SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go
September 15, 2017 – Vol. 54
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.
Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold
Foo Fighters have always worshipped at the altar of intra-song quiet-loud dynamics, and Concrete and Gold is certainly no exception. There is definitely noise on this new album, like on “Run” and “Make it Right” (which opens a lot like “Oh Candy” by Cheap Trick), but this might be the most explicitly Beatle-esque FF album so far. “The Sky is a Neighborhood” and “Happily Ever After (Zero Hour)” are great examples of the Fab Four shining through Dave Grohl’s songwriting. Weirdly enough, I am hearing some Eagles in tracks like “Dirty Water” and “Sunday Rain”, too. It’s OK if Dave Grohl is growing up, but let’s hope he isn’t feeling too old.
Rating: 3 out 5 whistles
Best Song: “Make it Right”
Deer Tick – Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Deer Tick is bleeding music these days with this double album release. Predictably, this is an acoustic/electric release, with Vol. 1 being the mellow one, and Vol. 2 being the rocker. It might be predictable for an outfit like Deer Tick to have this sort of release, it doesn’t blunt the power of the actual songs which are superb; particularly on Vol. 2. Listen to Vol. 2 at full volume in the basement while pounding cheap beer while celebrating some milestone with your friends, and put on Vol. 1 while sipping whiskey-gingers with your significant other on the front porch well after midnight.
Rating: 3.5 (average between both) out of 5 whistles
Best Songs: “Doomed from the Start” (Vol. 1), “Mr. Nothing gets Worse” (Vol. 2)
Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
Lyrical subject matter aside, Open Mike Eagle’s delivery on Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is rarely in your face, instead relying a slow simmer approach. Each track lulls you into a dream state with hypnotizing vocals and rhythms. Like a hot tub for your mind, you ease into this album and quickly get accustomed to its deeply personal recollections and impressionistic emotions. This is an evening album; an alone with your own thoughts just after dark album.
Rating: 3.5 out 5 whistles
Best Song: “Daydreaming in the Projects”
Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton – Choir of the Mind
Metric singer, Emily Haines, is back with her Soft Skeleton side project of heavenly vocals, pretty keyboards, and nihilism. These are not happy times, as evidenced by the song titles, but they make for a quietly intense album; a dagger delivered in silken sheath. Rarely rising above ethereal, Choir of the Mind kills you softly. Put it on your mobile device, get a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and go sit at a bus stop in the rain. You don’t have to actually go anywhere, in fact, it is better if you don’t.
Rating: 4 out 5 whistles
Best Song: “Irish Exit”
Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage
How you feel about Prophets of Rage will depend on how you feel about Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, and Public Enemy. On paper, this all makes sense because we need to protest, and dammit it all if you aren’t pumping your fist in the air within 30 seconds of this album starting. Protest music either does something for you or it doesn’t, but I will submit to you right now that Chuck D’s involvement alone makes Prophets of Rage a necessary listen. He is the living embodiment of raging against the machine, and there ought to be statues of the man in every town in America. The music rocks hard, and jumping around might be just what the doctor ordered.
Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Hail to the Chief”
Lead-In Image – Composite
- Album and sleeve – Courtesy of imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
- Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
- Album collage – Deer Tick – PTKF; Open Mike Eagle – Mello Music Group; Foo Fighters – RCA Records; Prophets of Rage – Fantasy; and Emily Haines – Last Gang.