Category Archives: Review

Lo-Pan – “Salvador”

MP3: El Dorado

After six years of banging around clubs local and nationwide, Columbus’ Lo-Pan is getting their message heard. Playing the circuit and releasing burners like 2009’s Sasquanaut got the attention of Detroit’s Small Stone Recordings, home to a legion of similarly heavy rock ‘n roll bands. After a recent remixing and remastering of Sasquanaut, the fearsome foursome now presents Salvador, a brand new 11-track blast of force and fury.

The band’s focus seems sharper than ever on their new material. Lead singer Jeff Martin’s emotive yet sleek and straightforward delivery is reminiscent of some brands of hard rock from 15 or so years ago, forceful yet not distracting. The rhythm section of Skot Thompson and J. Bartz is as relentless as ever, pounding out a propulsive backbeat for guitarist Brian Fristoe’s pyrotechnics. The tracks here are mostly shorter this time, providing bursts of rock maelstrom like opening track “El Dorado” and “Chichen Itza.” Of course, the boys can still brew and build a firestorm like before when they want to, with slow-burners like “Bird of Prey” and album closer “Solo.” Lo-Pan proves here that they are dedicated to no frills, ass-kicking hard rock of the highest order.

Lo-Pan will spread the news of their new album with a three-week nationwide tour. Before they do so, they will gather momentum at a release party Friday night at Ravari Room. Joining them will be fellow local juggernauts EYE and Before The Eyewall, as well as New Jersey’s Fight Amp.

Tour Dates: Continue reading

Review: Liturgy’s “Aesthethica”

MP3: Liturgy – High Gold

I’ve been in denial about Liturgy. I’ve been avoiding them ever since they played the basement of a house here in Columbus when I realized it wasn’t the brutal death metal Liturgy. I missed them at the Scion thing to eat for free and watch the Blue Jackets. Did I make a mistake? New album on Thrill Jockey…huh?! Continue reading

Bottom Brick: Live Fast Or Die Slow EP

MP3: Lets Go!

Though they never went anywhere, it has now been a few years since Columbus’ Bottom Brick released a new album. After keeping busy with other projects in the meantime, the hip-hop trio now returns with their new EP Live Fast Or Die Slow.

In only 17 minutes of run-time, they succeed in producing a condensed package of classic-minded hip-hop that continues to evolve. Most of the tracks are produced by rapper/producer Seance, whose results range from the synthy, smoldering boom of lead single “Take It To The Top (On)” to the battle swagger of “Never Left,” featuring a masterfully cut-up hook from DJ Product. The menacing loop of opening track “Let’s Go!” provides a perfect backdrop for MC Adjust to burst out of the gates explosively. These five tracks are a great starting point to discover Bottom Brick’s material, and seem to predict more bangers to come.

Bottom Brick will celebrate the release of Live Fast Or Die Slow with a release party at Carabar Saturday night. Joining them on the bill are fellow local hip-hop heavyweights Zero Star (check the link for 3 free new joints), Stonecraft, and DJ Detox. Admission is free.

Joel Oliphint’s Favorite Albums of 2010

If 2009 was the year of Larry Jon Wilson, 2010 was the year of Bill Fox and the Gibson Bros. I think I listened to Bill Fox’s two reissued albums — Shelter from the Smoke and Transit Byzantium — more than anything else. (Shelter got a deluxe vinyl reissue, and Scat promises a similar treatment for Transit in 2011.) Go get ‘em. And working on a story about the Gibson Bros. reunion show back in July occupied my brainspace and held my interest for months. I don’t know if CDR has any copies of the Build a Raft reissue left, but if they do, it’s required listening for any Columbus music fan or anyone with a passing interest in twisted, noisy country/blues/rock.

But in terms of new stuff, here’s what I liked this year, starting with national releases and ending with Cowtown LPs.


1. Strand of Oaks – Pope Killdragon
I didn’t immediately hit repeat when I heard this album, but once I came back to it, I never stopped. Who knew a record with songs about John Belushi (from the perspective of Dan Akroyd), a 12-foot man and JFK could be so engrossing. Devastating, too. If you think Tim Showalter is just another pretty-voiced folkie, the layers of synth and Sabbath-like riffs on “Giant’s Despair” prove otherwise. The best way to get Killdragon digitally or on vinyl is through Strand of Oaks’ Kickstarter page.


2. The Black Keys – Brothers
Ditto Duffy.
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Houston Calling reviews the Roger Waters concert

Donewaiting alum David Cobb has been keeping Houston music fans in tune with the local buzz for the past couple of years over at Houston Calling. When not writing about Houston bands, David is reviewing national acts that pass through the Lone Star state including artists like Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters who played The Wall, in it’s entirety, in front of a sold-out crowd at the Toyota Center on Saturday night.

Check out David’s review and photos from the show.

Review: Jimmy Eat World in Columbus (+ photos)

This is hard for me to admit, but I think I’ve outgrown Jimmy Eat World. The guys still make great music but the last two albums haven’t been the start-to-finish stunners that their earlier work was. I’m not sure where they got lost along the way. Maybe it was the mainstream success of “The Middle” that demonstrated to the guys that they could write a decent pop-rock song that both emo kids and sorority girls would find appealing. That’s not to say the last two CDs (2007’s Chase This Light, 2010’s Invented) don’t contain some good, “greatest hits”-type material, but the midtempo, “belong in movie trailers” songs lack the punch of earlier tracks like “Sweetness” and “Thinking, That’s All”.

