Van Der Graaf Generator - Real Time (Fie!)
Dark, moody, energetic, powerful, aggressive
After releasing the excellent comeback CD, Present, in 2005, the penultimate lineup of Van Der Graaf Generator - Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton, Guy Evans and David Jackson - toured together for the first time in close to 30 years. In a bold move, the band decided to record the first night of that tour at London's Royal Festival Hall and to release the entire show, warts and all. The resulting release, Real Time, includes Van Der Graaf classics like "Refugees," "Lemmings," "Darkness" and "Killer," as well as the two best tracks from Present, "Every Bloody Emperor" and "Nutter Alert." Despite the jitters and the occasional bum note, the band puts on a very enjoyable show and Real Time captures the excitement of this momentous gig. Hammill's maniacal vocals and Van Der Graaf's extremely dark music may not be for everyone, but if you're a fan of this band's past releases, Real Time comes recommended.

The New Cars, It's Alive! (Eleven Seven Music)
Energetic, fun, better-than-expected, storming, punkish
More often than not, reunions by bands without key members fall way flat (Talking Heads anyone?). Seemingly, nobody told that to the Ric Ocasek-less Cars (renamed the New Cars) as this live disc just flat-out rocks! Guitarist Elliott Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes reprise their Cars' role, and along for the ride is the inspired choice of Todd Rundgren on vocals in place of Ocasek, Rundgren co-hort Kasim Sulton taking over bassand vocal chores for the late Benjamin Orr and former Tubes drummer Prairie Prince replacing David Robinson. The band storms through the live set of mostly vintage Cars tunes with a couple of Rundgren classics thrown in, and they add a trio of strong new studio tracks - "Not Tonight," "Warm" and "More," at the end ("Not Tonight" also appears earlier on the disc in live form). Hopefully, the New Cars will drive on, and along the way, make a pit stop to record more new music.

Adrian Belew, Side Three (Sanctuary)
Quirky, well-played, inventive, creative, best-of-the-series
With Side Three, Adrian Belew concludes his release of three solo albums in one year. And this effort, which features guest performances from King Crimson bandmate Robert Fripp, early-70's Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins, Tool's Danny Carey and Primus' Les Claypool (the latter two appeared on Side One as well) is the strongest of the trio and at close to 39 minutes, the longest. Belew revisits past works, including an orchestral rendition of solo classic "Men In Helicopters" and Side One's "Ampersand," simply retitled here as "&." As all three releases were solid musically, my only real gripe about these efforts is that they're slightly longer than an EP, yet are priced as LP's. Still, musically, Side Three makes for a very gratifying way to end this series.

INXS, Switch (Epic)
Uninspired, dull, forgettable, unoriginal, lyrically-challenged
When Rock Star: INXS was on last year, I watched and was actually quite impressed with the quality vocalists that auditioned for the late Michael Hutchence's lead singer spot. But when Hutchence soundalike J.D. Fortune was selected over the unique Marty Casey, I could see where this was headed. As he only co-wrote a few of the songs, the insipid Switch is not really Fortune's fault, it's the fault of the five surviving INXS members. Fortune, a former Elvis impersonator, does his best Hutchence voice, but he's singing embarrassing lyrics over dull, uninspired music. Quite simply, one of the worst CD's I've heard in quite some time.
1 star

Carptree, Man Made Machine (Inside Out)
Progressive, throwback, atmospheric, keyboard-heavy, different
Carptree's third release, Man Made Machine, is an interesting disc that manages to cover both classic prog elements while incorporating modern touches. With heavy doses of mellotron and the dramatic singing of Niclas Flinck, there is a definite Gabriel-era Genesis vibe present. Still, some tracks have a contemporary edge to them. Fans of keyboard-dominated prog should find something of interest here as Carl Westholm pulls out all of the stops yet never falls into prog cliches. If you're a fan of early Genesis or groups like IQ or the Flower Kings, this disc comes highly recommended. 3 1/2 stars.

Broken Spindles- Inside/Absent (Saddle Creek)
Short, electronic, gloomy, sparse, weird
Joel Petersen's third release as Broken Spindles, titled Inside/Absent, is a rather dark affair. The tracks feature sparse instrumentation - usually piano or electronic piano with some weird sound effects and a drum machine backing - as well as Petersen's gloomy vocals on some numbers. Unlike a lot of electronic music, it would be hard to imagine dancing to these tunes as they're all very brief - only three of the 10 tracks top the three-minute mark, and those just barely. In all, Inside/Absent is only 26 minutes and as a result, I'm left wanting more. But I guess since I want to hear more shows the quality of what is here. 3 stars.

Neal Morse, One (Metal Blade)
Preachy, progressive, long, tedious, uninspiring
Neal Morse likes god - a lot - and he sure wants to tell us about it. So on his second post-Spock's Beard release, the painfully long One, Morse throws in all-out religious lyrics with total prog music. The result is a listen that's as boring musically as it is preachy lyrically. The music to "The Creation" sounds like it could have been lifted from one of Morse's Transatlantic releases, "The Separated Man" sounds like one of Spock's Beard's epic-by-numbers tracks and "Author Of Confusion" sees Morse falling back on the Gentle Giant vocal approach used on Spock's Beard tunes like "Thoughts" and "Gibberish." So Neal, while I completely respect your Christian faith, I just don't feel like you telling me about it all the time. 2 stars.

Spock’s Beard – Gluttons For Punishment (Inside Out)
Well-played, live, progressive, rocking, fun
Following the release of Octane, the second release without Neal Morse, Spock’s Beard decided to issue the two-disc live Gluttons For Punishment as a document of the Octane tour. A solid effort, Gluttons For Punishment features the best tracks from the two uneven post-Morse releases while throwing in a couple of Spock’s Beard classics. Heavy on the epics with three tracks cracking the 10-minute mark, the clear emphasis on this release is the masterful playing of the five musicians – lead singer/drummer Nick D’Virgilio, guitarist Alan Morse, bassist Dave Meros, keyboardist Ryo Okumoto and drummer Jimmy Keegan. And each musician gets their turn in the spotlight – the highlights being the D’Virgilio/Keegan drum duet during the instrumental “NWC” and Okumoto’s lovely keyboard solo. D’Virgilio does a solid job tackling the vocals on the Morse tracks while tour drummer Keegan in turn solidly takes over many of D’Virgilio’s drum parts. 3 stars.

Adrian Belew- Side Two (Sanctuary)
Ambient, bizarre, electronic, short, overpriced.
After releasing Side One earlier in the year, Adrian Belew has released the middle of this year's solo trilogy with Side Two. Where Side One focused more on the rocking element of Belew's music, Side Two mixes this with an ambient touch. Lyrically, Belew often uses haiku to convey his stories, including hitting a dog with his truck, appropriately titled "Dead Dog On Asphalt." While a solid release, at 33 minutes, it's much too short, like its pedecessor, and like Side One, it's frustratingly priced as a full-length CD. Side Three will be released this fall.

Magellan- Symphony For A Misanthrope (Inside Out)
Progressive, lyrically-embarrassing, symphonic, heavy, well-played.
Decent music, dreadful lyrics - that's what Magellan's latest release, Symphony For A Misanthrope, offers. Lines like "so he picked up the earth like a basketball and threw it into hell just to watch it fall" from "Why Water Weeds?" and most of "Wisdom" is just cringeworthy lyrically while IQ-stylled progressive music backs it. And it doesn't help that the lyrics are delivered by Trent Gardner's fairly thin vocals, sort of a second rate Steve Walsh. Speaking of Walsh, the Kansas vocalist co-wrote and plays keyboards on the disc's opening instrumental track, "Symphonette." Now if only he sang on the disc - and wrote its lyrics. 2 1/2 stars.

