True Nature: Feels Like Centuries

True Nature, fronted by Lou Barlow (not to be confused with the man of the same name in Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, et al) and featuring other talented musicians such as Aaron Comess, Gerry Leonard, and Tony Levin have come together to release this, the group’s second CD. At five tracks, this EP packs more punch than many full-length albums released these days with “The Color of Day Light” easily being the disc’s standout track. Barlow weaves strong melodies with smart lyricism, allowing a song like “My Freedom Lies Behind the Sun” to resonate passionately in today’s era of political change and societal shifting without falling over on its own message. “Woman” and “Truth I Have To Steel (Simple Heart)” also mark Barlow as a gifted lyricist and musician. With tunes this solid, it’s not hard to imagine True Nature being able to conquer an entire album’s worth of songs and sounds. Here’s looking forward to that moment. (Fire Sign Records)

True Nature MySpace page

  

Jana Mashonee: New Moon Born

NAMMY Award winning and Grammy-nominated artist Jana Mashonee will surely be hitting some new career peaks with her latest release New Moon Born. The Native American artist has taken a new direction with this disc, aiming for a more contemporary pop style. A gifted singer, Mashonee hits her mark numerous times on this excellent disc. The opening “Osiris’ Star” is equally hypnotic, tribal, and dance-worthy. But then there’s something like “Faded Love” which strikes a deeply soulful and smooth groove that’s every bit as tantalizing. “Solid Ground” is near-angelic, and “Take Me Back” showcases what makes Mashonee so attractive: a silky voice, nary a note misplaced with a full range and a delivery that is kept in check where if these songs were given to other artists you can easily imagine them getting bombastic. Jana Mashonee is definitely a gifted artist and this new album should find her a whole new set of fans. If you enjoy well-crafted pop music with spectacular vocals, than this one’s for you. (Miss Molly Records)

Jana Mashonee MySpace page

  

Twisted Sister: Live at the Astoria

Twisted Sister may be best remembered for that hilarious video for “I Wanna Rock,” in which some mullet-wearing kid declares just that to his bow-tie sporting teacher and winds up banging heads with the band. But the band has a deeper history than that, and it began in the ‘70’s as Twisted Sister rocked clubs, amusement parks and radio airwaves until that record deal could not be kept from them. They used an anti-disco stance in their early years, but mostly they just rocked with a live fury few bands could ever equal. Of course, the band is still together and Snider is still a wild front man, but if you can’t see them live, at least you can check out something like Live at the Astoria, recorded in 2004 at the famed London theater, with a companion DVD. The band agrees to a man that this was one of their greatest shows ever, and who can argue with them? The only problem is that shows like this just never quite translate to CD or even DVD the way they do to actually being there. Still, you can’t fault Twisted Sister for that. The songs are as explosive as ever, right from the start of “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)” to their big hit “Under the Blade” to some of their lesser-known anthems such as “The Price.” Of course, no Twisted Sister show would be complete without “S.M.F,” which stands for “Sick Mother Fucker” and is Snider-speak for, well, being a non-conformist. And what doesn’t say “R-O-C-K” like that? (DVE 2008)

Twisted Sister MySpace Page

  

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