November 2nd Music Reviews

Artist: Susanne Sundfor
Album: The Silicon Veil
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2!!, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9
Comments: I’m not sure what it is about Northern Europe. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of their governments fund the arts; or the fact that they have incredible health care systems, so everyone is distinctly beautiful. Whatever the reason, the amount of genuine great music is unparraleed to the crap-pot we often see here in the states. Folding genres into little packages that resemble rubric cubes is a normal affair. Susanne pleasantly croons over electronic and orchestral symphonies that don’t make the likely pair in writing. With confounding lyrics about gunplay, killers, and personal vendettas; you wonder who would have ever wanted to cross such a beautiful being. Wherever the ambition is coming from, Susanne does a great job of committing to the subject matter and intertwining it into complicated scopes of emotive snyth-pop.
Genre: Crooning Snyth-Pop

Artist: …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Album: Lost Songs
Rec’d Tracks: 1,2,3,5,8,9,10,11,12
Comments: Trail of Dead opens their latest with three jabs to the teeth to remind ‘Merica that they’re a pit-churning punk rock band before an art rock band. This is the kind of kit-pummeling that lets Zildjian know that they’re about to have a spike in sales for the duration of the supporting tour, especially in light of their legendary live shows. …And You Will Know Us by the ridiculously long band name have harnessed the post-hardcore chops of Repeater-era Fugazi on this one better than anyone who has strived for a similar sound; a lockstep bombastic rhythm section, volleys of discordant guitar, and vocals of howling fury are all in the mix. “Lost Songs” is even a dead ringer for the title track from the landmark 1990 album from the DC hardcore philosopher kings with vocals reminiscent of Jets to Brazil. Thank you, gentlemen, for keeping punk rock dangerous. (Review by Phil)
Genre: Punk Rock

Artist: The Toadies
Album: Play. Rock. Music
Rec’d Tracks: 1,2,3,4,8,10
Restricted: 10
Comments: If you only know the Toadies as the band that made “Possum Kingdom” and the third most well-known toad-related product of the early 90s (after Battletoads and Toad the Wet Sprocket), you have missed out on a relentless alt-rock n roll machine that rarely misses. With P.R.M., they’ve whipped up another piping hot batch of tunes that could have easily appeared on 1995’s Rubberneck. “Rattler’s Revival” might just be the “Don’t Fear the Reaper” of wood block (I got a fever and the only prescription is…) and “Lament of a Good Man” demands a few spins on Arctic Rock Therapy with a demonically possessed singer agonizing about the “voices screaming” his head. Keep playing. Rock. Music. (Review by Phil)
Genre: Rock

Artist: Local H
Album: Hallelujah! I’m a Bum
Rec’d Tracks: 1,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,17
Restricted: 6, 16
Comments: In the family tree of mid-90s alt-rock, Weezer was the quirky uncle playing Dungeons & Dragons with the kids while Local H was the angsty mistrustful “get off my porch”-yelling uncle scowling at the rest of the family from the corner. They always appeared in “Hard Rock & Heavy Metal” section of the BMG music catalogs because they seemed way to disgruntled to be next to PUSA and Everclear in Alternative. And those same belligerent flames burn bright from a Chicago trash can fire on this soaring album. The concept is looking at the world from the perspective of the Chi-town’s stray dogs and homeless guys… which brings up one of the most noteworthy things about this album, Local H’s apparent change from cat people (see 1998’s Pack Up the Cats) to dog people (check out the album art and the dogs barking on the twangy “Look Who’s Walking…”). Could this signal a sea change in the long genre-species alliance of alt-rock and cats? I, for one, think so. (Review by Phil)
Genre: Alt-Rock

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