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Sound Check

6/3/2015

Joe & Vicki PriceJoe and Vicki Price
“Night Owls”
Independent

Joe and Vicki Price are genuine, bona fide Iowa legends. Anyone looking to verse themselves on the essentials of Iowa blues should start with the Prices — and with good reason. “Night Owls,” the couple’s latest release, features some songs that fans of the pair have been listening to live for a while now, but they feel every bit as vibrant now as the first time around. Opening track “Honey” is a rollicking track that puts Vicki Price’s beautiful, saucy voice front and center, before giving way in the last minute to Joe’s impeccable slide work. Joe — sounding every bit like a classic Mississippi blues man — sings on tracks like “High Blood Pressure,” but it is the tracks where Joe’s guitar and Vicki’s June Carter-esque voice combine that make the pair’s work so vital and exciting to listen to. CV

 

Anti-FlagAnti Flag
“American Spring”
Spinefarm

Anti-Flag has always had its intelligence working in its favor. Most politically charged bands have a hard time working beyond the paint-by-number basics of “(Insert president’s name here) is bad” or “less war!” But now that Rage Against the Machine seems truly gone, Anti-Flag stands as possibly the smartest, anti-establishment voice going. Frontman Justin Sane goes out of his way to educate himself on the world around him, and “American Spring” is testament to that. Tracks like “The Great Divide” and the anthemic “Set Yourself on Fire” illustrate that Anti-Flag has the same passion and global insight as when it first started. If anything, “American Spring” sees the band revitalized a bit, and the album feels like both a sonic and spiritual successor to 2003’s “The Terror State.” CV

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