Reviews: Every Local Release

Bat Country, Love’s the Only Engine of Survival (June 15, self-released, batcountryusa.bandcamp.com): After losing a member, bassist Joseph Albanese, in the Café Racer massacre, this dark Americana band with a bit of cabaret influence found itself at a crossroads: continue performing or call it a day? Ultimately, the group chose the latter. This collection of songs recorded with Albanese before his death is the troupe’s final homage to him, and the band will perform tracks from the album during its upcoming farewell performance. The title, a line from the Leonard Cohen song “The Future,” which the band covers here, is bittersweet; the 12 tracks are as mournful as they are celebratory. (Sat., June 15, Columbia City Theater)

Cody Beebe & the Crooks, Out Here (out now, self-released, codybeebeandthecrooks.com): Frontman Beebe and his skilled band deliver a fresh batch of country-fried roots rock, heavy on grit and twang. It’s storytelling stuff worthy of a friendly barbecue and a massive bonfire in the backwoods. (Sun., June 23, Hattie’s Hat)

The Epiphany Jam Experience, The Epiphany Jam Experience (out now, Daily Epiphany Records, reverbnation.com/theepiphanyjamexperience): A solid collection of free-form jazz laid over expansive compositions. The track “Jc2” is particularly interesting: a repeating horn lick accompanied by a tight, rhythmic drum loop and avant-garde piano flourishes throughout. (Tues., June 25, White Rabbit)

Ethan Freckleton, Unlimited Love EP (out now, self-released, ethanfreckletonmusic.com): After a rough year, Freckleton traveled to Hawaii for a bit of recharging and a much-needed recording session with friends. The breezy island influences are especially evident on “Break My Fall.”  The rest of the EP highlights the gritty voice Freckleton perfected as a member of bands like the Troublefakers and Lust for Kicks.

Colleen Green, Sock It to Me (out now, Sub Pop, subpop.com): A solid release, if a bit repetitive in its use of solo drum-machine fills to begin nearly every song. The album’s most striking element is its moody tone: sludge-filled guitars juxtaposed with Green’s sweetly forlorn vocals.

Megan Hilty, It Happens All the Time (out now, Sony Masterworks, meganhiltyonline.com): Broadway vet (and Smash breakout) Hilty boasts killer vocals on this debut of original tracks and classic covers. While none of the tracks truly showcase her voluminous bellow, the more reserved pop take is a refreshing break from stage performers’ usual in-your-face bombast.

Niku, Body Perspective EP (out now, Don’t Be a Lout Music, dontbealout.com): From the ethereal, earthy title track to the tribal-esque drums on “In the Catacombs” (featuring vocals from avant-garde artist okanomodé) and the dancy “Monolithic,” Niku—aka Nicolas Danielson—proves that variety really is the spice of life. The EP also features Ravenna Woods’ Chris Cunningham and his haunting voice on “We Still Fight” and “Strays.”

Blake Noble, Underdog (June 14, self-released, blakenoblemusic.com): The second album from Australian multi-instrumentalist Noble, Underdog finds the Seattle transplant further exploring his knack for intricate arrangements and world sounds. While his first album was entirely instrumental, this second effort shows him a more dynamic man, utilizing a full band, a string section, and guest vocalist Cody Beebe on three tracks. The result is a wave of experimental noise you’re not hearing from anyone else. (Fri., June 14, Nectar Lounge)

Various artists, Ball of Wax 32 (out now, self-released, ballofwax.org): Levi Fuller rolls out yet another Ball, again featuring a diverse group of local talent. Seattle’s own GreenhornBluehorn brings a bit of folky rock to “Bag of Bones,” while Ken Cormier contributes a disjointed singing style on “Love Like a Quahog.” Featuring Snowdrift, HCP, Jim of Seattle, Pampa, and Black Swedes, among others.

 
comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow