shark sandwich 98 - album reviews - international - feature

Album Reviews – Joliette – KOKOKO! – and more!

***

SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

July 5, 2019 – Vol. 98

***

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.

***

Joliette – Luz Devora

Puebla, Mexico’s Joliette are not here to whisper sweet nothings in your ear. They are here to light your face on fire with their incredibly violent, yet nimble, post-hardcore. You don’t need to speak Spanish to understand what Luz Devora (“Light Devours”) is supposed to do to the listener, and it helps that it isn’t a one-note effort. The vocals are screamed, and the whole package is definitely meant to break your spine, but listen to the last two minutes of “Vacio’” (“Empty”). There is a lot going on that will reward repeated listens, and listen you should, with the lyrics in front of you and your Google translator on the screen.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Las Gorras Mayusculas”

***

Taffy – Deep Dark Creep Love

Taffy calls Tokyo home, but being discerning listeners as well as regular readers of NewsWhistle, this band should certainly call your eardrums and brain home as well. The guitars mope along like a moody teenager occasionally exploding in a fit of volume and emotion while the rhythm section keeps things interesting and the vocals float above it all. There is enough shoegaze and 90s-era guitar pop to keep the most jaded music fans tuned in, while appealing to their kids at the same time. No small feat, and given the fractured (broken?) music scene in 2019, it ought to be celebrated.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Sunless Echo”

***

KOKOKO! – Fongola

To Western ears, music from Africa is often ghettoized as “world music.” This is strange because isn’t all music of the World? Do the Congolese hear Arianna Grande, and think, “world music”? Democratic Republic of Congo’s KOKOKO! is nothing short of a Sandinista-era Clash that grew up in the capital of Kinshasa. This is punk from another perspective, a rhythmic, danceable Molotov cocktail meant to inspire, possibly conspire, but definitely to wake up your sense what music released into the world ultimately can mean today.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Malembe”

***

Maydien – Maytrix

A vaguely Matrix-themed neo-soul song cycle by a Dutch MC (yes please!)? Maydien delivers a smooth, immersive EP with Maytrix, so much so that you do not doubt Maydien’s (“May DN”) confidence. “Excuse my French, but I’m fuckin’ fresh, lookin’ like I’m Shaft… Oh my god, I will be strong, can’t take me down, use my power, Morpheus’ coat.” Morpheus is undoubtedly a badass in the Matrix, but I don’t get what Maydien is going on about with the reference here. It doesn’t matter, though, as you slowly turn the volume up on Maytrix and take the red pill and gain musical consciousness.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Morpheus’ Coat”

***

Trash Kit – Horizon

Sounding like Television or Sleater-Kinney, if they came up in Zimbabwe instead of NYC and Washington, London’s Trash Kit takes a post-punk guitar sound, and piles on unexpected rhythms and subtle lilting horns throughout Horizon. There certainly are rhythmically aggressive moments, but the overall sound is… pretty. That is the best way to describe it, and there is no shame in presenting a shimmering pop album that keeps your attention for the full running time. If you need an album to listen to while at the beach by yourself at dusk with nothing but the waves and your own thoughts, I think Trash Kit has delivered it to you today.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Disco”

***

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

***

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).

***

Lead-In Image – Composite

  • Album and sleeve – Courtesy of  imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
  • Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
  • Album collage – Joliette – Skeletal Lighning; Maydien – Roche Musique; Taffy – Club AC30; KOKOKO! – Transgressive Records; and Trash Kit – Upset the Rhythm.