SILVER CIRCLES REVIEWS Nov 09


Comment on any CD Review in Reader's Respo™
Make sure you title your comment so we know which review you're talking about.
You can also discuss local music 24/7 at The Noise Board

CDsChandler-296.jpg
CHANDLER TRAVIS
Sonic Trout
After She
Left

11-song CD
This ain’t your grandfather’s
Chandler Travis, but it could be your grandfather, and that’s fine.
Gone (just for the moment, mind yez) are the multiple horns, the whiplashin’
backbeat, the groan-inducing lyrical punnery (well, for the most part),
the preposterous headwear, and overall circus vibe we commonly associate
with Travis. Here instead is a more pensive (you heard me) side of the
ol’ goofball, and it’s a hot oil massage for the soul. What’s
often overlooked during the typical orgy of his Philharmonic shows is
that Travis is one fuck of a songwriter. So here’s a quiet glimpse
of that brilliance at work, stark raving naked. Under various keys and
strings, there’s a wisp of woodwind here, a bop of bongo there, some
harmonies so subtle they barely register as such, and precious little
else that ain’t crucial, yet it’s still surprisingly layered. I
was even all set to slag a cover of “My Bonnie” (yeah, that one),
but the wily bastard even made
that work. All you hipsters who think it’s just dahhling
when, say, Elvis Costello does Burt Bacharach, would be fatally foolish
to miss this. (Joe Coughlin)


MORPHINE
Rhino Records
At Your Service
35-song/ 2-CD set
When Morphine bassist
/frontman Mark Sandman died in the summer of 1999, the iconoclastic
band’s promising run was cut fatally short. The past decade has left
fans with a lot of questions as to what could have, should have, would
have happened to Beantown’s low rock heroes with few answers, save
for a posthumous greatest hits collection and Dana Colley’s recent
resurgence in Electric Waste Band. But as Sandman croons on the trio’s
loaded new rarities retrospective
At
Your Service
, “Have Patience.
Everything will be alright.”

It’s
a promise the album delivers on fully. Twelve years since the band’s
last full-length,
At
Your Service
pulls together
35 tracks of B-sides, alternate takes and live cuts in an attempt to
fill the void left by the band’s demise. Fortunately the band rolled
a lot of tape during its tenure, and much of the two disc set stands
alongside the band’s best work. Tracks like “Women R Dogs” and
“Come Over” will feel achingly familiar, basking in the band’s
signature molasses-like blues sound, while the live cuts that make up
much of the second disc are a cut above the
Bootleg:
Detroit
release. As a rarities
set it’s not the most consistent listen, but fans who have long been
jonesing for a fix will find it pretty refreshing. (Ryan
Bray)


SAND MACHINE

Conference
11-song CD
This has the Rolling
Stones and the Beatles written all over it: just have a listen to the
opener, “It’s Gettin’ Late” or “Noly-Noly Crimbellum.”
Quite appropriate for a band claiming to be reminiscent of the British
Invasion… and American roots rock. As music that is referred
to as “both the forest and the trees,” I am rather fond of it.
Conference is
a testament to determination and commitment, and is more solidified
than their previous releases. The sound is edgy and inventive.
“Call Me Elvis Now” has the potential of being a mainstream radio
hit. “Let the Demons Die” is entertaining and quirky with
its country flavor, while “Noah’s Canon” is a well-crafted instrumental
ode. Suitable for audiences of all ages, this disc is worthy of
repeated listens. To put it simply, there is plenty to like here.
(Julia R. DeStefano)


THE SUN LEE SUNBEAM

Beneath the Burning
Sky
15-song CD
They tap the roots
of indie rock, supplying a panacea of raw musical styles that remind
the mind what it means to bleed for your craft.

Right out of the gate
Jessica takes control lustily demanding “I want you naked” over
a bed of blistering old school punk rhythms. “In the Silence” rolls
out of the speakers nestling us down on an overstuffed red shag beanbag
chair in the midst of a Warholian house party. But before we can
truly get comfortable for an extended trip, the mania returns and the
dream state is blown apart with “Mindless Distance” and “Modern
Day Masquerade” to fill the soul.

