Archive

Author Archive

Sweet Apple – The Golden Age of Glitter

April 12th, 2014
Comments Off

sweet-apple-the-golden-age-of-glitter

Golden Sound, No Glitter

Sweet Apple is a supergroup that shrugs off any pretentions that moniker might suggest. On The Golden Age of Glitter, J Mascis (Dinosaur, Jr) joins Dave Sweetapple, Tim Parni, and John Petkovic (all of Cobra Verde and others) and featured guests Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices) for a relaxed collaboration among friends. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews , , ,

September Girls – Cursing the Sea

March 23rd, 2014
Comments Off

september-girls-cursing-the-sea

September Girls’ Dark Storm

Two years after their formation, Dublin-based gloom rockers September Girls have released their debut, Cursing the Sea. A collection of uptempo, minor-key tracks, Sea keeps things short and to the point: most tracks are under three minutes. Just enough time to comfortably wallow without drowning. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

Cymbals – The Age of Fracture

March 20th, 2014
Comments Off

cymbals-the-age-of-fractureA Night Out at a So-So Party

London band Cymbals, purveyors of “downhome disco,” have let loose their sophomore album, The Age of Fracture. A mix of dance electronic, synth pop and ’80s sincerity, Fracture manages to incite a celebration however grounded in its own self-seriousness. Individual tracks waver between sweet success and drawn-out tediousness. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

Sleepy Sun – Maui Tears

February 24th, 2014
Comments Off

sleepy-sun-maui-tears

The Soundtrack to Destroy Paradise

For their fourth album, California psych rock quartet Sleepy Sun toy with those descriptors. Maui Tears trades some of the extended jams of previous albums for tighter song structure and shorter song lengths. Intact are their influences– ’70s rock (the psych-ier parts) with hints of ’90s alternative. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

Puscifer – What Is… CD/DVD

December 17th, 2013
Comments Off

puscifer-what-is

A Live Introduction

To be a fan of Maynard James Keenan is to follow him to some curious and often dark places. The is especially true of Keenan’s side project/solo/collaborative experiment Puscifer. A decade old now, Puscifer mixes insult comedy, desert mythology and the kind of soundtrack that sticks in the back of your consciousness. The project is at turns goofy, offensive and haunting. All sides are on display in the new CD/DVD What Is…. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews ,

Sleigh Bells, Live at Terminal 5

November 30th, 2013
Comments Off

Sleigh Bells may have only played for an hour at New York’s Terminal 5, but they hit the stage hard and did not pause for a moment during those sixty minutes. Guitarist/producer Derek Miller, in all camo, and a black-clad Alexis Krauss on vocals ricocheted off each other and their bandmates, battling to give the best possible performance. On tour in support of their third album, Bitter Rivals, the Brooklyn band returned home for the final two nights of the US trek with an expanded line-up. Drummer Chris Maggio and guitarists Jason Boyer and Ryan Primack added depth to the duo’s already fierce sound. On their albums, Krauss’s vocals can get lost and are at times unintelligible, but live, she’s higher in the mix, balanced against the guitar assault. Krauss owned the stage to the delight and adoration of her young audience. To really hear Sleigh Bells, you have to hear them live. Until their next tour is announced, Bitter Rivals is streaming on their website. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

November 1st, 2013
Comments Off

pearl-jam-lightning-bolt

Bolted Awake

While performing recently in Philadelphia, it came to Eddie Vedder’s attention that the evening carried special significance. It was Pearl Jam’s 23rd anniversary. The audience sang “Happy Birthday” to the band and Vedder offered gracious thanks for the unwavering support from the fans over the many years. The band is on the road in support of their tenth studio album, Lightning Bolt, selling out arenas across the US as they’ve almost always done. Not much has changed for the band over the last decade of their career as they’ve settled into middle age, and in some ways, reached the peak of their powers. They’ve built an impressively large, loyal fan-base, hundreds of thousands strong. They release albums and tour when they want and how they want. They do no more press than they want, and usually with hand-picked longtime friends. They pursue side-projects and outside collaborations at their whim… So what does this rare level of freedom offer creatively? Well, something in the middle. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews ,

Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

October 26th, 2013
Comments Off

Sleigh-Bells-Bitter-Rivals

Bitter and Sweet

The album begins with one of the most famous opening lines in history: “It was the best of times / It was the worst of times.” With that opener and the title Bitter Rivals, one might think Sleigh Bell’s new album is a discussion of the rivalry between Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton in the classic A Tale of Two Cities. It’s not. The Dickens allusions drop off sharply after that first track, and somewhere along the way things turn silly as Bitter Rivals closes with the sad, nonsensical “I’m sending gummy bears to the electric chair.”
Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

Pearl Jam, Live at Barclays Center, Brooklyn

October 23rd, 2013
Comments Off

Pearl Jam played an epic two-night run in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this weekend. The band always brings its best to New York and these two stops on their current Lightning Bolt tour were no different. Friday night saw a two and a half hour show including several new songs which fell right in line with the many classics, and a few rarities, including Mother Love Bone’s “Chloe Dancer” and “Crown of Thorns,” an impromptu cover of Van Halen’s “Eruption” by guitarist Mike McCready and Pearl Jam’s own rarely played “Sleight of Hand.” For Saturday, the band ran a full three hours, only repeating ten of the 32 songs from Friday, crafting an entirely new set.
Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Live at the Warsaw, Brooklyn

October 9th, 2013
Comments Off

Robert Levon Been murmured a bit of amused blasphemy early on in BRMC’s set at Brooklyn’s Warsaw club, visibly moved by the audience response. The stage visibly bounced under Been, co-frontman Peter Hayes and drummer Leah Shapiro as the audience banged on it, stomped the floor, and moshed throughout the 90-minute set. A third of the set relied on their latest, 2013’s Specter at the Feast, sprinkled throughout the evening. The band opened with the dance-rock of “Hate the Taste” and closed with the slinky, then aggressive, guitar-stomp of “Sell It.” They also didn’t hold back any past room-destroyers like “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo,” “Spread Your Love” or “Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n Roll (Punk Song).”

The few quieter moments were intimate and warmly welcomed in the small venue. Been and Shapiro left the stage for Hayes’ acoustic “Complicated Situation”; a short, all-acoustic set would have been even better. More, please.
Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews