1990 was the year, Shake Your Money Maker was the debut disc, and the band was The Black Crowes. Twenty years later, the band has released their first album of all-acoustic tracks, a double album being sold at the cost of a single set to thank the bands fans. Produced by Paul Stacey, the album itself includes unplugged versions of prior Crows songs, plus a couple of newbies; opener Jealous Again is punchy and strong, while classic She Talks to Angels adds in pedal steel and mandolin to the acoustic guitars, and Thorn in My Pride finds the band doing a little acoustic jamming to Robinsons distinctive vocals.
Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust - Shout Factory
Los Lobos first collection of new original songs in four years, the album brings together blues, rock, both English and Spanish-language tracks, and even a cover tune. 27 Spanishes presents a musical history lesson complete with guitar work from Cesar Rosas; Texas polka makes an appearance on Mujer Ingrata; Susan Tedeschi steps in to contribute backing vocals on Burn It Down; and the band pays homage to the Grateful Dead with their version of West L.A. Fadeaway. A nice progression for this skilled band.
House of Heroes - Suburba - Gotee Records
Pop-rockers House of Heroes draw mostly on classic rockers (think Springsteen, The Who, John Mellencamp) to hammer together their current album, although many of their songs take things a step heavier. The albums theme, as one might guess from the title, is growing up in middle class suburbia, according to the bands Tim Skipper; the arena-friendly tracks send along messages of utilizing spirituality to get through the tough times, all wrapped in pop hooks from So Far Away to Independence Day for a Petty Thief.
Filter - The Trouble with Angels - RS
Richard Patrick (vocalist) and his band Filter harken back to the bands good ol days on this set - by that, of course, meaning the days when Patrick, pre-pop/rock-charts, used to put far more focus on the aggressiveness of his vocal lines, right down to some actual screaming. These equally strong songs arent necessarily for everybody, with their heavily metallic instrumental backdrops and Patricks unflinching subject matter, but Filter fans will be glad to see the band return on such impact-making songs as The Inevitable Relapse, No Love, and Fades Like a Photograph.