Album Review

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Album review: Luxury Mane, Isn’t This Great?

The third album in three years from the Billy Summer-led rock band

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 11:28 AM

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Billy Summer, Kyle Lovell and Jay Schultz have averaged an album a year since forming Luxury Mane back in 2013. The third and latest Isn't This Great? – released on cassette and also available for download – picks up where last year’s fine Gold Standard left off, veering between hazy and glammy psych-pop, fuzzy garage rock and sinister post-punk marked by much guitar texture and warped effects.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Album review: Have Gun, Will Travel, Science from an Easy Chair

The fifth and latest from the Bay area Americana favorites could be their best to date.

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 1:00 PM

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A century after Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew survived months stranded on the frozen ocean, Bradenton’s Have Gun, Will Travel are giving an epic tip of the cap to the harrowing tale of men who refused to die when all signs pointed to their obliteration at the hands of mother nature. In so many ways, fifth full-length Science From An Easy Chair is also a reboot for the long-adored Americana outfit.

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Album review: Radarmen?, Echoes in Sound

A review of the new outing from Tampa's experimental rock trio

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 8:30 AM

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The nine-track full-length debut from Tampa three-piece Radarmen? (guitarist/singer Rodney Smith, bassist/singer David Kibby and drummer Adam Revak) creeps and surges through dark sonicspheres of post-punk, experimental rock and ‘90s grunge-alternative. Straightforward angular numbers with memorable guitar hooks and snotty nasal vocals like set opener “End of Story” are joined by the more urgent dissonance of tracks like “Down and Out” with its screaming reverb and ominous basslines, and the title track, propelled by crunchy distortion, complex shreds and clean-picked solos in ambient tones.

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Album review: Part Time/Models, Harlot Drama

The newish St. Pete indie rock quartet presents a debut EP

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 6:04 AM

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Dual guitars lead the charge through retro garage grit and post-punk grooves, warped surf twang, ‘90s alt rock grunge and light whiskey-dripped psychedelia in Harlot Drama, a fresh eight-track EP from newish St. Petersburg quartet Part Time/Models.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Album review: Y Los Dos Pistoles, Six Stories High

A new outing from the folk-garage outfit; listen to a track off the EP here.

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 6:00 AM

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Further establishing themselves as one of the best bands in the Tampa music scene, Y Los Dos Pistoles marks a new milestone with their appealingly bipolar new recording, Six Stories High.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Album review: Displace, Eureka!

The jam rock quartet presents their debut full-length

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 4:00 AM

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Amid the scores of acts that have frothed up from the local jam scene in the past few years, Displace is among the finest with a dynamic sax-stroked fusion of progressive rock, funk, jazz and electro. This Friday, the quartet presents the self-produced and recorded fruits of their labor: first-ever full-length Eureka!. The 11 tracks offer a rather impressive translation of what these guys can do in a live setting, a combination of fine musical chops and well-wrought compositions primed for plenty of stretching out and improvising ala disco-hued nine-plus-minute instrumental epic, “Genosis Shuffle.” Songs like “Old Bread” introduce more tripped-out meanderings as well as polyrhythmic tempos while “Fog” turns up the greasy wah wah funkadelia, making for an overall strong debut. Critics’ Rating: 3 and 1/2 out of 5 Stars

Check some Displace media — a few videos featuring live performances of tracks off Eureka! along with an audio stream of "In Plain Terms" — after the jump...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Album review: Modest Mouse, Strangers to Ourselves

The Washington band returns with a respectable but somewhat lackluster release.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 1:22 PM

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It has been a whopping eight years since Modest Mouse released their last album, 2007’s underwhelming We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. In that time, they rotated several band members, canceled a 2013 tour and collaborated with Outkast’s Big Boi and Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic. Fans deeply entrenched in a 20-year love affair with the band have been patiently awaiting new musical goodies from the indie vets.

Earlier this month, the band headlined the Gasparilla Music Festival here in Tampa, and they released their newest effort, Strangers to Ourselves, on Tues., March 17.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Album review: Pops Staples, Don't Lose This

A look at the late singer's posthumous release, as co-produced by Jeff Tweedy

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 4:00 PM

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Pops Staples, leader and patriarch of famed gospel singing group Staple Singers, passed away in 2000 and left a huge hole in the web of gorgeous vocal harmonies he and his children had perfected. Singing together as a unit since the late 1940s, the legacy of recorded music Pops and the Staple Singers left behind is among the most loved and revered catalogs in gospel history. Lying on his deathbed, Pops handed his most famous singing daughter, Mavis, copies of his last recording sessions with the stern warning "Don't lose this!"; when preparing these fantastic sessions for their long awaited release, Mavis and recent cohort, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, decided to use those very words as the title of the album that contains the last songs Pops ever recorded.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Album review: Drake, If You're Reading This It's Too Late

A look at the unexpected new mixtape release from Drake; stream included.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 1:05 PM

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Drake shook up the music industry on February 13 with his sudden iTunes release of If You're Reading This It's Too Late. No leak. No advertisement. No problem. He sold over 500,000 copies in the first week and rocketed to the number one spot on the Billboard charts.

The album was originally planned as a free mixtape release hosted by DJ Drama, but all that changed after his recent lawsuit against Cash Money Records. Drake has made sure the public is well aware of his unhappiness with the Cash Money situation. That said, whether or not this truly a mixtape or just a recording hurried along to fulfill his contractual obligations doesn't really matter; If You're Reading stands strong on its own merits, proving a fine effort by an artist in transformation.

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Album review: Dan Deacon, Gliss Riffer

More of the same from the electro-punk musician. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 5:00 AM


Gliss Riffer, out Feb. 24 on Domino Records
  • Gliss Riffer, out Feb. 24 on Domino Records

Dan Deacon’s ultra-high-energy electro-punk records are advertisements for his even-more-ultra-high energy concerts. Partly, this is true for the same reasons it’s true for every musician these days – selling recorded audio just isn’t a way to make money anymore. Deacon even includes links labelled “Steal” next to discography entries on his homepage, sending visitors directly to a Piratebay search for his name.

But mainly, it’s the pure ecstasy of the live Deacon experience that makes his recordings a little less than definitive. Back when he first really broke on the scene with 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings, Deacon would set up his gear on the floor rather than the stage of the various dive bars he swung through, and guided his deliriously boozy hipster crowd through some mix of calisthenics and team-building exercises. And let’s not forget the iconic neon green skull pulsating in time to the maniacal jams — a Dan Deacon show is a sweaty, strobe-ey, psychedelic mess of a great time.

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