Thursday, August 11, 2022

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Sound Check


CD Disillusion Cover ArtO’Brother


Triple Crown Records

Ambient acts can sometimes be difficult sells. They don’t tend to produce tracks that are easily digestible by a radio audience, and their propensity to meander through songs can often lead to listener fatigue if you’re not actively doing something besides just listening to the music. O’Brother pushes through all of this by having a sound that’s more metal than it is stoner rock and by eschewing the extended instrumentals of many ambient acts for more lyric-heavy tracks. But at the end of the day, “Disillusion” is still an ethereal experience, and, when it comes to enjoyment, your mileage may vary. “Disillusion” is a beautifully cohesive album with a cinematic approach to its musical themes. Opener “Come Into the Divide” and closer “Radiance” serve as dreamy bookends to a journey that is at times epic if occasionally tiresome. CV

O’Brother plays Vaudeville Mews on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa


CD Franz-FerdinandFranz Ferdinand

“Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action”


It’s been almost a decade since Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. And, while the Scottish dance-rockers have yet to release another single as zeitgeist-grabbing as “Take Me Out,” its sound has continued to please critics and fans alike. “Right Thoughts…” is the group’s fourth and possibly its most well-developed beginning-to-end album yet. It seems a little strange to use a word like “mature” to refer to a band whose lead singer once described its sound as “music for girls to dance to,” but Franz Ferdinand illustrates the ability to take a party-rock sound and infuse it with just enough gravitas to give it weight. Opening track “Right Action” is reminiscent of Oasis in its happier times and gives you a good taste of what’s to come. The album never soars to 2004’s heights but also never disappoints. CV

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