shark sandwich 105 - album reviews - feature

Album Reviews – Huey Lewis – Le Butcherettes – and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Speedy Album Reviews for Those on the Go

February 14, 2020 – Vol. 105

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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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Soakie – Soakie

Ten seconds into Soakie’s brutal debut album, you realize that this might be too much for you. By the time you hear “there are too many fucking boys on stage” (opening the fourth track), though, you are either are digging it or have fled for the hills. It’s unhinged, thrashing hardcore that shows up, punches you in the throat, and is gone like a bunch of bikers running away from the end of the weekend. Try cranking these seven tracks in a church parking lot at 2am. At only thirteen minutes long, you will be home and in bed before the cops even show up.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Boys on Stage”

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Huey Lewis and the News – Weather

Huey Lewis and the News is such a big part of my childhood that it hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard about Lewis’s struggles with Meniere’s disease. They were unstoppable and out of time in their 80s heyday, but more world weary and soul-inflected these days on Weather, which is understandable and even admirable. This is the very definition of aging gracefully. This new album is a fantastic reminder of what made the band such a force earlier on – their love of music without pretension. I hope to hear more from Huey Lewis, I wish him well, but tonight I’ll put Weather on the turntable to recall my youth, yes, but also to let myself know that it’s okay to be old today as well.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “One of the Boys”

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PJ Morton – The Piano Album

PJ Morton’s The Piano Album acts as a stripped-down companion to last year’s Paul. It’s a beautiful easy listen, loose and confident, and will never step on your toes while showing you the way. He has a lot to say, and the point comes through crystal clear in this setting. It’s like being at the desk of a PJ Morton NPR Tiny Desk Concert. It’s a relaxing affair, not unlike Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On or Paul Weller’s Wild Wood.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Mountains and Molehills”

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Shadow Show – Silhouettes

Detroit hustles harder, and that mission statement is in full effect when taking in Motown’s Shadow Show. These three bad ass ladies simply burst into the room waving a well-played copy of Nuggets, and kick over your couch, demanding that you pay attention. This is garage rock, raw and bloody, and it is here to wreck the place. Unsurprisingly, there is a bit of trebly “sameness” to the songs, but I suspect that is by design, or at least the nature of this particular beast. Your motor should be running by “Contessa,” and you’ll be looking for a switchblade to bring to the drive-in.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Contessa”

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Le Butcherettes – Don’t Bleed

New Le Butcherettes songs are always an event worthy of celebration. Even at their quietest, this is a band that is out for blood. “Don’t Bleed, You’re in the Middle of the Forest” isn’t a banger, but, well… This is a slick production, and the songs largely move away from guitar rock into almost electronica territory. They are never an easy listen, and that’s the beauty of difficulty, of obstinance , of art, and Le Butcherettes do it better than most.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Out for You”

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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 – Soakie – La Vida Es Un Mus Discos; Huey Lewis – BMG; PJ Morton – Morton Records; Shadow Show – Burger Records; and Le Butcherettes – Rise Records.