Billy Corgan- TheFutureEmbrace (Reprise)
Electronic, well-written, overplayed, disappointing, overproduced.
The songwriting on Billy Corgan's debut solo release, The Future Embrace, isn't bad. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the production or arrangements. Decent melodies are buried under layers of electronics and dreadful drum programming. Not surprisingly, The Future Embrace's best moment is "DFA," a track that features real drums played by Corgan's former Smashing Pumpkins bandmate, Jimmy Chamberlin. A dissapointing disc because it could have been so much better. 2 stars.

Pernice Brothers- Discover A Lovelier You (Ashmont)
Upbeat, toe-tapping, breezy, subliminal, heartfelt.
On their fourth studio album we find the Pernice Brothers drifting into new territory- happiness. The aptly named Discover a Lovelier you is more upbeat and rhythmic than past releases, while still delivering lines like "There's a train wreck, picking up survivors from a plane crash," but here with a Beach Boys feel. Perhaps their strongest yet in a collection that really deserves much more attention than it's gotten (I mean, if you can use the Shins as the centerpiece for a film, surely Pernice would shine), Discover A Lovlier You delivers a new twist on the guitar pop that Pernice & Co. have seemingly perfected. If anything, Discover opens the palette, bringing us heretofore un-Pernicelike elements and tunes like the jangly and playful Snow, the candy pop instrumental Discover A Lovlier You, or the breezy duet (with Blake Hazard) Let The Subject Drop. While being something less than a triumph of reinvention, the is a refreshing twist on a band whose every move fills this reviewer with anticipation. 4 stars.. 4 1/2 stars.

Moby - Hotel (V2)
Boring, dull, sleep-inducing, lifeless, technobabble.
Moby's latest release, Hotel, should have a warning label on it. Not an "explicit lyric" label, but a "may cause extreme drowsiness, do not drive or operate machinery" warning as Hotel is devoid of any excitement. He even manages to take an excellent song - New Order's bouncy "Temptation," and turn it into a bland, slow-paced cover. The only things that really work on this disc are some ambient instrumental pieces. So if you're having trouble sleeping, this Hotel just may be the cure for you. 1 1/2 stars.

Derek Sherinian - Mythology (Inside Out)
Musicianship, heavy, diverse, instrumental, surprising.
Often, prog-metal instrumental discs wind up being tedious exercises in musical masturbation. On Mythology, fortunately, Derek Sherinian escapes that trap as he delivers a diverse group of top-notch songs. It doesn't hurt that the former Dream Theater keyboardist surrounded himself with an impressive supporting cast, including guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Steve Lukather, drummer Simon Phillips and violinist Jerry Goodman. As you may expect, the heavier tracks are more abundant here, but Sherinian throws in some curves with the flamenco piece, "El Flamingo Suave," the Neal Schon-ish "Goin' To Church," the Kansas-styled "One Way Or The Other," the mellow "A View From The Sky," and even a metal track with vocals (provided by Ozzy Osbourne axe man Zakk Wylde) - "The River Song." In the end, this is a disc that I will listen to again - something that I can't say for many others of the genre. 3 stars.

Mark Knopfler - Shangri-La (Warner Brothers)
Tasteful, well-crafted, understated, interesting, smooth.
Following the disappointing Ragpicker's Dream, Mark Knopfler returns with a solid set of tracks on Shangri-La. Knopfler, one of the finest guitarists around, also has quite a knack for storytelling. "Boom, Like That," a rocker about McDonalds founder Ray Croc, would fall flat for a lesser worsmith, but Knopfler makes it work. Other highlights include the gorgeous "5:15 a.m." and bluesy "Sucker Row." Not the best release from the former Dire Straits leader, but not the worst, either.
3 stars

Kaipa - Mindrevolutions (Inside Out)
Progressive, progressive, progressive, progressive, progressive.
The good news - a lot of Kaipa's Mindrevolutions features well-played, extended instrumental passages. The bad news - that Mindrevolution isn't a complete instrumental disc as the vocals, especially those by Aleena, border on fingernails-on-the-blackboard territory. Patrick Lundstrom proves to be an adequate singer, but Aleena's shrieking is heard far too much on this disc. Roine Stolt offers up some decent guitar solos and Hans Lundin provides solid keyboard playing, but at close to 80 minutes with an average song length of eight minutes (including the 26-minute title track), listening to Mindrevolutions can be somewhat tedious. A perfect example of more not always being better.
2 stars

