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Vinyl Vlog 640
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into The Complicators’ self-titled album. While it’s very easy for any critic to come off as surprised when a band reassembles a set of well-used, time-honored musical cliches and presents something which works, it’s far more difficult to find the flaw which ultimately causes that very familiar structure to fall apart and/or come off as completely irredeemable.How does one do it? How does one point to the problem which ultimately caused the house...

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Thursday, 07 March 2024
Vinyl Vlog 639
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the This Is How Democracy Dies LP by Brigata Vendetta. Okay, after the last few years of pundits both educated and ill-informed questioning the health and longevity of democracy and looking at the concept so closely the eye-strain could easily be attributable to a migraine, the idea of another punk band stepping forward to declare, “Us too!” is almost laughable enough to drive this critic into a stress-induced mental breakdown. Happily though,...

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Wednesday, 06 March 2024
Vinyl Vlog 638
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into The Vapids’ Revenge Therapy LP. Beyond a certain point, it’s understandable how fans of any given punk band lower their expectations of new albums, when they’re announced. Part of that might have to do with the age of the band playing a role; whether they admit it or not, fans of four-chord punk expect the bands making the music to be young and snotty. It could be argued that such is the...

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Saturday, 02 March 2024
Vinyl Vlog 637
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into Spencer Burton’s North Wind LP. Since going solo in 2010 with Grey Kingdom (his project following the first lapse in Attack In Black’s activity), there’s no question that Spencer Burton has successfully developed an excellent and unique authoritative voice both as a singer and songwriter – but the greatest surprises have come his turns toward folk and country music. While 2021’s fantastic Coyote album established a new peak in Burton’s development, North...

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Thursday, 15 February 2024
Vinyl Vlog 636
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Yo La Tengo This Stupid World They say half the work is knowing. The other half is doing. Does that make sense? Does anyone say that? I don’t know, but it does apply to music in some way. Like my “love” of Jawbreaker. It’s a tainted love.  I own their entire catalog and played them relentlessly back in the day, yet I can only remember three songs (Want, Fine Day, and Boxcar). I completely forget entire albums of theirs until...

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Tuesday, 06 February 2024
Vinyl Vlog 635
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Crisis Actor LP by Billy Liar. It feels unlikely on the surface because, like Henry Ford, punks often want to proclaim that, “history is bunk” – but the fact is that some of the permutations of punk rock that have passed through the mainstream are possessed of an undeniably accessible quality. Even on first listen, sometimes there’s just something about the music which is capable of hooking listeners really really hard...

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Monday, 05 February 2024
Vinyl Vlog 634
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Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros|Streetcore 20th Anniversary RSD Edition What an absolute bummer this album is. No, seriously. I mean it in a good way. Of all the Clash members maybe the best solo work came from Joe Strummer. That’s maybe not surprising. What IS surprising is that it came so late in his life. What did the man do after the Clash broke up? He wrote a good soundtrack for a great Western. He released the occasional song (all...

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Monday, 29 January 2024
Vinyl Vlog 633
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Water From Your EyesEveryone’s Crushed This album had everything going against it: the weird name, the weird cover, the weird sound, and the weird categorization. The first two I’ll chalk up to myself and being a philistine. Yes, I think the name is weird but what’s in a name? As long as it’s not the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, it should be fine. The band is Water From Your Eyes with their album Everyone’s Crushed. Sure, let’s do that. The cover...

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Friday, 19 January 2024
Vinyl Vlog 632
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Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series Vol. 17: Fragments — Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997) 4LP Box Set Bob Dylan cannot be stopped and will not stop. And really, why should he? He has been making relevant music for 60 years now and has successfully made several comebacks. All he knows is making music. The man is going to keep going until he drops dead on stage. We all have to deal with that. Of course, anyone familiar or interested...

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Thursday, 11 January 2024
Vinyl Vlog 631
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Pearl Jam Give Way Record Store Day Exclusive Everything critical that can be said about Pearl Jam has already been said. What’s left now are just end stories and personal experiences. The validity of “grunge” as a music genre can be debated (and it should be since it’s complete limited to the bands that came out of a certain part of the earth in a certain point of the 90s), but what is a fact is that Pearl Jam was...

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Thursday, 04 January 2024