Browsing Category

Album Reviews

BSR-056 LIFE-THRILLS COVER
9 Score

The Rockometer: Life/Thrills by Lower Plenty

That bit about friends from other bands in town gathering around a kitchen table to write and record music describes Lower Plenty to a tee. The ten, largely acoustic numbers collected on Life/Thrills are spontaneous and endearingly unpolished: The percussion often sounds like washboards or bottles and cans; the guitars are loosely strummed and tuned to good enough; and, the lyrics are often conversational in nature, gathered from bits overheard about town or supplied as the answer to the simple question, "What did you do today?"
Read More

KingTuffBlackMoonSpellAlbumCover
5 Score

The Rockometer: Black Moon Spell by King Tuff

Would Batman still be Batman without Bruce Wayne? Would Superman be the same without Clark Kent? Sure, they'd still be super heroes, of course, they're super and heroic, but without their alter egos their characters would be far less compelling. For two albums, King Tuff's Kyle Thomas pulled off a similar stunt. By day he was a do-nothing layabout who surfed couches and snacked cheese doodles. In his dreams, and on stage, he was a different person. The minute he strapped on that guitar he would become King Tuff, the pin-up idol of teenage girls and the envy of every man who'd ever played to mostly empty, wholly disinterested barrooms.
Read More

EarthPrimitiveAndDeadly
7 Score

The Rockometer: Primitive and Deadly by Earth

Since Earth's resurrection in 2005, the Seattle doom and drone pioneers led by guitarist Dylan Carson have etched out a respected career out of one very long, and very deliberate note. Their brand of drone, or apocalyptic folk, established on 2005's Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method, and later perfected on 2008's The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull and the two volume Angels of Darkness,
Read More

JMascis_TiedToAStar_LPJacket
8 Score

The Rockometer: Commune by Goat

The good Goat is a menace. Modern head music tends to stick to one of three strains -- The Velvet Underground and Spacemen 3 style drones, Sabbath and Sleep slow-moving doom, or stuck in the '60s San Francisco revivalism. Sweden's Goat can't be characterized so easily. Shit, there are times during their Sub Pop debut record, Commune, that a PhD could come in handy...
Read More

RyanAdams1984
9 Score

The Rockometer: 1984 by Ryan Adams

Everyone has a Ryan Adams in their music collection, an artist they followed closely as their career began and whom they've slowly stopped following as the years went by and each new release became a game of is it ok to listen again? For me, my Ryan Adams is Ryan Adams, himself. I've trashed, traded-in, an deleted too many Ryan Adams releases to count since 2002's Demolition. So these days, when it comes to new Ryan Adams records, I let others do the listening.
Read More

jmascistiedtoastar
5 Score

The Rockometer: Tied to a Star by J Mascis

Look, I'm under no impression that acoustic J. Mascis on his latest solo outing, Tied to a Star, will deliver the same type of thrills as plugged in J. Mascis posing in front of a six-stack of Marshall amps, leveling a room with feedback and fury. I have much more realistic expectations. All I want is a moment or two of fine finger-picking and a couple tracks to reassure myself I indeed need J. Mascis unplugged in my life.
Read More

dfa1979ThePhysicalWorld
7 Score

The Rockometer: The Physical World by Death from Above 1979

Note to clown rocker, Gene Simmons, and everyone else who trots out the old line, "Rock is dead." Rock 'N' Roll is not dead. The '70s are dead. The era of arena rock is dead. But that old spirit of Rock 'N' Roll, the desire to aim for the last row and blow every last fucking mind in the building, is not dead. Witness, Death from Above 1979, and their long-awaited comeback album, The Physical World.
Read More

tysegallmanipulator
7 Score

The Rockometer: Manipulator by Ty Segall

With such an impressive discography assembled at such a short time, Ty Segall was the last rocker I would expect to make the rookie mistake of confusing studio budget and studio time with permission to go ahead and record a 17 track, almost 60 minute album.
Read More