-not-ironic indie dance band Dance Disaster Movement all the more intriguing. Consisting of one original, one cover and one remix (as well as video) their collaborative single doesn't offer much in terms of original content. How or why these bands came together is puzzlingly left out of their press material, but the result isn't as out there as you might imagine. "Beautiful Guns" marries house beats with minimal post-punk riffing fairly seamlessly and combines it with some pretty fine percussion work, but the song never reaches the fever pitch it keeps hinting at instead choosing to wallow in murky atmospheric muck. The decidedly left-field and deadpan reading of the Velvet Underground's "European Son" would probably make Lou Reed smile, but doesn't amount to more than a curio while keeping both band's identities intact. However, it's the Gold Club Mix of "Beautiful Guns" (by Gold Chains & Sue Cie) that finds the middle ground of avant-rock adventure and dance floor excitement the rest of the disc is missing, but it's too bad the bands couldn't find it themselves. — Kevin Jagernauth [Insound]

David Banner, "Touchin'" b/w "On Everything [12-inch single] (Universal) Rating: 8
Leave it to David Banner to reincarnate the carnal "F*kin'" as the sensual "Touchin'." Hands down the most sinfully delightful track off his fourth album Certified, the radio edit of his latest single receives a welcome rub down similar to how the clean version of "Play" toned down the original's blush-worthy tongue tactics. Now, Jazze Pha's steppers-lite production gets to hustle in all its grown'n sexy glory -- funny how the change of one word can turn the most salacious song you'd hide from your grandma to a cheeky nod apt for said octogenarians. The flipside features another album highlight, the stadium-crushing "On Everything." Twista and Banner tag-team verses and crush the competition to the beat of a drumline and descending 808s. Don't let the snap wave pass this cut by -- it's perfect for those Bonecrusher/Hulk-smash moments we all have. Radio, original and instrumentals of both cuts. — Dan Nishimoto [Insound]

Thrice, Vheissu (Island) Rating: 7
At least one of the members of Thrice keeps saying that they're not a Christian band, but I think he's fooling himself, because Dustin Kensrue's lyrics really only make sense in the context of rocking out for Jesus. Which is fine, especially considering that the lyrics are pretty danged good for this kind of thing (e.g., "I know one day all our scars will disappear / Like the stars at dawn"). Kensrue declaims and croons these words winningly, but what gets them over is the cool array of sounds and textures here, courtesy of amazing guitarist Teppei Teranishi (the one mentioned above) and the brawny rhythm section of the Breckinridge brothers. A band to watch, for realz. — Matt Cibula [Insound]

.: posted by Editor 7:05 AM

28 February 2006

Panther, Yourself (Fryk Beat) Rating: 6
Panther likes to sing in a falsetto, like his real name isn't Charlie Salas-Hunter but Prince Rogers Nelson. He likes to sing like that over a moving walkway of beats, one which heads off in several directions at once: stripped-down hip-hop, electro-funk that's been cut-up and lovingly screwed with, the psychedelic haunted-house mood inside a goth stoner's brain, an out-of-nowhere sliver of a piano concerto. He cries about being a jilted lover, utters almost unitelligible but nevertheless convincing boasts, offers phony religious chants to some imagined god, and offers us his account of discovering that his lover's been cheating when she gives birth to a black baby. It's uncompromisingly strange music, brilliant nonsense that's not quite enough of either to be outstanding, but just enough of both to keep your interest constantly piqued. — Dave Heaton [Insound]
"Nails Done": [MP3]

Tony Gilkyson, Goodbye Guitar (Rolling Sea) Rating: 6
Tony Gilkyson has played guitar for years but throughout most of that time he's been accompanying other people, either as a member of the Californian punk band X or as a session musician. Goodbye Guitar is only his second solo album. It's a nicely varied set of twangy country songs, ranging from rock-country ("Since the Well Ran Dry") to slow-country. ("My Eyes", which borrows playfully from "Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory".) The first song, "Mojave High", is narrated by a young man who feels so strongly about his small town that he doesn't think he'll ever leave it, even though "living here is like living on the moon," while the next one comes from a poor man who sleeps under a bridge. Here, and in the rest of the songs, the characters are searching for a stable point in their lives in the form of a home, or of someone who loves them. Goodbye Guitar flirts with nostalgia and in "Gypsies in my Backyard" it almost tilts over the edge into floss, but the song is saved by the appealing creak in Gilkyson's voice and the lyrics that, in the end, manage to be just sweet enough rather than too sweet to bear. The whole album is well balanced between sensitivity and robust bounce-and-release country rhythm. Not an essential purchase but a good'n nonetheless. — Deanne Sole [Insound]
"Gypsies in My Backyard": [MP3]

