GREEN JELLY/Garbage Band Kids: The pioneers of the 99 cent album are back with their fifth album, their first in over a decade, in which they celebrate punk/garbage culture with the help of fans across the world lending a hand---not just in the funding but in the participation. Complete with garbage pail kid art, the band that shouldn't have been are back with a sonic flip off for malcontents everywhere to rally behind. Older but wiser, they couldn't have kicked it out like this back in the day---all the way down to the Sgt. Pepper inspired art.
METEORS/Skull n Bones: The band of rockabilly surf punks is back with a really rebel rouser of a hell yeah set that will power cutting edge parties well into the night. Mixing the parking lot with the mosh pit, this gang speed riffs with agility and nimbleness that underlies a professionalism they try to hide. A fast ball right down the middle for punky, hard core tastes.
CIRCUS MIND/Joy Machine: You might as well sit back and enjoy the deconstruction of everything. Here's a crew making their third record in 20 years and has the big sounding 70s AOR anthemia rock thing down cold----and it comes across as a welcome return to when straight ahead rock was the sound of the suburbs. With a guest list of pros that knows what it's about and what to do, something purely commercial never sounded so right. Well done.
UNTIL THE SUN/Drowning in Blue: The packaging says new age/prog but the music says 70s blues rock that we played stateside after the Brits ripped off the original blues cats and sold it back to us. Solid, relatable working class rock that's can repackage clichés easily but efforts are made to avoid that here. It might not change the world but it will make it a little nicer. Solid.
SYNDONE/Kama Sutra: When it says Manticore on the label, it probably says prog in the grooves. Moody and bombastic, it's like the audio equivalent of a "Star Wars" movie. The audience is all male. It isn't gay but it isn't concerned abou8t the lack on women in attendance. Fist pump , spill beer and give those raging hormones the release they so sorely need.
NINETEEN HAND HORSE/Revel: The principals here racked up a bunch of rock cred with the love ya love ya crowd before leaving the music biz in disgust, going into health care and meeting up under the roots banner that would have done GP proud as they've found the groove he was looking for to make cosmic American music. Powered by unassailable chops, this country rock crew is on the money throughout giving your ears a real wake up call to the possibilities yet uncovered. Hot stuff, smoky vocals and all.
STEPHAN SAID & the Clarion/Unstoppable: The modern activist with all the right credits and friends comes in with a new all encompassing set the precedes a documentary about his life. Nu protest music that takes things into account and accounts for people not wanting to be hit over the head with messages these days but want to know what's what. It isn't nice so carry it on!
DONNA HERULA/Bang at the Door: You can take the white gal with the blues out of her native Chicago but you can't take the mean streets out of the gal. Have resonator will travel might as well be her motto. Taking you around the horn of blues and locates they emanated from, you can get your point across without having to compete with the ghost of Koko Taylor. She doesn't even have to compete with Maria Muldaur, even if this program of originals seems to cover a lot of the same kind of territory. A solid way for white people to pass the afternoon and thumb their nose at anyone beefing about cultural appropriation.
ROB STONE/Trio in Tokyo: Part of a growing trend of Chicago blues finding a second home in Japan with locals bringing up the rear, Stone takes his Chicago harp and traditional mover to Tokyo. Stone takes it old school here, his compadres are right in step and the harp ace delivers in fine style. With a killer after hours feel, you will feel like you're in the back room at the Checkerboard between sets really witnessing something only available to the privileged few. This white boy shows what a real education can do for you.
(Blue Heart 11)
CLINT MORGAN/Troublemaker: Recorded in the same atmosphere and with a lot of the same people that have been making killer Delbert McClinton albums the last several years, this member of the Carter family extended family brings so many bonefides to the proceedings that it's not fair to him to call this set a diamond in the rough. To top it off, he lassos Kinky Friedman to join him in one of my favorite heartland complaints----there's a Walmart and a strip mall where the farm used to be. Way more than a run of the mill country/folk/Americana record, no attention to detail was too small to overlook as even something hoary is made so shiny and new that it just stops you in your tracks. Did I mention it's loaded with enough sly humor to make Shel Silverstein smile? Killer stuff throughout.
(Lost Cause 140)
JAMES LANN/Everydayers: A Texas troubadour steeped very much in the Texas is a whole nother country tradition, he's got the kind of pen that keeps him right in the tradition. A Texas staple that could take the country by storm, the material is here is right on---and it's smartly commercial without being bloodless and bland. A real heartland guy with a lot of heart and a quick ear for similes that give you those ‘wait, what' moments.
Volume 45/Number 188
May 7, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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