Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Rock

For what may have felt like a death knell for the godfathers of metal, vocalist Ronnie James Dio was a saving grace for Black Sabbath when in 1979 original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne made his exit. Dio brought forth some fresh approaches to the Sabbath mold, adding fantasy-based lyrics and more intricate vocal melodies. This allowed the band to write in a new direction and evolve further. The first offering of Black Sabbath Mark II, 1980’s Heaven and Hell, broke the slump... Read More

genre Rock Metal format Vinyl

Where to start here? They still can't spell the late Doug Sax's name correctly so let's start there. It's not "Sachs". They made a mistach on the original, understood. If they repeated it to preserve the jacket's "authenticity", then why add the additional credits? But more to the point, why take a wonderful, magical recording, with depth, space, transparency, transient purity, shimmer, delicacy, three-dimensionality and... Read More

genre Rock Acoustic format Vinyl

1971 was a mammoth year for the Alice Cooper group (not to be confused with the group’s frontman who would eventually go solo). After delving into Los Angeles-tinged psychedelic freakouts with their first two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action, the group relocated to the Metro Detroit city of Pontiac, Michigan. Within the area that embraced the harder driving sounds of The Stooges and MC5, the band was able to hone in on a straightforward hard rock sound. This... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

Brotherhood kills two birds with one stone. The first bird climbs high altitudes, showing no hesitation. This bird possesses two key qualities: strength and valiancy. Strength—the ability to grapple the truth—compliments valiancy. Above the clouds one finds the first bird. It soars despite the truth: if it falls, the ground takes its life. On the ground one finds the second bird, the first bird’s antithesis. Whilst the first bird aims beyond the sky, the second bird... Read More

genre Rock Alternative Rock format Vinyl

Despite the accusations of antisemitism for his support of Palestine and his stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine being “not unprovoked,” there is still no denying Roger Waters’ timeless influence in all avenues of the performing arts. Best known for being a founding member of progressive rock giants Pink Floyd and a profitable touring artist, Waters has always struck a certain chord with his thematic lyrics pertaining to adult life, society and isolation. Those... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

Like most "overnight successes", the individual members of The Cars knocked around for years working to find the right setting and musical formula before hitting it big with their debut album. Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr met in Cleveland, both moving to Boston in the early '70s and releasing non-charting albums in various "folkie" type groups including Milkwood and Cap'n Swing. The Cars formed in 1976 with guitarist and Berklee student Eliot Easton joining Ocasek and Orr (the three had been in Cap'n Swing) and keyboardist Greg Hawkes, who had been in a previous group with the duo but left to tour with musical comedian Martin Mull plus drummer David Robinson late of The Modern Lovers. Hawkes didn't join until early 1977. Whew!

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genre Rock Synthpop Pop Rock format Vinyl

Ghost is a band you can hardly run away from. Tobias Forge, who assumes the role of frontman Papa Emeritus IV backed by a revolving door of anonymous musicians known as Nameless Ghouls, has brought an element of theatricality back into the music world that can be traced to older acts such as KISS and Alice Cooper. With a schtick that serves as a Satanic parody of Catholicism it's one that could be seen as either sacrilege to the superstitious or tongue-in-cheek... Read More

genre Rock Metal Arena Rock format Vinyl

Recently reissued for its 50th anniversary, Haruomi Hosono's 1973 solo debut Hosono House wasn’t the start of his career, but the first development towards forging his own path. It’s a short, comfortable-sounding record whose homely, domestic charm has proven its lasting appeal.

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Within the musical landscape of the 70s, the Ramones came out of the woodwork like a brutal attack. Their style of downstroked three-barre-chord songs about sniffing glue, sedation and lobotomies was the antithesis of the overproduced pop and self indulgence prevalent at the time. The band’s first several albums released from 1976 to 1978 (Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin) are, as far as I know, the punk rock bible that every future punk band... Read More

genre Rock Punk format Vinyl

Olivia Jean is a jack of all trades. When a demo of Olivia Jean’s material found its way into Jack White’s hands in 2009, she relocated to Nashville and joined Third Man Records’ (founded by White) stable of artists. After carving her way as a session musician for the likes of Wanda Jackson and Karen Elson, in 2010 Olivia became the lead vocalist/guitarist/primary songwriter of the all-female garage goth band The Black Belles. The material that didn’t quite fit the... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

Ducks aren't an endangered species but in 2023 feedback drenched, electric guitar driven 4/4 rock music so popular in the 1970s seems to be just about over, Jack White and a few others notwithstanding. While Crazy Horse is Neil Young's best known live collaborator, the Ducks prove they are equally worthy on this adrenaline producing 3 LP live set recorded summer, 1977, Santa Cruz, California—and the sound recorded by Tim Mulligan is remarkably hi-fi... Read More

genre Rock Grunge format Vinyl

As someone who’d missed the early psycho-garage days and didn’t care all that much for the “Jelly” song, I was fully unprepared for the full force of what the Flaming Lips had become when they touched down in Athens, Georgia in September of 2000. Sure, the LSD helped, but long before we were inside of its fluorescent metallic grip, it was clear that the Category-5 euphoria of their live show could not be denied. Let’s remember that at the time, they were performing as... Read More

Upon reaching a certain age, it’s inevitable to ponder the impending end of the run, to embrace - as Warren Zevon once wryly observed - the importance of enjoying every sandwich. Unfortunately, these thoughts aren’t reserved only for card-carrying members of the octogenarian or nonagenarian membership club. The reality is that this experience of life is something that humans of all ages should appreciate, explore and enjoy. After all, one never knows how long a life... Read More

genre Rock Britpop format Vinyl

Almost no one asked for 2014’s spotty, blandly produced 'Songs Of Innocence' to be shoved into their iTunes library, and even fewer asked for a nearly three-hour compendium of mostly acoustic rerecordings from the catalog. Of course, U2’s latest project 'Songs Of Surrender,' conceived by The Edge and billed as a companion to Bono’s aforementioned book, is exactly that.

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