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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

ROBERT HILSON


Florida Alligator
THE AVENUE  |  MUSIC

Album review: U2 – “No Line On The Horizon”

Noisy, surging guitars; octopus-arm polyrhythms; Bono hollering on like a hopped-up Pentecostal preacher; spectacularly transparent declarations of purpose whooped in flailing whoa-oh frenzy. These are the first sounds of "No Line On the Horizon," U2's new album, and they combine to say what, with this band, goes without saying: This is a statement.

Florida Alligator
THE AVENUE  |  MUSIC

Album Review: The Bird and The Bee – “Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future”

Aside from an obvious flair for album titling (makes you want to shout, "'Ray Guns' are now, bitch!" doesn't it?), vocalist Inara George and soundboard extraordinaire Greg Kurstin also have a way with swinging '60s pop music set to fantastically modernized, yet still retro, production. Does this make sense? If not, think of "Ray Guns" as the aural equivalent to Disney's Tomorrowland - both create a future that will never exist by looking to tail-finned Cadillacs and moon landings as points of reference. This record awaits the mythical Year 2000, and in so doing, delivers groovy neo-psychedelia ("Ray Gun"), doo-wop era Motown complete with seductress spoken word bits ("Baby"), and breathy cocktail lounge balladeering ("Meteor"), all in a sleek electronic shell. "Diamond Dave," George's irresistible tribute to the great David Lee Roth, is not only the most catchy song here, but the only appropriate evidence by which to date this offering. It's Van Halen hero worship dressed in spacey beats and a plat-blond 'do, and as such, cooler than Judy Jetson in a discotheque.

Florida Alligator
THE AVENUE  |  MUSIC

Album Review: Dalek – “Gutter Tactics”

If the election of President Barack Obama was a big can't-we-all-just-get-along inquiry to the good people of America, then "Gutter Tactics" is a scathing, unqualified "Hell no!" Or "not yet," anyway. Atop corrosive grooves tangled in haywire electronic beats, this Garden State duo spits tales of torture, war, civil rights abuses and the like, exposing every closeted sin, protesting all the wrongs that still need be righted. "Armed with Krylon" and "Who Medgar Evers Was" make up a suite of continuously devolving ambient rap that taps a well of run-for-your-life paranoia. The latter track works off a big, beefy drumbeat, spiraling feedback and lyrics about assassination. Indeed, this is dark stuff that takes nerve to slog through, and that's speaking nothing of the introductory monologue - a caustic, hell, fire and brimstone throwdown from the Rev. Wright himself. Or as Dalek likes to call it, "feel-good music."

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