James LaBrie - Elements Of Persuasion (Inside Out).
Heavy, aggressive, well-played, fast, dark.
I generally consider James LaBrie to be the weakest link in Dream Theater, so I approached his latest solo release with apprehension. So I was pleasantly surprised as the vocalist delivers a fine set of hard rockers in the Dream Theater style. LaBrie's surrounded himself with an excellent supporting cast whose technical abilities shouldn't disappoint fans of LaBrie's "other band."And while there's some great, slower tunes like "Smashed" and "Lost," it's the headbanging tunes that dominate this disc. So if you're a fan of Dream Theater or prog metal in general, you should enjoy this disc.
3 stars.

Porcupine Tree- Lazarus (Lava).
Beautiful, melancholic, album-worthy, contemporary, well-crafted.
What kind of statement is it to the music industry when b-sides from a band relatively few people have heard of far surpasses most of the chart-topping songs out there today? The exquisite Lazarus is the first track taken from the brilliant Deadwing CD for use as a European single. A radio edit, the only thing excised is the brief ambient ending that links it to Halo on the album. But the real reason to find this single is for the b-sides - the agressive band composition So Called Friend and the achingly beautiful Half-Light. Both were pulled from Deadwing late in its production - So Called Friend being replaced with Open Car and Half-Light switched with Glass Arm Shattering.
4 stars.

Nektar- Evolution (Dream Nebula).
Progressive, classy, throwback, well-played, lyrically-uninspiring. Following the subpar regrouping effort of 2001's The Prodigal Son, three of Nektar's original members stepped into the studio once more to produce Evolution. And what a difference an album makes.Granted, the lyrics often border on hippy drivel, but the music generally more than compensates. Roye Albrighton churns out some excellent guitar solos while Taff Freeman lays the groundwork with tasteful keyboard playing. So while not in the same league as the band's classic 70's material like Recycled or Remember The Future, Evolution shows that Nektar still has something to offer. 3 stars.

The Tangent, The World That We Drive Through (Inside Out).
Progressive, socially-conscious, jazzy, well-played, long. It's not that The World That We Drive Through, the sophomore release from prog supergroup the Tangent, is bad, but it fails to live up to the high standards set by the group's debut, 2003's The Music That Died Alone. Despite the loss of Van Der Graff Generator's David Jackson (Gong's Theo Travis ably steps into his role on sax and flute), the music is solid, though it lacks the whimsical charm of its predecessor. Lyrically, Andy Tillison's words are at times thought-provoking, though they can border on preachy, as evidenced by the need to throw a snippet of Burt Bacharach's "What The World Needs Now Is Love" into "The Winning Game." Perhaps progressive supergroups just lose their novelty after their initial release (think Transatlantic). I guess we'll see for sure on the next Tangent release.
2 1/2 stars

Styx, The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings (Hip-O).
Progressive, midwestern, unexpected, un-Babe-like, non-Roboto-ish. Long before the schlock of the hideous "Babe" and insipid "Mr. Roboto," Styx was actually a decent progressive rock band. The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings, which contains the band's first four albums - Styx I, Styx II, The Serpent Is Rising and Man Of Miracles - on two CD's, documents this early 70's period of their career. Styx I includes a portion of Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare For The Common Man," recorded here long before the more famous ELP rendition. And throughout this set are some interesting compositions by the late John Curulewski ("A Day" in particular) and some excellent keyboard playing from Dennis DeYoung (before he became infatuated with becoming the next Barry Manilow). So if you can get over the fact that DeYoung would steer the band over to the dark side (and tons more money) by the end of the 70's, you may be in for a surprise with this collection.




by Joe del Tufo, Jim Clark, Derek Perduta, Barry Crell, Stan Rifle, Dave Cable and writers-to-be-named-later.

