CD Reviews – June

Send your CDs for review to:
T Max/ The Noise,
40R Highland Ave, #219
Salem, MA 01970

DAYTIME DRUGS

Eastern Prawn Records

Waitin’ for the UFO  

6 tracks

Where was this recorded? Inside of a gurgling culvert? With a taxicab mike? On the surface of the fucking moon? This makes “Green Fuz” sound like the Philadelphia Orchestra rocking Mahler’s Third Symphony. It makes the New York Dolls sound like Sgt. Pepper. And I love it. Just like I love Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and the Cramps and The Seeds, and most other purveyors of grotesque sonic muck. And it doesn’t get any more mucked up than the title track, a sing-songy manifesto that comes roaring out of the speakers like Sophie Tucker reaching for a T-bone at the Ponderosa Steak Buffet. “Itchy Girlfriend” is, essentially, “Can’t Explain” with a dissonant piano and a Fred Blassie attitude. “Do You Remember Rock and Roll” is, basically, “C’mon Everybody,” and it makes the Dictators sound like worldly and sophisticated flaneurs. These tunes are so deliberately sloppy and yet strangely coherent that it’s difficult to dislike them. “Know Your Eggroll,” by way of contrast, is just plain nuts: a sprawling aggregation with nonsensical guitar, stumbo percussion, and growling vocals, all operating at cross purposes. This will never be the soundtrack music for any movie except maybe the one I plan to make someday called “Death of an Old Con,” guest-starring my good friend Iceberg Slim. It’s kinda like The Feelies on Thorazine. “Workin’ on a Rock and Roll Crime” is a manifesto worthy of the weirdest garage band in all existence circa 1966. Bad caveman mojo. The kind that normal people would flee in droves. Play it at a funeral and watch ’em scatter! “My Baby Never Shaves At All,” their magnum opus, sounds like the ravings of a gibbering maniac haranguing teenagers in a drunk tank tripping on too much of the brown acid. Words fail me. This is mind-melting primitivism taken to its illogical extreme. Must be heard to be believed. (Francis DiMenno)


ERIC LEE

Eric Lee

6 tracks

“Miles above the Ground” opens this six song set of originals from Western Massachusetts phenom Eric Lee who brings his smooth, compelling voice and introspection to this strong four and a half minute composition.  Lee has more than a grasp of the vibrations he sends forth, playing violins, mandolin, electric violin and guitar with the music here focused, entertaining and highly commercial.  “The Raven” shuffles along under J.J. O’Connell’s drums and the bass of Rhees Williams while “Rose and Storm” adds a balance.  Critics can compare the storytelling of a Gordon Lightfoot to the dramas offered by Jim Croce, but to say that Eric Lee paints with his own style and magic is to understate what this artist has crafted.  And take caution – there are many, many singer/songwriters out there named Eric Lee, so one has to seek out the music that I’m writing about here. Lee has performed on the road with the great Eric Andersen, Peter Rowan of The Rowan Brothers and Seatrain, John Gorka, Vance Gilbert, the Grand Slambovians and so many others.  It’s easy to get mistaken for a backing musician, as Carole King and Neil Diamond at first were thought by the public to be songwriters dabbling with hit records.  Time proved both King and Diamond to be major forces beyond their work for other artists and this Lee is himself making waves regionally outside of the background circuit he participated in for the last decade and more. With Jim Henry’s electric guitar and dobro fitting in perfectly with this quartet and some backing vocals from Brie Sullivan and Max Wareham, these half a dozen songs stand up to repeated spins with  “Hands of Fortune”  and “To Write You a Song” truly remarkable.    At the risk of sounding overly complimentary, those who have followed this writer’s thousands of reviews over the past almost five decades know that I can be as rough on poorly made recordings as I can hand out the accolades on the ones with merit. There’s something very special here. You’ll know you’ve reached the right Eric Lee as this music stands in a class by itself. (Joe Viglione)


