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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Mostly Bears – Only Child EP

    Chillingly raw. Relatable, but with a bleak edginess. Not really descriptions you’d expect for a first EP, thrown together by three guys from Tucson. But expectations are something the band, Mostly Bears will be breaking a lot of in the near future.

    Mostly Bears (name ripped from the yellow pages) have a very recognizable sound. To those liviing in Tucson, they’re also literally recognizable as well, because you’ve probably seen some of the band members around town.

    The EP opens with the title track “”Only Child,”” a solid, well-rounded song. If all the songs were as good as “”Only Child”” the EP would be good, but the pleasant surprise for listeners is that the EP grows with each song.

    “”The Unassuming One”” plays as a rich second track before the album blossoms with the emotional and volatile “”Leda AtÇümica.”” The song juxtaposes warm acoustic guitar riffs and handclaps against a cryptic organ, immediately captivating listeners. Although the lyrics in the song are a bit simple and threaten to distract, singer Brian Lopez puts so much inflection into each line that it more than compensates.

    “”Leda AtÇümica”” is followed by “”Peoples Distinctive Travels,”” the album’s most emotive and engrossing track. The song is a churning five-minute journey that lets Lopez’s vocals dance around a rolling guitar riff. As the song reaches a crescendo a backing cornet seeps into the background, brilliantly balancing out the track.

    Of all the things Mostly Bears do right – and there are a lot of them – their use of additional instruments is astonishingly sophisticated for a debut EP.

    The album also includes alternate versions of “”Only Child”” and “”Unassuming One”” for those lucky enough to pick it up.

    Mostly Bears isn’t just a band with potential; with the Only Child EP they’ve already arrived. Lopez, along with band members Geoffrey Hidalgo and Nick Wantland, make good music. Whether you want to be there from the start or just hear decent tunes, you should find a way to get this album.

    9/10

    – Andrew Austin


    The Nightwatchman: One Man Revolution

    For those in the know, The Nightwatchman is a folk rock solo act, featuring guitarist Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame. The alter-ego is an identity of Morello that spawned in 2003, after a year of playing non-activist rock behind Chris Cornell in Audioslave.

    Lauded as one of the most skilled and innovative guitarists alive, one might expect Morello’s fret-work to be the draw on his acoustic debut. Yet, as the album begins, his bellowing vocals (somewhere between Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen), become the focus.

    Unfortunately, One Man Revolution has every ingredient except for decent lyrics. Numerous tracks on the album fall apart during agonizingly simple and repetitive choruses.

    A handful of songs do make it through unscathed; “”California’s Dark”” and “”Battle Hymns”” show the startling potential of a follow-up album. Fans of Audioslave, Rage and politically potent folk rock should get their hands on this album as soon as possible… That is if they can handle forking over $13.99 to media conglomerate Sony/BMG.

    7/10

    – Andrew Austin


    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -Baby 81

    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s fourth album, Baby 81, has quite a bit going for it. The record has a very noticeable classic rock influence, and the guitars and drums crash with a gleeful intensity that a lot of rock bands today can’t muster. The song “”Took Out a Loan”” starts off with a great bluesy guitar riff that gives way to a memorable chorus. The momentum keeps on going with “”Berlin,”” an energetic and catchy track that is anchored by a repetitive guitar line.

    While the whole album is consistently good, the one thing that drags it down is a tempo that stays pretty much the same from beginning to end. Adding some faster or slower songs would have helped keep the album from being a little monotonous. Also, the voices of Robert Levon Been and Peter Hayes fit well with the music, but they could use a little more passion in their vocals at times. The bottom line, though, is that if you’re looking for a solid rock band along the lines of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, give Baby 81 a spin.

    7/10

    -Nick Hornung

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