shark sandwich 107 - album reviews

Album Reviews – Nova Twins – Les Deuxluxes – and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Speedy Album Reviews for Those on the Go

February 28, 2020 – Vol. 107

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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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Irma – The Dawn

Opening with the subtle, slightly slinky “The Dawn,” French singer/songwriter Irma moves into your brain and gets comfortable. The Dawn has a lot to offer, skittering from electro Afro pop, to acoustic ballads, to blues, to pop, and touches of dance. Irma shimmers through it all, uplifting the listener, and probably herself, with a world-weary but still positive outlook and sound. Overall, The Dawn is an exceptional listening experience. As I said, it simply rolls up and unloads its baggage directly to your synapses, and you end up subconsciously swapping stories with the singer, forging a connection that will stay with you.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “The Dawn”

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Pulled By Magnets – Rose Golden Doorways

What exactly is Pulled By Magnets? It’s jazz, played by glaciers in hell, or maybe if ghosts decided to play Dark Side of the Moon you might have something resembling Rose Golden Doorways. The album is unnerving in that it is, to quote the Manic Street Preachers, “no surface, but all feeling.” There isn’t anything to cling to, to anchor, making the experience off-putting in a thrilling sense. Welcome to your nightmare.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: Very hard to say; truly an “album experience”

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Nova Twins – Who Are The Girls?

“You’re in the vortex now.” The Nova Twins set the table on the fire-breathing first track from Who Are the Girls? It’s a promise, a threat, and a brag all at once. Leave it to this duo to have a song called “Play Fair,” but spit the lyric “I don’t play fair” in the listener’s face. These ladies mean business, and their debut album is a roundhouse kick to the forehead. Place Nova Girls on level pavement, light fuse, and stand back for your own safety.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Taxi”

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Les Deuxluxes – Lighter Fluid

Les Deuxluxes’ biography on Spotify simply says, “Montreal Rock ‘n’ Roll Sensation,” and that is good enough for me. Lighter Fluid is rock and roll in the purest, rawest sense, and sometimes you need that when you are on your way home from a punishing day at work. The world wants to beat you down, but this band is your secret weapon to punch back. Not literally, of course, but stuff “I Am the Man” into your ear holes, and try to not to feel a little more in control of your situation. Pop the collar on your leather jacket, stuff the brass knuckles into your socks, and get ready to rumble with Les Deuxluxes.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “I Am the Man”

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Soccer Mommy – Color Theory

Sophie Allison, as Soccer Mommy, charts out a path to her near future of stardom directly through a musical DeLorean to the 1990s. It was a glorious decade of rock-edged songwriters baring their souls, and Soccer Mommy is here for it. Color Theory is the unadorned, dry sound of emotions scraping the inside of the writer’s skull. It pours from your headphones, and mixes with your own doubts and fears in a sort of musical communion. If you lived through the decade, you will miss it, but the music of Soccer Mommy will stand on its own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Key Track: “Crawling in my Skin”

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Bonus – Because you deserve to feel good.

I certainly don’t know for certain, but it sure seems like David Byrne is living his best life, doesn’t it? This joyful rendition of “Once in a Lifetime” from the Leap Day Saturday Night Live is exactly what the doctor ordered.

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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 – Irma – Irma Pany; Les Deuxluxes – Bonsound; Pulled By Magnets – Glitterbeat; Nova Twins – Nova Twins LTD/333 Records Crew; and Soccer Mommy – Loma Vista Recordings.