REVIEW: Pebaluna: Carny Life

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This is one of the most unique albums I’ve heard this year and I mean that in a very good way. Pebaluna is a two person band featuring Lauren Coleman and Matt Embree, it takes elements of indie, folk, soul, country, Americana, and a bit of R&B and throws it together for an incredible ten song album. This is the band’s first album but it sounds like they’ve been at it for a long time. Every song on here is just fucking perfect. With some you get more of above mentioned elements than others so it adds a great mix between the songs. They all flow together and have the same type of sound while having each song be different on its own. This album is the perfect album to just sit back and relax to, if work or some other life bullshit is stressing you out just sit back and hang out with Pebaluna. If you like music from any of the stuff that is comprised for this band I strongly urge you to check this album out, I’m pretty sure this is going on a best of list at the end of the year.

1. All Falling Down
2. No, I Can’t
3. Sister Sara
4. Carny Life
5. Baby, What’s Wrong?
6. Siren Song
7. Honey
8. Hopeless
9. Please Me
10. Sunshine Lullaby

Get Carny Life from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: The Wild: A Collection

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A lot of people are tired of the folk punk thing, and a lot of people are still really into it, personally I listen selectively, and The Wild is one of those bands I like to listen to. Here is their collection, aptly named, A Collection. This compiles all of the band’s out-of-print singles, EPs, live songs and split releases, it’s a pretty great one stop shop collection. You get fourteen quality songs from the band, two of them being acoustic and a live track at the end. I think one reason The Wild works so well is because they’re not just a straight up folk punk band, they’ve also got a bit of bands like The Measure [sa] in them, and so you don’t feel like you’ve just heard all of this before. If you’re a fan of The Wild, this is a pretty great collection to have a lot of great releases in one location, or if you’re missing some. If you haven’t gotten into The Wild I’d say check ‘em out if you’re into those folk bands or bands like the Measure [sa].

1. Mudlines
2. Let Me Sing you A Song
3. Stillness Sickness
4. Our Cities
5. Street Names
6. To Be Content
7. They Too Will Know
8. The City That Never Sleeps
9. We Will Drive These Warlords Out
10. We Shall Overcome Someday
11. Oh Alex
12. Set Ourselves Free (Acoustic – Grooveshark Session)
13. Everything We Need (Acoustic – Pink Couch Session)
14. Together Underground (Live At Wonderroot 9/17/2010)

REVIEW: Matt Pless: Ballerina

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Head to toe, front to back this is a great album. It’s got an awesome cover with an attractive lady on the cover and the content on the inside is just as attractive. Matt Pless does a great job of spreading many different sounds around while still keeping everything under the same type of umbrella. A lot of these songs are about girls or drugs but they’ll go from pop punk to rock to folk without thinking twice about it. A few of these songs sound like they could even be kids lullaby or something you might hear in a dream while others would be something you’d be listening to while having a one man party. If you like pop punk or folk or anything in between I highly recommend checking this album out, it’s one of Matt Pless’ best.

  1. Glassy Eyes
  2. Roman Candle
  3. The Crayon Song
  4. The Devil in Her Makeup
  5. Mr. Cotton
  6. The Best of Me
  7. If I Was a Fountain
  8. Tomorrow Is a Word We’ll Never Know
  9. Love’s a Funny Feeling
  10. Amber Lee
  11. Dirty Needles
  12. Pharmaceutic Lullaby

Get Ballerina from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: The Wild/Run, Forever!

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Here comes a split from Atlanta’s The Wild and Pittsburgh’s Run, Forever! It’s a great clash of styles that complements each other perfectly to make one great record. The Wild gives you a couple of great folk style harmonica driven songs. Instead of these songs being you’re standard ‘punk folk’ which we get a lot of now a day’s they’re very much like a Billy Joel or Bob Dylan song. Run, Forever’s side of this is a couple of pop punk songs, totally different from the A side but the two sides work really well together. This isn’t the best I’ve heard from Run, Forever but they’re both two good songs. The first song on this record makes it worth the price alone, but luckily all four songs are pretty good. You can get the 7″ record out on Solidarity Recordings.

‘Street Names’ This song is pretty great, it’s actually the best thing I’ve heard from The Wild. The harmonica makes me want to listen to Piano Man. It’s a very easy going tune that’s a great lounge about song. This is the best song on the record right here.
‘To Be Content’ This song has some more kick to it, more bass and guitar driven than the previous. It’s got more rock fused with the folk but that soothing harmonica is still there showing you how to hang out and enjoy things.
‘Silver Screens’ A pretty standard pop punk tune, it’s not a bad thing but it just doesn’t wow me either. This isn’t a Ramones-core style of pop punk; it’s more of a mainstream style, but one that’s not bad.
‘Young Pioneers’ The second song here is better than the first, it’s fleshed out more and has a little more of a power pop sound to it. This is the best song on this side of the record.

The Wild:
1. Street Names
2. To Be Content

Run, Forever:
3. Silver Screens
4. Young Pioneers

REVIEW: Unwelcome Guests/Annie Saunders: Colonel Mustard Versus Bluey

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Art of the Underground is here to hook up with a pretty rad split from Unwelcome Guests and Annie Saunders. The Unwelcome Guests side of things is, as always, great. I can’t get enough of listening to them now a days, they do everything great.

