Grasping at Straws

Grasping At Straws

The album begins. Within 5 seconds, we hear banjo, we hear some shouted vocals. We’re in Riverwest. We here Ernest Brusubardis’ violin playing, with more swing and soul than his fiddling with the now-on-hiatus Calamity Janes. It’s that sort of sound at which every brick in this area of town must now permanently reverberate. That’s not to say that this is just another folk album, though.

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Whiskey Doubles Sweet “Honey Creek EP”

Bandcamp-Cover

With each passing year, music sites across the world keep adding items to their already huge drop-down lists for style and genre. Categories, sub-categories, and niches define and divide music into endlessly ways, and excitedly, Milwaukee-based multi-instrumental quartet Whiskey Doubles adds yet another niche with their debut effort, Honey Creek EP.

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Oh Hush Now, Your Obligatory Delphines Review

delphines hush

Well kids, they did it. Milwaukee’s psychedelic, surf-rock, shoegazing wonders, The Delphines, released a full-length album. While nowhere nearing the length of Beethoven symphony or heavy metal concept album, it carries just as much weight. The lo-fi quartet amped up their songwriting and recording techniques and delivered a savagely energetic yet mature 28 minutes of music.

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Failures’ Union Succeeds with “Tethering”

Failures' Union "Tethering"

Music is constantly in flux between traditional and groundbreaking, familiar and fancily new, and generally speaking, there are sweet spots at each end of the spectrum and a delicate overlap right in between. Failure’s Union’s recent release, “Tethering”, consists of 13 relatively short and snappy tunes and does well on the each end of the spectrum, but needs some work in the middle. The album itself in a way demonstrates the spectrum of innovation, with the strong start consisting new sounds and styles, and end convincingly playing out in the style of 90s alt rock, and the middle somewhat faltering somewhere in between.

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Giving it All Away – Lousy Trouts

Lousy Trouts album review

Milwaukee hipsters rejoice, there’s another new folk/bluegrass act in town. The Lousy Trouts recently debuted with their album, “The Guy Who Gave Everything Away but Sold His Boat”, and it’s a strong showing, that, much like the title, combines grandiosity and grassroots. Within moments of listening one realizes that texture changes define the album, both in each song and especially between the various tracks. This is no surprise when you see that each of the Trouts plays multiple instruments, and that there are four guest musicians adding cello, fiddle, slide guitar and female vocals. The fiddle is always a great addition, especially in the sauntering “Statues.” The cello and occasionally bowed bass add much needed warmth to the otherwise picking heavy mix of guitar and mandolin. Meanwhile, the percussion reigns in the aptly named “Bongo Song.” The most consistent instrument, and the most expertly played, recorded, and mixed, is Alex Heaton’s bass. In another non-surprise, Heaton also assumed recording and mixing duties. When listening to a self-produced album, listen for the instrument that received the most detail, and I guarantee that’s the musician responsible for the full mix, though that’s not necessarily a good or bad thing. The album’s more … Continued

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A Peak at Coaster’s Tattoos

Coaster's Tattoos EP

Sometimes after long, brutal mid-western winters, you need a jolt to remind you that it is possible, though not probable, to feel warm again. Chicago-based Coaster’s forthcoming EP, Tattoos, has come along and provided me with that jolt. Though only 5 tracks long, there is more than enough substance to the EP to make it more than worth a listen.

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A Lot from a Little – Little Trouble Kids’ Haunted Hearts

Little Trouble Kids album review

Who else remembers building a bridge out of toothpicks and glue in middle school shop class? A few days of hard work usually came crashing down after your teacher methodically added a couple pounds. If only you had more time, more glue, more toothpicks, or some actual lumber. Then one kid in the class manages to get his bridge to hold all of the weights at your instructor’s disposal. Haunted Hearts by Little Trouble Kids is that overachieving kid.

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