Morningbell: Bôa Noite [Album Review]

Morningbell Bôa Noite Self-Released [2013] Fire Note Says: Morningbell’s Bôa Noite is an exercise in time and space jubilation! Album Review: It’s rare to find a group such as Morningbell, excess without pretension (I may be glancing your way Arcade Fire). Taking their name from Kid A’s “Morning Bell,” this band has big brains and … Read more

New Politics: A Bad Girl In Harlem [Album Review]

New Politics A Bad Girl In Harlem RCA Records [2013] Fire Note Says: With their sophomore album, New Politics breaks away from their gritty, indie roots, trading it in for a pop rock, punk sound. Album Review: A Bad Girl in Harlem, the sophomore album from New Politics, takes a short walk away from the … Read more

Duquette Johnston: Rabbit Runs A Destiny [Album Review]

Duquette Johnston Rabbit Runs A Destiny Communicating Vessels [2013] Fire Note Says: Birmingham, Alabama singer/songwriter finally releases an album worthy if his considerable talent. Album Review: Since forming 90’s alt-rock band Verbena (with A. A. Bondy) Johnston has kept a relatively low profile. He quit the band prior to their signing to Capitol Records and … Read more

Scout Niblett: It’s Up To Ema [Album Review]

Scout Niblett It’s Up To Emma Drag City Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Emma Louise Niblett’s decade-long run of excellence continues. Album Review: When most critics talk of Scout Niblett they inevitably bring up Cat Power and PJ Harvey. But it is her work with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and especially the late, great Jason Molina … Read more

Saturday Looks Good To Me: One Kiss Ends It All [Album Review]

Saturday Looks Good To Me One Kiss Ends It All Polyvinyl Records [2013] Fire Note Says: One Kiss Ends It All draws heavily from the past to create pop for the present. Album Review: Saturday Looks Good to Me first came to my attention with their 2003 album All Your Summer Songs, which was about … Read more

The Baptist Generals: Jackleg Devotional To The Heart [Album Review]

The Baptist Generals Jackleg Devotional To The Heart Sub Pop Records [2013] Fire Note Says: The Baptist Generals follow up their No Silver/No Gold lp 10 years after the fact, and it is worth the wait! Album Review: The term Jackleg has several meanings (I know because I looked it up), but it’s most common … Read more

Dead Gaze: Dead Gaze [Album Review]

Dead Gaze Dead Gaze Fat Cat Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Dead Gaze’s debut full-length is a lo-fi diamond in the rough. Album Review: Northern Mississippi is hardly known as a hotbed of indie music but perhaps that is about to change thanks to something called the Cats Purring Collective outside Oxford, a college town … Read more

The Front Bottoms: Talon Of The Hawk [Album Review]

The Front Bottoms Talon Of The Hawk Bar/None Records [2013] Fire Note Says: The Front Bottoms return with another record full of catchy wordplay that will make you smile. Album Review: I remember hearing the folky-punk debut from The Front Bottoms back in 2011 and thinking that these guys were onto something. Simple songs, simple … Read more

Graham MacRae: Dundrearies [Album Review]

Graham MacRae Dundrearies A Man A Plan A Canal [2013] Fire Note Says: LA singer/songwriter’s second album shows signs of real potential. Album Review: After a five year absence, Los Angeles native Graham MacRae returns with his sophomore release. Having not heard his first album I felt it important to catch up and spent some … Read more

Come: 11:11 Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition [Album Review]

Come 11:11 Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition Matador Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Excellent reissue of the long out print debut album from influential noise rockers, Come! Album Review: Come came roaring out of Boston in the early nineties sounding like an unholy alliance between The Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, and Sonic Youth. Lead vocalist Thalia Zedek, … Read more

Daft Punk: Random Access Memories [Album Review]

Daft Punk Random Access Memories Columbia Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Daft Punk take one giant artistic leap for mankind on Random Access Memories. Album Review: I find it interesting that the first track on the new Daft Punk album is called “Give Life Back to Music” particularly since their last album was the coolly … Read more

Christopher Paul Stelling: False Cities [Album Review]

Christopher Paul Stelling False Cities Mecca Lecca Recording Co. [2013] Fire Note Says: False Cities takes listeners back to that old time religion! Album Review: “Christian” music, deservedly or not, often gets a bad rap. The CCM establishment has given the genre(s) the reputation of being an awful imitation of what was popular a decade … Read more

Shannon And The Clams: Dreams In The Rat House [Album Review]

Shannon And The Clams Dreams In The Rat House Hardly Art Records [2013] Fire Note Says: 50’s rock ’n’ roll meets 60’s garage on this chaotic collection. Album Review: There are lots of “retro-rock” or “neo-garage” bands out there these days who play gritty, 60s-inspired tunes. Shannon and the Clams differentiate themselves from all those … Read more