Neutral Milk Hotel- Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2
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Artist: Seasick Steve
Album: Hubcap Music
Release Date: April 29, 2013
The first thing many notice about an album is the cover. Whether it is the distinctive, repetitive optical illusion of Merriweather Post Pavilion or the iconic prism of Dark Side of The Moon, a good album cover can tell you all you need to know about an album’s contents. Blues musician Seasick Steve’s latest album, Hubcap Music, is no different. Seen above, the album cover bears a tarnished hubcap emerging out of the dirt in a way this could be a metaphor for the path of Steve’s career. With every album, his production and playing have been getting cleaner, more metallic. That is not a bad thing. Even if his D.I.Y. aesthetic (he makes his own guitars) is better served by a lo-fi production, it does not stop this LP from being a fun, if unmemorable time.
This is immediately clear with the album opener “Down on The Farm,” an intense 4 minute guitar that’s fun and slightly danceable. The track is an early highlight, and apparently, the label knew that, too, releasing it as a single in late 2012. Unfortunately, the rest of album is much slower, and despite a Jack White cover halfway through on “The Way I Do,” it never really regains the energy it had in the opener. The album instead becomes a standard blues album, which is not helped the standard production. The production is very clean and big for Steve and features a list of famous recording artists like John Paul Jones and Jack White, all playing a plethora of instruments. A Hammond organ even shows up on “Coast is Clear.” But the instrumental variety is not enough to keep this from sounding like a by-the-numbers album for Steve. It’s still enjoyable, but anyone looking for something a little different should look elsewhere.
Rating (by pizza size):
10″ (small pie)
12″ (medium pie)
14″ (large pie)
16″ (X-large pie)
18″ (Really big pizza)
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Read about UIUC’s RSO, Star Course! The student-run organization promotes and provides entertainment of all types to the C-U and University communities.
Read Maggie’s album review of Migrant Kids new release!
With their self-titled debut, Migrant Kids do the ironic, idiomatic, and oh-so-cliché. And? They do it well. The Austin-based trio reinvents the wheel. (If the wheel was a spectral, post-rock entity.) Their sound, atmospheric and ethereal much in the way of fellow indie rockers The Antlers and Grizzly Bear, works as the perfect vehicle for their collaborative heartbreak, told to the listener through nine tracks of woeful reflection on love come and gone.