Ok, let’s take care of the elephant in the room right away. If you are a Danzig fan, do NOT listen to the new Danzig record, Danzig Sings Elvis. If you are an Elvis fan, do NOT, under any circumstances listen to, Danzig Sings Elvis. Now, if there were some way we could get an Elvis Does Danzig record, well color us hell to the yeah.
This week is more notable for the singles and E.P.’s than albums. The Everly Brothers cover version of “Mr. Soul” from an upcoming archives release, is next-level cool. The Rolling stones have a new single out, are you listening to this Billy Joel, called “Living In A Ghost Town,” that is pretty epic. Jackson Browne is pimping his new record set to come out later in the year with the song “Downhill From Everywhere” that is pure ’80s era, Jackson. And, Rock Is The New Roll muse Check Prophet gives us a treat with a four-song mini-E.P. foreshadowing his new record, Land Time Forgot.
But, we digress. Here are five cool ones giving us an eargasm this week.
Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels
We suppose it was only a matter of time that Lucinda Williams would make her presence known on her view of the state of affairs in the country today. If you had any doubt before where she stands, the song titles alone on this one will tell you pretty much everything you need to know. “You Can’t Rule Me,” Man Without a Soul,” and “Down Past the Bottom” are just three. But, politics aside, this is Lucinda at her Tom Waits by way of Steve Earle with a nod to Patti Smith best.
Darell Scott – Darrell Scott Sings the Blues of Hank Williams
Full disclosure here, while Rock is the New Roll writers Cletus Crowe and Jeremy Wren might not be fans of cover songs, or entire albums of songs covering one artist for that matter, some of us, the ones that matter, love them. And here, is one terrific one in Darell Scott Sings the Blues of Hank Williams. “Just a Deck of Cards and a Jug of Wine” is a terrific and accessible way to take a journey down the Lost Highway that is the Joie-de-vie of Hank Williams. The arrangements here are contemporary enough to make this a cool as hell listen and the nod of the cowboy hat is always front and center. “Lost Highway” is a must-listen, and the closer “(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle” might just bring you to your knees. We are calling our shot now. This is the covers album of the year.
Wyldlife – Year of the Snake
It has been back in the days of yore, the days of The Biters and The Struts, since a real live Rock and Roll band has garnered as much praise within the hallowed halls of Rock is the New Roll HQ as we have heard in recent days with the release of Year of the Snake, the new record from Wyldlife. All killer, no filler, as they say with that intoxicating flair of blending ’80s Brit-rock, ’70’s Glam, and CBGB’s Ramones era Post-Punk, all in one blender. Anthems galore on this one including “Sacre Bleu,” “Automatic,” and naturally, our favorite, the album closer, “The Falcon.”
Hazel English – Wake Up
Wake Up, the hippy, trippy debut L.P. from New Zealander Hazel English is some sort of wicked hot tub time machine, Austin Powers soundtracking, mind warp blending of a Best Coast, Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithful extravaganza as produced by Phil Spector. Just listen to “Shaking” and tell us we’re wrong.
Brendan Benson – Dear Life
If you have not heard One Mississippi, the Power Pop masterpiece by Brendan Benson released in 1996, stop whatever you are doing right now and listen to it. Here, we will help you out with that.
Now, with your pump sufficiently primed, take an ear-gander at Dear Life, the first proper record Brendan Benson has released into the wild since 2013. Taking a break from his side-piece band, the Jack White-fronted Raconteurs, Benson proves once again that despite what Matthew Sweet might tell you, Benson is the reigning prince of Power Pop.