ss-45-feature

The Latest Album Reviews – New Music from LowRay, Melvins, TLC & more!

***

SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

July 7, 2017 – Vol. 45

***

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.

***

LowRay – Columbia

Minneapolis super group, LowRay, play the sort of sun-kissed fuzzed-out Americana pop that most bands emulating Wilco actually want even if they don’t know it. Columbia came out a few weeks ago, but it is a solid EP worth a listen. Make a random mix of LowRay, the Jayhawks, Ten Ton Bridge, and yes even Wilco, get in your car, and hit the road on a day trip this summer. You will thank me when you return.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Self-Medicating”

***

Melvins – A Walk with Love & Death

Love or hate the sludge the Melvins have been slinging for the last 100 or so years, you have to give them credit. They are still flying their freak flag loud and proud, and they just happen to have released their first double album of their career with A Walk with Love and Death. The Death album is a “proper” Melvins album while the Love disc is a soundtrack to a Jesse Nieminen short movie sharing the name of the full Melvins release. There is plenty to like on Death, but Love is weaponized crowd-control. If you want to clear a room out, put on the Love, which is probably the point.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Flaming Creature”

***

HAIM – Something to Tell You

The sisters HAIM are back, and there is plenty of summer left for which you will need a soundtrack, you dig? Something to Tell You should pretty much be on or ready to be put on at least through Labor Day, but really it is just what the doctor ordered whenever you need smart, spare, rhythmic funky shit to get you through your day. These ladies are definitely confident in what they are saying and playing on this new album, and it is infectious as all hell. Tune in, grab hold, and claim some of the strength HAIM is offering. There is no shame in admitting you need the assist, and HAIM is clearly offering it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Nothing’s Wrong”

***

TLC – TLC

It’s ridiculous how awesome TLC sounds in 2017. T-Boz and Chilli clearly miss their dearly departed friend and collaborator, Left Eye, but they don’t miss a beat on this self-titled album, reported to be their last. They come off the bench swinging for the fences on “No Introduction,” though it is true that they do not need one. The album could be a party album, but really there is heart here. It’s about strength and perseverance, and though you can dance to a lot of it, you ought to listen hard to the album, too.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “American Gold”

***

This Is The Kit – Moonshine Freeze

This Is The Kit is a project of English singer/songwriter Kate Sables, and Moonshine Freeze is the sound of a not-quite-sunny summer always on the verge of rain. There is PJ Harvey, Thea Gilmore, and Laura Marling in this sound, as well as a healthy dose of foggy atmosphere and a strong pulse.   This is an album of anthems for introverts. Here I am, rock you like aaaa… stiff breeze… if you please.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Two Pence Piece”

***

All artists are available on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and wherever else better music is sold, streamed, downloaded, or performed on tour.

***

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).

***

Lead-In Image – Composite

  • Album and sleeve – Courtesy of  imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
  • Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
  • Album collage – LowRay – LowRay Music; TLC – 852 Musiq; HAIM – Columbia Records; Melvins – Ipecac Recordings; and This Is The Kit – Rough Trade.