DEADBEAT CLUB

Deadbeat Club ep

3 tracks

Deadbeat Club are a dreamy, dissonant rock quartet from Northampton. Even when the songs get very heavy there is an otherworldly sheen to the voices. Musically, it has a debt to harbinger of the future Sonic Youth. The vocals are at times more Mazzy Star or old Throwing Muses than Kim Gordon, and its a pretty great mix of styles. Songs slow down, build up and go from a whisper to a scream. I have no complaints about this record, but I wish there were 93 songs on it instead of only three. (Eric Baylies)

HUMMINGBIRD SYNDICATE

Actuality Records

Pop Tricks

12 tracks

plus

Waterfall Away / I Want You To Stay

2 tracks non-album CD single

The members of Hummingbird Syndicate are a pure pop collective and their opening track, “Romance,” on Pop Tricks is as sweet a confection as you’ll find.  Jon Macey’s production work for Elektra records as well as his two albums with Tom Dickie & the Desires on Mercury – along with his perfect ear – oversees a project that Archies vocalist and Barry Manilow producer Ron Dante would have totally immersed himself in during the ’60s.  Creative partner Lynn Shipley helps bring the harmonies and melodies in sync with the lyrics, and they generate a full and entertaining sound.

“After Stephen Foster” switches hats from that exquisite pop to pure Americana with the harmonies of Shipley, Mary Jaye Simms and Jennifer Lewis Bennet adding some gospel to the acoustic number.

Seven of the dozen songs are under four minutes, which makes for extended play when it comes to a serious and happily light-hearted outfit whose CD Baby page declares proudly  “ABBA meets The Ramones, Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris… Mamas & Papas sing The Velvets” and it’s so true, with the Abba leanings geared towards Don Kirshner pop.   “You Don’t Know (Much About Me) wander into territory owned by The Band with Marianne Faithful on vocals, splendid guitars bring it all to life in a wonderful way. Macey is the central figure with Lenny Shea and Steve Gilligan (Stompers/Fox Pass rhythm section) adding their talents along with the string slinger of electric and acoustic guitars, mandolins, mandolas, 12-strings, and B-Benders – Tom Hostage (Macey’s Parade).  To that point, “Haley” is pure Macey’s Parade, more so than Fox Pass and Hummingbird Syndicate, which is fine, because this amalgam of Shipley/ Macey/ Gilligan/ Hostage/ Shea/ Bennet/ Simms’ modern rock can shape-shift and blend in the communal spirit that their name indicates.  A music mafia of colorful birds with iridescent feathers.

Along with the 12 songs on Pop Tricks there is also a CD single “Waterfall Away” b/w “I Want You To Stay” on Actuality Records.    These two additional songs on Soundcloud (and a CD single) are as vibrant and exciting as the music on the full lengthy.   As stated, the production is as state-of-the-art as the musicianship. With Chris Maclachlan of Human Sexual Response, L.A. guitarist Dan Coughlin, Andy Hollinger and Pop Gun’s Jim Melanson it is more like the Mamas & the Mamas, an ensemble that has delivered music distinctly different from anything on the New England music scene. A wonderful invention of multiple chefs drawing from the same palette in unison, never stepping on anyone else’s space.   Remarkable.  (Joe Viglione)

SPECTRAMOTIV

Spectramotiv

7 tracks

Spectramotiv is a Boston based trio. There was a band many years ago, I can’t remember who, that used the term “horrifying circus music” in their bio. This would be an apt description of Spectramotiv, and I mean that in apositive way. Although the song “Rules” kind of reminds me of the Tones On Tail song “Christain Says”, this is a very original album full of happy surprises. They are self describes as a “lizard trio who emerged from a black hole.” Well, I don’t know about that, but they have a really cool sound with excellent songs, so give it a listen, lizard kings and queens. (Eric Baylies)

KENNY SELCER

I Simplify

14 tracks

On Kenny Selcer’s long-awaited ambitious effort, I Simplify, New England’s veteran acoustic/ Americana minstrel has put together an album that fuses Rolling StonesExile on Main Street nuances with Grateful Dead guitar/ keyboard interplay.   Those Stones’ influence is subtle, an undercurrent on the opening track, “I Know It’s Not Too Late,” Selcer’s philosophical observations rife with intentional simple word structure a la Bernie Taupin in Elton John’s classic “Daniel,” taking the “rain in Spain” cliché rhymes and using them to good effect.  “It’s All Around You” was in release a few months before the album (an electronic, internet single, of sorts) and it is beautifully constructed with Steve Peabody’s drums giving the reggae flavored love song it’s march along beat.   The production is exquisite, Selcer the former owner of a recording studio in Boston back in the ’80s and live sound engineer who has worked with too many name artists to list here, places instrumentation and voice perfectly. Each song is over four minutes, so the 14 tracks make for a lengthy listening experience, about 70 minutes or so.

“Evelyn” is a standout and has Selcer on mandolin and most instruments a la Emmit Rhodes and Paul McCartney, Rob Rudin helping out with some of the drum programming. For the Americana Pop that the song is, there’s a flavor of blues in the singing and lyric.

The title track at 5:39 is the longest, an epic with the rhythmic beats accented, a heavy reggae boost with Selcer choosing multiple light guitar licks and backing vocals to boost the vibe.  Mixed by Matt Hayes at Wellspring Sound in 2016 with the studio owner, Eric Kilburn, handling the mastering, the love and care put into this project is clear, as exhibited in the Celtic instrumental “Kenny’s Tune,” a truly inventive mix of sounds that is compelling bringing to mind when voiceless pop songs would rule the airwaves, Paul Mauriat’s “Love is Blue,” the timeless “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” by Sounds Orchestral, the airy, catchy, splendid sounds before Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” developed the hard rock instrumental as a hit record.  Final track “Stay Awhile” features Stompers/ Fox Pass bassist Steve Gilligan, with keyboards from Chris Billias and Mike Migliozzi on drums.  The use of a band brings another flavor to a mostly self-performed album though players Roland Ochsenbein on piano, conga/percussionist Manolo Mairena and bassist Andy Solberg add their talents throughout, this is mostly a self-performed project with Kenny Selcer bringing to life some of his BMI administered catalog featuring music and words that span 15 years, from 2001 to 2016.  (Joe Viglione)

CELEBRITY HANDSHAKE

Eastern Prawn Records

Also Starring Celebrity Handshake As Celebrity Handshake!

3 tracks

“That’s Showbiz, Baby!” storms out of the gate with a barbaric yawp that makes Aerosmith sound like oolong-sipping lifted-pinky-finger boulevardiers. Full of grunting and snarling vocals and wrecking yard guitars and primitive drumming, it is one glorious incoherent mess. And “Television Lips” manages to top it–relentlessly thudding drums and vocals which sound like a moron drooling over a pornographic video, while somewhere off in the background a guitar scrawls an aimless riff. Pure Id music. “There Ain’t No Sharks In This Town” evokes the Cramps’ “Garbageman” on Robitussin, famed for its ability to reduce your IQ by 50 points. Real lizard-brain stuff happening here, with stubbornly metronomic drums, broken-spring guitars, and the relentless howling of vocalist A.M. Haines. A truly bad trip. Recommended for lovers of aggressive sludge. (Francis DiMenno)

ABOVE GROUND BASEMENT

Gleauxing Records

Above Ground Basement

5 tracks

This is  very dark, raw, head- banging, prog punk dance music and it is very interesting and unique; and done very well. Noah Lapierre plays drums and synth, Matt Schuman plays a five string bass and the synth, and Nolan Sullivan is on all guitars, vocals and programs the samples. The first three songs, “Yolk,” “Chocolate,” and “Green Fight” are eight and a half minutes, nine, and seven minutes long each and all the tunes embody contrast: Nolan speak singing and pitch- bending guitar solos, Noah’s subtle and impressive pounding and Matt’s gritty bass lines and all the experimental noise. The shortest cut on the CD, the ballad “Rooms,” was recorded live and is just under three minutes. All the instruments have a lot to say and the synths and samples tie all of these unusual ideas together. “Escape Artist,” with Ryan Garvey on additional synth, is especially dark and if any of these unique melodies is radio- friendly it would be this one. College radio and late at night or early in the morning. I dig all the changes in all the tunes and how and where they go as the compositions progress. Very cool. Very different. Very dark. And very good. (A.J. Wachtel)

