Album Reviews

Nude Beach – 77 [album review]

by Woody on November 19, 2014

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I feel like I’ve been waiting on this one for a while. Just last year, Nude Beach commenced The Hideout’s Block Party in September 2013. As they tore through their set, loyal HearYa pal – El Jefe, warmed to their power-pop charms. I told him I thought a new album should be out in the fall. No doubt about it. Well, I was only off by one year but the wait was well worth. 77 picks up where 11 left off; combining the straight forward riffs of 70s punk with the sensibility of classic rock. Nearly every review you read will name-drop Petty, Costello and The Mats; with good reason.

The double-album bangs away for 16 songs; tweaking different elements throughout to keep your interest piqued. And that’s no easy feat for a band that at its core is a bar band. Then just when your interest may be waning, they unleash a 10 minute opus with I Found You. The track could have easily faded around the four-minute mark and left you satisfied. Instead the trio launch into spic jam that is reminiscent of a bad bands drunkenly jamming at 1AM, feeling their way though chord progressions. It is magic and I wish more bands would incorporate that devil-may-care attitude into one or two songs on their albums

Rock n’ Roll is in good hands with Nude Beach. Make a point of seeing them live. It is a much safe endeavor that searching for live Nude Beach videos.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

To the best knowledge Nude Beach is not on Twitter. They are on Facebook.

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Elijah Ocean – Bring It All In [album review]

by Woody on November 12, 2014

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Elijah Ocean is an Americana artist out of the LA area. His latest release, Bring It All In, is an absolute stunner of an album. Combining elements of Joe Pug, Hiss Golden Messenger and Whiskeytown makes it such a delight to listen to. The album was recorded over the course of a weekend with Ocean’s friends giving it a nice organic feel that makes it sound like a live recording.

The album is comprised of eight tracks and each one is a winner. My personal favorite is Alarms, a track littered with fiddle and steel. It tells the story of the genesis of a relationship and is every bot as good as stuff that Ryan Adams was penning during Whiskeytown and his early solo stuff.

I can’t believe he’s not getting more notice for such an incredible piece of work. Granted, the alt-country arena is quite full and it takes a lot to stand out. I think Ocean’s album does that and is worthy of your time. Hoping me makes his way to SXSW or Chicago this year. Need to see this cat live.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Elijah Ocean is here

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Greylag – s/t debut [album review]

by Woody on November 3, 2014

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Greylag are a folk band that sounds like they were a metal band at one time. In my twisted world, Greylag were a rocking metal band from Portland that were coerced into doing an unplugged show for some local Wilamette charity. Upon the completion, they decided to give this folk thing a go full time. Being that Greylag claim everything from Zeppelin to Elliot Smith to xxx, there were surely lines to be blurred.

Greylag, named after a wild goose, is comprised of Andrew Stonestreet (lead vocal, acoustic guitar), Daniel Dixon (lead guitar & other stringed things, keyboards) and Brady Swan (drums). For their full-length debut, they employed Phil Ek at the knobs. Ek best known for his work with other NW acts such as Built To Spill, Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses to name a few heard something he liked when

Yours To Shake and Arms Unknown, the second and third tracks on the album bring out my inner Butt-Head. Watch the video for Yours To Shake below and tell me you’re screaming Rock!!! Rock!!! about a minute in. The tune about a fiery relationship builds slowly before kicking in, with some Zeppelin-esque guitars. The lyrics throughout, as well as the album cover, give off this 70s feel when Zeppelin ruled the world.

With their self-titled debut, Greylag have crafted one of my favorite debut LPs of the year. I love bands that combine folk with a 70s metal feel. While a band like Black Mountain tends to fall more on the metal side of the fence, Greylag falls decidedly on the folk side. Whatever side of the fence you land on, you’ve got two excellent bands.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Greylag is here

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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]

October 21, 2014

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 [...]

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Fly Golden Eagle – Quartz Bijou [album review]

October 17, 2014

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 [...]

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Robert Plant – lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar [album review]

October 16, 2014

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 [...]

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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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