Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Rock

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

In 1966 The Beatles came to Japan, playing the 15,000-seat Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, firmly planting the flag of western rock and roll in the island nation. What followed were a series of Beatles and Rolling Stones-esq copycat bands, often assembled by various record labels, playing everything from covers of American blues hits, to sparkly pop ballads written by in-house composers supplied by the record label. As the Japanese had difficulty pronouncing the term ‘Rock... Read More

The mythology that has been purposefully built up around Goat is sparse but compelling. An anonymous masked voodoo collective playing psychedelic afrobeat-tinged rock, from a village called Korpilombolo in northern Sweden? It’s a nice yarn, and whether it is true or not seems irrelevant when the potency of the music itself blows away the need for a good origin story. (It turns out they actually are from northern Sweden.) If you have seen Goat perform live, you will... Read More

"Welcome Klaus! Come have a listen", George Martin invited. "You can sit in my chair," he said to Klaus Voorman, bassist, artist and long time friend of The Beatles. This and other excerpts from Voorman's graphic novel birth of an icon REVOLVER tells the story of how and what moved Voorman to draw the now iconic, possibly influenced by Aubrey Beardsley pen and ink black and white cover—visually a polar opposite of Rubber Soul's inviting... Read More

genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl

When Steely Dan recorded "Can't Buy a Thrill" it was more of a "pick-up" studio band than a "group". As Donald Fagen recounts in the notes accompanying this new UHQR release sourced from the original master tapes (shown on the notes insert), Fagen and Walter Becker had failed as ABC Dunhill "staff composers" and decided it was time to live the dream leading a real band.The pair called their friend New York guitarist Denny... Read More

genre Rock Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)An extended suite for musical insanity and sonic meatcleaver that mutates The Bonzo Dog Band, Spike Jones, Nino Rota, Frank Zappa, Alvin Cash, The Art Of Noise, surf music, exotica, industrial heavy metal sludge, the tango, methedrine, Metallica, Don Van Vliet, and just plain old fashioned wise-assery into a rip roaring roller coaster ride through a double E ticket musical and sonic fun house. That these guys... Read More

Jethro Tull is this weird guy with an old man fetish, who fronts a rock band playing the flute while standing on one leg. That’s what we thought. He made weird noises too, while playing flute standing on one leg. A few who knew Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s music knew from where came this old standing on one leg guy’s flute sound (and noticed the credit on the first side ending cover of Kirk’s “Serenade to a Cuckoo”), but there was no Internet and news traveled slowly back then, so Jethro Tull he was until he was Ian Anderson fronting a band called Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull the man was an 18th century agriculturalist/inventor.

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genre Rock Blues Rock format Vinyl