As promised, we continue our stroll through the stacks with a second volume of One Line Reviews. Slowly, we're catching up to present day and we hope you enjoy catching up with us.
On with the show...
Egyptian Project: Ya Amar (Six Degrees)
Traditional Egyptian music mingles with modern technology to come up with the sound of what Egypt is hoping for...a peaceful blend of the old ways and the new traditions.
Very Be Careful: Remember Me From The Party (Downtown Pijao)
Traditional accordion lead Columbian vallenato via Los Angeles that has a wonderful gypsy feel to it and is the sort of thing that will have you dancing in the streets.
Helstar: 30 Years of Hel (AFM Records)
Holy heck...it's hard to believe these guys have been around that long. But here they are three decades later thrashing like maniacs. This CD sounds ridiculous and is amazing. Perfect thrash that captures all the energy of their 30th anniversary show. Even better than the two CD's of audio that's included is a DVD of the same performance! Throw the horns up and headbang in Hel! Essential stuff.
Johnny 5th Wheel & The Cowards: Music To Shake n' Shuffle To (Sotones)
Quirky as all heck pop that would make the Monochrome Set and Television Personalities blush. Imagine Divine Comedy...only weird and you have Johnny and his Cowards. Fun stuff indeed.
Emerson Lake and Palmer: Tarkus Reissue (Razor & Tie)
If you were to look prog rock up in the dictionary (go ahead we'll wait) you'd see this record listed as a Masterwork. This sprawling three disc set has more music on it than any calculator could calculate. This was the sound of the future circa 1971 and it's still amazing. Absolutely essential this is ELP at their indulgent best.
Emerson Lake and Palmer: s/t (Razor & Tie)
Another masterful reissue spread across three CD's with enough jazzy fusion influenced rock to make John McLaughlin's head explode. This is epic stuff and it's fantastic.
Chaos Chaos: s/t (Self Released)
Despite their name these guys aren't chaotic in any way shape or form. What they are though is another brilliant band to emerge out of Smoosh! This one has Asy and Chloe in it and they create dynamic synthpop that's seductive, cool, and controlled.
Knock Knock: We Will Raise Your Child (Test Pattern)
Fantastic power pop that doesn't reveal it's charms until you sit down to listen to it. This is like Carnival of Light era Ride mixed with an American pop sensibility and boy/girl vocals. Surprisingly brilliant.
Lost Animal: Ex Tropical (Hardly Art)
Atmospheric and worldly sounding indie pop that's kind of sedated. It's an interesting sonic experiment that seemingly works despite being a bit lo-fi and odd at times in a Lou Reed on drugs kind of way.
Empresarios: El Sonido Magico (Fort Knox)
Another impressive album from one of the coolest bands to emerge from DC in recent years. Playing salsa, cumbia, electronica, exotica, chill out and just about everything else Empresarios are as diverse as DC itself. This album does not suffer from a sophomore slump in any way. Enjoy the Magico and chill out with Empresarios.
Ending People: Fill Your Lungs (Unknown)
Crystalline guitars, dramatic vocals and a complex sound that's equal parts post-shoegazing and post-alternative. It's interesting stuff that's deep and soulful.
The Growl: Cleaver Lever (Planetary)
Disjointed blues based rock and roll that had it come out in 2003 could have given bands like Vue a run for their money. This is the sound of hard living and the effects it has on your health both physically and mentally.
Challenger: The World Is Too Much For Me (Self-Released)
The label says Recommended If You Like Peter Gabriel and Vampire Weekend. They're not lying. The first song just feels like a modern take on "Biko," and sets the stage for what follows. It's huge worldly sounding stuff that's seemingly optimistic, ridiculously catchy and jumps back and forth between massive pop anthems and synth pop stylings. Neat stuff.