The album is an energetic
rollercoaster ride for the sonic sensors within ensorcing and energizing
while offering some keen perspective on the human condition through
Jessica’s fiercely strong yet tantalizingly feminine vocal stylings.

Bottom line. Taste
it, test it and always blast it! (Rick Dumont)


VINTAGE FLESH
The Eyes
That Glared at My Agonies

10-song CD
Although this leans
heavily in the dark metal/hardcore side of goth, there are more than
a few moments of theatre on this disc that deserves more than a passing
ear of attention. Vintage Flesh is musically adventurous in a
B-Movie horror flick sort of way. If you like your music with
any major chords, you’re in for a profound disappointment, but if
you want to hear horrid tales of corpse-ridden death and angst and over
the top musical histrionics, then this is the album to own. Vocalist
Raypissed is a singer of his own device, sounding like a cross between
Jack Skellington and the Cryptkeeper. Every line of lyric sung
like he is having his pubic hairs pulled out one at a time while getting
his back waxed. This music is silly, stupid, heavy, dark, over
the top and absolutely brilliant. I have never laughed so hard
while at the same time being so creeped out. I can’t stop listening
to this. Really. This album is fucking awesome!
(Joel Simches)


DAMON AND NAOMI

20|20|20 Records
The Sub Pop
Years

15-song CD
Is this the fabled
music of the spheres? Be advised that I’m only half kidding here.
Certain tracks are so sublime they almost constitute their own genre:
call it classical psychedelia, as on the haunting “New York City,”
the epic “The New World,” and the brilliantly hypnotic “Eye of
the Storm.” Note also the curious fashion in which, by way of a vocal
duet, Damon and Naomi impress their own classical approach and awareness
onto their outstanding cover of Tim Buckley’s wrenchingly evocative
“Song to the Siren.” On the whole, this music is the polar opposite
of garishly commonplace, showboating rock and roll devoid of subtlety
or purpose. The duet’s output for the Sub Pop label from 1995 to 2002
is well-represented here, and possibly only completists will want to
hunt down the four original albums—though those who enjoy this highly-recommended
compilation would also be advised to purchase the band’s first post
Galaxie 500 album,
More
Sad Hits
(1992), also recently
reissued on CD. (Francis DiMenno)


LIQUID SHIT

Sin Giggles
9-song CD
I thought the last
thing this “band” (guy) sent in was a terrific hoax. Turned out
it wasn’t, which was even better. Home-studio fuckery at its most
twisted, melding genres into whole new ones previously unimagined. This
one ain’t
quite as out-there, but still exists in its own
universe, and that counts for much. Because like so many great outsiders,
no matter how baffling (stonewalling, even) the results appear, it’s
obvious this lone ranger loves all kinds of music. It goes in that special
box for when I ask friends, “You wanna hear something
really strange?
So, like last time, here’s the track rundown: 1. A rap as though done
by Oscar the Grouch and the Chipmunks; 2. An Irish sea chanty hybrid;
3. A drum-and-fife ditty without the fifes; 4. A six-minutes-plus power
ballad about Grandpa and a rubber mallet that’s at least as good as
“November Rain”; 5. A live track about burger toppings which I suspect
isn’t live; 6. A heartfelt hymn to mortality; 7. A sorta “Hot Rod
Lincoln” for the new millennium; 8. A self-contained rock opera that’d
be right at home on “Jesus Christ Superstar”; 9. A shockingly unnecessary
Beastie Boys piss-take. In all, we got choirs, banjos, synthcore, and
mass confusion. I ain’t trippin’, but I’m happy.
(Joe Coughlin)


