Monday, 25 April 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, May 2016 Preview

ACE FREHLEY – Origins Vol. 1
Frehley ruins some of my favorite songs by Cream, Steppenwolf, Thin Lizzy etc. because he can’t sing to save his life. (5)

BEASTWARS – The Death Of All Things

Mostly sounds like Jesus Lizard buttfucking High On Fire, and that’s a good thing. (7)

BEYONCE – Lemonade

Beyonce takes the pop world by surprise – again. And, even putting speculation about the state of her own marriage aside, this is still a brave record, touching upon subject matter that other artists of her stature wouldn’t dare go near. (8)

GRAND MAGUS – Sword Songs

Heavy fucking metal, plain and simple. (8)

JOHN ZORN – Painted Bird

Another instrumental jazz-metal album, the 4th in 12 months by Zorn’s latest ensemble. If you liked the previous three you’ll like this one too. (7)

KYLE CRAFT – Dolls Of Highland

Oh! This is so great! Imagine a redneck version of Ziggy Stardust bringing some glam rock extravaganza to the swamps of Louisiana, if you don’t like this you’re an idiot. (8)

LERA LYNN – Resistor

After portaying the only watchable character on True Detective’s second season, Lynn returns with her highly enjoyable third album which sounds like Sharon Van Etten paying tribute to Sheryl Crow (or vice versa). (8)

PJ HARVEY – The Hope Six Demolition Project

All PJ Harvey albums by default get an 8, minimum. But her most political one is disappointing as it puts too much emphasis on the message and too little on the medium, i.e. the songs. (6) but (8)

POSIES – Solid States

Too many synthesizers for a Posies record. (6)


Soundtrack to a movie referring to the Armenian genocide. Sounds nothing like SOAD, in case you were wondering. Features a number of Greek musicians for some reason. (7)

SONICS – Live At Easy Street

Seattle septuagenarian garage rockers show their youngster guests like Eddie Vedder how to do this right. (8)


Do NOT listen to the lead single, “Spirits” – you’ll never be able to get that epic chorus with the unison vocals out of your head and you’ll end up becoming an indie rock fan with a big beard. You have been warned. (7)

STURGILL SIMPSON – A Sailor's Guide to Earth

This is not country music, you can no longer stick that label on Simpson. This is the genius of Otis Redding and Roy Orbison viewed through a Nashville prism, and it’s gorgeous. (9)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Brown Acid: The Second Trip

Vol. II of this fantastic compilation series featuring totally obscure American proto-metal bands. Appropriately released on 4/20. (8)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Why The Mountains Are Black: Primeval Greek Village Music 1907 – 1960

Look, I can see that Third Man Records put a lot of painstaking research into creating a compilation of Kalamatiana, Hasapika and Tsamika that non-Greeks might find interesting, but I’m a Greek who grew up on rock ‘n’ roll and it’s Orthodox Easter and this stuff is negatively charged to an impossible degree so fuck you and your klarina, Jack White. Just… fuck you. (-)

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, April 2016

CHEAP TRICK – Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello
They’ve been called heavy metal, the American Beatles and everything in between, but they’re just a great rock ‘n’ roll band and 40 years after their debut they still deliver. (8)

DALEK – Asphalt For Eden

A welcome return after a 7-year hiatus, Dalek once again blends hip-hop and industrial noise in this dark, moody monster of an album. (8)


Thank God for the 90’s. (8)

KAADA & MIKE PATTON – Bacteria Cult

Norwegian classical/avant-garde composer teams up with workaholic lunatic for another album filled with playful cinematic soundscapes. (7)

KEL ASSOUF – Tikounen

With one foot in the Sahara and the other in the urban jungle, Kel Assouf take Tinariwen’s Tuareg blues and turn the heaviness up a couple of notches. (7)

LINCOLN DURHAM – Revelations of a Mind Unravelling

This is a guy who describes himself as a “Southern gothic punk gospel revival one-man-band” and you know what, I think he nailed it. (8)


Sludgy doom metal from Mexico featuring the drummer from the Melvins and some rather off-key vocals. (6)

MAMIFFER – The World Unseen

Husband/wife team of Faith Coloccia (Pyramids) and Aaron Turner (Isis) sounds like Hydrahead pretending to be 4AD. (7)

PETER WOLF – A Cure For Loneliness

I axiomatically declare that J. Geils Band is the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band that ever existed and this is a pretty decent solo album by their frontman. Includes a bluegrass version of “Love Stinks”. (7)


