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Showing posts from June, 2019

Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen - Album Review

The Boss releases his 19th studio album to much acclaim around the internet and, following his universally praised Broadway run, with perhaps more interest and excitement than for a while.

I've already detailed my thoughts on the earlier released "Hello Sunshine", (here), and it left me hoping for his "Nashville Skyline". Whilst it isn't that; there is no "Lay Lady Lay" and it doesn't feature Johnny Cash, it is something else that is both intriguing and has many enjoyable moments. 

A "Western" album rather than "Country & Western", it is as much a departure as were "Nebraska" or "The Seeger Sessions" in their own time. I am a big fan of the use of strings in music, not just for ballads but in rock and even metal, (I consider Metallica's "S&M" to be amongst their finest work). I'm also a resolute defender of "Outlaw Pete", (more on that here), a song which had it been on …

Tuscaloosa by Neil Young & The Stray Gators - Album Review

Shakey's live archive releases continue apace, coming after the excellent "Songs For Judy", (full review here) and the even better "Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live", (full review here). 

This time Neil treats us to excerpts from an Alabama show, (hence the title), from the 1973 tour previously documented on "Time Fades Away". Whilst a commercial success, the tour was fraught due to Young's grief over the drug-induced death of Danny Whitten that led to his masterpieces "Tonight's The Night" and "On The Beach", and his discomfort in translating his sound to the big arenas his success now found him playing. Neil has previously stated that "Time Fades Away" is his worst album. Those of us who have endured "Everybody's Rockin'" or "Landing On Water" might beg to differ....

Anyway another snapshot of that tour emerges here, and an altogether more lighter mood prevails. The autobiographical &…

New Music for May

Yes, it is that time again. Be sure to listen,(and subscribe), to episode 625 of the Rockin' The Suburbs podcast to hear me talking about the new music I've enjoyed in May.

You can find it here, or via your usual podcast supplier.

The music I talk about is:

"Unsainted" by Slipknot


"Drowning In The Sound" by Trivium


"Turn" by The Night Cafe


"Letter To Madeline" by Ian Noe


"Second Hand" by LION


I loved all these songs. Check them out.

Destroyer by Black Mountain - Album Review

The fifth album from Canadian rockers, Black Mountain, a band that I'd not come across before this year, arrives and continues the confounding of expectations that I found in opening track, "Future Shade". I've already eulogised about how much I like that track, here. My thoughts on the rest of the album continue below.

The list of influences is long, from classic rock & metal behemoths Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Iron Maiden to the indie rock of bands like Swell via Berlin-era David Bowie and Depeche Mode. I love the way they use keyboards and guitars to equally powerful effect. 
"Horns Arising" starts by continuing the hard rocking with vocoder vocals and strong keyboard work, before becoming a Mastodon-esque stomper then morphing into sinister but pastoral folk and back again. This is not an album for the faint-hearted, or those of simple tastes. This band takes you on an intense aural journey in the space of one song.

"Closer To The Edge"…