Grant Lyle: So There

on March 07, 2013

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Toronto singer-guitarist Grant Lyle is probably tired of people comparing him to Eric Clapton, but truly that’s the easiest way to give listeners an idea of what to expect on So There, Lyle’s latest full release. Of course, that comparison only does Lyle partial justice. Disregarding Slowhand for a second, Lyle’s a highly skilled singer and guitar player who covers a wide span of territory here. Really, So There is kind of like a classic rock cocktail with blues and jazz accents. It’s a joy to listen to and a fantastic release. — more

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A Primitive Evolution: The Prize

on February 28, 2013

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At first, a strong late-’90s alternative vibe emanates from The Prize, the second full-length effort from Toronto trio A Primitive Evolution. Indeed, singer Brett Carruthers could easily join a Soundgarden cover band to pay some bills if the need ever arises. — more

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Virgins Family Band: Honeylion

on February 27, 2013

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Imagine a world where the Fleet Foxes spent their formative years training in jazz instead of soaking up classic records of the ’60s. What resulted would probably sound pretty close to Honeylion, an 8-song EP from Chapel Hill, NC sextet Virgins Family Band. — more

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Marla Mase: Speak (Deluxe Edition)

on February 25, 2013

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Two words come to mind when listening to the deluxe edition of Speak, the latest from New York singer-songwriter Marla Mase: variety and confidence. Throughout this record these two traits complement each other, and Mase has them in spades. They work together to produce one of the most eclectic and exciting albums this reviewer has yet heard in 2013. — more

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Grown Up Avenger Stuff: Alive

on January 16, 2013

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What is it about superheroes and late ’90s alternative rock? — more

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Tom Dyer: I Ain’t Blue Anymore

on January 11, 2013

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Comparing Seattle singer-songwriter Tom Dyer to Tom Waits might seem like an easy trap to fall into, but it’s an apt relation nonetheless. On his eighth album I Ain’t Blue Anymore, Dyer embraces the spirit the legendary singer across 13 tracks, but don’t let bad experiences with Waits wannabes sour you here. Importantly, Dyer manages not to rely on moody doom-and-gloom like so many others who follow in those footsteps. A key element here, maybe the best part of the record, is the whimsy with which Dyer approaches this recording. Despite potentially dour subjects, Dyer (what a name, by the way) is having fun here. Listeners will too. — more

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Joan Torres’s All is Fused: Before

on January 08, 2013

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If you don’t come from a jazz background (or at least a background of enjoying jazz) you might not find much to grab onto with Before, the debut album from San Juan, Puerto Rico quintet Joan Torres’s All is Fused (yep, that’s the whole name of the group. Is that name a pun on the jazz fusion genre? The world may never know). Then again, you might be surprised by how truly enjoyable some of this is regardless of your music pedigree. — more

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Mutt’s Company: Jump Ship

on January 07, 2013

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On their six-song debut EP Jump Ship, Copenhagen quartet Mutt’s Company proudly brandishes a love of all things rock & roll. From Beatlesesque bombast to Americana to nitty-gritty blues, the songs on this record feel like a homage to the last 50 years of popular music. That’s not to say that anything on here feels stale; all of these influences are aptly mixed up and represented by this four-piece. — more

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Chords of Truth: Reflections of Reality

on December 07, 2012

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Here are three things you ought to know about folk act Chords of Truth’s Reflections of Reality remixed double-LP:

1. The 26 tracks on here represent various electronic collaborators’ interpretations of an original 7. If you do the math, that means you’re going to hear each track on Chords of Truth’s initial release between 3-4 times. — more

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Arc & Stones: Arc & Stones EP

on December 03, 2012

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Above all else, the self-titled debut EP from Brooklyn, NY duo Arc & Stones is a solid rock record. It’s the kind of music your friends who hate “indie rock” spend their nights craving. These five tracks run a range of styles and emotions that recall a great alternative/hard rock band in their prime. These guys would have been huge in the late ’90s. — more

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