All Around Records

Monday, November 27, 2023

 Super City



The music is catchy, it flows, and you can dance to it, but the lyrics are dark, which sets up an interesting contrast. They have influences like Prince, and are from Baltimore.

The best songs on the album include “Outta Touch,” as it is the most danceable song on the album, and an up on energy alone. (All the songs on the album are, but this one the most of all). "Light of the Moon" is the other great one, as it’s not meant to be danced to, but rather to contemplate. Acoustic-based, it almost sounds folk.

So if you want something energetic to bop around the room to, with a good flow, this might be what you’re looking for.

Andrea Weiss

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

 Nick Frater


Think Like a Key Music

This concept album is loosely about the downfall of the UK under successive Tory governments. The protagonist goes to live in the woods to get away from it all.

All of this is rendered as cinematically as possible. This would make a good action film, maybe not necessarily heavy drama, as there is satire here, but a film like Sorry To Bother You. 

The lyrics are more joyous than the concept would suggest, and it’s not hard to smile at some sincerely happy ones, like the Steely Dan quote on “Hello Monday!” (“lay down the jam till the girls say when,” from the Dan’s song "Josie").

The music is mind blowing. Frater is a multi-instrumentalist, as is everyone he plays with here, and a lot of people play on it. Everyone from Brian Wilson, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, and many others are influences.

In short, it's a delightful album, and even if you don’t know a lot about the UK government, it’s not hard to get the concept. It’s fun and a joy to hear, not dark or disturbing, more cutting, which adds to the fun that it’s one big put-down of the Tories.

Andrea Weiss

Friday, November 17, 2023

 Super 8

Raindrops On Roses


This covers album, spanning from Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party” to BMX Bandits’ “Serious Drugs,” from Neil Diamond’s “Cherry Cherry” to The Smiths’ “Back To The Old House,” is wonderful, especially when it’s folky college rock/power pop.

Other covers that get this treatment, like T Rex’s “Ride A White Swan” are also great, as is The Replacements’ “I Will Dare.” It's a lot of fun. There’s a playfulness to these covers that makes the originals sound too serious, even when it’s a song like “Across the Universe” by The Beatles.

So if you want something will make you think about these songs in a new way, try this. It’s a great way to pass the time.

Andrea Weiss

Thursday, November 9, 2023

 The Gold Needles

Hit The Main Drag (Single)

Jem Records

This single, with it’s lyrics about having fun on the main drag, speeds along like any good Cars song, or the Motors’ song “Airport.” Cheery power pop, perfect for, yes, having fun, or anything that calls for a good time.

Andrea Weiss

Saturday, November 4, 2023

 The Lunar Laugh are back with a new album, and it's a good one. It’s a studio album, not live as their last one, Nighthawks.

Jared Lekites was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

Andrea Weiss: Who were you listening to when you were making In The Black?

Jared Lekites:Well it was a three year process making the album, so there was a lot to absorb in that time. Apart from the old stuff I listen to on the daily, I was quite taken with the Harry's House album by Harry Styles when it came out. I also dove into the deluxe reissues of Prince's Sign O' The Times and The Gold Experience albums. I know there are plenty of albums that I am forgetting but I remember having those on my car radio on the way to a couple of the first sessions.

AW: What do you see as the differences between In The Black and your previous album, Nighthawks, other than that the performances there are live?

JL: With the live album, most of those songs we played countless times over and over. The In The Black songs are ones we hadn't really road-tested when we went in to record them. There's still those raw nerves of presenting the new tune to the others in the band flowing about in some of the performances.

AW: The music is so happy, but the lyrics are so bittersweet, which I find interesting and cool. Did the juxtaposition sound natural to you?

JL: That is something we have kind of built our catalog on. I think it speaks a lot to some of our personalities. We joke and laugh our ways through a lot of pain. So it makes sense that some of that comes across in the music.

AW: Some of these songs are about love and some about life. Do you tend to favor one subject over the other?

JL: I think they go hand in hand. Love is a part of life and life is a part of love. So I can't justify picking one over another.

AW: There are no covers on this album, and there were three on the last one. Did it just work out that way, no covers?

JL: The covers on the live album had a lot to do with us wanting to fill in some time during concerts and also to bring a bit of familiarity to people in the crowd that didn't know our songs. But this was the first time we have written every song on an album. We got really close with the Mama's Boy album except there was one track on the physical copies of the album that was by an outside writer. I think it was an unspoken thing that we wanted this to be as much of a band creation as possible, so we didn't consider covering anything. Also we had a good backlog of original songs piled up.

AW:Did you approach your new songs from a different perspective than on Nighthawks?

JL: I think we always took it one song at a time, no matter what album we were working on. The approach was to always do what would best serve the music.

AW: Did you find it easier to make Nighthawks than a studio album like In The Black?

JL: Recording the live album was a much quicker process than tracking in the studio, but then actually sitting through every recorded show and selecting which version of a given song was the one to use, and then going through all those and fixing any glitches that might spoil the listener's enjoyment, took a long time. So I think it evened out in the end.

 The Lunar Laugh

In The Black

Big Stir Records

I’ve always felt that good melodies are everything, that the rhythm is the heart of a song and the melodies the spine. If there is a good melody, the beat falls into place, as do the lyrics and singing. On their fine, new album In The Black, Oklahoma City’s The Lunar Laugh prove it, with melodies galore that make the rhythms high step all over the place and the lyrics flow.

This adult rock/pop is never too soft, but never too hard either, with meaningful lyrics about life and love. Even when the songs are about troubled love or life, the melodies give a lot of hope, with hope always winning out. It’s what college/indie rock should be.

If this sounds like it might be for you, go for it. It is worth your time to listen to this highly melodic, great pop/rock album. It’s also good to take a walk to,  will get you where you want to go, and then back home.

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, October 29, 2023

 The Weeklings

Brian Jones (Official Video)

Jem Records

This video, in which the band wins over a tough crowd with a song about the who, what, where, why, and how of Brian Jones and his untimely death, is a lot of fun to watch, with its “will they or won’t they pull it off, and what will the crowd do,” atmosphere. If you’re a Stones fan you will want to watch this, or if you just want good rock and roll, this is your video.

Andrea Weiss


Blog Archive