SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go
February 23, 2018 – Vol. 68
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.
Dessa – Chime
Minneapolis MC/rapper/singer/songwriter/public radio enthusiast, Dessa, is firing on all cylinders on Chime, whether moping around, popping, or fiercely rapping. She opens the proceedings with the majestic, downbeat “Ride,” but punches you straight in the face with “5 out of 6” stating, “all I do is hit, I don’t win ‘em all, but I’d say I take 5 out of 6.” It’s an emotional journey, hitting maximum pop with tracks like “Good Grief” and “Half of You.” Possibly the most interesting track is the forty six-second autobiographical nugget, “Shrimp,” which ends with, “always a bridesmaid, never an ASTRONAUT.” Dessa for president, goddammit.
Rating: 5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “5 out of 6”
Screaming Females – All at Once
Screaming Females are out for blood on the expansive All at Once. Grabbing you by the collar, singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster howls in your ear like a more badass Glenn Danzig, and the band lays down minimalist Black Sabbath behind her. It’s not all sludge, though, as the band hits Fugazi notes on “End of My Bloodline,” and is downright pretty on “Chamber for Sleep” (Pts. One and Two). Basically, this band probably has a pretty great record collection inspiring it, and we are all better for it. This is quality rock and roll from a veteran band that kicks off the “windows down” season in the Northern Hemisphere.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “My Body”
Black Milk – FEVER
Is Detroit rapper/songwriter/producer Black Milk named after the Massive Attack song of the same name? Possibly, and it would fit, as this supremely talented artist’s busy, but laid back flow is definitely mining the richest of the trip hop veins. FEVER’s bass lines are nimble, and they rumble like a basement bar at 3 A.M., making a foundation for the percolating rhythms and rhymes. The whole affair is very nocturnal, and not a little bit menacing. Sometimes it is best to just embrace the darkness.
Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Laugh Now, Cry Later”
Reggie And The Full Effect – 41
If you don’t love Reggie And The Full Effect’s album title and cover shot, there is probably no hope for you. Move along, and don’t try to understand this project from James Dewees. It’s funny, yes, but it is also infectiously poppy keyboards, and HUGE guitars driving songs that demand your attention while crushing your eardrums. Give in, and emo it out, folks. The world sucks, but it won’t forever.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Maggie”
Caroline Rose – LONER
With a wink and a nod, Caroline Rose buys sad songs a drink on LONER. With enough pop sense to choke a horse, and a winning desire to make it all better for the listener, the artist is showing us what she can do without drawing too much attention to herself. Which is a shame, because tracks like “Cry,” “Money,” and “Soul No. 5” should be blasting from the top of the Statue of Liberty itself. Seriously, there is a velocity and verve that you never realized how missing it is from modern music until you hear LONER. Dance, dance, dance like everyone is rocking out to Caroline Rose.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Soul No. 5”
Lead-In Image – Composite
- Album and sleeve – Courtesy of imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
- Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
- Album collage – Black Milk – Mass Appeal Records; Caroline Rose – New West Records; Reggie And The Full Effect – Pure Noise Records; Screaming Females – Don Giovanni Records; Dessa – Doomtree Records.