ss38feature

We Review New Albums by Matthew Ryan, Girlpool, and more!

***

SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

May 12, 2017 – Vol. 38

***

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.

***

Matthew Ryan – Hustle Up Starlings

Scruffy, fiercely independent rock and roll survivor Matthew Ryan has returned with possibly the most assured album of his long career, and that is saying something. He has surrounded himself with good people, like Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, but his songs are always front of the stage. Cinematic, forceful, broken, and glued back together, make no mistake, these songs are special. Hustle Up Starlings will knock you on your ass.

Rating: 5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Run Rabbit Run”

***

Girlpool – Powerplant

Plaintive duo Girlpool is back with a collection of largely unadorned indie rock for the bus ride home from a particularly shitty day at work. The production on Powerplant is so dry it feels like it could splinter at any point, and that is probably intentional. There are bursts of noise and velocity throughout, but the core of the album is an evenness that serves Girlpool well. There is an intimacy to the vocal harmonies that invite you to come inside and live in them for a while, and it is worth your time to do so.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Static Somewhere”

***

Brutus – Burst

This debut album from Belgian post-hardcore band, Brutus, is pretty stunning. The band started as a Refused tribute basically, and 20 seconds of opening track, “March,” and that much is clear. A Refused starting point is not a bad thing. After all, Refused’s seminal album is called The Shape of Punk to Come, and Brutus is answering the call with Burst. Put this album on, and either lean in or get the hell out of the way.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Drive”

***

Paul Weller – A Kind Revolution

The Modfather is back, and just in time to save the world with A Kind Revolution. It’s jam-packed with 70s soul sounds performed in 2017 by someone who lived through them the first time around. It opens with one of Weller’s most joyous songs in a long time, “Woo Se’ Mama,” and from there A Kind Revolution rocks and sways its way into your life. Weller has been around for so long it can get easy to take him for granted, but a really good album by a seasoned vet should always be celebrated.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Woo Se’ Mama”

***

Harry Styles – Harry Styles

You might have heard of Harry Styles, maybe not, though. Apparently, he was in some other group before going solo… Whatever, what matters is the music, and it is earthy, poppy, and, well, soulfully gritty. Swerving from pastoral folk to swinging Paul Weller (ahem, erm) rock and roll, the album is nearly always engaging and fun. This guy might be going places.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Carolina”

***

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 – Matthew Ryan – Matthew Ryan; Girlpool – Anti/Epitaph; Paul Weller – Warner Bros/Parlophone; Brutus – Sargent House; Harry Styles – Columbia