I am overjoyed by the fact that I am now starting to review some local bands' next releases - meaning that I have a better frame of reference to speak to an artists' music by being able to compare it to what they put out (and which I reviewed) last time around. This is no way implies that I feel that I have started to exhaust the roster of local musicians that are creating and putting out music. On the contrary, I think this reinforces the perception that the local music scene is a quite vibrant and very active animal.
My first 'comparative' review came this spring when I received an advance copy of Buffalo Killer's Heavy Reverie. In late June I got my hands on the soon-to-be-released 12" of new music from Gazer (the review for which will be coming in early August); and most recently I was able to score local electronic artist ADM's latest album Another Dying Motive.
Heavy Hinges has been described as "a sublime ruckus… a beautiful collision of rock, soul, gospel, and western." In truth, what Heavy Hinges is is a well-balanced assemblage of rock, pop, country and traditional music with roots that run quite deep into the music of gospel choirs, chain gangs and saloons. They have a reputation around town of putting on very powerful live performances and have established themselves as one of Cincinnati's must-see bands.
The group has just emerged from the studio with their debut album Mean Old City. Recorded by Matt Hueneman at Newport's Audiogrotto and mastered by Ashley Shepherd*, Mean Old City is the band's attempt to bottle some of that on-stage lightning.
Delicate and crisp -- balancing electric guitar with banjo, cello and more eclectic instruments -- everything about The Mitchells' self-titled debut album says indie-pop. The music is light and drifting and would play perfectly as the soundtrack to the next Marc Webb film. It is hard to listen to this album and not imagine yourself leaning out the car window and letting the wind push firmly against your outstretched palm.
I have a message for those who enjoy listening to live music of any kind - and for those who book the venues that host such events - get to know Elk Creek. They are a group of very talented musicians that make some exciting new music and they sound really, really good together.
The story of Elk Creek is one of reunion. Aaron Price [vocals], Jeremy Brown [harmonica], and Brad Smith [guitar] all grew up together and used to play in band called Hector who had a practice space in Trenton, Ohio located on Elk Creek Road. Two years ago when they 'got the band back together' they added Travis Estellon drums and Nick Whittenburg on bass. They quickly noticed that their sound, style and songwriting had all matured. The end result of this reunion is the 7-song EP entitled Greenfield Project.
Do you remember Carnivàle - the creepy and surreal, yet sensual HBO series about a roving band of sideshow performers in the American dustbowl? Imagine that that show was made into a Broadway musical. Now, imagine that Jack White, David Lynch, Jello Biafra, Crispin Glover and Tim Burton all collaborated to write the score for this play, based on the writings of Syd Barrett. That will give you a rough idea of my first impression of Pop Goes the Evil's new album Love Stained Heart.
To put it another way - I have absolutely no idea where to begin with this review. There is so much going on in this album that it's like trying to nail green Jell-O to a tree.