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Sound Check

12/10/2014

She and HimShe and Him

“Classics”

Columbia

What Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have proven with their most recent album release is that it is nearly impossible to screw up a great song. “Classics” is exactly what the title says it is: a collection of songs from the ’30s through the ’60s that have already made their marks on our collective consciousness in some way or another. She and Him have taken those songs and repackaged them in the most inoffensive way possible. There is nothing bad about the album: Deschanel has steadily improved as a singer, and Ward has always been a good instrumentalist and arranger. But, continuing the theme that She and Him established early on, there is nothing at all daring or challenging about it either. Instead, the pair is content issuing a series of slightly sleepy, slightly too hip for their own good renditions of songs you have already heard. CV

Volcano BoysVolcano Boys

HIV

Self-titled

Independent

All you really need to know about Volcano Boys is that its is an aggressive rock four-piece with a tinge of pop sensibility. Think Nirvana crossed with Weezer. All you really need to know about its self-titled debut album is that it is a glorious, slightly poppy, sonic kick in the head, and you should listen to it right now. Mixed and recorded by local production genius Kevin Neal at Redd No. 7, the album is an absolute joy to listen to. Opening track “40 Days & 40 Nights” is a blistering introduction to the band and sounds like it was ripped from an early Foo Fighters album. From there, the band does a hard shift into the poppier “Blistered & Healed,” and we’re off to the races. Volcano Boys front man Jordan Mayland is one of the most talented, creative minds in the local scene, and this album showcases his rock tastes impeccably. CV

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