REVIEWS

SHIT YOU NEED TO HEAR (SYNTH – 21)

Artist: Moses Gunn Collective
Album: Mercy Mountain

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If you like your psychedelic rock dusted in glitter and radiating out in kaleidoscopic waves of sound and colour, Moses Gunn Collective’s Mercy Mountain could well be your new favourite, yet old album. The debut LP release from the Brisbane five-piece is a delicious psychedelia, indie rock, jangly pop and glittering glam rock. Already a favourite amongst music bloggers and radio, the band are set to launch firmly, and deservedly, into a larger sphere with the release of Mercy Mountain. Though poised on the brink and serious in their intent, part of the beauty of Moses Gunn Collective is the playful exuberance underpinning everything they do. Listening to Mercy Mountain, there is an almost tangible sense of the band luxuriating in their creation, greedily gathering influences and instrumentation, but coupled with a strict discipline that keeps it punchy and cohesive.

 

Artist: Adrian Younge & Ghostface Killah
Album: Twelve Reasons To Die II

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Although its marketed as concept albums, Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge’s Twelve Reasons to Die series is really more of a rock opera. And I will always prefer the rock opera over the concept album. That’s not to say that the rock opera is always better than the concept album. It’s just an art form that’s inherently more risky and thus, more interesting, a collection of songs that, in addition to being thematically connected, must form a coherent narrative arc. If we’re only judging Twelve Reasons to Die II on this kind of story-driven criteria, then it’s a knockout. As with its predecessor, the narrative is a marriage of exploitation horror and urban street drama, an elaboration on the kind of grit-meets-gimmick composition that the various members of Wu-Tang Clan have been pulling off for over two decades. Even better, it’s a true horror sequel in that everything is crazier and more expansive than what came before it. There’s no reason for you to die on this album, also available in instrumental version at The Barbershop Music.

 

Artist: Calibro 35
Album: Traditori di Tutti

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I wasn’t alive during the 60s so I when I say something is reminiscent of this era it’s usually a loose interpretation of what I perceived the 60s to be like. And these perceptions are primarily formed through movies, TV shows, music, books and the vintage Playboy magazines. So when I say that Calibro 35’s music reminds me of a car chase or one of those cheesy scenes in a 60’s era surf movie, I probably gathered those mental images from a spoof in Family Guy or Austin Powers. When listening to Calibro 35 you can feel the sun warm your skin and wind blowing through your hair even though you are inside, daydreaming of an adventure you will never experience. The music in itself is fiction drizzled in a fine Italian liqueur and it oozes into your blood. Go grab the album now. You need this to play at your next dinner party. Use it to help create a self perpetuated character of international interest and culture. This way it won’t come as surprise to your guests when you ask them to throw their keys into an empty fish bowl at the end of the night. Calibro 35 available at The Barbershop Music.

 

Artist: Rage Against The Machine
Album: Renegades

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Thanks to Limp Bizkit and their legion of imitators, rap metal now gets dismissed as an evolutionary mistake. But the pioneering Rage Against the Machine was always deeper than that, and this Rick Rubin-produced covers collection. Not only does Rage understand the sweep of rock and rap history, but also they had bold and unusual ways of tearing that history up. From the opening wah-wah guitar that kicks Eric B. and Rakim’s ‘Microphone Fiend’ wide open, Rage make clear that this won’t be a canned karaoke cakewalk. The groove enters at a bloodthirsty pitch, and vocalist Zach de la Rocha drops verses with the most agility and syncopated precision he’s ever displayed. Throughout the album, the rhythm section matches de la Rocha’s intensity. On Cypress Hill’s ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man,’ the minimalist beat is twisted up tight and spanked until it glows. Rage takes things further, executing each with the roaring, fearless spirit that’s been missing in action since these songs were new. This millenium album still kicks ass, available at The Barbershop Music.

 

Artist: The Arcs
Album: The Arcs vs The Inventors Vol. 1

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The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach has another band called the Arcs, and on 2015’s Record Store Day, they’ll release a limited edition 10 inch. The Arcs whom released their debut album ‘Yours, Dreamily’ consist of Dan Auerbach himself, together with other known musician, Leon Michels, Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, Richard Swift and Kenny Vaughan. The six-song record features Dr. John (whose album Locked Down was produced by Auerbach) and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. It’s being billed as the first in a series of collaborative releases from the Arcs. For more infor visit The Barbershop Music, this album is available online.