shark sandwich 97 - album reviews - feature

Album Reviews – Mannequin Pussy – Black Pumas – and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

June 21, 2019 – Vol. 97

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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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Mannequin Pussy – Patience

Mannequin Pussy is such a good name for obvious and less obvious reasons, and Patience is a tight little album full of busy bangers. Their bio says that this album “fascinated with the physical experience of the body… mouths and hands and racing hearts.” That is a pretty apt, poetic description for a song cycle sure to get your motor running. The rhythm will leave bruises while the guitars draw blood, and the vocals alternate between bandaging up your psyche and shattering your face. Ready or not, this is what your summer needs, and what you have been missing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Who You Are”

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Black Pumas – Black Pumas

Do you ever just stare up at the sky, and give thanks to the stars beyond for the fact that you live in a universe with music? If so, you can sit at my lunch table anytime you like, and listen to the debut album by Texas duo Black Pumas, confident that our day is going better than people not listening to Black Pumas. We can listen at lunch, or any other time, but let’s be honest – this is music best suited for twilight. Dusky, soulful, smooth and hypnotic, Black Pumas don’t make any promises they can’t back up. This is an “old soul” album for the young at heart.

Rating: 5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Touch the Sky”

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Hatchie – Keepsake

Australian songwriter, Hatchie, tries on a number of hats on Keepsake, and all of them make the outfit. She makes the kind of pop music that doesn’t leave you hungry for something else in an hour. Keepsake is not empty calories. These songs are fully fleshed out, engaging, and dappled with hints of shoegaze, a veneer of dancefloor sheen pushed along by a troubadour heart. Put Keepsake on with some Haley [Bonar], Hope Sandoval, and maybe even some Taylor Swift for a living room Lilith Fair.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Obsessed”

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Titus Andronicus – An Obelisk

I’m certainly not the first one to say it, but if Bruce Springsteen had fronted the Sex Pistols, you sort of have Titus Andronicus in a nutshell. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it has served main man, Patrick Stickles, for more than a decade. An Obelisk is a rock and roll record, and like Lucero, Cloud Nothings, etc., Titus Andronicus is best when it is rocking hard. As much as I love titles like “Within the Gravitron,” I live for the simple pleasures of less-than-a-minute-and-a-half stormers like “Beneath the Boot.” An Obelisk is best served at maximum volume on a salty, humid Sunday afternoon in late August with a beer–cold and domestic.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Beneath the Boot”

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Iris Gold – Planet Cool

“Cool” is a pretty apt description of Iris Gold’s debut collection of combative pop. This is torch music for psychopaths, soul for heathens, and the soundtrack to the most interesting Saturday ever. Planet Cool is never, ever boring. You can put this on in the car, and half an hour later you may not recognize where you are, physically or mentally. The best music should transport you, and Iris Gold effortlessly accomplishes that on Planet Cool.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “A Lot to Give”

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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 – Hatchie – Double Double Whammy; Titus Andronicus – Merge Records; Mannequin Pussy – Epitaph Records; Black Pumas – ATO Records; and Iris Gold – Playground Music.