CHRIS MORENO

Into the Sun

8 tracks

Moreno is a plausible successor to the likes of John Cougar Mellancamp… with autotune. He plays middle of the road love songs, mostly. Perfectly competent and craftsmanlike; nothing that would frighten the horses. Ordinary-slob lyrics, lots of pretty hooks, and an overall inspirational feel. None of these things are bad, per se, but none of them are extraordinary. Lots of pretty guitar strumming. Lots of questing us-against-the-world lyric sentiments. Nice syncopation on “Reach For Me”. Pretty piano on “Finally Free”. Strummed laments of almost-lost love (“Try”) and regret (the excellent “Closer to You”). The songs occasionally strain for a type of grandeur, in minor doses, and often succeed in that admittedly limited aim. Moreno plays it straight and smooth. There’s nothing here that would ruffle the feathers of any contemporary pop playlist programmer. (Francis DiMenno)

KATE EPPERS

The Wishing Well

7 tracks

Over the course of seven songs, Kate Eppers’ album The Wishing Well soars and dives as though she is riding a magic carpet high above a mythic city. Imagine Aladdin’s Princess Jasmine singing songs of love and longing, fear and frustration while swooping amongst the onion-shaped minarets of some imagined far-eastern city. When you have that vision firmly engaged add a soundtrack of mainly piano, bolstered by occasional new-agey guitar work and ambient electronic flourishes and you’ll have a complete picture of the world Kate Eppers inhabits. The Wishing Well is the soundtrack for a musical about a precocious young girl trying to exert a measure of control over a difficult and unforgiving world.    (George Dow)

SWAY CASEY

Walden

6 tracks

The enigmatic cover art to the maxi-EP Walden by Sway Casey reflects the inner mind and magically indistinct music the East Coast pop/ rap/ hip-hop artist unveils. Starting with “Contentment” Sway is gliding on sweet keyboards “waiting for the sun to come up, waiting for you to be mine,” in a happy-go-lucky medium that shifts into the second track, “Moonbeams” – featuring Mossh. Two minutes and 45 seconds seemingly channeling Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Transcendentalism, the guitar line merging with the keys a la The Doors’ Morrison Hotel tune, “The Spy.”
“Macchu Picchu” has a heavy beat holding down the thoughts that roll out as if speaking in tongues, advice and perspectives twirling in multiple motions.  It drives the ideas like a master juggler keeping the audience’s eye intentionally off the ball. A creative platform, which stands alone just fine, but also acting as a bridge between the neo-spirituality of “Moonbeams” and the next tune, “Positivity.” That fourth selection, with a keyboard as elegant as the first track – and the place it paints – continues the theme and is equally content as Sway notes: “the world’s crazier than what I thought it is, so I always keep my attitude positive.”  ”Selfishness” is another one word title on Walden (something David Byrne and the Talking Heads employed across an album) this with electronic vinyl record scratches, quickly spinning introspection featuring a strong melodic sermon, hypnotic instrumentation and strains of backing vocals that make for an eerie yet thought-provoking piece.

Akira’s production is solid throughout and the bonus track, “Summer Trippin’,” is a treat evoking Sly & the Family Stone’s attitude and gift of something fun for the sunny months. Mixed and mastered by executive producers James Mendillo (JTM) and Will Beale with artwork by Matypus, Walden has lots to offer, and something refreshingly different uncovered with each repeated spin. (Joe Viglione)

MAIL THIEF

I

5 tracks

Boston’s Mail Thief is a guitar and drums duo. They get a lot of mileage… and chaos out of the two-piece format. There are some straight parts that sound like Mudhoney, but there are plenty of other crazy things going on here, as well. The song “The Pace” is like Hella with Kevin Grant of Gaskill singing over it, quite an excellent combination! Mail Thief is totally heavy enough to get a pit going, if that’s the kind of thing your’e into, but they also make for an enjoyable listen on a pleasant spring day in the mental institution. Of course, I’m listening to this in my car, so forget that noise and pick up this treasure. (Eric Baylies)