‘Stumbling Onto The Truth’ A fucking great pop rock song from the Unwelcome Guests open things up here, this song is so good I’m not sure if it was good to open with, it may be hard to top this.
‘Just Around The Corner’ Well how do you follow up a melodic pop rock song? Unwelcome Guests do it with a fast loud almost country song. This will rock your face all and make you wanna drink whiskey while you pick it up off the floor.
‘Awww Shit’ An acoustic song that rules pretty fucking hard.
‘I Ain’t Marching Anymore’ More acoustic good stuff. This song is a little less rock and a little more folk but still really good.

  1. Stumbling Onto The Truth (Unwelcome Guests)
  2. Just Around The Corner (Unwelcome Guests)
  3. Awww Shit (Annie Saunders)
  4. I Ain’t Marching Anymore (Phil Ochs) (Annie Saunders)

Get Annie Sanders / Unwelcome Guests from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: Matt Pless: Requiems for Wishing Wells

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There was a pop punk band called 3 Prong Outlet, they were pretty damn good but only put out three releases between 2000 and 2003. From the ashes of that the man that was at the helm of that band tries his hand at more of a folk rock style. Everything is a little different but you can tell he hasn’t abandoned the pop punk neighborhood, what we end up getting here is somewhat of a pop folk rock fusion sound that really sets Matt apart from the flood of folk that seems to be coming out of the punk community today. This is a great album no matter what you’re listening to. If you like good music chances are you’ll dig this.

‘Zero to the Third’ Like a folk rock song with a really upbeat feel and pop punk vocals, it’s a great way to start out any album.
‘Paintchips and Fingerpaint’ This starts out so low you can just barely hear it and the volume slowly comes up on it, which gives it a little haunting feel to start out. It comes into a pop folk song that’s such a high caliber of good it kind of caught me off guard.
‘Madeline’ An easy going acoustic song here, it makes me want to hang out on the beach at night and listen to it.
‘The Joker and the Fool’ Another great song here, catchy acoustic pop. I could listen to this song many many times in a row. We even get some harmonica on this one.
‘Cartwheel’ Lyrically this is damn close to a pop punk song, which it does have elements of but it still holds tight to the folk rock core of the rest of the album.
‘My Dark Room’ Like Madeline this one has more of a relaxed feeling to it. One of those real easygoing acoustic songs that you can’t hate on.
‘What You Will’ A catchy acoustic pop song with a reality check attached to it. This might be my favorite song on here.
‘Shy Violet’ Sounds more like a 70’s rock song than anything else, but that’s a good thing.
‘Fliptop Box’ A 3 Prong Outlet cover, this might even be better than the original version, though they are very close. It’s just a damn good song.
‘The Faded Fall Down’ This is another song that reaches the top of the best of the best list. A pop rock jam that is sure to stick with you for a while.
‘The Gypsy Life’ We’ve got a pretty sad and depressing song here, but one of those ones you like listening to.
‘The Ballad of D.I.Y.’ This is a song that reminds me of 3 Prong Outlet but acoustically. As you might guess from the title it’s a song about punk rock, kind of a bio-song and it’s real goddamn good.

  1. Zero to the Third
  2. Paintchips and Fingerpaint
  3. Madeline
  4. The Joker and the Fool
  5. Cartwheel
  6. My Dark Room
  7. What You Will
  8. Shy Violet
  9. Fliptop Box
  10. The Faded Fall Down
  11. The Gypsy Life
  12. The Ballad of D.I.Y.

Get Requiems for Wishing Wells from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: Matt Pless: Alarm Clock Time Bomb

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Pop punker turned folk man Matt Pless is back with his second album; this one has more of a matured sound than the previous. We get more of a country infused type of folk as opposed to the heavy pop sided stuff from last time, but it all still has that same familiar feel of Matt Pless. There are a lot of really great songs on here that any folk/country/punk people would be happy listening to any day of the week.

‘The Flowers in the Furnace’ The album opens with a straight up country song. It’s a real good one; it’s got that country sound with a ghostly edge.
‘Pick Up the Pieces’ A punk rock folk patriotic song. The kind you sit around and drink some old whiskey to.
‘World Gone Wrong’ Not the Bob Dylan song but something just as good, actually it kind of has a little bit of a Dylan punk feel to it.
‘Where the Horses Won’t Go’ A creepy sad sound for this one, it’s almost like hearing a ghost story.
‘White Picket Fences’ Back on the path of upbeat sounding songs here, a nice bouncy song that shows that everything’s OK even if it’s really not.
‘When the Helmets Hit the Ground’ There have been countless great folk war songs, this is another that goes on that list.
‘Talkin’ Information Blues’ I’venever heard a folk song about the internet…until now.A cautionary tale of cyber space.
‘Nothin’ Doin’’ Another cautionary tale, this one more of a country tune than the last, it’s about taking the easy way out and just thinking of yourself.
‘In the Past Tense’ An easy going song about things that have long past.
‘Boomerang’ This might be the catchiest song on here, while not the best on the album chances are it’s one you’ll be listening to a lot of the time.
‘Tearing Down the Walls’ Closing out the album is a mellow acoustic song, one you can relax with a drink and listen to on that lazy afternoon.

1. The Flowers in the Furnace
2. Pick Up the Pieces
3. World Gone Wrong
4. Where the Horses Won’t Go
5. White Picket Fences
6. When the Helmets Hit the Ground
7. Talkin’ Information Blues
8. Nothin’ Doin’
9. In the Past Tense
10. Boomerang
11. Tearing Down the Walls

Get Alarm Clock Time Bomb from Amazon HERE

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