XTC - Apple Box (Idea Records) Excellent, beautifully-packaged, classic, humorous, highly-recommended.
After being released from their contract in the late 90's by Virgin Records following a long, bitter dispute, XTC released the brilliant, orchestral Apple Venus followed soon after by the poppish Wasp Star. These two CD's, originally conceived as a double disc set, were followed up by full-length demos of each album, Homespun and Homegrown. Six years after Apple Venus' release, these four CD's have been compiled together to form Apple Box. While no new music is contained (though a password is given to download two new XTC tracks from their website), this collection is a great place to obtain some excellent music, especially Apple Venus, one the finest CD's by anyone over the past 15 years. If you already own these four discs, it's not an essential buy, but if you don't have them, this set comes very highly recommended.
4 1/2 stars

Tangent - A Place In The Queue (Inside Out) Progressive, overly-long, well-played, biting, whimsical
In the press release accompanying the Tangent's third studio effort, A Place In The Queue, frontman Andy Tillison said that he wanted to make a disc like Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans. Like that Yes album from 1974, this 79-minute Tangent release suffers from being too long. Still, the writing is far better than their previous release, The World That We Drive Through, and some of the whimsy from their debut release returns. With Roine Stolt's departure, the focus here is clearly on Tillison's keyboards, and that's a good thing. And Tillison has composed some biting political commentary, set frequently to Cantebury-style prog.
3 stars

Saga - Chapters Live (Inside Out) Interesting, live, comprehensive, progressive, fan-friendly
Saga's Chapters have been over two decades in the making. Most Saga albums have contained a couple of tracks with a chapter number in the subtitle, made more intriguing/confusing by not releasing the Chapters in order. On Chapters Live, the band have issued a two-CD set containing live renditions of all 16 Chapters, in chronological order. While the songs work well individually, it's interesting to listen to them as a whole to try to figure out the concept (though the liner notes give some of it away). Probably not of much interest to non-fans, Chapters Live is an enjoyable listen that should appeal to fans of this long-running Canadian band. 3 stars.

RPWL - Start The Fire (Inside Out)
Recommended, energetic, progressive, well-captured, fun
Following the release of one of 2005's best discs, World Through My Eyes, RPWL decided to follow that up with a live disc, Start The Fire. The result is an excellent document of the World Through My Eyes tour that focuses heavily on that CD but also covers the band's other releases as well as tossing in a few surprises. Former Genesis lead singer Ray Wilson joins the band for "Roses" and a cover of Genesis' "Not About Us" and while the group was in a covers mood, they acknowledge their past as a Pink Floyd tribute band by playing a stellar "Cymbaline" - complete with some of the bassline from "Careful With That Axe, Eugene," and "Welcome To The Machine." The collection boasts an excellent selection of songs as well as some great, inspired performances. A bonus studio track, the 12-minute "New Stars Are Born," closes out this highly recommended disc. 4 stars.

The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute (Universal)

Weird, funky, heavy, genre-defying, off-the-wall
Simply stated, The Mars Volta's sophomore release, Frances The Mute, is one weird CD. Never before have I heard so many different musical styles blended together and have the result be so unique. Traces of Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Santana, 60's psychedelic music, 70's Miles Davis and even obscure prog like Deus Ex Machina can be heard on this crazed release (the Chili Pepper's Flea and John Frusciante even make guest appearances on trumpet and guitar, respectively). Frances The Mute is a concept album, but as some of the lyrics are delivered in Spanish while others border on nonsensical, I won't even begin to try to say what it's about. But what I can say is if you're open-minded and want to listen to something completely different, give this disc a shot.


Snowy White - The Way It Is. (WFV)

Bluesy, guitar-driven, well-played, musicianship, lyrically-embarrassing
Best known for his bluesy guitar work with Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Thin Lizzy and Peter Green, Snowy White has been an accomplished solo artist in his own right for the past 20 years. His latest release, The Way It Is, shows both White's strengths and weaknesses. His guitar playing is incredible, and the arrangements of his songs are also top-notch as more instrumentation than on previous releases is introduced - the brass on his cover of Green's "Black Magic Woman" is an interesting touch. On the downside, White is not much of a lyricist and some of the words on The Way It Is are downright brutal. But if you can overlook the clunky lyrical moments, the stellar playing on this disc makes it easily White's best since Highway To The Sun.

