Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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Sound Notes

Jeff Beck


“Loud Hailer”


Jeff Beck, even at the age of 72, remains one of the most gifted guitarists alive. More than anything, what has kept the virtuoso fresh and at the top of his game has been his constant desire to push his own creative grounds and team with musicians who challenge him creatively. Jeff BeckFor “Loud Hailer,” those musicians come in the form of guitarist Carmen Vandenberg and vocalist Rosie Bones. Both women are solid musicians in their own right, but there is something about their combination with Beck on this album that loses some oomph in the translation. “Scared For the Children” is the best track on the album, and there are certainly flashes of brilliance throughout, but too much of the album feels like a half-sketched idea rather than a fully formed work of music. The final result is intriguing and fun for anyone who likes a hard-driving guitar, but it is ultimately disposable. CV


“Square America”

Prep Iowa

Maximum Ames

Twins — those fast rocking boys from the wilds of Waterloo — are back with the follow-up to an excellent 2014 album, “Tomboys on Parade.” That album featured a sound that was reminiscent of early-years Elvis Costello in all of the best possible ways that comparison should suggest.Twins “Square America” comes at you equally as strong, with a sound that’s bigger and more fully sure of itself. With a couple more years under its belt, Twins is a band that feels like it has turned a corner, creatively. “Mary’s Sister Margaret” is the song that sounds closest to anything off “Tomboys,” while “Schoolboys ‘n Luv” and “Teenage Grenade” duke it out for the tag of best song on the album. Twins is a better band now than it was two years ago, and two years ago it was already great. CV


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