CD Reviews

COURTNEY SWAIN Secret Dog Brigade Records Monstre             8 tracks You never know when that musical thunderbolt is gonna come out of the sky and knock you to the floor! Never heard of this woman (or her formidable avant-rock group, Bent Knee) until a few weeks ago, but – whoosh – I’ve been sucked into her orbit. Also, got lucky to see her perform in the interim… an immediate peek at an extraordinary talent. This is Courtney’s second … Read More >>

CD Reviews

  CHANDLER TRAVIS AND DAVID GREENBERGER Iddy Biddy Records Bocce and Bourbon: The Comfortable Songs of Chandler Travis and David Greenberger 19 tracks Ugh, there’s so much explaining to do before you can even mention the music that it gives me a headache. I mean, you remember Duplex Planet, the ’zine where the guy used to interview the quirky residents of the old folks’ home? You remember the Incredible Casuals? Well that guy and that guy and probably everybody they’ve … Read More >>

CD Reviews

TELAMOR Olex Music Straight Shots                          12 tracks “Every normal man,” said H.L. Mencken, “must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” Quite so. The opening track, “To the Barricades,” doesn’t have the same anthemic power as, say, Steppenwolf’s “Monster,” though one has to admire the quixotic impulse behind this genuinely frustrated rant. This 2014 collection by Tom Hauck, formerly … Read More >>

CD Reviews

WILL-R All in My Head 12 tracks A solid roster of esteemed local musicians produces a type of futuristic and atypically psychedelic pop music filtered through some intriguing compression and echo effects, all of which makes for a rewarding listening experience which, in some aspects, resembles an initiation into a previously unheard form of music. Softly melodic forms are abraded; eccentric tunes are lightened with string sections; there is a type of rigorous beauty in these inventive, almost post-human compositions. … Read More >>

CD Reviews

JOHN POWHIDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Airport Life                                15 tracks The latest CD from Boston’s singing, songwriting, rock ’n’ soul machine, John Powhida (and his International Airport band), is a standout achievement that was clearly a labor of love.  Featuring 11 engineers and recorded at four studios with about a dozen musicians other than the core band, complete with flute, sax, backing vocals and masterful arrangements, there’s … Read More >>

CD Reviews

ERIN HARPE & THE DELTA SWINGERS Vizzitone Label Group Love Whip Blues                       10 tracks Erin Harpe has an inimitably sweet voice which also happens to be admirably suited to the type of updated country and city blues purveyed here. Of the originals, “The Delta Swing” is an easygoing Delta blues, “Love Whip Blues,” is taken at a more lively pace made appealing by some expert harp playing by co-writer … Read More >>

CD Reviews

WHEAT  Wishing Good Things for the World    7 tracks Wheat has been a victim of circumstance since its inception, really. An alt-pop band with enormous commercial potential, they bubbled to the surface in the late ’90s to considerable critical acclaim, landing a few choice soundtrack gigs and substantial left-of-the-dial radio airplay. But then the music industry imploded, their CDs were bulldozed into landfills, and Wheat was left floating like radio-ready ghosts through barren indie-rock back alleys ever since. But … Read More >>

CD Reviews

THE REAL KIDS   Ace of Hearts Shake… Outta Control 12 tracks On the Boston scene as early as 1972, John Felice and The Real Kids need no introduction for long-time local music aficionados;  their proto-punk approach was quite possibly the template for the late ’70s garage punk which seemed to predominate hereabouts, a strain which also helped define bands such as, for example, Lyres and, later, the Turbines. The opening track, “Can’t Shake That Girl,” is a comparatively subdued declamatory, … Read More >>