THE CHICAGO VIN COALITION

American Dream

9 tracks

The music on this cool release is pop rock and retro rock influenced with screaming guitars and gruff vocals. Vin Earnshaw plays guitars, bass and sings and Leo Dumas is behind the kit. The tune titles sound autobiographical: “American Dream,” “Hey Little Girl,” “Walk Away,” “No Use Fighting,” “Blonde Infatuation,” “Yesterday’s Gone,” and my three favorites: “Silence Is Golden” with it’s good groove and catchy “oh- oh- oh” chorus, “Ride Past Midnight” with ace blues musician Chris Stovall Brown blowing harp on this tight bar room r&b shuffle, and “Lifeline” a real rocker sorta like T. Rex meets Tom Waits. All the songs are political and social commentaries and are written by Earnshaw. I dig it and you will too.   (A.J.Wachtel)

HOT DIRT

Areyouayoungman

5 tracks

Hot Dirt is an amazing band from Holyoke. It could take me weeks to explain the 34 minutes of music on this record, but I will do my best in a brief amount of time. Parts of the song ” Mediocrion” float along like Amy Winehouse bleeding the muse, until the song bursts and the floodgates of sound over power you. Other tracks have so much going on that you have to listen with a calculator and measuring tape to get the time signatures and everything straight. Think of the most complex rock band you know, make it five times more complicated and find the square root of feeling, and you will have Hot Dirt. It was stunning to see this band live and pull off these songs in a musical and never really show offy way. There are a lot of notes sometimes, but they all fit. This is a band that can literally play any style of music on earth, and showcase quite a few of them here. I can usually talk for days on end, but this record took my breath away, even after several listens. If your kid can’t afford music lessons, buy them this CD and lock them in a room for five years. Areyouayoungman is a masterpiece. (Eric Baylies)

GLENN FRENCH

Solo Guitar

15 tracks

Glenn French’s 15-track CD of solo acoustic guitar covers of (mostly) Beatles songs is pleasant. Pleasant in the same way that the South American pan flute people that you see at the mall or county fair are pleasant. It’s not something you want to run out and buy, but when it’s playing in the background it’s a pleasing addition to the mood.

The one thing I can say is that the guitar picking is meticulous, the strumming is intricate and the timing is precise. After a while it sounds like a music box. If I close my eyes I can almost see the tines plinking along the knobbed cylinder as it spins. And maybe, just maybe this is why the album is simply pleasant. The preciseness and meticulousness strip the organicness from the songs.   (George Dow)

JIM PERRY

Meanwhile… I’m still thinkin’

10 tracks

I really like this cd for three reasons: First the music is top notch and sounds great. Second, this release is ‘dedicated to the memory in the Worcester area music community’ of artists who recently died; including Fran Dagostino, Laurie Kollios and Scott Ricciuto. And third, Babe Pino, Cheryl Arena, Lisa Marie, Myanna (Girls Night Out) and a ton of other gifted musicians guest on the tunes. Jim plays all guitars, bass, piano and vocals along with his very talented friends. He wrote all the songs and has a nice voice with a vocal style that is both credible and believable. Jim Perry is a blues artist with a lot of other things on his mindListen to: “Makin’ A Man Out Of Me” with it’s timely tempo change, the nice slide guitar in “My Baby’s Bad (And That’s Good),” the organ and horns in “She’s A Sweet Thang” with the gospel backing vocals making the melody sorta like Al Green meets Albert King, and again in the instrumental “And Then You Walked In.” “Katrina,” about Louisiana, and “Equality (Should Be Easy) have a tinge of ska in them too. Blues based music with a lot of nice variations and influences. This guy can really play! (A.J. Wachtel)

SPACES FOR TWO

Gone for the Show

5 tracks

What have we here? For starters, some loping, mildly insectoid garage pop with a pretty middle eight (“I Don’t Know”). A garage-y manifesto with vaguely nouveau-psychedelic touches, sounding for all the world like a deep track on a Peanut Butter Conspiracy album (“Pay No Mind”). A spacy ballad-type number, vaguely jazzy (“Cloud”). A funky little bass line which devolves into a fuzzy sub-Love cum Youngbloods style of soft psyche, nice (“Miss Me”). An obligatory far-out drawn-out mind-manifesting bit of sub-Floydian fugue-rock touched with ersatz grandeur (“Gone for the Show”). Basically, this is music reminiscent of late-60’s pop with modern production touches. (Francis DiMenno)

OROBORO

Lost Demos

3 tracks

Orboro is a Massachusetts-based instrumental trio. I don’t even know what city they are from, but they do provide cool descriptions of what each member does. Jordan is credited with “boom boom smash,” Nate plays (or lives in) an “angry bee nest” and Spencer is responsible for “beautiful melodies, wow.” Braggadocio aside, these are pretty apt descriptions of the sonic textures taking place here. These hauntingly sweet and heavy post punk instrumentals take you the other side of the wonderful rainbow, Lost Demos is a real musical thrillride. (Eric Baylies)

LOCATING ROLLIE

Crazy Parade

11 tracks

A short synopsis about the music on this CD is important.  Guitarist Mark Sutton and bassist Bob Gifford started working together in 1976 and were in The Rings, Bamboo Gang and The Wickermen. This music collaboration between these two old collaborators started when Mark recently reached out to Bob to possibly re- record some of their old songs. Bob countered with ‘let’s do some of the tunes we never finished.” On this cd they do both. New Wave ballads and rockers, this music is also real dance- able. Check out the quirky beats on “Critic Critic,” “Stop The Clock,” “Do Not Tear Down,” “Search The Clubs,” and the closing cut “Animal Boy (Machine Head Man).”  Rocking heavier than The Cars and other classic New Wave bands, there is also a lot of clever humor behind the music.”I Got My Wish” is sexually suggestive and the whole concept behind this project, older music done in a new way today, is very clever too, and brings a fresh taste to a long ago favorite dessert, I really dig how out of nowhere you unexpectedly hear a synth or a guitar triplet that brings a smile to your face. The New Wave ballads “Blue On Blue,”  “Crazy Parade,” and “Love’s Not Safe” are perfectly performed by these cats and the uptempo screamer “Never Gonna Hear It” is the hit. Additional vocals by Tasha Gniewek, this music is equally suited for old fans and new listeners alike.  (A.J. Wachtel)

LILLY BLACK

My Own Hero

5 tracks plus 2 radio edits

Opening track “Waiting for a Change” off of Lilly Black’s My Own Hero CD is a gliding, rocking, sliding-on-the-groove bright pop tune with the energy of the New York Dolls meeting the pop majesty of the Go Go’s.  Liam Barry’s drums bolster the undercurrent opening the door to track 2, “Rag Doll.”  These first two songs contain explicit lyrics and are repeated at the end of the CD in the form of “radio edits,” but I’ve yet to hear the naughty words so…  “Rag Doll” is a delightful change of pace from the first opus, Lilly Senna’s appealing vocals over a dense Mike Barry production from Babyland Studio.  Poignant yet harsh lyrics and Bobby Linscott’s consistent and imploring guitar work add to the mystery.   “You’re Probably Right,” like the preceding songs, has a pure ’60s vibe brought up to date in 2017, impressive upon the first listening.  The CD itself jam-packed with information, photos and an intriguing color scheme, yet it’s the music from this solid band that speaks the loudest.  Five songs plus two radio edits makes for a short and sweet listening experience. When we critics and radio programmers get 15 song discs galore it’s like listening to double vinyl albums from the old days, quite a bit to absorb.   Fact is, the longer the CD, the more time it takes to review and sometimes they get lost in the shuffle.  “Leave Me Alone” is not the notable songs by Lou Reed and Helen Reddy (or is it Helen Reed and Lou Reddy, I can’t remember anymore…) a thumping beat with a solo vocal chant and Phoebe Clark’s keys augmenting this nicely. “Leave Me Alone” comes with exquisite guitar work by Linscott as does the final track, “My Own Hero,” which takes things down a quasi-Gothic notch with a careful, incessant snare drum bang and the aforementioned electrically activated simmering-almost-fuzz guitar under this hard ballad. Love it all. Five stars… and absolute knockout. (Joe Viglione)

