The Great Affairs have evolved over the years. On their second album ‘Ricky Took The Wheels’ they owed a reasonable debt to The Black Crowes in terms of influence; by the following year, they were experimenting with stripped back Americana and, two years hence, their music – with a guiding hand from a new rhythm section featuring drummer/vocalist Kenny Wright – things had moved further towards gritty bar-room rock. Whatever the chosen style, though, each release could be relied upon for a handful of superb tracks.
New Jersey’s The Rareflowers began life in 2013 when brothers Jimmy and Kane Maraday met drummer Aaron Gollubier and started experimenting with cassette recordings. Five years on, their debut EP carries the kind of DIY spirit that comes from such basement experiments and the songs very much hark back to the 80s with the light neo-psychedelics of what became dubbed the Paisley Underground scene. In other words, the lighter, floatier end of jangle pop.
Likened by Rolling Stone to sounding “somewhere between Red House Painters and The Beach Boys”, Germany’s Green Apple Sea make wondrously timeless pop music.
The Green Apple Sea release a new album entitled ‘Directions’ on May 18th. In the meantime, you can watch the video for a new track, ‘Doc Watson Dream’.
Most people wouldn’t argue with the theory that Johnny Cash’s musical rebirth in the 90s introduced the legendary country icon to a whole new audience. Under the watchful eye of producer Rick Rubin, Cash applied his distinctive style to some great rootsy material and covered tunes by Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Tom Petty and Depeche Mode along the way.
This Minneapolis based garage rock band is entirely unpretentious. At no point do these musicians stretch too far beyond their garage-ish musical limits – limits that are occasionally just a little too obvious – nor do they display any kind of ego. By their own admission, J. Eastman & The Drunk Uncles are rather shambolic. Still, a fairly loose and carefree attitude has got them so far and this third release works very much on a maxim of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Or in the case of the Uncles, it might even be “if it sounds a bit broke, let’s swill some booze and knock things about until they sound better.”
True to their word, bits of ‘No Capo Required’ do indeed sound sloppy. That said, you’ll have heard sloppier…and sometimes from bands who actually genuinely believe they’re the very acme of musical perfection.