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Vinyl Vlog 159
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Guitar Boy LP by Bloodshot Bill. The moment I first saw Bloodshot Bill will forever be burned into both my eyeballs and my memory. It was at the Middle East in Cambridge while waiting for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to go on. And here comes this guy, wearing a robe, hair slicked back, armed with nothing but a guitar, bass drum and hi hat. What followed was thirty minutes of...

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Sunday, 14 August 2016
Adam and The Ants – [2CD]
REVIEWS

Artist: Adam and The Ants Album: Kings of the Wild Frontier (35th Anniversary 2CD reissue) Label: CBS/Legacy/Sony Music While most critics maintain that The Ramones’ debut album and Nevermind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols rank as the two most important music and culture-defining artifactsin the punk rock pantheon, that’s really just a shortcut to thinking. The truth is that one particular album stands out as a subversive document which doesn’t overtly attempt to stand out from the pack –...

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Thursday, 11 August 2016
Vinyl Vlog 157
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl reissue of Hater’s self-titled debut album. I must confess that I had never heard of Hater before Ben Shepherd put out In Deep Owl a couple of years ago. I was really, really taken with that album and had been thrilled at the prospect of taking an interview with him when the opportunity came up; in fact, I jumped at it. It was during that interview when I learned about...

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Tuesday, 09 August 2016
Descendents – [Album]
REVIEWS

The Descendents Hypercaffium Spazzinate (Epitaph Records) The differences in the performance and presentation of Hypercaffium Spazzinate from every other Descendents album are subtle but evident from the moment “Feel This” screeches in to open the album. There, while the tempo of the drums and guitar are precisely at the speed fans would expect them to be (at that of an over-caffeinated blur, of course), the tone in Milo’s voice has changed to reflect a different demeanor from that of any...

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Thursday, 04 August 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 119
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A critical evaluation of Trouble Boys – The True Story of The Replacements by Bob Mehr. Maybe it has something to do with the sort of “Little Rascals” image that The Replacements have always given off as a lateral by-product of the band’s popular “loveable loser” image and mythos, but even just reading the words “The True Story of The Replacements” – specifically that nagging word “True” included up front – can get a mind percolating. This is a band...

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Monday, 01 August 2016
The Classics 024
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R.E.M. Monster (Warner Bros., 1994) To this day (now) twenty-two years after it was originally released, R.E.M.’s ninth album, Monster, still feels like it should have been a risky record for the band to make. By then, the band had long since broken through the glass ceiling between the underground and the mainstream; they had become patron saints of the thinking man’s end of college rock (which later got annexed by alt- and is currently a province of the indie...

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Friday, 29 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 155
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Pick Your Poison split 7” by Control and Harrington Saints. While I happily admit that I appreciate the 7” single as a format, a split 7” is often a much harder sell with me. Why? Often, the focus feels too diverted on a split; the amount of time that each band involved has to leave an impression is very short and splitting focus two ways only makes it that much more...

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Saturday, 23 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 154
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 10” reissue of the Airplane Tracks EP by The Burdocks. It might seem unbelievable, but perhaps the greatest creative crime that Sloan ever committed was being so good and becoming so popular and casting such a large shadow in the 1990s and early new millennium that they completely eclipsed all of the other bands which were beginning to appear in Canada’s maritime provinces. Really think about it, reader – Thrush Hermit...

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Thursday, 21 July 2016
Misfits – [EP]
REVIEWS

The Misfits Friday The 13th EP (Misfits Records/Sony Music) While there’s no small part of this critic that wants to hang this band which calls itself The Misfits and dismiss them as heretics (I’ve done it continually for years), the truth is that I just can’t do it now. The truth is, the four songs which comprise the Friday the 13th EP are the best that the band has done in years; they’re dark but urgent and walk that ever-so-treacherous...

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Friday, 15 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 153
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Blatant Propaganda LP by The Bar Stool Preachers. It’s pretty incredible how much a band seems to change as soon as people start paying attention to them and their fanbase swells. History is littered with band who seemed not to change for years as they attempted to get legs under them (see Social Distortion, Against Me, Black Flag, Bad Religion and  Rise Against – to name only the first which leap...

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Thursday, 14 July 2016