Album Reviews: Chastity Belt, The Blakes, Cloud Person ...

The Blakes, Junko (out now, We Are OK Records, theblakesband.com): This release won’t dethrone Jack Black as the master of the bratty genre the Blakes share with him, but the Seattle band does the style well enough, driving catchy riffs ’til their engines explode, which on this album never takes longer than three minutes and six seconds.

Chastity Belt, No Regerts (out now, Help Yourself Records, chastity-belt.bandcamp.com): This garage-pop upstart has been getting torrents of local and national press, and No Regerts provides solid, though not stunning, justification for the buzz. The group’s sound is a winner: a loose-but-not-sloppy rhythm section hums beneath Julia Shapiro’s blustery vocals and Lydia Lund’s Strokes-like melodic guitar leads. Whether songs like “Giant Vagina” and “Nip Slip” are intended as silliness, feminist political subtext, or both is unclear (and that may be the point), but regardless, the group is most compelling at its crassest—like on “James Dean,” a raw account of sexual objectification that most male bands don’t have the balls to write. (Tues., Aug. 27, Barboza)

Sam Boshnack’s B’shnorkestra, Go to Orange (Aug. 27, Present Sounds Recordings, thebshnorkestra.wordpress.com): Truly a musical grab bag. The 14-member ensemble puts an orchestral twist on rock (“Go to Orange”), salsa (“La Noche Negra”), and free-form jazz (“Skarkiselk”)—and that’s just the beginning. The rest of this debut album is just as diverse, mirroring the arranger/instructor/trumpeter’s wide range of compositional talent.

Cloud Person, Monochrome Places (Aug. 22, self-released, cloudperson.bandcamp.com): It seems silly that an album with so much life, so many sounds, so much happening would include the word “monochrome” in its title—so silly that you can assume intentional irony. Regardless, the group’s full-length debut is a fully realized collection of folk-inspired stories and feelings, wrapped in a warm blanket of melodic sounds. (Thurs., Aug. 22, Crocodile)

Fred Roth Revue, Fred Not Amused (Aug. 20, Ana-Them Records, fredrothrevue.bandcamp.com): Along with being not amused, Roth is also not content with playing just one genre of music. The band’s latest release expertly jumps from garage rock to power pop to the trumpet-heavy “Fare Ah Jake Ah,” a soothing take on the similarly named round. (Fri., Aug. 23, Heartland)

 
comments powered by Disqus