Album Reviews

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One day I was running car pools and I had O’Death playing in the car. A few minutes into the ride, one of the kids asked who I was listening to? Upon hearing my response and listening to a few tracks, I was asked, “why do I listen to this music? It seems real sad.” I told her that there are all types of music. Music to get excited to and dance. Music to drive home on dark, cold, rainy days. This is that music and its called O’Death. Rosie mulled it over and responded that she liked Taylor Swift’s new song better.

That remains a bone of contention in the household. And I get that O’Death isn’t for everybody but they have always scratched that itch for dark, foreboding music. The band recorded the album in Southern Maine; the new home of lead singer of Greg Jamie. After Outside’s more polished effort, Out Of Hands We Go is more raw and decidedly lo-fi. I enjoyed Outside as it was cool to hear the band fine-tune an effort but I like my O’Death to sound like they were recorded in a barn; bumps and bruises included. Go & Play With Your Dead Horses sounds like it was recorded with a $10 tape recorder but using top of the line mics. Real nice touch there.

Out Of Hands We Go also see the band shifting away from the dark tales of others and concentrate on their trials and tribulations. Tunes of heartbreak and overcoming odds are spread throughout the album. Apple Moon, Isavelle and We Had a Vision are amongst my favorites. And while other bands may come and go in this sub-genre, O’Death will always be my favorite.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

O’Death is here

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Elliott BROOD – Work and Love [album review]

by Woody on October 21, 2014

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The term Dad rock is consistently used a derogatory term. I’m a 44 year old father and I like to rock. I go to more shows than kids half my age, don’t watch The Voice and own red sneakers. So forgive me if I take offense at the term.

Work and Love has made an album about being that Dad. Inspired by a line from a Constantines song, “Work and love will make a man out of you,” Work and Love mines adult subjects such as relationships and the tests of adulthood, long drives, childhood retreating in a rear-view mirror.

Bringing in an outside producer for the first time with Ian Blurton really paid dividends. The BROOD roots are still there but there certain subtle new touches that really come off. One of my favorite things throughout the whole album is the outro from Taken that segues into a wonderful intro for Mission Bell, complete with mariachi horns. Its a wonderful moment that reinforces the fact that the song order can really take an album up a notch.

While probably not their intention, Elliott BROOD wrote an album about my life. In fact, they wrote an album about any guy transitioning into that next phase of life – not knowing whether to cling on to the old phase or embrace the new one. It is absolutely brilliant and you should run, not walk to get it.

Our full session with Elliott BROOD from 2009 is here

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Elliott BROOD is here

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Fly Golden Eagle comes at you from Nashville and they are decidedly not country. What they are is something I’ll let you answer for yourself. Quartz Bijou is a delirious mess of an album comprising of 12 tunes. It was originally a 26 song epic based upon a 1973 film titled The Holy Mountain; a film funded by Lennon and Harrison. That would probably have been a little too much to swallow. The band and ATO did a nice job trimming it down into a damn good LP.

The lead Eagle is Ben Trimble, a transplanted Motown native with Kentucky roots. Trimble was raised in a religious family but found his escape with rock and roll. Not very original but what Tribmle does with his bandmates – Matt Shaw (bass}, Mitch Jones (keys) and Richard Harper (drums). Its as if Trimble got lost in a record store but couldn’t decide on a genre to really dig into. Songs blend blues, gospel, soul, glam and psych-rock or whatever else pops into their mind.

Fly Golden Eagle are a damn good listen; the kind of band you wish you would stumble across in parking lot during a warm day during SXSW. They are touring with HearYa favorites, J. Roddy Walston & The Business now. I could think a lot worse ways to spend three hours as opposed to rocking out to the ATO label mates.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Fly Golden Eagle is here

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I had totally forgotten about Robert Plant’s new album until seeing him on the Colbert Report last week. The interview was fantastic as Colbert & Plant bantered back and forth – two masters at play; including Plant handing Colbert a joint. Then Plant hit the stage with a ripping his band, The Sensational Shape Shifters to perform the lead single, Rainbow, complete with glow-in-dark tambourines (I’m sure they have a cooler name. I just don’t know it.) Next day, there was a web exclusive of Little Maggie which was even better.

Robert Plant is a rock and roll legend that is getting better with age. As opposed to just touring off his old hits, he’s pushing the envelope by combining his history as a Rock God with a dazzling mixture of new sounds. The album is impeccably done. I could blather on about individual songs. I’ll leave you with this; if you ever enjoyed a Led Zeppelin album, go get this album. If you hated Led Zeppelin, go get this album. This album transcends all that. Plant is to be celebrated for his undying commitment.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

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Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather [album review]

October 10, 2014

Photo by Constance Mensh Steve Gunn hadn’t registered on my radar until I discovered Hiss Golden Messenger via the Paradise of Bachelors label. From there I picked up some other great artists such as Promised Land Sound and Steve Gunn. Time Off was Gunn’s 2012 effort. And while late to the party, it soon found [...]

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Ex Hex – Rips [album review]

October 7, 2014

I recently had the displeasure of being involved in a conversation of how hot J-Lo looked in her new video for a crap-tastic tune titled Booty. Are you fucking kidding me? Who cares? I had recently become privy to Rips by the female trio of Ex Hex. So I chimed in, “You know what I [...]

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Field Report – Marigolden (album review)

October 6, 2014

I have a lot of friends that travel a ton for work. The things they get to do sound great – drunken boondoggles, golf at some of the nicest courses, unreal tickets for premier sporting events, etc. And while there are those times, there is also the drag of constantly being on the road away [...]

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Luke Winslow-King – Everlasting Arms [album review]

September 26, 2014

In my review of his Bloodshot debut, The Coming Tide, I compared Luke Winslow-King (LWK) to Justin Townes Earle (JTE). For one they both have three names. Second, they both have a dedication to the way music used to be and the ability to pull it off. I caught LWK’s set at the Bloodshot SXSW [...]

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King Tuff – Black Moon Spell [album review]

September 24, 2014

My parents didn’t have the best taste in music growing up. I don’t have great stories of us sitting around listening to The Beach Boys, Otis Redding or The Beatles. Just wasn’t there thing. So when I finally discovered rock n’ roll, I was captivated. My first dalliance was mostly with metal bands. It was [...]

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Delta Spirit – Into The Wide [album review]

September 16, 2014

Delta Spirit worked their way into our hearts with their passionate brand of Americana via their first two albums – Ode To Sunshine & History From Below. I can still remember the first time I saw them at Buffalo Billiards at SXSW. It was a midnight show on Saturday night and I was flat out [...]

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