shark sandwich 106 - album reviews

Album Reviews – Best Coast – Heart Bones – and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Speedy Album Reviews for Those on the Go

February 21, 2020 – Vol. 106

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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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Best Coast – Always Tomorrow

Best Coast rockets out of the pocket with the jagged banger, “Different Light,” and happily the L.A. duo doesn’t really take their foot off the pedal for the rest of Always Tomorrow. The album is a blast of fresh air after having the windows shut for the cold months. It’s smart, compact rock and roll that heralds a very, very good spring for music and life in general. Just try playing this album in your car with the windows up. It doesn’t work, so give in, turn it up, and feel a little younger for the next 40 minutes or so.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Different Light”

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Heart Bones – Hot Dish

Heart Bones promises right off the bat that “This Time it’s Different,” and it is while it isn’t. There is a welcome familiarity to the music Sean Tillmann (Har Mar Superstar if you’re nasty) and Sabrina Ellis make on Hot Dish, but it’s off-kilter just so. Just the way I like it, this is a breezy concoction that eventually made me a little light-headed. For the most part, you’re going to want to boogie, and I suspect that seeing Heart Bones on their upcoming tour will be just the place to do it. Don’t be shy, drink it in, and give in to the weird familiarity of this collaborative album.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Little Dancer”

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Charlotte Rose Benjamin – Party City

Charlotte Rose Benjamin is a singer-songwriter with a pulse. I apologize for that seemingly throwaway description, but Party City is her debut EP, so there isn’t much else to go on. There is introspection, and a focus on the vocals like all classic singer-songwriters, but the music is engaging and not at all an afterthought. Party City is more than the sum of its parts, or the definition of lazy music writers. It is a stake in the ground, and a spotlight on the stage for an artist worth checking out and following.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Party City”

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Peggy Sue – Vices

The vocals are gorgeous, the guitars trebly and unadorned, and the overall sound is like crossing into a desert at dusk. Thank you, Peggy Sue, for sound tracking the next season of Twin Peaks (fingers crossed). It is clear this this UK band knows precisely the sort of sound they are aiming for, whether it is the spare, arid landscape of tracks like “Remainder Blues” or piling on the crunch on “Validate Me.” Vices is the sound of tequila drinks and low lights. It’s dreamy, and ready for your next Saturday night.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Slow Fade”

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Greg Dulli – Random Desire

“Desolation, come and get it. Broken hearted, I don’t regret it.” Yup, this is a Greg Dulli record all right! Whether fronting Afghan Whigs, the Twilight Singers, the Gutter Twins, or under his own name, Dulli delivers his testaments with a forceful confidence and masculinity that in unmistakable. There are loud moments, quiet moments, and songs with both on Random Desire, but the simmering intensity never wavers. Dulli’s always lived in the shadows, and this album certainly doesn’t change that, and why should it?

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Pantomima”

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Want more? Why not check out…

Doomtree – “Five Alive”

Minneapolis rap collective, Doomtree, has been silent as a group since 2015-16 (check out our review of their last album All Hands), but came back strong today with this new song. Does it mean a full crew album? A tour? There are rumors, but this mysterious new track isn’t giving up any easy answers.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: Uh, this one

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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 – Heart Bones – Love OnLine; Peggy Sue – French Exit; Greg Dulli – BMG Rights Management; Charlotte Rose Benjamin – Neon Gold Records; and Best Coast – Concord Records.