rock

Hitch

By The Joy Formidable
4
Rated by Dylan R
Jan 5, 2018

The third major release from Wales' The Joy Formidable, Hitch offers many of hallmarks of their alt-rock sound: Impeccable dynamics (those familiar with their body of work know they may start softly often, but boy do they like to get loud!), arrangements and chord progressions which are creative without becoming distracting, and an absolutely epic, multi-layered recording.


The record also brings some pleasant surprises; chiefly among them is an increased level of clarity in Ritzy's vocals at just the right point on certain songs. While the band certainly slips back into familiar "Wait, what

Sep 23, 2016

Did Van Morrison ever improve on the series of concerts he performed in 1973, the same shows represented in this new set? He may have but It’s Too Late to Stop Now in all its various editions raises the bar exceptionally high. This is new collection, taken from shows first released as a double album in 1974, includes three discs of additional music from the 1973 tour as well as an extraordinary (and short) DVD of concert footage.


Seeing Morrison on stage during what many consider to be the peak of his powers as a songwriter and performer is a lesson on how to command an audience. Rarely

Head Carrier

By Pixies
4
Rated by Bryan V.
Sep 23, 2016

Let’s talk expectations. When it comes to the much-loved and influential band Pixies, expectations for the second album since their 2004 reunion are all over the map. Inevitable comparisons to material recorded and released in the late 80s and early 90s add baggage that may be fun to talk about but can also get in the way of listening with clear ears. Such is the case with Head Carrier, an album doomed from the beginning to suffer under the weight of both heightened and lowered expectations, especially since Pixies’s 2013 Indie Cindy proved so mediocre and slick.


While not a perfect album,

Jul 21, 2016

Rockumentaries can be pretentious, but not this one. The first thing you’ll discover in Andrew Horn’s documentary We are Twisted ­­­­­­­­F***ing Sister is that the band members are great guys: hardworking, kind, mostly sober. They’re also good storytellers. Who among us wouldn’t be charmed to hear how Dee Snider discovered the perfect garish shade of red lipstick, or how guitarist Jay Jay French and the rest of the band politely asked Dee’s wife, Suzette, to make them stretchy girly glam costumes? 


The film covers the band's early years when Twisted Sister worked a suburban bar circuit in

Montage of Heck

By Brett Morgen
3
Rated by Michelle H.
Jan 29, 2016

In Montage of Heck, filmmaker Brett Morgen uses personal sketchbooks and videos of Kurt Cobain's, and combines them with animation that matches Cobain’s own aesthetic. There’s also footage of Nirvana and interviews with family, but what carries the film is the access it gives viewers to Cobain’s tumultuous life and unique genius.


Viewing an intimate record of a brilliant person whose life spun wildly out of control comes at a price, however. Morgen’s animated additions give the film artistic vision, but they don’t muffle the looming wonder we may have as we witness something that isn’t