shark sandwich 83 album reviews

Album Reviews – New Music From Blood Orange, Interpol, and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

August 24, 2018 – Vol. 83

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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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Blood Orange – Negro Swan

Devonte Hynes is Blood Orange, and what he is saying on Negro Swan is unexpected, disarming, and completely compelling. The album opens with the Marvin Gaye-esque “Orlando,” and it is a stunningly honest recollection of a childhood restrained and rerouted, and the effects on life later on. Negro Swan never bangs, instead it leans into the emotional lyrics with ethereal, sometimes discordant musicality. It is a theater of painful memories, and a search for identity. By keeping the sound dreamlike it lends itself to a universality that is missing from so much modern music.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Charcoal Baby”

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The Devil Makes Three – Chains are Broken

The Devil Makes Three’s latest is the most straight-ahead rock and roll record of their career thus far. Previously known for their drummer-less freewheeling bluegrass Americana, this trio has opted for a focused vintage rock sound. One thing to be said for the Devil Makes Three is that no matter their album, they don’t seem interested in incorporating a sound rooted any more recently than, say, 1969. It is usually admirable when a group chooses to eschew modern sounds and sentiments, and the Devil Makes Three proves the point. They may dwell on the darker aspects of their own humanity, but they want to make the fans dance, too.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Deep Down”

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Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood – With Animals

With Animals is the latest collaboration with vocalist Mark Lanegan and multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood. If you have listened to Lanegan’s work at all, the overall tone should be no surprise. His voice is like falling into or out of a particularly paralyzing night terror, and Garwood’s somber, muted instrumentation does nothing to lighten the mood. With Animals is an affair best dealt with long after dark with candles, and whiskey. It is so close to the bone and intimate, though, that headphones are not recommended, as you don’t want to live in these songs but just visit.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “With Animals”

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Candi Staton – Unstoppable

R & B, disco, gospel, etc. force of nature Candi Staton has been at it for more than 50 years, so it is fitting that she kick off her 30th album with the funky, strutting “Confidence.” She’s got it, all of it. Scan the song titles, and there is an overwhelming positivity, a feeling that anything is possible. Maybe it is under the wings of someone like Staton, and if so, there is no better leader. She wants us to be confident, and “Stand Up” to be counted, and in 2018 we’d be better off if we just did that instead of waiting for others to do it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Stand Up”

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Interpol – Marauder

Shimmying up your rock and roll spine again, Interpol is back with Marauder, an album that celebrates the band’s commitment to chilly 80s new wave. They wear it well, but it’s not that this band has aged gracefully into it over the past 20 years. They were born into a musical middle age, and have not wavered from this sensibility for good and ill. The songs on Marauder are forceful, and that clean-melody-over-grit is all over the place. It’ll make you feel good listening to it, and you’ll roll your windows down, but in the end it isn’t going to make you throw your Cure and Joy Division albums away.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “The Rover”

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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 – Blood Orange – Domino Recording Co.; Devil Makes Three – New West Records; Mark Lanegan/Duke Garwood – Heavenly Recordings/PIAS; Candi Staton – Beracah Records; and Interpol – Matador.