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Old 01-08-2023, 10:24 PM   #591 (permalink)
SGR
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This album club is gonna end up being Lisna, Trolls, Rubber Soul, me, and Marie I think. Enough to keep it going I guess. And we'll all get more frequent nomination opportunities, so there is that.
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Old 01-09-2023, 02:09 AM   #592 (permalink)
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I want to join again, I hope that I can commit to it but I'll try
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I want to open a school for MB's lost boys and teach them basic coping skills and build up their self esteem and strengthen their emotional intelligence and teach them about vegetables and institutionalized racism and sexism and then they'll all build a bronze statue of me in my honor and my bronzed titties will forever be groped by the grubby paws of you ****ing whiny pathetic white boys.
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Old 01-09-2023, 08:27 AM   #593 (permalink)
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Okay let's just see if we can take a roll call. Anyone interested in continuing, who has not yet already done so, please declare your interest. If you're on the list and have not responded by the end of the week you will be removed provisionally from the list. If by the time the next round starts you still have not confirmed you wish to rejoin or remain - or have declared your intention to leave the club - you will be permanently removed from the list.

So far we have
Myself
Lisnaholic
Rubber Soul
SGR
Marie
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Old 01-09-2023, 08:32 AM   #594 (permalink)
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ill join
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Old 01-09-2023, 09:14 AM   #595 (permalink)
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ill join
Welcome aboard, Mindfulness !
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Old 01-11-2023, 08:00 PM   #596 (permalink)
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16 Horsepower - Sackcloth 'N' Ashes (1996)



Country tinged alt-rock about shooting down that coffee boilin’ chiseler at the whiskey bar who did you dirty. A hog-killin good time!…right? Let us yarn the hours away:

Woozy guitar and meditative drumbeats introduce a singer who sounds like he’s doing his best Brett Anderson impression. Song’s about something like a western standoff - or grudge - I’m not entirely sure. It sounds cool though. The persistent pluck of “Black Soul Choir” is somewhat hypnotizing - a song about the nature of man and the temptation of the devil. Yeah, this one hits pretty good. And the sound established in the first two tracks continues.

“Horse Head” takes a bit of a slower more deliberate approach - it sounds a fair bit more taciturn and melancholic. Lyrics are uh - I don’t like this guy and want him dead? I think? Eh. Music is okay though.

And with the fifth track “Ruthie Lingle”, I start to lose a little bit of interest. Here comes the banjos and sprinkles of cello again. The music is arranged just fine, but at this point I’m just starting to get a little bored of the sound.

But have no fear, “Harm’s Way” introduces an accordion. Fairly enjoyable stuff - I think the bass and percussion really carry this tune and that accordion just livens things up.

“Heel On the Shovel” musically really perks your ears up - with its spritely guitar riffs and peppy percussion. Yeah, this is a great tune, I’ll let the lyrics set the scene. Death has already been administered, at this point, we’re just providing justification:

I'm diggin' you a shallow grave
An to the sun your face i'll raise
I'm diggin' you a shallow grave
One hundred buzzards buzzin'

I seen death hangin' from the tallest tree
Eyes closed no lookin' back at me
Ye they came an took him in the night
The one who kissed em was greed

O everyone will see
An everyone will know
Boy you reap what you sow


The teeth-grinding accordion swing of “American Wheeze” is a nice follow up in terms of mood. And “Red Neck Reel” is at least a fun little romp of an excursion. “Prison Shoe Romp” is a bit of a dirge with a strange echoed vocal effect.

“Neck on the New Blade” brings back the accordion again to great success - I kinda wish they included the accordion on more of these tracks. Based on the lyrics, no clue what the song is about. Some girl he knew, and you've never had a girl I guess - because of metal and red in your overcast head?? Ah, whatever, I like it musically.

Album finishes off with “Strong Man” - musically, it’s more of what we’ve already heard. Lyrically, it sounds like the witch hunt is over, and we’ve found our last evil-doer, and with his hanging, justice has finally been served. Right when you think it ends, it explodes for a bit in a crescendo - a nice ending.

Overall, I think this is an interesting record - if you like 90s alt rock and fancy a bit of country, I think it’s worth a listen for sure. Personally, I found the sound to get a bit tiresome and old. There’s not much in the realm of textural dynamics or variation. Once you’re about halfway through the record, you’ve heard everything the record has to offer. The Brett Anderson-esque crooning vocals fit, but they tire in similar ways. I wish there was a bit more accordion. But I think listening to this, I kind of find myself yearning for a similar sound with a bit more punch, something more cowpunk, something with a bit more bite, something like The Gun Club:



That said, an interesting record that’s worth listening to but probably not one I’d find myself returning to very often. Regardless - I didn't come away from it without a fair few number of enjoyable moments.

6/10

Last edited by SGR; 01-11-2023 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 01-13-2023, 08:24 AM   #597 (permalink)
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The Donkeys- Ride the Black Wave (2014)


This one was overall pleasant, if not somewhat unengaging. It was definitely relaxing, you occasionally hear samples of seagulls or other assorted sounds - and there’s so much steel guitar, I almost felt like I was listening to the Spongebob soundtrack at points (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

It’s all very hazy and carefree, moving along at a deliberate and measured pace. Lots of “oooooh”s and “aaaaah”s. While I’m listening to this, outside there is a flurry of snow and sleet - this album feels much more like a summer album. I should be sipping a margarita with a loose fitting Kahala shirt on.

This is a perfectly enjoyable record - while it doesn’t have a lot of new or interesting ideas or sounds to offer, it’s just…pleasant, calming, serene. It’s the kind of record I could throw on while I’m doing housecleaning, and I’d be perfectly happy. We need those kinds of records. Doesn’t quite do enough to make me love it, but certainly doesn’t do anything to make me hate it.

6/10
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Old 01-13-2023, 04:01 PM   #598 (permalink)
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rubber soul, why do you end all your reviews with "The Word has spoken"? Who is "The Word"? Are you "The Word"? Or are you just the vector through which "The Word" speaks? And if so, whose "Word" is it? God? If that's the case, I really think God needs to straighten out his priorities here. Perhaps "The Word" is actually The Bird? I'm quite confused and could use some clarity on this matter.
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Old 01-13-2023, 05:29 PM   #599 (permalink)
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Great review of Sackcloth"n" Ashes, SGR ! I enjoyed your evocations of the inhabitants of every alt country album
Like all the best reviews, it reflects my own opinion, especially in noting the accordion tracks as being among the best moments. I also felt that Sixteen Horsepower could have benefited from a little extra punch, so I enjoyed your Gun Club rec - a band that is new to me. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2023, 06:19 PM   #600 (permalink)
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Great review of Sackcloth"n" Ashes, SGR ! I enjoyed your evocations of the inhabitants of every alt country album
Like all the best reviews, it reflects my own opinion, especially in noting the accordion tracks as being among the best moments. I also felt that Sixteen Horsepower could have benefited from a little extra punch, so I enjoyed your Gun Club rec - a band that is new to me. Thanks.
Thanks Lisna!

The accordion was an awesome addition, definitely my favorite part of the album. But was the accordion ever associated with country/western stuff? I'll admit to not being the biggest consumer of either western movies (besides Clint Eastwood movies) or country music (though I love me some George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings) - accordions always make me think of Italy and make me crave spaghetti and meatballs.

Per the Gun Club, a lot of people credit the Pixies for influencing Nirvana in regards to the quiet/loud verse-chorus dynamic, but the Pixies actually picked that up from the Gun Club.
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