Tag Archive | rolling stone online

CD Review: Supernatural Equinox by Outrageous Cherry

rolling stone logo
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

rolling stone logo

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

rolling stone logo

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

rolling stone logo
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

rolling stone logo
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

rolling stone logo
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

rolling stone logo
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.

Touring News: Supagroup Will “Rock Across America!”

rolling stone logo
Supagroup Band Photo
Supagroup “Rock Across America!”

New Orleans based take-no-prisoners rock and roll traditionalists, Supagroup, are in the midst of a brief tour across the southeast – including two shows in New York City — before returning home for the annual Mardi Gras festivities. Following a short break, Supagroup will head to Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Music Conference, then return to New Orleans for a performance at Jazzfest. It’s just business as usual for a band that spent half of 2003 on the road with bands like Queens of The Stone Age, Supersuckers, Fu Manchu and Drive By Truckers in support of its critically lauded, self-titled fourth album.

If you believe early predictions that rock and roll will be this years’ hip-hop, then Supagroup might just do for the genre what Outkast have done for 70’s funk. On Supagroup, the quartet mix the classic blues rock of early Stones and Humble Pie with the guitar ferocity of Motorhead and AC/DC, the Supersuckers’ sly humor and the “drink-and-rock” good-time vibe of the late, lamented Unband. The result is a fairly potent elixir. “With us, you have to start with Bon Scott-era AC/DC,” explains vocalist/rhythm guitarist, Chris Lee from Supagroup’s van, somewhere in Georgia. “AC/DC is my favorite band of all time, but my second favorite band is DEVO. Freedom Of Choice was the very first record I bought with my own money. What I liked so much about DEVO was their sense of humor and really subversive view of the world, which gets a bit into what we’re doing. If I were to describe us I’d say we’re AC/DC meets DEVO.” Supagroup includes Lee’s younger brother, Benji on lead guitar, drummer Michael Brueggen and bassist Leif Swift.

The band’s mission is simple: Supagroup is here to rock you senseless. “So many people claim to be ‘Rock’,” says Lee, “but when we say ‘Rock,’ people understand we’re guys that listen to a lot of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.” Lee also emphasizes that Rock is not a complete equation without the Roll. “The ‘Roll’ is the part where it swings,” he says. “Without the Roll, you’re a metal band that’s really stiff, or you’re a technician; you’re not feeling it.”

In 2004, Supagroup has its sights set for success across the pond, where rocking artists like The Darkness, Andrew W.K. and Jet have been embraced by the UK media and fans alike. And with Supagroup now represented by Sanctuary Management, this could be a break- through year for the band that originally formed in 1996, finding their voice with the music they love hearing as well as performing.

A video for the band’s new single, “What’s Your Problem?” is currently generating some buzz and Supagroup’s relentless touring schedule has made their song “Rock and Roll Star” something of an unofficial band anthem. “People always ask us to play “Rock & Roll Star,” he says, “which is just a song about being on the road, not getting anywhere, playing rock music when nobody likes it, and not giving a f**k. The thing is,” he continues, “despite anything I could complain about, being in a rock and roll band is awesome! When you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t matter whether you’re successful by other people’s definition. When you’re happy, that’s what matters. What makes us happy is rocking for people.”

When they’re not touring, members of Supagroup can often be found at The Saint, a New Orleans’ bar co-owned by Chris Lee with several partners, including former White Zombie bassist, Sean Yseult. “Benji, Michael and I all work there, and Leif works at Juan’s Flying Burrito a block away,” Lee laughs. “The Saturday before Mardi Gras, Benji’s working from midnight to 8 AM. Come on down, we’ll be there.”

Supagroup Tour Dates:
2/04 – Jacksonville, FL, Jack Rabbits
2/05 – Miami, FL, Churchill’s
2/06 – St. Petersburg, FL, The Emerald Bar
2/07 – Tallahassee, FL, Beta Bar
2/11 – New York, NY, Sine’
2/13 – New York, NY, Plaid
2/14 – Richmond, VA, Canal Club
2/20 – New Orleans, LA, Tulane University

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Supagroup

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

rolling stone logo
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.
Continue reading

CD Review: Sounds Like Christmas by December People

rolling stone logo
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.