Ryan Adams: Heatwave | Star Sign | 1985 | Sword & Stone [Album Review]

Ryan AdamsHeatwaveStar Sign1985Sword & StonePAX-AM [2024] Album Overview: There are a lot of opinions floating around about singer/songwriter Ryan Adams and his attempts to rebuild his career. But even a casual observer would agree, this guy is prolific. After releasing an album each in 2020 and ’21, Adams unleashed four of his own imagining in … Read more

The Dandy Warhols: Why You So Crazy [Album Review]

The Dandy Warhols Why You So Crazy Dine Alone Records [2019] Who: The release of their 10th studio album sees The Dandy Warhols also celebrating 25 years of being a band. Sound: Alternative power pop band at its core but later years have brought plenty of synth pop and art to their albums. TFN Final … Read more

W-X: W-X [Album Review]

W-X W-X Castle Face Records [2015] Fire Drill Album Review: Tim Presley’s second side project of the year, W-X, follows closely on the heels of his DRINKS project from a few months ago. And much like DRINKS, W-X has its moments, but overall left me feeling disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, but after … Read more

The Sword: High Country [Album Review]

The Sword High Country Razor & Tie Records [2015] Fire Note Says: The Sword return, slashing in several different directions. Album Review: Ever since battling the cover of The Sword’s “Freya” in video game Guitar Hero 2, I’ve found myself hooked by the Austin, TX-based band’s sound. Picking up both 2006’s Age of Winters and … Read more

Muse: Drones [Album Review]

Muse Drones Warner Bros. Records [2015] Fire Note Says: Muse create another stadium rocker. Album Review: I remember when Muse released their debut, Showbiz (1999), and they were considered a muscular Radiohead. The band quickly separated themselves with their sophomore effort, Origin of Symmetry (2001), and has never looked back. Over their last several releases, … Read more

Madonna: Rebel Heart [Album Review]

Madonna Rebel Heart Boy Toy / Interscope Records [2015] Fire Note Says: Rebel Heart is a pretty safe and predictable offering. Album Review: We have to give Madonna her due. In 1983, it was easy to assume that she was just one more “Lucky Star,” a flash in the pan, one and done. Dance/disco acts … Read more

U2: Songs Of Innocence [Album Review]

U2 Songs Of Innocence Island Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Surprise – you just received a new U2 album. Album Review: So last Tuesday not only did we get a bigger iPhone but also a free U2 record already placed in our iTunes purchase page. Wow – that was better than the pay what you … Read more

Wolfmother: New Crown [Album Review]

Wolfmother New Crown Self-Released [2014] Fire Note Says: It’s hard to teach an old Wolfmother new tricks. Album Review: Way back in 2006, when I first heard “Woman,” Wolfmother’s self-titled debut took me by storm. I was really into playing guitar at the time, so of course I surrounded myself with heroes such as Cream, … Read more

Bailterspace: Trinine [Album Review]

Bailterspace Trinine Arch Hill Recordings [2013] Fire Note Says: Shoe-gazing noise merchants try to reemerge with a case on why they still matter. Album Review: It’s never a good thing to be nervous after the first track of an album. You want to be as excited as you can about an artist, especially when phrases … Read more

The Fire Tapes: Phantoms [Album Review]

The Fire Tapes Phantoms Warhen Records [2013] Fire Note Says: The Fire Tapes sophomore album, Phantoms, has electric solos and suspenseful indie rock. Album Review: The Fire Tapes sophomore album, Phantoms, is a good blend of ambient, suspenseful indie and upbeat, electric rock. The nine tracks use both female and male vocals, and most are … Read more

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros [Album Review]

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Vagrant Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros offer up another batch of freedom rock. Album Review: I remember the first time I heard “Home” off of Edward Sharpe’s debut record Up From Below (2009) and thinking that with … Read more

Wolf People: Fain [Album Review]

Wolf People Fain Jagjaguwar Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Wolf People compose a codex entitled: Progressive Rock for Beginners. Album Review: When a band goes after its influences and tries to hit near the roots of the progressive rock tree a few concepts, places, and bands come to mind. Headley Grange being a great place … Read more

Foreign Talks: Foreign Talks [Album Review]

Foreign Talks Foreign Talks Expunged Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Foreign Talks shows loads of potential on their debut. Album Review: After generating significant online buzz, Portland-based Foreign Talks’s self-titled debut album has arrived, and while it will no doubt be enthusiastically accepted by those who are into the band’s musical aesthetic (more on that … Read more

Emily Bell: In Technicolor [Album Review]

Emily Bell In Technicolor One-Eyed George Entertainment [2013] Fire Note Says: Emily Bell’s debut showcases her confident soul. Album Review: Austin’s Emily Bell has one of those voices that makes you instantly take notice with its confidence, power and sultry R&B undertone. On her debut, In Technicolor, Bell uses all of these traits to produce … Read more

On The Water: False Starts [Album Review]

On The Water False Starts Self-Released [2013] Fire Note Says: False Starts shows promise, but its title is a little close for comfort. Album Review: There’s plenty to be said for bands who just like to have a good time. Whether it’s weekend guitar heroes playing in a seedy bar or a group of friends … Read more

The Black Angels: Indigo Meadow [Album Review]

The Black Angels Indigo Meadow Blue Horizon [2013] Fire Note Says: The Black Angels play it straight with Indigo Meadow. Album Review: It is quite weird but after accidentally seeing The Black Angels at Bonnaroo in 2007 I was hooked. This is a good thing I found out later because The Black Angels are indeed … Read more

The Casket Lottery: Real Fear [Album Review]

The Casket Lottery Real Fear No Sleep Records [2012] Fire Note Says: The Casket Lottery reunite and produce some radio friendly post-hardcore tracks. Album Review: After The Casket Lottery’s last full length, Possiblies & Maybes (2003), the band took a bit of a hiatus. Members took off to focus on other musical projects, singer Nathan … Read more

Free Energy: Love Sign [Album Review]

Free Energy Love Sign Free People Records [2013] Fire Note Says: No rough edges here. Nor much of anything interesting. Album Review: You know how wedding receptions are. There are people there from age two to eightytwo. Something must be done about the music. Concessions must be made. But the bride and groom, they need … Read more

Green Day: ¡Tre! [Album Review]

Green Day ¡Tre! Reprise/Warner Bros. Records [2012] Fire Note Says: Green Day close out the album trilogy. Album Review: I knew going into a three album release that Green Day would really need to step up to the plate to pull it off. One album is hard enough and for the band ¡Uno! was a … Read more

The Gaslight Anthem: Hold You Up 10″ EP [Album Review]

The Gaslight Anthem Hold You Up 10” EP Mercury Records [2012] Fire Note Says: The Gaslight Anthem offer up 3 new acoustic tracks on RSD 10″ release. Album Review: This new 10” EP from The Gaslight Anthem was just released several weeks ago on Record Store Day Black Friday. The EP continues the trend for … Read more

All That Remains: A War You Cannot Win [Album Review]

All That Remains A War You Cannot Win Razor & Tie Records [2012] Fire Note Says: All That Remains seem to be fighting a war they cannot win. Album Review: In 2008, All That Remains released Overcome; the album that I argue is their definitive masterwork. The problem in creating an album like Overcome is … Read more