Reviews: Every Local Release

*Chuckberrywhitehouse, All One Word: The Demos (out now, self-released, chuckberrywhitehouse.bandcamp.com): Every now and then we get a release—or a pair of band-branded tightie-whities—that make us pause and say, “Just what in the Goddamn hell is going on here?” Illuminating the point is Chuckberrywhitehouse, the pseudonym of one-man band Jeffrey Smith, who, on this hand-cobbled, jangly home recording, makes Daniel Johnston sound like Raffi. Tracks are not so much songs as they are spoken-word ramblings like Patti Smith on acid, or what sounds like Stevie Ray Vaughn solos overdubbed by Throbbing Gristle. Avant garde would be putting it mildly--this is some crazy-ass shit.

Goldbar, Lonesome Highway (out now, self-released, myspace.com/goldbartheband): Comforting classic rock with a folksy twist. These upbeat songs paint a picture of travelers amid a long, outstretched road while thoughtfully commenting on the continual march of time. (Fri., May 10, White Rabbit)

Stone Gossard, “I Need Something Different” (out now, Monkeywrench Records, pearljam.com/moonlander): It’s ironic that the first song released from Moonlander, the Pearl Jam guitarist’s first solo outing in a dozen years, is called “I Need Something Different”—the song is anchored by a classic, dirty grunge riff, a chromatic punk groover that pulls its power from repetition. Gossard sings: “There’s something in my past/That I can’t run away from/It keeps me hanging on/I keep waiting for things to change.” The album (out June 25) is a pastiche of the old turned inside out, comprising pieces that didn’t get used on previous PJ or Brad records, but “Different” takes you further back in time, channeling MC5 and the Stooges, especially in the fuzzed-out guitar solo. Were it not for the space-age synths and modern production, the song could be straight out of 1970.

* Gun Outfit, Hard Coming Down (out now, Post Present Medium Records, postpresentmedium.com/gun_outfit): This gritty garage album channels a raw energy reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr., Hole, and Sonic Youth. The bass line sets a melancholy tone while haunting vocals and stretched-out drumming send the listener into a somber trance.

* Dylan Jakobsen, Statelines EP (out now, self-released, dylanjakobsen.com): Even folks who listen to “anything but country” can get into Jakobsen’s brand of upbeat Americana on this four-track EP, especially the sing-along “na-na-na-na” chorus in “All Night Long.” (Tues., April 30, El Corazon)

Jeremy Serwer, Down With People (out now, self-released, jeremyserwer.bandcamp.com): Serwer touched up several previously released songs and added two new tunes, the title track and “Woodland Bark,” to round out a solid Americana/folk album. (Wed., May 8, Nectar Lounge)

The Springboards, While You’re Out . . . (4/26, self-released, facebook.com/The.Springboards.music): Guitar-heavy tracks provide steady backing for Alicia Romero and Seth Swift, who share the vocal spotlight. Romero’s belting voice and Swift’s cool tone intertwine on the chorus of “Melatonin” soothingly, like the eponymous sleep-aiding compound. (Fri., April 26, Comet Tavern)

Telekinesis, Dormarion (out now, Merge Records, telekinesismusic.com): Telekinesis’ mastermind/drummer Michael Benjamin Lerner went into the studio with producer/Spoon drummer Jim Eno to make his third and most infectious collection of pop songs yet. Opener “Power Lines” starts with a charming strum, a nod to Lerner’s lo-fi beginnings, before exploding into a muscular guitar riff. The album doesn’t look back from there, delivering hook after undeniable hook.

Yevtushenko, Do EP (out now, self-released, yevtushenko.bandcamp.com): Mixing up-tempo alternative rock and slower indie-esque melodies, this diverse album shows a band versatile enough to cross genres while still keeping a beat. (Sat. April 27, Olympia Ballroom)

 
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