@@@ Blake Shelton: If I’m Honest (Warner Bros, 2014). Mainstream beefcake new country superstah Blake Shelton mashes country with classic rock. In this first tune, nobody’s leaving until they’re outta cold beer. Yes, yes, y’all and straight into a short big rock solo. Let’s peep a couple more bangers before heading to darker pastures. The second tune, She’s Got the Words, is the power ballad. It’s a word game song, kinda cheesy. Oh man, this woman did Blake Shelton wrong and he feels it! She put the her in hurt. And then into the Bon Jovi big background vocals. She put the s.o.b. in sober that’s my favorite one, and she put the low in blow as the most double entendre. Slick Budweiser arena rock, come on and lap it up, post redneck rednecks!
@@@ Kondi Band: Belle Wahallah EP (Strut, 2016). Some African electronica I got to via the WRIR weekly email. It’s two tunes and four remixes. I’m thinking these guys are from West Africa but let me check. From the bandcamp page it’s a collaboration between a Sierre Leone gent and an American with Sierra Leone roots. The main African sounds are the vocals, the thumb piano, and the beats. It’s garnished with some rhythmic synth parts — faux horn lines, and synth bass lines. I like it. I don’t love it but I like it a bunch. The second tune outside of the remixes, Yeanoh, features some really fine singing over a pleasing marimba type arrangement. Check out that tune, it’s pretty sweet.
@@@ Vukovar: The Blood Garden (Small Bear Records, 2016). Some catchy UK shoe-gazey rock I got to from an email. There’s a nice organ melody tucked into the mix before the blossom of vocals in the chorus. It’s a 6 minute single so it takes its time. The drums enter at about 1:40 and there’s a breakdown before they start rockin’ pretty good for indie folks.
@@@ Alaric: End of Mirrors (Neurot, 2016). Record of the week over at Aquarius Records out in over gentrified San Fran. The first tune opens up drone-y with an accompanying jumpy squiggle before the big rock drums come in. When it might have gone to full post-hardcore crush, right now it has taken on trippy space rock vibes. About three minutes in it goes doom metal, squalling guitars big sprays of power chords and a glammy Jane’s Addiction type singer. This is turning into an art school, downer heavy rock epic which isn’t really my style. It falls apart across the finish line after doing its thing.
YTD recordings listened to: 455
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 253
Not good music: 168
Honorable Mentions: 9
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Cha Wa, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks