SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go
January 20, 2017 – Vol. 35
Music reviews come in all sizes, but you’re busy and do not have time for flowery language… or sentences, really.
Spinal Tap gave the world the greatest album review of all time:
Welcome to our “Shark Sandwich” — razor-sharp reviews that sum up an album in five sentences or less.
Menace Beach – Lemon Memory
Leeds-based Menace Beach know just what they are doing. They know how to appeal to people like me, and by extension the rest of the world of discerning rock and roll fans (amIright?!). Take one part dry garage rock aesthetics, pile on just enough guitar fuzz, and then the pecan pie sweet vocals. It’s a recipe for success. Think of Hope Sandoval fronting the Rentals from 1995.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Owl”
AFI – AFI (the Blood Album)
AFI (stands for “A Fire Inside”) have come a long way in the 20 plus years this Northern California band has been around. They have largely left behind the original speedy, screamy, emo-y sound in favor of a more assured, modern metallic flow. This album is expansive, complex, and sounds like snow falling on a burning cop car in middle of protest march. It’s a headphones album for people who want to pump their firsts.
Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Hidden Knives”
Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick
Los Angeles-based noise popsters Cherry Glazerr have enough sense to A.) name themselves after an NPR correspondent (this should become a trend – I’m looking at you the [not currently in existence] Reeko Gaglianoze), and B.) know when to brood and when to rock it hard. This band does everything the right measure. There is the slickly rocking “Sip O’ Poison,” the grinding instrumental title track, danceable pop of “Lucid Dreams,” the speedy surf of “Humble Pro,” and on and on. Put Apocalipstick on at full volume, and drive through the halls of your old high school at midnight. You’ve earned it.
Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Only Kid on the Block”
Austra – Future Politics
Toronto’s Austra is a slippery, subtle monster. Armed with ice water dance beats, a menacing undercurrent, and vocals that soar above it all, Austra sets the tone for your sinking ship or bonfire on the moon. It’s the perfect companion for… certain moods. Not when you are trying to outrun the police, but maybe for when you have been in a dark cell for a night or two.
Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Angel in Your Eye”
Bash & Pop – Anything Could Happen
Give Tommy Stinson of Bash & Pop (and the Replacements AND Guns N’ Roses) some! The guy is more rock and roll you could ever hope to be, and that is okay. He’s willing to share. Look into the history of Bash & Pop if you like, but you could also just enjoy Anything Could Happen as the nearly perfect gem that it is. It may only be rock and roll, but you sure as shit should like it.
BONUS! Bash & Pop on Late Show with Stephen Colbert (stick around until the end to see Tommy and Stephen wrestle)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “On the Rocks”
Lead-In Image – Composite
- Album and sleeve – Courtesy of imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
- Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
- Album collage – Menace Beach – Memphis Industries; AFI – Concord Records; Cherry Glazerr – Secretly Canadian; Austra – Domino Recording Co.; and Bash & Pop – Fat Possum