SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go
January 6, 2017 – Vol. 34
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.
David Bowie – No Plan
Cross yourself, genuflect, pour some gin on the South London ground, and howl at the moon. Do whatever you have to do to mark January 2017, one year after the Thin White Duke’s passing to the dust in between the stars, as time for posthumous music. No Plan is a nice little companion EP to last year’s Blackstar (they share “Lazarus”), and it is mostly a laid back affair, musically, but it charges the gates on “Killing a Little Time.” It’s been a year since we lost this artist, and it still feels unreal, particularly as Bowie was clearly at the top of his game when he shuffled off this plane.
Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “When I Met You”
Dropkick Murphys – 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory
At this point, every new Dropkick Murphys album should come with a fresh black eye or bloody nose. It’s not that every track is a fight song, but the overall effect of listening to more than three tracks by the band gives the listener a contact drunk, and you just want to tell your mates that you LOVE THEM, MAN and pick a fight with those fuckers in the corner of the bar/your living room. A lot of 11 Short Stories… is quite poppy, and welcome. Sure the gang vocals are there, along with the rave ups, but tracks like “Paying My Way” find the Celtic punks stretching out their wings. Gotta sober up, gotta work tomorrow.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Paying My Way”
Brian Eno – Reflection
How does one review Brian Eno’s new one track, 54-minute ambient marathon? Start with that description, I guess. You’re not going to get up and dance. It’s like waking up naked in the snow, or being in a submarine made of angels. You get to know the inside of your own brain with Reflection, and I daresay that is probably the point.
Rating: Anywhere between 1 and 5 whistles
Best Song: Ummm…
You Me at Six – Night People
Opening confidently with a sexy stomper, You Me at Six are here in the new year to rock your ass–to rock it, and rock it hard, and you will thank them for it. They sound like Queen and the Manic Street Preachers faced off, fangs out, in a dirty alley, but instead of throwing down they had a baby. It’s a big, arena-ready sound, and I get the impression that they want it all.
Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Night People”
The Dogs – Death by Drowning
Oslo, Norway’s rock and roll killers, the Dogs, hit your ears like you turned a corner into a full-fledged gang fight. You weren’t expecting to find it, but it’s all you can do to jump in start swinging the chain you picked up off the ground. It’s exhilarating. You needed more Murder City Devils in your life, you just didn’t know it, punker. The Dogs’ darkness is far less black than MCD, but listening to Death by Drowning you know they would kick your ass if you mentioned that their rock and roll is a hell of a lot of fun.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “All of Us Kids Were Accidents”
Lead-In Image – Composite
- Album and sleeve – Courtesy of imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
- Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
- Album collage – David Bowie – Columbia Records; Dropkick Murphys – Dropkick Murphys; Brian Eno – Warp Records; You Me at Six – BMG Rights Mgmt; and The Dogs – Drabant Music