Steve Howe - Spectrum (Inside Out)

Instrumental, well-played, pleasant, smooth, straightforward
Parts of Steve Howe's latest solo offering, Spectrum, sound more like Trevor Rabin era Yes than it does Howe's, which is ironic given Howe's usual dismissive attitude towards Rabin's tenure with the band. Howe's slick, guitar-driven instrumentals feature legendary King Crimson bassist Tony Levin, Rick Wakeman's son Oliver on keyboards and Howe's sons Dylan and Virgil on drums and keyboards, respectively. While Howe does branch out a bit with the country-flavored "Ebb And Flow" and the jazzy "Fools Gold," most of the tunes here are fairly straightforward, which when you can play like Howe, is not a bad thing. With a Yes feel to tracks like "Band Of Light" and "Highly Strung," it would be easy to imagine Jon Anderson singing over them. I just wonder what Rabin would think. 3 stars.

Sieges Even - The Art Of Navigating By The Stars (Inside Out)

Progressive, well-played, interesting, under-edited, catchy (in a weird sort of way)

German prog-metal band Sieges Even has been around for quite some time, but their latest release, The Art Of Navigating By The Stars, is my first exposure to them and quite honestly, I'm not sure what to make of it. The band seems to have many influences - I can hear traces of Rush, Dream Theater, The Flower Kings, Queensryche and Pendragon, among others. While there's no denying their musicianship, what The Art Of Navigating By The Stars could definitely have used was some better editing. Most of the tracks run over seven minutes and few of them contain enough interesting ideas to justify their length. Still, something keeps me listening to this disc, which means they must be doing something right. 3 stars.

The Clarks - Between Now And Then (King Mouse)
Energetic, catchy, rocking, underrated, fun.
Despite an appearance on Letterman, a lot of people outside of Western Pennsylvania are unaware of the Clarks, and that's a shame. Their latest release, the compilation Between Now And Then, shows what this band is all about - great, well-played, catchy rockers and energetic live tracks that will evoke thoughts of Tom Petty and XTC. Classics like "Born Too Late," "Hey You," "Better Off Without You" and "Mercury" are represented here, along with a trio of new songs that don't disappoint. With 20 years behind them, the Clarks are finally starting the get their due. And this compilation will show everyone what they've been missing all along.
4 stars

Eisley - Room Noises (Reprise)
Pleasant, unique, haunting, whimsical, vocally-impressive.
Eisley is comprised of three sisters, their brother and some other guy that as far as I can tell, is not related to the rest of the band. The result is Room Noises, a solid debut from this quasi-Partridge Family lineup. But don't expect lots of sugar with this release. With a style rooted in the mid to late 90's female singer-songwriter vein (think Joan Osbourne, Sarah McLachlan or Sixpence None The Richer), the music ranges from straightforward to haunting with the Dupree sisters providing some gorgeous vocal harmonies. Highlights are "I Wasn't Prepared," "Marvelous Things" and "Plenty Of Paper." 3 1/2 stars.

Aeon Spoke - Above The Buried Cry (Just For Kicks).
Catchy, alternative, poppy, ethereal, aggressive.
It's a bit tough to hang a classification on Aeon Spoke. They sound part Pineapple Thief, part Radiohead and part Coldplay with just a bit of Jeff Buckley thrown in, yet they still maintain a unique sound. Regardless what you call them - you better call them good because their debut disc, Above The Buried City, is quite impressive. Highlights include the stop-start dynamics of "Suicide Boy," the well-crafted "Pablo At The Park" and the beautiful closing piece "Yellowman." If their debut is this good, it'll be very interesting to see how they follow it up. 3 and a half stars.

Bettie Serveert- Attagirl (Minty Fresh).
Toe-tapping, return-to-form, surprising, infectious, razzmatazz.
It's been since Palomine that Bettie Serveert have had a release this engaging. The chorus of the opening Dreamaniacs burrows in deep and refuses to let go, and the track remains with you long after the disc has ended. The similarly catchy Attagirl follows, sounding almost like a more sophisticated No Doubt. Both a return to form and a surprising reinvention/ expansion from one the 90s best bands. Great acoustic bonus tracks are the cherry on top. 4 stars.

Ivy- In The Clear (Nettwerk).
Ethereal, rhythmic, catchy, poppy, cool. Ivy's sixth release In The Clear adds some hipshaking rhythm their dreamy trip-pop sound. Lead by the inimitable voice of Dominique Durand and Fountains Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger, In The Clear is the first release in some time that evolves their patented sound. By adding edgier guitar, a more pronounced rhythm section, and some killer keys, this release in at once more interesting and fuller than previous efforts. Thinking About You is hands down the best song the band have produced since their There's Something About Mary hits. If there's any justice this one will be blaring down highways all summer. 3.5 stars.

bloom- Osinner (Fighting Records).
Jellyfishish, poppy, infectious, euphoric, guitar-driven. One part Jellyfish, one part Fountains of Wayne, one part Material Issue. Having a very full, vital sound for a three-piece, Osinner arrives as a welcome storm upon the power pop drought of the last few years. Brothers Devin and Brendan Moore have created a disc of 12 guitar-driven pop gems, with each track seeming to outdo the previous in sheer energy and pop intensity. Roaring tunes like Don't Tell A Dead Man How To Die and Sew Your Own Hands On prove the band are salient craftsmen, delivering songs that are both catchy and deceptively complex. These rousing tracks are a welcome introduction to a band that have somehow slipped under the radar for the last nine years. 3 stars.

Emm Gryner- Songs Of Love and Death (Dead Daisy).
Sparse, unpredictable, raw, Irish, idiosycratic. Emm Gryner's second CD of cover songs will come as a surprise regardless of your familiarity with her. This is a collection of 11 mostly obscure modern Irish songs (think Ash, The Coors, Thin Lizzy) with sparse, raw arrangements. Missing is the rhythm and personal lyricism that makes Emm shine, and what remains are a few interesting nuggets like the Horslips' Dearg Doom and her spectacular cover of Ash's Shining Light. While anything released by Emm is worthwhile just for the passion she instils into everything, I'd leave this one for the fans only. 2.5 stars





