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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”

luckytubbmusic.com

 
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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”

theluckyband.com

 

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250 Word Album Review: Hook & Arrow – Hook & Arrow

Hook & Anchor - Hook & Anchor

Hook & Anchor - Hook & Anchor gets 3 stars

Hook & Anchor throws back to some classic rock  with a country twist for their self-titled album. The songs are dominated by female vocals for the most part and the band has a tight country twang to it. The vocals and clean production point clearly toward Fleetwood Mac as a clear influence and comparison.

The Fleetwood Mac influence is staggering on the track “Blackbird” complete with a bit of an 80s songwriting feel but thankfully is missing those awful 80s drums. Other songs like “Wild Wind” and “Famously Easy” have similar vibes but separate themselves more from the legendary pop band with many of the same components as Hook & Anchor. The most defining thing about Hook & Anchor is their rootsy sound which undoubtedly throws them in the americana category. The singing violin on the start of “Concerning Spectral Pinching” is Grande Ole Opry worthy and “Light of the Moon” feels like it was conceived in the republic of Texas. The song title “No, It’s Not” is a reaction to the song with the chorus of “it’s gonna be alright” as the title tries to defy the song itself. The group shows their versatility by going from a piano laden hymn on “Hammer” to slow acoustic plucking on “Fine Old Times” but usually ends up a little more up-tempo like on “Famously Easy” or “Light of the Moon.”

Clean production and well done country twang lead the way for this record, the most interesting aspect may be stylistic changes and the intriguing parallels to Fleetwood Mac. It should be interesting to see what direction Hook & Anchor goes next.

Key Tracks: “Light of the Moon” “Blackbird” “Famously Easy”

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in 250 word album reviews

 

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Album at a glance: Scruffy & The Janitors – Anglo EP

Scruffy & The Janitors - Anglo

Scruffy & The Janitors – Anglo

The current shining stars of the St. Joseph music scene blast into new territory with their rowdy new EP “Anglo.” The short opening song “Ms. Crucio” doesn’t hold back and gets out of the starting blocks as fast as anything you’ll hear. “Dirtleg” is currently decorating 96.5 The Buzz’s regular rotation along with the band’s previous single “Shake It Off” also on the EP getting plays. “Nehemiah” treads water proving the band has more than one gear before giving way “Dirtleg” to round out “Anglo” on a ferocious note. Even with the success of “Dirtleg,” “Shake It Off” is clearly top dog here with guitar line more addictive than nicotine and when the song drops into the chorus it will lock into your personal regular rotation as well.

Key Track: “Shake It Off”

scruffyandthejanitors.bandcamp.com

 

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The Vinyl Court: The Motels – All Four One

The Motels - All Four One

  • Artist: The Motels
  • Album: All Four One
  • Purchased at: Pawn Plus(St. Joseph) for $1

Not every slab of used vinyl you pick up is going to be a winner. The Motels third album, All Four One, was originally released in 1982 and not only has a terrible album title but it sounds like your typical 80s album. It is a group of overglossed new-wave pop songs with too many keyboards and crappy sounding drums. It’s not a provocative listen but probably won’t prompt you to turn it off either, it is like the feeling of listening to a top 40 radio station on in the background; not obtrusive but not exactly enlightening either.

For just a buck at a local pawn shop it is still a decent pick up and was worth a shot. There is more surface noise and pops than you’d like as a record collector but for the price tag it is hard to nit-pick. This was just one of nine one-dollar records from that trip and nothing from it will get weekly or even monthly spins on my turntable but cheap records need a little love too sometimes. If you have a few extra ones in your pocket, a trip to a pawn shop to score records on the cheap isn’t a bad idea.

Rating: C-

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in The Vinyl Court

 

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250 Word Album Review: Los Seis Pistos – Punk Will Never Die

Los Seis Pistos - Punk WIll Never Die

Los Seis Pistos - Punk WIll Never Die gets 3.5 Stars

Sometimes you just want to have fun and sometimes you want to scream and yell and sing along. Punk rock is a great outlet for this (as long as it isn’t angry punk.) Los Seis Pistos album Punk Will Never Die doesn’t feel angry at all (although, half the album is sang in Spanish so I’m not really sure) if anything, it sounds celebratory.

When you listen to the snotty vocals on the album it’s hard to not be drawn in by them. With lofty sing-along choruses (none more soaring than the title track) it is easy to listen to despite the harsh edge of the music. Short, jagged guitar licks are paired with fast drumming and they are all held together by solid groovy bass grooves. Whether the lyrics are sang in Spanish or English it actually makes little difference, the vibe is essentially the same. Like many punk bands, they indulge in a little ska-punk on “Que me la Mame” complete with a little Spanish guitar noodling but their strength is clearly with their harder punk tunes like “El Punk No Morira” and “So Done.”

The aggressiveness never really lets up making the album pretty straight forward with no surprises lurking with any oncoming tracks. The positive side is that the music and fun and it puts you in a good mood listening to it. Sometimes, that is all you need.

Key Tracks: “Punk Will Never Die” “So Done”

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in 250 word album reviews

 

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250 Word Album Review: Beck – Morning Phase

Beck - Morning Phase

eck - Morning Phase gets 4.5 stars

Beck’s Morning Phase is a great record and everybody knows it. It didn’t fly under the radar and critics were in awe instantly. It is a given for nearly every top 10 albums of 2014 list at the end of the year and it will continue to sell a lot of copies. With the Sea Change-esque Morning Phase Beck revisits one of two distinct sides of his music that makes him such a rare and great modern talent.

Let’s answer the common questions:

Does it sound like Sea Change? Yes.

Is it better than Sea Change? No.

Is it a revolutionary record? No.

Should you buy it? Yes.

Morning Phase won’t change the way you listen to music and it won’t rattle your brain. It is simply an example of an extremely well done album. The lyrics are great, the musicianship is spot-on and it survives endless listens. When you hear the perfect acoustic plucking on “Say Goodbye” you will simply be enthralled. “Blue Moon” is a great example of how Beck can construct a song so well and “Wave” has the orchestral background to contradict the more traditional rock songs on the album. From front to finish it is simply a great album with very few holes if any. Beck’s voice soothes and the music is up front in the mix but not confrontational making it a great album to have on in the background in the kitchen or during a card game or really anytime. Enough rambling; go buy it if you don’t have it already.

Key Tracks: “Say Goodbye” “Blue Moon” “Blackbird Chain”

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in 250 word album reviews

 

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