Canadian progressive metal band explores new business model, releases subscription-based series of 6 singles though Bandcamp which, combined, make up this EP. It’s pretty great, just like everything PTH has released from “Fortress” onwards. (8)

ROBBIE FULKS – Upland Stories

Country/folk underdog releases yet another album full of compelling characters and interesting stories about his homeland. (7)

SAM BEAM & JESCA HOOP – Love Letter For Fire

Iron & Wine’s Beam and wonderful Californian songstress Hoop create collaborative duets album. This is pop songwriting at its best and the backing band features some of the best players in the world, like bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) and violinist Eyvind Kang. (8)

TIM HECKER – Love Streams

I always fall for this, I read a bunch of glowing reviews by Brooklyn hipsters giving 8’s and 9’s to some ambient minimalist avant-garde electronica shit and then spend valuable hours listening to it trying to figure out what the fuck they like so much about it. (6)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Dust On The Nettles: A Journey Through The British Underground Folk Scene 1967-72

Fascinating 3-CD collection chronicling the UK’s acid folk scene. You get the stars (Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span), you get the cult heroes (Comus, Vashti Bunyan), you get the obscurities, you even get a psychedelic cover version of “Ena Nero Kyra Vaggelio” retitled “Glass Of Water”. (9)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Southern Family

Hotshot Nashville producer Dave Cobb brings together some top country & Americana stars (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Brandy Clark etc.) and compiles excellent concept album about life in the American South. (8)

WILLIE NILE – World War Willie

Try to imagine Bruce Springsteen having never made it big – oh wait, that’s Southside Johnny. OK then, try to imagine Lou Reed being less of an asshole and having a better sense of humor, or The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn still holding steady 20 years from now – basically, Willie Nile distills the very essence of rock ‘n’ roll storytelling and you need this album. (8)

Monday, 28 March 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, March 2016 Vol. III


BLOOD CEREMONY – Lord Of Misrule

Look, I like Blood Ceremony, I really do. But Wizard Fist’s showcase in the opening scene of Vinyl Season 1, Episode 5 sort of ruined this stuff for me, at least for a while. (7)


I’ve always discounted these Swedes as Isis wannabes but recruiting the great Mrs. Christmas has been a very smart move on their part, resulting in the best post-metal you’re likely to hear until Neurosis drops a new album. (8)

FRONTIERER – Orange Mathematics

If you’re into “Calculating Infinity”-era Dillinger Escape Plan and the more extreme Meshuggah stuff, prepare to have your face melted. (8)

MIKE & THE MELVINS – Three Men And A Baby

The Melvins augmented by godheadsilo vocalist/bassist Mike Kunka still sound like the Melvins. (7)

THE BODY & FULL OF HELL – One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache

This is seriously creepy stuff and probably the most extreme metal record you’ll hear all year. (7)

ZUN – Burial Sunrise

Bong? Check. Beer? Check. Yesterday’s cold pizza? Check. Screensaver set to play kaleidoscopic images on infinite loop? Check. Alright, let’s do this! (7)



Darren Aronofsky’s go-to soundtrack guy composes claustrophobic score for movie based on “unfilmable” J.G. Ballard novel. Haven’t seen it but I guarantee the music will make you feel uncomfortable. (7)


Global fusion electronica, just the type of music the DJ at a really expensive cocktail bar will play and mix it with Thievery Corporation. You can’t drink beer to this, order a Tom Collins or a Blueberry Vodka Martini or something. (7)

MARGO PRICE – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter

The latest exciting addition to the long list of Country Artists For People Who Don’t Listen To Country Music. This one’s Jack White-endorsed. (8)

PARKER MILLSAP – The Very Last Day

This is more blues than country but in any case keep your eyes on this kid, he’s going places. (8)

THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS – Everything You’ve Come To Expect

You can read about this elsewhere, you don’t need me. (-)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Aloha Got Soul: Soul, AOR, & Disco in Hawaii 1979-1985

This compilation of rarities by forgotten Hawaiian musicians has gotten rave reviews from everyone. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??? Every single song sounds like a cheap demo cover version the “Love Boat” theme. (4)

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Mixtape #5 - Cool Stuff Q1 2016

Καθώς το πρώτο τρίμηνο του 2016 ολοκληρώνεται αποφάσισα να κάνω στους πολυάριθμους αναγνώστες του I Was A Teenage Music Geek ένα δωράκι: Mixtape με κάποιες από τις πιο ενδιαφέρουσες μουσικές στιγμές της χρονιάς μέχρι στιγμής.

