The unique tuning used by CGT—intervals of fifths, like a violin—gives a unique sonority to the instrument as well. Against that backdrop, the trio sounds like no one else as it digs into both original compositions and interpretations of others’ works.
My favorite of the album’s original tunes may be “Oceans of Notions,” where Avery clearly enjoys himself, chattering and clicking and rattling at Miller’s breezy guitar theme; he’s like a terrier running between Miller’s legs as he ambles along.
Unlike many other musicians, Auger is possessed of a full understanding of both rock and jazz, so while other jazz-rock hybrids fall flat or lean too far in one or the other direction, Auger’s work focuses on the instrumental acuity of the musicians without sacrificing the visceral energy of rock.
Van Morrison, the grand old man of folk-rock, returns, both pipes and passion still intact, to celebrate the deluxe reissue of his seminal 1997 album, “The Healing Game.”
The Tubes ushered the theatricality of Alice Cooper, the musical adventurism of progressive rock and the titillating shock value of cabaret into an intriguing and sometimes messy whole. Many decades later, core members of the group continue, with a mix of satire now leavened with a bit of nostalgia.
Both Schell’s “Past Present Future” and Steffey’s “Reality Jockey” are so choked with infectious melodies and killer hooks, that for one panicked moment I thought, “They’re using up more than their fair share.”
Serious music scholars all, the Smithereens distilled their musical loves into something that ultimately sounded like nobody but them. Diken points to Gary Lewis and the Playboys as an influence; it’s worth noting that the studio cats who played on those records—immortal pop tunes like “Count Me In” —included Leon Russell and drummer Hal Blaine.
The entirety Scales’ “Sinner-Songwriter” EP is a repudiation of not only expectations derived from his famous lineage, but any expectations lingering from his previous musical incarnations (he’s taken a somewhat veering path to arrive at where he is now, including a stint as folk-rocker Briar Rabbit).
Swedish sensation Robyn tours her new album, “Honey,” which blends high-gloss club music with surprisingly powerful and confessional lyrics.
So how did Teenage Fanclub become relegated to a cult favorite, instead of one of the world’s biggest, best-loved indie acts? Perhaps it has something to do with the power pop genre the band is too often categorized under.