THE SPRAINED
ANKLES

Teenage Heart Records
Oh Snap,
It’s The Sprained Ankles

13-song CD
How you feel about
these garage punks depends quite significantly on how you feel about
silliness. Those with no appetite for kazoo solos and mock horror songs
about pharaohs, axe gnomes, ships, and vampires would be best off turning
their attention elsewhere. For the rest of us who don’t want or need
every band to fight against the world’s injustices, there is plenty
to like. The songs are frenetic and catchy and the juxtaposition of
Drew Kazoo’s deep, cartoonish voice and the Brides of Tankenstein’s
earnest, chipper girl group backing vocals is both hysterical and sonically
effective. Truth be told, the gimmicky nature makes the record seem
overly long at thirteen songs and will keep it from being in heavy rotation,
but I do think there’s a good chance I break it out for my Halloween
party. (Kevin Finn)


ROBBY ROADSTEAMER

I Solved
Every Miniquest

15-song CD
I don’t find this
funny. (Slimedog)
P.S. I know this may
be rejected—hey, I know how it feels to be a lonely wallflower at
the Spring Jubilee dance, but I feel this is the most concise I can
be with this record.


ALEC K REDFEARN & THE
SEIZURES

Corleone Records
Exterminating
Angel

8-song CD
Being a guitarist,
it’s hard to say this, but the age of guitars leading an instrumental
ensemble is quickly decaying. Forget all those dreams you had about
being the Jimi Hendrix of the trio, or the Pat Metheny of the group,
or the default creative musician all the others refer to. A good example
of the point I’m talking about is Primus. I hope you know them. Les
Claypool on bass was the focal point, and it was great, refreshing,
weird, and sounded good, if you had open ears and mind. Now imagine
a band coming from that same template but with an accordion being the
focal point. That’s this band. How about accordion with distortion
and frightening killer licks? Imagine Halloween-tinged gothic compositions
that sound like you’ve arrived at the Hammond castle on the full moon
with a bunch of crazed witchy partying lunatics, that’s the sound.
It’s absolutely spooky, and still fresh, and totally awesome.
(Mike Loce)


N.S.I.

The Squeeze
11-song CD
Although I am not quite
sure what to make of this debut, I persevere on in an attempt to characterize.
Do the members of N.S.I. aim to mystify their listeners? Is this
what the elevator music in hell sounds like, or the voice of the devil?
These questions remain unanswered—what I do know, is that this is
unlike anything I have ever heard before. Despite my confusion,
I praise their individuality, for the album is an honest endeavor.
However, that which makes it distinct detracts from any credibility;
the overly dramatized, theatrical vocal stylings cause me to step back
in disbelief. Such an approach is unnecessary and overshadows
rich instrument tonality… the music itself is beautiful. Spooky
atmospheric sounds permeate throughout—melody and hooks are in attendance.
At least have a listen to “Never Be,” which is surprisingly in sync,
and in the realm of Metallica’s “The Unforgiven II.” N.S.I.,
if you’re out there, tone it down a bit, because you have the potential
to be great. (Julia R. DeStefano)


VARIOUS ATISTS

Boston University
BU Today
Sessions: Live From 808 Commonwealth Ave

14-song DVD
This is a pretty well
packaged and thought out performance DVD featuring some of the best
musicians, bands and songwriters from the Boston University community.
There are six bands featured on this disc, each playing live as the
video cameras roll around them in what appears to be an abandoned wing
of a dilapidated warehouse building. Although the bands featured
here are less than inspiring, the audio and video is lush and well produced.
I wish there were some interviews interspersed with the performance,
but the performances themselves are raw and immediate. Some highlights
include Spitzer Space Telescope, a solo performer who instantly channels
the frenetic energy of Liam Finn, the quirky humor of Robyn Hitchcock
and Richard Thompson, and the thoughtful intellect of early Billy Bragg.

Interrobang is an electro/punk
Duo (guitar/ drum machine), who combine emo/grindcore with New Order
drumbeats. First to Seven is a generic youth pop band influenced
by Matchbox 20 and other forgettable frat pop bands. Grimis is a folk
inflected indie pop band and one of the true jewels of this DVD, in
terms of memorable music. Also worth checking out is singer/ songwriter
Bob Cenci who brings a warm rootsy vibe to the mix. While light
on performers, this DVD is a good peak into the musical community at
BU. (Joel Simches)


ILL WIND
Sunbeam Records
Flashes
24-song CD
In what is regarded
as a “key artifact,” this is the first expanded reissue of
Flashes,
an album originally released in 1968. A second disc of bonus material
is in accompaniment, containing demos and basement studio tapes, which
date from ’66 through ’68. The collection is exceptional and
overwhelming all at once—and the photographs are beautiful.
The album’s opener, “Walkin’ and Singin’,” is especially pleasing,
evoking sentiments of tranquility and everlasting love. Throughout
the disc Richard Griggs and Connie Devanney’s vocals are crystal clear
and blend wonderfully. This is quintessential psychedelic folk-rock,
what most would classify as “hippie” music. All in all, the
package is, as stated, “truly essential for psych fans.”
(Julia R. DeStefano)


SARAH BLACKER
Rumble Bee Records
The Only
Way Out Is Through

11-song CD
I like Sarah’s disc;
she certainly takes you on a ride. I admit the first track with the
kinda goofy mandolin made me think of some ephemeral country folk pop
riff-raff. Her voice, though is fabulous (please tell me there’s no
pitch correction here Sarah, PLEASE). I started hearing a Natalie Merchant-type
timbre… and yes, though a down-in-the-mud-rocker resides in my soul,
I really enjoy these lighter shades. Another complimentary aside to
Sarah’s voice, I might mention Dolores O’Riordan. I like the fact
that Sarah is a music therapist, it’s extremely cool. Finally the
world is waking up and realizing that music is not just a flagrant plastic
commercial throwaway. I’m sure study of music as therapy certainly
alludes to the elusive quality of quality, to tongue tie a phrase for
you. That nonsense being said, Sarah has produced a quality work with
a great understanding of what it takes to deliver a musical message.
(Mike Loce)


BEAT CIRCUS
Cuneiform Records
Boy From
Black Mountain

13-song CD
Gimmick-laden and busy
as certain of the production touches may be, I can’t help but be impressed
by the sheer bravura energy of tracks like “Petrified Man,” which
is only one of the half-dozen-odd notably appealing songs from this
second entry of a proposed Weird American Gothic trilogy. I also particularly
like the atmospheric instrumental “Clouds Moving In.” In fact, the
instrumentals are the high point of this production, as they were on
the band’s previous effort,
Dreamland. The bravura trombone, trumpet, violin, and
viola sections in particular add a bright and resounding feel to the
proceedings, though the frantic vocals on “The Quick and the Dead”
are also—why not just come out and say it?—quite wonderful. As a
whole, the best tracks on this heedless and headlong collection are
an unmitigated triumph, and the very best song, “As I Lay Dying,”
is brilliantly within the tradition of witty mainstream classics of
proto-Americana such as Creedence, Little Feat, and even “I Asked
My Doctor” by Dan Hicks. (Francis DiMenno)

 


PAUL PHILLIPS

Every Time
I Leave
10-song CD
Is this the voice of
the next Ryan Adams, or perhaps another incarnation of Gary Louris’s
Jayhawks? As Phillips’ one-sheet states, this is a “mix that’s
well-suited for an evening drive into the sunset… radio up, windows
down.” Genres of country and blues are clear throughout, and
the closing track, a spiritual-esque “Honey From the Rock” also
indicates an admiration for Southern gospel. Overall, this may
not be groundbreaking, but it is pleasant and enjoyable. Influences
such as Wilco, Johnny Cash, Martin Sexton, as well as Van Morrison are
evident but not overwhelming. “Move your feet, clap your hands,
and sing along.” (Julia R. DeStefano)


VARIOUS ARTISTS
Good Cop/Bad Cop Records
Aaarrrr! A Tribute to Jonee
Earthquake

16-song CD
Thirty years into his
career, the well-loved but relatively little-known Jonee Earthquake
is the recipient of this tribute album, which is comprised of sixteen
mostly punk acts taking stabs at Earthquakes’s depictions of life’s
little battles. For example, there are songs about work, stupid people,
stupid club owners, piracy and crosses on the side of the road. Most
of the acts present the songs in 1-2-3-4 Ramones-y fashion, which gets
monotonous pretty quickly. Of course, monotony is a step up from the
version of “I Can’t Sleep at Night” sung by a child. There is
almost never any circumstance in which hearing a child sing doesn’t
want to make me stab my brain with a Q-Tip. This is never as funny or
as charming as it is intended to be. That said, there are a couple good
moments here. The Gobshites Celtic stomp adds some flair to “Up with
Piracy,” and the Mosquitos surf instrumental “Lookout!” is also
quite fun. But if the goal of this album is to make me check out the
originals, then it comes up short. (Kevin Finn)


THE VIVS

Mouth to
Mouth

12-song CD
The very first song
is solid gold. “Waking Up” starts out at a limpid and subtle pace
and texture and breaks out perfectly into a type of languid anthem backed
by a throbbing guitar mantra. But the rest of the collection mainly
consists of stylish rock turns that mostly appear to be lacking in staying
power. The album as a whole reads like a recipe in which, unfortunately,
a crucial ingredient is missing. Few of the songs seem unique of their
kind, but more carefully conceived and skillfully executed genre exercises.
I suspect a more consistent production approach to the songs, and more
care in making the songs themselves less anodyne pop-rock and more distinctly
crafted individual statements, might serve to ultimately present this
talented band to better advantage. (Francis DiMenno)


THE HONORS
Wolf Den Studio
Wasted Palaces
11-song CD
These guys would have
fit perfectly on a bill with the Sheila Divine, as both bands have a
penchant for yearning, anthemic ’80s-era post-punk, with U2 running
strongly through their respective DNA. Brandon Heisler has a smooth,
expressive voice; Andrew Bayardi’s lead guitar has a very lyrical
feel and the rhythm section of Jason Trikakis on drums and Roland Nicol
on bass stands out throughout. The Honors are clearly playing to the
back row of the arena, as evidenced by the huge and (for a local band,
anyway) expensive-sounding production, but they have enough grit to
avoid falling into the Snow Patrol/ Coldplay trap of wussiness/ blandness.
As an added bonus, all eleven songs sound different from each other
while still maintaining cohesiveness throughout the album. Although
this isn’t the best album I’ve heard so far this year, it is the
one that seems most ready for the radio. Or at least it would have if
’BCN hadn’t closed shop. (Kevin Finn)



GUY MENDILOW BAND

Skyland
14-song CD
This is in essence,
world music, incorporating Middle Eastern, African, and South American
influences. Although diverse, boundaries are blurred, making it
easily accessible to listeners everywhere. Through fusion of a
wide variety of elements, the musical compositions often appear whimsical.
The Israeli peace anthem, “Sala’am” includes characteristics of
Brazilian culture alongside warm and welcoming harmonies. “Durme
Durme,” an ancient Sephardi song, is presented through the “melting
pot” language of Spanish, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew. Mendilow
is on a “border-busting mission: partnering for peace, person to person.”
Music such as this is intriguing, exquisite, and certainly worth a listen.
(Julia R. DeStefano)


BEAUTIFUL LIES
Yeah, Finally
11-song CD
This is a little too
subtle for me (but why do I get the sickening feeling that the actual
word I’m looking for is “inconsequential”?). The most lasting
impression I get is of vapid melodies unmoored to any sense that anything
they have to say seems to matter. The most distinctive song here is
probably “One Thing,” and it comes off as a very poor man’s Jonathan
Richman. No, it will not do. Not yet. (Francis DiMenno)


MORGAN KNOCKERS

Second Rock Records
Loss Of Reality
14-song CD
Ah, yes, Mrs. Slimedog
here, top reviewer of such world-wide publications as
Rolling
Stone
, Beatle, Monkee, and the Noise—whose sharp, incisive critical mind is only
exceeded by her finely sharp, manicured nails.

But now let’s get
up to the tropic of hands. These Morgan Knocker boys (doesn’t knocker
mean gazonga?) play fast aggressive music. The words zip by so fast
I can’t make any of them out and the object seems to be to play faster
than a Mexican jumping bean! Maybe these boys are drinking too many
Sparks and need to calm down with some Sleepy Time tea. Even Slimedog
who you’d think would enjoy this says it’s radio friendly punk with
metal licks thrown in here, and there and wouldn’t recommend it.

