"Album Reviews"

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Treble Charger - MAYBE IT'S ME

RCA Records
This four piece band with Greig Nori at lead vocals does have a promising future. I would liken their sound to the Gin Blossoms. Can't really say that there is a bad cut on this thirteen song CD. Melodies are all very catchy. I don't think anyone but metal fans would be disappointed with having this in their collection.

- Tom DeMann

Glenn Lane - ME & THE BLUES

Icehouse Records
Keyboard and B-3 Hammond organ player Glenn Lane also handles all the vocal duties on this funky, soul blues CD. Along with guitar, bass and drums, the Midtown Horn Section adds punch. Minimal liner notes indicate that Lane is a blues warrior of 25 years, who also wrote and arranged all 12 original songs that go from funky to swing to soul (ala Tyrone Davis or Otis Clay). As easy on the eyes, girlfriends, as he is on the ears!

- Felicia J. Funky

Kenny Wayne Shepard - TROUBLE IS

Revolution Records
This kid is good! He got turned on by getting to see Stevie Ray Vaughan on stage -- FROM THE SIDE OF THE STAGE as Vaughan's guest when he was about 10-11 years old, and now he's got a guitar in his hands, and he's cutting his own blues-oriented material. TROUBLE IS is Shepard's second CD and is chock-filled with cuts like "Blue Is Black" (the first single), "Chase the Rainbow," and the title cut (a damn good instrumental showcasing Shepard's virtuosity. Kenny is definitely on his way to making Stevie Ray's spirit proud!

- The Wild Card

Sister 7 - THIS THE TRIP

Arista Records
If you're not hearing this on your radio before you read this, check to see if you have a bad connection. The group comes off as if they have released five or so prior albums. Lead singer Patrice Pike reminds me vocally of Janis Joplin. Everything about this CD is simply superb. All eleven cuts have hit potential. A listening treat!

- Tom DeMann


Third Hole Records
From the depths of Hollywood comes... Bigelf! These guys pay homage to the '70s in a way that screams "Right On!" Think Black Sabbath having a lovechild with Yes, then having an affair with Queen. Beatle-esque psychedelia throughout, this 6-song EP CD starts off with the keyboard 'n harmony fueled "Change," then shifts gears to a hearty stomp with "Frustration." You'd swear this was produced by Sabbath producer Rodger Bain, capturing that warm, vinyl sound. Recommended stoner tunes.

- Brendan Hagin

Varnaline - A SHOT AND A BEER

Zero Hour Records
I was hypnotized and placed in a serene trance with my first listen to this EP. The six cuts are done with acoustic perfection. Picture yourself sipping a cup of coffee in a java house, and you have an idea what this CD is about. Not for everyone, but great when you are in the mood for something a bit different.

- Tom DeMann

Louder Than God - LOUDER THAN GOD

Zuma Records
Taking their name from a Blue Cheer record, this San Francisco trio cranks it up and delivers the goods. Opening with a sample from THE BLUES BROTHERS ("we're on a mission from God!"), they rip into the first cut, "Fried A Grin," smashing and thrashing down the beaten path. Vocalist/guitarist Steve Pickering's voice brings to mind John Bush of Armored Saint/Anthrax fame, all the while wielding a mean axe! The best cut, "Away," sports off the wall lyrics like "Lairdo's soothe the Frankenstein need, and everybody smiled at the magical weed." Huh? Trippy metal jams!

- Brendan Hagin

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