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Awkward Stage, Bach, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Bad Brains

Awkward Stage – Heaven Is For Easy Girls

Ah, the mighty Mint Records. Let’s float back to 2006 on this tasty wave of pop rock bliss. Jammy guitars, swirling harmonies, all so very tasteful and redolent of the best of the 80s’ smartest bands…  Except that’s not it, by half. This is also consciously current, tapping into that urge towards huge melodies and solid backings and clever lyrical oddities that make today’s indie rock what it is. A masterpiece of the form.

Bach – The Best Of Bach

This is my lovely wife’s CD, in truth, but we both play it so often I may have assumed part ownership of it, by now… There’s something positively fascinating about what Bach’s music does to my brain. I can feel lost connections reconnecting, new synapses firing. Take the intricacies of Violin Concerto in Am (Allegro Assai), or the majestic beauty of Suite #3 In D (Air) or, well, all of the Brandenburg Concertos (only three selections found here)… hell, any of these 15 tracks are just what the doctor ordered when life gets crazy. This is centering music, for me.

Bachman Turner Overdrive – The Anthology (2CD)

To me, BTO was always so much more than the hits, though those are all here too. This band of superlative players mastered that classic rock sound and gave it everything they had, without fail. Any of the 31 tracks here will blow the roof off and have you scrambling for that guitar and amp you’ve been meaning to get back into playing. Even tracks like the lighter Lookin’ Out For #1 fit the form. There’s also unreleased and live material here, so it’s really a no-brainer. Hot damn, this was so much fun!

Bad Brains – Bad Brains

This is 33:56 of blistering punk perfection, with a couple of reggae tracks thrown in… I know! Oh this is so great. My current copy (not my first) is the 1997 reissue, with a bonus track of Jah Calling Dub. I cannot overstate the importance of this album. Own it, crank it, love it.

Bad Brains – Rise

This, their 5th album, is more funk rock than punk/hardcore (still with the ska/reggae tracks tossed in), and that’s fine by me. These are solid songs as only the Brains can imagine and play them. Sure, HR and his brother Earl Hudson aren’t here, but Joseph I and Mackie Jayson bring the goods. One thing that strikes me is just how good this records sounds, production-wise. It’s flawless. Throw this in and get your funk metal on, then rest on the sweet reggae jams before heading back into the pit again!


Awkward Stage – slimming mirrors, flattering lights

Mint Records recently sent us this album for our review, and I just can’t get enough of its array of superb offerings. This is such a great record!

There’s beautiful acoustic bits, mixed with country twang, straight-on crunchy chord rock, and pure 80’s-ish pop too. Horns, even! I love horns! All of these things really shouldn’t work together as well as they do here, hence this record’s awesomeness. Awkward Stage has found a seamless melding of funky and pretty, of sweaty and demure. Every time this records ends, I just press play again, from the top. I couldn’t pick one song over another, nor would I want to – the order of tracks and sounds found here are perfect just as they are.

And then there’s the words! The lyrics here are very smart, quirky, thoughtful, captivating and interesting. This is truly creative stuff, folks, which stands up incredibly well under the scrutiny of repeated listening sessions.

You know, I have come to think of this record as a collection of four separate 3-song singles pasted together, as they are, by the three short instrumental tracks (titles in parentheses, below). They’re like little intermissions between each set… This is a fun way to think of it, though the whole damn thing plays so well in its entirety that I could be wrong about this line of thinking anyway.

Our thanks to Awkward Stage for offering us this tasty addition to their excellent discography, this collection of truly yummy tracks for our top-volume enjoyment. And our immense thanks to the amazing Mint Records for having the foresight and good sense to let them do it! We’re all the richer for it.

KMA Readers, go get your copy. This is completely recommended listening.

Track Listing:
01 the sun goes down on girlsville
02 your heart serves only you
03 anime eyes
04 (prettier..)
05 skeletal blonde
06 hey, modern school girl
07 only good days caught on camera
08 (than…)
09 true love on three with feeling
10 we dreamt of houses
11 I hurt the ones that love me
12 (them…)
13 youth is a war
14 mini skirt of x-mas lights
15 dandelion

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