Category: Music Reviews


Tilly and the Wall: O
Author: Kelly Reed
Rating: 4 /5

It’s been two years since Tilly And The Wall has given us a record that covers everything we have been dreaming to shout and dance to. I have had this feeling that kids ranging from mid twenties to early teens have been feeling frustrated and held back in many ways. Well, I am ecstatic to say that people can finally release some of their angst and energy, because Tilly And The Wall has done it again. Damn glad, in fact. Once again this five piece band has been released on Team Love Records. This is their third installment to their musical story. The album starts off soft, sweet, and cool with coming of age lyrics; together they sing,”When there wasn’t anywhere for me to go, Oh, I stumbled into deep love with your rock and roll”, which is repeated as they sing the chorus for a second time. Electric guitar screams to life and listeners will just be craving for more. They get it as the album takes off with their second song “Pot Kettle Black” lead singer Kianna Alarid shouting out, “The trash washes up to shore/Even in this landlocked place/ The shit gets thicker/ It’s toxic/ Get it out my face.” Percussionist Jamie Pressnall doesn’t skip a beat as she taps it out in her well worn tap shoes. It is a truly inspiring album that will make you feel good about the days to come—do you dare to think it can get any better? Not only is this album very exciting to hear, but when compared to their last two albums, Wild Like Children and Bottom of Barrels, you can see how the band is evolving. They are trying out new beats and sounds. Their songs have become more complicated as they work together to make art. One example of their evolution would be Jamie. She has branched out and now taps on a various surfaces instead of the static metal plate of the past. A song that is not on this album (but should be checked out) is their song Beat Control. It was only released a few months ago, and if you watch the music video it is quite psychedelic with an eighties feel. Although it’s a good song, I was disappointed that they did not included tap dancing. I really feel that one of the reasons Tilly And The Wall is fantastic and why they tend to stand out above so many other bands is because they are energetic, young, creative, and are unorthodox when it comes to how they present themselves and their sound. Their tap dancing is unorthodox when compared to other bands, so even though they are trying new and different things, I hope in the future they keep those tap shoes on! Now that I have said the worst, let me fill you in on some of the best tracks – “Tall Tall Grass”, “Dust Me Off”, “Blood Flower”, and last but not least “Too Excited”. So go out and find this album! Enjoy it, and dance until you sweat!


Grand Ole Party
DH Records
3.5 out of 5
stars By: Kelly Reed

Grand Ole Party is one of the freshest bands to come on the music scene in the last few years. They came together in 2006 after meeting at Santa Cruz University in California. Humanimals is their debut album and they have already started touring along side of Rilo Kiley. Kristin Gundred is not only the lead singer of Grand Ole Party, but is also their drummer. It’s absolutely phenomenal to hear her as she belts out lyrics in a similar fashion to Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. At times Karen doesn’t hold the same rich tones that Kristin produces. This is especially true on their track “Insane,” Kristin yells out, “We are all going to die here, might as well say goodbye dear” and finishes it off by spelling out I-N-S-A-N-E over and over to her captivated listeners. The album starts itself off, “Look out young son” which is brought to life with an eerie guitar line that sounds similar to Halloween themed intro that vibrates with energy. Their California roots set a few songs apart as they send over the wavelengths a beachy “California Dreaming” feel, and “Belle Isle” is the best song to compare to it on this album.

At first listen, this album it is very exciting. It is full of electric energy, solid vocals and drumming from Ms. Kristin, the grinning guitar lines of John Paul Labno, and the heart steady bass sounds of Micheal Krechnyak. This trio meshes extraordinary well together, especially with their unusual set up. After listening to the record more than once, the excitement feeling starts to ebb and the songs though still catchy and fun, begin to sound less different. I hope they come out with another album soon, because it would be cool to see how this talented band grows from this successful point on.

Animal Collective

Strawberry Jam
Animal Collective
Domino Recording Company
By Benjamin Griebel
4.5 out of 5 stars

If your parents didn’t understand your music before, this album should thoroughly confuse them. Strawberry Jam is without a doubt a bizarre album, but for long time Animal Collective fans this album will be seemingly tame. Animal Collective has walked the line between music and madness, for years now, but their latest work seems to be a bit more on the music side, making this album more palpable for a wider range of listeners.

The album opens with their single, “Peacebone,” a track that will find its way into the deepest reaches of your subconscious and replay itself for hours on end. Avey Tare (David Portner) really shows off his vocals for “Peacebone” with his high feminine wails and his passionate, and slightly scary, screams. “For Reverend Green” again shows off just how hard Avey can sing, as he screams the song’s refrain “I think it’s alright to feel inhuman.” While still reeling from the intensity of “For Reverend Green” the album smoothly slips into “Fireworks” a slow building, but equally powerful, track. Together these two tracks are arguably the highlight of the album, a statement that is hard to make as every track on this album is brilliant. A close listen to this album reveals how hard this band works to make every track perfect. One particularly enjoyable quality of this album is the band’s ability to seamlessly transition each track to the next, making this album a nonstop smorgasbord of sound.

Longtime fans should be pleased with another quality work of art, while those unable to stomach the insanity of previous albums may find a new appreciation for Animal Collective in this album. For those with a taste for the strange this album is a perfect match. For those with a sense of bravery, go see them live. (And consider bringing some earplugs)

Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

Foo Fighters
Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
RCA Records
By: Luke Skoza
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace add another creative success to Dave Grohl’s illustrious career. While he was drumming for Nirvana, Dave Grohl was recording original songs at home that never received public release. Those tapes would become the foundation of Foo Fighters, the band he formed in 1995, after the death of Kurt Cobain. Like Nirvana, Foo Fighters melded loud, heavy guitars with pretty melodies and mixed punk sensibilities with a sharp sense of pop songwriting. The original lineup met in Seattle and consisted of Nate Mendel on bass, Dave Grohl on guitar and vocals, Pat Smear on rhythm guitar and William Goldsmith on drums. During the bands long twelve year run, the lineup has changed many times as a revolving door of rhythm guitarists opens and closes. For Echoes Chris Shiflett provides this service. As with many Foo Fighter albums the sound possesses a fusion of grunge and punk, and the album fields rousing riffs, freewheeling rhythms, and aggressive vocals. This is accented by soft, Poignant sounds. As the album starts to spin the first track and arguably best track, “Pretender,” opens with a “Stairway” esque intro and explodes into the listeners ear until its passionate conclusion. While the flow of the album’s middle section displays the only weakness, which is the monotonous sound that is a bit labored. This falls just short of that signature invigorating Foo Fighter’s sound. This resonance is broken on the seventh track “Cheer Up Boys” which features a tight, nimble ensemble reminiscent of early Foo Fighters records. These songs are followed by “Summer’s End” a tune with a strong melodic groove as hazy as an August afternoon in Carbondale. “Statues” carries this same groove but adds a colorful twist with Grohl’s soulful piano playing mixed with a cohesive sound of acoustic and electric guitar. To close Grohl features a number titled “Home.” This is a bittersweet ballad that invokes memories of comforting places, fond memories and times alone in deep thought.

Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace allows the Foo Fighters strength to shine through despite the fact that these strengths are weighed down by the album’s weaknesses. Give it a chance and you will find a deep reflective treasure buried inside.