SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS: September 2007

THE ATLANTICS Something Hot Communications Live 13-song CD Nostalgia is what gets in the way. I don’t care that the band recorded this on March 25, 1979 on the eve of the national tour that was to make their reputation, nor need I mention that ABC Records dropped the ball forthwith. But The Atlantics were most likely never destined to be anything like The Cars, churning out their patented brand of deracinated New Wave kitsch; The Atlantics, bless their souls, … Read More >>

SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS: July-Aug 2007

THE CHANDLER TRAVIS PHILHARMONIC Sonic Trout Tarnation and Alastair Sim 48-song CD I’m thinking life’s too short to listen to shitty music by artsy poseurs, hedonistic-slash-politically-aware “heavy” rockers, ham-fisted indie wankers, retro panderers, or brain-dead goofs in psychedelic clown suits. So I’d still much rather listen to “Surfin Bird” (or, for that matter, “Eje Ka Jo”) than, um, “Stairway to Heaven.” Good news for those who agree: “Wireless” has finally made it onto a studio album, as track six. Tune-wise, … Read More >>

SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS June 2007

VARIOUS ARTISTS Triple B Recordings The History of Boston Rock “Here and Now” 16-song CD compilation             If you’re not a fan of good-old-fashioned hammer-and-tongs rock, you might wish to look elsewhere, though if you are, you could do worse than Noble Rot’s anthemic rabble-rouser “Rocket Fuel Mayhem,” The New Frustrations’ classy garage-rock thumper “Changed My Mind,” The Doom Buggies’ Byrds-like “Bruce’s Lament,” and Over the Edge’s over-the-top punk raver “Invincible.” Rounding out the bill are outstanding tracks by the … Read More >>

SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS: May 2007

ANGELINE Hi-n-Dry Powered Pearls 12-song CD       Emily Grogan and Linda Viens share the songwriting duties and sing lovely harmonies in Angeline. Passion is the key to this vibrant band with a country twinge. The lyrics are easy to follow—and are consistently delivered straight from the heart. Cheryl Etu adds a wonderful glow to “The Clearing” and a child-like feel in “And it’s Hard” where her vibraphone plays a dominant roll in the mix. “Happy Again” contains a lovely violin … Read More >>

SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS : April 2007

BANG CAMARO    Black Sword Records Bang Camaro    12-song CD Unless you live under a rock (or out of state), you know that Bang Camaro has a whole lot of lead vocalists–17 on this disc.  I’d call it shtick, except too many would take that as a negative, when, in actuality, it is the main reason I keep listening to this—the gang vocals lift this above the source material.  Bang Camaro plays music that is very deeply indebted to hair-metal … Read More >>

SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS : March 2007

EMILY GROGAN One Way Productions At Sea 13-song CD       Emily’s second CD, At Sea, has me already scratching notes for the year-end poll. No doubt the year’s most exciting release—I can count nine of the 13 songs as possible radio hits. Emily’s wonderfully expressive vocals turn from sweet to demanding within a measure while dealing with break ups, moving on, and trying to work things out. “End of The Line” rolls in with Emily’s gentle advice then kicks into … Read More >>

SILVER CIRCLE REVIEWS Feb 2007

PETER C. JOHNSON   High-N-Dry Records Yaka Yaka                         11-song CD      As much a literary as an exclusively musical recorded work, this concept album chronicles an impressionistic, growling antihero’s personal journey spent unspooling through a madness ignited by John Lennon’s murder. In its Spartan way, this instrumentally-backed spoken word album is a brutal miracle. As an exemplar of outsider music and of art-from-pain, it puts me in mind of Neil Young’s banned-in-Aspen LP Tonight’s The Night, or Lou Reed’s monumental bummer … Read More >>