BUNNIES

Devoted To The Process Of Action

2 tracks

Bunnies are another amazing band from Northampton that almost defy categorization. Their album, Devoted To The Process Of Action, has two very long and intricate songs. The music is complex and shapeshifting like Idiot Flesh, Tool, Cellular Chaos, or Kayo Dot, but with vocals by The Residents. You might usually associate this kind of intricate music with something other than rock, but it can be both very heavy and catchy at times. Bunnies are one of the best live bands on earth and I suggest you see them live and buy this record. (Eric Baylies)

BART BRYANT BAND

Desperate Man

5 tracks

This is a killer new release from Connecticut guitarist extraordinaire Bart Bryant who gets the best blues/ rock rhythm section in New England to back him up on his five songs. Scott Spray on bass and Bobby T (Torello) on drums were in Johnny Winter bands at different times. Rock royalty bringing their extraordinary expertise to power this terrific trio. The opening tunes, “Desperate Man,” “Prism,” and “Lines In The Sky” are a bit metal with their screaming and menacing guitars and ominous power chords. Warning to listeners: Fasten your seat belts, the g force is great. These are classic head- banging arena rock songs that set the mood for the last two killer cuts “Sticky Situation” with the cool guitar work mimicking the vocals and the heavy ballad “In A Song” with it’s powerful pounding, bellowing bass and gigantic guitar licks with beautiful tone. A bit like Robin Trower meets West, Bruce & Lang. Heavier than other trios like Cream and Grand Funk Railroad, less Tex Mex than ZZ Top, and more powerful than Mountain or Beck, Bogart & Appice, this is great music from one of the best bands around. Check it out. (A.J. Wachtel)

RUSTY MULLET

Poop Destroyer Death Squadron

10 tracks

With what sounds like an old theramin (it is!) from Lothar & the Hand People, straight out of The Outer Limits, a minute and five seconds of “Shazam” opens this creative ten song effort from Rusty Mullet.   The debut album from this quartet emerged May 5, 2017 and it gets right down to business, track 2 “Gurrl” has a trippy, jangly open that deconstructs into pure melodrama grunge. The vibe and attitude consistent and compelling.    It descends even further into the amazing “Toaster Soda” with a mesmerizing guitar riff and flavors of ’60s group the Peanut Butter Conspiracy before it enters Black Sabbath territory.   With material written by vocalist, rhythm guitarist Atiba J. McLaren (vocals/ rhythm/ lead guitar).

“Demented” crackles with electric fuzz and bubbling rhythms in a drone recitation a la The Velvet Underground’s “The Gift.”   Only two tracks are in the 3-4 minute range, the opening prelude a minute .5 with the rest of the disc stretching out, going deeper into the secret sauce Rusty Mullet has concocted for their audience.   “For Now” has a killer chorus with McLaren’s  leads frosting the mix with edgy guitar that goes off the deep-end – insanely and nicely.  Bassist John Frechette indeed engages the theramin (track 1) while Brian Turcotte keeps it all together on the drums.  That track at 6:15 while its follow-up, “The Aftermath of a Rose,” clocks in at 6:07 with a heartfelt rock/ballad.  “My Sweet Mistress Nicotine,” frenetic instrumental “LSD Cowboy” and the exquisite “Spiderman” keep pace with distinct 1960s flavors updated for this new generation. You can thank David Draper’s guitar solos on those previous two songs, along with the guitar blasts in “My Sweet Mistress Nicotine” and “Toaster Soda.” It’s garage rock, alternative punk-blues rock all mixed in an interesting and quite exciting way.  “Trickery and Witchery” is an explosive ending to this thought provoking onslaught that has much to offer. (Joe Viglione)

Send your CDs for review to:
T Max/ The Noise,
40R Highland Ave, #219
Salem, MA 01970


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