What Did You Say To Me?: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 46
Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Archie & The Bunkers - Live At Third Man Records - Third Man Records - 2 songs - 7"
The right way to take in Archie & The Bunkers is live, so I appreciate that there is now a live Archie record. This record is recorded pretty darn well (as are most of these Third Man live records, I take it), so that's cool. "She's A Rockin' Machine" is a decent garage rock tune. It's previously unreleased as well, so there's a bonus for all you Archie collectors out there. Although I know that it is an unpopular opinion, I think it would be improved with the addition of a guitarist. That isn't a dig at Cullen's organ playing skills, which improve even more with every passing record, I'm just saying. Still an alright song. "Mystery Lover," on the flip side, is my pick here. A more menacing sounding organ riff really makes it. It might be one of their best songs, and this is a quite good performance of it (topping the one on the "Mystery Lover" 12", I'd say). Though I like this record, it really just makes me want a full Archie & The Bunkers live LP. When's that coming out? 3.9/5
(thirdmanrecords.com or if you want the exclusive limited edition blue vinyl version, it's available exclusively at My Mind's Eye or from the band)
Tim Joyce - A Living Man - self-released - 13 songs - CD
Tim Joyce Trio - Come Closer - self-released - 8 songs - CD
Let's start with "A Living Man." It's kinda folk, kinda country, kinda rock. Tim Joyce's vocals have a certain nasal quality that is reminiscent of Neil Young at some points. The drums are produced in a way that doesn't completely suit the music. Here's my problem with CDs: they allow for too much music. This one is 54 minutes long. I think, in general (obviously, there are exceptions), records shouldn't go longer than about 35 minutes. Some people will say that's way too long. I wish that there was a standout track, any particular thing about this that I liked, but there isn't. Maybe it's just me.
"Come Closer," on the other hand, is a vast improvement. It's still not really my cup of tea, but by getting rid of drums and actually getting the group of people playing down to a consistent three, he made it better. There are some catchy songs on this one. All are of an acoustic, somewhat folksy nature. On one track, I think he makes wind noises with his mouth, which is sorta funny. On another, he sings a significant amount of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," yet there is no Goffin/King credit to be found. It also helps that there's only 8 songs, which keeps it down to that golden 35 minutes. Also, the packaging is a little more indicative of the contents. If any of this sounds like your bag, "Come Closer" is definitely the one you should listen to. I'd give a 2/5 to "A Living Man" and a 3/5 to "Come Closer," which I guess averages out to 2.5/5
Various Artists - House Music Project Vol. 1 - self-released - 10 songs - Cassette
Though this is a tape of various artists, I do believe all these acts feature one particular guy. You may know him as Mike from Bad Noids or Buff from Real Regular or whatever it is he's going by these days. Side A of this tape is an utter mess. I don't know what song is what, but there was banging on pots and pans, a song that was very Folded Shirt inspired, and at least one dumb punk rocker. Side B was easier to follow, but no less dumb. I guess this is kind of a companion piece to the "Bad Noids Radio" tape that came out last year. I was gonna say you should check this out if Real Regular wasn't inane enough for you, but never mind, because Real Regular is here too, with their international super hit "Father Christmas," aka "Dance." If you're into stuff that's real dumb and weird or you're a collector of Cleveland nonsense, check this out. Otherwise, you should probably just get the new Bad Noids 7" and start petitioning for someone to release that Real Regular EP that's been "coming soon" for over a year. 3.2/5
(Beats me. I got it from feelitrecordshop.com but it seems to be all sold out from there. Try asking around town.)
Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send it directly to Observer headquarters: The Lakewood Observer, c/o Buzz Kompier, 14900 Detroit Avenue, Suite 205, Lakewood, OH 44107.