The Yawpers – Boy in a Well (CD)

Clearly not a band to shy away from a challenge, the Denver country punks in The Yawpers decided to make their third LP a concept record about a tragedy set in World War I France… including a song in French. Oh, and none of these guys actually speaks French. Continue reading “The Yawpers – Boy in a Well (CD)”

Hamell On Trial – Tackle Box (CD)

The first voice you hear on the 10th album from acoustic punk poet Hamell On Trial is from Donald Trump (“I’d like to punch him in the face,” declares the Whiner in Chief on the opening line, to the album’s opening track “Safe”). And much like Ragan launched a slew of great punk bands in the ‘80s, Trump’s white-pride-and-fuck-the-rest style of leadership serves as fodder for much of Hamell’s latest brilliant offering. He’s always been the conscious of modern music and nowhere is that more obvious then on “Tackle Box,” where Trump’s America is on full display. Continue reading “Hamell On Trial – Tackle Box (CD)”

Brick + Mortar – Dropped Again (CD)

For a two-man band, Brick + Mortar have figured out a way to make an impressively big sound. On “Dropped Again,” their latest album, Brandon Asraf plays guitar, bass and sings; Jon Tacon drums, while both handles samples. The result, though a little sterile at time, for the most part is an eclectically fun mix of Indie pop and electronic rock. Continue reading “Brick + Mortar – Dropped Again (CD)”

Here’s To Life: The Story of The Refreshments (DVD)

The Refreshments may be seen by many as a 1990s one-hit wonder, but the band is almost a religion to a smaller, but much more rabid group of music fans. And can you blame them? Roger Clyne and his crew churned out two LPs crammed with a slew of fantastic songs that vacillated between roots rock, Americana and dessert boogie. Continue reading “Here’s To Life: The Story of The Refreshments (DVD)”

Runnin’ With The Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times

Noel Monk managed Van Halen from 1978 – 1985, the biggest rock band in the world during that run. And while he was ultimately fired from the band and cut out of millions of dollars, he certainly left the gig with a slew of stories, funny, sad and salacious. Thanks to a 30-plus year NDA agreement that has recently run out, he’s now able to channel the best of those stories into Running’ With The Devil, a wildly compelling read about a band that has certainly earned its reputation for being both great musically and atrocious on a personal level. Continue reading “Runnin’ With The Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times”

Tunabunny – PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (Vinyl)

With a title like that, you kind of know what you’re in for. Spread across two records, this 28-song, 75-minute opus is a pretty bold experiment for the Athens-based indie pop band just three albums into their career. Surprisingly, it pays off handsomely. Continue reading “Tunabunny – PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (Vinyl)”

Sammy Brue – I Am Nice (CD)

It would be easy to simply dismiss Sammy Brue’s debut LP “I Am Nice” as little more than a novelty. It’s the work of a 15-year-old, so naturally a raised eyebrow or two can be expected. However, that kind of simplistic thinking is moot just one song into the record as you quickly learn, Brue is a fantastic singer/guitar player and an even better song writer. Continue reading “Sammy Brue – I Am Nice (CD)”

Rozwell Kid – Precious Art (CD)

Over the years, SideOneDummy has done a yeoman’s job of discovering an eclectic and brilliant collection of indie and punk musicians and bringing them to a larger audience. From Gogol Bordello and Flogging Molly to Gaslight Anthem and the Smith Street Band, the LA-based label has a helluva track record. Add West Virginia’s Rozwell Kid to the list. Continue reading “Rozwell Kid – Precious Art (CD)”

Chris Bell – Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star

Big Star were a tragically underrated band for their time and while they have finally clawed their way up to cult status, thanks in part to a deep love from a slew of influential musicians, sadly there is only one surviving original member of the band left. As this deep cuts-collection from a pre-Big Star Chris Bell shows, the talent was there long before the band was founded. Continue reading “Chris Bell – Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star”

Simple Minds – Acoustic In Concert (DVD/CD)

Simple Minds may best be remembered in this country for their song that played out across the screen during the final shot of The Breakfast Club, but the band has an exhaustively large cannon of music that pre-and post-dates that mid ‘80s gem. And while we may not have fully appreciated the depth of this Scottish band here in the U.S., folks in Europe still hail the band as musical royalty. Continue reading “Simple Minds – Acoustic In Concert (DVD/CD)”