Jimmy Eat World returned to Columbus this past Saturday nigh for the first time in nearly 6 years (if I’m not mistaken) for a sold-out show at the Newport with We Were Promised Jetpacks. I still find it hard to believe – and, believe me, I’ll tell anybody that’ll listen – that I saw Jimmy Eat World play Bernie’s sometime in either 1994 or 1995 on the Static Prevails tour. That wasn’t a great show, Jim Adkins kept breaking guitar strings and eventually just gave up on changing strings and retuning causing the band to cut their set short. But, for the dozen of us in attendance, it was the first, promising glimpse at this Arizona four piece that was just a few years away from bringing emo rock to the mainstream.
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Review: Yeasayer in Columbus


Ahmed Gallab image courtesy Full Frontal Fashion

Having seen Yeasayer a couple of times before, I knew what to expect to a certain degree. The words I would use are similar to those which describe their sound: psychedelic, heart-thumping rock music that teeters on the brink of insanity. This mood they create in their live set has to be part of the reason they’re so well liked by other current mega-indie acts like MGMT and Vampire Weekend. It’s music that makes you dance, drink, take drugs (or feel like you have)… a real experience. A performance that makes my imagination wander is the real test to how remarkable a band is live. Makes it easy to see why their music videos always seem to have escaped from a third dimension.

Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the performance was Ahmed Gallab’s (aka Sinkane) public allegiance to the city of Columbus. Not only did he step back on stage before the encore and talk about his time spent here, but he kicked off their last song by stating “This is all for Daymon Dodson.” People like Ahmed are why I love the Columbus music community.

Interview/Review: Efterklang

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I traveled to Cleveland this past Thursday to catch Danish band Efterklang at the Beachland Tavern. This was my third time seeing them, but my first outside of a festival setting. Though I’ve seen them in Austin and Wales, this Cleveland show took the cake. I can honestly say there was no where else I would have rather been after being treated like I was that night.

Though the room was just over half full and the Tavern is the smaller of the two Beachland venues, these guys may as well have been playing to thousands in their homeland. There was no pretentiousness, not a stitch of awkwardness, just an overwhelming sense of appreciation from the musicians and the crowd. Singer Casper Clausen and bassist Rasmus Stolberg animated the stage throughout the entire set and seemed to never tire of smiling. While they somehow fit seven people (and their equipment) on stage, the richness of the music made it sound like a dozen more were behind them. There is such a difference in seeing a band that truly loves playing music for people and one that does nothing to connect with their audience. (The crowd was even asked to start up a spontaneous “Happy Birthday” for Rasmus half way through the set.)

Efterklang is the real deal. They’re technical, they’re melodic… There’s something for everyone. I was able to sit down with Casper after the show and pick his brain a bit.

You began your own label (Rumraket) in 2000 and released your music from it in the beginning. Is this something you felt you had to do or is it how you wanted to go about distributing your music?
We just really liked the feeling of doing everything. We recorded it and then were able to put this Rumraket label on it and it made us feel good to know we had done it all.
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The Dollyrots – A Little Messed Up

The Dollyrots will be at Skully’s on Monday, August 30 along with The Cliks and Hunter Valentine. Sure, it’s a Monday night, but the show starts at 8 and should be over before anybody turns into a pumpkin.

I hit up a campus-area CD store last week, the day A Little Messed Up was released. The CD store owner told me that his UPS shipment hadn’t come in for the day and he wasn’t sure whether or not this CD would be part of his shipment.

“So, you know their stuff. What section should I put it in?” he asked. I was stumped.

“Well, they’re from the LA punk scene, but, really, they have a pop-rock edge,” I said.

Put a million bucks in Kelly, Luis, and Chris’s bank accounts and you might confuse them for one of the manufactured Disney teen pop queens (Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, etc.) but this trio is the real deal. They just happen to write (their own) sugary sweet songs with spit-and-snarl in the vocals and guitar. It’s the kind of stuff that has huge potential crossover appeal – from fans of ’90s alt.rock female-fronted bands (ie – Veruca Salt, Letters to Cleo, The Muffs) to old punk legends (The Buzzcocks) to newer pop-rock radio bands (Bowling for Soup), there’s something for a large cross section of music lovers in The Dollyrots music.



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Photos: Devo, Ra Ra Riot at the Ohio State Fair

Devo, Ra Ra Riot
Ohio State Fair I Columbus, OH
August 4, 2010


Words by Adriana Mundy

Devo? At the fair? That was my first reaction a few months back when I first got the news. Second reaction: Definitely going. (No. Matter. What!) The Ohio State Fair is always quite a spectacle between the people watching, fried everything and of course the butter cow, but last Wednesday it was definitely the unofficial Columbus rockers night at the fair. I can’t recall who I didn’t see at some point in the evening googly-eyed with anticipation to see the first idols of Akron. Continue reading