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Reviews tagged rock

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? the eighth album from Of Montreal, is trippy, offbeat, and terribly infectious. With their quirky brand of psychedelia, Of Montreal (who are actually from Georgia) manage to somehow combine upbeat, catchy, pop music with incredibly depressing lyrics.

Living Well

Rob Crow definitely has one of the greatest album covers I've seen in a while. It's a photograph of Crow, wearing a demonic-looking t-shirt while drinking a cup of coffee and standing in front of some pumpkins and several hand drawn, paper tombstones. With a cover like that, I was a little surprised to find that Living Well had a much slower tempo than I was expecting. Although it seems that was the point – the Pinback frontman made this record at home after the birth of his first child, opting to slow down and spend time with his family while writing more introspective music.

Living with the Living

In a day where so many previously non-political artists are taking a stance to assure themselves a Grammy nod, Ted Leo’s refreshingly authentic social commentary shines through in his music just as much as it has for the past decade. The strict vegan, along with his band The Pharmacists, released his fifth full length studio album, [Living with the Living](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MQ55DO?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000MQ55DO).

Sangue Puro

Sangue Puro is entrancing from its entrance. We don't question the electronics, but we wait for a rhythm, a melody and a disposal. Here is a band with some notoriety, yet this album sounds utterly bizarre if you compare it with previous takes. It's more noise, less pop. It works for me better, in the way that Erase Errata works for me, as infectious and more exciting at each listen.

Book of Bad Breaks

A wildly irreverent trip into your own mind is all this entire review can say about both the band and their album, [Book of Bad Breaks](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O5AYD4?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000O5AYD4). With driving rhythms and a smoky, erotic lead singer, Thee More Shallows has a sound unique to any I have ever experienced. In their song “Night at the Knight School,” you are taking on a strange head-trip only reminiscent of Pink Floyd.

Amy Ray and Friends: Benefit for NOA’s Battered Women’s Shelter (3/2/2007)

It was a packed crowd for two shows at the listening room on Dahlonega’s town square for two great shows to raise and awareness for an important social problem. An evening with Amy Ray, who was named the 13th most influential lesbian by AfterEllen.com for her solo albums that do not shy away from controversial topics such as the Christian right, homophobia and violence against gays raised money for the local battered women’s shelter in town.

King for a Day

King for a Day is the soundtrack of my last bittersweet hangover, the series of samplings leading to brie and pernod, unfortunately topped with a chile beer. This means that you should get the CD, even if it does not always inspire happy thoughts. Bobby Conn is not a minimalist, and that’s why I adore him. Rock opera, ornate orchestration filigrees with pretty raw – and raw, pretty – lyrics.

Sarah Bettens: Live at Eddie's Attic (2/23/2007)

With her lean, blonde good looks, Sarah Bettens looks like a rock star, sings like a cabaret singer and has a warm glow about her. The former lead singer with the band K’s Choice has garnered a whole new set of fans as a solo artist. The tall, tattooed Sarah reminds some of her pal Amy Ray. Her latest release and her first as a solo artist, Scream, is also Bettens’ first album since moving into a relationship with a woman (Bettens was married to the tour manager of K's Choice).

Ladyfest South (January 25-28, 2007)

Ladyfest South is always a blast because it is back to back lady talent for a good cause. Ladyfest South 2007 happened over four nights at four venues in Atlanta and featured over fifty music and spoken word acts. This year’s beneficiaries are The Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls and The Fund for Southern Communities. Thursday January 25, 2007 - Eyedrum Art Space Phat Man Dee from PA is amazing and fun to see. She sports interesting costumes and sings cabaret camp and pop.

In Advance of the Broken Arm

Who wouldn't be interested in listening to a female musician who is described as playing guitar better than “you, or me or probably ninety-nine percent of the people who have ever looked at a guitar?" From the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Marnie Stern was signed to Kill Rock Stars after sending in a demo tape.

