Review: Puddle Splasher – Missed Connection

Puddle Splasher - Missed Connection

Label: Animal Style Records Released: November 6, 2015 In four years of college, I did not make a single friend. My social experience was awkward and lonely at best. While that is now over twenty years in the past, Puddle Splasher reminds me rather vividly of those difficult days. Written during the band’s first semester at college, Missed Connection is… Read more »

Review: Sorority – Sorority EP

Sorority EP

Label: self-released Released: October 29, 2015 Sometimes, the best music is not always the most perfect. Sometimes the sheer act of overcoming adversity is far bigger than a perfect mix. Sure, the Dark Sides and Sgt. Peppers of the world have their place, but so do some things that overcome odds just to rear their heads and scream to be… Read more »

Review: Library Voices – Lovish

Library Voices - Lovish

Label: Nevado Music Released: November 6, 2015 In a way, Lovish is almost two albums, an earthier, grounded first side followed by a colder, post-punk side two. Opening with the rough, grittiness of “Oh Donna,” Library Voices set the stage for the simple truths of almost Springsteen caliber. The hard facts of life are spun optimistically as they sing, “All… Read more »

Review: Steve Hogarth and Richard Barbieri – Not the Weapon But the Hand

Steve Hogarth and Richard Barbieri - Not the Weapon But the Hand

Label: KScope Released: February 27, 2012 Anyone familiar with Steve Hogarth’s or Richard Barbieri’s work would assume not to expect a standard, run-of-the-mill album. That assumption proves correct here. Not the Weapon But the Hand feels more like a soundtrack than a regular album and that accounts simultaneously for its strengths and weaknesses. “Red Kite” is certainly a subtle opener,… Read more »

Review: Yak – No EP

Yak - No EP

Label: Third Man Reocrds Released: November 13, 2015 Yak is heavy, heavy, heavy. Not just any heavy, but Blue Cheer heavy. MC5 heavy. Amps pushed past the breaking point heavy. This record is physically incapable of being quiet. Smashing drums and low end fuzz blast out a groove that almost asks you to dance on the manic “No.” Stuttering distortion… Read more »

Review: Town Mountain – The Dead Session

Town Mountain - Dead Session

Label: self-released Released: November 13, 2015 There is no question that bluegrass was a significant part of the Grateful Dead’s DNA, so doing bluegrass covers of a couple of songs that frequented the Dead’s repertoire makes great sense. However, the initial mistake that I made was to listen to Town Mountain’s versions side by side with the Dead versions. Where… Read more »

Review: The Innocence Mission – Hello I Feel the Same

Innocence Mission - Hello I Feel the Same

Label: Korda Records Released: October 16, 2015 There is something gentle and optimistic about the Innocence Misson’s Hello I Feel the Same that goes beyond the name and title and is not the entire picture. Finger picking over a quiet drone in “Blue and Yellow” support Karen Peris’ almost Nico-esque vocals. There is even some of the emptiness that comes… Read more »

Review: Thus Owls – Black Matter


Label: Secret City Records Released: November 6, 2015 Black Matter is an overall haunting affair, but one that rises slowly from its darkness. The dirgey, ambient tones strain slightly against quiet, tribal drums in “Asleep in the Water” while electronic sequencing drifts beneath the ringing dissonance of the title track. The darkness lifts ever so slightly as the album progresses… Read more »

Vintage Review: The Drongos – Small Miracles


Released: 1985 Label: Proteus Records Ever heard of New Zealand’s the Drongos? Me either. I bought this on a whim out of the used bin of a local record store based solely on the liner notes. The Drongos came to New York City in 1978 and, at a friends’ recommendation, went out and starting busking in the vicinity of Times… Read more »