Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged rock

Animal Crackers

In the last few years, so-called 'kid rock' has become big business, boosted by big names, CNN articles, and nationwide tours. Animal Crackers is a folk-rock, alt-country album aimed at children and, presumably, parents driven insane by the thirtieth rendition of "Row, Row, Row your Boat." The singers are Jon Langford, Sally Timms, and Kelly Hogan, backed by Chicago's Devil in a Woodpile. My experimental sample of one, aged two and a half, liked the first track, "Wee Hairy Beasties," and requested an encore.

Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

Chuck Klosterman is a music journalist and pop culture critic known for his quirky theories and extensive knowledge of classic metal. Chuck Klosterman IV is a collection of his previously published work, including features, essays, and a short story. The features that make up Part I of the book showcase Klosterman’s passion for talking to interesting artists (mostly musicians) and then explaining why they are interesting. Bono is interesting because he lets random fans ride in his car and preview the new U2 album during the interview.

New Arrivals: Volume One

Upbeat and flowing, this album has a lot of very powerful music and lyrics on it. From Noe Venable's "Juniper," to Paul Brill's "New Pagan Love Song," the music in this selection is a definite must-have. Whoever edited this work paid a lot of attention to detail and continuity between selections and it really, really shows. All of this music I found very upbeat and easy to listen to, but without being maudalin and boring. Well worth your listening time.


This four-song EP from the Milwaukee-based group The New Loud isn’t groundbreaking, but enjoyable pop doesn’t always need to be earth-shattering. “Secrets” is a catchy pop-rock tune, with loud guitar and touches of synthesizer. A driving beat and punk attitude distinguish the frantic “Better This Way.” “Heart Attack” features staccato drum sections cleverly mimicking a heartbeat, more prominent synthesizers and a tempo slower than the previous songs.

Raising Your Voice… Trying to Stop an Echo

The latest album by Hammock, Raising a Voice…Trying to Stop an Echo, is a beautiful compilation of piano and electric guitar that stretches across genres showing mass appeal to many different audiences. All eighteen tracks on this album enrich you with a cascade of sound that is perfectly harmonious. The songs flow seamlessly from track to track making it seem more like an orchestrated concert just for you as opposed to just another album.


Cryptograms, Deerhunter’s first album on Kranky, is the product of an extremely tumultuous time in the band’s life. After losing a member, the band tried recording the album in a single day early 2005. Deemed a failure at the time, this session makes up the first half of this album - a discordant, noisy, at times psychedelic tangle of guitars and yelps. “Cryptograms” and “Lake Somerset” take some elements of drone and noise rock and combine them with psychedelic elements, to make them more palatable, but no less interesting.

Cannery Hours

It’s shocking to realize that The Occasion hails from New York. Who knew that the city could actually produce a band that isn’t busy mining an ‘80s new wave sound? Rather, this quintet is busy turning back the clock even further as its members explore the textures and space of ‘60s psychedelic rock mixed with a softer, acoustic, folk sound. Cannery Hours is a mess of guitars, tape loops, organs and other electronics.


Drink in hand, volume raised high, and sad-attempts to sing along with Aluminum Babe - I quickly found myself rocking out on my table top to Vit.Ri.Fied. If I could mix all my favorite sounds from my most-adored female bands, this would have to be it! Not too hard and not too soft, Aluminum Babe knows how to strum that guitar and beat that drum. Anna’s soft but distinctive voice makes Vit.Ri.Fied an easy-to-listen-to album and a quick favorite. This three-person group had my feet tapping, my arms swinging and my head bobbing.


The Concretes are Swedish and adorable. They also have a band name that is part cool ("the" is so money) and part tough cookie (you get it...). Which has nothing to do with the music, really, but come on; you and I have both picked up CDs because of a cutesy band name or cool cover art. Most of the time our whirlwind expenditures result in creepy death metal rock operas or grandma music, which then result in another set of beer coasters. The Concretes, though, deliver every time, even when they're releasing a b-side album to get some stateside love.

Standing in the Way of Control

The Gossip’s new album, Standing in the Way of Control, is more than interesting and different in itself. Partly, it doesn’t even sound like the Gossip. Bluesy punk of previous albums has been replaced with a garage, New York punk sound. However, this is actually done very nicely, and the audience is not lost during the change.