Not too bad, it’s
very well done and sprightly, it just won’t replace any of my Jonas
Brothers records anytime soon. (Mrs. Slimedog)


THE CANDACE
BROOKS BAND

The Chase
8-song CD
The Candace Brooks
Band writes the kind of pop hooks that sneak up on you when you aren’t
looking. Maybe nothing really sticks in your head after the first spin
or two, but then you suddenly find yourself singing “I’m Gonna Break
Your Heart” or “Feel It” in the shower and you want to congratulate
the band on pulling off such a neat trick. The melodies and song structures
remind me a bit of Letters to Cleo, albeit without the edge that kept
that band interesting over repeated listens. Brooks has a Gwen Stefani-ish
throaty Cupie-doll voice that mostly works for this genre. It’s the
upbeat stuff that fares best, as the slower numbers don’t carry the
emotional heft necessary to keep the listener’s attention. Still,
out of all the bands that have shared a bill with Debbie Gibson and
Tiffany, this is easily my favorite. (Kevin Finn)



CHARLIE CHRISTOS

Widow’s
Gun

8-song CD
These are some genuinely
moody and atmospheric songs here, sometimes nearly as evocative as those
on Astral Weeks. In particular, songs like the heartfelt “Vow” and
the sprightly “At Heart’s End” will satisfy the appetites of anyone
looking to kick back and lose themselves in the music. However, unfortunately,
too much of the time, the melt-into-air production values, as well as
the insubstantiality of the tunes themselves, create the impression
of a project not fully realized. (Francis DiMenno)


SUPERPOWER
Phantom of
the Alliance

6-song CD
SuperPower sounds nice
and thick on this record. After the noisy, two-guitar intro, the
first song leaps in with the alternating thrash and stomp that the band’s
really good at. The next track has a great mid-tempo (for them)
riff that everyone on the train got to rock out to today thanks to my
crappy headphones. Terry’s guitars are tough all the way through
and in lockstep with the muscley drums and bass. The lyrics on
the disc are bleak as ever, but Dave’s vocals put a solid defiance
behind them. This stands out on the Sweet Leaf-like “Mad,”
where the backing vocals also shine. My only real complaint is
that the warped band pictures on the inner sleeve aren’t nearly large
enough. No surprises here, but I think I now have a new favorite
SuperPower record—the sludgy one at the end won’t make it onto the
iPod though. (Seth Cohen)



66 BREAKOUT

66 Breakout
6-song CD
No strangers to the
Boston scene, 66 Breakout brings together some old school sounds of
bands like MC5, James Gang, and Cream and give it a slightly punk makeover.
This classic sounding power trio lineup is nothing short of good, classic
rock ’n’ roll combined with new takes on some classics by blues
icons like John Lee Hooker and Blind Willie Johnson. Elias James’s
easygoing, everyman vocal approach and use of a baritone guitar will
evoke the inevitable Jack Bruce moment punctuated by Bill Dwyer’s
relentless backbeat and Mike Baldino’s relentlessly impressive hair!
66 Breakout gives powerful credibility to the power trio blues punk
thang. Make more music soon! (Joel Simches)


RAZORS IN THE NIGHT

Horror Business Records
Carry On
6-song CD
Imagine if you must,
the Motorhead format of song turned inside out with a Boston hardcore
punk rock transmission. It’s a great solidly built CD, and makes one
think of basic survival skills: running, driving, screaming, pushing,
slamming. I guess my ideas of what survival skills should include aren’t
cookie cutter. But that’s fine. I could literally feel my body tense
up when I threw this disc in, ready for some shit. It remained that
way until I discovered that the CD was repeating, as it’s only six
songs and my car stereo keeps looping and doesn’t know when enough
is enough. That’s fine also. Powerful stuff in here. Carry on!
(Mike Loce)


