shark sandwich 50 album reviews

The Latest Album Reviews – New Music from Kesha, the Cribs & Other Faves!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

August 11, 2017 – Vol. 50

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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 Cribs – 24-7 Rock Star Shit

Yorkshire, England’s the Cribs hit the ground running through a squall of noise on the opening “Give Good Time” off of the fabulously titled 24-7 Rock Star Shit, and the pace is kept through the album’s 10 tracks. This is ramshackle rock and roll for 2017, and goddamn if this world doesn’t need it. There are plenty of musical touchstones throughout this album of 90s-inspired bleeding raw guitar rock, and you could probably invent a drinking game to name them. In the end, though, just crank it, and step on it, Jean. There’s gas in your tank, the cops are coming, and this parking lot was never yours to begin with.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Broken Arrow”

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Emily Saliers – Murmuration Nation

For the uninitiated, Emily Saliers is one half of the acclaimed duo Indigo Girls, and despite being a musician for more than 30 years, Murmuration Nation (REM reference?) is her first solo record. Opening with the fantastic, vaguely “Middle Eastern” sounding “Spider,” the drama is on, but for the most part the album eases into adult roots pop, which is not a bad thing, and certainly plays to Saliers’ strengths. Once you get to “OK Corral,” though, you get a reminder of what made her reputation in the Indigo Girls. It is a mystical, bubbling, angry examination of America and our guns, and it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. It’s up to the listener to decide if this country needs changing, and how to get there if it does.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “OK Corral”

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Downtown Boys – Cost of Living

There is something joyous about this communist-leaning, gender-integrated, bi-lingual Providence, RI punk rock band calling themselves Downtown Boys like some 80s hair/cock rock band. It comes across in the music, too. It is fun partying on the edge of political sanity this year, and Downtown Boys understands this push and pull. After all, if you can’t dance at the apocalypse, is it even worth showing up? This is punker than most anything you own, hoss.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)”

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Frankie Rose – Cage Tropical

Spacey, reverbed-out new wave is on the menu at Café Frankie Rose, and thank the stars for it because she is serving it up right. Cage Tropical is made of parts of the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the listener’s nostalgia for the 80s underground, deserved or not. It is like falling asleep on the set of the Breakfast Club. I am not saying it is boring because the album maintains a pulse throughout, but it is just so damned dreamy! Give in to this feather bed made of rock and roll.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Trouble”

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Kesha – Rainbow

Kesha is a lightning rod. Legal troubles, hints and allegations, and a healthy smattering of “you love or you hate her” chatter only seem to be making Kesha stronger, as evidenced by the opener, “Bastards.” There is a parade of special guests throughout, like the Eagles of Death Metal, Dap Kings, and Dolly Parton. Each song they contribute to sounds just about exactly the way you think it would sound, lending a haphazard feel to the album as a whole, but it isn’t really a negative. Kesha clearly has something to prove here, and consider the message received.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Woman”

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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 – Downtown Boys – Sub Pop; Frankie Rose – Slumberland; the Cribs – House Arrest; Kesha – RCA; and Emily Saliers – MRI