Και πάλι, επειδή κάθε mixtape οφείλει να ακολουθεί κανόνες, οι κανόνες είναι απλοί: Εξηντάρα κασέτα σε δύο πλευρές των 30 λεπτών, με σχετικά ομαλή ροή. Τα τραγούδια που περιλαμβάνονται δεν εκπροσωπούν απαραίτητα τα καλύτερα άλμπουμ του πρώτου τριμήνου της χρονιάς, αλλά οφείλουν να "κυλάνε" το ένα μετά το άλλο. Επίσης λόγω ομαλής ροής αποφεύγουμε τις ακρότητες: Ας πούμε δεν βάζουμε metalcore γιατί δεν κολλάει με τίποτα πριν ή μετά, ούτε βάζουμε κάποιο 25-λεπτο prog μεγαθήριο, ούτε βάζουμε απόσπασμα από την 3η Συμφωνία του Gorecki ερμηνευμένο από avant-garde τρελαμένους. 

Καλή ακρόαση και, αν ακούσατε κάτι που δεν γνωρίζατε και σας άρεσε, καλό ψάξιμο.


1. Aubrie Sellers - Light Of Day (από το άλμπουμ New City Blues)
Γόνος country αριστοκρατίας σε ντεμπούτο άλμπουμ που λοξοκοιτάει προς το ροκ.
2. Chuck Ragan - Loup Garou (από το άλμπουμ The Flame In The Flood)
Πάνκης που το γύρισε στην americana.
3. The Hanging Stars - Golden Vanity (από το άλμπουμ Over The Silvery Lake)
Άγγλοι που το 2016 παίζουν σαν Αμερικάνοι το 1967. 
4. The Long Ryders - Looking For Lewis And Clark (από το box set Final Wild Songs)
Η πιο ενδιαφέρουσα επανακυκλοφορία της χρονιάς μέχρι στιγμής, τα άπαντα μιας ξεχασμένης αλλά επιδραστικής μπάντας από τα 80s.
5. Bob Mould - Voices In My Head (από το άλμπουμ Patch The Sky)
Οι παλιές αγάπες δεν ξεχνιούνται.
6. Hipshot Killer - Gimme Something Better (από το άλμπουμ They Will Try To Kill Us All)
Οι καινούργιες αγάπες οφείλουν να διαδίδονται.
7. Bonnie Raitt - I Need You Tonight (από το άλμπουμ Dig In Deep)
Η δεύτερη καλύτερη διασκευή της χρονιάς ως τώρα.
8. Charles Bradley - Changes (από το άλμπουμ Changes)
Η καλύτερη διασκευή της χρονιάς ως τώρα.


1. Esperanza Spalding - Good Lava (από το άλμπουμ Emily's D-Evolution)
Τζαζίστρια παίζει ροκ σε παραγωγή Tony Visconti.
2. David Bowie - Lazarus (από το άλμπουμ Blackstar)
Ροκάς παίζει τζαζ σε παραγωγή Tony Visconti.
3. RNDM - Comfortable (από το άλμπουμ Ghost Riding)
Bowie worship από τον Jeff Ament των Pearl Jam.
4. Massive Attack - Ritual Spirit (από το EP Ritual Spirit)
Άντε, πού είναι το άλμπουμ;
5. Karsh Kale - Up (από το άλμπουμ Up)
Κάπου μεταξύ Νέας Υόρκης, Λονδίνου και Βομβάης.
6. Aziza Brahim - Calles De Dajla (από το άλμπουμ Abbar El Hamada)
Κάπου μεταξύ Αλγερίας, Βαρκελώνης και Sky Valley.
7. Savages - The Answer (από το άλμπουμ Adore Life)
Μ' αρέσει να κλείνω τα mixtapes μου ανεβάζοντας τους τόνους. Τι κορίτσια! Τι ντραμάρα!
8. The I Don't Cares - Done Done Done (από το άλμπουμ Wild Stab)

Κατεβάστε το mixtape εδώ.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, March 2016 Vol. II

3 DOORS DOWN – Us And The Night
“Kryptonite” and “When I’m Gone” were guilty pleasures whenever they would play on the radio in the 00’s, but a history of two good songs does not a great band make and in 2016 I’d rather cut my ear off like Van Gogh than suffer through the sub-par AOR chug-along of this album one more time. (4)

AZIZA BRAHIM – Abbar El Hamada

Early contenter for world music album of the year by a Sahrawi (google it) singer blending North African, flamenco and blues influences. (8)


Some of their stuff sounds like The Cult songs being hijacked by Hawkwind but that’s fine, really. (8)

