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Big Bullet Records is kindly sharing with us another free compilation culled from the tracks of its stable of varied and ever-talented acts. Terminal Ballistics, Volume Two, follows up on 2009’s first volume and shows the indie constellation of stars as compelling as ever, with vital new acts shuffling in next to stalwarts whose sounds have helped define the modern music sound in their region. Read the rest of this entry »
Cheer Up, Numbnuts, the new release from BLACK FAG! (aka, Adam Meisterhans), is a great showcase for the Demon Beat’s guitarist/vocalist. In his role as resident production guru for Big Bullet Records, Meisterhans no doubt has put a lot of time into crafting sounds for other bands and has picked up a few tricks along the way. This CD plays like he’s kept the best nuggets for himself and he’s shouldering aside his bandmates to grab his overdue share of solo laurels. Read the rest of this entry »
Everything on Shit, We’re 23, the third release from Shephersdtown’s the Demon Beat, is so deliberate. And that is absolutely the essential quality for a timeless album. Read the rest of this entry »
The Resonators’ eponymously titled new EP would’ve been right up my alley when I was 18 and still felt like I had a legion of everday foes (real or imagined, individuals or ideas) to push against. Now more likely I’m the old man who’d chase the band off my lawn. And as much as that bodes poorly for me in the twilight years of my twenties, it underlines what The Resonators bring to their music: Exploding youth and infectious, guitar-laden pop in the classic style of early Weezer or even early, less hook-y Turtles. Enthusiasm and square-shouldered emotionalism laid over a danceable framework, The Resonators is a quartet of catchy tracks by a trio of uncommonly earnest young men. Read the rest of this entry »
I grew up in the considerably rural central part of West Virginia, so it was inevitable that at some point I would take up an interest in alt-country. Mainstream country was too reactionary–too yee-haw–and well, I could never have reconciled that with my love of Petula Clark. Alt-country, though, with its stylized, if not entirely accurate, view of economic hardship and mountain kinship was a suitable midway point between the reality of my upbringing and the rosy glow it gets painted with by folks who’ve never had the pleasure. So I indulged heartily in a slate of alt-country, slipping in Whiskeytown and Uncle Tupelo between Ben Folds Five or Ani DiFranco or whatever else was moderately cool in 1998. And then when I went to college I ditched it all and adopted Bob Dylan’s Midwestern faux-roots heritage. Read the rest of this entry »
Jude Universer’s Moon Bamboo is a triumph of notebook doodles put to music. In a scant 11 minutes, 18 seconds, seven tracks weave seven stories of top-shelf whimsy. The album’s longest track, “Whoa, Nelly!”, seems downright elephantine with its excessive three-minute groove. No slight is intended when I say that being scatterbrained will benefit the listener greatly. Read the rest of this entry »