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Album Review: Purple – (409)

Purple - (409)2015 has not even started yet and here I am listening to a band I’ve never heard of before thinking to myself how deserving they are to drop on my best of 2015 list.

I know, I know, maybe I need to chill out a bit.  In all honesty though, I am dead serious about how much I enjoyed this act.

What would happen if you took Brodie Dalle (Distillers) and asked her to join the White Stripes with the soul purpose of mimicking 90s Sub Pop acts prior to the turn of the century?

Purple.

I speak not of the color, but of the boy-girl-boy Texas trio that literally has caught me off guard in a good good way.  They call their sound party rock and I could not agree more.

In January, Purple drops their debut (409) on Pias Recordings.  It is tough for me to even think that this is their first album given how well put together it sounds.

“Wallflower” started things off with a Detroit rock sound.  It was tough to gauge this band until about the halfway mark and suddenly I was loving what I heard.

“Leche Loco” carried an amazing similarity to 90s acts like Dinosaur Jr. and Bikini Kill as well as even good ol’ Jane’s Addiction.

“Beach Buddy” was a catchy track that was like a morph between Used Kids, The Strokes, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  This fun beach jam was amazing.  I loved the back and forth singing between Hanna Brewer and Taylor Busby only for them to join together.

“Thirteen” was like Joan Jett met a hardcore version of The Faint.  Damn, this song was nuts.  I loved it.  The quick breakdowns and the heavy guitars with distorted vocal notes.  The video for it was even more insane.

“Target” had Brewer singing like a young Gwen Stefani and Juliana Hatfield but not without adding her own force in.  “Head On The Floor” continued with I am hoping the next song to be plastered all over the radio.  This track reeked of 90s alt-rock and was extremely enjoyable thanks to that Weezer bass riff.

With more of a blues rock feel, “Newborn” slowed things down a bit.  I felt this track proved how much talent this band holds.  Dan Auerbach, maybe you need to hit these kids up over Danger Mouse next time.  Seriously though, this tune was impressive.

“I like to party and ear a bikini” started off the final song “DMT”, a gritty punk jam that was heavy on the distortion and reverb.  Not sure how this will come off but, it is so nice to hear new music take queue from classic punk and alt-rock sounds from my younger years.

This album was full of wholesome pop-garage-punk-rock goodness with some  psychedelic flavor and even a little riot grrl-ish making for a truly refreshing listen.   If anything though, most of all, it was freaking fun.

This band is going places.  I know it.

The best part about this release?  It drops on my birthday.

The Brokedowns - Life Is A Breeze

Album Review: The Brokedowns – Life Is A Breeze

The Brokedowns - Life Is A BreezeLots can be said about punk act The Brokedowns by this music lover.

First, The Brokedowns released an amazing album years ago that I still listen to often, so chances are, this review may show light favoritism.  Secondly, they rule…tons.  Lastly, they have not released an album in at least 4 years, so this is something worth getting excited about.

I learned of The Brokedowns back in 2009 when I was flipping through 45s at Blue Arrow Records.  I picked up a split 7″ with them and Turkish Techno on it and totally made a blind buy having no idea what to expect.  I remember spinning the crap out of that 45.  I loved what both bands had to offer.

The Brokedowns hail from Elgin, Illinois and have been creating their own melodic punk rock since at least 2002.  They have definitely matured over the years and have mastered their sound throughout their time but without losing their unique charm.

“Joliet, The Maui Of The Midwest” started the album off with a gracious and humorous nod to their hometown area.  This song was a straight up jam with a heavy dose of gang vocal opportunities at the end.

Title track “Life Is A Breeze” was a drum hitting, screaming, killer song that was ever so poppy and melodic yet kept that punk edge to it.  I loved how this song was just about dealing with the surroundings and admitting things are not that bad.

“Murder Junkie/CPA” was a pop punk jam that to me sounded like a mix of Low Culture and Iron Chic.  There was a garage rock sound with the punk vibe that just made this track stand out over the others.

“Everything Is Immoral” was brutal.  I loved everything about this track, especially the group harmony just past the halfway mark.  It fit so perfectly.  I just wish I knew what that intro clip was from.  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Without trying to talk about every track on this album, I have to mention how much I loved “Born On The Bayou Too”.  The track alone was one of the best on the album.  I loved the quick breakdowns and just 90s reminiscant guitar playing.

“Cash For Gold” was a quick fun track, but the video for it was beyond freaking hilarious.  The music video titled  GG and Merle Get Jobs was more of a short film with “Cash For Gold” playing throughout.  A true ode to not only crust brothers GG and Merle Allen, but also to Looney Tunes.  The black and white was a nice touch, especially with assisting removing the brown.  Scroll down to see what I am talking about.  The song was bad ass thanks to the  typical Brokedowns flavor throughout I have grown to dig.

For a second there I thought “God Hates Math” was a lost Ween track as it extended from the prior track “I Respect Your Right To Always Be Wrong About Everything” but soon just ignited.

I hope “Keep Branson Weird” was about Sir Branson.  I met that dude once in Baltimore.  True story.  He was nice, but so weird.

Anyways…

Closing the album down was “A Child’s Guide To Black Metal”, a song that may have been toned down a bit versus the others starting ups, but still just awesome, especially once things picked up.

The end of this track left me wanting a copy of the vinyl as backwards lines repeated over seagulls and I am just dying to play the record backwards just to make out what is being said.  A true cliffhanger if you ask me.

This is one memorable album by an amazing group of dudes throughout.  I really hope more people than me are so over-excited about what I just heard.  It rules and is not to be missed.

Head on over to Red Scare Industries and pick up a copy or two.

As promised, here is the video I made mention of earlier.  It’s not exactly a safe for work video.  To make it tamer, let’s just say them boys have really oily hands…  Don’t say I did not warn you.  Enjoy!

Tim Barry

Album Review: Tim Barry – Lost & Rootless

Tim Barry - Lost & RootlessIt’s no lie, Tim Barry just dropped one of my favorite albums of 2014.

After hearing it just one time through, I had no choice but to make an immediate edit to my best of 2014 post.  I was blown away.

Lost & Rootless, Barry’s fifth studio release as a solo artist, is the best thing I’ve heard from him to date.

The Richmond, VA folk crooner is one of the most talented music writers I consider myself a fan of and he just further proved that to me with his latest effort.  To say he is on top of his game is a complete understatement.

Barry, on his website, said the sound to his latest release could be described as “Wooden.”  He stated “that’s the feel that I was going for when I picked the songs. There’s violin, voice, a wooden resonator guitar…there’s a very subtle electric bass on one track, but otherwise I wanted to do a wooden record.”

“Wooden” is the perfect description when you think about it.

Hiding out in a backyard shed with his sister and pal Josh Small, Barry recorded Lost & Rootless with no time frame  and no worries at all. The result is a tireless release that I have listened to over and over and found myself enjoying more so than the last listen.

One thing I adore about Barry is his storytelling abilities.  In Lost & Rootless, Barry doesn’t hold back with his tales that do not necessary have a theme to them but certainly reach back to other stores of past albums.  There is no concept to be heard and to be honest, I think Barry and crew just recorded whatever was on their mind.

Starting the album off was “No News From North”.  This was actually taken from Barry’s Laurel Street Demos, but re-recorded just as he has done with other selections. I loved the rendition of this song from its original. It sounded so much more homely and emotional.

“Poppa’s Porch” had me thinking of Barry on his front porch with his wife and kids singing to them on a weekend morning. This song told a story about the neighborhood that surrounds said porch full of fisticuffs and shenanigans. This was overall such a friendly track to listen to. It was like Cheers, but different.

“All My Friends” painted such a beautiful picture of who Barry surrounds himself with. This was a very old-timey sounding story about people who took to the streets for entertainment and communication.

I can honestly say I know exactly what “Breathe Slow Let ‘Em Pass” was all about. My rebel youth recalled those days when the law passed me by and I turned into stone until they were far away only to release a tightly held in breath. This track was amazing based on the idea of it.

The cover of “Clay Pigeons” by the late and great Blaze Foley was just amazing to listen to. Having just learned about the Austin musician myself, I can understand why Barry chose to record his own version of the song.

The somber story told in “Solid Gone” reflected hard times with family and finances and the outlawed methods to make things manageable resulting in further calamity. I can not say I have heard a song quite like this before and found myself captivated throughout it. This is one track I think everyone needs to check out on this album.

“Lela Days” was clearly written for Barry’s daughter. I have the feeling she loves it when he sings this song to her. It is a fun folky jam with real life expectations hidden within.

I can not tell you the number of times that I thought to myself how much I enjoy Tim Barry’s music.  This is coming from a aging punk rocker who has matured just a bit but still has a lot of growing up to do.  It’s nice to see that I still get excited about things.

By now, it shouldn’t matter that Tim Barry once was in Avail.  Even though his former punk act will always be one of my favorites, it is perfectly clear why Barry has moved on and started something he can call his own.

It’s no wonder he has no plans of ever getting Avail back together, his new direction just makes so much sense and does not seem to be going off track.  He has been going strong for 10 years and I hope to hell he has no intention of slowing down.

Watch This: Chris Stowe – “Blood Drinkers”

My pals over at Cleveland’s Turnstyle Films have been so busy as of late.  I love seeing what they are working on via social media and Instagram.

Needless to say, I was aware of their involvement with Chris Stowe a while back and have been looking forward to this video for a while now.

Finally I had the chance to catch it today.  Now it is your turn:

This video is visually stunning and goes perfectly with Stowe’s somber song that pushes on a certain relationship to the final strand.

Turnstyle Films has really outdone themselves with this video.

Stowe’s debut, Hollow, dropped just this past June of this year via A-F Records and remains one of my favorite releases of 2014.

Watch This: Acollective’s Clever New Video For “Breakapart”

I can’t say I am the biggest fan of Acollective as their music is not typically the style I get into, but they’ve totally captured my attention with their recently released video for “Breakapart”.

Acollective

The video is a clever and humorous homage being paid to the only way music should ever be listened to.  The track itself is pretty catchy too.

Check it out:

I loved the quick Pantera shot.  That was hilarious and unexpected.