a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
* Apocalyptica – Worlds Collide (metal)
Apocalyptica puts the ultimate metal instrument at the center of the band with not one but (count ‘em) four cellos. The strings actually bring a level of finesse to the melodrama, making for a surprisingly intuitive and compelling meld.
* Tangele – The Pulse of Yiddish Tango (world)
Tango with gusto. Tangele’s vocalist flashes an almost operatic expressiveness, and a violin/piano accompaniment add classy texture. I would never have guessed, but Tango sounds even more romantic in Yiddish.
Morgan Heritage – Mission in Progress (reggae)
Urgent beats and conscious lyrics resonate through a modern sound. Rolling guitar and layered vocals draw deeply from classic reggae and swirl it with American rap and R&B.
Thrice – The Alchemy Index: Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth (rock)
The continuation of Thrice’s elemental song cycle, this installment is good deal quieter than the first disc. The air section weaves in glockenspiel and chimes with electric guitar and drums. Earth is a more rustic series, featuring acoustic guitar and barroom piano. A fitting conclusion to a novel project.
The Wilders – Someone’s Got to Pay (country)
Chameleon-like roots group that variously becomes an old-tyme string band, country rock bar band, and folk ballad ensemble. They succeed in each incarnation.
Gossip – Live in
Raw power top to bottom – fuzzed guitar, spare drumming, and killer vocals that whisper and shout with equal force.
In the blog this week:
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation