shark sandwich 47 feature

The Latest Album Reviews – New Music from Lana Del Rey & more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

July 21, 2017 – Vol. 47

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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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Childhood – Universal High

Childhood’s opening track, “A.M.D.”, has a guitar that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Eagles’ “One of these Nights,” and that is probably intentional. This London-based band has slathered on a hazy 1970s sheen to everything on Universal High. Much of the album sounds like late nights in Dogtown, all the hangers-on gone and the locals’ party turning seriously druggy. It’s a sketch of a timeline that the listener may or may not have participated in, but with Childhood’s soulful delivery, it will make a believer out of most.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Too Old for my Tears”

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In This Moment – Ritual

Winkingly evil, In This Moment talk a big talk, and really, that is fine when they talk like they do on Ritual. It is a bluesy metal concoction that may talk about “lying with the devil,” but they are really playing for the rafters of the biggest enormo stadiums in the land. The rock and roll is slickly produced for maximum summer car blasting, and there are great, surprising elements like the playful piano throughout “Black Wedding.” I’m not sure if a cover of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” is needed in 2017, but…. Come on, I have always loved that song and In This Moment do it justice.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Half God Half Devil”

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Lana Del Rey – Lust for Life

Lana Del Rey opens Lust for Life sounding like Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down.” Cinematic in scope, melancholy in tone, and gorgeous in effect, she has produced an album to match the Boss’s most downtrodden croon, if you replace 70s/80s New Jersey with a California that lives in film noir- filtered Hollywood of old. Lana is a torch singer for another time, and place. Whether it either actually existed doesn’t matter much. Take it for what it is now.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “God Bless America and All the Beautiful Women in It”

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Nine Inch Nails – Add Violence

Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails have been at it since before the first Lollapalooza for goodness sake, people. We should trust he/they know how to deliver the goods for the most part. Opening with “Less Than”, NIN sound more like Pretty Hate Machine than they have in a long, long time, and that should rock your world. It is big, accessible electrorock song, and from there the E.P. slows and quiets down, and becomes a collection of songs that dares you to follow along. It is worth it to see things through to the final 11 minute (6 minutes of pure noise) track, but sadly, NIN, masters of tease, never bother again with the perfection of the opening track.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Less Than”

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Barefoot in the Head

Put on your dancing shoes, hippies. The former Black Crowes singer is back with another cosmic blues rock jam with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, notable for its lack of actual brothers, unlike the Black Crowes. The band isn’t breaking any new ground on Barefoot in the Head, and that is just fine for fans of the Black Crowes, Grateful Dead, and all things seen through a cloud of pot smoke and nostalgia. Full of lighthearted moments, this album really feels like the band is playing just for you, as your house party is breaking up, your friends heading home to pay the babysitter and because they are tired after a week on the job. This is Chris Robinson’s job, though, and he knows how to do it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Blue Star 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 – Childhood – Marathon Records; Lana Del Rey – Interscope; In This Moment – Roadrunner Records/Atlantic; Nine Inch Nails – Null Corporation; and Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Silver Arrow.