Tag Archive | rolling stone magazine reviews

CD Review: Supernatural Equinox by Outrageous Cherry

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Outragous Cherry CD Cover

Artist: Outrageous Cherry
Album: Supernatural Equinox
Release Date: May 6, 2003
Label: Rainbow Quartz

On its fifth album, Detroit’s Outrageous Cherry pull together a tight concatenation of influences; mingling old-school acid eaters (Stones, Byrds, Beatles) with modern genre revivalists (Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre) to wrap their signature noise-pop in a distinctive psychedelic overcoat. There’s a well-balanced, seductive ethereality to Supernatural Equinox that’s hard to resist. On the sunnier, Beach Boys-influenced tunes like “If You Want Me” and “Saturday Afternoon,” vocalist/songwriter Matthew Smith simultaneously pays homage to and parodies the 60’s with lyrics like, “It’s 1970 now/Flower Power is dead.” On the flip-side, OC doses the listener with the intense, acid-prog of “Psychic Wheels” (think BRMC) and a ferocious wah-wah pedal attack courtesy of “The Orgone Vortex.” Supernatural Equinox peaks out with “See You Next Time,” a raga-flavored, extended jam punctuated by processed backing vocals borrowed from Their Satanic Majesty’s Request. Turn on, tune in, trip out.

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/outrageouscherrydetroit/
Official Website: http://www.outrageouscherry.com/

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: 2 a.m. Wakeup Call by Tweaker

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Tweaker 2 AM Wake Up Call CD Cover

Artist: Tweaker
Album: 2 am Wakeup Call
Release Date: April 20, 2004
Label: Waxploitation

2 a.m. Wakeup Call is the second album from Tweaker (producer, remixer, ex-NIN drummer Chris Vrenna), following 2001’s The Attraction To All Things Uncertain. Continuing Vrenna’s fondness for conceptual works, 2 a.m. is a journey through nightmares, sleeplessness and a variety of nocturnal disturbances. Warm tones of piano and acoustic guitar moderate the expected electronic flourishes, taking the chill off songs exploring insomnia-inducing subjects like deep depression (“Worse Than Yesterday”), the manic mind (“Pure Genius”) and somnambulism (“Sleepwalking Away”). Framing Vrenna as a modern Burt Bacharach, 2 a.m. finds the composer crafting tunes for interpretation by other voices, though Vrenna had guest vocalists (including David Sylvian, Robert Smith and Will Oldham) write their unique lyrical visions for his mini-soundtracks. The results are surprisingly seductive. From the stark “Nights In White Satin” vibe of “Ruby” to Jennifer Charles’ opiated, candy floss croon on “Crude Sunlight,” Tweaker’s disquieting lullabies for troubled slumber provide uneasy listening at its finest.

Official Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tweaker_(band)

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: Dirt by Mark Selby

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Mark Selby Dirt CD Cover

Artist: Mark Selby
Album: Dirt
Release Date: 2003
Label: Vanguard Records

After gaining notoriety for penning hits recorded by Kenny Wayne Shepherd (“Blue on Black”) and the Dixie Chicks, singer/songwriter/ guitarist Mark Selby earned his moment in the spotlight with the release of his own critically lauded, 2000 debut, More Storms Comin’. His exceptional sophomore CD, Dirt indicates that album was not just a fluke. Many of Selby’s songs (some co-written with his wife, Tia Sillers) give vibrant life to romantic ruminations he keeps in his head, (“Willing to Burn, ” “Desire”). Favorable comparisons to Gregg Allman permeate this disc, not only in regard to Selby’s lyrical blues-rock guitar playing, but also his visual songwriting and slightly rough-hewn but engaging vocals — especially appealing on the lead track, “Reason Enough.” Excellent flanged guitar adds a hypnotic undercurrent to the gorgeous title track, but never detracts from the song’s true grit. No need for bells or whistles here: the music does all the talking.

Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/MarkSelbyRocks/

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: You’re Gonna Ruin Everything by The Maroons

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Maroons Youre Gonna Ruin CD Cover

Artist: The Maroons
Album: You’re Gonna Ruin Everything
Release Date: March 5, 2002
Label: In Music We Trust

The Pacific Northwest is the unrivaled breeding ground for the great plague upon pop music known as “indie rock”: the most un-melodic, uninteresting, unenergetic music this side of death. Yawn city. But The Maroons are a whole new animal in the indie rock zoo, in that they seem to be highly familiar with Mid-70’s rock (Sweet, T-Rex, The Kinks), the essence of which permeates their sophomore album, You’re Gonna Ruin Everything. Guitarist Jim Talstra’s Brian May-inspired guitar licks on “Can You Feel?” are spot on, while Mike Clark’s Three Dog Night-inspired keyboards (on the clever “Dance Floor Flirt,” for example) leave plenty of hook residue in their wake. Add a lead singer, John Moen, who sounds like the gay reincarnation of Marc Bolan, and you’ve got a bunch of tunes that would be at home on the soundtrack to Velvet Goldmine. If the Posies wrote a rock opera about the life of a Guided By Voices fan, You’re Gonna Ruin Everything might be the result.

Official Website: http://inmusicwetrustrecords.com/themaroons.html

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: Perfumed Letter by Bill Mallonee

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Bill Mallonee CD Cover

Artist: Bill Mallonee
Album: Perfumed Letter
Release Date: August 26, 2003
Label: Paste Records

Singer/songwriter Bill Mallonee’s roots rest in the Athens, GA soil that nurtured college radio pioneers REM and underground stalwarts, Let’s Active. After releasing a dozen impressive albums with his country–folk rock project, Vigilantes of Love, Mallonee explores a classic pop sound — Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles (“She’s So Liquid) meets The Monkees (“Extraordinary Girl”) — while staying true to his love of heady, introspective lyricism on his excellent solo debut, Perfumed Letter.

Mallonee strikes his best balance of wistful and whimsical on the deceptively uplifting post-breakup song, “Your Bright Future.” Floating on a Foo Fighters-inspired melody, Mallonee keenly addresses lost hope and its subsequent resignation in the lyrics, “There’s a little piece of you I may never see again/There’s a bigger piece of me that’s simply vanishing.” With Perfumed Letter, Mallonee steps off from the Bob Dylan/Neil Young amalgam of VOL to find peers among Beck, The Eels and Mercury Rev.

Official Website: http://www.billmalloneemusic.com/

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: “A Beginner’s Guide to the World’s Best Black Sabbath Tribute Band” by Hand Of Doom

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Hand of Doom CD Cover

Artist: Hand of Doom
Album: A Beginner’s Guide to the World’s Best Black Sabbath Tribute Band
Release Date: 2002
Label: Idaho/Retrophonic

Inspired by her visceral rock sensibilities amid MTV-spawned Osbourne’s-mania, former Hole/Smashing Pumpkins bassist, Melissa Auf Der Mauer formed Hand of Doom, a just-for-fun Black Sabbath tribute band, with friends Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age) and Pedro Yanowitz (ex-Wallflowers). Hand of Doom played three sold-out LA club gigs and captured the live magic of those shows for A Beginner’s Guide to the World’s Best Black Sabbath Tribute Band — your eight-song souvenir of these three enchanted evenings. This disc includes awesome, note-for-note renditions of “Paranoid,” “Fairies Wear Boots” and “War Pigs” — where Ozzy really went for the lyrical stretch, rhyming “Masses” with “Masses.” Auf Der Mauer’s vocals are especially beguiling on a mesmerizing version of “Changes,” which provides space to clear the sonic palette. Hand of Doom perfectly captures Sabbath’s dark majesty and this recording just sounds amazing. A fitting way to observe the Sabbath.

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: More B.S. by Bree Sharp

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Bree Sharp More BS CD Cover

Artist: Bree Sharp
Album: More B.S.
Release Date: August 13, 2002
Label: Ahimsa/Union

NYC singer/songwriter, Bree Sharp’s promising 1999 debut, A Cheap and Evil Girl scored a minor hit with an aural mash note to X-Files hunk, “David Duchovny.” On Sharp’s cleverly entitled follow-up, More B.S., there’s more folk than rock going on in this mixed bag of exceptional pop tunes, with the maturity of her songwriting suggesting a 20-something Joan Jett disciple exploring her Fiona Apple side. Among many stand-out tracks are the thoughtful new-age lullabye, “Galaxy Song”; the understated hilarity of “Dirty Magazine; and an engaging “Bonnie & Clyde” style tale of two doomed outlaws — “The Ballad of Grim & Lilly” — which mixes woozy trip-hop beats with lyrical fatalism, revealing Sharp’s flair for storytelling that’s a cornerstone of great songwriting. It’s on “The Last of Me,” a hauntingly direct tune about the promise of revenge in the aftermath of a failed relationship, however, that she really hits her stride.

