Animal Chin: The Ins & Outs Of Terrorism!


I went to high school with vocalist/guitarist Jamie Woolford, and another high school friend, Josh Steinbauer, gets writing credit, so no review, just the song notes and song ratings.

  1. Seven – ska influence
  2. Heir To The X-Fortune – hardcore. fast.
  3. Have You Seen Him? – instrumental
  4. Time-Out – probably the Animal Chin song
  5. The Top Contender – almost reggae in parts
  6. Not Like You

Mix: “Have You Seen Him?,” “Time-Out”
Really Like: “Heir To The X-Fortune,” “The Top Contender,” “Not Like You”
Like: “Seven”
Filed Between: Tori Amos (Abnormally Attracted To Sin) and Animal Chin’s All The Kids Agree


Whiskeytown: Faithless Street [Reissued Version]

faithlessstreetIt’s important to note that this is the 1998 reissue and not the 1995 original. Important because, at 21 tracks and 67 minutes, this is as bloated as you would expect a reissue to be, even one for a relatively unknown album such as this one. Important because this is now the only version you can get on both Spotify and Xbox Music. In fact, it seems to be the only one listed at allmusic. Important because it sounds awful, at least on both Spotify and Xbox Music, and I even tried “Extreme” (seriously) quality on Spotify. The sound on almost every song is dominated by crackly, peaking static at every crescendo. And that ends up being the most salient quality of the album.

Once you get past that, the next step is to get past the fact that it’s 21 songs and 67 minutes and good god it doesn’t need to be anywhere close to that long. Get past the sound and the songs that have no business being included here, and you’re left with an album that, well, it still has a ceiling of like 3.5 clowns. But, hell, that’s better than I’m gonna give it.

There are a few gems and several more songs that have good parts. But the band’s a little too twangy; they’re pretty judicious with the violin but it still gets overbearing, as is its wont in a setting like this. Their attempts at 70’s Springsteen glory and broken dreams are fine but nevertheless just make you want to go listen to Springsteen’s superior versions.

In the end, maybe the length of this ends up serving it pretty well. Not because I want to listen to the whole thing, or really even that many songs on it, but more because it lets the good moments peppered throughout the album pile up to a point where I’m inclined to say that, you know, maybe with better sound I’d even be able to say I liked this.

– “Drank Like A River,” “Revenge”
– “Midway Park,” “What May Seen Like Love,” “If He Can’t Have You,” “Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight,” “Desperate Ain’t Lonely,” “Hard Luck Story,” “Top Dollar,” “Lo Fi Tennessee Mountain Angel,” “Empty Baseball Park,” “16 Days,” “Yesterday’s News,” “Factory Girl”
– “Too Drunk To Dream,” “Tennessee Square,” “Faithless Street,” “Mining Town,” “Black Arrow, Bleeding Heart,” “Matrimony,” “Here’s To The Rest Of The World”
Song Notes: After the jump
Continue reading

The Rentals: Return Of The Rentals

returnoftherentals“Friends Of P.,” the hit single from this, the debut album by The Rentals, a band fronted by Weezer bassist Matt Sharp, is the only song you can’t get as part of your subscription content to Xbox Music and Spotify. Which is kind of a big middle finger, but I can kind of understand it since the rest of the album sucks and who the hell would pay for it? On the other hand, I can’t imagine “Friends Of P.” being good enough to save this album from its levels of pure suckage.

The keyboard sounds are deliciously retro, due to the band’s featuring of a Moog. However, unlike The Cars, a Moog-heavy band this band is compared to a lot, The Rentals forgot to write any songs. All but one of the nine tracks that is included on here are either boring or annoying, sometimes both. The annoying is almost always due to the insistence on them including a female vocalist who is maddeningly off-key.

The full heart is generous. This is crap.

– “Please Let That Be You”
– “The Love I’m Searching For,” “Waiting,” “My Summer Girl,” “Sweetness And Tenderness”
– “Move On,” “Brilliant Boy,” “Naive,” “These Days”
Not included – “Friends Of P.”
Song Notes: After the jump
Continue reading

Los Lobos: Just Another Band From East L.A. – A Collection

I can’t really do a full-on review of this because there are a whole bunch of songs that aren’t available on Xbox Music. I assume that’s due to publishing rights being goofy throughout this album, which is a bit of a compilation and a way to re-release one of their very early albums, Los Lobos Del Este De Los Angeles, whose title is obviously the inspiration of this collection’s.

It makes a ton of sense to do something like this for Los Lobos, whose style changed so much in the years covered by this collection. I think a lot of people who will like the rock stuff in the later part of that period will be turned off by all the bandoneon for the first several songs, but, you know, who cares, I guess?

