shark sandwich 109 - album reviews

Album Reviews – Eliza & the Delusionals – Haru Nemuri – and more !

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SHARK SANDWICH – Speedy Album Reviews for Those on the Go

March 20, 2020 – Vol. 109

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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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Eliza & the Delusionals – A State of Living in an Objective Reality

Australia’s Eliza & the Delusionals speak exclusively in singles and EPs, at least thus far in their short career. Guitar anthems rarely need more than three minutes thirty seconds, and this band gets it. The tempo is just right on this EP, heads will bob but not bang, and the delivery is just gauzy enough to play footsie with shoegaze. The overall impact feels affirmative, and with titles like “Just Exist” and “ALIVE” it is hard to miss the undercurrent of hard-won positivity (or at least peace) with their reality. If you have been missing rock and roll and maybe some of your youth, take this EP with a cheap beer or two and you’ll feel better.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “ALIVE”

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The Weeknd – After Hours

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I was totally behind when it comes to The Weeknd, a little bit intentionally if I am being honest. Wrongheaded, to be sure, because After Hours is a fucking stunner: dark, lush, beautiful, creepy, and dimly lit – a masterpiece. There is so much to love here, from the lilting vocals, to the honesty, to the music (the music!), and it really is for everyone. The exotic mood immediately paralyzes you on “Alone Again,” daring you to turn it off. Fat chance, if you like complex, immersive music. Once you are under the spell of After Hours, you are The Weeknd’s for the next hour.

Rating: 5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Alone Again”

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Haru Nemuri – LOVETHEISM

Do I speak Japanese? I do not, but that does not diminish the immediacy of Haru Nemuri’s latest, LOVETHEISM. This is music that grabs you by the ears, and by the time the second track erupts, she has thrown you across the room. She talks a lot about rock and roll on her website (“All mankind might perish by WWIII, but even then Rock ‘n’ Roll might not die in that fire”), and she clearly means it. LOVETHEISM is a brash, loud, messy bastard of an album, and it is glorious from start to finish.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: the second one (Sorry)

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Baxter Dury – The Night Chancers

Lounge-y and lurid, Baxter Dury is more than the son of a famous dad, he is an immersive artist dedicated to a decadent mood. Part Bowie, part Nick Cave, and oh yeah, his dad, too, The Night Chancers will have you turning the lights down. It’s definitely danceable, but it’s Dury’s lyrics and the delivery of them that will stop you cold. It bears mentioning, as well, that the backing vocals are stellar. Never has the chant, “who the fuck are you, my friend?” (“Saliva Hog”) been so smooth, and yet intensely menacing at the same time. Great stuff.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “I’m Not Your Dog”

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The Flytraps – Wild Card

A welcome and sweet gift from the fuzz gods, The Flytraps are here to kick your ass all over the parking lot. Wild Card is everything. This is garage rock in the grand traditions of the Misfits, the Cramps, and the Ramones, with the appropriate amount of grit and sleaze. You’re working from home these days, so just give in, turn it up, and piss off that Zoom meeting you have scheduled for 1:00. It’s a weird time, making it the best time to get day drunk on a Tuesday with Wild Card blowing out your speakers.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Takin’ It Back”

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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 – The Flytraps – Burger Records; The Weeknd – XO Records; Baxter Dury – Heavenly Recordings; Haru Nemuri – TO3S Records; and Eliza & the Delusionals – Cooking Vinyl LTD.