Liar’s Club was one of the rare Seattle and Tacoma bands in the late 1980s and early 1990s that focused on intricate studio production, the best example being the excellent “Drop Dead” album with the XTC like “Cinnamon Smiles” and a variety of hard rock and pastoral melodies.
Skip ahead two decades and we’ve got Come and Go. The title track feels like they never left the 80′s with big angular rhythms and staccato riffs. And a bit of Partridge-like fun is displayed on “Big Bastard” including organ and horn flourishes. Slowly the stylistic excesses give way to some great songs, “Gonna Get Yours Yet” is a perfect example of this. “Emily” is a another smart mid-tempo gem, mixing Queen and Beatles in equal measure. Fans of Jellyfish are sure to flip over this track. The baroque “As Soon As Impossible” is a light forlorn 60′s melody, then the band rocks out on “Ever The Optimist” complete with cynical lyric and kick-ass guitar solo. There are 15 tracks total, and most of them are great including a sweet cover of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass.” The slide guitar pysche-pop harmonies of “You Suffer” and “Forgiven” round out this excellent return to greatness from The Lair’s Club. Let’s hope the next album isn’t as long a wait.
If there’s anything to say about Ed Hamell (aka Hamell on Trial), it’s that he’s certainly not shy about voicing his opinion. On his fifth solo record, Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs, the anti-folk acoustic punk singer presents his most politically charged album to date. Inspired by the birth of his son, Detroit, Hamell searches to answer some of the questions that plague all parents in the 21st century (what to do when he asks if you’ve ever done “anything bad” — the response: “lie” — in “Inquiring Minds” or how to justify picking up toys when “We’re over in Iraq/And there’s no sign of turning back” in “Values”) while keeping everything very tongue-in-cheek. Hamell’s not concerned about dispelling stereotypes or about showing “compassion” (“That would take a bigger person than me,” he admits in “Coulter’s Snatch,” which is everything you’d think it would be, only probably more graphic); in fact, he doesn’t even seem to mind perpetuating them (the Southern-accented voice in “Maddy’s Pt. 1” and “Pt. 2”). He’s just angry and wants to say what he feels, and doesn’t care who he offends in the meantime. While Hamell’s nasally, sneering voice can be more than a little grating — not to mention the fact that his delivery as a “rapper” is pretty bad — his intentions are, in an odd way, very sincere. Maybe this can be seen in his less political songs, like in “Jerkin’,” an atypical ode to monogamy, or the early-U2-esque “Father’s Advice” (“You’d better love/’Til you die”), everything played over fuzzed-out acoustic and electric guitars and random synths. It’s lo-fi music that sounds like it’s played on broken strings and blown-out amps, and while perhaps Johnny Rotten would never be caught singing “The Wheels on the Bus” (albeit a more modern, and disturbing, version of it that features Detroit on background vocals), he might appreciate the D.I.Y. ethic that Hamell pursues. As an album, Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs is kind of hit-or-miss, but as a statement, he’s spot-on.
An experimental project combining new works borne of Grimm’s razor-edged wit, dark poetry and radical populism with a ferociously rendered miniset of some of his favorite songs by the likes of Mark Knopfler, Steven Van Zandt, Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie.
Australian quartet Cloud Control are no strangers to taking risky chances, having uprooted themselves from half way around the world to pursue a career in music is no decision for the cowardly. However, their second album Dream Cave feels lacking of almost any sense of ambition or adventure. Rather than further seizing opportunities, the band […]
Chris Cacavas has been kicking around the music business since the early ’80s and has served as a sideman for such artists as Green on Red, Steve Wynn, and Giant Sand.Love’s Been Re-Discontinued contains 10 previously unreleased songs from the 2009 Love’s Been Discontinued session. mp3 320 kbps | 105 MB | UL | CL