Two sentence reviews of reasonably new albums I listened to in May. Where by “two sentences” I mean “about five sentences, probably strung together into a single sentence with semi-colons”.
Frank Turner — England Take My Bones Pre-Order EP: Dear Frank, I know you were probably sad that this leaked to the internets so early, but frankly, it leaked at exactly the right moment for me, and “I Still Believe” is still the best anthemic fuck you rock and roll will save the world (literally) song in the history of the universe, and you saved my life at the beginning of May, between this leak and the first three tracks on Love Ire & Song (still and always). So you shouldn’t be too sad, okay, because this means I am still available to be your BFF and tour the US with you this fall, even though I hear that sometimes you’re super douchey about your exes on stage. Okay? Okay. Love and kisses to you and Tarrant.
The Felice Brothers — Celebration, Florida: the Felices’ 2009 release Yonder Is The Clock is one of those releases that was, for me, quietly excellent; a little quiet and a little sad and fierce and gorgeous live, and I suspect that this album will be no less quietly excellent. It’s dark, very very dark, but no less fascinatingly creepy than the rest of their releases, full of shuddery choruses and James’ staggering piano and accordian work and Ian’s junkie-rough voice. It doesn’t sound like their earlier stuff except for how it absolutely does, and that’s a good thing.
A Dancing Beggar — Follow The Dark As If It Were Light: I have a lot of music that lands in my inbox, and I pick up — free albums or EPs, label giveaways, advances — a fair amount more. So to stand out, to get listened to, you’ve got to really grab my attention; I picked this up because of the title and the weirdly hypnotic album art, and it is not in any way something I would have picked for myself if you had told me what it sounded like, but it’s gorgeous. It’s weird and otherworldly, complex, mostly instrumental ambient New Age sounding stuff, like if Lost In The Trees gave up their chamber folk pop and made ambient music instead, and on a rainy Wednesday morning it was perfectly soothing and gorgeous. The best napping music I’ve gotten all year.
Long Long Long — Who The Fuck Said Family Isn’t Family No More EP: sweet springtime garage pop, part Beach Boys and part MC5. With vocals that sound like they were recorded in a bathroom and crashy drums and jangly stick-in-your-head guitars, this is really strangely compelling. Available for free at their Bandcamp.
Mark Jungers — More Like A Good Dog Than A Bad Cat: yes, I picked this up on the strength of its title and its strange skeleton artwork, and it’s solid Texas country. Like I’ve said about other records of this genre, if I want this sound, I’m more likely to turn to Hayes Carll and Ryan Bingham, who are songwriters head and shoulders above their peers in craft, but Jungers is a good songwriter with a solid voice and a great band, and this is a good 3 am whiskey drinking kind of album.
Steve Earle — I’ll Never Leave This World Alive: no one listened to this and told me if I liked it, despite my plea on Twitter. I … kind of think it’s boring and uninspiring? Sorry, Steve, Copperhead Road and Guitar Town are brilliant, but I’m sticking to your kid from here on out.
We All Have Hooks For Hands — Girls EP: and this, which I got the same day as Long Long Long’s excellent garage pop, is sneering, jangly garage pop as opposed to LLL’s sweet sunshiney sort, with the kind of catchy off-key choruses that have always made me love, say, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Los Campesinos!. Horns and hand claps and guitar solos and good drumming. Thumbs up.
I’ve got a ton of new stuff in my iTunes waiting to be heard, but work is conspiring to not even let me finish listening to this week’s Caustic Soda podcast (it’s about SLIME) today, so this is clearly it for May. Stay tuned for June, where Two Sentence Reviews gains the tag “stuff pam told me i should like” with a handful of reviews of stuff she sent me.
As always: Triangle locals, I’m looking for new releases to run in my mid-month Two Sentence Local Reviews, so if you’ve got something new out or are getting ready to put it out, hit me up at asdonkar AT gmail.