RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Random Stabbings 11b

img  Tobias

Racquel Requena "Fresco" (Errrizo Productions)
Connecticut-based Requena’s boardroom-slick Gloria Estefan soprano is well worth the princely studio values that Sony-ize this collection of salsa-pop; it’s dentist-office Enrique Iglesias for men who swoon.  Three songs are her own creations, treated like the others to fine arranging by an assortment of clever deck-hands.  All the songs save for one are sung in Spanish – the Marvin Hamlisch standard “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” gets dragged through Requena’s sunny barrio without getting at all overdone.  Order at

Daylight Dies "Dismantling Devotion" (Candlelight Records)
Desolate goth-doom dirges of the Type O kind.  The album begins with a thoughtfully baroque-ish bit of acoustic guitar to tee up “Dead Air,” a heavy ditty remindful of Candlemass, switching to Thursday-emo at the choruses, a demonstration for posterity that they aren’t solely reliant on common graveyard-rock fauna. “A Dream Resigned” mixes Metallica and Queensryche under black-metal wheeze-snarling, assumedly to torpedo any shot at having the CD spun at Tupperware parties.  Order at

Angelo LaTona "Unveiled"
(Breaking Records)
Christian fundie LaTona puts on a guitar clinic not unlike what Joe Satriani did years ago in this self-released showcase, which was most likely concocted to help drum up session gigs.  Expressions range from Weather Channel jazz-bubble (“In His Presence”) to marathon Neil Schon nickings (the title track), all solidly listenable and positive-charged.  Order at


American Catapult "Trees of Mystery" (Further South Recordings)
Hickish alt-rock smacking of Old 97s in a Stones mood; as such it’s a mixed bag as far as hooks, whether or not originality is a constant.  The bass is positively buried in the mix, which favors (and rightly so, if not to such extremes) Tom Townsend’s Van Morrison/Tom Petty tenor.  “This Time” would achieve greatness with a different title, but Townsend parrots Michael Hutchence’s drawl in the INXS tune of the same name, leaving it little more than a drive-by gawk; “Crooked Straight”’s unplugged mollycoddling is a “Wild Horses” in desperate search of a sweet spot.

Shakra "Fall" (Candlelight Records)
Billy Squier-like nasality over spandex metal.  It’s brave and sweet that all hands have closed their minds to the music of the past 20 years, and if their filler didn’t so obviously plagiarize pre-computer-age toxic waste like Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” (“Take Me Now”) we’d be able to praise the Burgess Meredith character in their lives who prodded them to “Make that record, boys, and give em all ya got,” but the fashion models are assuredly holding their breath for the next attempt.  Order at

Flipron "Fancy Blues and Rustique Novelties"
(Tiny Dog Records)
Released in 2004, this one’s a campy, theatrical pot of alt-noir French café wallpaper and off-Broadway Rocky Horror enunciated in the Cribs-like accent of common English swine.  There’s a Dresden Dolls influence at work, which could have gone without saying given the copycat environs of today’s major-label-lottery alt scene, but there are sufficient other signs of life – dingy piano, baseball-park Hammond and accordion layers combine with Wheatus guitars and Yellow Submarine tomfoolery to drum up in-your-face Cirque de Dementia odes to drinking and how badly they detest their motherland.  Order at

Steven Mark "Aloneophobe" (Basset Records)
AAA-league neo-70s guitar rock starring the definitively adequate vocals of the singer songwriter. Leadoff number “Window in the Dark” steals the chilly thunder of BOC’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” but fails to pay off with a palatable chorus section, which is the running weakness throughout. “Lazy Sunday Afternoon” is Lucy in the Sky sans diamonds, while “Weak” spoons Mark’s best Davy Jones karaoke over a tattered Death Cab tapestry that could have constituted relevance if the creamy center hadn’t already been used by every first-timer since Moses.  Order at

Outraged ranting, indie label release news and spaghetti sauce recipes are always welcome.  Email

Related articles

Vital Weekly 599
Frans de Waard presents the ...
CD Feature/ Timeless Pulse: "Quintet"
Your turn to listen: A ...
Random Stabbings 24
May's round of interesting records, ...
CD Feature/ Margaret Lancaster: "Future Flute"
Doesn’t sound like a typical ...
CD Feature/ Haco, Hans, Jakob, Marcos
In a time very far ...
CD Feature/ Graham Bowers: "Of Mary's Blood"
A baffling and awe-inspiring three-quarters ...
CD Feature/ Jerome Froese: "Neptunes"
The “Soma-option”.
CD Feature/ Tom Heasley: "On the Sensations of Tone"
Incredibly and inexplicably, each moment ...
Is it too much?
The "Cat-Zen-jammer" Collection by the ...
CD Feature/ Heath Yonaites: "Rim of the Sun"
Nothing really happens, but there’s ...
CD Feature/ Hypnosphere: "Within the Whirl"
Elevating, but just as addictive
CD Feature/ Tom Heasley: "Where the Earth meets the Sky"
Gentle miracles of softly overlapping ...
CD Feature - Nick Grey: "Regal Daylight"
The future looks bright and ...

Partner sites