Feverish: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 104
Glenn Schwartz Four - Glenn Schwartz Four - not on label - 8 songs - LP
Alright, so the story with this one is that it's the late Glenn Schwartz and several of his students and kind of functions as a showcase of the styles they played. There's a lot of undeniably good guitar playing on this thing– and Glenn taught these guys well, because a lot of the time you can't even tell when it's Glenn and when it's not. Generally, all the songs are in the blues rock realm, and with the exception of "I'm So Glad," are all instrumentals. Some ("Water Street," "Fear N Doom") are in a more psychedelic style, some are more traditional ("Hound Dog"). Personally, I prefer the former. I don't really spend a lot of time listening to this kind of thing, but those who do (and, obviously, Glenn Schwartz fans in particular) will like this. And again, unquestionably good guitar all over the place here. 3/5
(try a local record store?)
Xanny Stars - What Next? - self-released - 8 songs - cassette, digital
This is the debut release by Xanny Stars, who play a kind of hooky pop-punk/indie rock mix– almost in the same area as The Missed (with whom they share a member, Mickey), but slightly more towards the indie rock side than that band. It's decent stuff; they pull off both sides of their style pretty well– the power pop of "Make Up Your Mind" or the alternative stylings of "Spinning." There are good, catchy songs on here for sure. My issue is with the mix: I'm not quite sure what it is about it, but it just doesn't pop at all. Which is kinda weird, since Paul Maccarone recorded this and he definitely knows how to make things sound better than this, so maybe it was the choice of the band to have it sound this way? Maybe it was just laziness? Not sure, but since (as I understand it) this is essentially a demo anyway, there's room for improvement. The vocals at times are murmury to the point of being unintelligible, but that one I'm pretty sure is a stylistic choice– Xanny Stars would not be the first or the last to do this. Overall, a decent tape, good songs, worth checking out an up-and-coming local group and all that. 3.5/5
Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email email@example.com or send it directly to the Observer: PO Box 770203, Lakewood, OH 44107.