CD Reviews


North Arm – Hollow Days

North Arm comes from a place north of Sydney, called North Arm Cove. It’s in Port Stevens, where the man behind the project, Rod Smith, spent important years of his childhood. Those who are familiar with North Arm’s Thought Lines EP, released last year though Spunk Records, will know of it’s nostalgic qualities. From the EP cover, which is an early 80′s snap of a freckly Rod, taken by his dad, to the accompanying video clips, to the songs themselves, each piece of work ...

Luke Howard – Night, Cloud

The wonder days of piano geniuses (may they rest in peace and not turn in dusty graves) who haunted the courts of the rich and super-swanky, have long since been supplanted by a million different genres of electronic music. With its army of synths, it is all the rage right now. This bit of information could mislead you into being presumptuous and could even push you into making cocky suppositions about the piano being passé, but then you run into a guy who...

Old 97's, Keb' Mo', The Clash and Stevie Ray Vaughan Legacies Soar On New Titles

The latest LP releases from alt-country rock heroes Old 97's and bluesman Keb' Mo', and several must-see DVD titles highlighting the lasting influence of The Clash and blues and soul legends including the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bo Diddley and Billy Preston are featured this week. Artist: Old 97's. Album: Most Messed Up (ATO Records). You might like if you enjoy: Wilco, Rhett Miller, Drive-By Truckers. Tell me more: Twenty years...

Robert Ellis - The Lights From The Chemical Plant

Judging from yesterday's announcement of the Americana Honors nominees, Robert Ellis is on the right track with his music these days. The singer-songwriter notched three nominations for the upcoming September awards, and just like many of his fellow nominees, Ellis doesn't stay confined to one musical style or lyrical slant. Kicking off with "TV Song," Ellis starts on a roll, and only gets better. The lyrics are about how...

Jesse Terry – Stay Here With Me

“…I was maybe chasing stuff that wasn’t me…I learned over the years that I needed to be 100 percent who I was, and the money and other things would…always come to me after I’d written from a place of truth and not a place like, ‘Let me get a big old cut by Kenny Chesney,’” says indie artist Jesse Terry during his January 2014 Pollstar interview. The Berklee-educated, award-winning singer/songwriter (John Lennon Songwriting Contest; NSAI/CMT Song Contest) walked the...

Steven Padilla - Good At Goodbye

A native of Hoover, Alabama, the word "Real" is very important to Steven Padilla. That commitment comes through when you listen to the first singe, "Peaches & Pines." It's a perfectly Country cut, complete with a very traditional arrangement. The lyrics have a spiritual overtone about it that evokes some of the latter day work of Johnny Cash. He can also take you on an emotional journey through your life as well. I don't know if...

North 40 - Sing Your Own Song

I've got a confession to make to you. Since meeting the duo known as North 40 at CRS, I have become smitten. And, who wouldn't be? They are talented, beautiful women who know what 8-tracks are! But, in talking to them or listening to them, you get this sense that they are comfortable in their own skin - and with life itself. The reference to North 40 here is to many aspects of their life - including their age. They have lived through some...

SWRLS – Definition

Did someone say all-Australian indie dance supergroup? SWRLS make songs with one part sinister, two parts sugar and three parts sex. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word ‘swirls’ is soft serve cones, rainbow swirl lollipops, pretty much anything sweet with a swirly pattern. So when you tell me there’s a group called SWRLS (phonetically swirls) I naturally have high expectations of a sweet sounding band. Although they are delectable in every way, they also...

Sherpa – Quittime

New Zealand’s favourite rainbow boys, Sherpa, will release their sophomore album Blues & Oranges on May 16th. Here is a lil’ taste to whet the palate. Sherpa first planted their musical seed back in 2006, which seems like a real long time ago considering today’s high-speed band turnover. Rest assured, these guys were built to last. In 2012, they released their self-funded, self-produced and self-released debut album, Lesser Flamingo. New Zealand music...

Tearjerker – You Can

So this week’s zine has been a mix of jjjcore, electro-indie (isn’t that dead yet?), some floaty, shroomy psychedelia, dolewave and guitar-blues-rock stuff. What is missing… what is missing… oh yeah! It wouldn’t be quite right if it didn’t include some face meltingly fuzzed out effect pedal worshipers of the lowest fidelity possible, now would it? Now I know how you guys like stuff that isn’t too alienating, things with major chords and acoustic guitars and long haired...

Blood Washed Band - Driftin' Along

“Theirs is a kind of gospel music that understands what it means to be redeemed, but isn’t quite ready to get there,” says Reverend Russell Rathbun about Blood Washed Band. He first heard their music coming from their basement practice space in a funeral home, while on the floor above, he was holding a service. By the way they looked, “clearly they had seen more bar light than sunlight…,” but “they sounded like they were singing straight from the little Baptist church of my boyhood.”

Hailer – El Cosmico

Whether intentional or not, El Cosmico is a statement on the vagueness of modern music, unavoidably oversaturated by past influences to create something never seen as living up to the ‘original’ – a social construct in and of itself. Also it sounds good. It’s cool when we get sent things. Like physical things – CD’s, tapes, vinyls, cases of beer, t-shirts, boxes of live bees – it makes us feel like what we do in internetland has some connection with the corporeal world. This week, we...

The Love Junkies – Flight Test

The Flight Test EP might just prove that Perth grunge rockers The Love Junkies aren’t just a one trick grunge pony. The Love Junkies have been following a pretty solid formula in making cool tunes. Play musics, sing words, then at a time previously agreed upon with fellow music making fellows, step on whatever pedals you have, bash your skins and strings like there’s no tomorrow and scream your freakin guts out. Like we said, it’s a tried and tested method but a whole album...

Gypsy Lumberjacks - Pulling Upon the Strap

Gypsy Lumberjacks are a Minneapolis based Americana band with a sound consisting of a mix of World Beat, Flamenco, Caribbean, Gypsy Jazz and Bluegrass. With such a range of influences, there is something for everyone to latch on to in the music. Known for never performing with a set list, Gypsy Lumberjacks prefer to rely on each other’s leads and changes. This isn’t to say that the songs fall into a set pattern. Who doesn’t like Folk Rock? I’d all hands go up in the air. This...

White Caves – Dig

Surprisingly deep, wall of noise stuff from White Caves, the dreamy solo project of Kisschasy frontman – we hope Dig is a suave taste of things to come for the artist. During a battle with insomnia in the winter of 2012, Darren Cordeux gave birth to a dream pop wonder child known as White Caves. Cordeux, who you may recognise as the front man for Kisschasy, spent months in his Melbourne home toying with his guitar, effects pedals, and tape machine, while fuelled on caffeine and...
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