Ranger Sound LLC
ATT Internet 75

Around Hear Page 2

| February 28, 2007 | 1 Comment

Curiously named eight-piece band Oucho Sparks deliver nearly an hour of quirky indie rock on Foreign Cars And Robots. With an ever-shifting assortment of guitar riffs (from distorted to calm) and instrumentation (vintage keys, trumpet, etc.), each song offers its share of surprises. And alternating vocalists Tim Sandusky and Laura Grey rarely cease to stun with oddball metaphorical bars like “Once I saw an alien/he looked a lot like me.” (www.ouchosparks.com)
– Max Herman

Bradley Parker-Sparrow‘s soundtrack to local filmmaker John Covert’s film Shut Eye is as moody and atmospheric as the score to any noir movie. From the sinister “Alley Sounds” and haunting “Gun” to the sensual “Wet” and tragic “Band Aid,” if the movie is half as compelling as the soundtrack, it ought to be quite the film experience. (www.chicagosound.com)
– Dean Ramos

The Radio Hour performs cutting edge folk on its self-titled, five-song EP. Singer-songwriter Tim Hort evokes R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, particularly on the dramatic “Second Son.” “Here And Not Coming Back,” a tale of an Iraq war veteran, and “Both Alone Tonight” exude a stark beauty while “The Rhythm Of A Catfight” features chiming guitars and a fetching melody. (www.theradiohour.com)
– Terrence Flamm

Out Of True (Cherrybone) is a concise, angry, molten rock album. With heads buried and arms flailing, Reactavox hammer out surprisingly deft character studies and introspective, pensive insights. That these are welded to a backdrop of pummeling punk rock churned out by a drummer/guitar duo simply adds to the awesomeness. “Be Myself” typifies their greatness with see-sawing rhythms and simmering vocals reflecting frustration and doubt. (www.reactavox.com)
– Patrick Conlan

Even at only three songs, Roosevelt Jenkins‘ self-titled CD showcases the band’s ability to blend various genres into an original sound. “Feeling Like Alaska” has a reggae beat, fun backing vocals, and solid bass playing. Soaring vocals augment the well-crafted “We’ll Go It Alone,” and the band takes a hard rock approach on “Welcome To The Nothing.” (www.rooseveltjenkins.com)
– Terrence Flamm

For a relative newcomer, Red Seven sounds remarkably polished on its 10-song debut, Anywhere But Here. Featuring a middle-of-the-road rock sound, the band ably churns out a mix of light rock jams and soulful ballads, sometimes in the same song, as evidenced in the title track. Though the band sometimes stumbles into rock cliché and winds up sounding like a cover act trying out an original (“She Don’t Know”) the musicianship and vocal harmony on tracks such as “Somehow” and “Gone” has to be admired. (www.redsevenband.com)
– Jason Scales

“Complacent is a place I’ll never see” sings Derek Philips on “Sympathy,” the closing track on Riviera‘s sophomore album, Capital. It’s a theme running throughout the Wilco-esque recording. Upbeat tempos belie the five-piece’s down-and-out lyrical outpouring. Falsetto ooh-oohs mask the dissatisfaction in lines “See so many things, but little change/the past is past/but history’s the same/evolution’s slower than a snail” from “Snails.” Capital proves Riviera fits nicely with its Chicago alt-country brethren. (www.rivierasound.com)
– Janine Schaults


Landing in the area of Pete Yorn or Stephen Malkmus, Phil Rockrohr‘s Thru The Haze wanders into familiar territory. That’s not to say this Chicago songwriter, whose first solo album follows his work with Phil Rockrohr And The Lifters, has nothing original to give. When he’s at his best (“It’s Over”), Rockrohr is penning fluid rock songs with catchy phrasing, and smart guitar work. Still, there are some songs (“Forgiven”) that are amateurish, falling into overused pop schemes. (www.philrockrohr.com)
– Joseph Simek

Imagine a Lennon-Harrison partnership defining The Beatles’ sound and you get a pretty accurate handle on eight of the 10 cuts from Sam Saunders‘ eponymous CD. He’s very adept at “live” overdubbing (he plays all the instruments, save occasional drums and handclaps) in his home studio, and his lush multi-tracked background vocals complete the package. While the final two cuts stray from the formula, they’re proof he can play guitar, if not sing convincing blues. (www.samsaunders.com)
– David C. Eldredge

If silly, sullen pop punk is your thing, don’t miss Shooting Blanks‘ farewell show March 31st at The Abbey Pub. Their black-humored swan song, You’re Not Gonna Want To Hear This . . . , is a caustic blend of NOFX and Jawbreaker with an ode to, um, Paula Abdul. “What happened to good, old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll?” vocalist/guitarist Matt Hoffman asks on “Savage Animal.” Well apparently, they hang it up after six years! (www.shootingblanks.net)
– Mike Meyer

PAGES: [1] [2] [3]

Category: Around Hear

About the Author ()

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. PHILIP LANE says:

    I’m a loooong time fan of I E, but I do not recall any print on the 60’s group from Arlington Heights : Nightshades. I saw the twice as a power trio around 68-69. The were tight with extended arrangements of rock tune, good harmonies and strobes, fog machine. They pressed a couple of singles, one being “American Girl”(?). They smoked live. Please Inform me if you get a chance. Thanx. PLT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.