Three excellent, locally conceived albums are getting the CD release show treatment this weekend. Below are some details, but for full-length reviews head to the Spill It blog at blogs.citybeat.com/spill_it/.
• Hard Rock juggernaut Banderas releases its anticipated new album, Beast Sounds and Parlour Tricks, this Friday in conjunction with a show at Covington's Mad Hatter. Arms Exploding, Angels of Meth, and The Upset Victory join the band for the shindig.
I have heard Banderas described as Metal, Punk, Post Punk and Hard Rock. Are they any of these? After inhaling the new full-length several times, I can safely answer, "Yes, and then some." The band in fact has concocted its own unique hybrid, powerful and sleazy in its Rock-ness, howling and reckless in its Punk-ness and, well, there are some "guitarmonies," so there's your Metal.
Fact is, Banderas don't play by any established "rulebook," instead taking elements from various shades of Rock to create an action-packed squall dripping not only with strut and swagger, but also a distinct craftiness that puts them above the screamy fray.
Banderas are Guns N' Roses meets Murder City Devils meets Jesus Lizard meets Mudhoney meets White Zombie meets The Stooges. But, to make it easier on all of us, just pick up the bloody masterwork and we'll just start saying they sound like Banderas. Deal? (myspace.com/banderas)
• Three years ago, Cincinnati-based singer/songwriter/home recordist Peter Adams released The Spiral Eyes, a gorgeous collection of orchestral Indie Pop that gradually went on to grab international acclaim. For Adams' much-anticipated follow-up, I Woke With Planets in My Face, the songwriter keeps the home-recorded vibe alive and creates an even more sonic, textured bedroom masterpiece. The production is anything but lo-fi, robust as anything recorded in an expensive studio.
The new "CD" has been made available on Adams' Web site as a "name-your-price" download (a la Radiohead's In Rainbows), though hard copy versions of the disc will be available this Saturday at Adams' show at Baba Budan's in Clifton (and can be ordered through the site, as well).
Middle Eastern and Eastern European influences creep in and out throughout Planets, but this is no Graceland-esque excursion. Adams' bread-and-butter is a mix of lushly orchestrated strings with lavish, engrossing melodies. Practically every track on the album is a thrill ride, as Adams breaks the "Pop" mold to allow the songs to breathe and wander. I Woke With Planets in My Face is a sumptuous, luxuriant album, full of spine-tingly twists at every turn. If his humble debut attracted ears like flies, then Planets is about to be swarmed. (peteradamsmusic.com)
• Veteran local singer/songwriter Patrick Ewing has released a new six-track EP titled After This Cigarette, which gets a release party Friday at the College Hill Coffee Company. Music starts at 7:30 p.m.
Ewing's new EP is a great representation of his full potential, fleshing out his soulful Americana with many guest artists. The Hiders' Billy Alletzhauser produced the album, and he is all over it, singing back up and playing guitar and other instruments.
Highlights on the EP include "Post-Modern Blues," one of the least-decorated songs on the album (acoustic, vocal and harmonica) on which Ewing sings of trying to keep his head on straight amidst chaos. "Heal the Homeland" is also a standout, a real "political" song that questions why our government spends so much energy and resources overseas, while the United States itself is coming apart at the seams.
Alletzhauser helps Ewing create an album that is organic and intimate, giving Ewing's writing an air of Americana sophistication. But it's Ewing's songs that are the album's heart and soul. (myspace.com/patewing)
Contact Mike Breen: firstname.lastname@example.org