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NudeBeach77AlbumCover
7 Score

The Rockometer: 77 by Nude Beach

While the album title, 77, may suggest the golden era of punk rock, Nude Beach's behemoth, 18 song, 70+ minute effort actually pays homage to a different Rock 'N' Roll tradition -- That of the American bar rock band. That old practice of men working for the weekend and then ringing it in with beers and blasting guitars may wax and wane, but never completely goes out of style. Depending on your vantage point, the trio of Chuck Betz, Ryan Naideau, and Jim Shelton may remind you of Tom Petty in the '70s, The Replacements in the '80s, Wilco's early output in the '90s, or contemporary rabble-rousers like The Men.
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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?"
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newpornographersbrillbruisers
8 Score

The Rockometer: Brill Bruisers by The New Pornographers

By definition, a supergroup, like Canada's New Pornographers, should be fun. A supergroup is an opportunity for friends to get together and make music free from the same kind of expectations placed on their main projects. Yet, despite the pedigrees of Carl "AC" Newman, Dan Bejar (Destroyer), Neko Case, and the others who've contributed to the band's last two albums (2007's Challenger and 2010's Together) this supergroup had begun to sound like a super drag. Ornateness had been mistaken for quality. Tempos lurched into mid-tempo hell. The band's most recent effort, Brill Bruisers, is a lot of things: Fun, engaging, a return to form, a new direction, and most definitely not a drag.
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10_700_700_521_spiderbags_900px
8 Score

The Rockometer: Frozen Letter by Spider Bags

Spider Bags summed up in two song titles: "Papa Was a Shithead" from their 2013 singles collection and "Waking Up Drunk" from their 2007 debut.
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spoon-they_want_my_soul-608x608
9 Score

The Rockometer: They Want My Soul by Spoon

When Spoon are at the top of their game, and They Want my Soul, is these Austin vets at their best, they have few rivals in the loosely-defined world of indie rock. They make it all sound so easy.
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SLOAN1_LisaMark

A Jam Packed Thursday with Sloan, The New Pornographers, Elephant Stone and Shabazz Palaces

  During Sloan's 20+ years in the business, the band have always taken a democratic approach to their guitar pop. Each album contains a ...
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FatWhiteFamilyChampagneHolocaust
11 Score

The Rockometer: Champagne Holocaust by The Fat White Family

      The Fat White Family Champagne Holocaust Fat Possum Records   With a band like The Fat White Family, ...
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MarkLanegan

Watch Me: “Sad Lover” by Mark Lanegan Band

  Just the other day I was listening to some Mark Lanegan, ok, just about every day I listen to some Mark Lanegan, but on this day I ...
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