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

Jonny Fritz: Dad Country [Album Review]

Jonny Fritz Dad Country ATO Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Jonny Fritz finds a more serious side on his ATO debut Dad Country. Album Review: Jonny Fritz (formerly Jonny Corndawg) plays a very straightforward and honest “country” music on his third album, Dad Country, and first for ATO Records. Fritz states that his songs are … Read more

Dead Confederate: In The Marrow [Album Review]

Dead Confederate In The Marrow Spiderbomb Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Dead Confederate makes no attempt to expand boundaries, but still keep everything solid. Album Review: Augusta, Georgia’s Dead Confederate never set out to become the greatest band in the land. Consider that a good thing because if they really were trying then Hardy Morris’ … Read more

The Shouting Matches: Grownass Man [Album Review]

The Shouting Matches Grownass Man Middle West Records [2013] Fire Note Says: The Shouting Matches are loose and fun on their debut album. Album Review: Many of you will be interested in The Shouting Matches because of its superstar member Justin Vernon. Yes, he of Bon Iver fame has made a blues-rock album with two … Read more

Steve Earle: The Low Highway [Album Review]

Steve Earle The Low Highway New West Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Steve Earle continues to make good (music). Album Review: On this 14th full-length album since his ’86 debut, Guitar Town, Steve Earle has defied expectations of an early drug-fueled demise, only to deliver yet another vibrant, life informed collection of country and folk … Read more

Meat Puppets: Rat Farm [Album Review]

Meat Puppets Rat Farm Megaforce Records [2013] Fire Note Says: The legendary Meat Puppets fourth post-reunion (and 14th overall) album is an unqualified winner. Album Review: Drugs have always played a pivotal role in the music and the fate of Arizona cow punks the Meat Puppets. Although sung unintelligibly, 1982’s hyperactive hardcore debut on SST … Read more

Iron & Wine: Ghost On Ghost [Album Review]

Iron & Wine Ghost On Ghost Nonesuch Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Iron & Wine’s fifth LP is an alternative/folk/rock/jazz/pop masterpiece. Album Review: Sam Beam has gone through quite a musical evolution in the eleven years he’s been making music under the Iron & Wine moniker. While his first two albums (2002’s The Creek Drank … Read more

The Thermals: Desperate Ground [Album Review]

The Thermals Desperate Ground Saddle Creek Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Six albums in, The Thermals continue to do no wrong. Album Review: The new album by Portland post-pop-punk trio The Thermals begins with the following salvo: “I was born to kill/Made to slay, unafraid to spill/Blood on the land, when you command/I will.” With … Read more

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Mosquito [Album Review]

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Mosquito Interscope Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Yeah Yeah Yeahs return with the somewhat disjointed Mosquito which still possesses a bite. Album Review: It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Karen O and Yeah Yeah Yeahs took the indie world by storm with their debut Fever To … Read more

Born Ruffians: Birthmarks [Album Review]

Born Ruffians Birthmarks Yep Roc/Paper Bag Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Born Ruffians give us another fine yet predictable set of indie pop-rock. Album Review: Born Ruffians are just one of those kind of bands: you know, the kind you want to like a lot more than you actually do. They’ve got everything just about … Read more

The Flaming Lips: The Terror [Album Review]

The Flaming Lips The Terror Warner Bros. Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Interstellar Oklahomans philosophize about a loveless life on The Terror. Album Review: The Flaming Lips’ The Terror reminds me of the saying “write what you feel.” On their 13th studio album the band most certainly does just that. To quote Steven Drozd, “The … Read more

The Sunflower Logic: Clouds On The Polar Landscape EP [Album Review]

The Sunflower Logic Clouds On The Polar Landscape EP Pink Banana Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Robert Pollard plays it loose and releases one of his most unique recordings to date! Album Review: If you are scratching your head some then you should be told right away that The Sunflower Logic is a Robert Pollard … Read more