Friday, November 27, 2015

Sound Check


cd DeadnoteDeadnote



If you ask them, Deadnote names acts like Oasis and Velvet Revolver as influences. But when listening to the Ames five-piece’s new EP, poppy, ultimately disposable acts like Primitive Radio Gods and Jet are reminiscent. Backhanded remark as that may be, the1996’s nearly forgotten PRG release, “Rocket,” has always been a soft spot, and Deadnote’s EP displays a lot of the more positive aspects of that album (indeed, “Social Damage” could have been lifted directly from it). The EP’s five tracks are driven by Bartz’s mic work and fueled by guitarist Cody Fedeler, with Marena Bartz’s harmonies providing just the right amount of counterpoint — see “She’s a Hipster” for the best examples of all of the above. The band’s sound is immediately engaging, though — much like PRG or Jet — for exactly how long it will hold your attention may be of some debate. CV


Best of Des MoinesIowa WildTrans IowaFleet Feet

cd Billy and NorahBillie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones



It’s not the kind of album you’d ever see coming. In 1958, the Everly Brothers released a collection of folk and country covers called “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.” Fast forward 50-odd years, and the front man of Green Day has decided to team up with a pop-jazz singer/songwriter to do a song-for-song cover of an album of covers. Green Day’s bonafides are unquestionable, but the band’s body of work has rarely afforded Armstrong the opportunity to just sing in the way that he does on “Foreverly.” Armstrong’s vocals are thoughtful and clear throughout and are actually highly reminiscent of the Everly Brothers’ original sound. And, of course, in Jones he’s chosen an impeccable voice with which to harmonize. Having a female voice covering songs released by a couple of brothers gives a new spin on the tracks and breathes fresh life into a classic album. CV

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