» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Rick Holmstrom
Hydraulic Groove
Tone-Cool/Artemis Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
From the last installment of the debate against new blues, a review of Josh Ritter's The Golden Age of Radio: In the music world there is little hope of improvement. It seems that if you aren't blazing trails from the start you are doomed to disappear from public light. There are of course some rather large exceptions to this rule, namely the Beatles and Radiohead, whose development was gradual and accumulative. Tom Waits comes to mind on the American continent, and though his progression has been considerably spotty at times he has emerged at a point where he is currently putting out music the likes of which have not been seen. Most everyone else pops and fizzles into obscurity or, even worse, becomes a public embarrassment. Not that public and/or critical acclaim is the only thing that matters, but it sure would make your mother proud.

Now to the present: When he says, "If you just can't love me, go on tell me so," Rick Holmstrom may as well be talking about retiling his bathroom floor. To put it frankly, the majority of the tracks on Hydraulic Groove are formulaic blues hash. There are some innovative moments such as the opening of "Pee Wee's Nightmare" which is spooky like an electronic storm, but the song quickly erodes into more rehashed blues guitar rambling. Mr. Holmstrom has picked up some interesting electronic qualities in his music, but it mostly serves as a bed for the same old sax & guitar blues, and sometimes a man just grows weary of hearing a verse repeated. I said sometimes a man grows weary of hearing a verse repeated. The appearance of John Medeski is a saving grace on the album and is most likely responsible for any genuine electro-jazz inspiration, if not the actual mechanics. In all fairness I would have to note that some of the percussion found throughout Hydraulic Groove is witty and raw and sets a good pace, but not so much as to redeem the entire album. This is not fusion music, but rather it is a blues-electronic sandwich with Chuck Berry relish. Play this album at your 25th high school reunion.

Reviewed by N.D. Burkey
A longtime infrequent contributor to LAS, Neil David Burkey is a painter, writer, sculptor and all-around artistic type. He currently lives in London, England, where he is, at long last, a legal resident.

See other reviews by N.D. Burkey



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