Album at a glance: One Headlight High – Live Free or Don’t

One Headlight High - Live Free Or Don't

One Headlight High – One Headlight High

Pop punk is one of the cleanest sounding genres around. Green Day, Jimmy Eat World and Superchunk created a huge wake of bands inspired by them over the last couple decades and out of rural Missouri comes One Headlight High showing just how deep those bands’ influences have reached. The band rocks hard with heavy hooks and the vocals featured on top of the mix, just like they should be. They punch hard on the rocker “Sexlexia” and slow it down appropriately on “Meanwhile Back In Maryville.” Targeted at the high school and college aged crowd, this well recorded album has big choruses and churning guitar licks that fill the album making it irresistible not to sing along with.

Key Track: “Sexlexia”


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250 Word Local Album Review: Kilmaat – Architect of Human Failure

Kilmaat - The Architect Of Human Failure

Do you know anyone who answers the question “What kind of music do you like?” with “Oh, all kinds”? We all do, and Kilmaat is not for that person. Heavy metal runs deep in the veins of Kilmaat’s first record Architect of Human Failure, being carefully constructed and arranged with a sound so dense that you can physically feel the weight of the songs.

The sludge floods this album as the complex, progressive metal songs are at times like trying to walk through quicksand. Most tracks are relentless like “The Dead Die Alone” but on the song “Architect of Human Failure” the band is seen at their most patient, letting the song unfold like a Pink Floyd composition tuned to the floor. “Scalers of Golden Mountain” is a great example of how the grinding, machine gun guitars give the songs an aggressive added weight. The low, growling vocals will wear on you after several songs because the lyrics are difficult to decipher.   It makes sense that this thick of music wouldn’t make anything easy for the listener though, like on “Redemption Denied” the hammering drums and thumping bass make sure you know there will be no reprieve from the doldrums.

Power chords don’t survive on these songs because Kilmaat’s music is much more intricate than that and the deep, growling vocals may scare some away but will hit right at home with who they need to.

Key Tracks: “Architect of Human Failure” “Scalers of Golden Mountain” “Redemption Denied”


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250 Word Local Album Review: Black The Buffalo – Blood On The Plains

Black The Buffalo - Blood On The Plains

The husband-wife duo in bands is really overdone at this point. For the last few years it seems these kinds of bands were popping up everywhere. Black The Buffalo take a different approach when making their album Blood On The Plains though.

It’s easy to write the “I Love You” song when writing from this dynamic but Black The Buffalo approaches from the opposite perspective. The songs explore the real problems of relationships without wasting time on sugarcoating them. Songs like “A Superstitious Mind’s A Prison” are biting with the lyrics “I go where I’m going to and I do what I please” from the female viewpoint and later the male point-of-view claims “Your love’s an acquired joy” in “A House Safe For Lions.” The upbeat opener “As The Crow Flies” proves to be an addictive, soaring chorus while the venom of “Rattlesnakes & Vultures” make it clear that this record refuses to pull any punches. When the final song “Blood on the Plains” (an endlessly appropriate nod to Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks) comes, things shift gears. The song tunes in with an eerie and ghostly feel with the message that things are definitely not in control while the careful acoustic strums beg to differ.

All this heartbreak is backed with dancing Spanish guitar style picking and minimal backing instruments shifting the focus right where it should be, on the lyrics. The deeply introspective album sounds as personal as anything you will hear and the honesty of it makes the songs hit close to heart, sometimes a little too close for comfort.

Key Tracks: “Blood on the Plains” “A Superstitious Mind’s A Prison” “A House Safe For Lions”


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Album at a glance: Moonshine Sorrow – While You’re Drinking

Moonshine Sorrow - While You're Drinking

Moonshine Sorrow – While You’re Drinking

If you are wondering what to do since Waylon, Willie and the boys aren’t so active anymore, look no further than Moonshine Sorrow. They come from Iowa but channel Luckenbach pretty well. Whiskey soaked songs fill the 7 track album “When You’re Drinking” and inebriation is a common theme. The songs also center around being in a band like on “8 Hours For 2” where they state their devotion to playing shows and on “Feed Me, Fuck Me, Buy Me Weed” the band blasts with a country strut while telling the story of another night and another town. Old school country songs, twangy guitar licks and harp solos fit the band perfectly and justify their presence in every hole in the wall bar across the country.

Key Track: “8 Hours For 2”

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Album at a glance, Uncategorized


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Album at a glance: Dreamgril – Sensually Yours EP

Dreamgirl - Sensually Yours


The “Sensually Yours” EP by Dreamgirl is like a promise ring from you high school sweetheart. It is only two songs but it is an exotic preview of things to come. The sultry electro-pop sound is fresh to the area and there is nothing else quite like it. There are relaxed grooves and a strong dose of soul in the music as well. On “Sweet Thang” singer Lacey Hopkins serenades like a siren in a way that most sailors would find impossible to resist. The other track, “High Dive,” finds a wandering keyboard following a jazzy groove with Hopkins once again belting sultry about summer. Look at these two songs as a teaser for now and just hope there is much more to come.

Key Track: “Sweet Thang”

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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Album at a glance


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Album at a glance: Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours – Del Gaucho

Lucky Tubb - Del Gaucho


Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours – Del Guacho

Lucky Tubb sets out to show the world what real country music is. What is played on the radio on “country” stations doesn’t match what Tubb is doing. If you want an idea of his style, pick up a Hank Sr. record and you will be on the right track. Tubb nails the old school country sound whether attacking heartbreak like on “Never Shoulda Fell In Love” the gentle swing of “Bachelor Man” or straight up rockabilly on “Cowtown Boogey.” The ghostly haunting of “Heard Your Name” name-drops contemporaries and heroes of Tubb while still maintaining an interesting story and a strange vibe. A nice weaving of heartbreak, rockabilly and vintage twang make Lucky Tubb one of the few country artists still making real country music.

Key Track: “Bachelor Man”

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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Album at a glance


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Album at a glance: The Lucky – Swimming Invisible

The Lucky - Swimming Invisible

The Lucky – Swimming Invisible

The Lucky is garage-punk band out of Kansas City with a knack for pop hooks. On “Swimming Invisible” they strut their stuff with a maximum amount of swagger like on the guitar-noodling filled barroom rocker “Hey Rosie.” With predominantly female vocals with relatable lyrics, the raw punk sound remains fresh. “Sex Dream” has high school level sex references and “Cuss The Rich” shows the band has room to mature but the pop hooks are still hard to ignore. “Mad Ones” will remind you a bit of the New Pornographers and “Kansas City” is a dead ringer for a Pornographers tune. “Swimming Invisible” is a fun record with high energy and oozes of sex appeal, it could easily be this summer’s guilty pleasure.

Key Track: “Kansas City”


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