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CD Review Thompson Springs - Artifacts

Thompson Springs

Artifacts
Record Label: self-release
Review by John Noyd
October 2016

A collaborative side-project from The Sharrows’ Matt Smith, Thompson Springs became an outlet for a backlog of songs Smith gathered over the years. Named after a ghost town in Utah Smith encountered early in his song-writing career, the band consists of a rotating crew who shaped his tunes into folk-rock gems whose casual valor, languid language and modest polish convey an everyman’s candor that rocks gently and goes down easy.  Produced by Rob Laakso of Kurt Vile and the Violators, the mini-collection of rambling self-reflection simmers in sing-along homilies and hitch-hiker’s poetry for a laid-back and breezy treatise that makes for a fine traveling companion on the winding road of life. As a taste of things to come, “Artifacts,” packs promising calm for uncertain journeys.


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CD Review Joey Broyles - Lucky Superstar

Joey Broyles

Lucky Superstar
Record Label: self-release
Review by John Noyd
October 2016

Washed in lavish passions, brave crusades and militant synths, “Lucky,” holds court against a world enslaved to gray conventions, cradled in ill-fitting labels and wedded to uncontested repression. Dystopian overtures rope social injustice and personal freedom into glitter-bombed romps and diva-teasing power-ballads as Broyles uncoils a conceptual conundrum where self-aware fairy-tales filled with sci-fi pariahs champion non-conformists everywhere in an enthralling call to arms suitable for mass consumption. Bold showmanship has always been the glam-pop auteur’s calling card and his latest do or die diatribes straddle pedantic fantasies and defiant non-compliance with exquisite commiseration, raging rock assaults and damning examinations. Principled sympathy and unequivocal civil disobedience go hand in hand with exorbitant portions and delectable spectacle making, “Lucky,” a fortunate collusion of art and ideas.


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(650) ViewsPermalinkBroyles, Joey Website


CD Review The Mascot Theory - Trust and Bones

The Mascot Theory

Trust and Bones
Record Label: self-release
Review by John Noyd
September 2016

Despite releasing a solid EP late last year, the latest full-length album from Wisconsin’s The Mascot Theory took over a year and half to complete. It was not time wasted as, “Trust and Bones,” shines in polished gems whose proven grooves swing in crystal-clear lyrics honed from diamond-hard truths. Fancy hootenannies buck against beguiling revivals as sawdust two-steps with carnival-barker sparkle call boot-scootin’ moon-dances with devilish glee. Recording and mixing between Madison and Nashville, the country-rock quartet drew talented cameos from both places to supplement an already robust sound with titillating fiddle and night-train pedal-steel. Join the CD Release Party October 8th at Middleton’s Capitol Brewing or join a good cause when the band plays Flannel Fest 2016 November 5th with Beth Kille and American Aquarium


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CD Review Teenage Fanclub - Here

Teenage Fanclub

Here
Record Label: Merge
Review by John Noyd
September 2016

Making it look easy, Scotland’s alt-rock melody-makers Teenage Fanclub produce seamless breezes filled with quiet yearning and stern, rock-solid solace. Nostalgic romantics whose cherished harmonies flow with pleasing expediency, the five-piece league of gentlemen coast on dreamy beds of gurgling guitars whose occasionally fitful backlashes strengthen each song’s faith and convictions. From the waterfall cover art to the Zen song titles, “Here,” focuses on life’s ubiquitous transience; wrapping unsettled uncertainties around searching hearts through plainspoken lyrics rolling in consoling, cajoling sympathies. Whether reflecting on wisdom gained from days gone by or simply pondering unformed futures, the band’s unerring ear for nuanced chord progressions make well-feathered nests for lovesick songbirds. In a rare convergence of good fortune, Teenage Fan club plays Madison’s High Noon Saloon October 23rd with Sam Evian.


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CD Review Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

Ryley Walker

Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Review by John Noyd
August 2016

Sliding and gliding between brazen flamenco flourishes nourishing babbling bluegrass patches and scrumptious country runs feeding tangled blues-based ballads; “Golden,” proposes casually dazzling six-string slivers straddling raga-jazz folk rivers channeling jam-friendly undertows elbowing ghostly Americana roller-coasters as radiant chamber-rock campfires toast elaborate catalytic interactions. Cagey frontier quilts map alleyways and corner bars inside sparkling, cerebral interiors while the swift riffing Walker hawks cryptic fragments bursting with purpose and coated in calm pseudo-psalms, cool daredevil prayers and plainly arcane refrains. Even-keeled spiels harnessing hobo anecdotes, Chicago’s eclectic electric guitarist rides deep-current journeys with cavalier good cheer and stark marksman timing for an album whose restlessness never strays too far from absorbing orbits. Walker visits Madison’s The Frequency September 29th along with the surreptitious Circuit des Yeux.


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CD Review Faun Fables - Born of the Sun

Faun Fables

Born of the Sun
Record Label: Drag City
Review by John Noyd
July 2016

Perched on cosmic cobwebs spanning whiplashed witchcraft alongside gypsy-driven whimsy, Faun Fables spin untamed prog-rock polyphonics into rays of dappled sunlight slicing primordial forests. Mythical, mystical masonry smelting fissionable madrigals into time-jumping hybrids, “Born,” swarms and buzzes, harnessing artisan karma from shape-shifting rhythms. Stellar songtellers Dawn McCarthy and Nils Frykdahl’s furious curiosity ceaselessly weaves elaborate patterns with nimble stitches from multi-colored thread. Whether Teutonic sonnets casting Slavic spells splashed in ecstatic rapture or Appalachian folk-blues nestling post-apocalyptic parables in lonesome sailor’s jigs, FF’s medieval easels color cunning hunting within historical foraging; midsummer caroling gathers restlessly inventive connections while rumbling hand-drums scurry, herding and circling puckish flutes paired with fairy-dusted autoharps and heavy, electric six-strings for daring organic performances scoring swelling tarantellas dancing around wrangled fandangos.


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