Browsing: Music Reviews

Critics Den
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The term “rock” entails something that’s hard. Hard is something that these guys aren’t. I wouldn’t throw them to the other side of the spectrum either, though, as a soft rock act (which always seemed like such a ridiculous label to me). If we needed to apply some form of geological mass to The Northstar Session, I think we’d have to go with clay.

Likened to Wilco and the Black Crowes, The Northstar Session pull from classic rock influences as well as some more recent acts.

Critics Den
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As a first-rate music critic for a first-rate online publication, I find that careful research is an essential component to my craft. So, naturally, when I received a copy of STAGE FOUR’s album, “Love Finds Peter Plogojowitz,” my first instinct was to look up the essential information. No, not the band’s bio. No, not their musical influences. I wanted the critical element for this album: who the hell is Peter Plogojowitz?

Critics Den
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At long last, Sheryl Crow is ready for me.

I mean, you can see it everywhere in her sixth studio release, “Detours.” Even in the title, she’s detailing the circuitous path to my arms. She started out as the dark chick rocker with 1993’s “Tuesday Night Music Club,” wound her way up through layers of fame and stardom, did the inevitable “greatest hits” collection, struggled with becoming a radio-friendly pop rocker, and eventually wound up at my politically liberal doorstep.

Critics Den
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Based out of Sweden, this hard-working and hard-rocking trio burn the candle at both end without abandon. Their nights are spent hunting down criminals the world over, occasionally running into a super-villain needing capture. Vocalo, Animalizer and the Ambassador share a loose association with John Steen, Ulrik Bostedt and Tony Samuelsson. These are the names they are forced to use when they don their instruments to protect their super-identities (I know, shhh).

Critics Den
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Like any good music reviewer, I do my homework. So when I got my copy of Dog’s “Karmageddon,” I did what any other critic does: I went online to start stealing other people’s critiques.

(Okay, that’s not true. I went looking for Dog’s website so I could have a copy of the lyrics handy as I was listening. But since there’s no website, I just started trolling blogs and indie review sites that had already received a copy.)

Critics Den
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Mostly the brainchild of Larry Flynn, darkpark hails from Vermont where they play shows with multiple lineups. Mr. Flynn has transplanted the darkpark project from California to Vermont, where he moved a few years ago. This album was created while Mr. Flynn was a dweller of the left coast. It was actually created in both Sacramento and Oakland with help from Todd Roper on drums, Dan Eisenberg on keyboards and Robert Walter providing some guest organ work.

Critics Den
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You may remember Radiohead from their huge 1992 hit “Creep,” or from other hits such as… well, okay. That’s pretty much it. Radiohead pretty much disappeared from the mainstream North American music scene after that, though they remained a staple on college radio, sustained by all those kids who kept watching for the Gen-X version of the British Invasion. A sufficient level of hype and modest amount of internet marketing lead to a trio of albums starting in 2000 which charted high, yet produced no singles that anyone outside of their immediate families would recognize.

Critics Den
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“These are the voices in my head” is what the light bulb above told me as I cruised through this album. The New Jerseys have an eclectic, mostly folk-inspired sound that is smacked around by their truly despicable humor that can be appreciated mostly by those of us who have already confirmed their seat in Hell.

Just as Buffalo Bill demonstrated “coveting what we see every day” in Silence of the Lambs, the New Jerseys have given us 21 tracks describing what they see from their Morris County porch. The New Jerseys consist of two guys, Daddy P and Steve, from the Garden State.

Critics Den
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As a person who is accustomed to sorting out their life categorically, it is hard to run into artists who aren’t easily categorized. How can a band be labeled a folk artist when they made their debut in a comic book (http://abyss.newbsoft.com/comic/iss025/page1.html)?

Apparently these guys.