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Sound Check

September 27, 2012
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By Chad Taylor
soundcheck@dmcityview.com

Trouble Lights

‘The Endless Prom’

Maximum Ames

If you live in central Iowa and enjoy electro-pop, you had damn well already be familiar with Trouble Lights. With apologies to the Midwest’s other purveyors of dance floor pop, there’s nobody around doing it better than the Ames duo. The thing that makes “Endless Prom” the excellent example of the genre it is: Neither member is picking up any slack for the other. Singer Adrien Daller and producer Philip Rabalais are a perfect tandem for each other and for the music. As a pop album, “Endless Prom” soars. Ending track “Grey” conjures up shades of late vintage Depeche Mode, but the duo is at its best on “Hunting,” “Ready” and the beautiful “Safe With Me.” Clearly, “Endless Prom” is a niche album. But within that niche, it should be required listening. CV

Trouble Lights CD release event at Wooly’s on Friday, Sept. 28, at 9 p.m. $5

Greensky Bluegrass

‘Handguns’

Big Blue Zoo Records

There’s something about really well done bluegrass music that conveys a feeling of honesty. Greensky Bluegrass — the Kalamazoo, Mich., five-piece — is as honest as they come, but for as good as it is, there’s a formula to the sound of “Handguns.” On even the first listen, the similarities in phrasing from song to song become evident, and the only track on the album that breaks from the mold is the haunting, soulful “Bring Out Your Dead.” For lovers of the genre, “Handguns” is a solid, approachable, engaging example of how good bluegrass can be. But even hardcore fans will probably find themselves preferring to listen to the individual tracks on shuffle in their iPod playlists rather than sit down and take on the whole album at once. CV

Greensky Bluegrass plays People’s on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m. $12 – $15

Want your new CD reviewed? Email us a link at soundcheck@dmcityview.com or mail a physical copy to: Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, IA 50312.



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