CD Reviews


Historic Reissues Shed Light on Rock Pioneers

Big Star's first two album releases, the lone album from Billy Thermal, and legendary guitar great Tommy Bolin's first band Zephyr have just been reissued and showcase groundbreaking artists at the dawn of their legendary careers. Artist: Big Star Title: #1 Record / Radio City (Stax Records / Concord Music Group). You might like if you enjoy: The Replacements...

Life in a Blender - We Already Have Birds That Sing

“The pencil shavings / The sourballs / The paperclip dispenser / They cheer me up / I know they’re always there / I know they won’t desert me,” sings frontman Don Rauf of New York City-area band Life In A Blender on irresistible, 70s funk punk “Shards,” from their latest EP “We Already Have Birds That Sing.” With a David Byrne bravado he paints a detailed lyric landscape of the bits and pieces of our lives, and he delivers like a revered ...

Anthonie Tonnon – Up Here For Dancing

Residing in Auckland, New Zealand, Anthonie Tonnon gives us a cycle of indie rock with smooth jazz and folk undertones. Tonnon is making his way from Middle Earth to the top, having recently spent five weeks touring in the US, introducing material from his album Up Here For Dancing to American audiences in over 30 shows. Anthonie Tonnon’s sound is addictive and laid back, featuring seductive, languid vocals which remind me...

The Maelstrom Cabinet - An Unstable Sun Goddess

Without a doubt, this band fits right in the genre of indie folk. But when you add the tag, freak pop, all the elements beyond that intrinsic folk façade will suddenly decide that it needs to take centre stage and stand out to you. It might just be the twist you are looking for in a musical world where everything in this genre starts to sound all too similar. But what did The Maelstrom Cabinet intend for people’s first impressions to be with...

Richard In Your Mind – Hammered

As far as simple pleasures go, getting “hammered in the daytime” is right up there with table tennis and masturbation. My use of the ‘m’ word there probably put a Richard in your mind — well, that’s a convenient segue, since Dick and the boys have just released a track all about the simple pleasure of getting hammered in the daytime. “We have always written about the sun,” said Richard In Your Mind frontman Richard Cartwright when speaking of the...

Strangerous Collective – Self Titled EP

unk has never been a genre that’s taken itself too seriously; Sydney acts like Bin Juice or Armata Funk Militia are bands that are just as invested in being entertainers as they are in being musicians. Maybe it’s the fact that funk music is practically impossible to brood to, or that funk musos are generally jovial guys, but this genre of music and humour have always gone hand in hand.

Jim Suhler - Panther Burn

“Throw your garter on the dash and hang on tight/We’ll follow our muse and drive all night,” sings Dallas blues artist Jim Suhler, addressing his shotgun rider on “Panther Burn” –- the title track of his latest CD, and just like that he’s off and running, surrounding the listener with his swampy guitar licks and lived-in tenor. Recorded in Garland, Texas on the Underworld Records label, 13 of the 14 songs here are written by Suhler. This is the fifth release with his solid band ...

Grand Pavilion – Secrets

Take me to the Grand Pavilion. An edifice of eclectic and unpretentious hues, soft, dreamy samples and an unexpected quirkiness which emboldens listeners to drift amidst the richly textured, ambient soundscapes. With their alluringly lush and dreamy sound garnished with an electronic indie pop sensibility, you’ll never want to leave the Grand Pavilion. Forming during their last year of university, band members Tom Hunt and Stuart...

Super Supergroup Touching Tributes Are Required Listening

The self-titled tribute LP from The Empty Hearts, and moving tributes to the late JJ Cale and The Call's Michael Been are worth adding to any discerning music fan's library. Artist: The Empty Hearts. Title: The Empty Hearts (429 Records). You might like if you enjoy: The Romantics, The Cars, The Byrds. Tell me more: Boasting a lineup of founding members from The Cars (guitarist Elliot...

Firekites – Closing Forever Sky

What do you call someone from Newcastle? No idea. Anyway, Firekites have a new record. Listen to it. Firekites are a group that truly defy categorisation into a genre. Actually, they defy most of the typical characteristics of popular music. After their debut earned high praise for an all-round elaborate approach, the revolving collective of musos are poised to release their second album. With the mere seven tracks of indie-folk-meets-lo-fi-jazz-meets-electronica weighing in at...

Guerilla Toss- 367 Equalizer

While Guerilla Toss sounds kind of like a violent video game* featuring silent and subtle political messages, it is in reality the name of a bass-booming, quirky band from Boston, Massachusetts. Asian pop has finally met its match against the vivid mess of noise that is Guerilla Toss. Their sound is as equally thrilling, and colourfully dynamic as a Nintendo 64 Game. Mesmerising yet chaotic the band breathe a fiery haze of life and colour into their new 4-track...

Allison Crutchfield – Lean Into It

No but seriously, though. You may know this lady from her previous work with her sister Katie Crutchfield in a band called the Ackleys. They since split ways to work on solo stuff, Allison with the now pivotal alternative rock band Swearin and her sister with equally ground-breaking band Waxahatchee. She’s just released an EP which was mostly made herself in her bedroom...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying - The Call and The Burdows

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week we look at the latest release from The Call featuring Robert Levon Been of BRMC and the Cigar Box Swamp Blues of The Budrows.

Joy Styles - Unbreakable

Joy Styles has enjoyed a diverse musical career so far. Whether it be in Philadelphia, New York or Nashville, the stunning songstress has made her presence known wherever she's been. However, a few years ago, Styles re-connected with her Carolina roots and began to sharpen her musical focus on what she does best - Country Music. Her long-awaited EP is a perfect showcase...

The Tiny Giants – Blunt Slippy

We breed em’ young here in Australia. Three teenage kids decked out in tie-dye are running riot with their garagey psychy surf rock in their beachside hometown of Ocean Grove. Wagging school to play music, surf and eat burgers at the chicken shop, Triple J Unearthed High classmates Jasper Jolley, George Wilson and Etienne Mantelli are The Tiny Giants. There’s definitely something in that Ocean Grove water: the school bell rings and band practice...
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