marillion- happiness is the road
tilt- million dollar wound
mickey simmonds- the seven colours of emptiness
ukz- radiation
pain of salvation - scarsick
icon- icon II, icon live
the pineapple thief- tightly unwound
planet p project- levittown (go out dancing part II)
nosound- lightdark
dengue fever- venus on earth
art of all- morgan
marillion- somewhere else
abigails ghost- selling insincerity
blackfield- blackfield II
damien rice- 9
the who- endless wire
the beach boys- good vibrations
the pineapple thief- little man
the killers- sam's town
tom petty- highway companion
hem- funnel cloud
emm gryner- the summer of high hopes
jeremy enigk- world waits
razorlight- razorlight
gps- window to the soul
iron maiden- a matter of life and death
thom yorke- the eraser
richard butler- richard butler
the flaming lips- at war with the mystics
ray davies- other people's live
david gilmour- on an island
nosound- sol29
jackson browne- running on empty 5.1
neal morse- ?
king crimson- 21st century guide to king crimson
shriekback- cormorant
depeche mode- playing the angel
pallas- the dreams of men
my morning jacket- z
riverside- second life syndrome
roger waters- ca ira
various artists- backs against the wall
riverside- out of myself
sigur ros- takk
killers- hot fuss
queen + paul rodgers- return of the champions
journey- generations
yes- the word is live
emmylou harris- heartaches & highways
van der graaf generator- remaster series
rob dickinson- fresh wine for the horses
annie- anniemal
dredg- catch without arms
foo fighters- in your honor
dream theater- octavarium
belle and sebastian- push barman to open old wounds
the go-betweens- oceans apart
porcupine tree- up the downstair (remaster 2005)
coldplay- x & y
nine inch nails- with teeth
aimee mann- the forgotten arm
van der graaf generator- present
christopher o'riley- hold me to this
glen phillips- winter pays for summer
new order- waiting for the siren's call
ben folds- songs for silverman
john doe- forever hasn't happened yet
trashcan sinatras- fez
adrian belew- side one
kaki king - legs to make us longer
longview- mercury
stereophonics- language. sex. violence. other?
for against- echelons
over the rhine- drunkard's prayer
kathleen edwards- back to me
kasabian- kasabian
porcupine tree- deadwing
the wedding present- take fountain
super furry animals - songbook
arena- pepper's ghost
snow patrol- final straw
rpwl- world through my eyes
tori amos- the beekeeper
kino- picture
monarch- the grandeur that was rome
spocks beard- octane
the wonder stuff- escape from rubbish island
richard barbieri- things buried
the pineapple thief- 12 stories down
the pineapple thief- 8 days later
the innoncence mission- now the day is over
zero 7- when it falls
pain of salvation- be
california guitar trio- white water
jelly jam- 2
tim bowness- my hotel year
van halen- the best of both worlds
glen burtnik- welcome to hollywood
charlie mars- charlie mars
porcupine tree- voyage 34 (2004 remaster)
saint etienne- travel edition
lanterna- highways review
hellboys- cha cha with the hellboys review
persona non grata- the fine art of living review
tegan and sara- so jealous review
guadalcanal diary- 2x4 reissue review
voices in the wire- signals in transmission review
roger waters- to kill a child/ leaving beirut review
luna- rendezvous review
jim white- drill a hole in that substrate and tell me what you see review
the drive-by truckers- the dirty south review
the blue nile - high review
lovedrug- pretend you're alive review
twilight singers- she loves you review
keane- hope and fears review
winds- the imaginary direction of time review
kristeen young- x review
asia- silent nation review
macha- forget tomorrow review
crystal method- legion of boom dvd-audio review
kevin moore- ghost book review
marillion- don't hurt yourself singles review
attrition- dante's kitchen review
rush- feedback review
tortoise- it's all around you review
division of laura lee- does not compute review
peccatum- lost in reverie review
iq- dark matter review
bass communion- ghosts on magnetic tape review
the push stars- paint the town review
virgin black- elegant... and dying review
marillion- marbles review
the streets- a grand don't come for free review
the veils- the runaway found review
all about eve- let me go home review
john young band- live review
mary lou lord- baby blue review
the divine comedy- absent friends review
pink floyd- the final cut (2004 remaster) review
prot-kaw- before became after review
jeffrey gaines live review
mocean worker- enter the mowo review
starsailor- silence is easy review
pineapple thief- variations review
lloyd cole- music in a foreign language review
david sylvian- blemish review
spock's beard- feel euphoria eview
guy manning- press pack sampler review
magellan- impossible figures review
the tangent- the music that died alone review
john gorka- live from grace church photos and review
hothouse flowers- into your heart review
charlotte martin- on your shore review
rasputina- frustration plantation review
stellastarr*- stellastarr* review
vast- nude review
sparks- lil' beethoven review
the damnwells- bastards of the beat review
dave gahan- paper monsters review
king crimson- power to believe review
fish- field of crows review
porcupine tree- in absentia dvd-audio review
new model army- great expectations review
antimatter- unreleased 1998 - 2003 review
catie curtis: dreaming in romance languages review
the gathering- sleepy buildings review
twilight singers play blackberry belle review
vienna teng- warm strangers review
opeth- lamentations dvd review
courtney love- america's sweetheart review
blackfield review
anathema- a natural disaster review
nearfest 2003 coverage
neal morse solo photos- metuchen, nj
porcupine tree broadcast
alpha- stargazing review
david sylvian at the tla
emm gryner at the point
barry andrews at the tin angel
tweaker:2 am wakeup call review
cure- join the dots review
fish live from the tla with john wesley
spearhead- everyone deserves music review
miles hunt (wonderstuff) live

full archives coming soon!


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