Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 21

We are all about the guitars on this Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode!  Our first album drops all “kind” of riff and fuzz in a clever hard rock grunge atmosphere.  This one reaches deep dark grooves with some crank and angst.  Then there’s that feeling you get when you just can’t shake a groove, pace, and realize it’s infected everything, locked you in, sonically tickled you all over, and then embarrassingly enough left you smiling ear to ear.  We knew we wouldn’t be disappointed, and neither will any of the fans of years past that have waited eleven since their last.  Finally, we explored an unusual duo from different eras coming face to face (bass to axe) with how their guitars can become the rhythm, the trick, or the acoustic palette of their vocal arrangements!  I know, you’re ready to drop d, get your wah wahs out, strum it, or whammy that bar!  Yeah, you already realize I’m an appreciator of God’s musical handle — not a player!  Wish I was, but thanks to these three Album Review Saturdays apostles of the amped up stringed instrument, I am born again and again!


Kind – Close Encounters

Our closest encounter yet this year with the bombasticism of riff magic!  Huh?  There are so many tracks on Kind’s new record that have such heavy hitting, elongated hard riffs that you might tap out at first!  Ripplemusic’s knows they’ve got a burner, here, so they’ll send you smelling salts with the record!  You think Metallica laid it on thick, you’re right!  But, Kind makes it massive (oh – song title there, correctly chosen), and uses every inch of sound for the power grab (oh – shit they did it again – great song title), all while being very aware of the need to gather up and reach for more pace!  They realize what it is to be free (oh – they’re too good — song title again) in battling of fuzz and shred and solo!  The layers work, even within the stoner, Alice-n-Chains-like low vocal harmonies and the delivery of the lead vocal.  It will take you time to find the impression and message of lyrics just because of the overall crushing guitar work, sonic solos, and awesome hard rhythms.  There’s even a little space rock in this all, too!  Great ride for those that love their fuzz cranked to 10, delivered and lingering long after the last song, cooly called ‘Pacino’ sonically ends.  And you realize — damn — those boys are having some fun on those guitars, I’m surprised they stopped.

The Band

  • Matt Couto (ex-Elder) – Drums, Percussion
  • Tom Corino (ex-Rozamov) –  Bassist
  • Craig Riggs (Roadsaw) –  vocalist
  • Darryl Shepard (ex-Black Pyramid) –  Guitarist

Close Encounters Tracklisting

  1. Burn Scar
  2. Favorite One
  3. Black Yesterday
  4. Snag
  5. Massive
  6. Power Grab
  7. Of the Ages
  8. What It Is To Be Free
  9. Pacino


The Hives – The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons

The Hives are back! And they’re not only making a grand entrance or return, they’re nailing their usual routine, and sticking the staccato guitar work landing! This record does not take a breath, but it’s enormous in it’s clever lyricism, poignant delivery timings, so as to completely engage you beyond what you were expecting! I love the band, but I’ve never been this excited about a record of theirs after a listen, and after the second listen, I’m still having a gloriously good time with it! You will, too! Right when you see the tracklist, you know you’re in for it, and they don’t disappoint right off the bat with Bogus Operandi, where they quickly in the first line acknowledge their long departure from the making of albums. But, once that’s settled in a second, who cares! Moving on, and rapidly, the album quickly throws your ears into a wonderful rabbit hole of wholesome sonic guitar work, brat-fused romping lines, and kick as rhythms. Watch you time here, because they don’t linger long, and this isn’t going to take all day. It’s fulfilling, like a certain lustful one act play! We’re orgasming — you will, too! Oh, we didn’t talk about this, Randy Fitzsimmons! Who cares, but it might count against them slightly at time of possibly being one of the best albums of 2023 (lore shmore). They could have named the album, “Here’s 12 Songs We Thought Were Ok,” and we’d still be pumped! For fans of The Stooges’ ‘Funhouse’ swagger (no production issues here), Jet like energy, with some Louis XIV sassafras flicked like Emeril’s essence.

The Band

  • Chris Dangerous – Drums
  • Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist – Vocals
  • The Johan and Only – Bass Guitar
  • Nicholaus Arson – Guitar
  • Vigilante Carlstroem – Guitar

The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons Tracklisting

1. “Bogus Operandi”
2. “Trapdoor Solution”
3. “Countdown to Shutdown”
4. “Rigor Mortis Radio”
5. “Stick Up”
6. “Smoke & Mirrors”
7. “Crash Into the Weekend”
8. “Two Kinds of Trouble”
9. “The Way the Story Goes”
10. “The Bomb”
11. “What Did I Ever Do to You?”
12. “Step Out of the Way”



Suzi Quatro/KT Tunstall – Face To Face

Oh, don’t even think about dissing or dismissing this record! This one is not just some side project. These two were meant to do this! Their vocal styles, timing, impeccable mesh of bass and electric guitars is a match made in rock-n-roll, glam-folk radio heaven! If this isn’t played, acknowledge on radio, then it’s as dead and dumb as we already think it is, and the hope for Beyond Your Radio to be more successful is possible every single day! Suzie’s legendary 70’s bass lines and rocker vocal delivery seem completely as cool here as they were 50 years ago (is that right — double-check, yep). We already know the “Black Horse and A Cherry Tree” root rocker well enough, and we have followed her every album of her journey, which has been very cool, too, and this one is no misstep! These two women from different generations seem to have a true, rooted rock connection and technical style to put together a strong set of songs, exploring and entire canvas of root rock, hint of folk and rough-pop (yeah, I’m coining a new genre — accessible pop songs without the filters, autotune, and production corrections–sue me). While we start off at that comfort adult-contemporary with ‘Shine A Light’ there’s nothing but development, movement, and dynamite musicianship in not only guitar and bass guitar, but beautiful accompaniment piano as well. Between Tunstall’s alt-edge and Quatro’s straight-ahead raw steady rock the album is a gritty, attention worthy, rock pop recording that should be in your ear! Hey, if you like Melissa Etheridge, Lucinda Williams, and Patti Rothberg (there’s a name from the past), you need get this album in your ear or on your stereo on vacation right now!  Oh, Happy Days (okay – we went there) this is a record
to share!

The Band

  • Suzi Quatro – Vocals, Bass Guitar
  • KT Tunstall – Vocals, Electric Guitar
  • Musician information was sparse — really wanted to know who’s playing the those keys.

Face To Face Tracklisting

  1. Shine A Light
  2. Face to Face
  3. Scars
  4. Good Kinda Hot
  5. If I Come Home
  6. Damage
  7. Overload
  8. Illusion
  9. Truth As My Weapon
  10. The Ladies Room
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