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CD Review Tori Amos - Native Invader

Tori Amos

Native Invader
Record Label: Decca
Review by John Noyd
September 2017

Gracefully relaying the enchanted mantra, “get you back to you,” the opening track, “Reindeer King,” is a fitting beginning to Amos’ fifteenth album. Suspended between butterfly sighs and orchestrated roars, the entire album seeks a mentoring center, casting nature’s self-correcting resilience as spirit guide to a world caught between psychological extremes and ecological upheaval. Bravely rattling sabers, Amos carves marvelous labyrinths fusing classical piano talent with rich, contemporary sounds, livening divine rhymes with funky tribal grooves and churning flurries of edgy arpeggios into choreographed seductions. From conjuring heart-breaking dawns to nurturing twilight-guided musings, “Native,” paints glamorous panoramas through globe-trotting rhythms and operatic melodies; illuminating modern follies through gorgeous metaphorical choruses anointed in heavenly chemistry. A mesmerizing entertainer, Ms Amos plays Madison’s Orpheum Theater October 26th


CD Review Casket Robbery - The Ascension

Casket Robbery

The Ascension
Record Label: Casket Robbery
Review by Sal Serio
August 2017

Monroe, Wisconsin’s, horror metal outfit Casket Robbery is back with a relentless new 3-song E.P. and an all-new line-up of Megan Orvold on vocals, Troy Powell and Cory Scheider on guitars, Derek Silloway on bass, and drummer Derek Bonn. ‘The Ascension’ E.P. showcases a more classic death metal feel than before; as pulsating, pounding rhythms mesh with throbbing tempos, shrouded with tortured vocals and sheets of ethereal Hellspawn orchestral choir sounds, which accentuate the intense mood, and made me sneak a glance over my shoulder on more than a few occasions while absorbed in the listening experience. This cadaverous cacophony keeps with the Casket Robbery tradition of being the perfect movie soundtrack music for creepy slasher movies with a very sick sense of humor. Which, of course, is why I like this so much!


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CD Review Metz - Strange Peace


Strange Peace
Record Label: Sub Pop
Review by John Noyd
August 2017

A deluge of bruising refusals seeking sanity inside anarchy, “Peace,” releases stark, cathartic coercions through fuel-injected conjecture. Gunning in blunt industrial rumbles riddled in prickly street-savvy literacy, METZ’s rogue Morse code mojo hammers out cast-iron sounds from a collective wreckage connected to fitful pit-bulls pitching willful punk thrills as breakneck metal-blues regrouped into locked-jaw cannonball fodder splatters spring-loaded foreboding over smoothly executed explosions. Giddy with irrefutable conclusions while plagued by unconquerable questions, the Toronto-based three-piece squeezes profound urban guerrilla bounce from slippery rhythmic triggers, winding timely existential potential around sizzling demolition to construct hum-buckling crunches from spit-fire ire, coating hard-core semaphore with ballistic conniptions sliced in decisive righteousness and roasted over social corrosion.  Witness the band’s powerful prowess firsthand, September 23rd at Madison’s Majestic Theater.


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CD Review Rainer Maria - S/T

Rainer Maria

Record Label: Polyvinyl
Review by John Noyd
August 2017

Older and bolder, Rainer Maria’s self-referencing album announces a reinvigorated version of a band true to its indie-emo roots. A mature reckoning of well-placed outrage, the trio’s first new music in eleven years vents invested aggressions with tumultuous impulses. Hypnotizing lines blasted in blazing persuasions and probing undertow, Rainer Maria’s brainier experiments unleash boundless power grounded in textured pressure, cobbling throbbing oppositions to kick-start whip-smart riffs and conjure exacting clashes stitched in rhythm-driven insistence. Half-collapsed in sticky bass snakes and twisted guitar manipulations, the fluid, brutal, casually agile tracks are practically tactile coupling prudent left-brain lyrics fueled by power-punched drums to viscous head-trips shifting elliptical dynamics of compressed intensity with suspenseful séance nuance.  The almighty Rainer Maria play Milwaukee’s Colectivo Coffee Back Room September 15th.


CD Review Torn Between - Maintain Low Tones

Torn Between

Maintain Low Tones
Record Label: Mirage M'Hal Records
Review by Tommy Rage
August 2017

A modern first release with a bold driving force from Janesville’s Torn Between. Read More…


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CD Review Kevin Morby - City Music

Kevin Morby

City Music
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Review by John Noyd
July 2017

An immigrant’s parable dressed in home-grown poems depicting nocturnal journeys drizzled with hobo hindsight and punk busking, “City,” is one jumpin’ joint whose rootless characters are often running in place; rambling companions wrestling with loss, redemption, hope and reclamation. A lo-fi wayfarer, Morby’s heart-sleeve philosophy form folksy pearls perfectly suited for groovy soft-shoe troubadours and laconic road-house refugees. The casually savvy guitarist harvests beleaguered genius through world-weary lyrics detailing gentle half-dreamt memories dancing around stammering jams and bouncing counsel. Spotlit in after-hours solitude, the stories Morby tell are the calm eye in a dizzying storm, a temporary friendship and thankful anchor that nonetheless takes you on a ride you’ll treasure forever. A vibrant and intriguing performer, Kevin plays Spring Green’s The Shitty Barn August 31st.


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