SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go
February 9, 2018 – Vol. 66
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.
Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers
Rock and roll everyman, Brian Fallon, gets his Motown on (with definite Grease undertones) with the opening track off of Sleepwalkers, and it is a stunner, but that is just the beginning of this sprawling album. “Forget Me Not” sounds like songs he produced in the Gaslight Anthem, for example. The rest of the album alternates between noir-ish, shadowy melodies wrapped around American garage, and carefree rockers. Beautifully, Fallon paints a picture of love on the canvas of Etta James in a way few others would or even could. This is America in album form.
Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Etta James”
Joan as Police Woman – Damned Devotion
Put simply, Joan as Police Woman’s Damned Devotion is damned sexy. It is a humid collection of songs in the key of Sade with subtle little freakouts (see “Steed (for Jean Genet)” and “The Silence”) sprinkled throughout the songs, and often within them. This is a collection for getting lost in with quality whiskey, and someone whose musical tastes you trust. Lights down low, see what happens.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Steed (for Jean Genet)”
Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe
Get inside the fuzzzbox with Fu Manchu, which has been skateboarding their way through life for the better part of 30 years. As per usual, this band surfs a wall of sludge with surprising precision on a low-end assault on pop music. There is nothing pretty about Clone of the Universe: impressive yes, but this isn’t music for a Super Bowl halftime show. It is music for laying rubber in your high school parking lot. Hell, Alex Lifeson from Rush even gets in on the fun in the 18 minute, multi-part, side-long romp, “Ill Mostro Atomico.”
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles
Best song: “Don’t Panic”
Holy Motors – Slow Sundown
Think of Holy Motors as the Cowboy Junkies from Estonia. It’s 90% reverb, 80% breathy vocals, and 86% arid rhythms… Somewhere, that math checks out, I promise. This mood machine isn’t trying to get you to dance, so much as it is compelling you to stare at a flame in your darkened living room. Slow Sundown feels like waking up, and not knowing where you are or where you have been. What day is it?
Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Signs”
David Duchovny – Every Third Thought
Okay, it’s best to try and forget about David Duchovny, the X Files actor, and focus on the music. It’s not easy to do, but you have to do it to get through Every Third Thought. There is nothing wrong with his voice, the music is perfectly fine and even interesting at times… Basically, what I am saying is that this isn’t bad at all. It’s folksy, American barroom music that is, yes, “dad rock,” but let’s cool our jets on making sure that is a devastating invective. The guy is in his 50s, I’m a dad, lots of great people are dads, and sometimes this sort of thing is just what you need (sheesh).
Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “When the Whistle Blows”
Lead-In Image – Composite
- Album and sleeve – Courtesy of imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
- Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
- Album collage – Brian Fallon – Island Records; David Duchovny – Westbound Kyd; Fu Manchu – At The Dojo; Holy Motors – Wharf Cat Records; and Joan As Police Woman – Pias America.