CD Reviews


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...

Dan Croll – Sweet Disarray

I love Dan Croll. Ahem. I mean, I admire and have a high opinion of his musical talent… After listening to Home on a VEVO DSCVR session, I bought the deluxe version of his debut album Sweet Disarray… That was literally all it took. Was it necessary for me to have 24 tracks worth of Dan Croll, you ask? YES. YES IT WAS. After I bought his album, I did the usual cyberstalking thing which is like, kinda necessary for an album review right?

The Roys - The View

Over the past few years, Lee and Elaine Roy have carved out a reputation as one of the hardest working acts in the business. Whether it be on stage, on television, or on record, the brother / sister duo continue to do what they do - and they do it so right. Their latest Rural Rhythm disc proves that they are only getting better with each passing disc. The harmonies of these two have never sounded tighter or more...

Dustin Lynch - Where It's At

It's hard to believe that it will almost be three years since Dustin Lynch first released his debut single, "Cowboys And Angels." Since then, the Broken Bow recording artist has carved out quite the reputation as one of the most-respected new artists in the business. His self-titled debut disc topped the Billboard Country Albums chart - and also spawned a pair of top-40 hits in "She Cranks My Tractor" and "Wild In Your...

Rock, Americana, Memphis Soul Are Accented On New Titles

If variety is truly the spice of life, look no further than a wide range of recent releases that seemingly mine every corner of the music universe. Artist: Marillion. Title: A Sunday Night Above the Rain (earMUSIC / Eagle Rock Entertainment). You might like if you enjoy: Peter Gabriel, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead. Tell me more: While British rock artists such as The Beatles and Rolling Stones have achieved widespread acclaim...

JJ Thames - Tell You What I Know

“Over to New York City, in a subway singin’ my song/Y’all might think I’m only worth quarters now, but I know, I know it won’t be long,” sings blues artist JJ Thames on the final and title track of her new CD “Tell You What I Know.” The Detroit native has a hand in writing seven of the eleven tracks here –- her debut on DeChamp Records. She’s produced by Sam Brady, with Grady Champion as executive producer, and they successfully capture this colorful soul...

New DVD / Blu-Rays Deliver Superb Sights and Sounds

An essential collector's edition of the seminal 1974 rock horror classic "Phantom of the Paradise," as well as recent concert films featuring ZZ Top and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson are among the most notable DVD/Blu-ray music titles of summer 2014. Title: Phantom of the Paradise [Collector's Edition] (Shout Factory). You might like if you enjoy: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper...
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