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Rock That’s Big, Buzzy, and Fuzzy – Plus Other Music Reviews!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

December 16, 2016 – Vol. 32

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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 Lox – Filthy America… It’s Beautiful

The Lox (Living Off Experience) are not new to this game, but they certainly take their time releasing albums. This hip hop crew has been around since 1994, but Filthy America… It’s Beautiful is only their third album, and their first since 2000. As advertised, the beats and overall sentiment are both filthy and beautiful. Opening strong with the cacophonous “Omen,” the second track is a “skit” and it destroys the momentum of the first track, but the album finds its groove and stays there for the most part. The back half is stronger than the first, turning in the truly thrilling tracks “Don’t You Cry” and “Hard Life” (featuring Mobb Deep).

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Hard Life” (featuring Mobb Deep)

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Schiller – Future

Schiller is a pretty big deal in their home country of Germany, and of course they are. This isn’t a put down at all, but the ambient scenescape of Future feels so, so Teutonic. Vocally, the three versions of the title track feels like basically a self-help manual in trance format. Only superficially is this a “dance” record, in that you would be dancing with an ice sculpture of the best version of yourself. Put this on and bide your time until Twin Peaks hits Showtime later in 2017.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Once Upon a Time (I.)”

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Some Need it Lonely

Post hardcore composer, guitarist, etc., Omar Rodriguez-Lopez doesn’t know how to slow down. If it isn’t At the Drive-In or the Mars Volta, ORL is releasing about a million albums a year. Some Need it Lonely isn’t a day brightener; full of strange skittering beats, squealing flourishes, and detached vocals, it isn’t exactly depressive either. It’s moody, tense, and full of life–full of lonely, self-absorbed life. You might want to listen to that Schiller album after this one.

Rating: 2.99999 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Archangel Trophy”

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Little Simz – Stillness in Wonderland

Sweeping, insistent, and subtly experimental, Little Simz’s hip hop is more like a poet’s notebook laid bare over a cinematic pulse. It’s a consistent artistic statement. Even the “interludes” move the story forward in a way few have mastered, which is weird given how ubiquitous interludes and “skits” are on hip hop records. Stillness in Wonderland is begging for your full attention span, and you should give it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Doorways + Trust Issues”

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Spill – Top Ten

Rock and roll is always cool, right? Spill certainly hopes so, and I think probably is proof of that theory. People will always need to go into the garage, plug in, and bleed their emotions all over the place while exorcising demons, and for a rock and roll fan of my, uh, vintage, this is a welcome realization. The point is that Top Ten fulfills the promise of the Nuggets collection, and acts as a lightning rod for folks missing unpretentious rock and roll that is big, buzzy, fuzzy, and proud of its noble lineage and mission. Best served through cheap ass car speakers.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “You Know it’s True”

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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 – The LOX – Roc Nation; Schiller – MRI; Omar Rodriguez Lopez – Ipecac Recordings; Little Simz – Age 101; and Spill – No Sleep Records.