On the word of some local Albany folk that I trust with music taste, Comfy were up in the que this week with their latest release Thanks for the Ride. I really shouldn't say their release as it is really Connor Benincasa who wrote, performed and recorded the entire album on his own. The album is a low-fi beauty and I am completely blown away by it. The nine track album is really a mindblowing piece of art. "Ketchup" is a fun romp of a song that just seems like it was a blast to write and sing and could be a crowd pleaser live. I love the "Tequila" guitar riff in the middle of "Heart of Hearts", the great pop 60's inspired joy of "Wake Up" which is then followed by one of the angriest wildest guitar solos I've heard in a while, and the general sense of punk aesthetic that can be felt through the album. There is a whole movement in Philadelphia right now that you should be paying attention to. People are making some great work there. Do not be surprised if you hear about a lot of them sooner rather than later.
The Dean Ween Group released rock2 and it's just an all out rocker from the opening moments of "Showstopper" to "Sunset Over Belmar". Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiondo took a long time in the music business to release his first solo album a few years back, but here we are with a new one fairly quickly and there are already plans for a third. He recruited a who's who of players to help him out on this record that he normally plays with at his jam sessions. The album just screams fun at every moment. If you have seen Mickey play lately or read about him speaking about music in general, it feels like he has never been happier and it oozes out on this album. It has a loose live bar band feel to it, which is right up Mickey's alley. "Love Theme from "Skinheads Kicking Your Ass"" is just a fun instrumental and sounds like it came straight out of exploitation era films, which was his goal with that song. "The Ritz Carlton" is just a song to absolutely lose yourself in with every layer of guitar, xylophone work, and horns. It's an adventure to try and follow where each goes. "Don't Let the Moon Catch You Crying" is an old Ween tune that never made it, but he finally found a way to make it come alive and it's beautifully orchestrated on this record. I can only imagine what else he has in storage that may come out eventually. Cheers Deaner on a great record.
I'm not going to lie, Jouska are friends of mine and I love everything they have been doing. But really their latest record, from Elson to Emmett kicks a lot of ass. This four-song EP is just stunning. It's filled with a lot of heart, anger, energy, and beauty. Each song was written for someone specific by Doug Dulgarian, and there is a nakedness to each song through his voice. "calico" starts off the album strong with big guitar riffs and yelping lyrics that might make you think of early Nirvana. "tummy/legs" has a very trippy vocal performance on it with one of the voice lagging and being in the background, before completely changing into a sleepy lull. "jursey" is the scariest sounding track of the whole album. It just oozes a lot emotions with screeching guitars and an ominous bass line that stretches the whole song out. "swill" closes the record out on a slow note, continuing the darkness from the previous track, and it just feels right. The band has an intensity to it that is needed right now. If you can put this on and not get lost inside of it, power to you. The entire thing is over in a little over 20 minutes and is absolutely worth your time. Do not sleep on this band as big things are coming for them.
Brooklyn rockers Acid Dad have released their self-titled debut LP and it's a beauty. Lots of headbanging psychedelic grunge infused jams are to be had all over the record. Their first release of the psychedelia is "Mr. Major" that veers strong and only ends because it's a record. If this were a live show that song could have went another ten minutes and I wouldn't be angry about it. "2Ci" has such a great guitar riff drum beat combo that pushes the song to such amazing heights. The song feels like it should have come out 20 years ago and it being brought out of a vault for everyone to enjoy. This might be one of those debuts ten years from now that we look back on and say man this is where this band started. It is a tremendous effort from these guys and should be in your rotation immediately.
Look a lot of music comes out and sometimes you miss some gems here and there. I missed Brandi Carlile's latest By The Way, I Forgive You. It happens, but hey I found it now and it is a masterpiece. Brandi and her band-mates, twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth, wrote one of the most emotional albums of the year. She has always had one of the strongest voices in music, but this album feels different. Each of the ten tracks is about letting go of something that has been held on long by the character in the song. In today's world it seems that letting go and forgiving has become harder and harder. We are so divided right now as a people, that we need to remember that sometimes we have to let go of certain things. Whether it's watching a relationship fail in front of you, raising a child, or being tormented as a child, sometimes you just have to let go of the emotional baggage to move on with your life. Brandi, Tim, and Phil really orchestrated this album perfectly with each song having so much power behind them lyrically. The music is fantastic as well and at times builds to such a force that you would think Phil Spector's Wall of Sound happened during the recording. Anyway be prepared for a lot of feelings while you take in this record. Thank you Brandi Carlile, and Tim and Phil Hanseroth, for an absolutely stunning piece of music.