Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 1

Introduction to Album Review Saturdays

Welcome to Album Review Saturdays, here at Beyond Your Radio! This week, as our first posting, please note that the naming of the article and the YouTube Channel Video will always be the episode year and number.  This episode will not have a YouTube Channel viewing, those will start in April, which is not that far off!  Totally excited for that!  What we do here in the article version is showcase two or three albums that might have been new releases this year, or possibly an older album that we’re not just going back to — or might have just have found out we missed!  We don’t score them in a reviewer’s fashion.  That’s your judgment.  We just merely want to expose you to something you may not have known about, or maybe didn’t want to take a chance on.  We want your feedback, of course!  We listen to a ridiculous amount of albums, but we’re not going to get to them all.  We’re obsessed but not insane.  So, this week, we’re going new releases for both, for your review!

Giant Brain – Grade A Gray Day

“Look at the Giant Brain on… Giant Brain!”  This space rock, ambient pulp-fiction (you got the sub-reference right?) concept album hit’s your headphones deep almost immediately, living up to the band’s name.  So check one for the band in score for calculative delivery.  This is an album in the new era of progressive rock that might be considered one to tune your stereo to, as we continue to be impressed by the incoming and outgoing layers of musicianship instrumentally throughout the album!  The composition is fun, inventive, jammy, and progressive as the album flows to climax and falling action (you’ll understand once you listen).  There’s solos a plenty in all the right places and tempos that fit and ranges that work, whether it’s bass or guitar or electronic programming — as if they might have been improved to a certain degree.

The band:

Phil Dürr – guitars, bass (he passed away in 2019 from a cardiac arrest)
Andy Sutton – bass, vocals
Eric Hoegemeyer – drums, keys, programming, synths
Al Sutton – percussion, programming, keys

Grade A Gray Day Track Listing:

1. Munich
2. Terminator: (Where An Astronaut Dies In Space)
3. The Variac: (His Consciousness Reawakens)
4. Fore: (Rage At The Cruelty Of Forced Transhumanism)
5. Systems Failure: (Uprising, Destruction, And The Escape)
6. Between Trains

For Album Review Saturdays listen, and we had no prior experience with this band beside a Twitter call out from KMäNriffs, this one we’re going to remember for a long time!  Lots to enjoy, get lost in, and re-appreciate per listen even in the ambient moments.  The album was released this year 2023.

 

The Bad Ends – The Power and the Glory

So this a real healing, friend driven collaboration of some simply good Athens musicians brought together again, reinvigorated after their long and varied musical journeys, including REM’s Bill Berry.  The record plays like a polished indie-rock gem.  It speaks of experience and genuine fruitful collaboration that lies in the thought of creation and not the money associated with having to actually make a single sound.  They’re does not seem to be a shred of industry pressure, tricks, or radio-dial pretentiousness detracting from their music mission.  The styles range modestly from a very quiet and calculated instrumental that doesn’t go too deep, to more college glory rock that’s a little less anthem based more rhythm driven, to melodic pieces with noticeable lyric shifts that are the real highlight.  The ingredients here seem to be a splash of early REM, stories that feel Crosby Stills Nash, a smudge of Elvis Costello, slide and stringy guitars, and modest well placed crescendos and a solo that lets them show some chops!

The band:

Mike Mantione – Vocals, Guitar
Bill Berry – Drums, Guitar, Electric Sitar
Dave Domizi – Bass, Vocals
Geoff Melkonian – Keyboards, Piano, Guitars, Vocals
Christian Lopez – Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo

The Power and the Glory Track Listing:

1. “Mile Marker 29”
2. “All Your Friends Are Dying”
3. “Left to Be Found”
4. “Thanksgiving 1915”
5. “Ode to Jose”
6. “The Ballad of Satan’s Bride”
7. “Little Black Cloud”
8. “Honestly”
9. “New York Murder Suicide”

This album suits the obscure older type indie-rock listener that likes it not over-worked, delivered in a garage and jangle motif.  Please note that the lyrics become a cool, twisty centerpiece as you go back and listen.  The album was released this year 2023.
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