Rene Lopez, One Man's Year (Liberation Label) Rating: 7
On the first song here, well-connected NYC singer-songwriter Lopez asks us, if there is room in our hearts, to save a spot for him. This isn't very difficult to do, as his indie power-pop is adorable and hooky and fun and about as deep as it can get and still remain, y'know, indie power-pop. When he's getting gritty on "Into My World," he sounds like he means it; when he's doing pastiche work like the budget neo-doo-wop "Dirty Roses," he still sounds like he means it. And having some semi-famous friends help out -- Leona Naess does a haunting backing vocal on "Walk Through Walls" -- doesn't hurt. If there's not a place in your heart for him, reconsider your heart. — Matt Cibula [Insound]
One Man's Year: [stream album]

Minus the Bear / City on Film, "This Ain't a Surfin' Movie" b/w "Pony's Last Trick" [7-inch single] (Polyvinyl) Rating: 6
This split EP does double duty, promoting not just two bands, but also two remixers. IQU has a take at Minus the Bear's "This Ain't a Surfin' Movie" while Notebook takes on City on Film's "Pony's Last Trick". Notebook takes this Robert Nanna songwriter number and turns it into an old folkie dancefloor number. Rather than cancelling out the effects of the two styles, as you might expect, this combination yields a third, unique sound. The Minus the Bear remix results in a less unusual but more complicated piece. The guitar hooks give way to electronic expansion. IQU blends the rock center with a bit of dance percussion and an atmospheric spread. The resulting song works okay, but lacks the punch necessary to carry it if it isn't going to escape fully into the club, leaving a feeling that veers away from indeterminate and into indecisiveness. — Justin Cober-Lake [Insound]

.: posted by Editor 7:55 AM

27 February 2006

The Hi-Frequencies, Money Isn't Everything (Teen Regime) Rating: 7
Money Isn't Everything is an almost note-perfect throwback to the early 1960s, a time when performers wore suits and ties without irony. The group has that slightly fuzzy '60s edge to their drums, and their guitars twang with the lovely, resonant sound of surfer rock. Jayson Brooks' voice goes deep and precise in all the right places and in their cover of Fats Domino's "Hello Josephine" he even manages a citron falsetto. Occasionally the '60s mood slips, very slightly, and something more modern creeps in -- "California Ave" doesn't quite nail it, but the next song, "Peacock Stomp," makes up for that with rolling drums and a sharp guitar. It's self-produced as well: members of the band run both the Teen Regime label and the studio where the album was recorded. (See the Teen Regime website for an explanation of guitarist Bill McAdams' pro-analog philosophy.) If The Hi-Frequencies have a fault then it's the politeness of their sound. Money Isn't Everything could use some aggression a la Dick Dale or Jerry Lee Lewis. Still, it's an independent label and a great little album. What's not to like? — Deanne Sole [Insound]
"I'm Talking About You": [MP3]

Vivian Campbell, Two Sides of If (Sanctuary) Rating: 6
For the first half of the 1980s, Vivian Campbell was one of the finest, flashiest lead guitar phenoms in heavy metal. After cutting his teeth with the underrated Irish band Sweet Savage during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal explosion, the Belfast native joined former Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio's new band, and it was with the formidable Dio band that he came into his own. Barely into his 20s, Campbell played a major part on three massive-selling albums, the 1983 classic Holy Diver, 1984's The Last in Line, and 1985's Sacred Heart. In the years since, though, Campbell went on to play it safe as a hard rock hired hand, abandoning the flashy solos, first as a touring guitarist for Whitesnake, then as the late Steve Clark's replacement in Def Leppard in 1992. Granted, he's had a nice ride for the past 20 years, but it's hardly challenging for such a talented musician, and his solo debut, Two Sides of If, is a welcome departure. While longtime metal fans will be surprised that the album is a collection of rambunctious blues covers, any trepidation vanishes as soon as we hear Campbell let loose his razor-sharp solos on numbers by Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, and Rory Gallagher. While his electric blues is nothing new at all, and his backing band tends to be on the generic side (though Joan Osborne and Billy Gibbons pop in to liven things up), Campbell's complete lack of pretentiousness, not to mention his wicked soloing skill makes the album an easy one to like, and it's clear he's having a blast playing something new, instead of churning out "Pour Some Sugar on Me" for the kazillionth time. A side note: Campbell's comprehensive list of all the equipment used for each track will thrill the guitar geeks out there. — Adrien Begrand [Insound]
Two Sides of If: [multiple songs]

