January 23, 2019

Lucero – Lucero – Madjack

By Kristi Kates | June 2, 2018

Grunge mixed with Tennessee country? Sure, if you’re Lucero. While this pairing might seem unlikely for other outfits, these country-punkers have the formula down, and they’ve rebooted this classic set in a reprinted, limited edition version that’s sure to notch them a whole new set of fans. Check out the appropriately raspy vocals and sandpaper mixes on “Banks of the Arkansas” and “Raising Hell,” and the alt-country standouts of “All These Love Songs” and “A Dangerous Thing.” You might like grunge or country, but in this case, you’re likely to love both. ***

The Kennedys – Safe Until Tomorrow
If you’re a fan of vintage folk artist Nanci Griffith, you’ve likely see these two (Pete and Maura Kennedy) as members of Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, but they’re also a strong duo in their own right. One of the reasons they fit so well with Griffith’s sound is that they’re very much in that folk-rock vein, but they also infuse their own albums with more rock elements, as best showcased on the cautionary “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” the sharp “Cayenne in My Coffee,” and their distinctive take on “Midnight Train to Georgia.” ** 1/2

EisbrecherEisbrecher – Metropolis Records
For a left-field musical experience (unless you’re German, in which case you’re likely already a fan), Eisbrecher brings you a great first introduction to industrial electro-rock. Frontman Alexx Wesselsky’s pliant vocals divebomb the heavy, complex arrangements adding weft and weave to tracks like “Willkommen Im Nicht” and “Angst?” while the band shows its diversity by stepping back for slower numbers like “Zeichen der Venus” and “Frage.” ** ½

Mat KearneyCrazytalk – Tomorrow Music
Hints of Paul Simon and The Fray drift through the fifth effort from singer-songwriter Kearney, his first since his Just Kids album three years ago. This time around, Kearney is leaning more on beats, most notably the world music (Simon), pop, and EDM varieties. Pop shows its face best on tunes like “By Your Side” and “Don’t Cry For Me,” as Kearney seamlessly meshes dance-club beats with acoustic guitars. Collabs with DJs RAC and AFSHeeN add a little something even more fresh to the overall set. ***






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