Browsing Category

Album Reviews

royal-headache-high
9 Score

The Rockometer: High by Royal Headache

If musicians were subject to rules of an NFL-style draft, Royal Headache's vocalist, a man who goes by the name Shogun, would be a first round pick. His voice has the wear of a life that hasn't always been an easy one to live. He's got soul. He's got effortless range. If he came in the age in the late '60s he could have fronted the Faces. In the '70s it would have been The Nerves or The Jam. And, if he came of age in the '80s, and really, really liked his booze, he could slide right into an outfit like the Replacements. In the grunge era, he would have sung like he had marbles in his mouth. Let's be glad Shogun is not active in 1995, but in 2015, where he sounds right at home in this scrappy four-piece, garage band from Sydney.
Read More

front_GUIDE5
11 Score

The Rockometer: Payola by Desaparecidos

Political punk rock comes with a unique risk. What if all the causes you've been championing have been overtaken by more pressing issues by the time your album hits the streets? In our era, dominated by hot takes and social media firestorms, remaining topical is even more difficult. When you consider anarcho-punk forebearers, Crass were left to question their own strategy after Thatcher began and ended the Falkland's War in the early '80s while the band worked for more than a year on the double album, Christ - The Album, a modern band surely faces an even more daunting task, right? Who cares about Occupation Wall Street any more? In the past month gay marriage is the law of the land and the Confederate flag has (finally) become a poisonous symbol. A diplomatic, nuclear arms treaty with Iran has been agreed upon and a Cuban flag is flying outside of an embassy in Washington DC. The United States of 2015 is a far different place than the United States of 2012, when Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and his long, dormant band, Desaparecidos reunited for a second round of incendiary arena-punk.
Read More

Bully-Feels-Like-560x560
8 Score

The Rockometer: Feels Like by Bully

In a recent interview with Humanity Magazine, quoted by Rolling Stone, '90s rock goddess, Courtney Love lamented the sad state of women in mainstream alternative rock. "I'm the last chick on alternative radio that they’ll play, and it’s really kind of stupid," she said. Bully's Alicia Bognanno has something to say about women in rock, too. Her band's debut album, Feels Like, is an adrenaline fueled trip down memory lane to a time that really isn't that too far in the past when the original Riot Girls inspired '90s chart toppers like Hole, L7, and, um, Lisa Loeb. No really, listen to Bognanno and one moment she shows all the vulnerability of a first-timer at open mic night, like a Lisa Loeb, and the next moment she's raging like Courtney Love, born and bred in the seedier spots of the rock scene.
Read More

1902066_10153227479869329_3140592167438852942_n
8 Score

The Rockometer: Success by KEN Mode

Success, the sixth album by Winnipeg noise-rockers, KEN Mode, is not a happy album. Look at the cover. Dude is down as down can get, and that's cool. Not everyone can make lemonade out of lemons, as they say. Some prefer to wade in life's shit canal with a fifth of cheap liquor and a full pack of smokes. We won't judge KEN Mode for preferring the shit canal over a lemonade stand, especially not when their low end, post-hardcore rumble proves such an apt compliment for a man's litany of grievances.
Read More

UniformPerfectWorldAlbumCover
9 Score

The Rockometer: Perfect World by Uniform

Perfect World is not my perfect world, it is not your perfect world, it is not anyone's perfect world save for some dead existentialist whose idea of a perfect world is only shared by freshman liberal arts majors who've had their mind totally blown by pot and a longhair adjunct in intro to philosophy. This thing is dark and dreadful. It's the audio equivalent of city juice, the putrid brown-yellow waste water of unknown origins seeping out of urban streets and stinking the skies. Yet, this world created Ben Greenberg (The Men) and Michael Berdan (Drunkdriver), out of mashed and mangled guitars, harsh effects and harsher vocals is wholly necessary in that cliched only pain can bring happiness kind of way.
Read More

alabamashakesannouncedetailsofsecondalbum
6 Score

The Rockometer: Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes

Is it still dad rock if the band is young and the lead singer, Brittany Howard is an African-American woman? I'm serious about this. For as much as I listen to Sound & Color, the second album by Alabama Shakes, I can't shake the feeling that the classic Wilco burn is appropriate here.
Read More

MetzII
8 Score

The Rockometer: II by Metz

Now, listening to a Metz LP isn't the same as being at a Metz concert. The record doesn't come packaged with a vial of sweat from guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins. You don't get to see him transform from everyman to raging man. And, there's no threat of taking a boot to the head from the crowd surfer elevated center stage. For real, in the year 2015, people crowd surf at a Metz show. Maybe not at your fancy pants clubs in New York and LA, but here in Cleveland kids can still get a lift to the top of the throbbing masses. But, after the first three tracks by these Toronto punks on the simply titled, II, you can get pretty damn close to the experience of being there.
Read More

SonicJesusNeitherVirtueNorAnger
7 Score

The Rockometer: Neither Virtue Nor Anger by Sonic Jesus

      Sonic Jesus Neither Virtue Nor Anger Fuzz Club The musical lineage of Italian psych rockers, Sonic Jesus, ...
Read More