2006 ISSUE #84
(128kbps 16mb mp3 file)
Half Century Of Hits
3 CD Box Set
TRACK = LEWIS BOOGIE
It almost seems unfair that Jerry Lee Lewis gets
overshadowed by his era's peers, especially a guy named Elvis.
This becomes more evident when you listen to the early music on
this set, where Lewis' rock and roll fire is burning its brightest.
It's obvious that he was one of the greatest performers that rock
ever had, shaking up the entertainment world both literally and
figuratively with his own controversial style.
There's a lot of ground covered in this career retrospective.
Not only do we get the early rock tunes that made him famous,
but we also get a look at his country songs, a few previously
unreleased live tunes, and an amusing studio recording of an argument
between Lewis and Sun Records' Sam Phillips over religion---where
Lewis claims the devil is in him because rock and roll is the
Admittedly, the best tracks in the bunch are the
early rock ones, where Lewis is a wild and loose cannon. There's
a passion here that hasn't been seen since those days, and Lewis
captures the spirit better than just about anyone else.
The country songs are obviously more subdued, yet
Lewis proves to be just as talented in this vein as he was in
rock. It's interesting to see the transition between the two styles,
showing that Mr. Great Balls Of Fire was much more than a one-trick
MISH MASH Mandate: Breathless Boogie
Time Life Website
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New Music Reviews
Big 3 Records
12 song CD
If there was ever any doubt about the viability or the longevity
of Cheap Trick, this should put it to rest. After three decades
of power pop rocking, this quartet from the Midwest proves that
they still have what it takes in a surprisingly great collection
of brand new material.
This is the album that 2003's Special One should
have been. While that album had many promising moments, it fell
short of living up to its potential. The band was reaching for the
next level, but they just didn't quite make it. In Rockford, however,
the songwriting is tight and catchy, and the band sounds hungrier
than they have since the early 80s. The group is at their best when
they pull out the stops and take a few chances, like on Come On
Come On Come On, O Claire, One More, and Decaf. The only complaint
I have is that the mix of producers (including Jack Douglas, Linda
Perry and Steve Albini, among others) makes the album sound less
cohesive than it could be with one at the helm. As many of the band's
albums don't live up to their live shows, it would be nice to see
them finally capture that fire in a studio setting, and perhaps
using one capable producer could push them in that direction.
With that having been said, longtime fans of Trick will feel right
at home with this release, as it certainly lives up to the standard
set by their classic first albums back in the late 70s.
MISH MASH Mandate: Don't Steal My Girlfriend
Cheap Trick Website
4 song CD
TRACK = IF I COULD DANCE
At some point in the past 35 years, the spirit of glam rock made
its way to Scandinavia and found root there. In the 80s, one of
the greatest exports was Hanoi Rocks, and now the latest result,
this time from Sweden, is the punk-pop quartet Dolly Daggers
The Daggers do their best to emulate their glamtastic predecessors,
reaching back to borrow from Marc Bolan, New York Dolls/Johnny Thunders,
and the aforementioned boys from Hanoi. At the same time, they add
just the right amount of post-modern punk attitude and glitzy new
wave keyboards to give it an ironically fresh sound.
Make no mistake, there are plenty of pop hooks to go along with
the eye shadow and the pouting attitude. So pull on the platform
shoes and start strutting. You know you want to.
MISH MASH Mandate: Wham Bam Glam
Dolly Daggers Website
Crawling With Kings
Regarding Your Request For
My Plastic Records
10 song CD
TRACK = JESUS IN YOUR OVARIES
Depression rock currently seems to be an art in and of itself,
and Crawling With Kings have created quite the masterpiece of woe.
Quiet vocals and enigmatic lyrics wrap around understated guitar
lines, providing an atmosphere of rambling loneliness and solitude
which never lets up.
Don't fret, though, because even if it brings you down, the songs
hold their promise in being beautifully done. They grab you immediately
and hold your undivided attention in a way that speaks highly of
the songwriting and execution.