Nadine Zahr, Underneath The Everyday (Chirality) Rating: 6
Nadine Zahr's voice could be a blend of Melissa Etheridge and Billie Myers, particularly if the opening song "Where I Never Was" is a measuring stick. The song slowly builds, adding strings and acoustic guitar for a fine, radio-friendly adult contemporary format. And it's this blueprint that she excels with during the moody "Beautiful Soldier" that sounds like Nelly Furtado minus the Latin flavoring or overtones. When she slows things down, as she does on "Less Than 24 Hours", her soulful, bluesy side comes across so strong it's well worth repeated listens, especially with the horns and subtle piano. Zahr fits perfectly into a roots-meets-adult contemporary pop realm on "Wait" resembling a blend of Amanda Marshall and Melissa Etheridge with her pipes shining near the song's homestretch. Unfortunately, a few miss the mark, particularly the light and too breezy "Sunset". Another highlight though is "Around You" that has Zahr front and centre with some nice turns of phrases. "A Little Better" is, well, a little better than the previous track. But generally, Zahr has a very appealing voice that is velvety soft and almost rock hard when it needs to be. — Jason MacNeil [Insound]
"Where I Never Was": [MP3]
"Beautiful Soldier": [MP3]
"Less Than 24 Hours": [MP3]

Liz Janes & Create(!), Liz Janes & Create(!) (Asthmatic Kitty) Rating: 4
On her latest album, Liz Janes completes the departure from her punk roots which she began on her sophomore outing Poison & Snakes. Liz Janes & Create(!) pairs Janes with the avant-folk jazz collective Create(!) to rework, rearrange and reinvent public-domain songs. It sounds more interesting than it actually is. It would be unfair to state that the new arrangements of these songs are uninspired. That so much care went to so drastically recreating them precludes that. However, this collection of songs does sound uninspired, as if during all the hubbub and excitement of creating new from old, Janes and Create(!) lost sight of the heart and soul of the songs. Only "Son, Old Jeremiah / Keep Your hand on the Plow" breathes life into this otherwise innocuous collection of songs. For the most part, the spirit of these songs remains listless (if resurrected at all). — Dave Brecheisen [Insound]
"Lonesome Valley": [MP3]

.: posted by Editor 7:29 AM


In bold are PopMatters Picks, the best in new music.
Abe Duque
be your own PET
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
The Bottle Rockets
The Brand New Heavies
Johnny Cash
Slaid Cleaves
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Cut Chemist
Miles Davis
Dinosaur Jr.
Dr. Octagon
Alejandro Escovedo
Fatboy Slim
Four Tet
The Handsome Family
Matthew Herbert
Ise Lyfe
Jefferson Airplane
Lord Jamar
Mission of Burma
Mr. Lif
Mojave 3
Allison Moorer
Paul Oakenfold
Grant-Lee Phillips
The Procussions
Corinne Bailey Rae
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Julie Roberts
Diana Ross
7L & Esoteric
Alice Smith
Snow Patrol
Sonic Youth
Soul Asylum
Sound Team
Regina Spektor
Sufjan Stevens
Matthew Sweet
Rhonda Vincent
Thom Yorke

Baby Dayliner
The BellRays
Cat Power
The Clientele + Great Lakes
The Coup + T-Kash
Mike Doughty Band
Download Festival 2006
Fiery Furnaces + Man Man
The Futureheads
The Handsome Family
High Sierra Music Festival
Billy Idol
Bettye Lavette
Love Parade
Nine Inch Nails + Bauhaus
Sonic Youth
Splendour in the Grass 2006
The Streets
Sunset Rubdown

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