Posts Tagged: "Music Reviews"

RECORD REVIEW: Twin Fin- Whiskey, Wine and Venom Love (Indie)

Dave Clarke - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DAVE CLARKE twinfinWith so many rockabilly/psychobilly bands out there, it’s refreshing to hear a band latching on to the swing roots of rock.  Taking a page from the orchestras of Louis Jordan and Wynonie Harris, the band comes on full force, with the opener Jungle Room with its big beat, swinging sax and Dana Hartman’s belted-out vocal. The guitar lives up to its ‘axe’ nickname as Paul Wickerson whips through a wonderfully choppy guitar solo. More jazz chops are revealed on the next track, Devil Girl Stomp, which features some hot guitar/sax interplay that continues on one of the best tracks, Long Gone Daddy, with a great vocal by Dana and some nice call-and-response vocal support from the boys.
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Steve Stunning, Punk Rock Soldier (Speed City Records)

Dave Clarke - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DAVE CLARKE stunningsoldierreviewMayoralty candidate, club owner, frontman for London Music Hall of Fame band 63 Monroe, Steve Stunning has done it all, except for a solo album – that is until now with the release of Punk Rock Soldier.   And no he hasn’t pulled a Rod Stewart and got all mellow and Broadway show tuney. It’s pure unadulterated punk rock, from the initial blast of the title song.

Is it much different than his work with 63 Monroe . . . ? Not one bit, with backing from long-time Monroe bassist Pete Dekoker and drums by the late Jeff Depew, and songs about prostitutes, partying, blood and bad attitudes.  But that’s what we wanted anyway.  There’s still hints of the New York Dolls, especially on Tattoo (“Woo hoo look at you”) and his belligerent sense of humour is as strident as ever. Check out Fukk the Radio which starts with some Homer Simpson-like complaining as he flicks through the radio stations.
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Miley Cyrus, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz (Self-Released)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

HUGH Miley-Cyrus-and-her-dead-Petz-2015-AlternateIn 1992 pop country, potato-faced crooner Billy Ray Cyrus disseminated one of the most cringe-inducing chart-smashers of all time, Achy Breaky Heart. To merely call it a hit downplays both the song’s inescapable ubiquity and the appalling taste in art displayed by a populace that went gaga for the horrid thing. Not so much a song as a cultural happening, it was inescapable, and its influence spread like the disease that it was. It spawned an unnecessary yet fervent interest in line dancing, a formerly sacred communal dance held in high regard by true country fans which was now being co-opted by suburbanites in a desperate bid to draw closer to their mulleted, dead-eyed leader, Billy Ray Cyrus.

But Achy Breaky Heart wasn’t the only lamentable atrocity Cyrus spawned that year; he also sired a child, Destiny Hope Cyrus (barf). Over the years, Billy Ray failed to re-connect with the radio in any meaningful way, and without his sermon being played on the hour, people eventually broke free of his spell, shedding their Cyrus cult garb of K-Mart-bought Wranglers and Chinese-made, synthetic cowboy hats. While it was easy for most folks to clean their closet of any suggestion of Cyrus’ influence, what proved more difficult was trying to erase the shameful memories of participating in line dances with other deeply confused yuppies. You can’t just turn your back on your past and pretend it didn’t happen, and for most the difficulty of coming to terms with the horror head-on proved too much and they tried to bury it. Some fell back into old patterns a couple years later with Los Del Rio’s Macarena. All the while young Destiny Hope grew under her father’s strict tutelage, for he had a more sinister plan, and one that would prove to be more enduring than phase one of Cyrus’ world domination. Continue Reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Westminster Park, Weather the Storm (Indie)

Dave Clarke - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DAVE CLARKE Westminster ParkWeather the Storm is the third release from the husband and wife duo of Steve and Colleen Murphy. This one, their best so far, sees some big changes, in the addition of cellist Suzanne Morrison, which nicely expands their sound heading the band into the chamber pop category. The album saw the band weathering a few storms themselves, recorded in a draughty Chatham schoolhouse in March of this year, produced and engineered by Ben Srokosz. The other big change is a new confidence, evident in both the vocals and song writing. The theme of overcoming life’s adversities prevails as well as a general appreciation of London itself, especially on the tracks Victoria, not the Kinks’ song but an original love ode to Victoria Park and on the beautiful love song, Ghost of Eldon House with Steve and Colleen trading lead and background vocals.  Lead and background vocals are split between the couple on the various tracks, with Colleen shining on tracks New Pair of Shoes, Still Lonely and Voices, and Steve reminding me of Magnetic Fields on the title track, and doing an outstanding job on Help Me Out with Colleen’s ethereal backing vocal, Coma with its wash of synths and the album’s closer United Wave.  The album gets a September release and there will be an official launch party at thePalace Theatre’s Procunier Hall on October 3rd.
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MONDO PHONO: Leonard Nimoy, The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy (Dot Records)

