CIVIC: New Vietnam And Singles [Album Review]

CIVICNew Vietnam And SinglesAnti Fade/ATO Records [2023] Melbourne’s CIVIC released their debut EP, New Vietnam, originally in 2018 via Anti Fade Records. It was this EP that caught the attention of Flightless Records (King Gizzard) for their 2021 full-length Future Forecast, which, with their ATO partnership, made its way to the States. This new reissue, … Read more

The Connells: Ring (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) [Classic Album Revisit]

The ConnellsRing (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)Craft Recordings [2023] Released: September 1, 1993/Reissue: May 26, 2023Producer: Lou Giordano | The Connells | Tim HarperLength: 50:15/Reissue: 2:10:00 Released in 1993, The Connells’ album Ring remains a quintessential find of the indie rock scene, showcasing the band’s masterful songwriting and distinctive sound. With its melodic hooks and introspective … Read more

Sonic Youth: Live In Brooklyn 2011 [Album Review]

Sonic YouthLive In Brooklyn 2011Silver Current Records [2023] Sonic Youth will undoubtedly secure their place in the history books due to their profound influence on the alternative and indie music scenes, especially throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Renowned for their sound experimentation, they seamlessly integrated elements of noise, feedback, and unconventional guitar tunings. By challenging … Read more

The Exploding Hearts: Guitar Romantic (Expanded & Remastered) [Classic Album Revisit]

The Exploding HeartsGuitar Romantic (Expanded & Remastered)Third Man Records Released: April 1, 2003/Reissue: May 26, 2023Producer: The Exploding Hearts, Pat KearnsLength: 29:00/Reissue: 38:00 In a world where punk and power pop collide, The Exploding Hearts’ debut album Guitar Romantic emerged as a timeless gem that pays homage to the past while infusing a youthful and … Read more

Robert Vaughn And The Shadows: Love And War (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition) [Album Review]

Robert Vaughn And The ShadowsLove And War (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition)Alternative Records [2023] It’s a story as old as time. Likely all of us have at some point encountered a band, a song, an album that so impressed, so inspired and delighted us that we were convinced that they would soon be the Next Big … Read more

Velvet Crush: Teenage Symphonies To God [Classic Album Revisit]

Velvet CrushTeenage Symphonies To God550 Music/Epic Records Released: July 5, 1994Producer: Mitch Easter, Velvet CrushLength: 46:00 Velvet Crush’s Teenage Symphonies To God is an album that deserves to be held in high esteem by fans of power pop and classic rock alike. Released in 1994, the album is a tour de force of catchy hooks, … Read more

Neutral Milk Hotel: The Collected Works Of Neutral Milk Hotel [Box Set Review]

Neutral Milk HotelThe Collected Works Of Neutral Milk HotelMerge Records [2023] Neutral Milk Hotel made two modest lo-fi releases in the mid to late 90’s that over time proved far more influential as the band’s cult status grew in spite of singer/songwriter Jeff Mangum’s reclusive radio silence. Loosely described as psychedelic folk and indie rock, … Read more

OVENS: OVENS [Album Review]

OVENSOVENSTankcrimes [2022] I believe that our faithful TFN followers know the catchy sounds of Tony Molina and hopefully checked out his Headphone Approved release this year titled In The Fade. What you might not know is that Tony has played in about 14 bands. That is a lot to keep up with and tracking down … Read more

Guided By Voices: Scalping The Guru [Album Review]

Guided By VoicesScalping The GuruGBV Inc. [2022] If you were to poll fans of Guided By Voices what they thought were three consecutive years that highlight the sweet spot of recordings from the band, 1993-1995 would be one of the top answers. One obvious reason of course is that the classic LPs Bee Thousand (1994) … Read more

Lou Reed: Words & Music, May 1965 [Album Review]

Lou ReedWords & Music, May 1965Light In The Attic Records [2022] The standard rock critic cliché often attributed to Brian Eno—he of early Roxy Music fame who went on to collaborate/produce albums with Robert Fripp, David Bowie, and U2 among many others, and a respected creator of experimental/ambient music—states that “The first Velvet Underground album … Read more

Tall Dwarfs: Unravelled 1981-2002 (Box Set) [Album Review]

Tall DwarfsUnravelled: 1981 – 2002 (Box Set)Merge Records [2022] Curiously, I’ve come across a number of American bands who might have 3 albums in their catalog even though they’re playing to small crowds here at home, yet their bio suggests that they’re “big in New Zealand.” Well, Tall Dwarfs are actually a New Zealand band … Read more

Ghost Funk Orchestra: Night Walker / Death Waltz [Album Review]

Ghost Funk OrchestraNight Walker/Death WaltzColemine/Karma Chief Records [2022] Before they became firm Fire Note favorites with their first two full-length albums (2019’s Song For Paul and 2020’s Ode to Escapism), and before they became a real-life 10-piece outfit blowing audiences out of the water with their live performances, Ghost Funk Orchestra wasn’t really a band. … Read more

