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Vinyl Vlog 311
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Choke Cherry Tree LP by Ben Miller Band. The catch, when any band attempts to infuse a time-honored sound and style with new energy and fresh inspiration, is that they often lose sight of all the reasons why and how that form worked in the first place. While the heart and hopes might sound enough, the results often feel as though someone has tried to weld the fins from a ’57...

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Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Vinyl Vlog 285
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Black Friday-released Run, Stop & Drop (The Needle) EP by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It’s not common for a jazz album which was made in a recording studio to really reach out and grab a listener’s attention. Let’s be honest here; jazz was originally music which was born onstage and developed there with the help of gifted players who spent hours crafting it, grooming it, refining it and making it...

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Saturday, 09 December 2017
Vinyl Vlog 256
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the So It Is LP by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I must confess that, after having listened to music on a daily basis for three decades (first as a fan, then as a critic and a fan), I have grown cynical and hypercritical to jazz. The reason for that is pretty simple: I believe that jazz was once a cutting edge form which puahsed the possibilities of time, rhythm, meter, intonation,...

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017
Round Eye – [Album]
REVIEWS

Round Eye Monster Vision (Sudden Death Records) Even on first examination of Monster Vision, it’s perfectly clear how poised to totally reinvigorate punk rock Round Eye really are now. The band’s 2015-issued debut album hit those who heard it like a force of nature and won converts to the band’s banner effortlessly, but their sophomore effort is something else; Monster Vision manages to retain the fury and mania of its predecessor, but also illustrates that the group isn’t just a...

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Friday, 28 April 2017
Vinyl Vlog 177
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Rendered Obsolete LP by Kicker. Since punk rock got started and really began to develop some momentum many years ago, there has been no shortage of upstarts who have come along certain that those who came before them didn’t know jack and threw out the existing rule book which was governing the genre in order to start fresh. That fact may be inconvenient, but that doesn’t make it any less true;...

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Monday, 14 November 2016
PUP – [Album]
REVIEWS

PUP The Dream Is Over (Side One Dummy/Universal) Over the last few years, critics have announced the death of rock n’ roll so often that it has become pretty difficult to truly wonder if they’re not right. It gets even harder to not think that maybe – just maybe – there’s no going back either; it is the twenty-first century, after all, and making music on a computer is easy – so why bother picking up a guitar? Are those...

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Thursday, 02 June 2016
Vinyl Vlog 121
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl reissue of Grace Under Pressure by Rush. Perhaps the most important thing that Rush proved when they released Grace Under Pressure is that (to paraphrase what George Orwell wrote in 1984) the best albums are those which reiterate those things of which people were already aware. In this case, fans already knew that Rush had been the greatest and best-kept secret in rock n’ roll for years, and had proven...

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Friday, 12 February 2016
These United States Emerge
FEATURES

While he doesn’t want to admit it for fear of jinxing the whole thing and watching it go down the tubes, singer/guitarist Jesse Elliott knows that something is about to happen to his band, These United States. He doesn’t know what, but anyone who speaks with him knows he can feel it coming; something’s going to happen. “Something about this record – God – where do I start,” beams the singer breathlessly. “I mean, with each one we’ve made, every...

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012