Bored of the Dance

Punk rock infused with Irish folk slash gypsy rock slash drunken anthem is what you'll get when you listen to Meisce's Bored of the Dance. Lead singer Pete Jay has a very distinct vocal talent and offers a sharp contrast to the Irish folk rock of past. Jay's voice is reminiscent of that of the lead singer of a Russian heavy metal and industrial rock band Rammestein. Violins and mandolins are played fervently like electric guitars, and I can't say I've ever heard an accordion sound so hardcore. Hard and heavy is not what Meisce is all about though.

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

I have always been fascinated by this band because of the people who are interested in them, as well as their name. Listening to Explosions in the Sky for this review was my first experience of them. I have to admit, I pretty much fell in love at first listen. The simultaneous wash and wall of sound is incredibly emotional, which is enormously challenging for an instrumental band.

The Longest Day of the Year

It’s as if The Cure went acoustic, frontrunning the band with the softest sounds of feminine chanteusery. The Reverse is a twosome composed of vocalistic guitarist Tara Emelye Needham and drummer Todd “Todbot” Karasick. Born in Long Island, The Reverse migrated to New York City, as talents tend to do. Unaffected, feet-shuffling wanderings best describe the tone and tunes of this debut album, making one reasons, perhaps, why it is entitled The Longest Day of the Year.

City Beach

When I first received this album, I already had preconceived ideas. I thought the music would be terrible and the lyrics even worse. I was actually pleasantly surprised. When I put the disc in and started listening to the music, it was very positive with good beats. The singer’s voice is mellow and she reminds me of such singers as Melissa Ethridge and Sheryl Crow, which are two of my favorites. This is definitely a feel good compilation. It is full of real life lyrics that I’m sure many people could relate with.

Dismissed With a Kiss

Described as music with “attitude and ovaries,” Dismissed With a Kiss is the first album from New York-based Spanking Charlene. This record features rock and roll with a lot of feminist reflection, as frontwoman Charlene McPherson sings about misogyny, how women treat one another and how perfect life will be “When I'm Skinny.” This album has a lot of potential, but it's lacking punch, despite the garage-band guitar riffs and provocative lyrics.

Small Gods

As the guitar plays airily in the track "Dodge," soloist Swati sings, “I believe in karma, I believe in brutal honesty, why do so many of you break my heart? Maybe I’m crazy …” and these words characterize not only the general mood of her debut album, but also her individuality.

Monotonix, Unfortunately, Lives Up to its Name

Monotonix is a trio from Tel Aviv with the kind of cult power that attracts an audience that wants to be wowed more than transformed. Their music mimics the basics of power-vocaled American heavy metal – Black Sabbath Lite. It is not that these musicians are not skilled, nor is it that singer Ami Shalev does not have a strong enough voice (though it most certainly falls short of Gene Simmons or even good ole Ozzy) so much as that the stylized music can neither be taken seriously nor as a joke.

Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be

Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be is a rock and roll fairytale. Jen Trynin is trying to find her place in the world of music. Her thirtieth birthday is just around the corner and she wants to be a rock star by then. Sending her tapes out to radio stations and playing in clubs is just the start. After her songs get recognized on the radio she pulls together a band. With a new bass player and drummer her band is complete.

Swimming with Sharks: A Real World How to Guide to Success [and Failure] in the Business of Music

Music will always be a part of one’s life, with or without instruments. Just a simple humming of a tune or even tapping a foot, a song is made, a chord is struck and melody is made. Music soothes the soul and brings a wonderful feeling to the heart. In almost every home there is someone with musical capabilities dying to make it big in the music world. Most bands are even started in a bedroom or a garage.

She Rocked Me

I wanted to like this album. I like rock and roll, and The Fury is a straightforward rock and roll band. Perhaps the songs are too straightforward, which explains my failure to really enjoy the work. There are no surprises here. Each song sounds like what one would expect from a bar band. The vocalist has a slightly bluesy, weathered voice with little in the way of range. The guitar breaks are short and predictable, with a muddied sound. The songs deal with very basic topics - failed relationships, life on the road, and general angst. The production is good.

