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Which new album will help wash away the bad news?

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

October 7, 2016 – Vol. 26

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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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Green Day – Revolution Radio

Green Day is the Rolling Stones for late Gen-Xers? The opening track, “Somewhere Now,” from Revolution Radio feels a little like the Stones 30 years into their career. This is not necessarily a compliment, so it is with great relief that they pop the album in gear on the next track, “Bang Bang,” and they keep up the pace (mostly) throughout the rest of the album. It’s punk rock played by vets who are still trying to make sense of just how big they got with Dookie (something like 23 years ago). It’s ok, guys, don’t spend too much time on it, just keep doing what you clearly know how to do.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Revolution Radio”

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Lizzo – Coconut Oil

Lizzo can do anything, anything. Her new EP, Coconut Oil, is so much fun that it will make you forget how crappy the news can be these days. Careening from gospel to hip hop to Princely funkiness, Lizzo proves on this short sampler that all of the buzz for the past couple of years hasn’t been idle chatter. She’s a force of nature, and this EP should tide you over until her next full length.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Good As Hell”

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Rick Astley – 50

Forget it, just forget all that Rickrolling bullshit. 50 (the other side of Adele’s album titles?) is a deeply personal, spiritual album for Rick Astley, and it is all kinds of surprising. The opening seconds of the opening track, “Keep Singing,” will knock you on your ass with its power and conviction. I get the impression Mr. Astley would endure the 80s a million times over if it lead him to 50.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Keep Singing”

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Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos

Skittering, poetic, apocalyptic, Let Them Eat Chaos is everything you think an album by that title would be. Bare bones beats and production push Kate Tempest’s words to the forefront; which is just the way it should be. With titles like “Ketamine for Breakfast,” “Europe is Lost,” and “We Die,” Let Them Eat Chaos isn’t exactly a day brightener. It’s ok, though. To get through life, sometimes you have to move through the shadows, too.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Europe is Lost”

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Phantogram – Three

In some ways, Phantogram’s Three is a more fleshed-out version of Kate Tempest’s new album, and this speaks to the strengths of both albums. Three is a dark ride through a well-produced song cycle that can be your soundtrack to a witch burning, waiting online to get Radiohead tickets, or even just loading the dishwasher. Take this album on a drive after midnight, and even if you are just running to the store for more Doritos it will feel like the most important, most dangerous trip you have ever taken.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”

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All artists are available on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, 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 – Courtesy of Green Day – Reprise; Lizzo – Nice Life/Atlantic; Rick Astley – BMG; Kate Tempest – Lex Records; and Phantogram – Universal.