MISH MASH Mandate: Sad Songs Say So Much
My Plastic Records Website
16 song CD reissue
TRACK = JUST PLAIN BEAUTIFUL
While Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett had a brief flirt with fame
in the early 70s playing with Eric Clapton, chances are you're
not familiar with this particular Stax release from 1969. It's
an album steeped in classic Stax southern soul, with the backing
band being none other than Booker T. & The MGs (among others).
It's purely a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,
as it was virtually ignored when it was originally released---partially
because the Bramletts were white people playing "black"
Time has proven otherwise, as the music on this release is as
potent as any other rhythm & blues release of the classic
Stax era, featuring soulful, heartfelt singing and those unmistakable
Stax big horns. The true unsung hero here, though, is the vocal
talent of Bonnie Bramlett, who sounds like a cross between Janis
Joplin and Carla Thomas (most evident in her take on Piece Of
My Heart). She sounds right at home with rhythm & blues, and
this release is worth grabbing just because of her.
MISH MASH Mandate: Soul Food
Stax/Concord Records Website
9 song CD
SSM is a merely a trio, yet their wall of sound belies this fact,
sonically punching you in the face from all sides without apology.
It's a crazy mix of styles and sounds, taking classic garage rock
into multiple musical directions, all the while overwhelming the
listener with a sheer amount of unforgiving sound.
The keyboard-and-guitar attack proves to be quite impressive,
jumbling together an array of noise and discordant retro melodies
which seem to work in spite of themselves. It's a piece of work
that's out of time and space, not falling into anything easily labeled
or categorized. When it comes down to it, it's just rock, but it
it's rock that will knock your socks off.
MISH MASH Mandate: Time Bandits
Alive Records Website
Theory 8 Records
9 song CD
TRACK = QUIERO QUIERES
Forget Cassettes is back, regrouped and recast as a trio, with guitarist/vocalist
Beth Cameron remaining at the helm. Their latest release, Salt,
is a sonic barrage of post-modern rock that is full of surprises.
The music is simple in its guitar/bass/drums execution, but complex
in its overall structure. This isn't your average pop rock record,
to be sure.
Cameron wears her heart on her sleeve vocally, digging down deep
to express her self in a variety of dynamic ways. At times she's
unsure and understated, and at others she is in your face with
a full assault, running the gamut of emotions and moods. The band's
style is somewhat quirky and unpredictable, but always with an
underlying tension that flexes and retracts throughout. It reminds
me a little of Fugazi, but with an obvious bent towards female
angst. Beautiful and haunting at the same time, this is a record
that makes a lasting impact and is sure to be returning to my
player in the future.
MISH MASH Mandate: I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar
Forget Cassettes Website
If that is what is being
thought, liberated sound talks the depth of [musical] world
Status Quo Audio
12 song CD
Just looking at the title of this one leads me to believe something
is lost in translation. It's easier to understand when you find
out that "te" is a four-piece instrumental avant garde
rock band from Japan. At this point, you should realize that anything
The music of "te" is founded in a swirling mix of post-modern
guitar rock and classic sci-fi prog rock. The songs themselves
(which have long convoluted names like the album title) are surprisingly
light and airy, considering they come in the form of two electric
guitars, bass, and drums. The band does a good job of keeping
the songs from getting bogged down in the noodling, leaving them
open and unfettered by histrionics. This simple approach uses
more emotion than blinding musical skill, and the result is an
album that draws you right in.
MISH MASH Mandate: Turning Japanese
Status Quo Audio Website
Omar & The
Bamboozled (Live In Germany)
15 song CD
Frontman "Omar" has the perfect voice for electric blues
singing; it's raw, gritty, and full of the bad attitude that makes
the blues grab you in the gut. He sounds like a cross between Howlin'
Wolf and Dr. John --- gruff and growling through this great bluesy
live set recorded in Germany. His guitar playing ain't too shabby,
This is the way the blues is supposed to be played. The band is
tight, but the sound isn't too polished. It's just rough enough
around the edges to keep it real, making sure there's plenty of
dirt and grit. Oh yeah, man, this is the good stuff.
MISH MASH Mandate: Who Do You Love?
Ruf Records Website
© 2006 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved