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Techno for punks – A folk singing sensation – The latest albums reviewed!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

October 14, 2016 – Vol. 27

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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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Matt Hires – American Wilderness

I’m going to go ahead and say two things: 1. Matt Hires vocally bears a striking resemblance to REM’s Michael Stipe (this is a compliment), and 2. American Wilderness is pretty goddamn great. We already put the screws to him with our Six Crucial Questions (he passed the test), and NewsWhistle Music is officially crushing on this singer/songwriter who knows how and when to turn it up. You can certainly listen to this album while driving, but don’t forget to listen in bed on a good pair of headphones. The lyrics are something special, as is the song construction. This guy should probably teach a class somewhere.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Begin Again”

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Powell – Sport

This is dance, techno, electronic music for punks, or maybe Powell is a punk playing these types of music. Sport opens with 30 seconds of electronic abrasion, and from there it skitters from aggressively danceable noise (“Jonny”) to sampled-out barely songs (“Skype”), and back again. It is very low-end throughout, which will make your insides quake here and there if you are into that sort of thing. Sport is the perfect antidote to what you hear on top 40 radio, and you won’t know how much you have been waiting for it until you hear it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Junk”

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MONO – Requiem for Hell

You can’t casually listen to Requiem for Hell from MONO. This instrumental, layered, orchestral rock band from Japan demands your attention, and you are either going to give it or you are going to listen to something else. The songs build and swell to the point you aren’t sure what you were even doing when it began. Were you lost at sea, in a lifeboat, or making a sandwich in the kitchen? It doesn’t matter, just give in.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Death in Rebirth”

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Jojo – Mad Love

This is Jojo’s comeback album, and it is all pro from front to back. Opening with the gorgeous piano ballad, “Music,” Mad Love is one lesson in pop art after another. It is a summer album for the coming winter, if that makes any sense. You might think you are not into this level of pop, but give Mad Love a spin. You’ll find you were wrong.

Rating: 3 out 5 of whistles

Best Song: “Fuck Apologies” (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

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The Well – Pagan Science

Holy shit, the doom of it all! Austin, Texas band, The Well, will rock your ass, get you excommunicated from the church, and give you a contact high. Pagan Science is like dropping a ton of acid and watching the desert burn. It’s sludgy, fuzzy, and evil-sounding. You know you want it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Byzantine”/”I Don’t Believe” (tie)

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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 – Courtesy of Matt Hires – Rock Ridge Music; Powell – XL Recordings Unlimited; The Well – Riding Easy Recordings; Jojo – Atlantic; and MONO – Temporary Residence LTD.