Disc 1:

  1. Volver, Volver – N/A
  2. El Cuchipe – From Los Lobos Del Este de Los Angeles. Pretty sweet. A real nice feel to it. Upbeat.
  3. La Feria De La Flores – Slower, more like a ballad.
  4. Sabor A Mi – N/A
  5. Let’s Say Goodnight (Live) – Originally full-hearted on …And A Time To Dance, this one is fine but doesn’t sound as good. Loves the energy. The solos. Sweet.
  6. Anselma – From …And A Time To Dance.
  7. Will The Wolf Survive? – From How Will The Wolf Survive?
  8. A Matter Of Time – From How Will the Wolf Survive?
  9. I Got To Let You Know (Live) – Originally full-hearted on By The Light Of The Moon. Pretty manic here.
  10. Don’t Worry Baby – N/A.
  11. One Time One Night – From By The Light Of The Moon.
  12. Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes – From By The Light Of The Moon.
  13. River Of Fools (Live) – Full-hearted on By The Light Of The Moon.
  14. Carabina.30-30 – N/A
  15. Tears Of God – From By The Light Of The Moon.
  16. Set Me Free (Rosa Lee) – From By The Light Of The Moon.
  17. Come On, Let’s Go – N/A
  18. La Bamba – From La Bamba Soundtrack.
  19. El Gusto – N/A
  20. Estoy Sentado Aqui – From La Pistola Y El Corazón.
  21. La Pistola Y El Corazón – From La Pistola Y El Corazón.
  22. I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song) – I like this way better than the Disney version. Which isn’t hard. But this is awesome.

Disc 2:

  1. Someday – Wikipedia says it’s an outtake from The Neighborhood sessions. Good but a titch boring.
  2. Down On The Riverbed – From The Neighborhood.
  3. Be Still – From The Neighborhood.
  4. The Neighborhood – From The Neighborhood.
  5. I Can’t Understand – From The Neighborhood.
  6. Angel Dance – From The Neighborhood.
  7. Bertha (Live) – Jerry Garcia credited as a songwriter. Thin sound. Definitely a good song, though. Would probs prefer a studio version, but this is what I’ve got, so full.
  8. Saint Behind The Glass – From Kiko.
  9. Angels With Dirty Faces – From Kiko.
  10. Wicked Rain (Live) – Kiko version is open. This is worse, but the chaotic jam and dirty solo are pretty cool. Love the energy, dislike the sound.
  11. Kiko And The Lavender Moon – From Kiko.
  12. When The Circus Comes – From Kiko.
  13. Peace (Live) – Kiko version is full.
  14. Bella Maria De Mi Alma – like a julio iglesias kind of thing
  15. What’s Going On (Live) – Yes, the Marvin Gaye song. A good rendition, I like it. But live sound makes it open. And, I mean, it’s so faithful to the original that, while it’s nice to hear David Hidalgo singing this song, I don’t really need it.
  16. Wrong Man Theme – 1:44 and instrumental. I think it’s the theme to the Alfred Hitchcock movie. It’s pretty cool to hear them do it, but not exciting enough to get a full heart.
  17. Blue Moonlight – Seems kinda lame. Pretty boring soft jazz kinda stuff. Not really my thing. And this is just too straight.
  18. Politician (Live) – May be a Cream song since Jack Bruce listed as writer. Sounds like Cream. Dirty blues. It is Cream. Like “Bertha,” would probably prefer studio version due to sound, but this is all I’ve got so full heart.
  19. New Zandu – Vocal effect makes it sound like from Kiko sessions. It’s pretty sweet. Really cool use of dissonance. Start could be a ZZ Top song, but then it gets wacky. Would have loved for this to be on Kiko.

– “El Cuchipe,” “La Feria De Flores,” “A Matter Of Time,” “One Time One Night,” “Tears Of God,” “Set Me Free (Rosa Lee),” “La Bamba,” “La Pistola Y El Corazón,” “I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song),” “Be Still,” “I Can’t Understand,” “Angel Dance,” “Bertha (Live),” “Saint Behind The Glass,” “Angels With Dirty Faces,” “When The Circus Comes,” “Bella Maria De Mi Alma,” “Politician (Live),” “New Zandu”
– “Let’s Say Goodnight (Live),” “Anselma,” “Will The Wolf Survive?,” “I Got To Let You Know (Live),” “Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes,” “River Of Fools (Live),” “Estoy Sentado Aqui,” “Someday,” “Down On The Riverbed”, “Wicked Rain (Live),” “Peace (Live),” “What’s Going On (Live),” “Wrong Man Theme”
– “The Neighborhood,” “Kiko And The Lavender Moon,” “Blue Moonlight”

BR5-49: Coast To Coast Live

coasttocoastWhenever I comment on the tastiness of something My Baby’s made me to eat, her reply is always something along the lines of “I made it with love” or “It’s because of all the love I added.” It occurred to me the other night that the problem with this album, as well as that of its predecessor, is that it wasn’t made with love. There are some (some) good songs (mostly at the very top of the disc) and the playing is all just as technically competent as it always was. Gary Bennett’s voice has the same classic quality. But whereas BR5-49 was made with such care that it’s brimming with emotion at every note, these last two albums of theirs just feel so much more tossed off and by the numbers. No love.

I’m glad I came back to them, to get a better sense of where there actually were good songs, but it was never enough to change my opinion that the band took a serious drop after their first two releases.

Keep: “Tell Me Mama,” “Sweet, Sweet Girl,” “Pourin’ Pain”
“Even If It’s Wrong,” “Better Than This,” “Big Mouth Blues,” “Six Days On The Road,” “You’re A Hum-Dinger”
Filed Between:
BR5-49’s Big Backyard Beat Show and Brad (Shame)
Song Notes:
After the jump
Continue reading