shark sandwich 96 - album reviews - feature

Album Reviews – Honeyblood – Joan as Police Woman – and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

May 24, 2019 – Vol. 96

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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:

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Welcome to our “Shark Sandwich” — razor-sharp reviews that sum up an album in five sentences or less.

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Amyl and the Sniffers – Amyl and the Sniffers

The riffs are huge, the pace is barely under control, the vocals are unhinged, and that is just the first track on Amyl and the Sniffers’ self-titled debut album. Turns out the rest of the album is, happily, much the same. It is a 28-minute punch in the face.  Amyl and the Sniffers is the sound of a garage full of angry badgers–on fire, pissed off, and looking for trouble. Praise the stars, too, because this is just what you need today.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)”

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Hundred Watt Heart – Turbulent Times

Hundred Watt Heart is a side project of “Captain” Kirk Douglas, guitarist for the Roots, and Turbulent Times is a swirling, psychedelic testament of bluesy guitar fireworks. The album kicks off with spare, herky jerky acoustic guitar, but quickly settles into a prevailing Zeppelin-esque noise squall that can be thrilling. I mean, guitars played loudly always have the possibility of being a thrill, cheap or otherwise. It is fun to listen to a known quantity really stretch out on his weapon of choice, and Douglas certainly has the chops. He isn’t just showing off, though, as these are fully-realized songs that are engaging and worth your time.

Rating: 4 out of  5 whistles

Key Track: “Uma”

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Joan as Police Woman – Joanthology

Joan Wasser, aka Joan as Police Woman, paints an interesting picture on this career anthology. Wasser is an artist, like Aimee Mann, PJ Harvey, and Matthew Ryan, who is content to go wherever her creative winds take her. The bulk of this 3-disc set comes from her recorded career, but there are plenty of treats like a cover of Prince’s “Kiss,” the new song “What a World,” and a BBC Live set. She is a truly interesting songwriter, careening from brooding pop to jazzy torch to rock and roll, and Joanthology is as good a place as any to start in on Joan as Police Woman.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Run for Love”

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Flying Lotus – Flamagra

Experimental artist Flying Lotus has stocked up a loooong buffet with inventive beats, interesting melodies, and enough guest musicians to choke a goat. If you sit down to Flamagra, you are going to leave with a full belly. It’s a big album that requires your full attention, so don’t bother flipping through a few of the tracks. Lend Flying Lotus your ears, and go on a trip with him. It’s worth it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “The Climb” (feat. Thundercat)

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Honeyblood – In Plain Sight

Honeyblood is the sole property of Scottish singer/songwriter/guitarist, Stina Tweenddale, and a factory from the future couldn’t manufacture slicker, fuzzier, buzzier guitar pop if it was run by Bob Mould’s consciousness in 2112. In Plain Sight is pop music for people who bristle at the word. It’s hard-edged pop more interested in slashing your boss’s tires than it is in making you boogie, so steal your neighbor’s car, and whip some shitties in her yard.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “The Third Degree”

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All artists are available on iTunesAmazonGooglePlay, and wherever else better music is sold, streamed, downloaded, or performed on tour.

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NewsWhistle music contributor Chad Werner is “ahead of the curve, behind the times.” You can contact this rock n’ roll sphinx at chad@newswhistle.com (e-mail) or @scooternotmoped (Twitter).

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Lead-In Image – Composite

  • Album and sleeve – Courtesy of  imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
  • Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
  • Album collage – Amyl and the Sniffers – ATO Records; Flying Lotus – Warp Records; Honeyblood – Marathon Artists; Hundred Watt Heart – Whole Leap Records; and Joan as Police Woman – Play it Again Sam Records.