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Sound Check

4/16/2014

CD Amps for christAmps For Christ

“Canyons Cars and Crows”

5 Rue

Experimental folk/noise project Amps For Christ is back with its first full-length album since 2006’s “Every Eleven Seconds.” If you’re familiar with Henry Barnes’ Man is the Bastard work, you have a good idea what to expect from Amps For Christ, minus the skull-crushing noise. “Canyons” is not quite a traditional folk album, as Barnes has populated each song with imitation lo-fi (faux-fi?) distortions and buzzes. Second track “Miss Your Mother” comes with a high-pitched whine that permeates the whole song, giving it a feeling of unsettled discord. But that’s Barnes’ whole thing: The lyrics offer a message, but to effectively deliver it, Barnes wants to catch you on your heels. And to that end, “Canyons” is extremely effective. Even the best tracks (“Sailor’s Searching”) never let you get really comfortable. CV

 

HIV

CD SevendustSevendust

“Time Travelers & Bonfires”

Asylum

Sevendust isn’t afraid to break out of its mold once in a while. It’s a predilection that’s aided by the band’s ability to avoid being pigeon-holed as any one type of band, but in “Time Travelers & Bonfires,” it’s broken into completely new territory. Sevendust has released an acoustic album before (2004’s “Southside Double-Wide”), but that was a live album. This time Sevendust hit the studio, and the result is a surprisingly nuanced, introspective album from an act that’s known mostly for taking the “cock out/rock out” approach to music. Six of the songs on “Time Travelers & Bonfires” are new material — “The Wait” is the best of that bunch — but what really makes the album intriguing is the band’s acoustic approach to its older, harder material. Songs like “Black” and “Denial” are given new leases on life here, and more of an emphasis is placed on front man Lajon Witherspoon’s vocals. CV

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