500 Miles to Memphis – Sunshine in a Shot Glass (Vinyl)

Cincinnati’s favorite sons, 500 Miles To Memphis, obviously have their share of Willie and Waylon CDs in constant rotation on their tour bus. Probably best described as country punk, the band blends the noise and energy of Social Distortion with the song writing of the Highwaymen. Continue reading “500 Miles to Memphis – Sunshine in a Shot Glass (Vinyl)”

Black Lips – 200 Million Thousand (CD)

Throughout the years since they formed (around 9, if people were checking), Black Lips have continued to refine the sound that was first heard on their 2003 self-titled debut. “200 Million Thousand” is their follow-up release to their 2007 Vice debut, “Good Bad Not Evil”, and immediately gives listeners a fresh slate which to appreciate the band’s music. “Take My Heart” is a bit of retro, taking together the psychedelic, blues-rock, and garage movements of the seventies and turning them ever so slightly into a track that works in the current period and speaks to fans of current music. Continue reading “Black Lips – 200 Million Thousand (CD)”

The Number Twelve Looks Like You – Worse Than Alone (CD)

The Number Twelve Looks Like You is one of the few bands that have continually evolved and added to their sound over the course of their career. “Worse Than Alone” marks their fourth album and first since 2007’s “Mongrel”. The disc itself starts out with “Glory Kingdom”, and immediately hits listeners with a more fluid dynamic, manifested through increasingly intense and intricate time signatures. The fury in which they craft “Glory Kingdom” does not give listeners time to sit, think, or otherwise get prepared. “Given Life” is more of the same, but inserts a little bit of hesher melody (think CKY meets Fu Manchu here) into the mix. “To Catch A Tiger” is more deliberate, plodding along but in a different way than many other acts. Rather than using their music as a blunt instrument here, The Number Twelve Looks Like You ties in a little Frank Zappa and At The Drive-In to make for a song that is completely unique, ensuring that “To Catch A Tiger” will be on listeners’ minds for months to come. Continue reading “The Number Twelve Looks Like You – Worse Than Alone (CD)”

Leonard Cohen: Live in London (CD / DVD)

While I would normally write two distinct reviews for the new Leonard Cohen release, I find that the full experience of Cohen’s performance is essential to understand the context behind each and every inclusion on each of these two releases. Each song performed by Cohen during this 2008 concert at the O2 Arena should further solidify eir place among the pantheon of the best performers of all time: the recording itself is so chock-full of these hits that listeners will come back to this release countless times. Furthermore, the production values that are present in the recording of this concert are simply stellar: the audio is crisp, clear as day while the video footage of Cohen’s performance is easily television-levels of quality. Continue reading “Leonard Cohen: Live in London (CD / DVD)”

Black Label Society – Skullage (CD)

I had no idea that Black Label Society had been rocking for a decade, but “Skullage”, their greatest hits DVD/CD collection (to be released on Tuesday) is evidence providing that point specifically. The CD itself is a blend of the band’s best known hits and rarities, while the DVD is a collage of different material from all periods of the band’s length history. The CD ends with a qyuartet of acoustic tracks, which really pick up steam starting with “The Blessed Hellride” and peak during the disc’s penultimate track, “Spoke in the Wheel”. The disc’s final track, an acoustic iteration of “Stillborn”, gives listeners some semblance of where the track could have went. Continue reading “Black Label Society – Skullage (CD)”

Silverstein – A Shipwreck in the Sand (CD)

Remember when everyone said the screamo genre was dead? That ridiculous throat shredding bellow volleying back and forth with the second front man providing more traditional vocals? Yeah, well someone forgot to send a note to the guys in Silberstein. Like Limp Bizkit trying to milk the nu-metal cow when it was clearly out of milk, Silverstein’s latest effort sounds dated and very much like a retread, which is kind of a shame, because when they are not relying on the gimmicky cookie monster growls, they actually sound decent. Continue reading “Silverstein – A Shipwreck in the Sand (CD)”

Damion Suomi – Self Titled (CD)

If Billy Bragg, God forbid, decided to finally put his guitar back in his case and call it a day, rest assured Damion Suomi would be ready to pick up the slack. Playing the role of folksy, rock-tinged singer songwriter, Florida-based Suomi has turned in a fantastic debut. Comprised of just 10 songs, there is little filler on the self-titled record and plenty to leave the listener wanting more. Songs like the album opener “Archer Woman” and “What a Wonderful Game,” an ode to drinking and hooking up, best show off Suomi’s stripped down sound. Continue reading “Damion Suomi – Self Titled (CD)”

Beth Orton: Trailer Park (Legacy Edition)

It makes sense that Sony would re-release what Beth Orton feels is eir “true” solo album. The disc itself includes a great deal above and beyond what has been present on previous releases of the album, with a second disc adding most of the additional material. Of course, the liner notes are an added expansion to the original, but the second CD is where the gold truly is. This means that there are a number of tracks, including “Safety”, “Pedestal”, and “Bullet” that never made it to the finished album, as well as tracks that were captured flawlessly from live performances and early recording sessions (“Galaxy of Emptiness” from a 1996 show as well as two versions of “Best Bit”). Continue reading “Beth Orton: Trailer Park (Legacy Edition)”

Pearl Jam – Ten [Deluxe Edition] (CD)

When Pearl Jam came out with Ten, their debut in 1992, it was obvious from the first couple of songs that the record was much more than just a musical footnote for the band and the grunge movement, but a classic album destined to be passed on to the next generation. Rolled out just as the media was starting to pick up on the Seattle sound and exploit it to an early grave (remember grunge fashion shows?), the 11 song record was as near to flawless as a first record could ever aspire to be. Songs like “Alive,” “Once,” Even Flow” and “Black,” showed a band equally in love with classic punk, classic metal and classic rock. Continue reading “Pearl Jam – Ten [Deluxe Edition] (CD)”

Gala – Tough Love EP (CD)

With “Tough Love”, Gala is poised to make her presence felt in 2009. Despite having a number of hits on the world stage in the past, the tracks on “Tough Love” may just be the most memorable of her career. “Tough Love” begins strongly, a track in “Tough Love” that immediately re-establishes Gala as the queen of her own domain. The title effort from “Tough Love” shows a blending of rock, dance, and pop styles in the creation of a track that is quirky and fun at the same time. Continue reading “Gala – Tough Love EP (CD)”