Good Albums From the Last 366 Days
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(Viva L’)American Death Ray
"A New Commotion, A Delicate Tension"
You hear it: you wanna jump around, you wanna shake, you wanna stick your tongue out at old people. One of the best rock n roll albums in the last five years.
Elvis Costello "The Delivery Man"
Elvis Costello has built a time machine and gone back to 1977. He’s had a talk with his younger self. He’s been reminded of why he got into rock n’ roll in the first place. And now he’s come back to 2004 and given us this album.
The Husbands "Introducing The Sounds Of..."
If we had urban cannibal tribes in this country and you got kidnapped by one and they put you in a cauldron to boil you (a la the Looney Tunes cartoons): this would be the music they’d play as they danced around you in a circle. It’s primal-punky-brewster.
Dan Sartain "Dan Sartain vs. The Serpientes"
He takes rock n’ roll back to before a million variations muddled the whole style. This IS rock n’ roll, as in: when rock n’ roll had one sound, and all was right with the world.
The Black Keys "Rubber Factory"
They’re The Black Keys.
The Sermon "Volume"
San Francisco band slapping you around with theremin-infused, matching-outift, short hair Rock N Roll.
Franz Ferdinand "s.t."
Me and everybody else.
The Hives "Tyrannosaurus Hives"
Me and everybody else.
Saturday Looks Good To Me "Every Night"
I'll make up for the last two easy choices with this one. The band is primarily Fred Thomas. Some say he's the Brian Wilson of now (unless you count Brian Wilson, I guess). This album and it's predecessor make strong cases for the "pop-genuis" tag. Sure it sounds a little like ripped-off Brian Wilson and Phil Spector sounds, but when it's done this well does it really matter?
The Paybacks "Harder & Harder"
It’s like the first album. If your friend or family member doesn’t have the first one: get it for them. They sound a’ight on first listen. But then a few weeks later you find yourself humming a tune. “Man, I like this song,” you think to yourself. “Who’s this by? The Stooges? The Stones? MC5?” And then it dawns on you: it’s The Paybacks.
the Old 97s "Drag It Up"
A very welcome return-to-form from these guys.
Hot Snakes "Audit In Progress"
Big rock sound from guys who believe it can be pushed to an “almost art” status, but with a sense of humor. Their most accessible album yet.
Mystery Girls "Something In The Water"
A very astutely observant title. There seem to be a lot of these bands popping up now a-days: garage, half-assed-bluesy, late 60s – early 70s throwback…but these guys are the good one.
Noisy, bang-bang music from a group of overly literate intellectuals.
Social Distortion "Sex, Love & Rock 'N' Roll"
A little older? Sure. As good as when they were younger? Not quite.
Still better than most? Yes.
Tom Waits "Real Gone"
More "Bone Machine"/"Mule Variations" than "Blood Money"/"Alice".
Nina Simone "Anthology"
She’s Nina Simone. Buy this for everyone you know, and pick one up for yourself.
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers "Believe"
When compared to the first two albums this one’s a bit more rock and a little less country. It’s still good, but if your friend or family member doesn’t have the first two: get them those.
Red Tyger Church "Free Engergy"
Not great, but good enough for most. Catchy hooks, noisy guitars, steady drumming…it’s just generic enough to work for anyone who likes rock music. They’re being touted as Los Angeles’ long-overdue antidote to Brian Jonestown Massacre…God bless ‘em for that.
Originally Printed 11/30/04
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