Album Reviews

Nathan Kalish: Songs for Nobody 

Check Nathan Kalish Out Atnathankalish.bandcamp.com and nathankalish.us  
Purchase/Listen to Album Here  

This is Kalish's best album so far. The slick-but-soulful production, the A+ musicians involved, seasoned songwriting chops, and themes ranging from love to politics and plenty more in between make Songs for Nobody a truly exceptional record. This is perfectly-crafted, heart-on-the-sleeve Americana that feels like a windows-down, radio-up road trip across a troubled country.  It provides the escapism, the grit, and the hope that we are all craving right now.   

Thumbs Up: Nathan's vocals have never sounded better. His endless touring schedule has really paid off. In the best way possible, he sounds like a pro on Songs for Nobody. The cast of musicians on here complement the songs and each other with such precision and finesse. This is an album that becomes more rewarding with each listen.   

DM's Two Cents: Honestly, no criticisms here. I've personally followed Nathan Kalish's career for a decade, and have offered some in past reviews. This album is such a solid evolution forward and, honestly, just listen to the fuckin' thing and enjoy every bit of it.   

Standout Tracks: "Standard Time" is Kalish's best song yet. It reaches heights occupied by Emmylou, Isbell, and Prine. This song really hit me in the wheelhouse. The rough-and-sentimental "Wino Christmas" and the old-timey country track "Delta Woman" also shine brightly. 

 

Jack Moon: Etched in Grey 

 

 

Check Jack Moon Out At: thedancingjackal.bandcamp.com

Listen to the Albun Here

An old-timey, lo-fi folk album showing off an artist with solid guitar chops, hypnotic harmonicas, dark & brooding lyrics, with lyrics akin to the stories cowboys tell around a fire. This is a bone-sparse record, with an eerie shadow stretching across it. Add to that Jack Moon's devilish baritone and the result is "Etched in Grey."

Thumbs Up: Jack's skills as a guitarist  and ear for composition stand out the most. Lots of lovely slide-guitar licks, rollicking finger-plucked chord progressions as well. The track "Death Don't Wander" has a horrific, unsettling, but strangely pretty piano line in the background that's even Hitchockian in the mood it sets. 

DM's Two Cents: Editing wise, it's at times imbalanced. The first track "Requiem," while a solid composition, would do well with a quiter guitar and louder vocals. The album's lo-fi quality gives it its character, but you almost wish there was a little more production, reverb, etc. 

Standout Tracks:  The aforementioned "Death Don't Wander" is the standout here, and shows Jack Moon at his best. The mostly instrumental "Black Dog" is as creepy as it is beautiful. Like a walk through a dark forest at night. "Crossroad Rag" is one of the few upbeat tracks, and I'd love to hear something like this on future records. It has such a catchy, oddly fun old-timey feel to it. 

Silas J Dirge: Tales of Woe 

 

 

Check Silas Out At: silasjdirge.com

Listen to the album here

What a weird, hypnotic, spooky, murderous breath of fresh air this album is. Not even sure how I found it, but I loved it the millisecond the first note played. Created by an artist in Amsterdam, this is lovely and melancholy album full of murder ballads, ghost stories, and strange love songs. Please, tell all of your friends about Silas J. Dirge. It is Cowboy Music for Stephen King fans.

Thumbs Up: Honestly, this is a perfect album. If Devil's Music assigned letter grades, it would get an A+ and that still wouldn't be good enough for this deeply rewarding album. The album's greatest success is how simple it all is, yet it is simplicity that creates a rich, nightmarish atmosphere that sticks with you long after it's over. It calls back greats like Marty Robbins and Hank Williams, but also could easily compete with contemporaries such as Colter Wall and Hank III. 
 

DM's Two Cents: Honestly, I just hope more people find out about it and Silas J. Dirge. Keep making music. This is a perfect album. 

Standout Tracks: The song "Reaper" is one of the best songs I've heard this year. It is as unsettling as it is beautiful. I wanted to cry and cheer as I listened. Also "Sirens of the Tar."

 

Patty Pershayla: Oracle Bones 

 

Check out Patty Pershayla at: pattypershayla.com

Take a listen here.

"Peace, love, and a crowbar" has served well as Patty Pershayla's elevator speech. Her music is a strange mix of slightly hippy folk with the grit and mischief of heavy metal. Lyrics cover peace and love, for sure, but they also wield chainsaws and Halloweenish imagery. Add to that her A+ vocal skills,which are somewhere between Regina Spektor and Kurt Cobain, oddly enough. Needs to be heard to be understood. 

Thumbs Up: The track "Charmed" is the standout here on an album that doesn't have a bad song on it. There are star-making melodies here, belted out with confidence and gusto, but real vulnerability aplenty. Coming at a close second is "The Horror," a slightly masochistic, witty number that aptly details the horrors of a breakup, using slasher-flick metaphors.   As she sings, "I'm gonna slaughter you, axe murder you with kindness."  Spooky hums  take the song to heavenly heights, or better put, hellish depths. Depending on how you hear it. 

DM's Two Cents: "Till Death" has a notable, black metal that really works for Patty and we hope it keeps popping up. There's a certain "something" here that is worth exploring and applying even further. 

Standout Tracks: "Charmed," "The Horror," and "Till Death" all get an A+
 

Ernie Clark & the Magnificent Bastards: Family Album 

 
Check out these bastards at: www.facebook.com/ernieclarkdos
 
Take a listen here.
 

Hillbilly country, classic punk, lyrics with real bite telling stories that are equal parts fun, dark, depressing, and ridiculous. Listening to this feels like seeing Joey Ramone  at a honky-tonk,  then watching him leave with your true love. 

Thumbs Up: Tight musicianship all throughout but there's a rag-tag, human quality to it all. Mostly upbeat songs that cover love, death, getting your ass dumped, failed attempts at adulthood, drinking a lot, and God even shows up. 
 

DM's Two Cents: Boy, some slide guitar would sound good on half the songs here. Also, the first track opens with a chaotic barrage of instruments that smooths into a tight groove. You should do that type of thing more often!
 

Standout Tracks: "Hell of a View" is a perfect tune, with hints of Waylon and AC/DC. "The Tale of Rotten Johnny Reb" is fuckin' solid, too!