shark sandwich 48 a feature

The Latest Album Reviews – New Music from Manchester Orchestra, Joywave, and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

July 28, 2017 – Vol. 48

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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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Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs – Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs

Canadian punks-by-way-of-Thin-Lizzy, Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs, are back in town, and if the boys wanna fight you better let’em. This band, come on, they hit all the right notes for rock fans of a certain age (mine). They are equal parts of Cheap Trick, the Dictators, Thin Lizzy, and Rick Springfield, and the sum total is going to make you lose your goddamn mind. Don’t deny them because they aren’t “punk” enough or “rock” enough or what have you. Just crank it, pick up your friends, and go out and decidedly do not act your age.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Voicemail”

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Joywave – Content

Icy cool Joywave sounds like Kid A era Radiohead crashed into the Pet Shop Boys, and if you take that as a negative you haven’t been following this column. Moody, dreamy keyboard soundscapes merge seamlessly with propulsive beats and angular guitars. It is just what the doctor ordered if you are sick of your current record collection. You can, and should, dance along to the rhythm. Dance… like everyone is watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “It’s a Trip!”

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Alice Cooper – Paranormal

Oh, Alice Cooper, you really are rock and roll’s consummate showman. I mean, it has been pretty obvious over the years, but Paranormal hit fast and hard, a combustible mix of theater, metal, rockabilly, and the stuff of nightmares. You can imagine the stage show with songs like “Fireball” and the Pink Floyd-esque “Paranoiac Personality,” and you know it is going to be great. This guy is pushing 70, people. You hope you are going to look as good in Droog make up and snarling out rock music like this when you are that age.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Dynamite Road”

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Isley Brothers/Santana – Power of Peace

Explosively current, two groups of enduring (and endearing) artists, the Isley Brothers and Carlos Santana, have gotten together to release a fervent and emotional album with Power of Peace. It is all covers of blues, soul, and r n’ b classics, and it is an upbeat exercise that will have you dancing in the streets. Santana’s incendiary guitar work, Cindy Blackman Santana’s (she and Carlos are married) pounding drums along with the Isleys on vocals and even more guitars make for a potent witch’s brew. Give in, get down, and don’t ruin the moment by talking.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Love, Peace, Happiness”

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Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile to the Surface

Atlanta-based Manchester Orchestra starts A Black Mile to the Surface with the slow burn of “The Maze” before their rock guitar band sound more fully comes into focus. Taken as a whole, this album is equal parts emotional mope and excitingly rhythmic rock and roll. It is a good combination that hits multiple targets at once, and Manchester Orchestra seems particularly adept at it. If the Cure, Black Hearts Procession, and Josh Rouse had a baby, this would be it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “The Moth”

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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 – Manchester Orchestra – Loma Vista; Isley Brothers/Santana – Sony Legacy; Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs – Burger Records/Dine Alone Records; Alice Cooper – earMusic; and Joywave – Cultco Music/Hollywood Records.