CD Reviews


Jimmy Junk Heart - Self-Titled

Oh man. Yum. Yumyumyumyumyumyum. James Hanson aka Jimmy Junk Heart, please marry me. Stop whatever you are doing, and listen to this guy's EP. Did you do it?? Then you’re welcome. Jimmy Junk Heart is the Tame Impala / Bleeding Knees Club influenced love baby in one manly form. An indie rock and roll bundle of a human. The Melbourne artist is a lone ranger in the writing/creation process but drags some friends along for a full band when performing a live set.

Wink Keziah - Cowbilly

I'm going to start this review off in maybe the strangest way I have ever done - Wink Keziah is not the world's greatest singer you will ever hear. There's not a lot of polish to this project, and I doubt that Keziah has ever been called "evocative/" But, in his case, neither of these things are actually bad things. Nobody ever talked about...

The Sidleys – Bittersweet

“It was definitely a pivotal time in our relationship and also in our musical relationship in terms of defining a sound for us,” said Steve Sidley in a Rockwired radio interview last summer. He was asked about the making of the album “Bittersweet” by The Sidleys, a D.C. area duo consisting of Sidley and his wife Annie. Released on My Money Records, this collection of fourteen of their co-penned tunes began while the longtime couple was separated. Writing about ...

Bad Sav – Buy Something New

Today, I was struck by the least unexpected of news. Two chicks and a dude who all work at the coolest bar in New Zealand’s coolest city released a cool sounding song. The band are called Bad Sav and their single is called Buy Something New. It’s a dark, fuzzy little number reminiscent of Warpaint‘s swirling, choral singles and a distorted bass that sounds so nineties, you can almost feel the flannel against your skin. Oh wait, I am totally wearing a flannel shirt right ...

David Cortes – Time Away But Home Again

Houston, Texas based singer / songwriter / musician David Cortes just released his latest CD 20 years in the making entitled appropriately enough "Time Away But Home Again” in 2012. I say appropriately because this music took 20 years to get here. Perhaps life’s sjurney can creat opportunities to write powerful songs. When they finally reach the ears it can be like coming home. In his own words: "This is my first step in creating the music that I love so much. I have...

March Titles Showcase Old And New

From the '50s rock 'n' roll-minded cult classic "Untamed Youth" to a celebration of R&B and soul featuring a trio of legends and the latest LP from a pioneering cello rock outfit, March is racking up an eclectic wealth of sonic riches. mystery-science-theatre-3000Title: Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIX (Shout! Factory). You might like if you enjoy: Eddie Cochran, Mystery Science Theater 3000. Tell me more: Want to watch Hollywood attempt to tap into the explosion of early...

Michael W. Smith - Hymns

For well over three decades now, Michael W. Smith has been one of the dominant singer-songwriters in Gospel Music. On his latest project, the veteran performer teams up with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for a collection of some the greatest Gospel hymns ever recorded. A collection of fifteen time-honored classics, each of...

Scott Coner - Feels Like Friday

Indiana native Scott Coner isn't a fly-by-night newcomer who is singing lyrics of which he has no idea the meaning of. He's definitely lived the lyrics of each of the seven songs on this introductory EP. Whether it be on the uptempo fare, or the ballads of loss and heartbreak, you get the idea that Scott Coner is about as real as th'sey come. Take, for example, the exuberant title cut. Coner sings the track with such...

Grand Prismatic – Footscray and Fancy Free

Taking their name from a large hot spring seems quite fitting as the Grand Prismatic’s latest effort Footscray and Fancy Free is a big pool of warmth to immerse yourself into and float away. The Melbourne-based four-piece offered up their first EP Sad Seagulls and Sleaze-Gaze (a self-appointed genre styling) back in 2010, a compilation of low-fi pop with shades of psychedelia, drawing comparisons to Augie March, Wilco and The Drones. They followed it with their...

Dr. Spaceman – It Depends

Like a little blue pill the real Dr. Leo Spacemen would probably prescribe, Sydney music band Dr. Spaceman are a dopamine releasing four piece guitar band. Their three track EP It Depends put a smile on my dial, so much so that I decided to write a few nice words about it before I suffered from the inevitable serotonin depletion. Then I listened to it again. And again. Now it’s three weeks later and I’m only just getting around to writing all this down. The opening track Little Requests is...

Jim Gustin & Truth Jones - Can't Shed A Tear

California native Jim Gustin doesn't just sing the Blues. Upon hearing his authentic delivery, you know that he isn't just mouthing the words to these songs. Rather, he's lived them. It's a code he seems to live by - whether singing about the highs or lows of life. That seems to be very apparent on the rollicking into cut, "I Gotta Sing." I love the Gospel fervor of the cut, which Gustin carries off quite well. The good news is that it...

Skittish – The Five Stages

The Five Stages EP from Skittish is now available on numerous digital outlets, and it is a great listen. The EP explores the concept of the five stages of grief, with each song focusing its attention on one of the concepts. The results are brilliant, effective and defy simple codification. Track one, Running Lights (Denial) is an upbeat rocker that plays with concepts of pop-punk, rockabilly and ska in a mashup that proves every bit as inspired as it is ambitious. It is a defiantly...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying: Def Leppard and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week we look at "Give The People What They Want", the latest from Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. And the re release of Def Leppard's lost album "Slang".

Daniel Grajew Trio – Manga

INTRO Jazz Pianist Daniel Grajew hails from Brazil and brings an inspirational approach to modern day Jazz concoctions with baião, samba, choro, and other Brazilian genres with jazz, tango and classical music. I especially like Jazz music from Brazil because unlike American Jazz It has that amazing side of Samba thrown in. “Manga” combines all of the above with above average vocal style and a solid look. All 11 arrangements offer much in the way of charged musical performances...

The Iveys - Jenna's Song

There's something special about family harmony, and that is nowhere more evident on the stunning new album from Arlen, Jessica, and Jillian Ivey. The term "synergy" might get used a lot, but in the context of these three, it definitely applies - and then some. They seem to know what each other is going to vocally seconds before...