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Cage the Elephant Melophobia

Cage the Elephant Wax Musical on “Melophobia”—Album Review

RCA (2013)

There have been a lot of attempts to define the raw, passionate sound of Cage the Elephant. They’ve been classified as “alternative,” “garage,” “punk,” “garage punk,” “powerpop”, and more recently, even “glam.” I’ve always just thought of them as “some guys from Kentucky going nuts and losing it onstage.” So given their in-your-face musical history and their penchant for noise, the title of their third album, Melophobia, certainly seems appropriate. […]

The White Stripes Elephant

The White Stripes’ “Elephant” 10th Anniversary Edition Goes to Wide Release

So, remember back in April when The White Stripes released a special, limited-edition, 10th Anniversary vinyl release of their landmark album Elephant in honor of Record Store Day? Well, guess what? It’s not (quite) a limited edition anymore. This week, Jack White’s record label Third Man Records announced that the 180-gram vinyl print of Elephant will be available for wide release at the end of August, and encouraged fans to […]

Smith Westerns Mature on “Soft Will”—Album Review

Mom + Pop Records (2013)

When you start out as a garage-rock band, it seems there are two ways you can evolve: you can learn to create perfection out of lo-fi distortion (think Jack White or The Black Keys), or you can move toward a cleaner, indie-rock vibe. Chicago act Smith Westerns’ third effort Soft Will definitely leans toward the latter, and it feels like a completely natural evolution. Granted, Smith Westerns have always carried […]

Thee Oh Sees “Floating Coffin” – Album Review

Castle Face (2013)

It occurs to me that Thee Oh Sees have a penchant for mixing seemingly unrelated things together in ways that other bands can’t. Take, for example, their musical style: a unique cocktail of surf, psych, garage and indie rock. Not only do they blend these elements together seamlessly, but with seven albums released in the past five years alone, they do it very prolifically, as well. Then there’s the latest […]

Rock Rewind: The White Stripes “Ball and Biscuit”

As some of you may know, Record Store Day is next Saturday, and Jack White is the official ambassador for Record Store Day 2013. It also happens to be the 10th anniversary of The White Stripes’ breakout record Elephant, which will be re-released as a special edition for Record Store Day. We’ve already featured “Seven Nation Army” from that record here on Rock Rewind, but I thought this month’s festivities […]

Wavves “Afraid Of Heights” – Album Review

Mom + Pop Records (2013)

“I’ll always be on my own / F**ked and alone” laments Nathan Williams on the title track of Wavves’ fourth studio album Afraid of Heights. Throughout the album, the mood doesn’t change much. Actually, it’s pretty standard fare for a band that has built a reputation on internal turmoil, personnel changes, and self-loathing lyricism set against a musical backdrop combining the pop-punk sensibilities of Green Day with the dark grunge […]

Coachella 2013 Bands To Watch For: Japandroids

With Coachella 2013 less than a month away, anticipation for the two-weekend music festival in Indio, CA is certainly ramping up. If you’re planning to attend, here’s another band worth looking at: Japandroids. The name of this band is a bit deceiving, if not confusing. They are neither from Japan, nor are they droids. Hell, they don’t even sound anime. They are, in fact, a garage-rock duo from Vancouver, BC […]

Rock Rewind: The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”

Did anyone catch Jack White’s remarkable performance on the Grammy Awards telecast last weekend? It got me thinking back to where we first got to know Jack White—as frontman of garage rock duo The White Stripes. That prompted me to put “Seven Nation Army” from the proverbial vault this week. Easily the duo’s most well-known single, “Seven Nation Army” first appeared a decade ago on The White Stripes’ fourth album […]

Green Day Builds On “¡Uno!” With “¡Dos!”

Reprise Records (2012)

With the release of ¡Dos!, the second album of Green Day’s three-part trilogy, there’s an inherent temptation/compulsion for writers and critics to tie it in with the band’s recent difficulties (namely, Billie Jo Armstrong’s onstage meltdown and current stint in rehab, followed up with the band postponing their tour). But now that I’ve made the obligatory mention of said difficulties, I’d like to talk about ¡Dos! apart from those issues, […]

The Slow-Burn Success of The Black Keys, and Why Less Is More

The Black Keys, current poster children of the garage rock revival, are anything but an overnight success. Before their most recent two records, Brothers and El Camino, made them a household name, they spend the prior nine years plugging away as an indie band, building an underground following with their raw, bluesy sound and gaining extra exposure through song placements. And now? Good luck getting a ticket to their shows. […]

The Hives “Lex Hives”—Album Review

No Fun AB (2012)

After nearly five years without releasing an album of original material, Swedish garage-rock band The Hives are back with Lex Hives. But if you’re not paying attention, you might mistake this album for pretty much all of their other ones. Tongue out of cheek—anyone who really expects anything different or innovative from The Hives is really missing the point about this band. They have never been a band trying to […]