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Album Reviews
Monday, Sept. 13, 2010

Joan of Arc

Playing guitar while singing in a soft, emotionally resonant voice, Milwaukee’s Peggy James adds her own touches to a familiar niche. Her music flits between rockabilly, alt-country, vintage R&B, blues and adult contemporary influences. That diversity could either be James’ strength or weakness, depending on the fate...
Album Reviews
Monday, Sept. 13, 2010

Indivisible (Tea Party)

The rock of Milwaukee group 2MorroW EvR AfteR resides somewhere on the blurry line separating ’70s glam pop and harder, hairier ’80s glam metal, as guitarist Stacy Maloney and his mates straddle the styles of The Sweet and Guns N’ Roses. As ought to be with such a band, their six-song debut EP delivers that...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010

Fair Webber By Request

For their fourth CD, folkie Milwaukeeans Barb & Tom Webber and band eschew originals for a concert album of remakes. With numbers from acts like Barenaked Ladies, Buffalo Springfield and Warren Zevon, the effect resembles an hour of adult alternative radio with sparser acoustic arrangements. The contrast...
Album Reviews
Friday, Aug. 27, 2010

The Reckless Kind

The band’s name may imply that its members are somnambulists, but Green Bay/Milwaukee/Oshkosh trio Ian Olvera & The Sleepwalkers sound wide-awake on their full-length debut. The Reckless Kind finds a comfortable space between cheerful power-pop, ’70s Southern California singer-songwriter confessions...
Album Reviews
Monday, Aug. 23, 2010

Re:Volting (Catlick)

The Germantown punk rock kids of Dairyland Youth have grown up in the 22 years since they first sang of young romance and other youthful adventures. Thankfully for longtime fans, they haven't grown up all that much—and they continue the fun times on their reunion album, Re:Volting. Their hooks may be a little...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Lost Out in the Abyss

Orcha is all over the place, often in listenable ways. The Milwaukee quintet may have jam-band inclinations, but the group keeps things relatively focused on its debut CD. Lost Out in the Abyss mixes New Age acoustic guitars with heavier rock sounds alongside nimble piano and bombastic organ chords...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010

Who Cares?

Milwaukee has long been an on-again, off-again hotbed for what's amorphously defined as punk polka. For a band bereft of a drummer and rich in accordion, Ando & The Jolly Barrels is punkier than most. Andrew "Ando" Ehlers' barbed vocal attack— like a junior Jello Biafra—and handling of the torso-encompassing...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 26, 2010

ReGrooved (Internal Combustion)

The Milwaukee/Kansas City aural sculptors (as Cyberchump calls itself) decided to remix the electro-acoustic amalgamations of their first two CDs. Enter Milwaukee laptop music-maker Janzyk. The collaboration birthed a collection of eccentric ambient and intelligent dance tracks—or, rather, beat-driven...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 26, 2010

Off Beat Clappers and Hip Toe Tappers

Micah Olsan incorporates so many styles into his folkiness it's enough to make one's head spin. And that might be the folkie-funky Milwaukeean's aim on his second CD. Into his intricate acoustic guitar work he integrates classical, jazz and Latin flair to augment what might otherwise be standard coffeehouse picking...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 19, 2010

China Shop Matador

Milwaukee's multicultural funk/disco/rock quintet China Shop Matador revisits the post-punk dance proffered by early ’80s New York City labels such as 99 and ZE, with a healthy appreciation for the edgier accessibility of Prince and Milwaukee's multicultural funk/disco/rock quintet China Shop Matador revisits the post-punk dance proffered by early ’80s New York City labels such as 99 and ZE, with a healthy appreciation for the edgier accessibility of Prince and...