BOB MOULD – Patch The Sky

Another solid effort from ex-Husker Du frontman, a bit more melodic than “Beauty & Ruin” but still amped-up and in the Sugar vein. It’s not going to win him a new audience but fanboys will be delighted. (8)

BRIAN FALLON – Painkillers

The Gaslight Anthem mainman explores his inner Springsteen. (7)


Attention music journalists under 30: The guy’s certainly likeable but just because you don’t know who James Brown is doesn’t make this a masterpiece. (7)

COLIN STETSON – Sorrow: A Reimagining of Gorecki's 3rd Symphony

Avant-garde saxophonist puts together an orchestra with electric guitars and synths on top, featuring members of Liturgy, Arcade Fire etc. and reinterprets Gorecki’s most famous classical piece. Fantastic, haunting stuff. (8)


A single from 2015’s somewhat disappointing “Positive Songs For Negative People” plus 4 unreleased songs from the same sessions, just to keep the fans on their toes until a hopefully stronger new album drops. (6)

HIPSHOT KILLER – They Will Try To Kill Us All

Given their exciting mix of power-pop and punk, describing themselves as “powerpunk” is pretty accurate. (8)

KANYE WEST – The Life Of Pablo

Revised version of his album doesn’t really offer anything spectacularly different from the previous version. (7)


Metalcore fans will be thrilled with this, one of KE’s strongest efforts to date and an album that might just breathe some life into a dying genre. (8)

RICHMOND FONTAINE – You Can't Go Back If There's Nothing to Go Back To

You can’t be excited if there’s nothing to be excited about. (6)

RNDM – Ghost Riding

Side project of Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) is all over the place, moving from 90’s Brit indie sounds to Bowie/Peter Gabriel rip-offs to electronica lite. (6)

SOUL ASYLUM – Change Of Fortune

Grunge-era “could-have beens” make half-baked attempt at a comeback. This is too glossy, almost AOR. (6)

SPIRITUAL BEGGARS – Sunrise To Sundown

Deep Purple from Lidl. (6)

THE BODY – No One Deserves Happiness

Punishing distorted noise and vocals that sound like a rooster being electrocuted, as another reviewer very accurately put it, combined with industrial dance rhythms and angelic choirs defies all expectations and produces something suffocating, but totally original. (8)

THE HANGING STARS – Over The Silvery Lake

Wow. Excellent debut from London-based psychedelic folk/rock band evokes the spirit of 1967, Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds. I’ll be playing this a lot. (8)

THE TREATMENT – Generation Me

Awful album cover but great tunes – UK youths turn their songwriting up a notch and rock out like Tesla pretending to be an AC/DC tribute band. Great performance from the new singer. (8)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Brown Acid: The First Trip 1969-79

Fantastic collection of underground 45’s from totally unknown American proto-metal bands. Most tracks are from 1969-74 so the addition of Tour and Josefus from 1979 is a bit baffling, but they rock nonetheless. (8)

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, March 2016

Folk musician is a Hendrix fan, strips his hero’s songs down to their barest elements and plays them on acoustic instruments to reveal the songsmith behind the guitar God. (7)

BIG UPS – Before A Million Universes

I bet that New York’s music-scribing hipsterati will hype these Brooklynite Fugazi disciples to death but don’t hold that against the band, this is actually a pretty good album. (7)

CALEB CAUDLE – Carolina Ghost

OK, I give up: I can’t tell anymore what’s country and what’s americana and what the difference between the two is and why this country/americana record sounds so much like a compilation of Eagles ballads. (6)

DIAMOND HEAD – Diamond Head

Excellent return to form by one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, the songs here wouldn’t feel out of place on any of the band’s first three albums. New vocalist Ras Andersen does a great job holding his own and avoids the mistake of emulating the great Sean Harris. (8)

ESPERANZA SPALDING – Emily’s D+Evolution

Spalding goes miles beyond her jazz roots on this, a funky, proggy, rocking, ambitious little gem of a concept album co-produced with the legendary Tony Visconti. One extra point because I have a thing for girls with guitars and she totally slays her 5-string fretless bass. (9)

JIM BRYSON – Somewhere We Will Find Our Place

Canadian indie rock singer-songwriter sings songs about Canada, sounds very Canadian. (7)

LORETTA LYNN – Full Circle

83-year old country legend returns to bid us farewell with wonderful and appropriately titled album. I’m diluting my beer pint with tears as I listen to this. (8)


Supposedly an americana/folk artist, Andersen comes across more like a 70’s Stax/Motown soul throwback with a smooth voice that can melt panties. (7)

