Grandaddy: Blu Wav [Album Review]

GrandaddyBlu WavDangerbird Records [2024]   Album Overview: Grandaddy’s new studio album Blu Wav marks Jason Lytle’s return after a 7-year hiatus. Released via Dangerbird Records, it embraces themes ranging from the beauty of nature to the poignant moments that shape lasting memories. Inspired by a fusion of bluegrass and new wave, the album delivers a … Read more

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 Vaccines: Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations [Album Review]

The VaccinesPick-Up Full Of Pink CarnationsThirty Tigers [2024] Album Overview: The Vaccines have released their sixth studio album, Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations, produced by Andrew Wells (known for his work with Phoebe Bridgers and Kaiser Chiefs) and marks the band’s first album without original guitarist Freddie Cowan. The album delves into the disappointments of … Read more

Whitney: SPARK [Album Review]

WhitneySPARKSecretly Canadian [2022] SPARK represents Whitney’s third album of originals and fourth LP overall with 2020’s cover record Candid. The Chicago duo of Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek have continued to evolve their warm 70’s soft rock sound and with each album have taken a bigger musical step forward. SPARK for sure highlights this expansive … Read more

of Montreal: Freewave Lucifer fck [Album Review]

of MontrealFreewave Lucifer f<ck f^ck f>ckPolyvinyl Records [2022] If the Polyvinyl bio is to be trusted, Kevin Barnes shaped of Montreal’s January 2020 release UR FUN with the concert stage and live performance in mind. We all know how that went, 2020 the year of the pandemic shutdown, isolation, and closures. When the going gets … Read more

Weezer: SZNZ – Summer [Album Review]

WeezerSZNZ: SummerCrush Music/Atlantic Records [2022] No doubt the biggest challenge when committing to produce a concept album around a predetermined narrative and artistic themes is maintaining the integrity of the storyline and finding creative ways to meet the established expectations. With SZNZ: Spring, Rivers Cuomo laid down a number of markers that he attempts to … Read more

The Head And The Heart: Every Shade Of Blue [Album Review]

The Head And The HeartEvery Shade Of BlueReprise/Warner Records [2022] The band, The Head and the Heart, arrived along with a new class of indie folk/rock acts in the early 2010’s that included The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men, as the new popularity of Mumford & Sons suggested a hunger for a more earthy, … Read more

El Camino Acid: Sunset Motel [Album Review]

El Camino AcidSunset MotelSelf-Released [2022] When I hear the name Conor Stratton I think about a couple of things, Yellow Springs’ Spring Fest and Crooked Spines. Now, I can add one more name to that list, El Camino Acid. Composed of members from Caamp, Blond, Crooked Spines, and Smizmar, El Camino Acid returns with their … Read more

The Lumineers: BRIGHTSIDE [Album Review]

The LumineersBRIGHTSIDEDualtone/Decca Records [2022] Aside from The Lumineers break out hit, “Ho Hey,” with the novelty impact of the regular shouts of the title,” the band’s airplay singles like “Stubborn Love” and “Ophelia” have relied on catchy melodies and the warm appeal of Wayne Schultz’s voice to lift their relatively simple folk rock songs above … Read more

Mouse Rat: The Awesome Album [Album Review]

Mouse Rat The Awesome AlbumDualtone/Entertainment 720 [2021] Everyone’s heard the famous Oscar Wilde quote that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life,” but who could have guessed that the mythical band Mouse Rat from the TV comedy “Parks & Recreation” would announce their intention to release an album into the real world on … Read more

Lambchop: Showtunes [Album Review]

Lambchop ShowtunesMerge Records [2021] Lambchop is a loosely defined collaborative focused by the artistic vision and voice of Kurt Wagner, who has defined this latest project as “Showtunes for people who don’t like showtunes.” While we tend to think of showtunes as up-tempo, focused by catchy melodies that move along the narrative toward some happy … Read more

Osees: Panther Rotate [Album Review]

OseesPanther RotateCastle Face Records [2020] Anymore it is almost a given that some of John Dwyer’s output will lean towards the experimental side of things. Especially, after the visceral release of Protean Threat, it only makes sense that Panther Rotate was billed as a remix album of its big brother. Turns out, Panther Rotate is … Read more

