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CD Review The Raptor Trail - Devil On An Indian

Raptor Trail

Devil On An Indian
Record Label: MBM Entertainment
Review by Sal Serio
January 2017

The third release from North Carolina’s melodic prog rock trio The Raptor Trail is a full-on concept album written by multi-instrumentalist Matt Mayes, which details an internal clash between Native American spirituality and 21st century white Christian morality, and inevitably results in an apocalyptic conclusion. While the theme is intense and demands a certain amount of rapt attention, the music is an overall uplifting and diversely varied experience, featuring instrumentation ranging from the conventional guitar/bass/drums, to the more esoteric guijo, banjo, and various keyboards/effects/percussion.


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(900) ViewsPermalinkRaptor Trail Website


CD Review Foxygen - Hang

Foxygen

Hang
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
Review by John Noyd
December 2016

Recorded and mixed entirely on two-inch tape without a computer in sight, “Hang,” retro-wrangles singular pinnacles from the shoulders of old-school giants with bold homage bathed in brass, back-up singers and Bowie-disposed burlesque. Employing a forty-plus piece orchestra on every track as well as recruiting fellow extroverts from The Lemon Twigs and Flaming Lips, the proverbial kids in the candy store produced tightly-wrapped bombast that’s a total gas. Mixing solid gold seventies chemistry alongside heartfelt soul explosions, Foxygen’s starry-eyed carnies boast Lugosi-toasted vocals exalting a pole-vaulted vaudeville whose giddy symphonies by melodramatic patsies attach unabashed razzmatazz to theatrical malice and cavalier sneers to guileless choirs. Don’t miss out when the electric circus comes to town for some cool tomfoolery April 1st at Madison’s Majestic Theater.


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CD Review The Transgressions - Fucked Up

Transgressions

Fucked Up
Record Label: It's Alive Records
Review by Brian McKay
December 2016

The new Transgressions album, Fucked Up, is a great coming of age pop punk record.  Channeling The Ramones with short and sweet songs that will hook you after a single listen of the album.  It takes a more positive outlook with songs where the loser gets the girl but compliments and contrasts with themes of just wanting to get high and leave everything behind.


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(843) ViewsPermalinkTransgresssions Website


CD Review Harvey Mandel - Snake Pit

Harvey Mandel

Snake Pit
Record Label: Tompkins Square
Review by Sal Serio
December 2016

Musician Harvey “The Snake” Mandel has always been a hard one to categorize, but one can never deny his unparalleled level of excellence on the guitar. Detroit-born, Chicago-raised, and San Francisco-influenced, Mandel consistently seemed to be a couple steps ahead of the trends, being an early innovator of two-handed fretboard tapping, and distinguishing his sound with a mastery of syncopated phrasing, razor-edged sustain, and a genius touch when it comes to command of his effects pedals, as well as such natural phenomena as volume/feedback control.


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CD Review KidsonFire - KidsonFire

KidsonFire

KidsonFire
Record Label: 616050 Records DK
Review by Sal Serio
December 2016

Press play, and the first thing you hear is a hellion youngster saying “We’re going to fuck this motherfucker UP!”, and that pretty much sets the tone for these four ruckus compositions that bristle with attitude, confidence, and immediacy. KidsonFire is a new project by bass player Danny Smash (of The Last Vegas) and claims Grand Rapids, Michigan, as it’s home base, although lead singer Karina Zephyr is from Chicago. Their two guitar / pummeling drum assault makes their debut E.P. leap screaming from the stereo speakers. This CD E.P. was released in mid-to-late 2016 as a follow-up to their 2015 single “Coup D’etat”.


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(934) ViewsPermalinkKidsonFire Website


CD Review Popa Chubby - The Catfish

Popa Chubby

The Catfish
Record Label: Popa Chubby Productions
Review by Sal Serio
December 2016

By my count, ‘The Catfish’ is the 19th studio album by Bronx blues man Ted Horowitz, aka Popa Chubby. That in and of itself is damn impressive, but consider that this is also one of his finest recorded efforts. From the get-go, on the songs “Going Downtown See My Old Gal Sue” and “Good Thing”, the modus operandi is boogie woogie hip shakin’ with dive bomber wah-wah drenched lead solos. Chubby’s grunt and grind vocals coax the listener through the grooves straight to the trippy downtown honky tonks.


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