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Is The New Stones Album Worth A Roll? Plus Other Album Reviews!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

December 2, 2016 – Vol. 30

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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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The Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones, have you heard of them? Look, these craggy old bastards have been at it since the middle of the last century, and we’ve all heard “Start Me Up,” “Honky Tonk Women,” et al so often that it’s understandable that you might forget that this is a rhythm and blues band at heart. They haven’t forgotten, though, and Blue & Lonesome barrels through a swamp of songs by American treasures like Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, etc. They do it live, gritty, and hungry. This isn’t an album by your grandparents, but what these kids wanted to sound like waaaay back in ’62, ’63.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Ride ‘Em On Down”

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Deadmau5 – W:/2016ALBUM/

Mouse-helmeted DJ, Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5 (“dead mouse”), knows how to create progressive-y sounding dance music that makes you feel like you are living in a video game. This is a good thing, to a point. Any album with tracks called “Cat Thruster” and “Three Pound Chicken Wing” is clearly on to something (what, I don’t know). This is background music in the best possible sense in most of your everyday life. Play an immersive video game, or do some designer drugs at a dark, dark club in the middle of the night, however, and Deadmau5 becomes something else altogether – a soundtrack.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Three Pound Chicken Wing”

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Peter Doherty – Hamburg Demonstrations

Shambolic front man for the Libertines and Babyshambles, Peter Doherty presents the end of 2016 a loose collection of tracks of chamber pop that feel like autumn for a weird reason. There are acoustic guitars, violins, wide open production that feels like an old maple tree’s skeleton slowly shivering in the cold swirls of late October (I know, the album was released December 2, but stay with me here). Is Hamburg Demonstrations going to take the place of Up The Bracket? It had better not, but it certainly can sit next to it on the shelf, ready to take you through the night like a warm blanket.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Birdcage”

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Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”

Actor, writer, performer, Donald Glover or Childish Gambino is one busy guy. “Awaken, My Love!” is a hot, sprawling mess that will remind the listener of everyone funky, from Lenny Kravitz to Prince to Jimi Hendrix to Parliament, etc. It is a busy album, but it does best when it gives the music room to breathe as on the standout, “Redbone.” If you are uninitiated, finding out who Childish Gambino is can be a little jarring. He’s a renaissance man, and on “Awake, My Love!” he LOVES his fuzztone guitar.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Redbone”

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Landing – Complekt

You like “shoegaze,” right? I mean, come on, your record collection looks a lot like mine. Landing is in the mode of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus And Mary Chain, Ravonettes, Glasvegas, and all the rest of the fuzzed out, muted vocals wave of sound bands that have moved you from restless adolescence into fitful and hesitant adulthood. Just me, too personal? Fuck it, put on Complekt in the car and get yourself to a frozen beach somewhere to smoke cigarettes, argue with ghosts, drink watered-down gin, whatever it takes.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “World”

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All artists are available on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, 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 – Rolling Stones – Interscope; Deadmau5 – Mau5trap Recordings Limited; Peter Doherty – BMG Rights Management; Childish Gambino – Glassnote; and Landing – These Are Not Records.