CD Reviews

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Americana Masterworks Sparkle Anew

This year has seen the reissue of four bona fide Americana masterworks. Anyone looking how to spend those valuable holiday gift cards should consider the deluxe and expanded reissues from Old 97's and the Jayhawks. Artist: Old 97's. Title: Hitchhike to Rhome (Omnivore Recordings). You might like if you enjoy: The Jayhawks, Wilco, the Bottle Rockets...
 
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Bloods – Work It Out

Monday mornings got you down? Too many beverages last night? On that third coffee on a Thursday afternoon pluging random values into a spreadsheet at work in a vain attempt to not go mad? What ever the reason is for your general lack of pep, I recommend a high dose of Bloods, the Sydney pop-punk trio I guarantee will improve your day more than a...
 
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Oliver’s Army – Nothing Ever Really Stays the Same

Time yet again to duck, dodge, weave, and ultimately contemporary dance through the fast paced, existential, atmospheric and coma inducing music that is synonymous with the contagious band known as Olivers Army. Hailing from humble Barossa Valley in Melbourne, the sound produced by indie folk singers Ryan Oliver and Sam Walsh, guitarist Gina Somfleth, pianist...
 
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Stegosaurus – Masked Marvel

Stegosaurus are a band from New Brunswick (Saint John to be exact) in Canada. I haven’t been to New Brunswick, I’ve actually only been to two Canadian provinces, but I imagine New Brunswick is something like country Victoria in the grand scheme of Canadian things. Y’know, a storied and quaint region where not much goes on except wood chopping...
 
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Fazerdaze – Self-Titled EP

I’d be lying if I said that some sector of this music critic’s shriveled heart doesn’t love the name Fazerdaze, because I really do, but what’s more is that, like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, my heart grew three sizes while listening to the music of Amelia Murray. Coming out of New Zealand, home of such excellent things as Flight of the Conchords, Lord...
 
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West My Friend – When The Ink Dries

“I once sat here in the crux of this tree/Watching fruit reach out in front of me/I sat there, holding my fear to my heart/Watching fruit fall one by one ‘cause I refused to take part,” sings Eden Oliver, member of Canadian group West My Friend on their beautiful song “Ode to Silvia Plath.” Described as chamber folk meets indie roots, this four-piece band based...
 
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Buzz Cason – Troubadour Heart

“I’m all over the map as far as songwriting methods go,” says Americana artist and songwriter Buzz Cason. Talking about his latest album “Troubadour Heart,” released on the Plowboy Records label, he also confesses, “I’m letting the songs dictate how I sing the songs. That’s how I’ve always been,” and so his performance style...
 
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Tora – Eat The Sun

With chilled out sounds that will have you wishing you were sitting back sipping a few beers or ciders on the beach, Tora are back with their EP Eat the Sun. After finishing their very first Australian tour in April that took them down the east coast, Tora have been writing for their much anticipated next release. Unlike their previous EP Tora, which...
 
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Odesza – In Return

Beat makers Harrison Mills (aka CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches) are the dreamy electronic duo behind the sounds that have you covered this summer. After winning us over with their irresistible electro dreaminess, Seattle chillwavers ODESZA are back with their second album In Return – the perfect accompaniment...
 
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Groundbreaking Acts Excel on Latest Entries

While the end of the year typically is all about new holiday releases, several groundbreaking artists have actually issued must-have studio albums during 2014's home stretch. Artist: AC/DC. Title: Rock or Bust (Columbia Records). You might like if you enjoy: AC/DC's "Back in Black" (1980) and "Black Ice" (2008). Tell me more: Despite the departure...
 
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The Rider – Songs from Side A

Sydney psychedelic alt-rockers The Rider have offered up a new extended play release, although this term has been stretched to the broadest term possible, as Songs from Side A only includes two tracks. At only three dollars, it’s a tasty entrée, and leaves you hoping for an eventual Songs from Side B before the main course of a delicious LP is served up...
 
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Music DVD Gift Guide at the Ready

Looking for some perfect gift ideas? A number of bona fide classic rock legends are featured in new releases available on DVD and Blu-ray. Artist: The Rolling Stones. Title: From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum - Live in 1981 (Eagle Rock Entertainment). You might like if you enjoy: The Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger...
 
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Beach Slang – Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street

Beach House, Beach Fossils, Ghost Beach, Dirty Beaches, The Beach Boys. Like bears and crystal, the ‘B’ word tends to get a pretty good look-in when it comes to naming a band. Most of the aforementioned groups (notwithstanding the first and the last) have become more or less synonymous to me: interchangeable names on festival...
 
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Black Swift – The World Howls

Serious question: what do you think of when someone mentions Taylor Swift? Nashville? The cute and quirky persona with bouncing blonde hair and oh so silly cat ears? That less than desirable song of hers where she makes a fool of herself dancing, thus sending a wave of cringe across the lands? To be honest I’m not sure where this discussion is going...
 
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The Delta Riggs – Dipz Zebazios

This week I’ve been tasked with writing about a band ostensibly named after an old-school English actress and an overproduced crud-pop Australian singer*. The Delta Riggs seemingly are on the way up: their new album,Dipz Zebazios, was the featured album this week/last week/whatever on triple J; they just came back from a tour of...
 
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