Tim Barry – Manchester (CD)

Based on the past few years, you’d think every grizzled punk rocker wants nothing more than to be a folk musician. Hot Water Music front man Chuck Ragan put his band on ice for a year or two to pick up an acoustic guitar; Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin went rootsy on his solo record last year; and former Avail singer Tim Barry has been unplugged for several records now. Continue reading “Tim Barry – Manchester (CD)”

The Tossers – On a Fine Spring Evening (CD)

You can go into just about any major city today, toss a bagpipe into a crowd and hit a band playing Celtic punk rock. Over the past decade or so, it seems like everyone wants to marry The Pogues use of traditional Irish instruments and themes with the driving beat and heavy guitars of The Clash. Though not as well-known as The Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly, the Chicago-based six piece The Tossers have actually been blending traditional Celtic instruments with street punk longer than most. Continue reading “The Tossers – On a Fine Spring Evening (CD)”

Asteria – Asteria EP (CD)

It’s hard to hear the songs off of Asteria’s self-titled EP over the sound of the final nails being loudly banged into the emo/pop-punk coffin. The paint-by-numbers, overproduced, polished-all-the-jagged- edges-until-they’re-shiny-and-smooth sound from this Indiana-based five piece is so mundane that the only thing to distinguish one song from the next is the titles. Continue reading “Asteria – Asteria EP (CD)”

Waylon Jennings & The 357’s – Waylon Forever (CD)

Decades ago, Waylon Jennings earned his spot on the Outlaw Country Mount Rushmore, sandwiched somewhere between Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Anyone wondering if he really deserved that honor just needs to listen to the first few tracks off Waylon Forever, the last album he recorded. His distinctive baritone is as strong as ever and the songs just as memorable. He’s joined on the record by his son Shooter Jennings and backing band the .357’s. Continue reading “Waylon Jennings & The 357’s – Waylon Forever (CD)”

Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns (CD)

It’s hard to listen to a Snow Patrol record nowadays and think of anything but the weepy, melodrama Grey’s Anatomy. The show may have added a few hundred thousand members to their fan club, thanks to heavy air play, but has pretty much cemented the band’s rep as being lightweight ear candy for those who get their music recommendations strictly from TV commercials – justified or not. There are a few standout tracks on A Hundred Million Suns, the band’s fifth album, specifically the first single “Take Back the City” and the record opener “If There’s a Rocket Tie it to Me,” but half way into release, a severe case of déjà vu starts to build in. Continue reading “Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns (CD)”

Dead to Me – Little Brother (CD)

I’m usually not a big fan of EP’s, seeing them as little more than a record company’s quick way to cash in on a rising band with not enough material for a full length. I am, however, willing to make an exception for Dead to Me’s 5 song offering Little Brother. The effort is pretty much hold over until their next proper album is ready, but the songs on the EP are hardly toss offs. Continue reading “Dead to Me – Little Brother (CD)”

Two Cow Garage – Speaking in Cursive (CD)

It’s refreshing to hear a band dig further back further in their closest than the last couple of Green Day CDs for musical influences. Ohio’s Two Cow Garage, like label mates Ninja Gun, pay homage to everyone from The Jayhawks to The Replacements and Speaking in Cursive, their fourth full length, is one of their best so far. Continue reading “Two Cow Garage – Speaking in Cursive (CD)”