Ezra Furman- Transangelic Exodus (2018)

Posted by KB on 2/28/2018 to Reviews
There will be no release this year as dramatic as Furman's "Transangelic Exodus". The music is big like a modern Broadway musical, his aggressive vocal delivery demands you to listen and the lyrical context of relationships is angry, tender, irreverent, doubting, self actualizing- basically just like a relationship. The songs appear to become more fluid as the album progresses and maybe this is a metaphor of his getting a grip on his own situation (guessing here). Furman is known for his energy and there is no lack of it here. He sounds like he is bouncing of the studio walls to deliver his performance. The music is unpredictable and impossible to pigeon hole and just as you are settling in deliberately veers to make you feel uneasy- again, just like a relationship. So as in a relationship, pop this on and enjoy the challenge it brings.

Favorite Songs: Suck the Blood From My Wound, No Place, Love You So Bad, Come Here Get Away From Me, I Lost My Innocence

Find It: Ezra Furman- Transangelic Exodus

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Ezra Furman

Superchunk- What A Time To Be Alive (2018)

Posted by KB on 2/27/2018 to Reviews
Every then and then that angry album comes out. The one that is inspired, on point venom spewing (like Black Flag "Damaged", Nirvana "In Utero", NSW "Straight Outta Compton", Rage Against the Machine- S/T- plus many more). Superchunk has just released this one for this generation. A complete tirade on the (only year old) Trump regime, Mac McCaughan and gang rip through songs describing their disappointment in our POTUS and those who made him POTUS. No punches pulled, no sugar on the rice cake but lots of salt in the wounds. By the way, did I say it's angry? WTTBA rocks and should be the soundtrack for those who wish to piss and moan while we return our country back to sanity.

Favorite Songs: Let's just say the whole damn album.

Find It: Superchunk- What A Time To Be Alive

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Superchunk

Shack- H.M.S. Fable (1999)

Posted by KB on 2/23/2018 to Reviews
"H.M.S. Fable" jumped out of my collection begging me to put it on, because it has been awhile. Shack would have to be described as a wispy, full sound, poppy REM lite. That's not a jab because it works, for the most part. It works when it leans toward pop and fades a bit when it leans toward English folk. The songs have a big sound but not a loud sound. Picture a CD you would put on while sitting by an outdoor, night fire. This release is right in the middle of their discography and to be honest, I haven't ventured to their other releases. But I am never disappointed when I occasionally pop this one on.

Favorite Songs: Natalie's Party, Beautiful, Comedy

Find It: Shack- H.M.S Fable

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Shack

All We Are- Sunny Hills (2017)

Posted by KB on 2/19/2018 to Reviews
Was introduced to this one late last year. This is a band that wears its 80s new wave pop on it's sleeve, and they wear it well. All We Are doesn't sound retro, or dated. It's a refresher of that synth, big beat sound with added guitar edge. The dual vocals work well with Guro Gikling's being the punch and power. Close your eyes and you can almost see the bad hair and equally bad (but fun) videos of the time. Flock of Seagulls, Kate Bush, New Order, Human League.... you'll hear a little of each plus many more nods.

Favorite Songs:Burn It All Out, Human, Waiting, Punch

Find It: All We Are- Sunny Hills

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All We Are

Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention- We're Only In It For the Money (1968)

Posted by KB on 2/9/2018 to Reviews
Every couple of years I revisit early Frank Zappa releases. Being a fan of his genius and guitar playing on his 70's and 80's albums I tend to forget where he got started. So out came "Freak Out!", "Absolutely Free" and "We're Only In It For the Money". It's easy to dismiss some of the material as un-listenable or non-music if you take it just as it is ignoring the social commentary...