Dave Clarke - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DAVE CLARKE Spock and Roll Leonard NimoyThe follow up recording to Nimoy’s Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space features a Spock side and a Nimoy side.  The Spock side or pointy-eared side starts with Highly Illogical (no relation to Supertramp’s Logical Song), is a jaunty number that portrays the quirky side of us pesky humans, including our love of automobiles with all sorts of gadgets and yet you can’t find a parking space . . . how illogical. Other Spocky highlights include the spoken word The Difference Between Us, the Vulcan bad memory of the time he fell in love, Once I Smiled, and Spock’s Thoughts, a bit of Vulcan philosophy totally ripped off from Les Crane’s spoken word hit Desiderata.

This is full of fortune cookie witticisms and is rather hard to dance to. By Myself is an introspective number about being the only Vulcan in an Earthling world and it’s followed by the motivational Follow Your Star.   The Spock side ends on a high note with Amphibious Assault, a spoken word tale of intergalactic battle. Continue Reading

B-SIDES THE POINT: Cat Stevens, Crab Dance (A&M)

Dave Clarke - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DAVE CLARKE Cat Stevens crabdanceIn the days of Top Forty radio when singles ruled the airwaves, a 45 would have an A or plug side and a B side that was usually a less commercial or throwaway track, but sometimes they would get it all wrong and the flipside would sport the better tune. Sometimes a savvy DJ would play the B side and that’s how we got hits like Kiss’ Beth (B side of Detroit Rock City), Unchained Melody (B side of the Righteous Brothers’ Hung on You) and Rain (B side of the Beatles’ Paperback Writer) as hits.
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Allison Brown, Stitches and Incisions (Indie)

Dave Clarke - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DAVE CLARKE Allison Brown Stitches and IncisionsThe long awaited follow up to Allison’s 2010 release Viper at the Virgin’s Feet features a fuller sound and a much darker lyrical bent. The album opens with Model Railroad Town, an interesting metaphor with some nice fiddle work from Lonesome Lefty and of course Allison’s true clear voice. The next track, Invisible Line, a tale of cross border romance is a slow starter but totally wins you over with a killer chorus and some nice mandolin from Allison’s touring partner Uncle Dan Henshall. Now, if we were in a world of Top 40 radio, the next track, All Our Emergencies, would be the hit single, a fantastic driving tune with subtly echoed vocals and a killer guitar solo by Scotty Hughes.
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Mark Knopfler, Tracker (Mercury)

A.V.Père - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

HERMAN KNOPFLER TRACKER CD (1)Mark Knopfler’s post-Dire Straits career – eight superb solo albums, about as many soundtracks, collaborations with folks like Chet Atkins and Emmy Lou Harris – has been a most encouraging thing to witness, in contrast to so many ageing rockers (Knopfler turns 66 this year) who court humiliation and disappointment by struggling to keep bashing out the same sort of music that first brought them fame. The Straits could rock with the best of them but never went in for the sort of raucous flamboyance and ‘hope I die before I get old’ gestures that have precluded other artists’ hopes of maturing gracefully. Acknowledged as one of the finest guitar pickers on the planet since Sultans of Swing conquered the airwaves in 1977 (routinely, he doesn’t use a pick, giving him at least three more points of contact with his strings than the average rock player), Knopfler’s style has always been one of comparative restraint. He has long understood that the impression of power is even greater if you hold something in reserve. Continue Reading

Refused, Freedom (Epitaph)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

BW Refused (1)With a mighty reputation to uphold, there was a lot at stake for Freedom. Breaking up as their 1997 The Shape of Punk to Come continued to roll on and inspire, challenge and awe countless punk rock fans, Refused have reformed, lost a guitarist and following a much-hyped reunion tour, issued their first album of new material in 18 years. Still angry, screamy and Swedish, the band ably picks up where they left off with Shape, fusing unorthodox elements into a progressive punk record maintaining the energy and bite that has made them such an enduring outfit. Freedom won’t disappoint fans who for years were convinced these guys would never return to a studio, and were rightfully skeptical when they heard they did. Continue Reading

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