shark sandwich 73 feature

Great New Albums from Juliana Hatfield, Say Sue Me and more!

***

SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

April 13, 2018 – Vol. 73

***

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.

***

Bambara – Shadow on Everything

Beautiful as a moonless night, Bambara sounds like Nick Cave singing for Reverend Horton Heat doing a fictional soundtrack to the best western ever. A lot of Shadow on Everything is weird, desert psychobilly, but they also have an almost stately, marshaled side to them as well. The opening “Dark Circles” is gorgeous, restrained menace, and “Steel Dust Ocean” also keeps the spasms in check. Put this on with your parents in the car. They might wonder if they raised a serial killer after all.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Dark Circles”

***

EELS – The Deconstruction

How you feel about The Deconstruction depends on how you feel about EELS. Mark Oliver Everett isn’t breaking new ground on this latest outing, but he doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel when he is just so damn good at what he does. There is everything you need here. Ringing, stately ballads loss and forgiveness, spare pleas for mercy, brittle rave ups, you name it and Mr. E does it better than most everyone else. The Deconstruction will help you through every state of your next existential crisis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Sweet Scorched Earth”

***

Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John

Has it really taken this long for this album to happen? It’s not that it was inevitable that Juliana Hatfield would record an album of Olivia Newton-John covers. It’s just that when you hear it, you slap your forehead because it is just so, so perfect and obvious in hindsight. These covers scratch all the right itches: nostalgia, melody, fun, warmth and inclusion. If you don’t love ON-J and Hatfield’s takes on her songs, you are an insane monster.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Magic”

***

Say Sue Me – Where We Were Together

One of the most infectious albums of the year so far is the latest from South Korea’s Say Sue Me. It’s surfy, melancholic, and has the hallmarks of the dry humor and instrumentation of the glorious 1990s, if you didn’t like grunge, hip hop, or didn’t feel like walking the alt-rock plank. If “But I Like You ” “Old Town,” or “I just Wanna Dance” don’t make you want to drink cheap beer and stay out all night, nothing will. It’s not nostalgia if you never gave it up in the first place, folks, so there is no shame in cutting loose now and again. This is your soundtrack.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Old Town”

***

The Damned – Evil Spirits

Who even knows all the members of the Damned these days? It doesn’t matter, though, Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian are there, and the songs are largely banging, so crank it. Don’t think too much about legacy, and the historical importance of the Damned in their heyday, and it will help you enjoy Evil Spirits. The spirit is there, but the songs are longer, more straightforward rock and roll. It’s not a criticism, really, as much as it is an observation. Take it for what it is, because Sensible and Vanian have put out a quality album.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Procrastination”

***

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 – Bambara – Warf Cat Records; EELS – E Works Records; Juliana Hatfield – American Laundromat Records; Say Sue Me – Damnably/Electric Muse; and The Damned – Spinefarm Records.