Rock

Love Me Crazy (CD)

There's no doubt we're in the golden age of rediscovered recorded music. We're constantly being confronted by rare sounds discovered by crate diggers, sweaty music geeks and aficionados who find something so spectacular, it needs to be given a second chance. Leon Nahat's solo-project, Ilian, offers that sparkling, timeless California sound for nostalgic ears. Recorded piecemeal by Leon Nahat in various studios, Love Me Crazy is a stoned, psychedelic album that sounds like it could've been dreamt up. Starting his first band as a teen in Detroit, Nahat traveled around to Phoenix and eventually Hermosa Beach, while backing up Chuck Berry and Dottie West along the way. After a couple of failed ventures of getting earlier tracks released, Love Me Crazy was released and pressed in a small number by the shady record company Album World. But Anthology Recordings is properly releasing the album, with Nahat's approval, reintroducing its California sound to a new world. The ultra smooth production feels like the optimistic and glimmering Canyon sound of the late '70s that was influenced by Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and Crosby, Stills and Nash. "Hey Denisse," with its precision-sharp guitar jamming and punchy drums, is bright and joyful pop at is best. "See What You Can See" is psychedelia at its most Technicolor that just radiates with light. With bands still emulating the sounds of the '70s, Love Me Crazy sounds almost prophetic in 2016.

Read more
Santana IV (CD)

Ever since 1999's triple-platinum single "Smooth" and multi-Grammy winning album Supernatural, Santana has explored the boundaries of Latin rock, classic AM radio rock, and top 40 radio by surrounding himself with an A+ team of studio musicians and younger, more contemporary talents like Pitbull and Rob Thomas. But 45 years later, Santana has teamed up with the same musicians who performed on stage at Woodstock with him and they bring you the Afro-Cuban sound of Santana's first three albums. As soon as Santana's spaced out, stoned guitar starts to dance around in an improvisational jam, Gregg Rolie's distinct voice pops in to croon over "Blues Magic." You hear how gracefully they've all aged and still click together like a classic jazz combo. Opener "Yambu" feels like a lost track from Santana III as it starts with pulsating African drums, funky organ, and chanting in a strange tongue. "Shake It" is as '70s at the album gets with a Led Zeppelin guitar riff blaring over heavy drums and a voice that's shouting more than singing. But the highlight is "Anywhere You Want To Go," a surprisingly sensuous Latin jazz track that feels like a spiritual sequel to the classic hit "Oye Como Va" with Tito Puente-like percussion and a guitar solo burning through the song, but still has the pop appeal of his biggest tracks. Santana has never sounded more like the Santana people love until this came along. The perfect rock album to listen to while enjoying a cold drink on these hot days.

Read more
Hold/Still (CD)

Psychedelic band Suuns’s latest album, recorded with John Congleton, gels together loping riffs, Afropop-inspired grooves and caramel vocals. Each song is like a journey, inviting you to leave your body and hover straight to the horizon…take the trip.

Read more
Singing Saw (CD)

Former Woods member Kevin Morby continues his fruitful solo career with a stunner of an album. Singing Saw kicks up Morby’s melancholic songwriting with psychdeleic bursts of orchestration, gleaming guitars, and straightforward rock beats to keep the whole thing anchored. Majestic.

Read more
Person A (CD)

The irresistible folk-rock collective known for their hit “Home” returns with a fourth album of uplifting anthems. For their fourth studio album, the band recorded almost entirely in one room together in New Orleans. Their approach is a far cry from their ramshackle, come-one-come-all philosophy audible on their previous albums. PersonA also marks the first time that the band has jointly collaborated on a majority of the songwriting.

Read more
Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello (CD)

The legendary power-pop band sets a new course with Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello, their first release in over five years. Firmly cemented as one of the most important bands in music history, the quartet will continue their reign as the top progenitors of power-pop through 2016 and beyond.

Read more
Distortland (CD)

Can The Dandy Warhols stay relevant and weird in the Portland music scene when the city has gentrified and gotten significantly cleaner and more square? Distortland might find them at their poppiest and breeziest, but the out-there arrangements and love lyrics that a pop star wouldn't touch with a pole still make them the senior wackos of Portland. "Search Party" leans close to electronic '90s Britpop with its hypnotic fuzz and spaced-out guitars that feel like the perfect cosmic backdrop to an addictive pop song. "STYGGO" feels like a Talking Heads outtake from the Stop Making Sense era, with a funky bass line, bongos, and an acoustic guitar hook that balance against psychedelic lyrics that taste like candy-covered painkillers. Adding a new, professional sheen to Distortland is producer Jim Lowe, who previously has worked with the Stereophonics and mixed hits by Taylor Swift. He takes the album in directions the Warhols themselves wouldn't have gone. Done via e-mail, frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor would send him the raw tracks and wait a day before getting them back, and would be blown away by the results. The Dandy Warhols have always been one of the most interesting and best indie rock bands, and Distortland's catchy tracks that are simultaneously poppy and gonzo balance so perfectly that you'll keep wanting to listen to this album until the needle breaks.

Read more
City Sun Eater In The River Of Light (CD)

Brooklyn’s Woods follows up the sunlit psych-folk-rock of 2014’s With Light and With Love with an album that’s rife with detail — worldbeat guitar tangles, Morricone-inspired orchestration, and subtle jazz beats — yet still retains their warm folk-inspired touch. Magnificent.

Read more
Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll (CD)

Peter Guralnick, author of numerous books on American music, has delivered perhaps his crowning glory in this book on the nervous but driven man who was compelled to record Howling Wolf, Ike Turner, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis among many, many more.

Read more
Holdin' The Bag (CD)
Veteran rockers continue to make strides into country. The touches of Morricone and Tejano only serve to add to the general baddassery of a band that has never cared much to fit into a genre or scene. Read more