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Album Reviews
Monday, Sept. 27, 2010

Metafiction (Armoury Records)

A dark new breed of progressive rock has emerged in recent years, marked by doomy atmospherics and strong emotion, and starring such bands as Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Riverside and Anathema. Now add to that growing list Poland’s Votum, whose second album, Metafiction, practically defines the subgenre’s...
Album Reviews
Monday, Sept. 20, 2010

Common Ground (Provogue)

In press materials accompanying his latest album, Common Ground, singer/guitarist Walter Trout claims that “I’ve almost created my own genre.” While a comment like that smacks of narcissism, it’s also tough to argue. Over the course of two decades and 19 albums, the former member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers...
Album Reviews
Friday, Aug. 27, 2010

Intriguer (Fantasy/Concord Music Group)

Crowded House’s second post-reunion album—an elegant, mostly laid-back affair—finds the band continuing to eschew its earlier mainstream appeal and write serious alternative-pop songs for grown-ups...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

This Can’t Be My Life (Wrong Records)

California-based singer-songwriter Ruth Gerson is the archetype of today’s creative do-it-yourself artist. A single mom, vocal coach, music producer and inventor of The Singingbelt—a bio-feedback device created to help teach singers diaphragmatic breath support, the proceeds of which she says “make it possible to be...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010

The Forever Endeavor

Some bands simply evolve more than others. Over six years and three albums, The Mighty Short Bus has come barreling out of Madison, touring the Midwest as one of the city’s hardest-working DIY groups while consistently redefining its sound...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 26, 2010

Couldn’t Stand the Weather—Legacy Edition (Epic/Legacy)

It’s been two decades since Stevie Ray Vaughan, a swaggering blues revivalist with a thick and recognizable style, played his final concert at Alpine Valley on Aug. 26, 1990. He then jumped into a helicopter that crashed minutes after takeoff and killed everyone onboard...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 19, 2010

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Steamhammer/SPV)

Irish rockers The Answer enjoyed recent success in the United States with a retro, Led Zeppelin sound. Now, The Answer’s fellow countrymen in Glyder hope American listeners are craving more throwback rock. Glyder proudly worships at the altar of Thin Lizzy—and, in fact, made its public debut in 2004 at...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Draw Down the Moon (Cleopatra Records)

Ronnie James Dio spawned countless imitators—musically, vocally and lyrically. And if imitation is, indeed, the sincerest form of flattery, then Pittsburgh’s Icarus Witch—a veteran under-the-radar metal band that opened for the Dio-fronted Heaven & Hell last year—may have unwittingly released one of the finest...
Album Reviews
Monday, June 7, 2010

Assassination in the Hashish Cathedral (Hikikomori Records)

William Kopecky may have relocated from Racine to France, but as one-half of the duo Haiku Funeral, he arguably makes the most sinister-sounding music ever linked to Wisconsin. Sure, his work in Yeti Rain, Far Corner, Snarling Adjective Convention and the eponymous trio Kopecky has always been dark, but the...