shark sandwich 57 album reviews

New Album Reviews – Alex Lahey, the Darkness, and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

October 6, 2017 – Vol. 57

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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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Alex Lahey – I Love You Like a Brother

Wikipedia says that Australian Alex Lahey is a “singer-songwriter,” but that might be a little misleading. This is not some Carole King and incense loving candle lighting adult contemporary musician, not that there is anything wrong with that! Lahey’s songs crackle with candypunk rock and roll energy, and should be just the thing to get your party hopping. This is garage rock as played by someone raised on bands like the Go-Go’s, Ramones, the Eyeliners, and Joan Jett. Shove I Love You Like a Brother into your earholes, and get ready for your feet to respond.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Every Day’s the Weekend”

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Cults – Offering

NYC duo, Cults, are an attitude, a consistent attitude on Offering. It’s a synthy, 80s, dreamy pop sound that Cults are mining, and it absolutely hits the spot. The album has a pulse throughout, but the rhythm is sometimes buried under a gauzy blanket of nostalgic echo. Madeline Follin’s vocals are front and center, but rarely clear as a bell (intentionally, natch). This is a very consistent cycle of songs that rewards repeated listens.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Clear from Far Away”

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The Darkness – Pinewood Smile

The Darkness burst onto the scene fourteen years ago with their infectious blend of glam, 70s hard rock, and an all-encompassing love of Queen. Break ups, line-up changes, etc. have led us to Pinewood Smile, a contender for possibly the worst album cover of 2017. It’s a very good thing the music rocks hard, and that they seem more intent than ever to be the current version of the Sweet. Bless ‘em for that, too, because this band gets a fair amount of hate, but they don’t deserve it. They actually deserve a medal.

Rating: 4 out 5 of whistles

Best Song: “Japanese Prisoner of Love”

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Whitney Rose – Rule 62

Canadian songwriter Whitney Rose calls her sound “vintage pop infused neo traditional country,” and that is pretty accurate, actually. Largely a breakup record, Rule 62 feels very comfortable if you have an affinity for old soul, and high and lonesome country. You won’t cry in your beer so much as you might order a whiskey and sing along with Patsy Cline on the jukebox of your dreams. These songs feel empowered, instead of like raggedy, weary country weepers. It is telling that the song called “Time to Cry” is the biggest, baddest barrelhouse stomper of the album.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Time to Cry”

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Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry

Hailing from Montreal, Wolf Parade throw down the melodramatic gauntlet at the foot of you, dear listener. Don’t fight ‘em, though, because they are a hell of a lot of fun to listen to, and it isn’t just a dark slog down a rainy street. It starts out pulsatingly dark with “Lazarus Online,” in which they encourage you to “rage against the night,” but don’t let it get you down. A knife’s edge is meant to be partied upon, with the lights out preferably, and Wolf Parade is here to provide the soundtrack.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Lazarus Online”

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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 – Alex Lahey – Dead Oceans; Cults – Sinderlyn; Wolf Parade – Sub Pop Records; Whitney Rose – Six Shooter Records; and The Darkness – Cooking Vinyl.