Official Website: http://www.breesharp.com

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence by Dream Theater

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Dream Theater Six Degrees CD Cover

Artist: Dream Theater
Album: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
Release Date: January 29, 2002
Label: Elektra

The music of Dream Theater — a prog-metal blend of Styx drama and ELP grandeur — generates little gray area when it comes to appeal. Listeners either love the band passionately or hate them. (God knows I’ve had my issues with them, having walked out on one of their shows three years ago when the Siegfried & Roy aspects of the Las Vegas-style Rock Extravaganza got out of hand. That is to say, I was bored). The band’s sixth album, an ambitious double CD entitled Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence is unlikely to alter that dichotomy. But here’s the thing, with Dream Theater, you know what you’re getting when you sign on: musical virtuosity and technical perfection. Here’s an example of what I mean: You’ve got Vocalist James LaBries’ narrative command of each song; Drummer Mike Portnoy’s effortless ability to demonstrate as many double-bass-triplet-rudiment-fills as possible from the top of a song to the bottom; Guitarist John Petrucci’s astoundingly fluid, classically influenced playing; Jordan Ruddess’ swelling layers of Rick Wakeman-esque keyboards; and bassist John Myung, who, like John Entwistle, lays down a solid groove and says out of everyone’s way. One can hardly fail to be impressed with any of that.
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CD Review: Sounds Like Christmas by December People

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December People Sounds Like Christmas

Artist: December People
Album: Sounds Like Christmas
Release Date: October 30, 2001
Label: Magna Carta Records

A studio side-project of various renowned rockers (who, in this scenario, record under pseudonyms), The December People gather every few years to release Christmas-themed novelty music. With Sounds Like Christmas, the group boldly goes where no Christmas album has gone before. Using classic rock tunes by Led Zeppelin, Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Queen as a starting point, December People craft a unique voice, working ubiquitous holiday standards into the rock mainframe, with sublime results. “Silent Night” flowing seamlessly from Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them”; “Stairway to Heaven” begetting “T’Was the Night Before Christmas”; and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” arranged as “Bohemian Rhapsody” are all both brilliant and heart-felt in their flawless execution. (Incorporating a few bars of Beethoven’s Ninth symphony during that song’s fade is the kind of detail work that makes this an engaging listen). Far from producing a laser-show-flashback of pretentious, Moog-laden space-outs, the various homages are fun to spot. Those weaned on the pomp and ceremony of progressive rock will find that Sounds Like Christmas generates extraordinary enthusiasm for the season.

Official Website: http://decemberpeople.com/
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/decemberpeople/

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and have been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: Rock ‘N’ Roll Music by Col. Parker

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Col Parker R and R Music CD Cover

Artist: Col. Parker
Album: Rock ‘n’ Roll Music
Release Date: 2001
Label: V2 Records

In LA’s musically incestuous post-80’s rock scene, the “Supergroup” tag can apply whenever two or more musicians, whose names possess the tiniest bit of marquee value, couple and spawn a project. That said, meet Col Parker is comprised of ex-Guns ‘N’ Roses guitar-slinger, Gilby Clarke, drummer Slim Jim Phantom, bassist Muddy Stardust (LA Guns) and accomplished keyboard mercenary, Teddy Andreadis, that began life as a glorified-bar-band. Rock ‘n’ Roll Music offers an upbeat mix of blues-based rockers and ballads punctuated with Clarke’s inspiring attempts to squeeze every Keith Richards guitar riff into one album, and spiked with humorous odes to decadent lifestyles long-abandoned (“Can’t Get that Stuff,” “Pushing 40 Blues”). Contains zero percent threats to the status quo or insights to the meaning of life. It’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I like it.

Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/gilbyclarkefanpage/

This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.