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Chunky Shrapnel [Album Review]

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Chunky ShrapnelATO/Flightless Records [2020] Who: The band hails from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and have been making music together since 2010. Sound: What makes King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard so interesting is the genres they tackle. Their musical styles include: jazz, thrash-metal, psych-pop, prog-rock, psychedelic folk, and blues to … Read more

Yumi Zouma: Truth Or Consequences [Album Review]

Yumi Zouma Truth Or ConsequencesPolyvinyl Records [2020] The third full-length effort from the quartet of New Zealanders who got their start playing shows around Christchurch in 2014, finds the popsters delivering another album of light electronic dance grooves focused on listener friendly melodies. While the four no longer live close together on one continent, they … Read more

Beach Slang: The Deadbeat Bang Of Heartbreak City [Album Review]

Beach Slang The Deadbeat Bang Of Heartbreak City Bridge Nine Records [2020] TFN Album Review: If you have followed Beach Slang since their 2014 EP, Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?, then you already know that the group has been a full-fledged modern day Replacements from day one. Everything from the raw guitar to … Read more

Sunwatchers: Illegal Moves [Album Review]

Sunwatchers Illegal Moves Trouble In Mind Records [2019] Who: Sunwatchers hail from New York and present to us their third full length, Illegal Moves. This is their second for Trouble In Mind. Their first self-titled album was released on the Fire Note favorite Castle Face Records. Sound: Sunwatchers aim to create music, the likes of … Read more

Animal Collective: Tangerine Reef [Album Review]

Animal Collective Tangerine Reef Domino Recording Company [2018] Who: Established experimental electronic rock band. Sound: Aquarium/laser-light-show music. TFN Final Take: It’s an admirable idea. Make a record that benefits the fading presence of the coral reef in our world. And it’s meant to be an audiovisual experience. But as a standalone LP, Tangerine Reef is … Read more

Dead Meadow: The Nothing They Need [Album Review]

Dead Meadow The Nothing They Need Xemu Records [2018] Who: Formed in Washington D.C. Dead Meadow has been around making music for 20 years. There psychedelic soundscapes have taken them across three record labels: Matador, Xemu, and Tolotta. Sound: Dead Meadow is a band with psychedelic range. They can burn thick and heavy like a … Read more

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Tearing At The Seams [Album Review]

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Tearing At The Seams Stax Records [2018] Fire Note Says: That S.O.B. Nathaniel Rateliff returns to his roots in R&B and Americana on the strength of the horn-driven Night Sweats. Album Review: After several years of experimenting around the Denver music scene with alternative rock and folk music combos, … Read more

CousteauX: CousteauX [Album Review]

CousteauX CousteauX Silent X Records [2017] Fire Note Says: CousteauX creates music that recalls James Bond soundtracks and Las Vegas show bands, echoing the likes of Burt Bacharach and Nick Cave. Album Review: Cousteau, a London-based pop band that scored a European hit back at the end of the last century with “The Last Good … Read more

Weezer: Pacific Daydream [Album Review]

Weezer Pacific Daydream Crush/Atlantic Records [2017] Fire Note Says: Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo continues his infatuation with the Beach Boys while mixing his power chord anthems with mellower pop inclinations. Album Review: You can’t say Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo doesn’t wear his influences on his sleeve. On last year’s self-titled (White Album) everything pointed to the Beach … Read more

Leah Senior: Pretty Faces [Album Review]

Leah Senior Pretty Faces Flightless Records [2017] Fire Note Says: Leah Senior carries on the folk singer tradition of Joan Baez and the early work of Joni Mitchell. Album Review: Australian singer/songwriter Leah Senior’s second album finds the artist traveling the quiet path of the folk song troubadour’s of years past. Recorded for the most … Read more

Nine Inch Nails: Add Violence [Album Review]

Nine Inch Nails Add Violence The Null Corporation [2017] Fire Note Says: Nine Inch Nails return with the second in a trilogy of EPs, indicating that Rezner still has vital musical offerings yet to come. Album Review: Trent Rezner had been hinting at a return of Nine Inch Nails, and just prior to last Christmas … Read more