Wire: Not About To Die [Album Review]

WireNot About To DiePinkflag [2022] When an unofficial bootleg of this collection of band demos and sonic experiments first surfaced in the early 80’s, we’re told that the members of UK post-punk band Wire were none too pleased. But here, four decades later, with the band – three of the original members still intact – … Read more

Prince: Prince And The Revolution – Live

PrincePrince And The Revolution: LiveLegacy Recordings [2022] The word “genius” probably gets thrown around too loosely when referring to talented pop and rock artists. Even the most successful artists often flow in and out of fashion, often those who’ve produced a recognized “masterpiece,” suffer from the dreaded sophomore curse or move all too soon from … Read more

Three Merry Widows: Which Dreamed It? (30th Anniversary Reissue)

Three Merry WidowsWhich Dreamed It? (30th Anniversary Reissue)Self-Released [2021] At the risk of dating myself, Three Merry Widows was one of the St. Louis bands in that city’s burgeoning original, live music scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s that led to numerous local acts getting major label contrasts. No doubt, the rise of … Read more

The Dream Syndicate: What Can I Say? No Regrets… Out Of The Grey + Live, Demos & Outtakes [Album Review]

The Dream SyndicateWhat Can I Say? No Regrets… Out Of The Grey + Live, Demos & OuttakesFire Records [2022] Ask someone if they know the band Dream Syndicate, and if they were around back in the early 80’s you’ll likely hear something about the Steve Wynn fronted group with the female bass player, Kendra Smith, … Read more

Supergrass: In It For The Money (Expanded Remastered Edition) [Album Review]

SupergrassIn It For The Money (Expanded Remastered Edition)BMG [2021] So when you are signed to Parlophone Records and release the biggest selling debut album for the label since The Beatles’ Please Please Me, I think you have a good thing going. That is exactly how things went for Britpop stars Supergrass and their 1995 debut … Read more

Mudhoney: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) [Album Review]

Mudhoney Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)Sub Pop Records [2021] Mudhoney, a band name that just screams Seattle “grunge,” formed in 1988 after the demise of the band Green River, setting free Mark Arm and Steve Turner as well as two guys who went on to join Pearl Jam, Stone Gossard and … Read more

Tom Petty: Wildflowers & All The Rest [Album Review]

Tom PettyWildflowers & All The RestWarner Records [2020] As the story has been told, in 1994 when Tom Petty released his second solo record, Wildflowers, he and producer Rick Rubin intended it to go out as a double-album. While his 1989 solo project recorded with Jeff Lynne, Full Moon Fever, had been the source of … Read more

Randy Holden: Population II [Album Review]

Randy Holden Population IIRidingEasy Records [2020] Randy Holden’s Population II has had a long, tortuous road to its most recent reissue, the ins and outs of which could probably support a full-length article if not a book. After stints in various garage rock bands including Los Angeles psych rock act The Other Half, Holden briefly … Read more

Joseph Arthur: Come To Where I’m From (20th Anniversary Edition) [Album Review]

Joseph Arthur Come To Where I’m From (20th Anniversary Edition)Real World Records [2020] In 2000, the T Bone Burnett and Rick Will co-produced sophomore album from folk rock singer songwriter Joseph Arthur on the relatively new Real World label, created to give Peter Gabriel an outlet to expose folk to many of his world music … Read more

R.E.M.: Monster (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) [Album Review]

R.E.M. Monster (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) Craft Recordings [2019] TFN Album Review: I have very fond memories of R.E.M.’s “big guitar” record Monster when it was released in 1994. At the time, it was hyped and felt like an incredible turn for the band after the quieter and more acoustic orchestrated Out Of Time (1991) … Read more

Wire: Pink Flag/Chairs Missing/154 (Special Edition Reissues) [Album Review]

Wire Pink Flag (Special Edition Reissue) Pinkflag [2018] Chairs Missing (Special Edition Reissue) Pinkflag [2018] 154 (Special Edition Reissue) Pinkflag [2018] Fire Note Says: Influential British punk band Wire is re-issuing their three earliest albums, including special editions that unearth b-sides, demos, rarities and previously unreleased recordings. Album Review: I think it was Brian Eno … Read more

High Rise: High Rise II [Album Review]

High Rise High Rise II Black Edition [1986/2018] Who: High Rise entered into Tokyo’s underground music scene in 1984. High Rise II is their sophomore record of psychedelic garage guitar music from 1986 that has now been reissued newly mixed and mastered by High Rise bassist/vocalist Asahito Nanjo. Sound: High Rise are a full on … Read more

R.E.M.: Automatic For The People (25th Anniversary Edition) [Album Review]

R.E.M. Automatic For The People (25th Anniversary Edition) Craft Recordings [2017] Fire Note Says: A masterpiece for all times! Album Review: R.E.M.’s Automatic For the People is a masterpiece that gets a lot of love on its 25th anniversary. A live disc and 20 demos/outtakes accompany the original album. The extras are interesting and noteworthy; … Read more