Thursday, December 2, 2021

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Sound Check

New Member Charles


“Rock and Roll Alligator”



New Member Charles does the quirky, oddball indie thing properly. It is something that many bands in town attempt, but few manage to do while remembering to make the music good. New Member Charles 2What you will find in “Rock and Roll Alligator” is going to be a mixed bag, but one that serves to illustrate how talented New Member Charles’ component members are. Aside from being varying shades of bizarre, no two tracks sound remotely alike, as the band allows songs to shoot off on in tangents. Some of it doesn’t work — such as “Titari” a 25-second idea stretched to 5 minutes — but a lot of it does, with the title track and its follow-up, “Boner Party.” Nothing here is radio-ready, and there’s nothing to stick in your head. But there is enough nuance here to warrant repeated playthroughs as you notice something new and fun each time. CV


Fitz and the Tantrums




In 2013, Fitz and the Tantrums had one of the biggest hits of the year with “The Walker” from its “More Than Just a Dream” album. There was a second No. 1 single from that album as well, Fitz and the Tantrums 2“Out of My League.” As the follow-up album, this self-titled effort debuted with lead single “HandClap,” which is unmitigated garbage. There are other tracks on the album that are more worth a listen, namely “Walking Target” and “Fadeback,” the latter of which might be the best track the album has to offer. But while this album certainly cements Fitz and the Tantrums as a full-on pop act, it serves as a step backward artistically and has almost none of the songwriting prowess that made the previous album so fun. CV

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