NEVERMEN – Nevermen

Supergroup consisting of Mike Patton, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adembimpe and rapper Doseone is sonically closer to Peeping Tom than to any other project its members have been involved with. (7)

NORTHCOTE – Hope Is Made Of Steel

The kind of anthemic North American rock you always want to blast at full volume while driving down an open highway. “Just Kids” will probably be my favorite new song until The Hold Steady release another album. (8)

If you’re anything like me you’ve probably refused to listen to any band featuring dual vocalists of the cliché "Female Ethereal Nymph/Male Cookie Monster" combo variety for the last 15 years or so. Well folks, it’s time to reconsider because this Texan prog/death metal sextet makes it sound totally fresh. (8)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – God Don't Never Change; The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson

Contemporary re-interpretations of songs first recorded between 1927 and 1930 by influential early bluesman. Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Cowboy Junkies, Sinead O’Connor, Rickie Lee Jones and others pay their respects. (8)

VOIVOD – Post Society EP

Prog/psychedelic thrash metal pioneers still relevant and kicking ass despite being two original members down. Two new songs, two more from recent splits with Napalm Death and At The Gates, and a Hawkwind cover. (8)

WILLIE NELSON – Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin

This is his 71st solo studio album so I guess smoking pot is good for the work ethic. Outlaw country legend goes jazz and visits the great Gershwin songbook. The surreal but wonderful pairing with Cyndi Lauper (!) on “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” is among the album’s most enjoyable moments. (8)

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, Feb 2016 Vol. II

Nashville royalty (Lee Ann Womack’s daughter) releases debut album, labels her sound “garage country”, comes across like a grittier Pistol Annie. Her stepfather/producer is Miranda Lambert’s producer too if you thought that was a coincidence. (8)

BIRDS OF CHICAGO – Real Midnight

Gospel-infused Americana by husband- and wife-led roots band. Check it out if you liked Rhiannon Giddens’ 2015 album. (7)

BLACK QUEEN – Fever Daydream

The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato indulges his love for 80’s synth-pop, The Human League, New Order, early Depeche Mode etc. (7)


This is what Eric Clapton would sound like today if he was American. And could still write songs. And remembered what a good cover version sounds like. And played slide. And was female. Err, actually this is not like Eric Clapton at all. No seriously, hear how Bonnie totally owns that INXS song. (8)

CHUCK RAGAN – The Flame In The Flood

Americana soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic videogame by the guy most loved for his work with melodic hardcore heroes Hot Water Music, sounds like Hot Water Music played with acoustic guitars, mandolins and pedal steels. (7)

THE CULT – Hidden City

It’s The Cult. (7)

DR. LONNIE SMITH – Evolution

I love Lonnie Smith’s thick, meaty organ. Wait, that came out very wrong, I’m talking about the Hammond, OK? Because “Evolution” is just a great funky jazz record built around Smith’s rich Hammond sound. (8)

IGGY POP – Post-Pop Depression

Iggy Pop/Josh Homme collaboration is a sum lesser than its parts. (7)


Iggy reads Walt Whitman poems while soft but threatening electronica plays in the background. Very interesting. (8)

KANYE WEST – The Life Of Pablo

This year’s most anticipated love/hate album is basically just a glorious mess of braggadocio and self-loathing. (7)

LONG RYDERS – Final Wild Songs

Comprehensive box set spanning the whole career of alt-country prophets the Long Ryders (the Paisley Underground’s version of the Byrds). Have I ever told you that “Looking For Lewis & Clark” is the best song of all time every time I hear it? (8)

LUTHER DICKINSON – Blues & Ballads, A Folksinger’s Songbook: Vol. I & II

North Mississippu All-Stars mainman releases stripped-down solo southern blues album featuring A-list guests like Mavis Staples, Jason Isbell and others. (7)

MAVIS STAPLES – Livin’ On A High Note

Legendary septuagenarian soul/gospel singer follows the trend of older artists still at it, attempts to approach a new audience by having people like Nick Cave, Justin Vernon and Neko Case write her songs. Warning: It still sounds like soul/gospel, not like Nick Cave. (7)


A welcome addition to the Rotting Christ canon, especially for fans of their latter period (Season Of Mist, 2007– ). (8)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music

You know I rave about the “Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels” compilation series chronicling the rise of country rock’s stars in the late 60’s and 70’s right? Well this is the dark side folks, a fine collection of country rock one-hit wonders, no-hit wonders, boozers and losers you’ve never heard of, but you should. (8)