Electric Light Orchestra – The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972 – 1978 (Vinyl Boxset)

It’s difficult to relay just how influential Jeff Lynne and his group Electric Light Orchestra was and remains to this day, despite release their last big hit in the early 1980s. Continue reading “Electric Light Orchestra – The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972 – 1978 (Vinyl Boxset)”

The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, The MC5 & My Life of Impossibilities

Wayne Kramer and his bandmates in the MC5 helped put down the foundations of punk rock, alongside fellow Detroiters Iggy Pop and The Stooges, paving the way for everyone from The Ramones to The Clash to make careers out of their music. Unfortunately, Kramer was in a federal prison in Lexington, KY, serving time for a botched drug deal when punk was just taking off. And at the time, the term “punk,” inside the walls of a prison was not what you wanted to be known as. Continue reading “The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, The MC5 & My Life of Impossibilities”

The Devil Makes Three – Chains Are Broken

Hard to believe it’s been five years since The Devil Makes Three last put out a record of all-original material (2016’s satisfying Redemption & Ruin was a creatively curated covers album that spoke to a general theme). And it takes just one or two songs into their new one, Chains Are Broken, for you realize just how much they were missed. Continue reading “The Devil Makes Three – Chains Are Broken”

The Posies – Dear 23/Frosting on the Beater (CDs)

When Omnivore Recordings first announced their re-release of the Posies’ debut “Failure,” it was just a matter of time before they got around to the band’s two best efforts, 1990’s “Dear 23” and 1993’s “Frosting on the Beater.” Continue reading “The Posies – Dear 23/Frosting on the Beater (CDs)”

James – Living in Extraordinary Times (Infectious/BMG)

The English-based alt rock band James has turned to a familiar topic throughout Living in Extraordinary Times, their 15th studio album: the current, global political landscape. President Trump and his fellow right wing, nationalist contemporaries in the UK have brought every racism and jingoism to the forefront of everyone’s day to day life, so it’s not surprising that musicians from countless genres are tapping the Grand Wizard In Chief for lyrical inspiration these days. From the lines in “Many Faces” (“There’s only one human race/Many faces /Everybody belongs here”), to the sharp lyrics of “Head,” with laments of fake news and the poor voting against their own interest, Tim Booth crafts his most focused lyrics in years. Continue reading “James – Living in Extraordinary Times (Infectious/BMG)”

Riley Moore – Vagrant (CD)

There is seems to be a strong sense of inauthenticity with the vast number of bands who are suddenly unplugging their guitars and calling themselves “Americana” now. But soon enough, another genre will come along and be ripe for exploitation. And when it does, you can bet Riley Moore, a refreshingly genuine voice in the Americana/Folk movement, will still be playing his brand of no frills, but deeply satisfying music from that genre. Continue reading “Riley Moore – Vagrant (CD)”

The Alarm – Equals

Over the past several years, when not on their seemingly endless global tour, Mike Peters and his bandmates have been busy breathing new life into old classics. First came the 30th anniversary of their debut, “Declaration,” which saw the songs re-interpreted and re-recorded for a new decade, followed quickly by “Peace Train,” another series of re-recordings, this time of lesser known B-Sides. But, after an eight-year break, the band is finally back with a new studio record comprised entirely of new material. “Equals,” the result, is a strong addition to the band’s cannon. Continue reading “The Alarm – Equals”