Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 2

On this Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 2, we take on three albums from our music multiverse travels! They range from garage crunch feedback rockers, to a challenging jazz instrumental reaching through space and time, to a cold ass blues record! So, without further build up, lets take you into these three very different albums and see if there’s something that might be for you to sink your ears into!

Purling Hiss – Drag On Girard

I’m a young adult of the 90’s music scene, and it was the definite time for grunge and garage rock.  It always seemed like the vocals didn’t have to be all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips.  They just had to keep pace with the crunching guitars and deliver the lyrics in a middle-class, “we’re all in this together” style. Hopefully, you understand what I’m talking about, so that when I give you Purling Hiss, and their new record “Drag On Girard,” you give it the intended spin it deserves. Just do your thing, let it all hang out, and your thirty-eight minutes is good sonic, crunchy guitar fest that feels real and raw at times even hinging on the Crazy Horse, which is what caught my ear (check out the title track).  A special thank you to Kurt Vile, who seems to have been influential on getting Mr. Polizze to form a band and get this garage guitar feedback on the live stage!

The band:

Mike Polizze – vocals, guitars (multi-instrumentalist)
Kiel Everett – bass
Ben Leaphart – drums

Drag On Girard Track Listing:

1. Yer All In My Dreams
2. Something In My Basement
3. Baby
4. Out The Door
5. When The End Is Over
6. Stay With Us
7. Drag On Girard
8. Shining Gilded Boulevard


Mats Gustafsson & Joachim Nordwall – Their Power Reached Across Time and Space – To Defy Them Was Death or Worse

When you cross over into avant garde instrumental ambient, if you will, it is a dedicated listen. The instrumentalists, producers, soloists, and composers that live or jump in and out of this environment have a tenacity for experimentation with instruments and how their sound(s) might actually mimic that of living things, moods, emotions, and even color.  I know, I might have lost you on that last one, but just think of John Coltrane and Miles Davis and how their sound has color, and you have an idea hear (yes that’s not a typo).  They all tell some sort of story, from the recently popular feeling of trapped at home (COVID), or in this instance a space novel.  This album from Mats Gustafsson & Joachim Nordwall and company is an abstract invention with all kinds of creep, hollow, and eerie that you can feel from your ears to your toes.  Yes, you can hear the breathing on this one with purposeful intent.  What’s best about this, is knowing the list of instruments their using, and how they nailed this “Their Power Reached Across Space and Time – To Defy Them Was Death or Worse” album in gripping fashion.

The band:

Mats Gustafsson – saxophone, fluteophone, flute, clarinet
Joachim Nordwall – electronic musician
Anthony Braxton – multi-instrumentalist, composer
Richard Teitelbaum– synthesizer

Their Power Reached Across Space and Time – To Defy Them Was Death or Worse Track Listing:

1. There Are Some Worlds Where All Dreams Die
2. The Day of Days Was There
3. Love Shows in Her Smile: It Is Confident
4. Their New Life Was Their Final Life
5. Birdbrain
6. His Fingers, Moving in the Air, Produced a Soft Organ-Like Music
7. Oh, Said the Strange Mind, You Want Me to Think for You
8. Her Eyes…Were Like Cold Fires (slut)

The Cold Stares – Voices

Do you like your blues rock straight down the line?  Gritty.  Delivered raw, plastered in riff, and sung the same way?!  “Voices” from The Cold Stares gets this done and done and a little bit more! You know it from the first first lick, and if you’re a blues lover the tones and rhythm of this band’s newest is going to be a favorite in your car, headset, and stereo.  Familiarity is flavored here with a good front man, electric blues guitars that hints at all the eras without feeling like a copy or a shell, even when they’re doing a Nina Simone cover.  This is vintage and modern (as other’s have said in reviews), and that’s what makes it blues listening magic for 2023, and a definite listen for those that love the blues and all the avenues it’s been down and has wound itself around.

The band:

Chris Tapp – vocals, guitars
Brian Mullins – drums
Bryce Klueh – bass

Voices Track Listing:

1. Nothing But The Blues
2. Come For Me
3. The Joy
4. Lights Out
5. Got No Right
6. Sorry I Was Late
7. Voices
8. Waiting On The Rain
9. Sinnerman  (Nina Simone Cover)
10. Throw That Stone
11. It’s Heavy
12. Thinking About Leaving Again
13. The Ghost


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