Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Rock

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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The best reissues provide fuller context to the material, guiding listeners to (even) more favorably reassess the work without seeming forceful. As more recent installments have generally grown in size and curation quality, the series has become essential for anyone with more than a passing interest in Dylan. The latest set, 'Fragments: The Bootleg Series Vol. 17,' is the definitive collection of session material and tour recordings surrounding 1997's 'Time Out Of Mind.'

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genre Rock format CD

Recorded in 1966 and released in January of 1967 The Doors' debut album, powered by the edited single "Light My Fire" reached #2 on the Billboard charts, while the single was the "summer of love"'s #1 hit. If you were alive then you heard the single that summer wherever you went—blaring from jukeboxes and car radios. When you bought the album you heard a long extended "Light My Fire" that for many listeners was as uncomfortably... Read More

Fast on the approach to 70, where do we find Robyn Hitchcock these days? For a start…lyrically opening his parlour door to “The Shuffle Man” – the spirit of disorder inhabits the kickoff track to his latest album. “He's sort of the cheeky face of Destiny really,” Hitchcock explained over the line from London. “Certainly in times like 2020.”Which is when the ethos of Shufflemania – his 22nd long player, partially came together. The turmoil of lockdown, as it turns... Read More

genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl

"Wish", by English gothic rock band The Cure, was released just three months before I was born in 1992, and while this album might coincide with the beginning of my time on this earth, for The Cure, "Wish" was the bookend on a fruitful period of pop dominance in the late 80s. The band that once assembled barren, bleak post-punk landscapes on albums like "Faith" and "Pornography" had, by 1985, with the release of "Head on... Read More

Other than Donald Fagen, the boys hanging in the studio control room in the back jacket photo look either pissed (Denny Dias), mildly bemused and/or disgusted (Walter Becker), or completely stoned and/or exhausted (Jeff "Skunk" Baxter). Drummer Jim Hodder, too far from the camera to read and noticeably isolated physically from the others, would soon exit the band after being pushed out of the drummer seat by Jim Gordon and Jeff Porcaro on the third album... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

Kyoto’s four-piece, all-female, Japanese punk sensation Otoboke Beaver are probably the most talented live band I have witnessed in years. My favourite rhythm section in punk rock? No doubt about it, with Hiro-Chan’s bass effortlessly interlocking with the incredible drumming of Kahokiss. Is Kahokiss the best drummer I have ever seen? No question - she can stop and start on a pinhead and hammer out multiple time-signatures in one song at a tempo and force that... Read More

genre Rock Punk format Vinyl

Fed up with tight set lists and arena tour tedium, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers pitched its musical tent January, 1997 at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium for a two week residency. The Fillmore put 10 shows on sale—box office sale and pickup only— not sure how it would do. It was an immediate sell-out. More show dates followed until there were 20 sell-out shows between January 10 and February 7.

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genre Rock Americana format Vinyl

(This review, written by Carl E. Baugher, originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)P is Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers), Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhand), Bill Carter and Sal Jenco. Also, as it says on the back of the LP jacket, “P is a land, not a liquid or a fruit.” Uh, ok. Not by any means the discordant thrash you might expect from this Gibby-led bunch, this quirky, curious album is consistently engaging, with a wide range of musical variety and coarse, crude... Read More

genre Rock Alternative Rock format Vinyl