By Dan Pavelich
Neil Young & Stray Gators
“Tuscaloosa” documents Neil Young’s tour to promote his iconic 1973 record, “Harvest.” Young seems a bit subdued in this eleven-song set, proceeding as if he’s not certain that he’s even performing before the right audience.
The band deftly supports Young, with “After The Gold Rush” and “Heart Of Gold” sounding particularly fine. Diehard Neil Young fans will enjoy it as a piece of art, encapsulating the time in which it was recorded. Sounds to me like the perfect listen while sitting on the back porch, on a cool summer evening.
Order In Decline (Hopeless)
This Ontario punk band is one of the few survivors of the early 2000’s pop-punk renaissance. Their sound has changed over the years, and “Order In Decline” firmly plants their collective foot somewhere between hardcore punk and metal. Unlike most of their peers, lead guitarists Dave Baksh and Tom Thacker have grown into respectable shredders.
“Out For Blood” slams with a speed-metal drum line and chugging guitars. “Heads Will Roll” and “45 (A Matter of Time)” are anthems for millennials waking up to our awful political state. The latter is a pointed finger at Trump, sung by Derrick Whibley with enough punk sneer to make Billy Joe cower in the corner. All in all, a top-notch effort.
Once & Always (Big Stir)
Trip Wire returns with a clever helping of indie rock, wearing their collective influences on their sleeve. Remember when indie rock wasn’t yet a marketable commodity or radio genre? Recalling the very best of acts like Matthew Sweet, The Replacements and Teenage Fanclub, this San Fran foursome hits all the right marks.
“Had Enough” pumps and rolls, “Easy Exit” moves from tense to driving, and “Bottle Rocket” is power pop perfection. This is a real band, playing real instruments, singing without autotune, rejuvenating the idea that scrappy rock bands can still be as exciting as they were when you were in college. I’d love to see this band live.
NF/The Search (Real Music)
Of Monsters And Men/FEVER DREAM (Republic)
Delbert McClinton/Tall, Dark & Handsome (Hot Shot)
Iron Maiden/Fear Of The Dark – Deluxe (Sanctuary)
Justin Moore/Late Nights And Longnecks (Valory)
Janet Jackson/Vinyl Reissues (Virgin)
Violent Femmes/Hotel Last Resort (Pias America)
Solange/When I Get Home (Columbia)
CD’s Provided By CD-DVD-Games Warehouse, 3717 80th Street, Kenosha, Wi, 53142,