Divorce Songs

With a title like Divorce Songs, I expected the music on this album to represent feelings of separation or disunion, and United States did not disappoint. The Brooklyn post-punk band, which is likened to Fugazi, Cursive and Sonic Youth, presents eight jagged anthems about struggling and surviving in the city.

BARR - Live in Philly (2/19/2007)

There’s nothing more refreshing than a band who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, particularly when they are this catchy. Even more inspiring is a band who, perhaps unknowingly, manages to deconstruct what it means to be a male musician. It was my first time. Seeing BARR was a release like no other. Their performance exhibited a seamless balance of blunt honesty and raw optimism.

Engine EP

Langhorne Slim’s songs are deceptively simple, but if you listen to the words, they are anything but. Each song describes the nuances and complexities of human relationships. He breaks us right into this theme with “English Tea,” where he describes loving the details of someone, but not necessarily wanting to be with her.

The Essential Mercury Rev: Stillness Breathes (1991-2006)

When groups like Mercury Rev come to mind, one cannot deny that a band with such a rich discography and history has had obvious influence on other groups that emerged from their sound. The songs on The Essential Mercury Rev vary from lo-fi to jazz, at times, and the mood meanders from melancholy to whimsical from song to song. Upon listening to the double-disc set, it is apparent that Mercury Rev made way for more modern bands like Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins.

Whisper of a Newborn Ghost

On Whisper of a Newborn Ghost, the K23 Orchestra combines 70s style rock with spoken word. Described as a “unique blend of funk, rock, Latin, jazz fusion and spoken word,” the K23 Orchestra aims high, with thoughtful lyrics and talented musicians. However, the combination never gels and the songs drag on for far too long. Many of the songs on Whisper of a Newborn Ghost are filled with descriptions of angst experienced under the reign of Bush.

Kicking On

On their website, Gin Palace are described as “a 3 piece: lady singer, no bass guitar, no hi-hats” and Kicking On is their début LP. Emerging not from the dusty deserts of Dakota or from tornado-famous Kansas, but from the indie riddled smog of London, singer Meaghan Wilkie can drive one hell of a rowdy herd.


Mika Miko’s C.Y.S.L.A.B.F. is a great example of what modern punk should be. It’s an energizing, loud amalgamation of sounds that many parents would apply the term “noise” to. Whether you’re a frazzled urbanite 20-something or a teen rocking in your parent’s garage the entire album does well in rhythmically pleasing your inner (or outer) rebel. The production quality left something to be desired.

Black Velvet Magazine (Issue #50)

Black Velvet(http://www.blackvelvetmagazine.com) is officially a fanzine based out of the UK. It's aimed at young hipsters who have opinions about music. I'm certain that I'm not in that group, but I can appreciate the amount of work and dedication that has gone into creating this magazine. Shari, Black Velvet's editor, does most of the work herself and keeps only a small staff of contributors.


As a Milwaukee girl, I was eagerly anticipating hearing Michelle Anthony’s second album, the mini-LP Frozenstarpalace. Anthony recorded it as a document of moving from Milwaukee, WI to Austin, TX, and has described it in interviews as having a “Milwaukee vibe,” despite having been recorded in Milwaukee, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles. You might think that the record would be uneven, having been recorded at so many different times and places, but that’s not the case.


The second project of New York collective The Book of Knots, Traineater is the melancholy tale of the fall of the great steel and mining towns in the American Midwest. It’s like the soundtrack for an apocalyptic Greyhound bus ride I once took - under the abandoned and boarded up brick buildings of Detroit, past the old Buick plant in Flint where my Dad used to work, the windows busted where kids with no future job prospects stayed out late to throw rocks.