shark sandwich 102 - beach slang - slgiers - feature

Album Reviews – Beach Slang – Algiers – and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

January 24, 2020 – Vol. 102

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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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Lola Marsh – Someday Tomorrow Maybe

Lola Marsh’s sophomore album shuffles into your life when you need it most, and for unexpected reasons. This duo’s sound has been called “cinematic” and “sweeping,” but they are often at their best when they are stripped bare like on “Strangers on the Subway” and they let the words tell their tale. Someday Tomorrow Maybe is an equally effective soundtrack to walking in the woods with your dog or drinking to forget. This is an album that longs for… You know, it isn’t the destination, it is the journey.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Echoes”

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Beach Slang – The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbeat City

Beach Slang has a mission, and main dude, James Alex, has stated it many times in different ways over a handful of albums, but never more clearly as on “Let it Ride”:

“Rock and roll’s my favorite sin. Man, I don’t know if I am good at it, but I’m too in love or dumb to quit.”

The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbeat City sleezes into its fighting stance, states its purpose on “Let it Ride,” and proceeds to deliver Alex’s version of Pleased to Meet Me. This is a rock and roll album that means to get your ass shaking in between bouts of sobbing at the bar, hopefully bringing a satisfied smile to St. Paul’s lips. Beach Slang reaches for the stars on Heartbeat City, and though they don’t quite make it, it’s okay because, really, isn’t that the point?

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Nobody Say Nothing”

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Algiers – There is No Year

Whoa, Algiers comes out of the speakers sounding like all four horses of the apocalypse at once, and listening to them testify is like trying to reason with a house on fire. They have never been easy or comfy, but the band is so taut, so spiky on There is No Year that you risk injury if you get too close. The experience is like the guy on the album cover. Let Algiers get close enough to whisper in your ear, and you get pushed off the cliff. Redemption is an afterthought, a ghost to all of the blood and fire of the stunning There is No Year, and maybe we are at a point in history when we need to roll around in it for a while.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Hour of the Furnaces”

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October Drift – Forever Whatever

October Drift makes an impressive fuzz on Forever Whatever, and whether or not the album is inspired by a Soul Asylum lyric is immaterial because it works. There is something nostalgic about October Drift’s guitar rock and vocal delivery which is now timeless in its own way. If you came of age in the late 80s and 90s, listening to indie or underground rock, you will find something to like on this band’s auspicious debut album. On second thought, “nostalgic” is the wrong word for the sound these dudes make. The nostalgia is all in the heads of certain listeners (raises hand), and the band probably has a great record collection that informs their noise.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Forever Whatever”

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Hayley Mary – The Piss, The Perfume

This EP by Jezebels singer, Hayley Mary, might be short, but it covers a lot of ground with big hooks and soaring vocals. Singer/songwriters come dime a dozen, and no matter how talented they may be it can be easy to tune them out. Therefore, it always a joy when one you have never heard before forces you to stop what you are doing and take note. On The Piss, The Perfume the introspection is there, the confession is there, but it is powered by a rock and roll heart that refuses to sit down and shut up. There might be a life lesson in that somewhere, but don’t waste too much time looking for it; instead, just listen and let your pulse run free.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Brat”

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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 – Lola Marsh – Universal Music Division Barclay; Algiers – Matador Records; Hayley Mary – I Oh You; Beach Slang – Bridge 9 Records; and October Drift – Physical Education Recordings LTD