shark sandwich 71 feature

Great New Albums from Jack White, Erika Wennerstrom, and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

March 23, 2018 – Vol. 71

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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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Typhoid Rosie – This Is Now

Forget the album cover art reminiscent of 80s Yes, Brooklyn’s own Typhoid Rosie is back to rock your asses as only the lovechild of Blondie and Sham 69 could ever do. Rosie vamps, the guitars slash, the rhythm section thumps, and there are just the right amount of “oh oh ooooh”s sprinkled throughout. It’s only rock and roll (but I like it), and so should you. It’s springtime in America. That isn’t a metaphor, it actually is, so upgrade your collection with this shot in arm album.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Diamonds in the Snow”

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Cavern of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade

Honestly, I was first drawn to Cavern of Anti-Matter because of the name of the band as well as the album. There is more to this Berlin band than incredible naming abilities, though. Their immersive electro-instrumentals are the perfect soundtrack to mad scientist sex, or utilizing molecular gastronomy techniques in cooking. CoAM sounds like what would happen if you locked Flaming Lips and Radiohead in a windowless room, took all drums and guitars away, pumped the room full of weaponized angel dust, and turned on the reel to reel.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Remote Confection”

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Toni Braxton – Sex & Cigarettes

Toni Braxton is angry, and she knows how to hold onto it on Sex & Cigarettes. She is also sexy as hell, even when laying bare the emotional wreckage of relationships turning to vinegar. Braxton hits all the right notes, punctuating some of the lower ones with her signature grumble. She breathes subtle fire on “FOH,” letting her explicit anger fly, but never lets it boil over. This is smoothed over R & B served in a highball glass of gin and honesty vengeance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Coping”

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Jack White – Boarding House Reach

If you have followed Jack White, Boarding House Reach shouldn’t come as a total surprise. The guitar slinger you fell in love with from the White Stripes doesn’t cut loose on the wood and wire until track 7, “Over and Over and Over.” The first half is fractured, sound-collage R & B, but with “Over and Over and Over” and the next couple of tracks you are fooled into thinking, “here we are, rock guitar my old friend.” You were duped, though! The album ends spacier than ever, but this is Jack White, so take what you get and don’t throw a fit.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Over and Over and Over” (I admit it. I miss the White Stripes.)

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Erika Wennerstrom – Sweet Unknown

Don’t worry, rockarollas, the Heartless Bastards haven’t broken up, but their bandleader, Erika Wennerstrom, has struck out on her own for the first time with the appropriately titled Sweet Unknown. Sounding like Patti Smith, Lucinda Williams, and the Mojave Desert at night had a baby, there is a fierce freedom at the fore of this album. The music doesn’t rage, so much as it soars, even in its quietest moments. It swirls and takes flight, and when you hit “Good to be Alone” everything makes sense. It is ten minutes of stretched wings, catharsis, and squalling guitar dust devils.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Good to be Alone”

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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 – Typhoid Rosie – Typhoid Rosie Music; Cavern of Anti-Matter – Duophonic; Toni Braxton – Def Jam Recordings; Jack White – Third Man/Columbia; and Erika Wennerstrom – Partisan Recordings.