Growing up is difficult for any band, but when you’re a pop-punk band it’s nearly impossible. While it would be easy for Minneapolis’ Motion City Soundtrack to rewrite 2005’s immensely successful Commit This To Memory, instead they’ve traded much of that album’s saccharine sound for a guitar-driven disc that recalls ’90s alternative acts like the Foo Fighters far more than it does their peers like Fall Out Boy.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 12:44 PM
These previously unreleased recordings—made mostly during J.J. Cale’s formative years at Shelter Records in the ’70s—capture beautifully the Tulsa sound that so deeply impacted Cale devotees such as Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler.
Friday, September 07, 2007 3:52 PM
Silverstein’s previous albums pulled listeners in so many different directions that they seemed tailor-made for ADD-afflicted music critics with 15-second attention spans. For the band’s third full-length effort for the Victory label, Silverstein wisely hired producer Mark Trombino—known for helming breakthrough works of Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World—to smooth out their rough edges and sharpen the overall pop appeal.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 3:14 PM
At 58-years-old, Ted Nugent is just as full of bravado and bullish bad behavior on his 32nd album as he was when he first bared his chest, put on a feather head dress and preened on a stage forty years ago. Out of his mind, but at the top of his game, he rips and snorts through 13 flamethrowers masquerading as mere songs, showing exactly why he belongs on the very top of rock's slagheap.
Friday, August 31, 2007 4:01 PM
While 2004’s Contraband was a flashy, swaggering beginning, grafting Weiland’s elegant glam rock sneer to the GNR behemoth sound, one was always conscious of a great divide between the two aesthetics. On Libertad they have breached that gap and have gelled as a heaving, strutting rock dirigible with their own rather fascinating histories and missteps, instead of harkening back to their parent bands.
Friday, August 31, 2007 2:47 PM
Sporting a spot-on mix of punk brashness, pop shimmer, and ’60s-style groove, the Plastiscines are an all-female French group good enough to make you nearly forget just how gorgeous they are. Rife with thrashy, uptempo pop nuggets—half of which clock in at less that two minutes—LP1 evokes the joyous and carefree spirit that defined much of AM radio in the ’60s. Remember “Venus,” by the Shocking Blue?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 10:59 AM
It’s something of a mystery that Eliza Gilkyson hasn’t gotten the name recognition of fellow singer-songwriters like Lucinda Williams or Patty Griffin. Since signing to Red House Records in 2000, the Austin-based Gilkyson has released five neo-folk albums that boast some of the best writing to be found among the alt-country crowd. On Your Town Tonight, her first live CD, Gilkyson garnishes some of her best songs (along with a smattering of covers) with a warmth that’s sometimes missing from their studio counterparts.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 12:15 PM
Birmingham prog-pop band Through The Sparks spend the bulk of their debut LP Lazarus Beach establishing a mood of gentle dread, by bringing the breezy, studio-crafted style of ’70s AM into contact with a DIY psychedelia tradition that dates back to the late ’60s.
Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:27 AM
As impressive as Ted Leo has always been—both live and on record—the narrow focus of his Billy Bragg meets the Jam meets Thin Lizzy style has meant that Leo’s albums often sound kind of samey.
Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:21 AM
In the incestuous Toronto music scene, the side projects are often as good or better than the bands they spun off from. Such is the case with Memphis, a semi-supergroup headed up by Torquil Campbell of the sophisti-pop outfit Stars and Chris Dumont of the edgy synth-pop band Metric.
Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:12 AM