BOSTON BLACKLISTED
Mystic Valley Studios
Single File
Demonstration

5-song CD
No one knows how they
got blacklisted, but it’s certainly not for crimes of a musical nature.
Boston Blacklisted combines the quirky pop of latter Talking Heads,
while channeling the wry intellect of a classic Lou Reed/John Cale composition;
the wordplay of a Richard/Linda Thompson catfight, and the psychedelic
bent the Great Society (the songs that Grace Slick didn’t write by
herself). There are loads of trippy harmonies and percussives
drenched in reverb, but there is still an uncomfortable edge to this
music, like it’s about to lose control and kill your children.
This makes for a very compelling listen, especially in the dark on mushrooms.
(Joel Simches)



SEXCOFFEE

The Morning
After

5-song CD
This music on this
all-too-short EP can easily be compared to bands like Mary Danish and
Sleater-Kinney, but SEXCoffee has a darker side that reminds me of Concrete
Blond without the hair dye, a sultry side that reminds me of Evanessence
without the autotune, and the edge of the Divinyls and Daisy Chainsaw
without the silliness. Ruth Charbonneau’s sultry vocals snarl oozes
sex and revenge over the churn of a tightly produced and arranged backdrop
of churning guitars. SEXCoffee doesn’t suffer from the crisis
of identity. They sound like a band that knows how to carve their
own musical path and does so with aplomb. (Joel Simches)



FOREST HENDERSON

You’re
Out Of The Band!

6-song CD
Greetings, Zortar here,
space alien from another planet inhabiting the alcohol, oxycontin, Little
Debbie cakes-addicted corpse (technically, body) of Slimedog and looking
forward to manning my ice cream truck through the coming Boston winter
soon. Frosty treats for frosty folks, indeed.

So this band’s CD
has a “parade of well-placed hooks, sing along choruses, and tight
instrumentals” and they compare themselves to Elvis Costello. Well,
dear sirs and madams, this is a parade I want no part of, no sir-ee.

Sure, it’s well produced,
well played, and the vocals well sung and I’m sure they’re well
hung, also, but these wells do not quench my musical thirst and don’t
add up to anything but indistinct pop rock. I would rather suck the
venom out of Slimedog’s festering sores than subject myself to this
drivel again. (Slimedog)



9TH RAIL

Dreaming
of Sleep

6-song CD
While the music on
this album reminds me of Son Volt, Wilco and even the Church, there
is an unfinished quality to these songs. The vocals are shaky
and understated, but the production is lush and thoughtful. One
or two more vocal overdubs or some additional double tracking would
have helped this record’s shortcomings and perhaps a few musical passages
should have been rethought. There is a lot of aimless meandering
that should have been left on the cutting room floor. There are also
some mistakes captured on this recording that shouldn’t be thought
of as “happy accidents.” A producer and a better band name would
also really help, if only to flesh out the inconsistencies on an otherwise
promising effort. (Joel Simches)

 


ONE FLESH

Twelve Gates

6-song CD
On the surface, this
album covers a lot of musical territory. The songs have a great
deal of different styles of dark wave, goth, glam and even moments of
prog metal and cerebral imagery. Icy synths punctuate the gritty
guitars and inventive drumbeats, but One Flesh is undermined by its
production ethos and static sense of dynamics. The push over the
cliff that you’d expect as payoff to this slow burn and build-up of
emotions never happens. Everything sounds tightly reigned and
controlled when it needs to let loose. On the positive side, this
EP hints at an intensely powerful and provocative stage show.
While the music is inventive and compelling, it is a shame that this
kind of live energy isn’t adequately captured on this recording.
(Joel Simches)

If you’re sending a CD in to
the Noise make sure to use our new address.
And everyone else should
update our contact info too. Thanks.


T Max/ the Noise
24 Beverly Drive
Georgetown, MA 01833
978-352-8656
tmaxnoise@aol.com


  • Comment on any CD Review in Reader's Respo™
    Make sure you title your comment so we know which review you're talking about.
    You can also discuss local music 24/7 at The Noise Board

Comments are closed.